Wolverine (3rd series) #17

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
Return of the Native - part 5

Greg Rucka (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti & Tom Palmer (inkers), Studio F (colors), Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton (letters), Axel Alonso (editor), Warren Simmons (asst. editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher).

Brief Description: 

In a hidden compound in Montana, a mysterious yet familiar woman named Vapor prepares the Native for surgical procedure. Meanwhile, in Canada, Sabretooth continues telling an angry Wolverine that they are partners for the time being, until they recover the girl from the hidden Workshop compound in Montana. The pair heads for Montana, where Creed uncovers the compound beneath a run-down cattle ranch. Logan runs him down and stabs him in the skull, telling Creed that they never were partners, and never will be. Underground, Vapor operates on Native to extract her eggs, and discovers something odd – Native is pregnant.

Full Summary: 

The Workshop, Montana:

The helicopters from the extraction mission arrive at a run-down looking ranch in northern Montana, fresh from obtaining the Native in British Columbia. An attractive yet devious woman, clad in red leather, steps out from one helicopter to examine the unconscious mutant. One of the mercenary team leaders from Weapon X asks the woman, a doctor named Vapor, how long it will take to process the Native. Vapor replies that it will probably take the better part of a week, but the captain asks her to hurry it along, as there are already potential buyers who want to see the Native. Vapor smiles sadistically, and tells the unconscious girl that they are going to have a lot of fun together.

Canadian wilderness:

Sabretooth continues to follow Logan around the mountain and the dead carcasses of various mercenaries, insisting that they need to work together to infiltrate the Weapon X Workshop and get the Native back. Creed tells Wolverine that they have no choice in the matter – Logan’s sense of honor and responsibility tells him that he has to go after the Native, and Sabretooth wants to go to Montana to make Willoughby and Murray pay for their actions. Logan remains silent, furious at the events of the day. Wolverine sniffs around the bodies of the soldiers he killed earlier in the day while defending the Native, and finds a map on one of the bodies. Sabretooth ridicules him for being stupid – no secret compound is going to be on a map. Logan storms off into the woods, continuing to ignore Creed. Sabretooth calls out after him, insisting that the Workshop was built well after Logan’s time, and so he will never find it on his own. Logan doesn’t listen.

The Workshop:

A group of armed guards leads the shackled Native into a decontamination chamber, and throws her on the floor. Vapor speaks over the intercom, telling the poor frightened girl that she should relax, and imagine how pretty she’ll be once she’s clean. A mist fills the room, and Vapor warns Native not to get it in her eyes – it stings. Native falls over, in pain, as she is cleaned off by the decontamination showers.


Sabretooth tells Logan that they’re lucky Creed brought a ride with him – otherwise they’d have to steal a vehicle, and Creed would want to kill the driver, but Logan would cry about it and offer to pay for it. Logan continues to ignore Creed with a look of intensity on his face. Wolverine sniffs under the Hummer, and finds a bomb. He tears it out and disarms it, while Sabretooth screams that Murray and Willoughby were planning to double-cross him all along. Creed says that he is going to get them both, as Logan takes the keys and begins driving them both toward Montana. Sabretooth continues to mutter about getting revenge on the two Weapon directors.

The Workshop:

The Native slowly awakes from her drugged stupor, only to see Vapor standing above her with a large syringe complete with a massive dose of sedatives. Vapor warns Native that it will only hurt for a moment – a normal dose wouldn’t have any effect, but she is using enough to knock out the Hulk on account of the girl’s healing factor. Native coasts into a deep sleep, as Vapor pulls out the surgical utensils. As Vapor begins to operate, Willoughby and Murray stand above the operating theatre, commenting that Native looks remarkable, considering how long she had been in the wilderness. Mr. Willoughby stammers in reply, unable to choke out his response, until Murray demands it from him. Murray says that the signal from Creed’s vehicle died 97 minutes ago – the resulting explosion should have been enough to kill him. Murray chastises Willoughby for being a fool:
“It takes more than a bomb to kill these… things…”

With Native on the operating table, Vapor dons a radiation suit and brings in a container of radioactive material, from which she draws a small glowing pellet, and places it in Native’s body. Murray enters the room, and tells Vapor that he doesn’t want the girl dead until the “harvest” is complete. Vapor replies that the pellet is keeping her immune system busy by fighting off the radiation poisoning so that it cannot fight the probing of surgery. Vapor says that they will finish collecting all of Native’s eggs by morning, and at that point, Murray can decide whether to leave the pellet in the girl, or keep her alive. Vapor looks into a microscope and laughs. Murray asks what is so funny, and Vapor gives him an interesting revelation: Native is pregnant.

Canadian border area:

Sabretooth continues to harass the silent Wolverine. Creed tells Logan that he knows the runt is thinking that ol’ Creed is about to double-cross him, and that he’s only waiting to figure out a way to screw Logan. Creed knows that Logan isn’t stupid, after all, he’s already tried to screw Logan once. Sabretooth laughs and tells Wolverine not to think so hard about such things, and focus on the task at hand – because if you worry all the time, it’s like bringing an umbrella wherever you go – just in case it rains. Sabretooth looks for a response from Logan, but Wolverine keeps his eyes on the road and pays no attention. Sabretooth stares at him in frustration, and continues that Willoughby and Murray are “users,: that they use people and have no sense of loyalty or trust. They told Creed that he was old and no longer useful. Creed says that they will be shocked to see Sabretooth and Wolverine coming at them together.

Later, the two mutants arrive at the gate of a run-down ranch in Montana, and Creed says that they are close – the compound is maybe a mile from the gate. Creed steps out of the Hummer, and moves to open the gate and disable the security. Sabretooth tells Logan that he can take care of them both, and Logan continues to stare out the window, ignoring Creed. Sabretooth opens the gate, muttering: “You’re welcome… jerk.”

Creed disables the sensors around the gate, and turns back to the vehicle, saying “no problem.” Creed mutters that he can’t wait to show Willoughby his own spine. Creed shouts at Wolverine to hurry up, but freezes in his tracks, as Logan hits the gas, and pins Creed underneath the vehicle, snapping his spine. Creed howls in pain, mumbling more threats to Logan. Logan gets out of the vehicle calmly, and pops his adamantium claws. Logan lays it out for Sabretooth, plain and simple:

“We’re not allies, Creed. Never have been. Never will be. “

Wolverine slams the claws into Sabretooth’s skull, knocking him out.

Inside the compound, Vapor continues the operation, preparing to extract the eggs from Native’s body. She does so, and moves them to a storage container, asking:

”Which came first… the chicken, or the egg?”

Characters Involved: 



The Native




Various employees and mercenaries of Weapon X / The Workshop

Story Notes: 


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