Wolverine (3rd series) #12

Issue Date: 
May 2004
Story Title: 

Greg Rucka (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Darick Robertson & Tom Palmer (Page 9) (inks) Studio F (colors), Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton (letters), Warren Simons (edits), Axel Alonso (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine is asleep at Cassie Lathrop’s place. He begins to dream. Proceeding quickly from one scenario to another, Logan visits people and places that have a particular importance for him. All the while, he follows a small, red and gold bird, which moves him from one place to the next, like a guide. Among the people he meets is Nightcrawler, a good friend of his. He meets Yukio, who takes care of him, and Rogue, who he wishes to protect. His animalistic nature is shown to be countered by the tenderness he shows to a small black cat. He finally finds Mariko, his lost love, who a barbaric version of himself wishes to take away from him. He confronts the other Wolverine and finds he is unable to be harmed by him. He leaves and finds Jean Grey in the forest. She needs his warmth and between them, they generate enough heat to melt the snow around them. He is taken away by men who look like government agents and is locked in a cage like an animal. He knows this isn’t how he should be treated. In the morning, he wakes up and shares a coffee with Cassie, who asks him if he had any dreams. No, he replies.

Full Summary: 

(Portland, Oregon)

Wolverine sleeps contentedly in Cassie Lathrop’s bed, as she gingerly tiptoes over to where he rests. “Sleep well,” she whispers in his ear, but Logan is already dreaming.

(Wolverine’s dream)

A red and gold bird sits on a branch, as lightning strikes through Logan’s dream. “Kill me. Kill me again. Kill me, please,” says a woman with ruby red lips. Wolverine slices his way out of a black cowl and discards his clothes. He stands naked over dozens of dead soldiers lying in a snow-covered forest, claws extended. The woman is gone. “Nice work!” says the red and gold bird, before flying away through the forest. Wolverine follows at pace, as the bird tells him he looks a little thirsty.

Wolverine finds himself sitting in a small rowing boat, fishing, and telling Nightcrawler not to scare the fish. Logan looks free and contented. Holding onto his line underwater, Kurt replies that they’re already scared. The fish are shown to have human faces, frightened of the great mutant hunter? Wolverine looks to the sky, as lighting continues to strike. A storm’s coming. Nightcrawler surfaces and tells Logan that they should get off the water. The red and gold bird suddenly sweeps past and grabs Logan’s hat before flying to shore. Logan calls after her, “That’s mine!” Kurt ends up back in the water as the boat rocks.

Logan gets back to shore and enters a wooden cabin, where a strange man in a checked suit sits at the table. Yukio, dressed in traditional Japanese garb, is making chilli on a stove and tells him he should change for dinner. “Black Tie,” adds the stranger; they’re civilized folk here. The naked Wolverine rifles through his wardrobe and picks out a suit. A pair of eyes stares out at him from the dark recesses of the wardrobe. His old Wolverine masks and favored hat sit neatly on the shelf. His yellow and black costume hangs besides other garments. He picks out a dinner jacket, seeing a distorted reflection of himself staring right back at him. He growls at this doppelganger.

Sitting down for chilli, Logan asks who the stranger is. Yukio doesn’t reply but tells him she loves him. He can kill her later. Okay, replies Logan. He finds himself unable to reach his food but the stranger enjoys it. He grows larger and larger until he dwarfs Logan, asking, “Aren’t you hungry?”

Wolverine is naked once again, eating the flesh of a newly caught deer. With blood seeping down his chin, his bestial nature has once more provided him with nourishment. He stops and sees a small black cat staring at him. It approaches, climbs onto the deer and sticks its tongue out, playfully. Wolverine smiles. He finds himself back in bed, holding the cat above him. It leaps away as he wakes up.

A tap on the window attracts his attention. It’s the little red and gold bird and it asks if he’s thirsty. He is still asleep. He dons his old brown and gold Wolverine outfit, the one he wore during much of his time in Madripoor. He visits a club where Rogue is tending the bar. She has an X-Men symbol tattooed on her left shoulder. She offers him a beer, which he gladly takes. Behind him, security staff hassle the customers, while Logan seems oblivious to the chaos around him. He’s used to this kind of thing. Rogue asks him why he drinks so much sugar. He replies that it’s because it always hurts. “Don’t I know it,” she replies. He takes a swig and toasts a woman sitting near him.

He then tells Rogue that, during prohibition, he ran booze down from Canada along the eastern seaboard. “You and Capone,” states Rogue. He says that he never met him. They’d cross the border in upstate New York, make deliveries in Buffalo and the on down, into the city. One winter, it was so cold that the beer froze in the barrels. He reaches into a beer cooler as Rogue stands facing one of the security men, who has a gun aimed at her head. “You don’t say. That’s cold,” she replies. Logan bites the cap of the bottle and continues drinking. Rogue slides a matchbox with a gun painted on it over to Logan. The man says this is for him.

