Wolverine (4th series) #308

Issue Date: 
August 2012
Story Title: 
Rot: Part 4

Cullen Bunn (writer), Paul Pelletier (penciler), David Meikis with Cam Smith (inkers), 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), Chris Samnee & Javier Rodriguez (cover art)

Brief Description: 

Outside Dr. Rot’s compound, Charlie Chainsaws and Baylee Ann massacre the F.B.I. agents while Mama Rottwell and Nurse Fester take Agent Dennis Wells captive. Meanwhile, Melita Garner is confronted by Tater, whose mind is inside Logan’s body. Melita is able to hold him off and escapes him, rushing into the woods. Charlie and Baylee Ann assist Tater (Logan) in his chase and, eventually, they capture Melita. Just before Tater (Logan) kills Melita, he remembers who he is, regains his senses, and kills Charlie and Baylee Ann. He then turns his attention to saving Agent Wells, from Mama Rottwell and Nurse Fester. Back inside the compound, Logan finishes off Dr. Rot’s great-great grandpa and confronts Rot himself. After Logan is attacked by Rot’s flesh-puppets (Logan’s memories), he stabs Rot in the gut. As he dies, Rot tells Logan there are a number of phrases Weapon X put into his head as triggers. Logan then kills Rot by lopping off his head. Delivering Wells to Melita, Logan sadly tells her that he doesn’t remember who she is. Back at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Logan can tell that some of his memories are missing and that he won’t know which ones until he is confronted with them. Back at Rot’s compound, a severely injured Nurse Fester turns a crank on a machine which produces Dr. Rot. Emerging out of the muck, Rot remarks that he wants to find out as much as he can about the Weapon X program.

Full Summary: 

Inside his compound, Dr. Rot sits on the couch next to his great-great-grandpa and the carcass of Tater. Rot turns to his great-great-grandpa and tells him that he’s worked so hard coordinating the harvest, the long night, with all his subjects across the country. All so he could heal him and make him whole again. He wishes he could read his mind as easily as he can the rest of the mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers. He wishes he knew if he approved of his work, if he’s proud of him. But the mind of a true genius is too enigmatic even to him, he supposes. He’ll tell him one thing though. He’ll be confounded if he’ll let a bunch of duly appointed government agents ruin next year’s family reunion. They’ll see soon enough. They’ll see what happens when you cross a Rottwell.

Outside the compound, the F.B.I. agents continue their investigation of the grounds. Upon reaching a door, one of the agents asks his partner if he heard some… Before he can utter another word, Charlie Chainsaws bursts through the door of the shed and slices off the agent’s arm. When the agent screams out in pain, a nearby agent on the other side of the compound yells out to his colleague Clayton what’s going on over there.

Just then, Baylee Ann, sitting on a porch swing asks the agents if they wanna play. With that, the sounds of two shotgun blasts are heard. Inside a nearby barn, Nurse Fester and Dr. Rot’s mom have taken agent Dennis Wells to the ground. As Fester holds him tight, Dr. Rot’s mom tells him to keep still. This struggling is getting them nowhere. Wells is able to kick Rot’s mom away as Fester tells him they’re only trying to help him. Holding up a syringe, Rot’s mom says yes, help and proceeds to jam the syringe into Wells neck.

On the outside of the complex grounds, Melita Garner stands next to the cars and laments her position. She reminds herself to do what she was told. Stay there. Let the F.B.I. do their work. Turning towards the car, Melita calls Logan a piece of #&$%. God, she wishes he was there…

Just then, Melita looks up to see Logan perched on the car in front of her. When she calls out his name, “Logan” tells her not hardly. That ol’ boy is dead and gone. Ain’t nobody there but her and Tater. Leaping off the car, “Tater/Logan” grabs hold of Melita and tells her to hold still, he wants to pull her real close and tight, stare into them big, brown eyes, smell her breath gone bloody and full of fear, as he yanks her guts out by the handful. Pushing her hand in “Tater/Logan’s” face, Melita says she gets it, he’s not Logan. He’s definitely not the man he came looking for. He may have unbreakable bones, but he’s got soft bits, too and he protects them.

With that, Melita delivers a swift kick to “Tater/Logan’s” crotch, which drops him to his knees. As Melita runs into the woods, she remarks that she has to admit, that felt pretty good. Calling out to her, “Tater/Logan” tells her that she can run, but it ain’t gonna do her a bit of good. She can’t never run far enough or fast enough to get away from him. Rushing through the woods, “Tater/Logan” calls out to Melita that she’s gonna catch her, she ain’t gonna get away from him. He’s gonna skin her and give her sweaty hide to his girl as a nightie. With a wild look in his eyes, “Tater/Logan”continues to repeat the mantra in his head – “dream a dream of pretty prey, and blood red as rage.”

Eventually, Melita runs face first into Charlie Chainsaws chest, which stops her in her tracks. Punching Melita in the face, Baylee Ann asks Tater what’s taking him so long. Everybody else is done. Just finish her off already. As Baylee Ann holds Melita down, Melita calls out Logan’s name. Baylee proceeds to tell her that ain’t his name skank. And he’s gonna cut her tongue out just for calling him that. Holding his knife up, Logan repeats his mantra but begins to remember things from his past – the original X-Men, Sentinels, the Weapon X project and suddenly drops his knife.

As he jams his claws in Baylee Ann’s gut, Baylee asks “T-Tater?” As the bloodied Charlie Chainsaws lies slumped over, Logan proceeds to tell Baylee that her boyfriend’s dead. He doesn’t know who “Baylee Ann” was before Dr. Rot programmed her to become ten kinds of murderous psycho. But she wouldn’t have given him a chance to save her. He didn’t have a choice. Dr. Rot didn’t give him one. That’s one more thing he owes him for. Walking up to him, Melita says to Logan that he’s him again. He told her what happened with Dr. Rot, how he blacked out. She remembered and she brought help… As she talks, Logan looks at her with a blank stare and then, without saying a word, turns and leaves.

Inside the barn, Rot’s mom and Nurse Fester have chained Dennis Wells up. Looking at him, Rot’s mom excitedly asks what they are going to do with him now. It would be a shame to spoil those good looks of his. Fester says maybe Dr. Rot would benefit from having a mole in the F.B.I., maybe… Entering the barn, Logan tells them that maybe they better hope the good doctor’s as good sewing up gut wounds as he is ripping the brains out of people. With that, Logan rushes towards the two ladies with reckless abandon, claws at the ready.

In his workshop, Dr. Rot examines a brain and wonders aloud why it’s taking so long. Delicate operations such as these leave no room for lollygagging. Leaning down and speaking into a microphone, Rot calls out to Mama and Nurse Fester to report in. When he gets no response, he asks for Charlie and Baylee Ann.

Just then, Rot turns around, sees Logan behind him and asks “Tater?” Holding Rot’s great-great-grandpa by the throat, Logan asks Rot why he doesn’t call for him. He brought him along for him. After Logan tosses the old man’s corpse to the ground, Rot clears his throat and remarks that he sees Logan’s programming didn’t take as successfully as he thought. Well, at first you don’t succeed. Rot then peers at Logan and says “dream a dream of pretty prey, and blood red as rage.”

Unfazed, Logan tells him to try again. When Rot repeats “dream a dream of pretty prey, and blood red as rage,” Logan grabs him by the collar, pops a single claw on his opposite hand and tells him again. As Rot starts to repeat the mantra for a third time, he stops and says to Logan that he found his way out. He navigated the maze. He twisted the trigger phrase, turned it back on itself, didn’t he? How? What did he use? How did he anchor himself…? Logan tells him no more. They both knew this is a long time coming.

Just then, Logan is attacked by a horde of Dr. Rot’s flesh-puppets, the same ones that were grown from bits of Logan’s brain that Rot ripped out through his nostrils. As Logan rips the flesh-puppets apart, Rot excitedly asks if he knows what this means. Logan’s healing factor goes beyond the physical. He broke through years of programming. He broke through some of his best work. They’re made for each other. But can he heal what he slices and dices himself? He has no idea what he’s destroying. What he’s killing he’ll never get back. Flesh-puppets, pulled from his skull, mapped memories made flesh, they’re part of him. Reaching Rot’s brain machine, he grabs hold of one of the brains and tells Logan to stay back of he’ll…

Jamming his claws into Rot’s gut, Logan asks he’ll what? Scream? Bleed out? Clutching Logan, Rot tells him there… there are more… trigger phrases… Weapon X implanted dozens of them… buried them deep. He saw them… scattered across the landscape of his mind like rotting stumps. Ha. Enraged, Logan tells him enough. His “family” is dead. He killed them. And he wants ot to understand something. This is him. Not Weapon X. Not the berserker. Not whatever murderer he tried to turn him into. He’s calm. Rational. He killed him. With that, Logan lops Rot’s head off.

And then he let the whole place burn. Carrying Agent Wells away from the blazing inferno towards Melita, Logan tells him that he’ll live. Handing Wells over to her, he tells her that once the drugs wear off, he’s sure he’ll figure out what really happened there. If he wants to talk to him, he can find him at his school. Taking possession of Wells, Melita asks Logan shouldn’t they talk? Logan tells her he doesn’t know what to say. Melita replies that she knows things are weird, but… what’s wrong? Turning around, Logan puts his hand up to her face and informs her that he doesn’t remember who she is.

Back at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Logan walks the halls. As he does, he thinks to himself that he’s home. Surrounded by his students, his friends, his family. But it’s not over. He can’t let his guard down, he can’t relax. If Dr. Rot was telling the truth, and that’s a big if, his brain is like a land mine. If anyone out there knows the other triggers he mentioned, they could turn him into…

Looking at a picture of the first team of X-Men he joined, Logan says he almost said, “something he’s not.” But that’s not entirely true. Truth is, he only thought he knew who he was. Now he’s not so sure. Now more than ever, his memories… they’re spotty. Dr. Rot wasn’t just yanking his brains out through his nostrils. He was yanking out his past. His brain healed, but it healed clean. There are memories, ideas, dreams, that are just gone. He doesn’t know how deep the wounds run. He doesn’t know how much is gone. He doesn’t know when, if they’ll ever return. Some of the students he remembers, others are just a blur to him. There’s no way for him to know what exactly is missing until he runs across it. But he’s certain those things he’s forgotten are gonna come back with a vengeance and bite him in the ass.

Somewhere out near Dr. Rot’s compound, Nurse Fester turns the crank on a machine as she tries to hold her guts into her stomach. As the brain machine fires up, a body falls from the contraption. Picking himself up out of the muck, Dr. Rot tells his great-great-granddad that he’s so sorry he couldn’t bring him back but he promises he’ll make him, and their family proud. First things first… let’s dig up everything we can find on the Weapon X program.

Characters Involved: 


Dr. Rottwell

Baylee Ann, Charlie Chainsaws, Nurse Fester, Atremus Nicodemus Rottwell, and Mama. Rottwell (all members of Dr. Rot’s “family”)

Various unnamed flesh-puppets created by Dr. Rot

Melita Garner

Special Agent Dennis Wells

Various unnamed F.B.I. agents

Kitty Pryde (staff at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning)

Blindfold, Blob Herman, Genesis, Groo, Kid Gladiator, Oya, Rockslide, and various other students at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning

In Wolverine’s memories:

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, and Professor Charles Xavier (all original X-Men)


Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Sunfire, Thunderbird, and Wolverine (all 3rd generation X-Men)

Story Notes: 

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

Issue Information: 
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