Wolverine (3rd series) #48

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
Vendetta - Epilogue: Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler), Carlos Cuevas (inker), Edgar Delgado (colorist), VC’s Gent (letterer), Michael O’Connor (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine is back in Atlantis and speaking with Amir after spending some time in bed with her. He recalls some of the painful times in his life. The physical agony that he goes through so often, he can cope with. It’s the pain of losing loved ones and being unable to see them again that he finds hard to bear. It’s not the pain of the body - it’s the pain of the soul. Each time he has a near-death experience, he finds himself walking to the light. He figures that, when he reaches the light, it will mean dying for good, but he never gets there. After almost dying when Nitro exploded near him, he spoke with Jean Grey at the edge of life and she informed him that beyond the light lay all the answers. The loves of his life are waiting for him there, as is she. So is Lazaer. Wolverine later got his revenge against Nitro, and then began the chase to find whoever was responsible for Stamford. During this time, he once again had a near-death experience when he fell from a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Lazaer was waiting for him on the edge of death once again, looking for payback for Logan having killed him. Logan won again, but he knew that winning meant he’d never go into the light and see the ones he’d loved. Losing simply meant returning to his normal life. Amir finds his story sad, and asks if he knows why his soul cannot go to its final rest. Logan replies that he knows, but that’s a secret he’s not willing to give up just yet.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine is speaking with the beautiful Atlantean, Amir, about some things that are bothering him.


It’s the aftermath of his battle with the Crusader and Wolverine is attempting to land a plane in a cornfield. People tend to think that, because of his healing factor, he’ll be able to bounce back from anything. That doesn’t mean it takes one hell of a toll on him, though. Particularly when he’s in a plane that turns into a fiery furnace.

Some people think that birth is one of the most traumatic experiences a person goes through, but there’s no reason to think that death isn’t just as lousy. Logan and pain are old friends. Every time he pops his claws he’s slicing through his own flesh. But, that is the pain of the body. This is the pain of the soul. At the point of crashing, memories flood his mind, especially those relating to the women he’s loved including Jean Grey, Silver Fox and Mariko. He doesn’t have a problem with the physical pain, but he does have a problem with the kinda pain that messes with his head.

The worst part of near-death experiences is the light. It’s a cliché, but how does a cliché become a cliché in the first place? Maybe there is no light at all, he figures. Maybe it’s just the way his brain processes something that can’t be processed. He doesn’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. He knows, or can sense, that going into the light means dying for good. But he’s there, as usual, hoping it’ll happen. Each time he expects different. Logan knows he shouldn’t, but he does. He can’t help it. Death is waiting for him, and so is he. After the crash, Logan wakes in a cornfield three hours later, scaring the living daylights out of an F.A.A. body-hauler.

Ten days later, Wolverine prepares to launch himself towards Nitro from a plane carrying soldiers working for the Superhuman Restraint Unit. They catch up with the villain pretty quickly, but Nitro is no amateur. He ignores the bullets and powers up. The whole thing happens in seconds. Wolverine runs for him, but there is no cover and nowhere near enough time to reach him. When Nitro explodes himself, Wolverine is caught in a blaze of fire, which literally burns the skin and flesh from his bones. The pain doesn’t last long, but the pain and agony become another thing altogether.

Logan finds himself once again nearing death. In his dreams he again finds Jean Grey waiting for him, and she is surprised to see him back again so soon. She thought him better than this. He asks what she’s doing there. Jean replies that the answer depends on which ‘here’ he’s referring to. The afterlife… or in his soul? “Either. Both,” replies Logan. He finds himself and Jean running through several times in their lives. Jean tells him that maybe it’s because she is the great love of his life, or because she is the one he most associates with death and resurrection. Maybe it’s just that she’s been there, in this place so many times before, she’s left a piece of herself at the doorstep.

Logan asks if this happens every time. Jean asks what he means. Logan means the conversation they’re having. Do they have it every time this sorta thing happens? Jean asks if, by this sorta thing, he means when his body dies and his soul comes here. Logan responds by asking if she’s going to answer every question with a question. Cryptically, she replies that the answers are the questions. They are their lives. That’s why beyond the portal, that light, lie all the answers. The loves of his life are waiting for him and so is he. So is Lazaer.