He looks up at Rogue and sees that her right eye is all busted up. He asks what happened, and she tells him that the man beats him. “Beat him back,” Logan advises, but she says it ain’t that easy. Logan is fiercely protective of his friends. He gets off his chair and wanders over to the guy, who passed on the matches. Flicking the matchbox at him, he tells him he ain’t interested. “Snikt,” the man says. Wolverine squares up to him and asks if he hit her. “Snakt,” the man says. Logan grabs him and warns him to stop but he continues to talk gibberish. Logan punches him in the face and it crumbles like a broken jigsaw.

They are now both outside, with the man in pieces and Wolverine back in the red checked shirt; the one he ripped off at the dream’s outset. He looks innocently at the red and gold bird sitting on a branch. “I didn’t hit him that hard,” he insists. The bird flies away. Wolverine finds himself in another bar called The Box; the one he met Kurt in recently. The barman is a mutant, with one eye. Logan asks who he has to kill to get a drink around here. The bird replies that she got here first. Logan says his money is as green as hers. The barman feeds the bird and Wolverine turns his head. He covers his eyes. “Ah! Dammit, why’s it so…”

“Bright, are you?” a man asks. He is wearing a top hat and Wolverine is back in his dinner suit. The other Wolverine doppelganger begins to smash his through the wooden cabin’s walls, with fire in his eyes. Logan leans over a table and tells the man sitting behind it, wearing a baseball cap, that it hurts his eyes. That’s why he has two, the man replies. “Two?” queries Logan. The man apologizes. He meant to say six. “Six of one,” the second Wolverine snarls. The first Wolverine says he never thought of that and thanks the man. Mariko Yashida makes the bed as he speaks, but the second Wolverine is closing on her.

The man in the baseball cap departs, as Logan, now back in his red checked shirt, looks over at Mariko. She drops her dress to reveal her naked shoulders, but the other Wolverine reaches for her and drags her to the newly made hole in the wall. She is frightened, as she is held by the second Wolverine’s strong arms. She is being taken away from him again, by himself. Logan puts his face next to his. “Heather,” the second Wolverine shouts. “Yukio,” he replies. “Rose!” comes the response. “Gotcha. Snikt,” says the doppelganger, who then plunges his claws into the now naked chest of the real Wolverine. He can’t feel a thing, but his foe knows this. “How about this,” the doppelganger replies and raises his claws above his head. The first Wolverine opens his arms wide and says he still can’t feel nothing, blood dripping from the blades. His foe says he hasn’t finished, but Logan leaves, and says, “Maybe later.” “You forgot one!” the second Wolverine calls after him.

Heading outside into the snow, Logan again finds the red and gold bird sitting on a branch. As Logan approaches it, she flies away and once again he follows, tracking her through the woods. This is where he came in to this dream. When he comes across a clearing, he finds Jean Grey, naked on the ground. She looks at him, and says, “I’m cold. Make me warm.” He stands beside her and replies that he has no heat. Jean places her hand on his chest and begins to talk gently to him. She moves from ear to ear, kissing and nibbling as she explains the workings of a pulverized coal burner. As she finishes, they embrace and kiss, seen by the watchful eye of the red and gold bird. The snow around them has melted with the heat of their exchange.

They finally stop kissing and she continues to talk to him, while a group of suited men, looking like government agents encircle them. She says that the first known record of the Phoenix is in Herodotus’ account of Egypt. It describes a red-gold bird the size of an eagle that returned every 500 years to bury its parent, whose ashes were embalmed in a ball of sweet-smelling myrrh. She breaks off and asks if he’s even listening to her. He replies that the Chinese Phoenix is called Feng Hwang. “I knew you weren’t listening,” Jean says, as the men carry him away. “You never listen.” They put a black cowl over his head as they take him away.

Wolverine finds himself in a dank and dirty cell, naked. “Snikt, snakt, snitk-snakt
paddy whack, give a dog a bone,” taunts an unseen man who places a bowl of milk before him. He’s not an animal!


Wolverine has woken up and he heads downstairs, where Cassie is pouring him a coffee. She asks how he slept, and whether he had any dreams. Logan takes the coffee and sits down to read the paper. “No,” he replies.

Characters Involved: 


Cassie Lathrop

(Wolverine’s dream)


Unnamed soldiers



Unnamed man in hat

Rogue and her boyfriend

Club security and customers

Cyclops Barman

Man in top hat

Mariko Yashida

Second Wolverine

Jean Grey

Government agents

Story Notes: 

The issue consists of random thought patterns in one of Wolverine’s dreams. The scenarios and symbolism are open to individual interpretation, but each scene revolves around some area or aspect of his life.

Al Capone was a Brooklyn-born gangster operating in the early part of the twentieth century. He moved to Chicago, where he became well known in criminal circles. He is probably best known for his involvement in the 1929 St Valentine’s Massacre and spent some time in Alcatraz.

The barmaid shown in Wolverine (3rd series) #6 working at The Box bar was also a mutant.

The fact that he tells Cassie that he didn’t dream may imply that this kind of crazy dream is an all-too common occurrence.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: