Wolverine (7th series) #7

Issue Date: 
January 2021
Story Title: 
X of Swords, Chapter 16
Staff: 

Benjamin Percy & Gerry Duggan (writers), Joshua Cassara (artist), Guru-eFX (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Adam Kubert & Frank Martin (cover artists), Kevin Nowlan (variant cover artist), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Jay Bowen & Adam del Re (production), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Mark Basso & Jordan D White (editors), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men Created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Magik falls through the Holy Republic of Fae into the Floating Kingdom of Roma Regina, where she battles Pogg Ur-Pogg in a sword fight – until Saturnyne cancels the fight, instead preferring them to arm-wrestle. Magik is swiftly defeated by the massive creature, and the point is awarded to Arakko. Wolverine is sent to Blightspoke, a strange wasteland, where he battles Summoner, in a reality that warps over and over again, transforming the land, Wolverine, and the Summoner, until finally Wolverine shoves the Muramasa blade through Summoner's head – but Saturnyne awards the point to Arakko, as “battle to the death” meant the first to die would be the victor. Wolverine and Storm spend some time drinking at a bar in the Crooked Market, a challenge which Saturnyne awards to Krakoa. Wolverine is then transported to the Starlight Citadel, where he is slightly disorientated from the alcohol, and finds himself in battle against the First Horseman called War, who is furious that he killed her son, Summoner. Saturnyne watches the battle, which leads to Wolverine slicing one of War's hands off before she can cut his head off. Saturnyne awards the point to Solem, as Wolverine was forced to fight in Solem's place.

Full Summary: 

The Holy Republic of Fae, located on Otherworld, where Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik walks up a staircase in what appears to be some sort of dungeon. 'Hi!' she calls out to a guard. 'This seems to be the killing place. But I guess I'm looking for the other killing place?' she asks. She holds up a tarot card and informs the guard that the card is supposed to tell her what to do – but the directions are trash. 'I'm a little upside down' Illyana admits as the guard motions for her to walk through an opening. 'I figure I'll just figure it out as I go... and stab whoever needs stabbing' Illyana utters as she finds herself upside down, landing on the Floating Kingdom of Roma Regina, where she appears to be in an arena. 'Hello, Reginas!' Magik smiles, waving at them, before asking if she is pronouncing that correctly.

Suddenly, the green and red beast on the opposing team of Swordbearers appears. 'Pogg Ur-Pogg is the more fit! Your sole chance is to forfeit!' the creature exclaims. 'Fat chance, dino!' Magik retorts as she spins around and asks 'It's Hog, right?' But the creature snaps its crocodile-like jaw shut and replies 'Pogg! Pogg Ur-Pogg!' Magik asks him if he is sure, and points out that it is hogs that get butchered. She raises her Soulsword and it clangs against Pogg's sword, as Pogg Ur-Pogg boasts that what he beats, he eats. 'You are adversary – and confectionary!' he warns Magik. Suddenly, 'Stay your swords!' Saturnyne calls out from where she stands on a podium in the center of the arena. 'This is a contest of arms!' Saturnyne explains as she uses magicks to tear the swords from Magik and Pogg.

Magik and Pogg Ur-Pogg walk over to the altar and stand on either side of it as Saturnyne tells them to clasp hands, keep their shoulders square and elbows in the pocket. 'Pin to win' she states. 'Arm wrestling? Seriously?' Magik asks. Pogg's massive hand completely engulfs Magik's hand, as Magik asks why she can't just stab him. 'This is a fixed contenst. It involves no skill. It's like seeing who can take the bigger $#%&!!' Magik snaps. 'Pogg Ur-Pogg will tear baby arm from its socket, and then keep it in his pocket' the creature utters. Citizens of Roma Regina watch from the arena sidelines as Saturyne raises a hand and utters 'On the count of three, two -' but before she can finish, 'Won!' Pogg Ur-Pogg shouts as he slams Magik's hand down onto the altar, shattering part of it. 'Pogg won, won, won!' the creature cries out as he steps down onto the grass, waving his four hands in the air.

Score:

Arakko 3 – Krakoa 1

Meanwhile, on Blightspoke, a tarot card representing strength, and featuring Wolverine trapped in a headlock by the Summoner lies in the sand of what resembles a lunar landscape, with stars and other cosmic objects hovering above. 'I can feel you watching, witch. Where are you?' Wolverine a.k.a. Logan calls out. 'I am everywhere, Wolverine. And you... you are nowhere' Saturnyne's voice radiates around. Wolverine looks up into the starry sky above, as Saturnyne explains that Blightspoke is the realm of collapsed realities. Large objects can be seen covered in the sand of this wasteland, including the corpse of Galactus. 'You're everywhere. I'm nowhere. You already know I don't like your bull$#%& game. Well, I don't like bull$#%& riddles either' Wolverine snarls. 'You want to fight? Then bring on the damn -' Wolverine begins, before a white arm reaches up through the sand and pulls Logan down through the sand, Wolverine clings onto his Muramasa blade, while Saturnyne tells him that he thinks it is the Summoner he is fighting to the death, but really, it's actually Blightspoke.

Wolverine and the Summoner find themselves in a frosted landscape, where their swords clang together, before they appear in some shattered forms, then are attacked by strange insect-like creatures which attack them with some strange energy, before reality changes around them again, and they float among asteroids, with Saturnyne and Mad Jim Jaspers appearing before them.

Saturnyne asks 'How long can two unbreakable figures survive in these broken domains, as the ruined wheel of Blightspoke turns?' Reality continues to warp around them, as Wolverine appears as a literal wolverine, while the Summoner is transformed into a snake. Then, Wolverine and the Summoner appear as one, before they are both small, battling among tall flowers.

In another warp, Wolverine skewers the Summoner, before their bodies begin to deteriorate as they fight each other. They appear as cube-like versions of themselves, and then in strange glowing jumpsuits. They resemble primitive images on a wall, then battle in gumballs, on a chessboard, in water and the Summoner is transformed into a strange creature, wrapping tentacles around Wolverine.

Finally, Wolverine hurls his Muramasa blade through the Summoner's head, causing the Summoner to drop his own sword, then stumble forward, with the Muramasa blade still stuck in his head – before he drops to the ground.

'All right, witch. I won. Now get me the hell out of this carnival' Wolverine calls out. Saturnyne's voice can be heard as she reminds Wolverine that she said it was a fight to the death – and Summoner fought to the death. 'You gotta be #$%& kidding me' Wolverine snarls before Saturnyne announces that the point goes to Arakko.

Score:

Arakko 4 – Krakoa 1

Later, in a bar with floor-to-ceiling shelves of bottles of alcohol, Saturnyne sits at the bar, drinking. She remarks 'After all that fighting and losing, you must have a terrible thirst. So for this next challenge, let's raise a glass, instead of a sword and drink' Saturnyne suggests, while Mad Jim Jaspers can be seen on a ladder, reaching for bottle from one of the top shelves. 'I lost? By winning? You're saying I survived that reality thresher for nothing?' Wolverine asks, looking up at Saturnyne. He then turns to Storm, who sits opposite him, and tells her that this is beyond bull$#%&. 'What are we even doing here?' he asks her. Storm looks at a tarot card – the Page of Cups, which depicts her and Logan falling in what looks to be a pool of blood. 'We're here to drown our sorrows, Logan' Storm points out. Me versus you? But we're on the same team' Logan replies. Storm tells him that it doesn't matter, they came up, so they have to battle. 'Oh, she's right all right. And – lucky you – you get to sample some of the finest, rarest liquor in all the worlds!' Mad Jim Jaspers grins as he holds up the bottle he retrieved from the stop shelf.

Mad Jim Jaspers pours the drink into a glass, and grins as he tells Logan and Storm that this vintage of Blightness is bloody magnificent, that it is one of the most exquisite things they will ever put in their mouths. 'Seriously? A drinking contest?' Logan asks. Storm smiles as she Logan that she knows drinking is usually a solitary sport for him, and tells him that he shouldn't feel afraid of a little competition. Storm begins to drink the vintage of Blightness while Wolverine looks at it with some concern. 'Just trying to wrap my head around this. No matter which one of us loses, Krakoa wins?' Wolverine asks. Storm pours herself a second glass while Wolverine drinks his first. Storm tells him 'Guess it's a gimme' before remarking that the drink tastes like fire and nectar all at once. 'Tastes more like bull$#%& to me' Wolverine responds.

Mad Jim Jaspers steps out of the bar into a rain-soaked street. He walks down a dark alley, where a pair of glowing eyes stares out at him through the darkness. It's the Horseman called Death, who holds up a glowing scarab beetle, and gives it to the grinning Jaspers.

Back inside, Wolverine tells Storm that this might earn them another point on the board, but asks what they lose in turn. Storm pours herself a third glass and tells Logan that she plans on enjoying this sideline moment, wiping the floor with him. 'But if you're paranoid, don't drink' Storm tells her friend. Wolverine informs Storm that he tried cheating the rules, but it didn't turn out. 'Besides. I can't not drink' Logan declares. Storm adds that in the Crooked Market, there is always a cost – and it is just a matter of time until they figure out what is owed.

Score:

Arakko 4 – Krakoa 2

Storm tells Logan that she feels funny, a little empty. 'A little tickly around the edges too?' Wolverine smiles.

At the Starlight Citadel, Saturnyne sits on a throne, with Shogo the dragon nestled nearby. Solem and War stand opposite each other in a rocky arena, which Saturnyne looks down on and tells them that they were all born of the same place and they all share the same blood. 'So, no matter your nation, you are all enemies and you are all lovers'.

'Or maybe that's just you. Making me tickly' Wolverine tells Storm. 'Watch your mouth, you dirty old flirt, or I'll tell Jean' Storm warns Wolverine.