Logan comes to and sees Nitro lying nearby. It’s kinda hard not to see him, considering his eyelids haven’t yet grown back. His head is just a skull with eyes that have reformed just enough to focus. Nitro has knocked himself out, apparently. He guesses that generating that level of power takes something out of him. It must have been like that at Stamford, too. It’s fine by Logan as he needs the rest too. His healing factor begins to rebuild him, one cell at a time. This part always takes the longest - healing the infrastructure like the cells, the neurons and the microscopic $#!%.

When Nitro finally get to his feet, Logan plays possum and lets his healing factor do its work. It takes a while for his eardrums to grow back, but he hears Nitro gloat that, for those with a scorecard, it goes like this. He’s taken out Captain Marvel, the New Warriors and now the world’s best argument for body-waxing. It’s his idea of a hat trick.

Logan remains motionless, as his nervous system knits itself together. The circulatory system comes after that, and once the pipe is laid, the stuff that grows back in a regular person such as hair, skin and muscle comes back nice and fast.

Soon, things happen quickly. Logan is standing over Nitro, having just whipped his butt. He is then asking the three Atlanteans who they are working for. He is then confronted by the Sub-Mariner and finds himself donning Iron Man’s suit to venture to Atlantis. Later, a meeting with Forge leads to a battle with armored guards working for Water Declun, the CEO of Damage Control. From there, he faces the Sentry in battle and loses, only to escape from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody soon after in order to inflict justice on Declun. On the way, he falls from the helicarrier and once again finds himself at death’s door.

Once again Lazaer is there to greet him. He is wearing a long cloak and carrying a broadsword. He tries to kill Logan and pull him into the abyss. Not that Logan blames him. After all, he’s the one that killed him. This is payback for Lazaer. There was a time when Lazaer wouldn’t be waiting for him there, in purgatory, but lately he’s been showing up more and more. They fight a ferocious battle, claws against sword, and Wolverine once again emerges the victor when he pops his claws through Lazaer’s skull. It’s a good job too, because, if Lazaer wins, Logan dies. If Logan wins, he goes back. Of course, that means that winning means never going into the light and never going there means never seeing any of his loves. So even when he wins, he loses.


“That’s sad,” exclaims Amir, as she sits up in bed, “But why tell me?” She wonders if it’s because he wants to explain why he can’t allow himself to become attached. “So that I won’t be?” she adds as she cuddles up to him. She then dresses herself and informs him that he needn’t worry. Atlanteans don’t have the same hang-ons humans do when it comes to physical intimacy. Sex can be just about the physical so he needn’t worry. Logan replies that he wasn’t, as she transforms back into her blue form using a similar injection to the one she uses to become flesh-colored. She leans in to him and asks why he tells her his secrets. Logan doesn’t really know. Maybe it’s because he’s feeling like lately, he’s gotta tell someone. Amir tells him he was right. What he experiences each time his body dies… it takes a toll. Does he know why? Does he know why his soul cannot go to its final rest? Logan pauses before replying that he knows why, but that’s one secret he’s not quite ready to give up yet.

Characters Involved: 



(in flashback)

Sentry, Wolverine (both Avengers)

Crusader and his men


Superhuman Restraint unit soldiers including Abrams



Amir and Politus


Damage Control guards

(in Logan’s dreams and memories)

Jean Grey, Mariko, Silver Fox, Wolverine



Unnamed white-haired female

Story Notes: 

The Crusader scenes and some of that dialogue is taken directly from Wolverine (3rd series) #43. The Superhuman Restraint Unit was killed by Nitro in the same issue.

Wolverine traveled to Atlantis in Wolverine (3rd series) #45 and spoke with Forge in Wolverine (3rd series) #46. He fought the Damage Control guards in Wolverine (3rd series) #45 - 46 and then fought the Sentry in Wolverine (3rd series) #47.

In the final scene where Logan reveals he has a secret he isn’t willing to give up yet, the images shown are those of him as a soldier, a beast-like creature that could be Logan with three claws on his hand, and a mysterious and beautiful white-haired woman.

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