Stan Lee opens proceedings, as he does in all the Minus 1 issues, with an introduction to Logan. Around him are representations of the ongoing Operation Zero Tolerance storyline, showing the X-Men captured and bound by OZT troops. Jubilee looks on helplessly, alongside OZT’s leader, Bastion. Stan explains how Logan’s story started many years ago. It began when he was part of the top-secret Weapon X project; way before he became a member of the X-Men. The present here is really many years in the past.
Logan is having coffee in a diner with his friends, Heather and James Hudson. Heather is worried about Logan taking a proposed trip. He still hasn’t recovered all of his memories. James replies that it might be helpful. That’s why he pulled a few strings to get him to Washington D.C. on an experimental plane. Heather thinks it’s too soon. It hasn’t been all that long since they found him, wandering in the wilderness of Wood Buffalo National Park.
Logan was like a wild animal. He was almost naked, and very dangerous. He attacked the Hudson’s and Heather was forced to shoot him. Later, while he recovered in their cabin, he got his first inkling of how inhuman he really was, popping the claws on his left hand.
Logan tells them that he remembers more and more all the time, but he still hasn’t got a clue about where he got himself an adamantium skeleton. Mac informs him that he’s set up a meeting in Washington between Logan and the inventor of adamantium; Dr. Myron MacLain. A pilot opens the door to the diner, and asks if one of them is Logan, and does he want his ride, or not?
As the pair head to the experimental plane, the pilot introduces himself as Ben Grimm. He’s a test pilot. They actually pay him to run the new mach-busters ragged so they’ll know if they’re safe for the non-expendable types. He asks if Logan has ever ridden in the backseat of a fast-mover before. Logan replies that he doesn’t remember.
As they strap themselves in, Ben tells Logan that, for someone who can’t remember being up in a jet fighter, he sure knows how to strap himself into an Aces II ejection seat. “They must train these canuckleheads right!” he adds. Logan laughs. “Canucklehead, huh? I gotta remember that.” As the plane takes off for the capital, Heather waves Logan off, and asks James if he thinks their friend will find what he’s looking for. James hopes so, but doubts he will. He fears Logan is a man who will be searching forever for things he can never find.
Several hours later, Logan is outside a seemingly innocuous government building; one that houses some of the country’s most guarded secrets. As he approaches the doorway, Agent Lawson, disguised as a tramp, radios his boss, Colonel Nick Fury, and informs him that the subject is entering the building. Fury orders his agent to keep an eye on him. Nearby, Hydra operatives are also keeping track of Logan. A foot soldier calls his commander, and informs them that their surveillance at DOA Annex B just paid off. He is ordered to watch the exits. A special supervisor and special teams are being sent to deal with the situation. He is asked if he’s positive on the I.D. The soldier looks at photographs on the wall showing Logan, Creed and North. He is positive. It’s the escapee from the Weapon X project.
Inside the building, Logan is met by Dr. MacLain’s assistant, Carol Danvers. He explains that he has an appointment, but Danvers replies that Dr. MacLain is simply not seeing anyone today. MacLain appears at the door, and Carol tells him that Logan insists on seeing him. Logan asks if he got the letter from Dr. James Hudson up in Ottawa. “Didn’t he tell you about my… problem?” MacLain replies that Dr. Hudson may be a respected colleague and a fine scientist, but he has no right foisting delusional vagrants on him. His research keeps him very busy. He has no time for fairy tales about adamantium skeletons. Logan raises his arm, and pops his claws. “These look like delusions to you, bub?”
Logan is lying on a table, with Dr. MacLain carrying out tests on his skeleton. He informs Logan that they should be quick, as there are forces, even within the American government, that would seek to prevent him from gaining the knowledge he seeks. As he peruses the data being displayed, MacLain is amazed that the adamantium is actually bonded to his bones. And those claws….
While they are in the lab, Carol Danvers makes a telephone call. She informs the person on the other end that Logan is there, and has just entered the lab with Dr. MacLain. She’s sure it’s him; he’s got the claws. Her friend informs her that they’re on their way.
Logan puts his shirt back on and asks the doc how it happened. How did this metal get inside him, and where did the claws come from? MacLain isn’t certain, and the very idea of binding metal to the skeletal structure of a living being is abhorrent. Personally, he’s been totally absorbed in trying to replicate the metallurgic process by which he accidentally created an alloy even stronger than adamantium.
Dr. MacLain explains that this substance was used to create the late Captain America’s shield. However, he adds, there have long been rumors that a Japanese scientist known as Lord Darkwind developed an adamantium bonding process. According to the story, his intent was to create an army of super-samurai to avenge Japan’s defeat in World War II. According to intelligence, Darkwind’s notes were stolen and he was never able to implement the plan.
MacLain turns to Logan, and says, “Darkwind may prove to be a dead end, but I have heard whispers of another project that may…” He is unable to complete his sentence, as Victor Creed, wearing a suit and tie along with a cowboy hat, kicks in his door. He orders MacLain to shut up; he doesn’t want to be compromising no government secrets. Creed looks down on the much smaller Logan, and tells him they should take a walk. Logan asks him who he is. Creed asks if he’s kidding. “You don’t recognize...?” Logan honestly doesn’t, but Creed’s scent is somehow familiar. Creed smiles, and says that it’s true then. Logan really doesn’t remember anything about him, or any of the good stuff they used to do. Logan admits there are some blank spots. He wishes people would stop being so enigmatic and just fill him in.
Creed puts his arms around Logan’s shoulder and leads him away, despite MacLain’s protestations. He’ll bring him back later, and deal with the doc then. As the two men head for the exit, Logan says he is sure he knows Creed, but somehow, he just doesn’t connect him with anything good. Creed tells him he cuts him to the quick, but Logan replies that he doubts anything hurts his feelings much.
Meanwhile, Madame Hydra meets up with some of her operatives. They show her infrared images of the DOA building, which show two images; one larger than the other. They are stepping out into an alley behind the building. Madame Hydra orders a covert team dispatched. Their subject is a living weapon, and one they may be able to turn to their advantage if they can control his berserker rages. The operative does as he is told.
Logan is followed outside by Creed. He tells Logan that, for someone who can’t remember him, he certainly has misjudged him. He’d think he came over to his house and ripped his girlfriend’s throat out or something. Logan wonders what that is supposed to mean. Creed knows for certain that Logan isn’t lying, or this would certainly have blown his cool. Creed pulls out a pistol and aims it at the back of Logan’s head.
Suddenly, as Creed is about to squeeze the trigger, a car pulls up and four masked men leap out, each armed with a weapon. They fire, and hit Creed in the back. Wolverine pops his claws, and begins to defend himself by slashing mercilessly at his new adversaries. He doesn’t know why they want him, but he doesn’t subdue easily. One of the gunmen calls for reinforcements, and his contact replies that there are two more cars on their way. Their scanners also show a third unknown vehicle turning into the alley.
The third car just happens to be carrying Carol Danvers and Colonel Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. They both open fire at Logan’s assailants and Logan leaps in through the back window as they make their escape. The two other cars follow, and the original gunmen want to follow suit, Unfortunately, Creed has other plans for them.
As Fury fires off caps like there’s no tomorrow at their pursuers, he tells Logan that they got word that some walking secret weapon had turned up at the aggie building. He never thought it was gonna turn out to be him. He puts a Havana cigar in Logan’s mouth as he continues to fire. Logan asks if he actually knows either of them. “You’re kidding, right?” Fury enquires. He can’t believe that Logan doesn’t remember Special Agent Danvers, and the name Nick Fury doesn’t ring a bell? As his cigar is lit, Logan replies that there isn’t even a faint tinkle. Danvers thinks Logan is playing by the rules, the same they play by in the C.I.A; plausible deniability.
The following gunmen shoot at their tires, and this results in Danvers being forced to ditch their car against a wall. Immediately, Logan leaps from the vehicle and slashes the windshield of their pursuers’ car. The second car arrives and prepares to fire, but they are inexplicably killed when their car explodes. Logan looks up, and sees the Black Widow standing there, resplendent in her black uniform, and holding a spent bazooka. She informs Fury that the Soviet Union has been keeping an eye on Logan. They find it preferable that he not be affiliated with a government agency, or with any terrorist organization. Fury realizes he is out of ammo. He asks who she is, and Natasha replies that she in one whose sting is most venomous, if he attempts to follow her. She wishes Logan farewell, and tells him it was a pleasure seeing him work. She hears an automobile approaching, and informs them that they ought to be prepared for its driver.
Surely enough, Victor Creed arrives in a stolen Dodge. He tells the trio that it’s clean-up time; terminate with extreme prejudice, and all that good stuff. Fury orders him to back off, as Logan is under the protection of the federal government. Creed continues to point his gun at Logan, and replies that the feds on his side of the street want this loose cannon to drop dead and rot. Logan looks over at Creed, and says, “You ain’t even gonna tell me why?” Creed would love to tell him, just to see the look on his ugly mug, but he hasn’t got the time left. He opens fire.
Creed regrets, even as he blasts away, that he has been ordered not to tear him apart with his bare hands. The government boys want it done quick an’ clean, so there’s more to study. Logan’s claws shoot from his wrists. He leaps at Creed, and his ferocity surprises even the big guy. In just one swift attack, Creed is helpless, with his guts screaming from Logan’s slashes. He asks Logan to finish it, but Logan picks up Creed’s hat and places it on his head. He replies that, maybe someday, he’ll do the world a favor, and punch a claw through his brain; but not today.
As Logan wanders away, Carol Danvers says that they can’t just let him breeze off like that. Nick Fury grabs her arm, and tells her that they will. Sometime, he adds, it’s just wrong to follow orders. If it’s true that he can’t remember his past, maybe he can find a little peace for a change.
Over at the Hydra base, they find that the surveillance camera in their first car is still functioning. They have a clear optical and an infrared lock on Logan. The operative informs Madame Hydra that he can home a seeker missile right onto him. She replies that maybe that’s their only option. If they can’t have him, they don’t want their opposition to have him either. The operative ups the magnification and sets the tracking parameters, ready to fire. Madame Hydra places her hand on his arm, and orders him not to fire. “Let him live for now. At the moment, he is no threat to our plans for world domination. Inevitably, his darker side will consume him, and when that happens, he will cause untold damage to those who oppose us.”
(Ottawa, the next day)
Logan arrives back in Canada, and is met at the airport by James and Heather Hudson. Heather says the hat looks good on him. She asks if he bought it in Washington, and since when did he start smoking cigars? Logan replies that she might say he paid for the hat a long time ago, and just picked it up. The cigar? He tells her that some howling yahoo plugged one into his mug and it just seemed to fit. James asks him if he found what he needed to know. No, Logan replies, but someday, with the help of friends like them, he will.