Nobody knows what happened when the heroes fell. All that is known is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of all. Some say they hurt him like no one ever hurt before. Others say he just grew tired of the fighting and retired to a simpler life. Either way, he hasn’t raised his voice or popped his claws in close to fifty years. His old friends would barely recognize him now.
(Sacramento, California, the future)
Logan returns home on horseback - home being a ramshackle smallholding in the desert, powered it seems by solar panels on the rooftop. As he rides, he remembers being in costume, battered and beaten; left for dead on a rail track. His son, Scotty, brings him out of his daydream. He informs his pa that the tractor is broken again. He tried his best to patch it up but it requires a new engine. Logan replies that unless he’s got some magic beans, he doesn’t know how they’re gonna get one. His son asks what they’re gonna do. “Some heavy-liftin’ I guess,” reckons his father.
He explains that Abe Donovan said he would give him twenty bucks for the pigs. He told him they were clean, but he just wouldn’t take the risk after last time. Logan’s wife, Maureen, appears, and says she can’t blame Abe. How many did he lose? Five hundred? She asks what they’re going to do. Logan says he’ll think of something.
In the kitchen, Maureen informs her husband that Jolene from the market offered thirty-eight bucks for the X-Box. She said she’d make it an even forty if they threw in the long-life battery. Logan is insistent that they are not selling the children’s toys. She says that it was just an idea. The rent is due in two days and they’ve got nothing else worth selling. Besides, she adds, the kids know how tight things are. Scotty assures his pa that he doesn’t mind. They hardly have time to play with it anyway. Logan once again states that they are not selling the children’s toys.
Jade, his daughter, mentions that her friend Becky’s mom was saying he used to be a super hero. She said he was in some kinda team before the bad guys took over. Is that true? she asks. Maureen glances at him, and Logan replies that she can tell Becky’s mom that there’s no such thing as super heroes, and asks for the bread rolls.
Logan is leaning on the old fence looking into the sunset. Maureen joins him and assures him that jade meant no harm. It’s only natural for a child to be curious about what her father used to do. He shouldn’t be angry with her. She’s just a little girl. Logan replies that it’s not the baby he’s angry with. It’s himself. How could he let things get so bad? She knows what will happen when they don’t make rent. Look what happened to the family over the ridge.
Maureen reminds him that they missed three payments. This is the first time they’ve missed in over twenty years. Logan doesn’t think it will matter. They can’t look weak in front of Doom and the Kingpin and al the other landlords. They have to punish people. Maureen asks him to tell them that they will pay double next month. She’s sure they’ll understand. They can be reasonable when they want to be. Logan looks her in the eyes. “These are Bruce Banner’s grandchildren, Maureen. They don’t do reasonable.”
(two days later)
Scotty is sitting on the porch loading bullets into a shotgun. Logan appears and asks him to put the gun away. Scotty says it’s okay. Nobody will see it. He’ll just keep it close in case those goons give them trouble. Logan tells him that the only way that will happen is if they see his damn gun. Scotty stands and turns away. “I was only trying to help, for ****’s sake.” Logan warns him to watch his language and stop cussin’ him. Maureen calls over to Logan. The Hulk Gang has arrived.
The three members of the Hulk Gang, all green and scary-looking arrive in one of the Fantastic Four’s old Fantasticars. The lone female is clutching a small green baby to her bosom as she and Logan exchange greetings. She then remembers that he doesn’t like people calling him by his old name anymore. Is it Mister Wolverine he goes by these days? “Logan’s fine,” he replies. She smiles as she points out that Wolverine died the night the bad guys beat their asses. How forgetful of her. She cuts to the chase. They know he doesn’t have this month’s rent which is why her brothers are there today. Has he met Otis and Charlie? “Once or twice,” he replies.
Miss banner explains that what with him being a bad-ass all those years ago, they were worried that this might turn nasty. Of course, she tried to explain that he’s a pacifist now, but he knows what brothers are like. The larger of the two who looks like his father, asks him if he is ready to take his punishment, or do they have to flatten his crappy little farm. Logan pauses, and the other brother asks if he’s deaf. Is he ready to take his beating? Inside his head, Logan pops his claws and slices his claws right across the larger brother’s stomach. His wife screams and cradles Jade as blood splatters everywhere. In reality, Logan doesn’t respond.
“Well?” asks the big guy, prodding Logan in his chest. Logan closes his eyes and sys he’s ready to take his beating. The big guy punches his in the head, burying Logan’s face in the mud. The smaller brother chips in and they whip Logan’s behind. Miss Banner wonders how the hell they messed him up so bad that he won’t even defend himself. Scotty then appears brandishing the shotgun. He cocks the weapon and warns them to get their hands off his ‘pa. The brothers turn and grin. They warn him that he should be glad they have a sense of humor. As they climb back into the Fantasticar, they ask for double next month or everybody dies. As the craft takes off, Scotty rushes to his father’s side.
(an old friend pays a visit)
Logan is in bed nursing his severe injuries. Hawkeye is visiting, and he reckons it doesn’t look too bad to him. “That’s because you’re blind, Hawkeye,” replies Logan. Clint points out that Logan’s healing factor ain’t what it used to be, but it still knows how to piece him back together. That said, a punctured lung is the least of his worries if he doesn’t find the Hulk Gang’s money. He got any nest eggs tucked away? Logan looks down and asks what he thinks. Clint thinks he’s in a lot of trouble. The only question is, what is he going to do about it?
Logan says that if Clint’s talking about fighting, he ain’t interested. He will never raise his fists again. Clint knows that. They kicked their butts when there were hundreds of them. What chance would they have now? His days of fighting super-villains are behind him. This is more of a business proposition. Logan asks what kind of business. Clint tells him it’s a delivery job. “Is it legal?” enquires Logan. Clint smiles, as if an old Avenger would ever break the law…
He explains that he needs to get a package to the east coast inside two weeks. Driving there himself is impossible. He needs a navigator and he’s willing to pay him five hundred dollars for his troubles. “That’s an awful lot of dough, Wolverine, and an awful lot of rent. What do you say?” Logan replies that his name is Logan. “Sure it is,” says Clint.
Logan says goodbye to his family. Maureen asks if he’s sure he wants to go through with this. New Babylon’s hardly the nicest place, never mind what he’ll face getting there. Logan holds her hand and asks what choice he has. Besides, it’s just a couple of weeks each way and it will set them up for a long time. He places a hand on his daughter’s shoulder and asks Scotty to look after his mother and sister. He asks Jade to behave herself. She hugs him tightly. “I love you baby girl,” he sighs. Clint is sitting in the vehicle, and Logan asks what the hell he’s doing in the driving seat. Clint replies that it’s his car. Logan’s job is to read the map and nudge him if he spots any pot holes.
As Logan climbs in, he asks if it’s really the Spider-Mobile. Clint explains that it was built by Johnny Storm himself. He customized it, assisted by one of his ex-wives. He tells Logan to fasten his seatbelt as the mules got a hell of a kick. He presses the accelerator and the car zooms away into the desert. Logan realizes that it’s fast, and Clint informs him that it has to be if they’re gonna cross the four kingdoms. He asks him to turn on the sat-nav and tell him if they’re heading in the right direction. A map of North America pops up on screen and Logan tells him they’re one mile down; three thousand to go. Clint grins from ear to ear. “Awesome,” he replies, “Get ready for the ride of your life.”