Wolverine Annual 1995

Issue Date: 
September 1995
Story Title: 
<BR>(1st story) Lair of the N’Garai<BR>(2nd story) What the Cat Dragged In

(1st story)
Larry Hama (script), J.H. Williams II (pencils), Mark McKenna with Gray & Palmiotti (inks), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (lettering), Kevin Somers (colors), Electric Crayon (color separations), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (chief)
(2nd story) Chris Golden (writer), Ben Herrera (penciler), Vince Russell (inker), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (lettering), Ian Laughlin (colors), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

(1st Story)
In the woods surrounding the Xavier Institute, Logan happens upon a Cairn, the interdimensional portal between the Earth and the N’Garai. Upon seeing on of the demons making its way towards the institute and his friends, Logan begins to battle it and then follows it into the Cairn. Inside the institute, a motion detection alarm tells the X-Men that there has been a security breach but can’t see anything. Concerned for his missing friend Wolverine, Nightcrawler goes to investigate and sees the Cairn. When he enters it, he sees Logan fighting a number of demons and joins him but is shocked to see Logan’s animalistic side. Eventually, the two of them meet and battle the demon’s master, Kierrok. No matter what Kierrok dishes out at Logan, however, he continues to fight and slash. Kierrok then sends some of his demons out of the Cairn and Logan and Kurt give chase. Once they have dispatched of them, Logan wants to head back into the Cairn, but Kierrok makes it disappear. When the X-Men arrive, they learn from Kurt what occurred. Kurt then expresses major concern for his friend that he was more animal than man during the fight and wonders what they can do for him if he doesn’t change back. Making his way through the forest, Logan knows he’s losing control and the killing rage in his head will take over. The only difference is that he’s not scared of doing so anymore.

(2nd Story)
After crash landing on the grounds of the Xavier Institute, Maverick tells Logan about an organization who is attempting to find a cure for the Legacy Virus and market it. He adds that they are also using Deadpool as a test subject with him and Wolverine as their next targets. Logan joins Maverick in his quest to save Deadpool. There, they free Deadpool and run into a lady by the name of Westergaard, her guards and another Weapon X individual by the name of Slayback. During the battle, the self-destruct sequence is initiated and at the last moment, Logan, Maverick and Deadpool are able to escape. When they reach the bottom, S.H.I.E.L.D. is there to take Westergaard and her people in custody but Deadpool is nowhere to be found. A few days later, however, Wilson sends in a sample of his blood and cells. After his review, Beast informs Maverick that there is no cure in Deadpool for the Legacy Virus. Undaunted, Maverick intends to keep on searching. Logan, upon seeing his determination, deduces that the only way to keep him from going savage is to keep his friends around.

Full Summary: 

(1st Story)
Prowling the woods in his yellow and blue costume, Logan realizes that somethin’ ain’t right. He may be losin’ it in some ways but the woods around the Xavier Institute are his ol’ stompin’ grounds and he can feel it in his bones when it ain’t right around there. Finding a slab of stone in the middle of the woods, Logan knows that’s not right in spades. It’s the Cairn and it ain’t even supposed to be there.

Somethin’ evil came through that thing one night, somethin’ from a whole ‘nother reality. It gave the X-Men all a run for the money until Storm smashed it with lightning. But it came back. And somethin’ came through it one Christmas Eve and almost got Kitty. Charles Xavier had them break it up and scatter the pieces but there it is – back again.

Studying a footprint on the ground, Logan knows that somethin’ bad has sure come through it. As Logan follows the tracks, he notices that it ain’t even botherin’ to cover its tracks. It ain’t trackin’ or stalkin’, it’s makin’ a beeline straight for its prey. It’s a thing bent on killin’ and it’s headin’ towards some folks who mean a whole lot to him – the X-Men. He can’t let that happen, no way. Not while the ol’ canuckle-head is on the case.

