Wolverine: Evilution

Issue Date: 
September 1994
Story Title: 

Ann Nocenti (writer), Mark Texeira (layouts), John Royle (penciler), Philip Moy & Andrew Pepoy (inkers), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Monica Bennet (colorist), Suzanne Gaffney (editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Strange dreams lead Wolverine to the small town Prescott which has been polluted thanks to the nuclear power plant recently closed down. Boom-Boom is also in town, as she visits there sometimes. In the town, some youths have started a cult called the Devos, bent on destroying technology and returning the world to a more primitive state. They summon an ancient demon and perform sadistic rituals using animals and technology. Wolverine finds Boom-Boom, who is investigating the cult, and tells her to leave. Wolverine also meets a local man who helps him with his dreams, which are related to the work of the Devos. Boom-Boom doesn’t leave, and becomes a prisoner of the Devos. Wolverine tracks the Devos down at the power plant, where they plan to sacrifice Boom-Boom. Wolverine, aided by the local man, battles the demon that the cult have summoned, and rescues Boom-Boom. They destroy the demon, who swears that he will return. The town seemingly returns to normal, and Wolverine and Boom-Boom leave.

Full Summary: 

Plastic chokes the roots.

Metal rusts the grass.

Styrofoam strangles dirt.

Glass suffocates breath.

Man’s techno-tourniquets twists off his own blood.

The artificial chokes the real.

The counterfeit kills the genuine.

Plastic chokes the roots.

Metal rusts the grass.

We’re going the wrong way.

A slim blond man tears another man’s head off. Blood spurts all over him as he holds the head in the air. Suddenly, the door to his room opens ‘Jimmy - what? EEK!’ a young girl screams. Jimmy holds the bloodied head out and tells the girl that he met a man in the woods with the face of God. ‘Wanna meet him?’ he asks. ‘No!’ the girl screams. Jimmy holds the head up to his face and declares that this is for boys only. ‘Only boys can see the face of God!’ he tells Suzy, who starts to cry and warns him that she is going to tell their mommy. Jimmy holds the head up and points to a label that says “Made in Japan”, and tells Suzy not to cry, that the head is fake, with stage blood, and he was just having fun. ‘Uh…uh…it was all a game?’ Suzy asks. ‘Yeah! All a game!’ Jimmy assures her.

Elsewhere, a waking dream. Body asleep, mind awake. Wolverine is asleep, but he awakens inside his dream. In his dream, he appears as a giant, the moon shining down upon him, twin mountains are on the ground in front of him - but as he gets a better look at his surroundings, he sees the mountains are actually twin towers - a nuclear power plan, and below that, a town that lives under the twin shadows of the twin towers. Wolverine knows the town - it isn’t far from Salem Center. He wonders why he is so big, so transparent, like an old Indian spirit god. He feels a weight under his neck, and sees that he is wearing a talisman, before suddenly noticing a rocket - a warhead - soaring towards him and he knows he has to stop it.

Wolverine must stand his ground, otherwise he is going to fail - but as he starts to action, he knows he is going to fail, and the warhead strikes him, causing him to explode. He is charred black and blasted back to a fetal curl, but he is still heavy with the metal amulet. He is dragged down by the weight of the charm, his body dies, but the metal survives. The flesh is gone - only metal remains.

‘Ugh!’ Wolverine calls out as he wakes, and he remembers his thoughts from the dream - the man dies, his metal survives. Wolverine a.k.a. Logan wonders what it means, and why he is sweating like a Saturday night special. Wolverine feels that something horrible is about to happen, something to do with a battle. ‘Ritual versus science?’ he wonders, but he knows that the thing about dreams is that the meaning could be profound. ‘Or, maybe I simply went to sleep worrying I left the toaster oven on last night’ Wolverine tells himself. But he doesn’t believe in all that psychic garbage about visionary dreams, before deciding that it won’t hurt to visit the town with the twin towers.

Meanwhile, at some faraway garbage dump at the edge of a rural shantytown. Two boys are walking along the dirty street, and they see a rocking horse in the trash, which has started to spill onto the street. ‘Boy! The neat stuff some people throw away!’ the second boy calls out. ‘One guy’s cast off is another guy’s -’ he begins, before the first boy picks up a canister, and calls out to his friend, announcing that it is a high-tech tube, and that it says “Dental something-or-other…X-ray something…”. The second boy picks up the rocking horse and tells his friend to crack the tube open. He does, and a green ooze spills from it. ‘Magic paint!’ one of the boys calls out, as they begin to wipe on each other’s faces. ‘Fairy dust!’ one of the boys calls out, while the second declares that it is war pain. ‘Wow, your face sparkles!’ he tells his friend. Both of their faces are covered in the ooze. ‘It’s beautiful!’ one of the boys smiles. ‘It’s ours!’ the other grins.

Wolverine remembers the words from his dream - man dies, metal survives. He is not a man to take cues from his dreams. But this one made sense - he feels it is in his adamantium-bonded bones. He may follow his instincts like a natural man, but he can’t deny his high-tech skeleton. Sometimes, he even tastes the metal in his mouth.

In the shadows of the twin towers is Prescott, a seven-mall, three-church, ten-saloon kinda town - complete with bored, restless, frustrated teenagers, including one such Tabitha “Boom-Boom” Smith. Wearing pink shades and an outrageous pink mini-dress, Tabitha is in an arcade where teenagers are playing games, dancing and drinking sodas. ‘So, how long are you in town for this time, Boom-Boom?’ a red-haired girl asks. ‘I wish she’d shut up so I can hear what those boys are saying’ Tabby thinks to herself, looking at Jimmy who is standing with some others. ‘But, Jimmy, technology gives us good stuff, too…’ one young man points out. ‘Yeah, like, uh…beer and uh…motorcycles’ a girl remarks. Holding up a strange ornament, Jimmy replies that it doesn’t matter. ‘That’s why we’re the Devos our gang is for Devolution!’ he exclaims. He announces that they have to drag the human race back to before cars and computers and iron lungs and missiles. ‘We’re hurting from the lack of ritual, and dance, and tribal consciousness’.

En route, Wolverine recalls letting Professor X know that he is taking some “comp time” to check out Prescott, the town in his dreams, and how the Professor checked his files on the area and revealed that X-Force’s Boom-Boom has been known to hang out in Prescott. Wolverine tells himself that if there is trouble in Prescott, he hopes Boom-Boom is steering clear.

Back in the arcade, Jimmy exclaims that they want to face, that want something real and primal, that they reject circuits and wires and plastic and silicon. ‘We want mud and pain and fire! We want…we want…’ his voice trails off as he turns around and sees Boom-Boom standing beside a table. ‘Hiya, Jimmy. Sorry to interrupt the little chant you’ve got going on’ Tabby calls out, before telling Jimmy that she likes his statue and asks whether she can have it. ‘NO!’ Jimmy shouts. Tabby tells him that is too bad, and she reaches behind herself, dropping a tiny plasma bomb into a soda as she points out that as Jimmy should know, objects weigh the spirit down. ‘So if you really wanna be a tribe - he has to learn to share. Tabby strokes Jimmy’s face, before turning around and calling back ‘Toodalluu!’. Jimmy picks up his soda and starts to slurp it up - when it suddenly explodes on him, the drink pouring over his face. ‘How’d she do that?’ he wonders.

‘Man dies, metal survives. Just a stinkin lousy dream. But Boom-Boom - she’s no dream. She’s tough, jealous, and competitive. And up to something’ Wolverine decides.

Little Silvio remembers Orville and Wilbur Wright taking to the air in the first airplane. And his young, flexible mind said: man can fly! Fifty years later when coal miner Silvio bought his first TV, he enjoyed it, but he didn’t understand the strange moving-picture box. Twenty years later, old man Silvio turned on the TV and it told him man had landed on the moon. He said “this dang box lies too much” and shut it off. Never believed another word the TV said. Sometimes, the things man invents seem so magical, so wondrous, you just want to believe. Like, what if there was a magic glowing box, that when we sat in its glow, it erased all the cares and worries from our poor little faces…wouldn’t that be wonderful? And, inside a small shack in Prescott, several men are gathered, laughing at what they watch on the television. There is a glow, and then, one of them collapses.

Wolverine arrives. ‘Humph. Looks like a normal, peaceful, American town like any other’ he thinks to himself. ‘In other words, something’s bound to start stinking!’ Wolverine adds, unsheathing the claws from his left hand, he looks at the nuclear power plant, and remembers hearing something about the nuclear plant being a threat to close down - some “environmentalist action”. Suddenly, he spins around and shoves his claws into the side of a tree, where and elderly Naïve American man is sitting. ‘Do, why didn’t you just kill me?’ the old man asks. Wolverine replies that he doesn’t kill so easily, adding that he respects any man who can sneak up on him, adding that he might be someone he can talk to. The old man informs Wolverine that he has been expecting him. ‘My vision said you would come, and that when you did - it will have begun’. Wolverine just frowns.

Elsewhere, in a forest, ‘I’m different’ Jimmy remarks as he stands with a shovel. ‘Of course you are’ a voice resonates. ‘Are you in my head?’ Jimmy asks. ‘No’ the voice replies, while Jimmy adds that he needs something. ‘Of course you do. Now dig’ the voice beckons. ‘Where?’ Jimmy asks. ‘Right -’ the voice begins, while Jimmy strikes the ground and shouts ‘- here!’ as he starts to shovel the dirt up. Sweat forms on his face as he digs furiously. When, suddenly, a spirit rises from the ground. ‘WOW!’ Jimmy gasps. ‘The face of God!’ he whispers. ‘The face of -’ he begins, while the spirit looms down upon him and orders him to get a woman. ‘For you?’ Jimmy asks. ‘For us’ the spirit tells him. ‘Went to far. We need to begin again. Get us a woman. A woman. A woman’ the spirit tells Jimmy, who continues to dig - and suddenly, his shovel strikes a coffin.

Meanwhile, in Germany, at the Historical Museum and Archive, a man is showing some of his companions throughout the museum, while a boy is reading from a book: “…believed to be the tip of a metal spear that pierced the side of Christ…and so called the Spear of Destiny…it was stolen by Charlemagne and then by Hitler…each man who possessed it believed he rode the crest of fate itself”.

