Wolverine (2nd series) #83

Issue Date: 
July 1994
Story Title: 
Cold Comfort

Larry Hama (script), John Nadeu (guest pencils – filling in for an exhausted Adam Kubert), Bud LaRosa & Keith Champagne (guest inks), Pat Brosseau (lettering), Digital Chameleon (coloring), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), cover by Adam Kubert & Mark Farmer

Brief Description: 

In a remote section of Canada, Albert and Elsie Dee join Bloodscream in his quest to find Logan after he assists them with some poachers and lies to them about being an ally of Logan. In another area of Canada, Logan, along with Harry Tabeshaw, make their way to meet up with James and Heather Hudson. There, they meet their crew – Simpson, Sverdrup and DeLong and learn that something with claws has been terrorizing them. After Logan asks James to be the executor of his estate, he and Harry discover that the creature is none other than the Hunter in Darkness. That night, Simpson opens up the door and is swiftly attacked by the Hunter and severely wounded. In the tussle that follows, Sverdrup is killed and the Hunter is wounded. Eventually, it makes its escape and calls out to other Hunters – much to the dismay of Logan and Harry.

Full Summary: 

Riding in the back of a plane, Logan is jostled around violently. He tells the pilot, Harry Tabeshaw, to take it easy. In case he forgot, his mutant healin’ factor ain’t what it used to be. Harry informs him that he don’t fly for passenger comfort and that Ojibwa Air is strictly a freight hauler. He got himself a nice government contract ferrying supplies to arctic research stations. Logan adds that big fat fee he got from Ronald Parvenu made a nabob o’ commerce out o’ the best wilderness guide in the North Country – Harry Tabeshaw.

As they begin to land, Harry recommends to Logan to grab some bulkhead, they’re going in hard. Getting out of the plane, Logan thinks to himself that he’s been hangin’ his hat in Salem Center for quite a spell an’ there’s a lil’ ol’ cabin down in Alberta that’s a warm spot in his memory but somehow, he always thinks o’ home as a snow-covered place where Heather and James Hudson are. Once Logan’s feet hit the snow, he tells Heather and James that he caught himself a free ride up there, so he thought he’d drop in and say hello. He adds that he hopes he’s not intrudin’. Heather tells him that he knows he’s always welcome wherever they are.

She then asks him how he is, as she’s been worried about him since their little meeting with Lady Deathstrike. James interjects and says that first they had better see about getting the supplies off-loaded. There’s a big pressure front moving in, the wind has been quite severe up there because of the heat variations caused by the hole in the ozone layer right above them. Heather ignores her husband and gives Logan a big hug and tells James that the supplies aren’t going anywhere. Logan tells her to cut her husband some slack; he’s got a lot of readjustin’ to do, after comin’ back from the dead – again. Logan then shakes James hand and tells him that it’s real good to see him again, real good. He thought he’d never get to tell him. James says they have a lot to tell each other. It’s taken a while to get used to accepting the changes that happened while he was gone.

Just then, Harry tells Mr. Hudson that the problem’s a lot worse than a busted ski. Looking at the plane, James points out that he sees a stress crack in the oleo strut. He can set up a jig and spot weld it tomorrow if they pull the whole gear assembly. Harry asks “tomorrow?” A tall, gruff man carrying a rifle asks Harry if he’s apprehensive about being out in the wild at night and says that he is one totally urbanized Native American. Harry informs the man, DeLong, that he is native Canadian, born in Germany. His dad was stationed at Bad Herzfeld. Logan pipes in that Harry’s the best tracker he ever met and that he doesn’t want to stay ‘cause he sniffs something out there that he don’t like.

Having said his peace, Logan tells Heather that her pal DeLong is a jerk. Heather says but he is a pretty good team biologist. She then introduces Logan to the rest of their crew. The guy in the powered suit is Sverdrup, their physicist. Simpson is their geologist. She designed her own thermal cold weather suit and… Logan mentions to her that her and Jimmy are just plungin’ back into the research work. He kinda thought she and him would take some time off for themselves. Heather asks so they could take another hunting honeymoon, no thanks. Logan says who knows, they might find another wild man with claws again. Heather replies not likely and tells Logan that he’s a rare breed.

She then asks him if he knows how important this new research station is. Logan tells her nope, he don’t even know what she’s doin’ up there. Heather informs him that they’re studying the hole in the ozone layer and the disastrous effect it is having on the local environment and the collateral impact on the biosphere… At that moment, Logan cuts her off and asks her if she’s happy. Heather looks at him and asks him what that is supposed to mean. Logan says that he’s not tryin’ to pry or nothin’, just no regrets. Heather puts her arms on his shoulders and tells him that she knows he asked that because he really cares and adds that he is the least self-involved mutant he has ever met.