Popping his bone claws, Logan leaps at the N’Garai demon. While he does, he tells it that it just won the ugliness prize, now he gets to die and feed worms. Reaching the demon, Logan punches his claws through what he hopes is somethin’ vital but mister ugly has got the same idea and proceeds to slash Logan across the chest. When Logan doesn’t fall to the ground dead, he can tell the demon is surprised. The demon figured he put him down for the count. Logan then says to the demon that he didn’t know ‘bout his healin’ factor, did he?

Inside the institute – home to the X-Men, a beleaguered group of young people who have been blessed with abilities far exceeding those of “normal” humans and cursed with the responsibility of protecting a world that often resents their existence. While they work on the Blackbird, Nightcrawler accidentally drops a wrench on Beast’s head. Kurt apologizes and states that his concentration is not what it should be for Blackbird hydraulic system maintenance. McCoy replies that it’s lucky for him that it wasn’t a ball-peen hammer.

On the other side of the room, Psylocke and Boom Boom stand nearby, while Professor Charles Xavier looks over a computer monitor. Noticing that Boomer seems distracted as well, he tells her to go over and help Bishop with the circuit testers. Making her way over there, Tabby mentions to Bishop that it’s a tough break for Kurt. He came all the way back there to log in some quality time with his old bud in his time of need and the Wolvster would be rather out in the woods chasing rabbits. If you ask her, she doesn’t know why he wants to spend time with that creep. After all, look what he did to Sabretooth and all.

Bishop tells her that there are men in who walk among them who strive to be better each day, who place the needs of their friends above their own and who face their own fears straight ahead, unflinching. It does the rest of them good to be in their company when they allow it. Irritated, Tabby walks away and says to Bishop “who asked him anyway?” Dropping down from the Blackbird, Kurt is surprised to hear Tabby defending Sabretooth. He then asks what is going on in the mansion. They should be outside looking for their friend. Hank tells him to take it easy. He of all people should know that Wolverine will deal with his problems in his own way. He’ll come to them when he’s ready.

Kurt begins to ask what happens if that is too late… but is interrupted when the main security alarm goes off. Tapping away at his computer, Xavier informs them that something tripped a motion detector in sector five. After Psylocke points out that’s right on the edge of the woods, Xavier adds that he’s getting wild readings on the other sensors and that he’s going to see about traversing a video-cam for a computer-enhanced visual. Hank remarks that it’s probably just Logan while Kurt seems concerned.

In the woods around the mansion, Logan continues to battle the N’Garai demon. As it runs off, Logan asks it s’matter bub, he can dish it out pretty good but he guesses he just can’t take it. Ripping off his mask, Logan rushes after the demon.

Meanwhile, Psylocke looks over the monitor and points out the tree line but states that there’s nobody there. Xavier replies that he’s still getting sensor readings. It’s moving deeper into the woods. Bishop asks couldn’t it be Logan like Beast said? Xavier says that he has already reset the sensors to exclude Logan’s particular parameters. Whatever it is, it isn’t even a carbon-cycle life-form and it’s big. It seems to be traveling at a good clip and it just disappeared off the sensor in quadrant A-14.

As he talks, the demon disappears into the Cairn with Logan giving chase and entering as well. Xavier then mentions that for a moment he sensed an almost familiar presence but it vanished. He then asks Psylocke if she can give it a look too just in case he missed something. Psylocke replies the world’s most powerful telepath missing something? Doubtful, but if he insists… With that, Betsy Braddock reaches out with her mind using the telepathic ability that is her birthright, mentally searching the grounds of the estate for evidence of any threat. After a while, she replies that she senses nothing, not even Logan.

At that moment, Kurt teleports to section 5 quadrant A-14 of the estate grounds. There he sees the Cairn and at first thinks that he should teleport back and… Looking at the ground, Kurt stops his thought mid-sentence when he sees the footsteps of the N’Garai. He notices that it came through and then went back but there are other footprints as well – those belonging to Wolverine. He deduces that his friend Logan has followed the N’Garai back through the Cairn. He wonders what he was thinking. He should go back for help but it will take time for the others to get back there. They can’t travel instantaneously like he and every second may count. With that, Kurt enters into the Cairn. It was concern for Wolverine that brought Kurt Wagner to the Xavier Institute. And it is that same friendship, a bond forged by two outsiders which causes him to leap into the unknown.

Once Kurt reaches the realm of the N’Garai, he sees Logan viciously battling a horde of N’Garai demons. Kurt informs Logan that he will help him but is smacked away by one of the demons for his effort. Picking himself up, Kurt states that it’s not wise to backhand him, not while he can teleport behind him. As he does, Kurt covers the demon’s eyes and Logan kills it with a claw stab to its chest. With that one dead, Kurt focuses on the one behind Logan and teleports over to knock it off balance. When the demon begins to stumble, Logan kills that one too.

Just then, the other two N’Garai demons run off. Kurt then puts his hand on Logan’s shoulder and points out to him that the survivors have fled and that it’s like the old days. They were some team, ja? Turning around, Logan growls at Kurt with wild eyes and takes a slash at him. Teleporting out of the way at the last second, Kurt asks Logan doesn’t he know him? Holding his head, Logan asks “elf?” Kurt replies, “Ja, elf.” Falling to the ground, Logan informs him that he’s hurtin’, they got him bad. Rushing over to his friend, Kurt takes a look at his wounds. Shocked, he exclaims that he can see bone and… Standing up, Logan tells him that it ain’t nothin’, it’s already knittin’ back together. Sure hurts like all blue blazes though. Kurt says that they have to go back and warn Professor Xavier and the rest. Logan tells him there’s no way back. Only thing left to do is track down all the ugly dudes and got to claw city on ‘em. He hopes he brought a six-pack o’ butt-kick with him.

Deeper into the lair, the two surviving demons tell their master, a larger winged demon what has just happened. The larger demon asks them so he has dared to kill his scouts and enter his domain, the clawed one and the blue teleporter. Friends of the eyeless one who roused him before the time of his awakening, but the others are not with them. The metal-skinned warrior and the female who summons wind and lightning and the young female who defeated the last champion he sent against them. Do those two alone think to thwart Kierrok, the shatterer of souls? Do they truly believe they can prevent that which has been prophesized that which he has awaited since times of old? For now is the time of his resurrection – the end times, when his legions will claim dominion over their world in his name.

As Logan and Kurt continue their way through the lair of the N’Garai, Kurt says to Logan that he doesn’t even really want to go back. He would rather stay there and revel in the carnage. Logan tells him not to go gettin’ morally superior on him, he does what he has to do. He kills what he has to kill. He don’t exactly feel good about it, but he sure ain’t cryin’ in his beer. Kurt says to him to stop and listen to him, blast it. He came all the way from Muir Island, can’t he see how worried he is?

Angrily, Logan turns around and says oh is he? He worried that he’s gonna blow his cool and claw up some so-called innocent yahoo. He worried that he might rip apart some psychotic dirt-bag bad-guy who may not be quite as formidable as him, huh? Kurt attempts to interject but Logan cuts him off and asks him that might just upset his nice sensibilities o’ fair play, right? Make them look real bad, huh? He then tells him that there ain’t no such thing as a fair fight. Ya win ‘cause you’re better, tougher and meaner than the other guy. Kurt attempt to warn Logan to look behind him but Logan ignores him and says to him that the other guy don’t know that you’re better, tougher and meaner. He thinks he’s better, tougher and meaner. That’s why he’s trying to stop your clock.

At that moment, a horde of N’Garai demons leap towards Kurt and Logan. As Kurt yells out Logan’s name, Logan turns around and proceeds to stab the leaping demon in the chest. He then asks elf whatsamatter? Is he worried about the ugly losers behind them? He tells him not to be. No matter what they think of him now they know there ain’t nobody they’d rather have with him in a dark alley.

While Logan continues to slash and hack away at the demons, Kurt remarks that it is obvious that it is not his friends who fear he is losing control, it is him. It would be easy to stay there and let his animal instincts take over. No need to think, or to feel – just act. Logan tells him that he feels. He feels himself slippin’ away bit by bit till all that’s left is maybe what he really is – a killing machine. Kurt tells Logan that is not true. Logan asks that he ain’t got the stomach for it; and then tells him to deal with it, he is.