At that moment, Wolverine wonders once again why in his dream he ended up with nothing but his adamantium skeleton. ‘Will I ever forget the pain of being pierced by so much metal?’ he asks himself.

In Germany, the boy continues to read the book. ‘The spear was then…blah, blah, that’s all I need to know’ he decides. The men being shoed around the museum are all wearing green clothing, as someone speaks to them: ‘And so, honoured brothers, we gather here among our relics…we stand with the ancient treasures that represent centuries of Masonic tradition…’, while the boy spies the case with the Spear of Destiny inside it, and rushes over. ‘Cool! No alarm tape, no electronic sensors…stupid museum. Ain’t they ever heard of glass cutters?’ the boy thinks to himself as he pulls out a small glass cutter, and thinks that Jimmy is going to be so proud of him.

Back in Prescott, Wolverine listens as the old man tells him that the new ordinance has passed and the power plant has been shut down. He adds that the new government regulation states they need more uninhabited land to surround a nuclear facility, so Gycon bought out ever local farmer, except for him. He explains that his farm is vast and key to Gycon’s plans, but that it has been in his family for a hundred years, ever since the government land allotment, an uneasy attempt to compensate for Native American slaughters over a century ago. He adds that he knew there would be trouble in the 1990’s, the anniversary years.

The old man continues, informing Wolverine that power is building in unlikely places, that there is a new presence in the forest, something very old and very angry is awakening. He shows Wolverine a photograph of an ornament and reveals that it is a sacred object and that it has been stolen from their local museum. ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s all very cryptic but where do I fit in?’ Wolverine remarks. The old man replies ‘You had a vision, and so did I - of a stranger coming to help’. The old man introduces himself as Red Walter Fall, and reveals that as an infant, in his first bath, it is said the river ran red. ‘It is said I hold back a red tide. I cannot break, I cannot lose my ground’ Red Water Fall reveals.

Wolverine replies that it has nothing to do with him, and points out that he just had a weird dream. Red Water Fall tells Wolverine that “dream” is a white word. ‘What you call dreams are to us reality. Valid, true vision, the only true voice’ he adds, before remarking that Wolverine, of all men - he-who-lives-by-metalled-claws, should be open to paradox. ‘Sometimes one must change - or die’ Red Water Fall points out. Wolverine smiles.

Elsewhere in Prescott, ‘Well, lookie here!’ boom-Boom exclaims as she blows some bubblegum while reading a newspaper. She tears part of a page off, which shows a picture of a stolen ornament. ‘Jimmy stole that cute little statue!’ Tabby realizes.

In Germany, the boy has carved a hole in the glass box, and reaches in to grab the spear. ‘It’s mine! Ooo, it’s hot!’ he thinks to himself, supposing that it must be the light hitting through the glass. He puts the spear in his pocket and decides that it feels good in there, before rushing over to where the men are gathered, he realizes that his father’s meeting is over. ‘Did you listen?’ his father asks him. ‘Yes, father’ the boy replies. ‘Did you learn?’ his father enquires. ‘Yes, father’ the boy smiles.

Back in Prescott, Tears fall from Jimmy’s eyes as he reads the “Daily Bugle” which reports on the deaths of two boys who were playing with the radioactive waste, illegally dumped fro ma plant that supplies both dental x-ray machine and space programs. ‘They lie so easily. They knew it would kill. The man in the woods is right. It’s time to act’ Jimmy decides. And, as he goes back to digging around the coffin in the woods, he thinks to himself ‘Metal lives and man dies. It’s time’.

At that moment, Wolverine unsheathes his claws.

Elsewhere in Prescott, a man in a suit stands on a stage, addressing several people who have gathered to listen to him. He states that as the president of Gycon, he is telling them that the loss of Gycon’s nuclear plan affects them all. ‘If the corporation loses capital, the town loses capital’ he explains, adding that Gycon’s profits would trickle back into this town during recession - but the only thing in their way is one stubborn old man. He continues, announcing that they must think of the future of their great town, the memories of their sons and their offspring. ‘We must hold on to our resources and our wealth…and to do that we need this nuclear plant operation. We need Gycon’s plant to open again!’ he declares.

The president of Gycon continues, telling people that the old man does not understand - just as his people did not understand a hundred years ago. ‘It is not as it was then - when two cultures clash, one must relinquish. There is a natural progression, an inevitability to change. People must adapt to our ways - or perish’ he states, while the people listen, some smoking cigarettes inside the room.

At the same time, Wolverine wonders if Red Water Fall is right. ‘Must I change? Haven’t I changed enough already? First something makes me a mutant - gives me a healing factor and a pair of claws I never asked for. Then - they ran me full of adamantium - turning me into somebody’s lab rat’ he recalls, deciding that he thinks he is about as “changed” as he is going to get.

At Prescott High School, Jimmy and his classmates are in science class, and are dissecting frogs. ‘Sit still and make the incision!’ the teacher orders, motioning to a chart on the wall, she tells them that by now, they should be examining the digestive organs. ‘Eeek! Forget it, I’m not gonna do it!’ a girl exclaims, standing up. The teacher tells her that in order to understand life, one must look at it closely. Jimmy smiles as he cuts into his frog, and pulls something out of it. The teacher declares that dissection is the way to knowledge, and that it is a healthy process. ‘children, are you listening to -’ she begins to ask, before noticing they have turned their attention to Jimmy.

‘Excellent, Jimmy’ the teacher calls out, before telling the class to take notice, as she explains that Jimmy has dissected the heart with such precision that it is still beating. ‘You see the heart can exist outside the body, but not for long. Even now the beating slows…the beating slows’ she remarks, before informing her class that their homework for the weekend is to contemplate the dissection process and to study the chapter on the blood system. She adds that on Monday, they will learn which organ parts the body can survive with out.

Friday night, in the woods, where a pentagram has been carved into the ground, candles are scattered about, the coffin stands upright, the corpse wrapped in bandages inside it, and chickens hang from trees, ropes tied around their necks. ‘We’re the Devo’s!’ one of the teenagers exclaims as they dance about. ‘We’re the chumps!’ another declares. ‘We can’t wake up no corpse. Yeah, and he stinks. We’re devolving right?’ he adds. Suddenly, Jimmy snaps at his friends, telling them to shut up so he can read from his book. One of the Devo’s tells Jimmy that they have been here for hours reading from books, dancing and chanting, sacrificing animals, only nothing has happened. Suddenly, one of the boys points to the coffin and shouts ‘Look! He’s gone!’

Later that night, Boom-Boom walks through Jimmy’s house, and tells herself that sneaking in was a whip. She realizes nobody is here, and supposes it must be Jimmy’s family night out. She is pleased, and can check out what else the little thief has stashed away.

Outside, Wolverine is peering into the house from the bushes. ‘Brilliant, Boom-Boom. What are we training you young mutants for - nothing?’ Wolverine wonders, telling himself that he thought Boom-Boom had some smarts, but she is just waltzing into a trap.

Inside, Boom-Boom hears a floorboard creak behind her, and decides that someone must be home. ‘Time for a “light” bomb’ she tells herself as she creates a small plasma burst, and throws it behind herself - where is strikes against Wolverine, knocking him backwards. Wolverine gathers himself and grabs Boom-Boom by her neck and asks her what she is doing here. Boom-Boom’s shades fall off as she tells Wolverine that the kid who lives here, she saw him with a statute today, the one that was stolen. She explains to Wolverine that it was in the newspaper today and asks him to let her up. ‘Only if you go home, now. You stumbled in on something here…something big, bad and ugly is brewing in this town…you’re in over your head, little girl!’ Wolverine replies. Boom-Boom tells Wolverine that she isn’t little and not some kid. ‘Yes you are. Now go home’ Wolverine orders. ‘NO! I got my own business here!’ Boom-Boom shouts. Wolverine frowns at her and declares ‘That’s it, Boom-Boom. Maybe you used to’.

An instant later, Wolverine is pulling Boom-Boom behind him through the darkened forest, ‘Where are you taking me?’ Boom-Boom calls out. ‘Shut up’ Wolverine tells her, but they soon arrive at the location of the pentagram. ‘Okay, open your eyes wide! This is just a taste of what I’m finding out here in these woods’ Wolverine explains, as Boom-Boom stares in horror at a cat, a rabbit, a fox and a chicken, who are strung up, with telephone cords, still attached to the phone, wrapped around their bodies and necks. Blood drops from the motionless animals. ‘Oh, boy…’ Tabby utters, before Wolverine asks her if she will get out of here and go back to X-Force. He assures her that he will call in if he needs any help. ‘Got it?’ Wolverine asks as Tabby makes her way back out of the forest. ‘Yeah - okay…I’m gone…I’m history’ she calls back, a look of horror still on her face.

But, soon, ‘Yeah, right’ Tabby thinks to herself as she is back inside Jimmy’s house. ‘Sure, Wolverine, yes boss, right away master’ she thinks, knowing that what she didn’t tell Wolverine is that she heard someone in the attic of Jimmy’s house. And, as she enters the darkened attic, ‘Hello, Boom-Boom’ Jimmy calls out. ‘Oh!’ Tabby gasps. ‘Scared ya?’ Jimmy asks. ‘Nope’ Boom-Boom assures him, before announcing that she wants to know about the stolen statue and she wants to know what he is up to in the woods. Jimmy reveals that it is a boys’ club - for boys only, before asking her if she wants to join. ‘Uh…okay’ Boom-Boom replies.

High above, an airplane arcs over the twin nuclear towers. Inside the airplane, the boy from Germany clutches the spear and remarks that Jimmy says they need old relics with lots of power so they can reverse time. ‘All the staff that plaque said - about how having this Destiny Spear is like riding the wave of the future - we’re gonna change fate!’ he declares. His father calls him Steven and tells him to quit squirming. ‘Yes, father’ the boy replies.

Minutes later, Wolverine is once again confronted by Red Water Fall, who tells him ‘You must try to hear me. These are the traditional Indian ways, but they could be yours. The true world lies behind this one, and can be accessed in the Dreamrealm’ he remarks, adding that Wolverine is a noble warrior, that he too could live in dreams. But now it is I, Red Fall, that will ride the sands’ he announces, telling Wolverine that he will find his vision and look for clues. He adds that he must trust Wolverine to protect his body while it appears to sleep. Red Water Fall then lies down on the ground, and Wolverine stands over him, ‘I can’t believe I’m standing here guarding some guy’s nap-time. What next?’ Logan thinks to himself.

Inside Gycon’s abandoned nuclear plant, Jimmy stands before the rest of the Devo’s. He has attached spikes to his hand - like claws. Boom-Boom stands behind him, and the Devo’s all hold on to animals. Jimmy announces that, through ritual, they will drag the race of man back, back to before technology ruined the planet. ‘Back before asbestos and radon and silicon and uranium and plastic’ he declares, telling his companions that if they has the faith, he has the scalpels. He holds them out, between his knuckles, like claws and announces that this girl, who wishes she were a boy, she becomes one of them - a Devo.

Another set of claws are bared in the woods - this time in defense, as Wolverine finds himself surrounded by a dozen men, who break glass weapons bottles and hold up weapons. ‘Heh heh. Just when I was getting bored’ Wolverine thinks to himself as he stands over Red Water Fall’s body.

Back at the nuclear plant, ‘You want to be one of the boys?’ Jimmy asks, leaning into Boom-Boom and taking her by the wrists. ‘Yeah…sure. What do I gotta do?’ Boom-Boom asks. Jimmy tells her that she has to pass their test, that first she needs to stand and watch as they recreate the ritual that bought them their power. He smiles and remarks that precise incisions are to be made. ‘Look at it close enough and you’ll understand it. You dig?’ he asks her. Suddenly, the spirit from the woods appears, grinning, he tells Jimmy that his thirst for his dark knowledge has brought him back. ‘Begin the test. If she is strong enough, she can become one of us. If not, we will find knowledge through dissection - of her!’ the spirit declares .’The deadman!’ Jimmy gasps. ‘Not anymore!’ one of the other Devo’s points out.

While Red Fall’s body sleeps, his mind sees. He sees past the symbols of dreams and into meaning. He sees Boom-Boom strapped to a cross atop one of the nuclear towers.

Wolverine sees what must be done. He didn’t ask for trouble. But he will not let the old man be harmed, and he lashes out at his attackers, destroying their weapons with his powerful claws.

Two battles are taking place - one for a man…and one for mankind. ‘Of my God! NOOO!’ Boom-Boom screams as Jimmy grins wickedly then uses his scalpel-claws to gut a squawking chicken that flaps about as it is held up by one of the Devos.

Wolverine continues to defend himself while protecting the body of Red Water Falls.

A horrified Boom-Boom tells herself that there is a dozen of the Devos and only one of her - but with the mood she is in, decides that the odds are pretty bad for the Devos. ‘I can’t let them kill these animals’ she thinks to herself, before releasing a plasma blast, which startles some of the Devos and causes them to let go of the animals they were holding. A bird flies away and a rabbit bounds across the ground. Jimmy leers at Boom-Boom and exclaims ‘So she rebels! She is weak, weak, and forever a girl!’ He tells Boom-Boom that he knows now why she was sent to him, as she makes fireworks, and tosses them out of her hands. ‘How do you do that? You are an animal, but you have explosives running through your blood. You must be a techno-animals, sent to us to look at’ he decides.

Red Water Fall sees what could happen. Still in sleep, he dreams about what must not happen. What might happen if Wolverine fails. He knows all things are possible. And only one thing is right. Something suddenly rips him out of his dream, and he sits p, seeing Wolverine crouched nearby. Examining his surroundings, Red Water Fall remarks to Wolverine ‘You had trouble while I slept’. ‘Nah’ Wolverine replies casually. ‘Did you -’ Red Water Fall begins to ask, but Wolverine interrupts him, assuring him that he didn’t kill anybody. ‘But their scars will mark them for all the town to see’ Wolverine adds, before suggesting they wait and see where they lead them.

‘What a night. Things are getting weirder by the minute’ Jimmy thinks to himself as he walks to his home, deciding that he has to listen to their new leader. He recalls how they used the animals as hostages and made Boom-Boom surrender and how the new leader said he was supposed to go and meet his father, as the leader said he is the key to everything. He hopes his mom isn’t still awake, but as he opens the door, he finds his mom waiting for him. ‘Jimmy, darling!’ she smiles and asks him if he has time for a midnight snack with her. ‘Uh…sure, Ma’ Jimmy replies, and they sit down at a table, with a plate of cookies. Jimmy’s mother tells him that she has been thinking about his room and explains that she could never sleep there. ‘How about some nice, new curtains?’ she asks. As he crunches the cookies, Jimmy replies ‘Sure Ma’.

As he makes his way through the house, Jimmy sees some bloody feathers stuck to him. Suddenly, his father appears in a doorway and asks ‘Son, what do you know about that?’ ‘About what?’ Jimmy asks. ‘Come on son, who melted the television set?’ his father, the Gycon president, enquires.