Looking at the door of the Alphans research complex, littered with claw marks, Harry mentions to Logan that it looks like they have been having trouble with the local fauna. Inside the complex, Logan asks Jimmy if he has any idea what made the claw marks in his door. James informs him that as a matter of fact, he does. They were out taking core samples of the ice when they found a pretty peculiar artifact. He then asks Sverdrup if he would retrieve the artifact from the dry freezer. Logan quips that it must’ve been some salesman that sold them a freezer for there. James tells him that it has some rather sophisticated air moisture controls, truly frost-free. They can’t have a specimen cell structure damaged by tissue crystallization.

When Sverdrup pulls the block of ice out of the freezer, it has a large vacant space in the middle of it. Logan mentions that it’s like a giant popsicle mould. Sverdrup says they thought “late Pleistocene artifact” but no, too recent. James adds that whatever that thing was, it was alive less than two hundred and fifty years ago. Looking at it, Logan says that it looks sorta familiar. Simpson says that she doubts it. She did a 3-D scan of the cavity and ran it through her contour mapping programs. She asks DeLong is he would please. DeLong proceeds with punching the image up on the screen showing a raw geodesic plotting with no enhancement. The image looks much the Hunter in Darkness.

Logan recognizes it as such and simply says that it looks just like an old friend o’ his from the north woods. He then asks why make a computer dummy, what happened to the thing in the ice. Heather says that it wasn’t there. The increase in U-V from the ozone layer hole released it from its cryogenic hibernation and it apparently walked away. DeLong, preparing his rifle, tells Logan not to worry, it is just an animal and he has the tools to deal with it. Logan says to him an’ here he thought he was a biologist. DeLong tells him “spot on.” He knows what fangs and claws can do and knows what can stop them.

Logan turns his back and asks Jimmy if they can have a little talk. James tells him absolutely, any time. Logan says, “Right now, in private.” Once they leave, Harry looks at the image on the screen and tells DeLong the thing they got running around loose out there is the Hunter in Darkness. It’s a hungry spirit, and it’s going to eat him for breakfast, big gun and all.

In private, Logan tells James that he’s been havin’ to do a lot o’ thinkin’ about stuff lately. He’s been confrontin’ his own mortality; he guesses he’d understand about that better ‘n most. He lost his adamantium – not that he ever wanted that stuff in the first place – and his powers are slippin’ away. Life is finally catchin’ up with the ol’ canuckle-head. He’s been goin’ around, seein’ all his old friends, makin’ things right. James tells him that he doesn’t have anything to make right with him. Logan asks that he hear him out and tells him that he has a big favor to ask o’ him. He says that he’s… his oldest and best friend. He knows things got a little edgy between them for a while, but he hopes that he understands that he always looked up to him with a lot o’ respect. He’s got a little bit tucked away, bein’ watched over by Landau, Luckman and Lake but they are just a company. He’d like his affairs to be handles by a friend. He’d like him to be executor o’ his estate. James tells him that he’d consider it an honor but asks why there are talking about all that as if it were imminent. Logan informs him that he got back a lot o’ his humanity when the adamantium left him but there’s still enough o’ the wild animal in him to know when it’s time to go home for the last time. Outside the room, Heather overhears their discussion, as tears come from her eyes.

In another location in Canada, Elsie-Dee says to Bloodscream that he’s a mutant. She asks him what kind of powers he has. Is he in the data bank over at “Xavier’s pwace?” She then tells Albert to wun a heartbeat and wespiration scan on him when he answers and make sure he’s tewwing the twuth. Albert replies that he’ll *bzt* scan him good. Bloodscream tells them both to sooth, there is naught…

Suddenly, they are then interrupted by the appearance of a group of six men, all carrying rifles. The leader of the crew tells them that he’ll be doin’ the askin’ around there and that question number one is “what are they doin’ poachin’ on their stash of Indian artifacts.” One of the men in the crew, an Indian, says yeah, they answer dat like de boss-man axe them all right. Elsie points at the leader and asks poaching? She then accuses the scum before her are the ones who are desecwaiting a sacwed buwial gwound. She says that she’s gonna use her internal cewuwwar fax modem to notify the RCMP. The leader says oh pwease, don’t call the Mounties. He pwomise he won’t be bad no more. He then uses his rifle to blast Elsie with a direct shot to her chest much to the shock of Albert and Bloodscream.

The Indian of the crew says to another member of the crew, Roach-face, dat boss-man be some funny fella. Roach-face replies dat he be, Skunk, dat he be. They then both proceed to shoot Albert in the back, knocking him to the ground. Pointing his rifle at Bloodscream, he asks “Mr. Pony-tail” what’s the matter, he’s lookin’ mighty pale. Bloodscream tells them that ‘tis the blanching which is prelude to transformation and transforms into a monstrous figure. He says that though hast roused the ire of Bloodscream and in doing so thou hast conjured thine own doom. The leader and his crew begin to shoot Bloodscream and ask him if he thinks he can scare them with a bad case o’ gum disease.

Skunk then tells the boss that he ain’t goin’ down. Roach-face adds that the creature took a 30.30, a 30 aught six and two doses o’ 12 gauge buck and he’s still standin’. Two other members, Epstein and Too-Tall begin to run off in fear as Bloodscream behind them says blood and brains, hot and salty, the flesh is his.

Before they can get too far, Elsie pops up and knocks Epstein and Too-Tall out. As she does, she tells them that they’re all staying wight where they are. They shwedded her dwess and they’re all going to pay. Albert then gets up and smacks Skunk and Roach-face’s heads together and tells them they are *bzt* violators of sacred ground, plunderers of a vanishing *bzt* culture and would-be murderers of *bzt* a girl-child. It makes no *bzt* difference that they didn’t *bzt* know she was an android. Their *bzt* intent was still heinous. Albert then says to Elsie that humanity certainly hasn’t *bzt* improved in the last three hundred years, has it *bzt*. Taking out the leader with a head-butt to his gut, Elsie replies why should they, they have a monopowy.

With the crew down, Elsie says that was invigorwating. She then turns to Mr. Bloodscweam and says that she guesses he weally is a mutant. She then asks if cares to give them a hand dewiverwing the miscweants to the Woyal Canadian Mounted Police. Once the crew is loaded up in the tow truck, Bloodscream tells both Albert and Elsie that he is a mutant and one of a select group of mutants, for they have been charged with finding one of their very own, their very Mr. Logan himself. For unbeknownst to him, he hath a grave malaise, a lethal choler that may be his undoing. Oh, verily, they must fly to him with succor. He then asks if they wouldst aid him in his mission of mercy. Elsie replies absowutely but finding Mr. Wogan won’t be difficult at all. Albert has been accessing vawious government databases. Albert says *bzt* yes, as a matter of *bzt* fact, he’s right there in Canada!

Inside the complex, Sverdrup asks Simpson where she is going – surely not outside, alone and after dark. Simpson replies that she has seismic probes to collect. She doesn’t intend to have her work invalidated by a continuity lapse in her primary data. Harry adds but the Hunter in Darkness… Simpson cuts him off and says is a load of superstitious clap-trap until somebody presents her with hard evidence, otherwise. Harry says that his old man didn’t believe cigarettes could kill him, but they did, anyway. Simpson tells him that there’s a big difference between carcinoma and Wendigos. When she opens the door, something blasts the door open and cuts Simpson as it passes her. As Sverdrup asks what it was, Harry calls out to Logan that he best come a-runnin’, the Hunter is loose inside.

When Logan, James, and Heather arrive on the scene, DeLong tells them that it went down the “A” corridor and that he never saw anything move that fast. He adds that it ripped Simpson open like, like… Down the corridor, James tells Logan to go with DeLong around the long way to ambush it while he and Heather drive it ahead of them. Harry yells out that is a big mistake, they don’t want to corner it. Before long, Heather points out to James that the creature didn’t go to the end of the corridor like they thought it would. James notices that it slipped into a dark utility recess and waited like good lord, like a hunter in the blind. They just assumed that they were the hunters and not the prey.

In a moments notice, the Hunter leaps out and takes a swipe at James just as Heather yells at him that the creature is too fast. At that moment, Logan and DeLong arrive to see Heather and James taking on the creature. DeLong raises his rifle and says that he wants to see what the hydrostatic shock from a 30.06 boat-tailed jacketed hollow point does to the throwback… Logan knocks the gun back and tells DeLong that there will be none o’ that while his friends are in the line o’ fire. He then pops his bone claws and rushes towards the Hunter. As he does, he tells Heather and James to gangway; their old teammate’s comin’ through with a one-way ticket to claw-city for ol’ hairy-chops. With that, he slices the Hunter, knocking him back off of his friends. Up close to the Hunter, Logan mentions that unless his sniffer is all shot to blazes, this beastie isn’t the same one he tangled with before. He then begins to wonder what that means.

Watching the action, Heather tells James that Logan isn’t what he used to be any longer and that they have to jump back in and… DeLong cuts her off and raises his rifle again. He says that thing is going to rip their friend to shreds, and then he’s going to start on them. At the last second, James knocks the gun off course, causing it to harm nobody. At that moment, Sverdrup shows up wearing the freight-loader suit and tells them that he thinks they are using the wrong tools for the job. When James asks if he’s going to use the suit against the Hunter, DeLong mentions that it worked for Sigourney Weaver.

Approaching the Hunter, Sverdrup says that animal muscle tissue has severe limitations within mass-to-energy-efficiency parameters, a creature that big is using too much energy just holding itself upright. Logan tells him to stop yappin’ and start thrashin’ before… He is then smacked aside by the Hunter as it turns its attention towards Sverdrup. As Sverdrup goes to hit the Hunter, he says that it can’t possibly exert as much concentrated force with as much speed as he can. In no time at all, the Hunter leaps, lands on top of Sverdrup, and proceeds to slash him to death.

Nearby, Logan manages to get up and tells Heather and Jimmy to back him up; they have to take on the Hunter as a team. He tells them to give ‘im the ol’ Alpha Flight one-two. Using a combined force, they attack the Hunter, wounding him. During the tussle, Heather asks if Sverdrup is… Logan tells her yeah, he’s gummin’ up the works of his superior machine. Having enough of the assault, the Hunter rips a hole in the ceiling and jumps through. Logan mentions that it’s getting away. DeLong exclaims that it’s wounded and even more dangerous than it was before. He then proceeds to shoot his rifle into the hole. Logan grabs him by the throat and tells him to cool it with the popgun or he’s gonna shove it down his throat, butt-first.

Near the door, Harry tells the returning crew that he sutured Simpson up with fishing line and clamped and butterflyed everything he could get at but she’s going to need a medevac and a real surgeon ASAP. He then asks that he doesn’t suppose they put the Hunter down. Logan tells him not a chance and that the critter is devilish fast. Harry replies hungry too and that he’s gonna keep coming back after this blood scent. James tells them all that they have to organize a hunt for the thing, but the present priority is to fortify a section of the station so that Simpson and whoever is taking care of her aren’t in danger while the others are out hunting.

Heather mentions that the dry freezer has a big lockable door and no windows. They can reset the temperature controls, seal off the ductwork and barricade the door. Handing Simpson over to James, Harry says to him that he thinks they are gonna go hunt the creature. Don’t they know that it’s the other way around? They gotta get in the freezer, barricade it, and stay in there. DeLong pipes up and asks Harry if he’s advocating hiding with their heads tucked down and hoping it goes away. He adds that he’s not too long on courage for a wilderness guide, is he. Logan tells him to watch his lip. Harry was a Canadian Army recon liaison to the SAS. He saw action at Goose Green, Derry-side, and the Gulf. He copped himself a V.C. and they don’t hand them out like cracker-jack prizes. Logan then adds that Harry’s just bein’ careful, because he knows from experience what it takes to up against this beastie and survive. Harry is the only one that ever captured one of the critters alive.

DeLong laments and says that maybe he was a bit hasty, but asks what they are doing about Sverdrup’s remains. Do they just leave him outside for that… Logan tells him that’s right. It’s better to take the edge off his hunger or he might start lookin’ around for a nice big juicy DeLong steak. Logan then pushes DeLong into the freezer and tells him to get in there and shut up. At that moment, a loud howl is heard inside the complex. Harry mentions to Logan that they’re in deep trouble, that thing is calling. Logan asks callin’? Harry says that he’s calling to others and they’re answering!

Characters Involved: 


James (Guardian) and Heather Hudson (Vindicator) (members of Alpha Flight)

DeLong, Simpson, and Sverdrup (members of James and Heather’s crew)

Harry Tabeshaw


Elsie-Dee and Albert

Skunk, Roach-face, Too-tall, Epstein, and unnamed leader of a group of poachers

Story Notes: 

Harry Tabeshaw received a large fee from Ronald Parvenu back in Wolverine (2nd series) #48 for tracking down the Hunter in Darkness for him.

Logan, Heather, and Puck faced off against Lady Deathstrike back in Wolverine (2nd series) #76-77.

Wolverine mentions that James came back from the dead – again results from the following: Mac died in Alpha Flight (1st series) #12, then returned in #87-90, only to die again in #100 [and return again in #128-130]. He essentially never died, but was transplaced (?) through space after his battle suit exploded, where he was found on Jupiter's moon Ganymede by the Qwrlln who rebuilt his body with alien technology. In #100, he sacrificed himself to return everyone else back to Earth. He survived, and the Master of the World located him and took control of him, where he fought Alpha Flight as Antiguard, but overcame the Master's programming in #130. (Special thanks goes out to Daytripper for this particular note).

Logan’s mention of another hunting honeymoon for Heather and James is a reference to them finding him after he escaped the Weapon X facility. This was shown back in Alpha Flight (1st series) #34.

Logan first “met” the Hunter in Darkness in Wolverine (2nd series) #34. It was, in that issue, revealed that Logan actually encountered the Hunter after he escaped the Weapon X facility.

DeLong’s mention of it working for Sigourney Weaver is an homage to the movie Aliens in which she, as Ripley, donned a space-suit to confront the Alien itself.

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