Kurt begins to ask him if this is what he calls deal… but stops and asks Logan what he is doing. Giving chase to the retreating demons, Logan says to him didn’t his mama teach him to finish what he starts? When the demons make their way back to Kierrok and again inform him of what happened, he is shocked that they have failed. They tell him he is unstoppable but after he proves them wrong, they will find new definitions for pain.

Just then, Logan and Kurt hear what they believe to be a freight train from hell. In actuality, it is Kierrok whom Kurt immediately recognizes. Logan states that he remembers this geek; he ripped him pretty good back then, now it’s up to him to rip him better. Kurt puts his arms around Logan and attempts to tell him that this fight wins them nothing. They must find the portal and make sure it’s sealed. Pushing Kurt away, Logan says to him that he hears him but first things first and leaps towards Kierrok.

Immediately, Kierrok grabs Logan’s arm and begins to slash away at him. While he does, he tells Logan that when last they met the advantage of place was his. He was out of his environment but there, in his realm, where the living corridors replenish him, he is invincible. After he slashes away at Logan repeatedly, leaving him a bloody mess, Kierrok turns his attention to Kurt and tells him to join his friend in the darkling plain of death. Kurt tells him nein and being to teleport out of Kierrok’s reach. Kierrok says to him that his tricks will not save him there. He is master of life and death in this world as he will soon be in his. Leaping up and jamming his claws into Kierrok’s chest, Logan asks master of life and death, huh. Well, he sure ain’t doin’ such a hot job o’ makin’ him dead.

Kurt then calls out to Logan that they cannot allow him to pass through to earth. Going after Kierrok again, Logan says to him that he doesn’t think he knows that, he thinks he’s letting the ugly jerk get past him? Kierrok tells Logan that he is a sturdy creature but asks how well he can stand being lacerated, mangled and eviscerated and slashes Logan across the chest again. As Logan falls to the ground clutching his chest, Kurt says to him that even he cannot take much more punishment and says to him to stand back and allow him to… Logan cuts him off and says that he can’t do it. Kierrok has a scent o’ his blood an’ he has a taste o’ his. He then tells Kurt to leave him there. Kurt tells him no but Logan says to him to listen to him. He can hold ‘im off, he has to go ahead and find the portal and be ready ta…

Just then, Kierrok comes down with his fist and pounds Logan into the ground. Realizing the situation, Kurt knows that Logan is right. The portal must be sealed but he will not leave Logan in this place, even if it means the end of him. Surprised, Kierrok states that it cannot be, he rises. Emerging from the murky water, Logan tells him that’s right bub and says that he’s goin’ down. Logan knows that he has to finish this chump and follow Kurt. Seein’ the look in his eyes, like he was lookin’ at some animal, he can’t let him down. With that, Logan leaps up and slashes Kierrok across the face.

Clutching his chest in pain, Kierrok tells his demon minions to go forth into the world of men and wreck havoc and prepare the way for the great transmigration of their kind. Leave those two to Kierrok. Kurt then calls out to Logan that they’re going to attack the institute. Logan replies then they gotta head ‘em off at the pass and the duo leap out of the Cairn. As they do, Logan remarks to Kurt that it’s just like the old days. He sets ‘em up and he does the ol’ slice an’ dice. Within moments, two of the demons have been killed.

Inside the institute where several tense minutes have passed since Nightcrawler’s disappearance, Psylocke informs Xavier that there’s still nothing out there. Xavier says he knows, he doesn’t sense anything either. Bishop mentions that nothing is registering on the electronic alarm system. Boomer then asks where Kurt went off to while Beast asks about Logan. Just then, the intruder alarm sounds. When it does, Xavier announces that he’s detecting a psionic presence, one that he’s sensed before, a vial race that poses a threat to their very world – the N’Garai. They’ve somehow brought back the Cairn, the doorway between their dimensions. If they don’t stop them, close the Cairn once and for all, they are the only line of defense – the N’Garai must be stopped.

While the X-Men rush off, Boomer mentions that it’s not enough the whole world hates them, not they’ve got a bunch of interdimensional demons to deal with. Beast informs her they’re a universe-class evil and they’re not discriminating between humans and mutants.

Around the Cairn, Logan takes out the last of the demons. Turning towards Kurt, he tells him that he’s goin’ back through; he’s got business to finish with Kierrok. Kurt tells him that he will not allow him to do this, to give in to his bloodlust. Kurt adds that if he goes back through the Cairn, he will be forsaking their friendship and for what – to kill every demon in that dimension? Appearing in the Cairn, Kierrok tells them that’s true and he won’t allow it. That is why he had his minions lure them through the Cairn back to Earth. He has inflicted severe damage to his horde and defended his pathetic world for the moment. But make no mistake, this plane will be his. After all, their existence is fleeting while he has an eternity. Be warned. With that, Kierrok disappears, taking the Cairn with it. When it does, a giant explosion occurs which knocks Logan and Kurt backwards.

A little later, Psylocke and the X-Men find Nightcrawler coming to consciousness. When they ask him what happened there, Kurt tells them that Logan can tell them the whole story, he was… Beast replies that he’s nowhere to be found. Bishop then asks what happened to the demons. Kurt informs him that they’re gone, at least for now. He then tells the X-Men that they should have seen him. His best friend was like a savage. Nothing he said had any effect on him. He was worse than when he first joined the X-Men, almost more animal than man. He asks what they can do to help him, what if he doesn’t change back.

Wandering through the woods with a crazed look on his face, Logan thinks to himself that Kurt was right. He did want to go back an’ if it wasn’t for him, he would have. Those people back there, specifically Kurt, mean everythin’ ta him. Been ta the wall and back fer them and them fer him. But he doesn’t know how much longer he can fight this regression. It’s only a mater o’ time before that howlin’ redness in the back o’ his head – the killin’ rage – takes over. An’ he ain’t scared of it no more.

(2nd Story)
On an uncommonly quiet night at the Xavier Institute, inside all is calm but outside something wild prowls the grounds. Drawn by the shrieking metal impact and the scent of blood, it stalks a dying soldier. The stench of rotting flesh fills the predator’s nostrils. The soldier is not dying from the wounds received in his aircraft crash, but from disease. Coming upon the soldier, Logan recognizes him as Maverick. Reaching out towards Logan, Maverick tells him that he’s next.

In a secret location on the Canadian-American border, a maskless and shackled Wade Wilson, known otherwise to the world as Deadpool, calls out in pain as he is being stuck with a large needle emanating from a large machine. The scientists overseeing the procedure inform him that he suffers for a great cause. His constantly-regenerating metabolism may be the key to preventing untold suffering among all humanity. Wilson calls them a bunch o’ third-rate Jonas Salks and that they’d think even they would figure if there was anything in this bag o’ bones that’d cure the Legacy Virus, he would have marketed it to the hilt. The scientist replies very amusing but his kind owes a debt to humans for the plague they’ve brought upon them. As they again stick him with a needle, they tell him to think on that, mercenary, and ask himself “who will mourn me?”

Inside the Institute, Beast mentions to Maverick that it’s been 42 hours and that it’s about time he came around. He was beginning to doubt his own prognosis. He has healed remarkably, though the Legacy Virus has eroded his healing factor he received during the Weapon X program. He’s afraid Wolverine is not fairing well either. Without the adamantium, he’s mutating, almost feral now. On the bright side, there’s mocha ice cream in the freezer.

Covering his face with his hands, Maverick exclaims that he needs his faceplate. Beast tells him that he can assure him that he’s quite familiar with the terrible ravages of the Legacy Virus and that he has nothing to hide there, he’s among friends. Standing up, Maverick asks Beast where he can find Logan. Beast tells him that he spends all his time outside these days prowling the grounds. He then warns him that he’s in no condition to… Maverick cuts him off and continues to walk out the door, thanking Beast for everything.

As Maverick stands outside overlooking a lake, breeze and birdsong mask the undercurrent of chaos which threatens the X-Men’s very existence. Maverick has known Wolverine a long time. Since before the X-Men were a twinkle in Charles Xavier’s eye. And he knows the best way to find Wolverine is to let Wolverine find him. Coming upon him, Logan says to Maverick that the last time he saw him; he was lookin’ for someone to punch his ticket. His answer’s still no.

Maverick asks him that he thinks he nearly died getting there just so he could finish him off? Logan replies that he guesses not and states that he better tell him why he is there. He’s runnin’ short on patience these days. Maverick can tell Logan’s keeping his distance. He has to wonder if he’s afraid of his own, savage self, or of catching the Legacy Virus. He should know better. Logan’s a friend. But knowing you’re going to die, that does strange things to a man’s psyche.

Maverick proceeds to tell Logan that he cam there to warn him. He was at his Manhattan safehouse when they came for him. Even at his best, there may have been too many of them. It was time to go but their field leader got him good and tore through his armor with the claws on his extending arm before the doors to the speed lift shut on his arm. He hit the roof for dustoff. When they first hit him, one of them said he was the perfect guinea pig. A mutant with a healing factor taken from Logan’s DNA template, then infected with the Legacy Virus. They already have Deadpool. It follows that he, Logan, is next on the list. He doesn’t know where they’ve got the mouthy little merc, but wherever he is, he’s willing to bet he’s in pain.

On the Canadian-American border, Doctor Westergaard leads a number of individuals through her facility. One of the men, Mr. Tucci, asks her if she has actually found the cure. Westergaard replies that they believe they are close, very close. And whoever actually has the cure has power. Tucci states salvation to the highest bidder, eh. Westergaard informs him that they are information brokers. Compassion is bad for business. They are in the process of acquiring several test subjects, the study of which will help them achieve their goal. They have already begun testing subject “A.”

Behind the armored door, Slayback is playing tic-tac-toe on Wade’s chest. As he wins again, he mentions to Wilson that he’s a poor, unlucky sod. He’s went and lost again. Wilson tells him, Terraterton, to c’mon old pal, he’s just getting warmed up. What say they play best three outta five? When Westergaard enters with her guests, Wilson tells Slayback to check it out, it’s the cast of “ER.”

Seeing what is happening, Westergaard asks Slayback what is going on there. When Slayback tells her that it’s just a friendly little game, Westergaard tells him to get out. She then orders Doctor Chadwick to begin the marrow withdrawal immediately. Wilson replies yeah, by all means do some more “tests.” If there’s on thing he knows, it’s pain, he’s been livin’ with it a long time. He then tells them to remember that he gives just as good as he gets.

In the woods around the Xavier Institute, Logan tells Maverick that Wilson’s a psycho, a stone killer. They don’t owe him a thing. Maverick replies maybe, but they aren’t about to give up and they’re next. Logan says let ‘em come, let ‘em do their worst. Maverick asks so what if they do produce a cure. They’ll hold the world hostage, pick and choose who they sell it to. He adds that he’s already dying. If Wade Wilson is the cure for what’s killing him, doesn’t he think it’d be easy for him to just let them have it? After what they went through in the past, they can’t just sit there and do nothing while somebody else, anybody else, is put through the same kind of torture.

He then tells Logan that he doesn’t know what in blazes has happened to him and that he can prowl out there in the woods all he wants but he thinks he’s still a man. He leaves Deadpool to rot and he’s proving maybe he is an animal. Logan says that they don’t even know where Deadpool’s being kept. Maverick tells him so they call in some markers.

Looking up at Maverick, Logan thinks to himself that part o’ him doesn’t give a damn and the freedom of not carin’ is temptin’. But Maverick is right about his humanity. That’s good to know. Lady he once knew told him a friend is someone who knew your own personal song and is there to sing it for you when you forget it. Now his friend is dyin’, slowin’ down with the virus. That could be dangerous but he needs this mission. He needs to know he can still do it, can still live. Worst part is he can smell the death on him. He misses him already and he ain’t even gone. Maverick then tells him that it’s time to move soldier.