Saturnyne points out that when Krakoa fights Arakko, so does it fight itself. Solem has his sword ready, while War's flaming sword is turned towards the ground. 'Solem... War... I don't believe it will be a problem, convincing you to tear each other apart' Saturnyne tells the warriors.

'You're drunk' Wolverine grins at Storm. 'No, you're drunk' Storm replies as they clink their glasses together.

Solem raises his blade to eye level and grins as he declares that this is all very exciting. 'A bereaved widow is offered the opportunity to avenge her lost husband' Solem exclaims.

'I won' Wolverine tells Storm as he leans in closer towards her. 'No, I won' Storm smiles as her face moves closer to Wolverine. 'Maybe we won?' Wolverine grins.

Solem tells War that he is sorry to say he has other plans. 'Saturnyne, my love?' he calls out, while War frowns. 'Bring me my boy' Solem exclaims.

 

And at the bar, as Storm attempts to kiss Wolverine, Wolverine suddenly vanishes.

'Wha-?' Wolverine calls out as he finds himself transported to the arena, his sword dropping to the ground. Wolverine rubs his head and explains that he has temporal whiplash and a bad case of the dizzies, before announcing that he has two questions: 'The hell am I doing here? And why am I hammered? I can't possibly be hammered!' Solem apologizes for interrupting Wolverine's latest bender, and points his sword at him as he tells Wolverine that the time has come to pay his debt. 'What was in that hooch? What's happening to me?' Wolverine asks. 'What's happening indeed? You're trying to cheat the chess game, Solem?' War asks. Solem stands on the edge of the cliff of the arena and explains that he and Wolverine have an outstanding agreement. 'He asked for a sword, and I gave it to him, and together we massacred a sulfurous mob of demons. It was good fun'.

Solem declares that the price was this – Wolverine owes him a fight. He then leaps off the edge of the arena and tells War that he knows she is keen on revenge, and that he did kill her husband a century ago. 'But if I'm not mistaken... Wolverine here just killed your son'. Solem lands on the back of a red dragon and flies back up over the arena, fire trailing behind the dragon. 'Is this true?' War asks, turning to Wolverine. 'Summoner? You're Summoner's old lady? $#%&' Wolverine mutters. Saturnyne smirks and tells Wolverine and War to take their blades – and that the first to sever an appendage wins. Wolverine burps and realizes that his healing factor has “$#%& the bed” as he puts it.

'If I've lost my son... then you'll lose your head!' an enraged War shrieks as she raises her flaming sword and leaps towards Wolverine, who asks 'Can I get my head straight before you cut it off? Just give me a minute!' But War doesn't hold back, and her blade slices down across Wolverine's arm. Saturnyne warns Wolverine that he has gotten reckless, what with his healing factor and the resurrection protocols. 'This is what it feels like to play for keeps' Saturnyne explains as she strokes Shogo the dragon's face. Wolverine boasts that he has drunken boxed more times than he can count, and raises his blade as War brings her blade around to strike again. Wolverine admits that he has never tried swordfighting on more than a few splashes of sake, though. He uses his blade to block War's, but War then kicks Wolverine to the ground. 'What was in that bottle? Saturnyne, what did we drink?' Wolverine calls out.

Saturnyne warns Wolverine that just as there is a cost to everything at the Crooked Market, there is a cost to trying to kill her. 'I wonder how your friend will fare?' Saturnyne asks as she rides on the back of Shogo who flies down towards the arena. 'Storm...' Wolverine utters as, while War holds him to the ground and presses her flaming sword to his neck. 'In turn you'll each pay your own price' Saturnyne remarks, while War is confused as to why her blade cannot pierce Wolverine's neck and cut it his head from his body. 'Your head... it should be mine' she gasps. 'Adamantium spine says &%!* you!' Wolverine snarls as he pops his claws – and then slices off War's left hand.

War screams, while Saturnyne, hovering over the arena on Shogo's back, announces that the point goes to Solem. Lightning crackles in the sky, while War drops to her knees, clutching her severed arm, as Wolverine stumbles about, War's flaming sword still stuck in his body. 'Would somebody pull this $%#& sword off my neck?' he asks.

Score:

Arakko 5 – Krakoa 2

Characters Involved: 

Magik, Storm, Wolverine (all Swordbearers of Krakoa)

 

Death, Pogg Ur-Pogg, Solem, Summoner, War (all Swordbearers of Arakko)

 

Saturnyne

Mad Jim Jaspers

Shogo

 

Guards

Citizens of Roma Regina

Story Notes: 

This issue follows Excalibur (4th series) #14 and continues in X-Force (6th series) #14.

This issue contains a one-page text-only set of information regarding the Battle of Blightspoke.

This issue also contains a one-page text-only piece of background information on the agreement between Wolverine and Solem.

Wolverine killed Saturnyne by skewering her in Marauders #14, but at the beginning of Marauders #15, Saturnyne reversed time

Written By: