Wolverine (4th series) #305

Issue Date: 
June 2012
Story Title: 
Rot: Part 1

Cullen Bunn (writer), Paul Pelletier (penciler), David Meikis (inker), Rain Beredo (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jake Thomas (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), Jim Cheung & Jason Keith (cover art), Steve McNiven, Mark Morales, and Morry Hollowell (variant cover art)

Brief Description: 

In New York, Lieutenants Granger and Hicks investigate the latest in a string of murders across the country. This time, there’s a witness, a kid, and he drew a picture of the attacker – Wolverine. In a bar outside Dunwich, California, Logan spends some time in a bar and then makes his way to Dunwich Sanatorium. Entering the facility, Logan recalls the time he spent there and thinks about the blackouts he’s been suffering. Upon reaching the file room, Logan is attacked by a number of grotesque creatures. In short time, Logan dispatches them and heads towards his actual target – Doctor Rottwell, who watches Logan’s actions via a security camera. Over at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Special Agents Dennis Wells, Granger and Hicks talk to Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers about their investigation into Logan committing various murders.

Full Summary: 

In New York City, the Bronx, two detectives investigate a murder scene. The female detective, Lieutenant Granger remarks to her partner, Hicks, that this isn’t happening. Tell her that this isn’t happening. Hicks tells her that the Feds are on their way. Doesn’t get any more real than that. And if the Feds are on the scene, it won’t take long for the press to piece this together.

Granger says St. Louis, Charlotte, Ft. Lauderdale… Taking a sip of his coffee, Hicks adds Houston too. At least that’s what he heard. Granger says “and now New York.” Taking a look at the murder victims, Hicks states that it looks like they’re in the middle of a nationwide killing spree. Granger says this isn’t just a killing spree, this is a harvest. Lying on the ground before them are three men with the tops of their heads sliced off and their brains removed.

Just then, a police officer walks up to Granger and informs her they have a witness. When Granger asks a witness, the police officer tells her yes. Pointing to a window up above, the cop says that he saw everything from right up there. He says he can I.D. the killer.

Inside the building, a young boy draws pictures on his bed that is adorned with Spider-Man sheets. Quietly, Granger remarks that he’s just a kid. God. No child should be exposed to something like that. Hicks says times are changing; kids grow up fast. Shooting him a stern look, Granger asks Hicks what the hell is wrong with him. As Hicks begins to defend himself, a police woman holds up the young boy’s drawing and tells Granger that she might want to take a look at this. He drew a picture, a picture of the murderer. Looking at the picture of Wolverine, Granger asks how long before the Feds get there to take over. Because no matter how soon they get there, it won’t be soon enough.

In a seedy bar outside Dunwich, California, a young waitress calls Logan “sweetheart” and asks him if he wants another. Logan tells her he probably shouldn’t. He’s got work to do tonight. Walking towards the bar, the waitress tells Logan that between them, this stuff’s so watered down, one more won’t make a difference. Besides, she can just look at him and tell. He hasn’t had nearly enough. Walking back with the beer, she proceeds to ask Logan that he ain’t from around here, is he? Looking over at the young waitress, Logan sees her with her neck sliced and the bartender dead. The waitress snaps him out of his trance when she asks if he heard her. Where’s he from? Where’s home? Logan asks her that’s the million dollar question, huh? Trust him, though. The answer’s not worth the price. Smiling at him, the waitress states that she’s a girl who just loves a mystery. Does he have a place to stay tonight? Downing the beer in one gulp, Logan tells her no but he’s got places to be. After giving the young woman his hat, Logan leaves the bar.

Outside, Logan remarks that it’s hard to resist a girl with that much charm and sass. But it’s never been all that safe for normal folks to be around him. Now… more than ever… he has to be alone. Contrary to popular belief, he hasn’t forgotten what he is. X-Man, Avenger, student, teacher, hero, weapon… Opening up the trunk of his car, Logan looks at his yellow and blue costume and a six pack of beer. Balancing all of the conflicting aspects of his life has never been a cakewalk. But now, now there’s blood on his hands, blood he doesn’t remember spilling. He’s been blacking out, waking up in strange places, unsure how he got there, covered in gore and stinking of death. Someone’s winding him up like a toy, sending him out like their own personal murder-doll. He knows who’s responsible. He just has to find him. And if you’re gonna look for the devil, you might as well start in hell.

In short time, Logan enters the abandoned building known as Dunwich Sanatorium. Once he enters, Logan’s heightened senses tell him “he” hasn’t been there for a long while. The churning in his gut tells him the place is still crawling with old ghosts. Coming back there, it feels like he’s tearing open painful wounds. People came there, people were sent there in hopes that they could get better. But all this place ever did was turn its patients inside out. And his healing factor’s useless against this kind of hurt.

During the best of times, Dunwich Sanatorium churned out hitmen and assassins for gangsters and corrupt government officials. Then, new “management” took over and it went from bad to nightmarish. He spent a few weeks “in residence” after the whole operation went south. They used psychic munitions to incapacitate him. They strip-mined his brain, tried to turn him into their plaything. That didn’t work out so well for them. He’s spent his whole life playing this game of hide-and-seek with his past. Trying to remember, forcing himself to forget. But this place haunts him. And lately he can feel it calling to him like a master whistling for a hound. No, not the place. It’s “him.” He’s calling for him, guiding him back to his side. And along the way… What’s real? What’s hallucination? Either way, until he breaks whatever hold he has over him, he’s a danger to those around him. He’s on his own.

As he looks through some files, Logan catches a whiff of a scent and looks up to see a horde of grotesque creatures making their way towards him. Turning to face them, Logan asks that they let him guess. They were left behind as parting gifts for anyone who might come snooping around. Well, he guesses he should open his presents. With that, Logan pops his claws and begins to tear into the creatures. Logan notices that they are silent as sheet phantoms, smell masked by the stink of the asylum. They almost got the drop on him… almost. The blood of the creatures stings his eyes, fries the hairs from his nostrils, bubbles on his skin like a chemical burn. These things ain’t alive in the strictest sense. Putting them down is a mercy. The irony doesn’t escape him. He came there to stop the senseless killing, but he’s at it again. But at least he’s in control. And, ironic or not, he’ll do what must be done to protect.

As Logan kills a group of the creatures, one of them manages to slice his neck with a blade. Dropping to his knees and clutching his throat, Logan looks up to see that the creatures are shape-changers. He sees them taking on the forms of friends (Psylocke), students (Oya), and enemies (Omega Red). That helps explain the migraine he’s had since walking through the door. Somehow, they’re plucking images from his mind, trying to rattle him. Killing shape-shifters is old hat to him. In short time, Logan has dispatched all of the creatures. With a wild look in his eyes, Logan remarks that these… these things weren’t intended as a trap, but as a message. He knows he’s coming. He’s waiting for him. He thinks he’s ready. But ain’t nobody ready for the kind of vengeance he’s bringing.

In Westchester, New York, at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Rachel Summers tells Kitty that, wherever Wolverine is, he doesn’t want to be found. None of them stood a chance of physically tracking him, but it looks like his psychic barriers are holding, too. Kitty replies they ought to. She helped create them, Kitty reminds Rachel, but she doesn’t understand why he would just leave. Rachel remarks that it’s not like this is the first time he’s gone walkabout. Kitty says yeah, but the school’s barely up and running. He didn’t even leave a note. Something’s wrong.

Just then, Oya rushes up to them and tells Kitty that there are some people there to see her. When Kitty asks who, Oya rushes off and tells her that she didn’t ask but they kind of looked official. As Kitty starts making her way towards the front door, Rachel stops her and tells her she knows why they’re there. Reaching the front door, Kitty introduces herself and Rachel to the three visitors. Reaching for his I.D., one of the visitors apologizes for bothering them at the start of their school day. Kitty stops him and tells him that his identification’s not necessary. She knows who he is. Special Agent Dennis Wells, right? Flanked by Granger and Hicks, Wells tells her that’s a neat trick. He’s guessing, then, that she knows why he’s there. Kitty replies that she’s afraid so, he thinks their school’s headmaster is a murderer.

As a bloody Logan exits the Dunwich Sanitorium, a man watches him via a camera attached to a brain with mechanical legs. The man sees Logan and says ah, Logan, his dear patient X. Maybe they should have left well enough alone, hmm? They could have just forgotten about one another and let bygones be bygones. But he’s too much of a predator. And, him, he loves his work far too much to ever give up on such a specimen. Besides, where’s the fun in live-and-let-live?

Inside a safe house, Dr. Rottwell tells Nurse Fester that he’s seen enough. Noticing that Logan is carrying the file on Algernon Rottwell, Dr. Rot tells Nurse Fester that she can turn the monitor off. There’s so much work to do, so many cats to herd, and now they have to make ready for company. No time to watch the boob-tube. After all, you know what they say… TV rots your brain.

Characters Involved: 


Dr. Rottwell and Nurse Fester

Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers (faculty at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning)

Doop, Genesis, Groo, Oya, and various other students at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning

Lieutenant Granger, Hicks

Special Agent Dennis Wells

Various unnamed creatures at the Dunwich Sanitorium

Various unnamed police-officers in New York

Various unnamed residents of New York City

Various employees and patrons of the Last Call bar located outside Dunwich, California

In Flashbacks:


Dr. Rot, Charlie Chainsaws, Widow, and Nurse Fester

Story Notes: 

Wolverine spent time at the Dunwich Sanatorium and battled Dr. Rot back in Wolverine: Weapon X #6-9.

Issue Information: 
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