Wolverine (4th series) #16

Issue Date: 
November 2011
Story Title: 
Wolverine Forever

Jason Aaron (writer), Goran Sudzuka (art), Matthew Wilson (color art), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Jae Lee with June Chung (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In the Yukon, Logan is running with a pack of wolves. Eventually, the pack is attacked by a bunch of hunters. Leaving Logan for dead, they take the wolves back to a cabin so they can have them fight children. Logan intervenes and stops their operation. Sitting on a mountainside, Logan wonders what his lot in life is. Just then, Melita Garner comes up to Logan and tells him that he has friends that care about him. Looking around, Logan sees a number of his friends from the Avengers and the X-Men standing there. Logan determines that it’s time to go back to work. When asked later who Wolverine is, Logan answers that he doesn’t know; he’s still a work in progress.

Full Summary: 

To Captain America, Wolverine is a soldier. Rogue – a cowboy. Iron Fist – a samurai. Hulk – a #@&$. Iron Man – a terribly complicated man. Beast – as simple a man as you will ever meet. Fantomex – a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside and enigma. Elektra – a bona fide son of a bitch. Jubilee – an amazing big brother. Hawkeye – a killer. Spider-Woman – a helluva kisser. Daimon Hellstrom – a man with the soul of a beast.

In the Yukon, Logan has a full beard and is naked, save for the animal hide around his waist. Standing face to face with an elk, Logan thinks to himself that he’s an animal. Nothing more. Nothing less. Now and forever. But… he is not a very good one. The elk has fought valiantly against the pack. It has dragged its guts through the underbrush for miles. It knows it’s dead. It begs him with its eyes to be put out of its misery. All it would take is just one snikt. But he can’t. Not ever again.

After the wolves attack and kill the wounded elk, Logan waits with the old, infantile and weak, while the strong eat. Such is now his place in life. He forgets how long he’s been out there. Every night he forgets a little more of himself, but still not enough. While he is eating the scraps that are left, one of the wolves growls at him. Logan says right, he guesses he’s done and proceeds to follow the pack through the snow and into the nearby woods. All the while, a foreign boot crunches the snow nearby.

To Thor, Wolverine is one of the most valiant heroes he has ever known, even if he himself would never admit it. Magneto – the fiercest of enemies. Iceman – a leader and a damn good one, even if he doesn’t realize it. Doctor Strange – the scariest man he has ever met. And he literally has shaken hands with the devil. Puck – the second toughest Canadian he knows. Gambit – a thoroughly untrustworthy fella who’d he trust his life to any day of the week. Namor – a worse swimmer you would not want to meet. Hope – a bit of a jerk. Thing – a damn card cheat, he doesn’t care what he says. Deadpool – talk about your laugh riots… Black Panther – a man who walks his own path, and walks it well. Emma Frost – a warthog. He smells exactly like a warthog.

Back in the Yukon, a number of men on snowmobiles attack the pack of wolves and shoot them with tranquilizer guns. Walking around and taking a look at each of the wolves, the leader analyzes them. Yes. No, too old. No, too little. Yes. They begin to load the ones they’re taking into a vehicle and kill the ones they don’t. One of his workers informs him that the good ones look well-fed and feisty. Not a bad haul. The leader tells him they’ll see about that.

Just then, one of his workers calls out to his boss on what the hell he makes of this. Looking at Logan with tranquilizer darts riddled in his body, the leader says it’s a wild man. He’s never seen one this old before. When his worker asks him how long he figures he’s been out there, the leader says by the looks of him – his whole damn life. The worker asks if he thinks he can understand them. The boss tells him to look into his eyes and tell him what he sees - animal, nothing but another damn animal. One of the workers mentions to the boss that this is a once in a lifetime find there. They gotta bring him. Can he imagine the reaction if they were to turn him loose on the…

Walking away, the boss says no. They’re not equipped to cage wild men. He stays. As the hunters begin to move out, one of the workers points his weapon at Logan and tells him he heard the boss, Bigfoot, tough luck. With that, he shoots Logan in the middle of the forehead, leaving him for dead.

Eventually, Logan wakes up and smells the bodies of his slaughtered pack and smells the human stink. He feels the darkness all around him calling, urging him to run into it and hide. But he sees nothing, nothing except a wounded father crawling after its cubs. And suddenly without thinking, he is walking… toward a very different kind of darkness.

Kitty Pryde says that she doesn’t know that she’ll ever get married, because every man she meets a man, she can’t help comparing them to him. And there’s just no chance in hell they can ever measure up. Storm states that he has never told her of his childhood. To her knowledge, he has never told anyone. But it’s obvious there is great tragedy there. He is, in general, a very sad and tragic man. Yet one who loves life. A man who is used to taking life and to having it taken from him knows better than anyone the true value of living. Cyclops says that he’s the man he knows better than pretty much any other man alive. But he’ll be damned if he doesn’t still have the ability to surprise him, and not always in a good way. Professor Charles Xavier says he could tell her what he knows of the man, things he imagines few others do. But he must admit he is far more interested in hearing what she has to say. So please, tell them, my dear (Melita Garner)… what does she think of Wolverine?

Inside a cabin in the Yukon, there is a television crew surrounding a wooden pit. The boss proceeds to ask his workers if the new arrivals are ready for their debut. One of his employees tells him you betcha. They’re good and riled up, ready to tear apart the first thing they see. The boss says it sounds like showtime to him. As the wolves are released from their cage with spiked collars on, the boss orders someone to fetch them a little something from the pen and let’s get this show on the…

Suddenly, a scream and the distinctive sounds of snikt are heard. When the boss asks what the hell was that, his employees around him are attacked and stabbed by claws. Standing in the pit, Logan states that he’s not sure what bothers him more. That he’s covered in someone else’s blood again… or that he enjoyed it so damn much. Releasing the wolves back into the wild, Logan says he’s already thinking about where he’ll head next. Maybe deeper into the woods this time, or higher up the mountains. Maybe…

Just then, Logan sniffs the air and realizes that something else is there. Making his way over to a locked vault, Logan pops his claws and wonders if it’s more blood for him to spill. Maybe it’s more chances to do what he does best: murder and destroy and… Slicing open the locked vault, Logan is surprised to see a bunch of children, all huddled together, all in tattered clothes, and some of them missing their arms.

With a renewed vigor, Logan gathers up the children and leads them home to their long-lost families.

Sitting atop the mountain, Logan looks down on the children and their families. He remarks that they were using wolves to fight children for sport. And if he hadn’t happened to wander out there when he did… If he hadn’t been running… So determined to leave his old life behind… If he hadn’t killed his own children… Sometimes he thinks, if there is a God… somebody oughtta punch him in his face. What the hell is all this supposed to mean anyway? What the hell is he trying to tell him? He ain’t much for askin’ for divine intervention, but how about giving him something to go on down there? Anything. Just some damn idea of where he actually belongs in this world. Of who the hell it is he’s supposed to be.

Just then, Melita calls out Logan’s name and asks him if he’s okay. Turning around, Logan asks her what the hell she is doing out there. Melita tells him looking for him, you big idiot. Logan says that he told her not to. Melita says when someone disappears and tells you not to look for them, that’s generally a clue that you should definitely go and look for them. Putting his hand on her face tenderly, Logan tells her she must be crazy, coming all the way out there on her own. She ain’t on her own, is she? Melita tells him nope. Believe it or not, she’s not the only person in the world who cares about him.

Turning around, Logan sees Nick Fury, Black Widow, Iron Man, Psylocke, Fantomex, Storm, Jubilee, Iron Fist, Professor Charles Xavier, Thor, Captain America, Thing, Cyclops, Colossus, Magneto, Ice-Man, Hope, Beast, Spider-Woman, Emma Frost, Rogue, Gambit, Kitty Pryde, Luke Cage, and Doctor Stephen Strange all standing there. He also sees all of the townspeople he helped save their children. With a gruff voice, Logan tells them all to c’mon. What are they all gawking at? Vacation’s over, they got work to do.

Later, Logan is all cleaned up. He sits down and tells Melita that they’re all wrong. Every damn one of ‘em. ‘Cept Namor, he can’t swim worth a damn. Melita says okay, then why doesn’t he tell her himself. Who is Wolverine? Logan replies that he can’t say. Melita asks can’t or won’t. When Logan says he can’t, Melita asks him why that is exactly. Logan answers because he doesn’t know. Because the only thing Wolverine is… is a work in progress. So in other damn words… to be #@$%&* continued.

Characters Involved: 


Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Thing, and Thor (all Avengers)

Beast (X-Man and Avenger)

Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Gambit, Hope, Ice-Man, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Magneto, Namor, Professor Charles Xavier, Rogue, and Storm (all X-Men)

Deadpool, Fantomex, and Psylocke (all X-Men and X-Force)

Daimon Hellstrom

Black Panther

Doctor Stephen Strange



Melita Garner

Nick Fury


Various wolves Logan ran with in the Yukon

Various unnamed hunters

Various unnamed children and their long-lost families

Story Notes: 

Logan killed his own children, unbeknownst to him, in Wolverine (4th series) #10-13.

Logan gave up being Wolverine last issue, Wolverine (4th series) #15.

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