Wolverine (2nd series) #94

Issue Date: 
October 1995
Story Title: 
The Lurker in the Machine

Larry Hama (script), Chris Alexander (pencils), Mike Sellers & Al Milgrom (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Joe Rosas (coloring), Violent Hues (Malibu Seps), Bob Harras (editor) cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

In an area of the desert that used to be known as Akkaba, members of the Dark Riders, Spyne, Lifeforce and Hurricane, begin to lead Cyber to their master’s hidden citadel. At Xavier’s school in Massachusetts, Logan arrives to pass on his knowledge to the members of Generation X. The next day, during their training session, Logan senses something inside the biosphere itself and orders Jubilee, Synch, M and Skin to leave as soon as possible. That night, Logan heads back to the biosphere and faces off against the entity known as the Token while Skin and Jubilee watch. Once the battle has finished and the Token run off, Logan leaves the school. The next morning, when Skin and Jubilee tell Banshee and Emma what they witnessed, Banshee tells them that the Token is a wraith of the dead, or worse, still of the living. He also says that the Token left because Logan was there and it cannot abide its own kind.

Full Summary: 

Aboard an aircraft, Cyber is enjoying a cigar as he says to his associates that they call themselves the Dark Riders – big deal. He adds that their boss, whoever he is, must think pretty highly of ol’ Cyber to go to all the trouble of springin’ him from that hoosegow in Scotland. Hurricane informs him that he might say that he has certain admirable qualities. He then tells Cyber this is the end of the flight and that someone will meet him there.

Cyber asks him how come he didn’t get his buddy, the great and powerful taking head, to zap them there. Hurricane replies that Harddrive is busy elsewhere and they don’t want to draw attention with a display of residual radiation from the transdimensional transport flux. Exiting the aircraft the adds that their immediate destination is what a being of a certain aesthetic sensibility might call an “artistic installation.” Looking out at the piles of skeletons littering the floor and tied to pillars, Cyber asks, “art?” Hurricane tells him that it was an example. An object lesson, as it were, that certain events need not be temporally fixed. Lifeforce adds that if other words, “it can happen anytime.”

She tells Cyber where they are used to be called Akkaba, and it’ll be called that again. Puffing on his cigar, Cyber asks if the dog and pony show is supposed to impress him. Putting his cigar out in the eye of one of the skeleton’s heads, he tells them that it don’t. Spyne tells him that he’s a fool. Cyber says that he don’t take that from anything that catches flies with its tongue. Spyne threatens that he’ll eat his spleen to which Cyber tells him that he’ll have to chew his way past a whole mess o’ adamantium to do that, maggot-breath.

Before things can escalate further, Hurricane points out that it looks to be a sandstorm brewing and asks where their transport is. A young man behind them tells them that there is no transport; they shall be walking to their destination and he will be their guide. The young man introduces himself as Jamil and informs them he is in the service of Candra and others. Directing them in the direction they will walk, he tells them the citadel of the great one awaits. Cyber asks that they’re gonna follow some punk kid into a raging sandstorm?

At that moment, a path emerges in the middle of the sandstorm. Cyber says neat trick but Jamil tells him that it is not his doing. He tells them the thoroughfare has been provided by one who wields great power. Cyber then asks the Dark Riders why they need a guide anyhow, don’t they know where their head honcho lives? Hurricane tells him that the citadel isn’t what you would call nailed down. It is not rootless inasmuch as its surroundings have a marked tendency towards commutation and inversion. With a gleam in his eye, Cyber replies, “you don’t say.”

In the rec room of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Massachusetts, the members of Generation X are enjoying some downtime. While Jubilee and Husk take on Synch and Skin in a game of foosball, Jubilee tells her friends that he is so going to come; he told her so. Synch tells her to be realistic; it has been five days since she called Wolverine down at Salem Center. Skin adds so what he didn’t show up, “es nada.” From what he hears, he ain’t playin’ with a full team in the cabeza, if you catch his drift.

At that moment, in the game, Skin tells Jubilee that he blocked her shot. As the ball pops up into the air, Jubilee tells Skin that she doesn’t catch his drift and is able to hit the ball off of her head and into the goal, allowing her team to win. Skin tells her no fair, she used her head. Jubilee informs him that’s what you’re supposed to do in soccer and that he better take that back about Wolvy.

Just then, M is startled when Chamber knocks on the window. He informs her they have company and points out into the woods. M says it’s just something coming out of the woods to which Skin asks those woods. Synch adds the road is on the other side of the house. Husk mentions that either somebody took the long way around or they just walked through ten miles of forest. Skin replies Husk is right, but that ain’t just any ol’ somebody. Jubilee exclaims that she’d recognize that walk from a mile away; it’s Wolvy.

In the kitchen, Banshee welcomes Logan to the new school for gifted youngsters and then asks how he got past the sensors undetected. Chomping on a chicken leg, Logan tells Cassidy (Banshee) to get out of the way; he has a mean case o’ the hungries. He then says hello to Emma Frost and proceeds to tell his tale. He informs Banshee that he had to set the sensors so that rabbits and raccoons and deer wouldn’t set them off all the time. He could’ve set ‘em for mass, but he has black bears up there in the Berkshires, so he figured they were set for height. So he crawled in to the edge of the tree line.

Emma asks him if he left his motorcycle on the other side of woods. Logan tells her that he didn’t ride the hog up there; he did it mostly runnin’ through the woods at night. He had to hop a lot of fences and back yards, and gettin’ across them interstates was holy murder, but it felt good - he can’t explain it. Emma tells him nor are they interested in him doing so. She then tells him that she doesn’t see why they need him there, but she supposes they could consider this his first lesson as their special guest lecturer on fighting skills.

At the entrance to the kitchen, the members of Generation X are all crowding each other. Eventually, Jubilee enters the kitchen and sternly tells Logan that it’s about time he got there; she was afraid he wasn’t going to come. Digging in the refrigerator, Logan tells her that he really didn’t feel like trompin’ all the way up there; he’s been on the unsociable side lately. The insides o’ buildin’s just give him the willies. Jubilee asks him then why bother coming. Logan tells her there comes a time ya gotta pass on what ya know. That’s the way o’ things. Ya learn and pass it on and when ya teach what ya know, ya make it plain in yer own head. If ya don’t pass it on, then what’s the use? As he begins to drink his beer he tells her besides, it was her who asked him up there. That’s why he came, plain and simple.

The next morning, inside the biosphere training area, Logan tells the kids of Generation X that attitude is everything and the proper attitude is positive. You go into a fight to win. No retreat, no surrender. Husk asks what if their intent is to capture and not kill. They don’t want to kill anybody. Logan sternly tells her then don’t get into a fight, run. Never get into a set-to unless ya intend to win. From the control room, Banshee tells the kids to bear in mind that is Logan’s personal point of view and not advocated by the faculty of the institution. Logan replies that he’s heard that before but the tune always seems to change when the wolf is at the door.

Up in the control room, Banshee tells Emma that he thinks this is going to work out. Emma asks him if he really does. She points out that Logan is hardly what she’d thought he’d consider a role model. Banshee tells her that he must admit that he’s been a wee bit worried about what they’ve heard from Charles about Logan’s behavior of late. Especially the incident with Sam (Guthrie aka Cannonball). Emma mentions that he acquitted himself quite well when they went up against the Gene Nation refugees, she’ll at least hand him that.

Down on the biosphere floor, Logan says so much for theory. “Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.” He then points to Skin and tells him to show what he’s got. Skin asks who him, is he askin’ him to throw down on him. Logan angrily tells him that they ain’t there to flip Pogs junior. As Logan approaches him, Skin asks him if he’s askin’ him to take him down, to start it. Logan tells him no, he’s gonna start it. With that, he pops his claws. Before he can attack Skin, Skin uses his powers to encase Logan’s right arm and keep it at bay. Logan holds his left arm up to his chin and tells him he loses. Rule number one is never look at your opponent’s hand or weapon. Look at the eyes. That’s where they’ll tell ya where the trouble’s comin’ from. Frightened, Skin utters hijo de la…

Logan retracts his claws and tells Skin he wasn’t half bad, and that he has some moves on him. Skin replies gracias. Sinking into the underbrush Logan proceeds to tell the others that he wants to see what kind of moves they have. He tells him he’s gonna fade himself into the bad bush and get down into his ultra-sneaky mode. He’s gonna do his ninja creep and the cat burglar slither. He then challenges them to come in there and find him. Once he is out of sight, M yawns and asks the others to wake her up when this gets interesting. Synch adds that Logan may be coming on a little too heavy. Skin asks heavy, the man is the definition of the word. Synch says he thinks he’s just plain rude. Jubilee tells them that Wolvy may be a little rough around the edges, but that doesn’t give them call to dis a dude who walked up there from Westchester just to share his hard-earned knowledge with them.

At that, Jubilee heads off into the biosphere foliage. When she is gone, Synch says that, if that’s what an X-Man is, he’s not sure he wants to be one. Synch, Husk, M and Skin then follow Jubilee into the foliage. As they do, Skin calls out “hola, lobezno” – they’re coming in after him. Inside the forest, the members of Generation X work to find out where Logan is. They are all surprised that Logan has disappeared so completely until Husk informs them she has found them but something’s wrong, he’s frozen like…

At that time, Logan turns around and tells them to be quiet. Husk asks what and Jubilee tells her to just keep still and listen. While Logan continues to sniff the air, Skin asks, “que pasa?” M replies more mumbo-jumbo until Jubilee tells her that it isn’t. Logan proceeds to tell the kids to back out of the foliage real quiet and when they get in the clear, run for the exit. Skin points out that it is no drill, he means it. When Banshee and Emma see the kids run out of the biosphere, they wonder what is going on. Once Logan makes his way up to the control room, he asks them if they set that up, if it was a new electronic trick. He tells them that if it is, they’re pretty sick. Banshee asks him what he is going on about, while Emma tells him they did nothing. Looking out into the biosphere, Logan tells them to shut it down, lock it up, and don’t let anybody back in, especially at night, and run a full scan on it first thing in the morning.

The next morning, Skin and Jubilee are having breakfast when Banshee and Emma enter the room. As they enter, Banshee mentions to Emma that they just spent two hours running every scan possible on the biosphere and still came up negative, there’s nothing in there. Emma adds that living out in the woods behind the Xavier Institute is making Logan paranoid. Jubilee tells them that there is something in there while Skin adds that they saw it. Emma tells them that she can see their friend Wolverine’s lesson has gone oh, so very well. He’s infected the students with his paranoia. Banshee says that p’haps he truly is turning into a pooka.

He then asks Angelo (Skin) to tell him what happened last night. Skin informs him that he was having trouble sleeping so he got up to make himself a hot chocolate. When he did, he saw Wolverine going down the hall towards the biosphere. He went and woke up Jubilee and took her down to the biosphere with him. Jubilee asked him if he was sure Logan wasn’t just looking for a beer. Skin tells her that he was slinkin’.

As they head towards the biosphere, Jubilee informs Skin that she doesn’t like this, Logan told them to stay away from there. Skin asks her what he’s doin’ down there. Jubilee replies that Logan probably has a good reason. Once they reach the observation window, both of them stop in shock and fear. There was Wolverine, all frizzed out like he was having a bad hair day, fighting some out-there forest spirit – like wind and fire and things that go bump in the night all swirling together and angry. Continuing to tell his tale, Skin tells them not to get them wrong, the spirit and Wolverine weren’t beating up each other, they weren’t dukin’ like Macho Camacho, but they were dealin’.

Just then, Wolverine got that berserker rage thing going, and the mad was radiating off his head in visible waves, mucho bad vibes. The thing in the biosphere couldn’t hack it, so he was vamanos. The only trouble was, the only way to vamanos outta the biosphere was right through them, Skin and Jubilee. It was like a creepy cold chill running up your spine, only it went right through their souls. When it passed through them, it knocked both of them to the ground with a wallop. Once they were able to get up, they went to go check on Wolverine.

Inside the biosphere, Logan tells them that it is gone, as gone as any thing can be, as gone as he should be. Jubilee asks him what that thing was and how he drove it off. Logan tells her it was, it called itself a Token. After giving Jubilee a hug, he tells her to take care o’ herself, it’s time for the old canucklehead to fade outta there. Jubilee recalls that Logan had a look in his eye that he had never seen before, it was almost like defeat. She wanted to call out to him as he walked into the woods but, before she knew it, he was gone.

Banshee tells them that a Token is a wraith of the dead, or worse, still of the living. Emma says wraiths and pookas – a load of rubbish. It has something to do with the very nature of the biosphere. It’s self-generating qualities are… Jubilee cuts her off and asks Banshee how Wolvy got it to leave. Banshee tells her by being there. When Skin, Jubilee, and Emma are all confused by the answer, Banshee tells them the Token cannot abide its own kind.

Characters Involved: 


Banshee, Chamber, Emma Frost, Husk, Jubilee, M, Skin, and Synch (all Generation X)

The Token (death wraith residing in the Generation X biosphere)


Spyne, Lifeforce, and Hurricane (all Dark Riders)

Jamil (guide to Genesis’ citadel)

Story Notes: 

Akkaba is the birthplace of Apocalypse in Egypt. In Cable's future, it was one day massacred down to the last man, woman and child by Apocalypse worshippers. Once Cable's son, Tyler, took over the Dark Riders as Genesis, he performed the same massacre 2,000 years earlier in Cable #17-19.

Candra is one of the Externals, first appearing in Gambit (1st series) #3. She was the driving force behind the feud between the Thieves and Assassin Guilds of New Orleans, acting as their benefactress for generations. Jamil was a young thief from Cairo who was recruited by Candra over Storm's objections in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #7. It was later revealed in X-Men (2nd series) #60-61, however, that Jamil was not alive at all, but was rather a psychic creation of another of the child thieves, Karima.

Cyber was broken out of prison by the Dark Riders last issue, Wolverine (2nd series) #93.

Wolverine and Jubilee were a team for quite a stretch [Essentially Wolverine (2nd series) #40-74]. They have been split up since Wolverine left the X-Mansion back in Wolverine (2nd series) #75.

The incident Banshee mentions with Logan and Sam Guthrie was their run-in with Juggernaut back in Wolverine (2nd series) #93.

Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men faced off against Gene Nation back in Uncanny X-Men #324-325.

Pogs was a popular game back in the mid 1990’s. It employed both pogs (skinny disks) and a slammer (a much heavier disk).

According to a caption, “Lobezno” is Spanish for Wolverine. This is not actually correct, as in North America the animal “wolverine” is called a “gulo gulo” or “glotón.” In the European country of Spain, where the animal wolverine is of course not indigenous, the unique name of “Lobezno” has been given, which more accurate translates to “wolf cub.”

Hector Macho Camacho was a famous professional boxer.

Pookas are creatures of Celtic folklore, notably in Ireland and Wales. They are shape-shifter by nature and are respected and feared by those who believe in them.

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