Forty-eight hours later on the Canadian border, Logan and Maverick are suited up and prepared for battle. Logan recalls that Maverick an’ him were part of a team once, a good one. Trained to know by instinct what the others would do next. Some lessons you just can’t learn. Maverick’s illness slows them up some but they compensate automatically, no talkin’. Maverick has enough connections in the right places so findin’ the place wasn’t a problem.

Meanwhile, the deeper into the base they get without settin’ off any alarms, the better. They are able to take out the first bunch of guards with stealth but when they blow the door offa the lab, it brings a platoon a’ high-priced cannon fodder. That’s just fine with Logan. Entering the lab, Maverick tells Deadpool that vacation’s over and asks if he’s ready to get back to work. Wilson tells them that he’s touched they remembered his birthday. Now if they’ll just get him down, he’s got some candles he’d like to blow out.

While Logan frees Wilson from his shackles, he tells him not to start gettin’ smart on them. He doesn’t want him to regret comin’ in there after him. Now free, Wilson says that he wouldn’t dream of it and calls Logan amigo. After Logan tells him that he ain’t his amigo, Wilson takes out one of the guards with his shackles and remarks that someone got up on the wrong side o’ the crib today. He then pardons himself while he slips into something more comfortable and pulls out his mask. Maverick tells him that he’s got his back. He adds that the morons they’re fighting haven’t even figured out who they’re fighting yet. Otherwise, they’d realize his body absorbs kinetic energy. In his mind, he knows that he’s talking a good game but with the virus in his system, there’s only so much energy he can absorb. A few more shots and he might not make it out of there.

At that moment, Westergaard appears and tells the three men that it’s the end of the line and that they’ve made her job considerably easier. They will be free to leave once certain tests have been run. She’ll try to make them as painless as possible. Wilson replies “yeah right” and leaps towards the oncoming guards. As he does, he mentions that he feels like Butch and Sundance when they’re in Bolivia at the end of the movie. To this, Maverick points out that Butch and Sundance die at the end of the movie. Wilson asks Maverick if he’s slowing down in his old age. Maverick replies that he’s dying actually but not today. Slashing Wilson across the back, Slayback exclaims that’s where they’re wrong. Today’s a beautiful day to die. Logan replies that maybe so but they ain’t gonna be the ones doin’ the dyin’. With that, Logan engages Slayback in battle.

Seeing what is happening, Westergaard calls out for the computer security override and engages essential salvage and self-destruct. When the computer asks for the password, Westergaard says “humanity.” The self-destruct is then engaged and the alarm begins to sound. Maverick tells Wilson to get up, Logan needs them. Wilson replies that he doesn’t know, he seems to be doing pretty well on his own. Hearing the alarm, Slayback states that they wouldn’t…

Logan tells him to never mind the music, just keep dancin’. Grabbing Logan around the neck, Slayback tells him to come a little close then. He’s got to go now before the whole place blows up but he thinks he’ll take his head for his trophy case. Shooting Slayback in the back, Maverick tells him that he doesn’t think so. Logan then tells him that it’s time to get out of there before they get fried. In a weakened state, Maverick can barely move. Wilson proceeds to tell him that he really is out of shape. Maverick says that the Legacy Virus will do that to a man.

Wilson says so he wasn’t kidding about that dying stuff? Maverick replies that not everything’s a joke to which Wilson apologizes. Hearing the structure beginning to crumble around them, Logan looks at the window near them and says that they’re not going to make it unless… Wilson says no way and to tell him that he’s not thinkin’ of doin’ a Great Lougainis down the falls. Logan asks him what’s the matter, is he all talk. Wilson asks if he’s sayin’ he doesn’t have the guts papa Smurf. As they leap out the window and tumble down the falls, Logan tells mouth that when they hit bottom, he’ll open him up and then they’ll see how much guts he has.

Logan recalls that it’s a long drop to the lake. Maverick’s ability to absorb the kinetic energy o’ the impact saves his life. Even then, he had to stop him from drownin’. Once he and Maverick get on the shore, G.W. Bridge orders them to freeze. Logan mentions to him that he and his S.H.I.E.L.D. boys are a little late to the party, ain’t he. With Westergaard in custody, Bridge tells Wolverine that cleaning up his mess isn’t his idea of a party. They just cost him weeks of work. They’ve got no evidence, no Slayback, and no Deadpool. He then tells his agents to fan out and promises them a week’s furlough to the agents who bring him that pair of ugly maniacs.

Maverick quietly says to Logan that they’ll never find Wilson and asks what now. What if Deadpool was the key to a cure? Logan says that as much as he can’t stand the sight o’ the little mercenary twerp, he ain’t a monster. He’ll do the right thing. An’ if he don’t, he’ll hut him down himself.

Three days later, the Beast received a refrigerated package of blood and cell samples from a W. Wilson, no return address. After looking at them, Beast tells Maverick that there’s no cure there and apologizes. Logan follows Maverick outside and tells him that this ain’t the end. With Hank and the Muir Island crew on the job, they’re bound to have a cure soon. Maverick tells him that it may come too late for him, but he’s not going to give up hope. He doesn’t know if he can be a soldier anymore, but he knows he can still hold his own. Whatever time he has, he’s going to spend hunting down answers. Finding a cure if there’s one out there, no matter what it takes.

Listening to him speak, Logan thinks to himself that Maverick’s a good friend and that he’s proud to know him. He prays they’ll find a cure for him, for all o’ them. Seems this mission gave them both somethin’. He guesses that loyalty and friendship are pretty primal fundamental parts o’ bein’ human. Could be havin’ friends around, people who’d lay it on the line for his, is the only thing keepin’ him from becomin’ completely savage. He hates to think what he’d do without ‘em.

Characters Involved: 

(1st Story)
Beast, Bishop, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Wolverine
Professor X
Boom Boom

Kierrok, the Shatterer of Souls (leader of the N’Garai)
Various N’Garai demons

(In Flashbacks)
Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

(2nd story)
Wolverine/Logan, Beast (all X-Men)


Dr. Westergaard, Doctor Chadwick, and various unnamed guards at a facility investigating a cure for the Legacy Virus
Mr. Tucci and other various unnamed individuals interested in what Dr. Westergaard and her people are working on

G.W. Bridge and various other unnamed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

Story Notes: 

The N’Garai first appeared in X-Men (1st series) #96. Storm destroyed their Cairn with a lightning bolt in that same issue.

In Uncanny X-Men #143, the X-Men broke apart the Cairn again after a N’Garai demon came through it one Christmas Eve and attacked Kitty Pryde.

Wolverine lost his adamantium in X-Men (2nd series) #25 after it was ripped out of him by Magneto. It was discovered in Wolverine (2nd series) #75 that we first learned he possessed bone claws.

Wolverine popped his claws into Sabretooth’s head back in Wolverine (2nd series) #90, right before the Age of Apocalypse. Sabretooth has been in the mansion ever since reality was restored.

At the time of this publication, Kurt Wagner was a prominent member of the super-hero team Excalibur.

Logan discovered that Maverick was diagnosed with the Legacy Virus back in Wolverine (2nd series) #87.

Jonas Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) was an American medical researcher and virologist. He was best known for his discovery and development of the first safe and effective polio vaccine.

Slayback’s first appearance was in Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1.

ER was a television show that followed the lives and patients of a number of doctors at fictional County General hospital located in Chicago Illinois. It ran from 1994 to 2009.

Greg Lougainis was an American Olympic diver who won gold medals at the Olympic games in both Los Angeles, California in 1984 and in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.

This issue also contains bonus X-Men pin-ups of: Omega Red by Olivier LeDroit; Bloodscream by John Van Fleet; and Logan, Victor Creed, and Maverick by Terese Nielsen.

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