Wolverine recalls how Red Water Fall told him to watch out for his own claws. ‘He calls them false claws…and while I use them, he claims it may be them that drag me….

‘I dunno’ Jimmy tells his father, who announces that things have to change around here. He adds that they will soon be opening the Gycon plant again, and that it is time Jimmy learned how to run it. ‘But, I…’ Jimmy begins to protest. ‘How son! I count on you to carry on after I’m gone!’ Jimmy’s father explains, unaware that the back leg of his trousers are torn, and a substance is stained on the back of his leg, some of it spilling onto the floor. A cat comes along and starts lapping up the spillage on the floor, as Jimmy’s father tells him to think that someday it wil be his nuclear plant. ‘Thanks, Dad’ Jimmy replies.

At the plant, Boom-Boom is tied to a large cross-section of a pole. ‘Geez Louise!’ she thinks to herself, wondering how she fell into such a trap. ‘What a chump. Boy, do I ever have to get free…before Wolverine finds out how stupid I’ve been’ Tabby decides, knowing that otherwise he will never let her live it down.

More men with technological parts. Red Falls speaks of technology dragging man down. Wolverine wonders where that puts him, a man who is inseparable from his metal.

With ropes wrapped tightly around her, Boom-Boom struggles to free herself. ‘They would have to be good at tying knots’ she thinks to herself, deciding that she hates boy scouts, and that she better throw her weight around. She starts casting some plasma time-bombs out into the plant, they strike various tubes and pillars, as she hopes that she hits something - and from one of them steam pours out, as the spirit manifests himself. ‘You must learn to relax and accept the honor of your sacrifice’ the spirit tells Boom-Boom, who wonders where he came. The spirit then vanishes, despite Boom-Boom telling him to come back here. ‘You’re no god to me! Come back and fight like a man!’ she tells him.

‘Man’s metal will outlive him. Unless we take control’ Wolverine thinks to himself as he releases his claws.

The next morning in Prescott, Wolverine is wearing some civilian clothing and stands beside a phone booth. He can’t figure out Red Fall’s dream. He remembers seeing the nuclear warhead rocketing towards this town, and recalls that Red Water Fall spoke of a primitive spear, and now, fathers from the town are trying to kill him. But their scents don’t match the ones he smelled at the wacky ritual scene in the woods. Logan also wonders where Boom-Boom has disappeared to. Inside the phone booth, a man starts to use the phone and notices Wolverine standing nearby, he wonders what he is looking at, when suddenly, the phone begins to melt. Wolverine sees the melting phone, and catches a scent. He sees a man walking nearby, and sees a scar on the man’s face, covered by a band-aid. ‘That’s the third scar I’ve seen. All three scared and paranoid - so they ain’t a problem right now. But what? And what’s my next move?’ Wolverine asks himself.

At Jimmy’s house, he is in the yard, as the boy from Germany, Steven, gives him the spear. ‘Where’d you get it?’ Jimmy enquires. Steven explains that he got it in Germany and that he was there with his dad at one of his dumb meetings. Steven adds that this one was held in a museum, inside a case, so it copped it. ‘Cool, ain’t it?’ Steven remarks, adding that the sign said that anybody who owns this spear can alter fate, and that it used to be Hitler’s. Steven and Jimmy start to run off, before Jimmy’s dad calls out to him. ‘Get back here!’ he calls out as he stands at his car, the hood open, the motor looking like it has seen better days. ‘First the TV and now my engine’s melted! I’ll get to the bottom of this!’ he remarks.

‘Later, Dad!’ Jimmy calls back, but his father warns him to get back here otherwise he will call the police on his own son. ‘I said now!’ he shouts. Jimmy turns back to his father, but Steven tells him not stop. ‘I gotta’ Jimmy replies. Jimmy’s father announces that he has had enough of Jimmy’s shenanigans, and noticing his son is wearing make-up on his face, and jewellery, declares that no son of his is going to act like a girl. ‘What, I should wear a suit like you?’ Jimmy retorts. ‘Don’t you dare talk back to your father!’ the older man exclaims, pointing at his son, and ordering him to get in the house. ‘NO!’ Jimmy screams, before his father asks him if he doesn’t understand that he must groom himself to take his place. ‘A son’s fate is in the footsteps of his father!’ Jimmy’s father remarks. ‘NEVER!’ Jimmy shouts, exclaiming that he would rather blow up the nuclear plant than work in it. ‘I make my own fate!’ he adds. Jimmy’s father tells his son that he doesn’t like the tone of his voice.

‘Someday you’ll see your father’s wisdom stands for progress’ Jimmy’s father explains. ‘Progress? Like the Indians were slaughtered a hundred years ago for standing in the way of progress - are you willing to slaughter your own son? We are the Devos - noble savages, we want devolution!’ Jimmy announces, adding that they are the last stand against a civilization that is bent on destroying the world. ‘You insolent disrespectful brat!’ Jimmy’s father shouts, smacking his son in the hard in the face. ‘I AM YOUR FATHER!’ the older man shouts. Jimmy retaliates, moving towards his father, he replies ‘No you’re not!’ and punches his father, boasting that he has found a new father. ‘How dare you? That’s enough out of your. Now you march straight -’ the older man begins, but Jimmy escapes him and starts to run away. ‘Jimmy! Come back here!’ he calls out.

