Wolverine (3rd series) #19

Issue Date: 
November 2004
Story Title: 
Return of the Native - part 7: Last Rites

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 Montana, Wolverine and the Native race through the wilderness, hoping to return to civilization. Native admits that she's pregnant, but says she cannot return to New York with Logan. Native abandons Logan as his back is turned, and Sabretooth attacks him. Sabretooth fights angrily this time, opting not to mock Logan. As a result, the Canadian is surprised, and has his throat ripped out. Logan wakes up the next day, fully healed, and finds the Native dismembered on a ledge, with a note from Sabretooth written in her blood. In New York, Nightcrawler enters a bar in New York, telling the girl in charge that his friend called ahead and asked for someone to give last rites. Wolverine enters the bar, carrying the dead girl. In tears, he asks for a priest.

Full Summary: 

New York City: twenty-six minutes ago - In the wee hours of the morning, at a closed bar called "The Box," a young lady reads a magazine from behind the bar. A priest enters, and pulls his hair back to reveal that he has no pupils. It is Nightcrawler, and he removes his image inducer device and sits down at the bar. The girl, unafraid, asks if he is either rich or illiterate - the "closed" sign is posted at the door. Kurt asks the girl if Logan has called yet. She says no, and asks if he is late, as she didn't even find out what he wanted. Kurt replies that Wolverine promised to show up by dawn, and he had asked for someone to read last rites.

Montana, two days ago - Sabretooth stalks Logan and the Native through the bush yet again, this time looking to finish business once and for all with the girl as Wolverine leads her back toward civilization. Creed sniffs his way around, back out through the gates of the Workshop.

Meanwhile, the mutant couple ahead stops for a moment as the Native pulls a salmon out of the river. Logan agrees that they should stop for the night as it is getting dark. They settle in for a nap, and Logan asks Native if what Vapor was saying is true - that Native is pregnant. Native looks at Logan and smiles, holding his face in her hands. She tells Wolverine to go home and leave her. Logan says that he isn't going to abandon her, because Weapon X will send more people to get her. He knows, because his personal Weapon X saga has never ended. Wolverine asks her to come back with him to a place in New York, where the X-Men will protect and care for her. Native smiles sadly at Logan, insisting that she doesn't belong there. Wolverine continues that they can keep her safe, but suddenly, Logan realizes that there's no one there to talk to. He turns around and curses, as Native has ditched him somehow. He begins to search.

Sabretooth is waiting for him in a small clearing. Wolverine pops his claws and prepares to fight, but this time, Creed isn't interested in toying with Logan. Creed lunges, and Wolverine demands to know where Native went. Sabretooth replies that she went west, but that he will take care of her. Logan erupts with rage, and starts fighting back. As Logan gets a claw in Creed's shoulder, he demands to know what happened to the girl. Sabretooth screams at Logan to shut up about her. Creed tells him that she's gone. He flips Logan off of him, and slashes his chest open. Sabretooth ridicules him, asking if he intended to settle down with that "thing" and raise a family. Sabretooth lays into Wolverine fiercely, pushing Logan into a tree. He tells her that she's a "damn animal," with no place in the world, just like the two of them. Creed tells him that they both know what she needs - but Logan is too weak to give it to her. He tears out Logan's throat and leaves his body in the dirt. Sabretooth licks himself clean, and tells him: "I'm not, runt. I'm not."

The next day, Logan wakes up struggling to breathe, as his healing factor kicks in and replaces his destroyed arteries and trachea, then realizes that he has lost a lot of time, and begins sprinting in Sabretooth's direction.

Elsewhere, the Native continues her run, finding the destroyed cabin that she and Wolverine stayed in briefly. She stays silent, and sits down on the edge of a cliff to think. Sabretooth approaches from behind, telling her to jump and make it easy for him. Of course, Sabretooth says, that won't do the trick. He tells her that it has to be like this - he can't let her leave alive, or he's going to be useless. Creed takes an almost apologetic tone, as if to repent for what he feels he must do. He lets Native pop her claws, and then lunges at her. Creed gets slashed and stabbed hard, but ultimately, he prrves the stronger of the two, as he grabs her arms and breaks them, throwing her down to the ground, helpless. The girl tries to fight back, but it is too late, and Creed literally tears her apart, effectively killing her.

Later that day, Logan follows the trail of Creed's scent, finding the dismembered corpse of his one-time lover, with a note written in her blood:

I did you a favor runt - you can thank me later

Wolverine pulls back, in tears.

New York City, now - Nightcrawler finishes a drink, and tells the bartender, Jo, about Wolverine. She thinks that he's a cold-hearted killing machine, but Kurt explains that the only cold, hard things in Logan are his claws and bones - the rest is just a man who tries to do the right thing. At that moment, Wolverine enters the bar dripping wet with the Native's lifeless body draped over his arms. With tears in his eyes, he tells Kurt, his closest friend, that she needs a priest.

Characters Involved: 

Nightcrawler, Wolverine (both X-Men)
The Native


bartender "Jo"

Story Notes: 

This is the final issue of Wolverine by writer Greg Rucka and artist Darick Robertson.

The last rites are a Catholic prayer read to the dead or dying as a blessing to their ascension to Heaven.

Issue Information: 

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