Wolverine: First Class #15

Issue Date: 
July 2009
Story Title: 
Rock Gods

Peter David (writer), Scott Koblish (artist), Ulises Arreola (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer/production), Dennis Calero & SotoColor (cover artists), Ralph Macchio (consulting), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Kitty Pryde, under pressure because of a lie she told her friends from dance class, begs Wolverine to arrange a meeting between her and Thor. After much resistance, Wolverine finally consents to introduce her at Thor’s award ceremony at City Hall. During the ceremony, however, two Rock Trolls attack Thor and steal his hammer, Mjolnir. After Thor gets knocked out of the fight, Wolverine battles Ulik, the larger of the two trolls. Meanwhile, Kitty recovers the stolen hammer from the smaller, assistant troll. The hammer reverts to a cane, which she then gives to a mysterious man in the sewer, allowing him to become Thor once again. Thor returns to Asgard with Ulik. The next day at dance class, Kitty confesses to her friends that she lied about knowing Thor, but to her surprise, Thor arrives and treats Kitty like an old friend.

Full Summary: 

Two shadows, elongated by a single torch, grace the walls of a darkened cave. “I believe it is this way, mighty Ulik,” says the troll, the smaller of the two shadows. Ulik requires more than the troll’s belief; he didn’t let him accompany him just so he could provide guesses. The troll counters that the only reason he accompanies Ulik is because their king, Geirrodur, ordered it. He desires a firsthand account of Ulik’s actions. If that’s the case, then Ulik tells him to prepare the songs that sing of his praises. He throws his fist into the ceiling of the cavern, creating a wide hole. The troll covers his eyes and shouts at Ulik. This isn’t the right place; he’s emerging too soon! Ulik disagrees; if exiting here will get him away from the sound of the troll’s voice, then it cannot be too soon!

Emerging from the hole, Ulik looks around and finds himself in another long tunnel, this one laid with train tracks. It seems the Midgardians possess some building skills, he says with disdain. Down below, the troll asks Ulik if he hears a rumbling noise. Now that he mentions it, Ulik agrees and even thinks he sees something headed in his direction. By the time he gauges the speed of the approaching object, it is too late; the subway train smashes into him. It is hard to tell which of them—Ulik or the train—sustains more damage in the collision.

Sometime later, at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Wolverine tries his best to read the morning paper, the front page of which bears a news story about the mysterious subway collision. However, he has to endure a persistent string of questions from Kitty Pryde. “Please?” she asks.

“No,” Logan answers.




“Okay,” Logan says, keeping his eyes on the paper.

Kitty’s eyes suddenly grow wide with excitement. “Really?” she asks.

“No,” Logan responds. Her excited expression immediately contracts into one of repulsed anger.

This chronic begging continues, first at the sink where Wolverine clears his dishes, then in the bathroom as he brushes his teeth, later in the hanger while he repairs the Blackbird, and finally, in the living room, where Wolverine tries to relax and play a videogame with Nightcrawler. Upon hearing her uninterrupted begging, Nightcrawler asks Wolverine what it is the kid actually wants. Logan, sitting on the floor with his back to the couch and the controller in his hand, tells Kurt now that he thinks about it, he doesn’t actually remember.

Kitty slaps her forehead. Emerging from the wall, she reminds Logan she wants him to arrange for her and her friends to meet Thor. He doesn’t even know the guy, Logan retorts. Kurt asks which Thor they mean—Thor the Thunder God? “No,” Kitty says, “Thor Heyerdahl.” That, Logan could arrange. Thor still owes him for his help in building the Kon-Tiki. Moving on, Kitty suggests that even if Logan hasn’t met the guy, Thor must at least know who he is! After all, he’s Logan! Nightcrawler agrees with her there; Logan is Logan. Wolverine sighs in relief.

Taking a step back, Nightcrawler asks Kitty why she suddenly has an obsession with Thor. Kitty, running her hand through her hair, tells him it isn’t an obsession. She just thinks Thor is hot. Lucky for him, he can whip up a rainstorm and cool down, Wolverine jokes. Kitty asks Logan to be serious, so he does. In all seriousness, he asks her where this obsession came from. Is she trying to impress the girls at the dance studio again? A guilty expression suddenly overtakes Kitty’s face. “No,” she tells Logan.


Kitty’s friends from Stevie Hunter’s Dance Academy cannot believe it; she’s actually tight with Thor? Kitty, leaning against the brick wall and casually examining her finger nails, admits that yeah, they’re kind of tight. They met at some fundraiser and hit it off instantly. She even claims Thor calls her every so often just to say hi. Another of her friends—a redhead in legwarmers—clutches her own face in shock. Thor calls her?!?

“Right. Because they have phones in Asgard,” says Whitney, a standoffish blonde girl with sharp bangs. They might, Kitty claims. Whitney asks if they want to know what she thinks. No, Kitty says, but she’s sure Whitney will tell them—just like the always does. Narrowing her eyes, Whitney says that she thinks Kitty saw the picture of Thor in her bag and decided to make up this story to impress her, and through her, the other girls. The two other girls look stunned; is Whitney suggesting they don’t have minds of their own? “Yes,” Whitney says. They ask if that should upset them. “No,” Whitney says. They’re okay with that. Whitney walks over to them, puts her hands on their shoulders, and leads them away from Kitty Pryde.

As they go, Whitney tells Kitty the next time her pal Thor calls, she should have him swing by and say hello. Only then will they be impressed. “Oh, like I care about impressing you,” Kitty says as they leave.

End flashback…:

“Okay, fine! I wanted to impress them!” Kitty confesses while Logan swims laps in the pool. He can go ahead and sue her! It isn’t her fault that Thor is the rock god of super-guys! Plus, he’s appearing at City Hall in Manhattan the very next day to accept some medal of honor. Logan can introduce her, she suggests.

Upon hearing this, Logan abruptly stops swimming and faces Kitty. He can’t believe it; she’s intimidated by Thor! She claims she isn’t, but when Logan presses the point, Kitty admits she is. Now that she’s confessed, she asks Logan for the favor once again, but once again, he denies her. Finally, Kitty gives up and says she should have just listened to Jean. Jean told her to ask Scott to do it—because Scott’s nice and caring. That’s why Jean loves him so much! If that’s the case, then Wolverine thinks she should just ask him instead. “Maybe I will,” Kitty says.

“Maybe you did,” Wolverine counters.

“Maybe I did!” Kitty says.

“And he already said no,” Wolverine adds.

“Maybe he—” Kitty suddenly pauses. She averts her eyes and rubs the back of her neck. “Yeah, he said no.” She’s never felt like such a dope. She watches Logan float there in the water for almost a minute. Finally, he opens his mouth and emits a lone chuckle. As he swims away, he consents to do her the favor. Kitty is stunned; he’ll actually do it? After Wolverine confirms that he will indeed do it, Kitty says that while she doesn’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, she is curious as to why. She made him laugh, Logan says. She kicks at the water. Although that wasn’t her attention, she tells Logan it’s no problem.

The next day at City Hall, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine stand among the cheerful crowd of Thor fans. A banner adorns the front of the building declaring it “Thor’s Day”. Kitty, while thinking of all the people she’s fought alongside and against, finds it odd that anyone intimidates her at this point. She remembers, though, that just a few months ago, she was just a girl from Deerfield, Illinois who had hardly any friends and no social life because all the guys hated that her exam scores wrecked the grading curve. Where does someone like her get off talking to a god?

At that moment, Thor descends from the heavens, bearing the mighty hammer Mjolnir. Kitty’s train of thought continues. Logan could never understand this feeling. Although she can phase through anything, nothing fazes Logan. She doubts he was ever even a kid. He was probably born forty years old.

Once Thor takes the podium—posing for the cameras in the process—Kitty asks Logan how they’ll get near him. “Easy. I pop my claws and hack a path,” Wolverine says, eyeing the crowd. “Then you phase through the running, screaming people, and I’ll introduce you.” She asks him to be serious. He tells her that something will come up—seriously. When she asks what he means, Logan explains that he’s been doing this superhero thing for much longer than her—longer than anybody, for that matter, except Thor. Still not understanding what he means, Logan elaborates by asking Kitty if she wondered why he ordered her to wear her costume under her clothes. Yeah, she says. “He’s here. I’m here. You’re here. When two or more of us show up somewhere, nine times outta ten, something comes up,” Logan says.

Kitty asks what he means by “us”. Super-guys, he explains, like him and her and Thor. The comparison takes Kitty back a step; she’s not anywhere near the level of Thor! “Why? ‘Cause his hair’s prettier?” Logan asks. Kitty begins to explain, but then stops; what’s wrong with her hair? She examines her curly, brown locks. Wolverine, his attention elsewhere, suddenly tells Kitty to move. She ignores him and asks what makes him such an authority on hair. Is he Vidal Sassoon or something?

While repeating his orders for her to move, Wolverine suddenly lunges at Kitty and pushes her out of the way, just as the Rock Troll Ulik erupts from the concrete immediately beneath them. Enraged, Ulik calls out to Thor. Did he think fleeing Asgard would enable him to hide from Ulik? Did he believe mere dimensional barriers could stand between him and the will of Geirrodur?

Thor, still standing on the stage, hurls his hammer Mjolnir at Ulik. He orders the Rock Troll to be gone; Midgard is not for the likes of him! As the lightning-charged hammer flies at Ulik, the Rock Troll asks if Thor assumed he would come unprepared. He lifts a large shield—behind which he hides—and informs Thor the shield’s magnetic properties were designed to attract the Uru metal of his hammer! Mjolnir collides with the shield, sending surges of electricity across that lateral plane. Thor asks how it matters; Ulik has not the strength to hold Mjolnir! Ulik didn’t intend to wield it; he merely wished to deprive Thor of his weapon so their battle would be even. As he drops the hammer and shield into the hole in the street, he tells Thor that in such a battle, there can be no doubt as to who will stand victorious! Bearing his fists equipped with stone pounders, Ulik lunges at Thor, who lunges back with his fists similarly bared. Thor agrees that there is no doubt as to which of them will emerge victorious from the fight—but he disagrees on Ulik’s choice of victor.

Thor knocks Ulik to the ground and pins his arm to the troll’s throat. With his free hand, he gestures toward the hole and summons his hammer. A simple shield shall not stand between Mjolnir and its master! Down in the hole, Ulik’s diminutive assistant troll clutches the shield with all his might. The attached hammer pulls toward the surface despite the troll’s efforts to contain it. He begs for Ulik to do something!

Ulik clutches a handful of concrete and uses it as added leverage when he punches Thor across the face. With Thor temporarily addled, Ulik grabs onto a nearby lamppost, hoists it out of the ground and strikes Thor across the chest. Did he believe Ulik would be so easily dispatched? If so, he should think again, Ulik says! Once Thor hits the ground, Ulik charges at him with the lamppost extended like a javelin. Hiding amongst the mortals he so adores will not spare Thor from this fight!

“Sorry, bub. We mortals have a saying,” Wolverine says from the crowd. “Ya can’t fight City Hall!” He slices through Ulik’s makeshift javelin, thwarting his attack. Ulik stares at this new contender and tells him whoever he is, he must be insane! Dodging his blow, Wolverine says it usually people have to know him for much longer before they discover that. He gives Ulik kudos for being such a good judge of character. What Ulik doesn’t realize, though, is just how insane Logan is. The answer: pretty darned. He dodges another of Ulik’s blows and prepares to strike back with his adamantium claws.

Down below, in the sewers, Ulik’s assistant troll drags the electrified Mjolnir and shield through the ankle-deep water. Finally, his king will possess the hammer he so covets! Now he need only wait for the king to transport them back to Asgard. Kitty Pryde suddenly appears in the troll’s path and tells him he is not going anywhere. “Ymir’s blood! Who are you?” the troll gasps. They’ve been going around and around on that, Kitty answers. She’s torn between ‘Sprite’ and ‘Shadowcat’. “How about if you are simply torn into pieces?” the troll says, hoisting his axe. He strikes at Kitty, but she dodges the attack.

The Rock Troll backs Kitty up against a large pipe on the wall and hoists his axe once more. A pathetic little human female should not have challenged a Rock Troll, he says. She is nothing! As he begins swinging his axe, Kitty retorts that if he wants nothing, she will give him nothing. Her body shifts to its intangible state as Kitty steps backward through the conduit. Once the axe strikes it, a surge of water bursts forth and blasts the Rock Troll in the chest. The torrent sends the troll through a nearby opening and into a lower level of the sewer.

With her target down, Kitty begins searching for Thor’s hammer. However, she cannot seem to find it, instead seeing a wooden cane floating on the surface of the water. A voice from down the hall urges her to hurry up and grab the cane. Kitty plucks it out of the water. The mysterious man in the sewer thanks the heavens and asks her to please give it to him. As she hands it over, Kitty asks who he is and why he cares about this old stick of wood. “The big deal, my dear, is that true strength has nothing to do with what something looks like. The Rock Troll learned that the hard way,” the man says. He strikes the cane on the ground, unleashing a burst of bright light. He thanks Kitty again as he transforms into Thor, the God of Thunder.

Meanwhile, back on the surface, Ulik prepares to deliver yet another crushing blow to the battered Wolverine. Shaking off the damage he’s endured, Wolverine tells the troll he is just warming up. Just as Ulik claims Wolverine’s bravado will save him not, Thor thrusts upward from the underground and lifts Ulik into the air. “Thou didst show an interest in mine hammer, Ulik!” Thor says as he propels the Rock Troll upward. “Examine mighty Mjolnir, then—closely!”

Thor and Ulik lift toward the sky, vanishing over the horizon in a flash of light. Kitty asks where Thor went. Wolverine asks her where else the gods go, other than up. He asks what happened to her in the sewers. Kitty isn’t sure; she thinks she somehow aided Thor, though. Did she get a chance to tell him about her friends? Kitty says she didn’t, but even if she had, should would have felt rather small compared to the majestic aura surrounding a being like Thor.

Kitty and Wolverine don’t get to see the end of Thor’s battle with the Rock Trolls. They probably took the fight to Asgard or something. However, she’s certain Thor handed Ulik’s head to him—just like Kitty fears Whitney and her friends will do to her when she returns to dance class.

Sure enough, after their next dance class, Whitney approaches Kitty outside and tells her another day has gone by without an appearance from her friend Thor. She cruelly asks if he lost Kitty’s phone number or something. Surprisingly, Kitty owns up and admits she was lying about the whole thing. Is Whitney satisfied?

“Tease them not so, Katherine,” a bold voice says. “In truth, the phone number was lost in a tragic—ah—Frost Giant attack.” The four girls are stunned to behold the charming, handsome Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. He commends Kitty’s good fortune that these friends of hers bask in her presence! Suddenly, Whitney’s personality does a complete reversal, and she leaps over to Kitty and throws her arms around her shoulders. They can’t get enough of Kitty, she says.

Kitty, both surprised at Thor’s arrival and annoyed at Whitney’s sycophancy, asks Thor how he found her if he lost her number. Thor reveals a mutual friend of theirs—who purports to be the best there is at such things—tracked him down. He gestures toward Logan, who stands idly in a nearby alleyway. Changing subject, Thor reminds Kitty it has been some time since their last visit and asks if she has anything on her mind. There is, Kitty says. She asks Thor how long it takes him to get his hair looking so good. “Mine… hair?” Thor asks.

Wolverine, meanwhile, turns toward the dark alleyway, adjusts his collar and walks off alone. He chuckles as he goes; that kid cracks him up.

Characters Involved: 

Sprite, Wolverine (X-Men)

Thor/Donald Blake

Ulik (Rock Troll)

Ulik’s Rock Troll escort

Whitney (Sprite’s rival from dance class)

Other girls from Sprite’s dance class

Story Notes: 

Ulik is a Rock Troll who first appeared in THOR (1st series) #137. Like all Rock Trolls, Ulik serves the Rock Troll King, Geirrodur, and resents Asgardians for forcing his people to live underneath its surface.

Thor Heyerdahl was a 20th century adventurer best known for the infamous Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed a raft made from materials native to Peru and crossed the Pacific Ocean in order to prove an anthropological theory.

Kitty Pryde has been taking dance lessons at Stevie Hunter’s Dance Studio since X-MEN (1st series) #139.

Kitty’s comment about Jean is odd, since the “Jean” Kitty met has been dead since X-MEN (1st series) #137, before Kitty even joined the team. The only possibility is that Kitty asked Jean for advice on how to meet Thor when they first met in X-MEN (1st series) #131 which is rather unlikely.

Vidal Sassoon is a hairdresser-turned-successful businessman.

Kitty didn’t use the codename ‘Shadowcat’ until after the KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE miniseries. It’s possible that series takes place before this issue, but Kitty’s entire look and demeanor shift radically over the course of her adventures in Japan. It’s also possible, and far more likely, that she simply toyed with using the codename ‘Shadowcat’ long before she traveled to Japan.

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