Wolverine unsheathes his claws and tells himself that all is quiet in the town, and recalls that both his dream and Red Fall’s took place at the power plant, so he decides that it is time to go there and see what is what.

And, at that night, some of the Devos return to the power plant. ‘Hello sweety. Still hanging around?’ one of them calls out to Boom-Boom, who shouts back ‘You stinking Neanderthals better let me go!’ and announces that she set of explosives. ‘Can’t you dorks hear that hissing? This place is gonna blow! Troglodytes!’ Tabby calls out. Suddenly, Jimmy appears, and holds the spear up to his friends. ‘It’s glowing! Just like that green gunk those kids found in the dump!’ Jimmy exclaims.

And, in the natural world, a flock of birds rises and heads south, months too early. A few towns away, electricity shoots out of a socket…looking for appliances to power…call it unholy, call it unnatural…it is impossible to name but somehow things are just wrong. Toasters cook themselves, machinery melts, birds forget how to fly - why? In France, a farmer crosses a kiwi with a strawberry, creating a strange new fruit. And he is pleased. And it is eaten. And he begins splicing all manner of fruits and vegetables together…cross-breeding, mating, gene-splicing…

Back at Gycon, ‘Don’t touch me!’ Boom-Boom shouts as the Devos close in on her. Jimmy tells her to shut up and announces that this spear is the one that pierced Christ’s side. He adds that if they re-enact that event, they will be sacrificing the techno-woman. Jimmy explains that Boom-Boom represents how dependent and entwined man has become with machine, and states that with this ritual they will bring the race back to before the technological revolution, before all its poisons and death. The coffin with a man’s body inside it is propped up, and Jimmy remarks that the spear will steer the fate of man in any direction they want it to. ‘Don’t you see? We are now gods!’ he exclaims. Jimmy continues, explaining that all history is contained in each man, and with one simple sacrifice of this girl, they will set history flowing backwards. ‘We the Devo’s have our name and out tasks!’ he adds. Suddenly, the corpse moves, and speaks: You use new words for the old ways. But it is all the same’.

Elsewhere, a woman warpaints her face and wonders why. A dog breaks free of a leash that held him his whole life. A telephone switchboard melts and crosses so many lines that all voices are silenced. Somewhere in the Midwest a man claims to have created fusion in a jar. In Africa, a polio vaccine made from monkey cells saves many lives. Years later, those same people become sick and a new killing plague sweeps the world, something before only found in monkeys. This week a man announces a new invention - a scent releasing tin that makes insects drop their eggs. He believes it will wipe out the cockroach population. What else will the new smell sterilize?

Outside the nuclear plant, Wolverine and Red Water Fall stand in the forest, and Wolverine announces that he sees someone going into the plant. He then realizes that it is not the town fathers, but their sons. ‘Then it is time’ Red Water Fall states. Indeed, more Devos enter the nuclear plan, ‘Yo, we’re late for the ritual!’ one of them points out. ‘So go on in!’ another tells him. There is a piercing scream, and Wolverine realizes that it is Boom-Boom. ‘If they’ve hurt her -’ he snarls, unsheathing his claws, but Red Water Fall grabs Wolverine by his hand and tells him no, that there is another way, not the claws. Wolverine frowns at Red Water Fall, who tells Wolverine that the boys seem evil, but their instincts may be true. ‘Huh?’ Wolverine asks.

‘I know, as an Indian, I had to except change. Perhaps the death of the Indians’ dominance was as inevitable as it was tragic’ Red Water Fall tells Wolverine, who asks him how he can say that. Red Water Fall explains that it was a culture clash, and the stronger culture won. He explains that it became fated that the white man create his technology, even if it poisons his own planet. ‘So we were better off with the Indian ways - is that what you’re implying?’ Wolverine asks. Red Water Fall replies that they don’t know, that it is all a progression, and a test. ‘Perhaps man is a failed experiment, but he must be given his opportunity to fulfil his fate’. He adds that you can’t stop destiny, even though his people were slaughtered, it is still wrong to assign guilt to a whole race. ‘That ain’t my way. I gotta blame somebody’ Wolverine tells Red Water Fall, who suggests Wolverine go into the nuclear power plant and stop their ritual, but that he should decide who is a victim or who is a villain. ‘Shed no innocent blood, Wolverine’ he asks. Wolverine then replies ’I only go after who goes after me’.

Jimmy climbs a ladder to reach Boom-Boom and holds the spear towards her. ’Watch where you point that, you slug!’ Boom-Boom tells him. Jimmy smiles and tells Tabby that he is sorry. ’My spear’s got a mind of its own’ he claims. As the glowing spear edges closer to Tabby’s face, the scared young woman asks if they couldn’t talk this over. Suddenly, Wolverine bursts through a wall,: ’Boom-Boom!’ he calls out, while warning Jimmy ’Touch her and you die, boy!’ Wolverine punches two of the Devos aside and realizes that they are too strong - that it is not natural. He pulls his punches, but the kids are getting stronger every minute. Logan kicks Jimmy, knocking the spear from his hand, and decides that is if they have been possessed, and that there is no way they could have got this strong without some “help”.

