Wolverine (3rd series) #5

Issue Date: 
November 2003
Story Title: 
The Brothers - part 5

Greg Rucka (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Studio F (colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Esad Ribic (cover artist), Warren Simons & John Miesegaes (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Inside Cry’s compound, Cassie has no intention of hanging around to be part of Cry’s harem and quickly hatches a plot to escape along with Kim. Taking a mirror from one of the other prisoners, she breaks it, which provides her with a shard of glass to use as a weapon. Wolverine manages to enter the compound by leaping over the perimeter fence. He blends into the shadows and gets a good look at who’s guarding what and makes his way inside an unlocked door. He finds a man who is taking a cart of food and drink to the prisoners and forces him to lead him to the generator. Before he gets there, though, he smells Lucy in another room and inside he finds bloody clothing belonging to her and many other items of female clothing. He wonders just how many others like Lucy there are. The man flees and three other Brothers appear. Wolverine is furious and attacks in a berserker rage. The man with the cart, believing Wolverine to be of no further trouble returns to his duties and enters the room where the prisoners are being held. Cassie quickly grabs him and stabs him in the back, escaping with Kim and the man’s machine gun. After disposing of his three foes, Wolverine heads outside and Cry orders him killed. He slips back into the shadows and soon finds the two men who killed Lucy. He does the same to them and heads off to find Cry. It doesn’t take him long and he kills Cry, as Cassie arrives, aiming her machine gun at him. He tells her not to pull the trigger; he isn’t her enemy and never was. He departs as Cassie waits for help from her fellow ATF agents.

Full Summary: 

It is sunset and Cry’s compound is quite peaceful, lit up by a deep, low, orange sun. Wolverine, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, watches from on high as a truck arrives carrying some of the Brothers of the New World, all of whom are armed. As they exit the truck, Wolverine slips his boots off and grins.

Inside the camp, Cassie Lathrop, sporting a black eye, looks through the bars in her cell at the Brothers outside and asks Kim how many there are. She isn’t sure but guesses there are around two dozen, maybe more. They all have guns and she thinks they’re kinda eager to use them. “And they’re all loyal?” Cassie asks, turning to look at the other women in the room. Kim thinks they are, just like the brides; all eager to serve. They think Cry’s some kind of messiah or something. She tells Cassie that Cry says he’s going to keep the world safe; says the world is gonna blow, the usual cult rhetoric. Cassie’s an ATF agent so she’s sure she knows all about it. Kim thinks that the women that were grabbed off the street might have Stockholm syndrome, just like Patty Hearst. It’s where hostages identify with their captors. Cassie knows what it is, but is surprised that Kim knows. Kim bows her head a little and tells her that she’s studying psych at OSU; or at least, she was.

Cassie looks at a blonde woman applying some lipstick and tells Kim that they’re not staying there. She assumes Cry bothers to feed them? Kim replies that they’re fed twice a day. Cassie missed breakfast so the next visit is for dinner this evening. Two Brothers will bring it, one staying at the door while the other brings the cart inside. That will be about two to three hours from now says Cassie as she approaches the woman putting on make-up. She removes the hand mirror from her and, as the woman asks her not to do it, knocks it against the edge of the bed, smashing it into several pieces. Cassie bends down and picks up the largest shard and hands the woman back her mirror. Now, she has a weapon.

The sun hovers just above the horizon, casting long shadows over the compound. Len looks around for his fellow guard, Carl, and finds him urinating against one of the sheds. Len calls him an animal but Carl tells him to calm down; he’s all spooked. He replies that of course he’s spooked, asking if he heard that the new bride that was grabbed in town is a fed. As they chat, Wolverine vaults over the fence, including the barbed wire, and drops into the shadows to overhear their conversation. He looks focused, yet angry. He flits from building to building, keeping to the shadows and staying as silent as possible. Three guards in front of him head in opposing directions and Wolverine takes the opportunity to edge open a door and head indoors.

Inside, the room is empty but for a television, which is switched on, and a pool table in the center. It’s a dump; a recreational room for the Brothers. A quiz show runs as Wolverine continues to the far side of the room and hears voices on the other side. Two of the Brothers discuss whether to give their captives water or milk with their dinner and one of them heads down the corridor with the cart with Wolverine following stealthily at close range. Just as the man reaches the door to the cell, he hears a noise behind him; ‘Snikt.’ Before he can turn around, Wolverine grabs his head with his right hand and holds the claws of his left hand to the man’s neck, warning him that he won’t have time to scream.

He puts his face right next to his prey’s and asks where the generator is. He wants to know where their power comes from. The man is petrified and leads him to another doorway before leading him down a staircase and through another door. “It’s diesel, uh, not like you care or anything,” he mumbles as he walks. As they approach the room, Wolverine smells Lucy and grabs the man by his shirt, asking him what’s through the door next to him. He replies that it’s storage. Wolverine kicks the door open and clicks on a small lamp. All around the room are boxes full of dresses and other articles of clothing. The man flees silently as Wolverine asks him how many, how many girls, just like Lucy? He picks up a bloodstained vest and smells it.

Suddenly, he finds three men standing behind him, all with their weapons at the ready. One tells him that he’s in deep now, ordering him to turn around so they won’t have to shoot him in the back. As Wolverine turns, his face is already showing signs of an imminent berserker rage and he pops the claws on both hands, ready for action. With amazing ferocity, he leaps at them, quicker than they can imagine, growling as he heads toward them, claws at the ready.

Inside the cell, Kim asks Cassie to hurry as she places the blunter end of the shard of mirror inside a sock to protect herself. The other women watch them but do not interfere with their plan. The keys rattle in the door and the man with the cart enters, asking who wants a treat before supper? As he walks into the room, Cassie grabs him by the collar and thrusts the shard into his back as the other women shout at her to leave him alone. He slides down the wall and the women rush to his aid, asking for someone to get a towel. “Murderer,” one screams at Cassie but she isn’t concerned about her. She grabs the man’s machine gun and exits the cell along with Kim.

They move quickly through the building. Cassie asks Kim if she knows the layout, as she didn’t really get a good look at it when they brought her in, for obvious reasons. She replies that they’re in Cry’s building. The stairs ahead of them come out in the kitchen in the main hallway. There’s another flight of stairs to his bedroom but past that there’s a door into the main room. Suddenly, everything goes dark. They don’t know what has happened and Kim begins to panic. Cassie tries to keep her calm, asking her to breathe but she’s scared and can’t help it. “Me too,” replies Cassie.

Above ground, Cry emerges from his room, brandishing a machine gun, and with Lynn hanging onto him, wearing only her underwear. He asks his men what has happened but they don’t know. “Maybe the generator shorted,” offers one. With the sound of continuous gunfire, Wolverine comes crashing through a window in front of them, holding one man in his claws, and lands on all fours. He has removed his shirt and fixes the men with a ferocious gaze. In the darkness, they are unable to make him out properly, wondering if it is some kind of cat. Cry doesn’t wish to find out and orders them to kill it, now! Before they can shoot, however, Wolverine is gone, slipping back into the shadows.

They search for him but he makes his way to a rooftop and watches them search. Carl and Len talk, Len wondering if what they’re after could have been a bear but Carl doesn’t think so, not that small. Wolverine suddenly speaks to them and they look up, seeing him silhouetted against the moon. “You, I can smell you. You shot me, you killed her, killed Lucy.” Len tells Carl to shoot but by the time they do, Wolverine is in mid-leap and shrugs off the bullets flying at him. He stabs Carl right through the heart and slashes Len’s chest, slicing their weapons too in one swift movement. Two more Brothers appear and Wolverine snarls at them before charging, once again ignoring the bullets heading towards him.

After making his way inside, Cry holds his machine gun, nervous now after hearing the gunfire. Lynn asks him what’s happening but he doesn’t know. He thinks he spots something and fires indiscriminately through the window until his weapon has discharged all its ammo. He tries to reload but Wolverine swings his door open and moves towards them menacingly. They fix each other with a stare and Cry lets loose a tear from his eye as he senses his time has come. Wolverine grins maniacally.

Cassie and Kim meanwhile continue their escape. They don’t appear to have heard the gunfire but are careful nonetheless. Kim offers directions and Cassie tells her to stay close; there’s no telling who might be around. They stop abruptly as they hear a strange noise nearby and what sounds like someone dying. Kim looks scared stiff and tries to stop Cassie as she heads towards the door. Cassie wants to find out. They step into the doorway and Cassie aims her machine gun into the room but, inside, all they find is Wolverine, blood dripping from his claws and looking completely feral as the dead body of Cry lies at his feet. Lynn cowers in the corner in horror as Wolverine tells Cassie, “Don’t do it girl,” just like he did at Smithy’s earlier. Cassie doesn’t fire and Wolverine retracts his claws. He tells her he ain’t her enemy; never was. With that, he runs through the outer door and into the night.

As the day breaks, police cars head toward the compound and an ATF helicopter lands near to where Cassie and Kim sit, waiting for help. Chris leaps from the helicopter and runs towards her, asking her what in the name of all that’s holy happened here. They both look around at the dead bodies of the Brothers of the New World and Cassie replies that she has no idea, but she sure as hell is gonna find out.

Characters Involved: 


Agent Cassie Lathrop


Cry’s wives including Lynn and Kim

Brothers of the New World, including Carl and Len

ATF Agents including Chris

Story Notes: 

Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. She was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and unexpectedly helped her kidnappers rob the Hibernia Bank at the corner of Noriega and 22nd in San Francisco just two months later on April 15, 1974. She served a small jail sentence and became an author and actress. She was pardoned for her crimes by President Clinton during the final days of his administration.

Stockholm syndrome is so called because, in 1973, four Swedes, held in a bank vault for six days during a robbery, became attached to their captors, identifying with them while fearing those who might help free them.

OSU is Oregon State University.

Depending which part of the issue you read, this story arc is either called The Brothers or The Brotherhood, Parts I to V.

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