Shortly, ‘Satisfied, Red Fall? No blood’ Wolverine calls out, before he asks Boom-Boom if she is okay. Red Fall climbs down the ladder after cutting the ropes that tied Boom-Boom to the columns. ‘I’m fine, now that you’re here, partner’ Boom-Boom calls out, adding that she is glad that it is over. ‘NOT YET!’ a voice calls out. Wolverine turns to see the spirit, who has taken a physical form, naked and huge, rushing towards him. ‘Cripes! Uh, listen pals - this guy stinks like death and is twice as big. So if you’re squeamish - close your eyes’ Wolverine calls out to Boom-Boom and Red Water Fall, before telling the approaching behemoth that he feels that he is bringing something evil to this town, and that he isn’t about to roll out the welcome wagon for him. ‘No need to. I was always here - waiting - in the hearts of men that were far too curious for their own good’ comes the reply.

‘You misunderstand, clawed one. I am the saviour. I have come to put things as they should be. As they were…before men desecrated my world’ the spirit announces, adding that if those corrupted by their technology resist him, then they will be the first to be sacrificed. ‘Here’s a bulleting, big guy - if there’s any sacrificing to be done…you’ll be the one stepping up to your makeshift altar!’ Wolverine replies as he smacks the larger being in the face. But he smacks, back, drawing blood at Wolverine’s mouth. He then grabs Wolverine and starts to crush him. ‘Can’t kill the dead, wild man!’ the spirit points out, but Wolverine manages to kick backwards, striking the spirit in his face. ‘Then I guess I’ll die trying!’ Wolverine exclaims.

Wolverine then releases his claws, and the spirit grins, ‘Heh heh. Kiss me again’ he laughs, while Red Water Fall tells Boom-Boom that she must get the spear to Wolverine. Noticing that Wolverine’s claws do nothing to the spirit, Boom-Boom points this out to Red Water Fall and asks what good one old spear will do. The spirit lunges at Wolverine, but Logan dodges him, causing the spirit to fall into a wall. ‘Just do as I say!’ Red Water Fall tells Boom-Boom, who holds the spear out to Wolverine and tells him to take it. Suddenly, the spirit grabs Boom-Boom and asks her if she still wants into the boys’ club. The spear falls out of Boom-Boom’s hands, and Wolverine sees Tabby in trouble.

Tabby starts throwing around some plasma-bombs, which startled the spirit and forces him to loosen his grip. Tabby leaps for safety, ‘NOW!’ she calls out, while thinking to herself that even though her power didn’t stop him, at least it shook him up enough to release her. ‘You can’t escape me!’ the spirit calls out. ‘I can keep hitting him but I can’t kill him!’ Wolverine points out, and asks Red Water Fall if he has any bright ideas. Red Water Fall tells Wolverine that his claws are no good here, that he must use the power of the spear. ‘What do I do?’ Wolverine enquires. Red Water Fall tells him that he must pierce his side. ‘Right’ Wolverine confirms, before telling the elderly man to get out of here.

‘Death always wins, fool it. It is only a matter of time’ the spirit declares ‘Wolvie - catch!’ Boom-Boom calls out as she hurls the spear towards Wolverine, who catches it with ease - and then shoves it into the spirit’s side. ‘No…no…no…’ the spirit calls out. ‘The sleep…will not be eternal…we will be back…’ he threatens as his form begins to fade, and then vanish. ‘Yeah, right’ Wolverine mutters. ‘Wow! He’s gone!’ Boom-Boom remarks. ‘Too bad is his stink ain’t’ Wolverine tells her. Wolverine, Boom-Boom and Red Water Fall start to leave the nuclear plant, while Jimmy and the other Devos stand and watch. ‘Uh…we’re awful sorry…for…uh…’ Jimmy begins, but Wolverine tells him to save his breath. ‘Ya don’t know what you’re messing with’ he points out, adding that nobody gets anywhere messing with destiny. Wolverine tells the teens to ho home to their mommies and daddies and soda shops and schoolwork and whatever it is they do and leave “fate” alone.

Later, the Gycon Power Plant is shrouded in darkness. A sign which reads “Plant closed. Condemned” is attached to the fence.

Sunday morning, there is a loud DONG DONG sound heard resonating throughout Prescott. Red Water Fall is in his garden, it is time to plant a few herbs. Wolverine and Boom-Boom watch as the townspeople gather at the origin of the loud noise - the church. ‘Look at them all going to church together - like nothing happened’ Wolverine points out. Cigar in hand, he frowns and mutters that sometimes he can’t stand the human race. Boom-Boom smiles and suggests ‘Maybe that’s why nature created mutants!’ they both laugh, and walk side by side away from Prescott.

Characters Involved: 



Red Water Fall

Jimmy, Steven and other Devos

Jimmy’s mother, father and sister

Steven’s father



Other townspeople in Prescott

Story Notes: 

This story takes place between X-Force (1st series) #5 and #6, and between X-Men (2nd series) #9 and #10.

Issue Information: 
Written By: