Wolverine: First Class #19

Issue Date: 
November 2009
Story Title: 
Discreet Invasion Part 1

Peter David (writer), Dennis Calero (artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer/production), Skottie Young (cover), Jordan D. White (editor), Nathan Cosby (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Kitty Pryde wakes up and finds herself captive in a Skrull ship traveling through outer space. On the same ship, a Super-Skrull tortures Wolverine. Kitty escapes from her chambers and receives aid in battling the Skrulls from Captain Marvel. Together, they team up to rescue Wolverine.

Full Summary: 

The alarm clock reads 6:59. A minute later, the digital numbers roll over to 7:00, activating the device’s purpose: to wake its master. Six beeps later, a tired hand reaches over and moves through the machine like a ghost in search of the button that silences the noise. The ghostly hand finds its target.

With her signal to wake, Kitty Pryde sits up in bed, stretches her arms and yawns. After scratching her neck, she trudges into the bathroom, where she continues her morning routine with a shower. She reaches through the curtain to grab her towel upon finishing.

Her next task: brushing her hair. She manages to flatten her curls and make her hair nice and straight. Upon finishing, she heads to her window and lifts her blinds in order to let in the light of day. Kitty is so immersed in her drowsiness, however, that she fails to notice the expected sunlight doesn’t shine in the window at all. In fact, the scenery outside the window—clusters of unfamiliar stars amid the blackness of space—resembles something one might see on an intergalactic voyage.

A moment later, this realization dawns on Kitty and she darts back to the window to confirm what she thinks she saw. She confirms it—and it’s not good. She is in outer space. “Professor!” she screams from aboard the unfamiliar spacecraft.

Kitty moves away from the window and puts her back to the wall in order to regain her composure. She tells herself to calm down; there’s no use screaming for the Professor. After all, he’s a telepath; he can read her thoughts. And besides, she adds, in space, no one can hear you scream.

Deciding to analyze the situation methodically, Kitty grabs herself a glass of water as she runs through the possible scenarios in her head. The first possibility: is she really even in outer space? Could this be some sort of hallucination or holograph? To test this possibility, she phases the bottom half of the water glass through the wall of the house—which might be more appropriately called the hull of the ship. As soon as the bottom half of the glass emerges in the exterior, the water freezes solid. Kitty stomach sinks as she looks at the frozen glass; as far as she can tell, this means she’s doomed.

Get a grip, Pryde, she tells herself as she tosses the glass. You’ve been kidnapped by aliens. Deal with it. Ask yourself: what would Wolverine do?

Elsewhere, Wolverine screams. Torrents of electricity pour through his body, which is restrained to what appears to be a torture device. Despite the immense pain coursing through his nerves, he tells his tormentors that it’s going to take more than that—way more.

His captor acquiesces and presses a button, stopping the contraption. Wolverine’s head slumps toward his chest. The alien tormentor asks if he’s had enough; Wolverine, barely able to speak, claims to be just getting warmed up. “Warmed up, you say?” his captor—a Skrull—asks. He makes a fist and engulfs it with flames. “Would this be warm enough for you?”

Wolverine eyes his captor menacingly. He begins to threaten nasty things to the Skrull once he escapes—but the Skrull interrupts. ‘When’ he gets out of there? That’s an unreasonably optimistic assessment of his future. At least he has a future, Wolverine rebuffs; that’s more than he can say for the Skrull. Again, the Skrull tells him that is very self-confident talk, especially for one who is bonded to a wall—bonded with adamantium, to boot. He hopes Wolverine appreciates the irony. Logan tells him he’ll prefer the irony of putting the Super Skrull down for the count—or watching as one of his teammates does the job for him.

The Skrull sneers. Wolverine’s teammates, the X-Men, are already five parsecs away, back on planet Earth—and the distance between them is growing exponentially. Besides, the X-Men are unaware that Logan has been spirited away; certainly they will search the Earth before they even begin thinking of looking elsewhere. However, if it makes him feel any better, Wolverine is not entirely alone on this voyage. Turning his attention toward the video monitor, he indicates the holding cell of Katherine Pryde, who desperately searches for a way out of her room.

While Kitty pulls on her doorknob, the Skrull narrates to Logan. They arranged for him to have some company, he continues. After all, humans are social creatures. So, they selected a female of his species while transporting him from his domicile: a specimen young and inexperienced enough so as to not pose a threat.

On the screen, Kitty tries phasing her hand through the door. It responds by sending a surge of electricity through her body, knocking her to the floor. Meanwhile, the Skrull elaborates on the situation to Wolverine. Creating a hard-light replica of Kitty’s domicile to make her feel at home was no great challenge, he says. The Skrulls then surrounded it with a molecular-variance field that shifts whenever she tries to use her intriguing phase power. He deems it a useful ability—one that will serve the Skrull empire in ways he cannot imagine, once they find a way to duplicate it.

“You ain’t gonna be able to hold her any more’n you can hold me,” Wolverine says. “So, whatever this is all about…”

“’This?’” the Super Skrull asks.

“Yeah. ‘This’. You want to fill me in?” Wolverine asks. The Skrull sneers. Does Wolverine really mean to trick him into laying out for his benefit, step-by-step, the entire long-range plans of his people—all for the benefit of him having valuable information while the Skrull benefits only by hearing himself talk? He laughs; he doesn’t think that’s going to happen. He instructs Wolverine to be content with the knowledge that they will experiment upon him thoroughly, and that those experiments will likewise benefit the Skrull people. And, when they’re done with him, he says, gesturing toward the monitor displaying Kitty’s room, they will start on…

He pauses; Kitty doesn’t appear to be in the room. Where is she? Where did she go? Enraged, he turns back to the captive Wolverine and asks where she went. “I got her stashed in my socks,” Logan responds. When the Skrull presses the matter, Wolverine says he heard him but doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do about it. They’ve got him captive, after all!

The Super Skrull sounds the alarm. As his troops rush to cell block A-5, he orders them to spread out and find the Earth girl. Logan, meanwhile, lets out a sly grin. “Go get ‘em, kid,” he mutters.

The Skrulls storm into Kitty’s makeshift bedroom. The squad leader orders his associate, Kr’lt, to remain in the corridor to keep watch. Unluckily for the Skrulls, they find no signs of Kitty in the bedroom. They begin to scour it. As one of the Skrulls leans down to search under the bed, another posits that Kitty must have discovered a way to phase through the wall. Suddenly, Kitty pops her head out of the bed. “Actually, not yet,” she says in response to the Skrull’s supposition.

They frantically scream for their colleague to close the door, but Kitty is too quick for them; she phases through the Skrulls standing in her way and leaps into the hallway just as the massive door slams shut. Before she has a chance to get on her feet, however, the Skrull standing watch in the hallway aims his gun at her and orders her to surrender; she’s not going anywhere, he says. Maybe not, Kitty retorts—but he is. She grabs him by the shirt and thrusts him into the electrified wall. The resulting shock renders him unconscious. Kitty figured the same thing that zapped her every time she tried to escape her prison was still active—and if it could hurt her, it could hurt the Skrulls too. She figured right.

She begins the next step of her escape. As it happens, however, her attempt to flee brings her into the middle of a long corridor surrounded on both ends by two squads of Skrulls. They tell her to freeze and set their guns to stun mode. Kitty remains motionless; she has to time this just right. Just as the Skrulls, she phases and the stun rays pass right through her—and into the Skrull forces on either side. Piece o’cake, she chuckles.

Kitty sets out to find out where she is, how she got there and, most importantly, how to get home. It doesn’t take her long to run into a familiar face in the expansive corridors of the Skrull ship. “Well, well… fancy runnin’ into you here,” the familiar, rugged voice of Wolverine says. Kitty gasps in relief at the site of him. She asks if the rest of the team is nearby as well, but he regrettably informs her that it’s just the two of them—and that, for a little while, he worried it might just be her left. He still feels kind of woozy, he says.

While taking his arm over her shoulder for support, Kitty asks who these guys are; she’s been studying up on mutants, not aliens. Wolverine informs her they’re called Skrulls—and that he got smacked around pretty good by one of their Super-Skrulls, who has all the powers of the Fantastic Four. Kitty seems surprised that Wolverine got away from him in one piece, at which point he reminds her he’s fought the Fantastic Four. Does she really believe some two-bit imitator could best him? He just needs another minute before his healing factor gets up to speed.

They continue down the darkened hallway, with Kitty helping Logan every step of the way. She asks if he’s sure he’s going to be all right. “Me? Yeah,” he says. “You, on the other hand—you’re going to be far from all right.” Kitty moans and collapses to the floor. As ‘Wolverine’ stands over her unconscious body, he remarks that her educational priorities were backward; otherwise she would have known about the star-spanning race known as the Skrulls and their ability to change shape. ‘Wolverine’ shifts back into his true form of a purple-suited, green-faced Skrull. In his right hand, he holds the glowing neural inhibitor he used to knock out Kitty Pryde.

“Back away from her,” a voice says from behind. The Skrull furrows his brow in surprise.

“Khn’nr?” he asks. “You startled me. I swear, that impersonation of yours gets better everyday. Soon you’ll fool yourself.” Again, the voice demands he back away from the girl. The Skrull, growing annoyed, no longer finds this amusing. The voice, however, states that he still finds it amusing.

The Skrull turns around in time to realize the identity of the person in the hallway is in fact genuine. However, it’s too late for him. Just as the realization dawns on him, a blast of energy hits the Skrull and knocks him unconscious. Comforting to know that no matter how much the Skrulls chance their appearance, their overconfidence and stupidity remain consistent, the shadowy attacker says.

Elsewhere, Wolverine—still strapped to the torture table—refuses to comply with his captors. The Super-Skrull torturing him asks what he’s doing; trying to twist his hands around? What purpose will that serve? He’ll see, Logan tells him. In defiance, the Super-Skrull raises his rocky fist and thrusts it toward Logan’s chest. He groans. The Super-Skrull, meanwhile, declares he’s going to enjoy getting some measure of vengeance for the aggravation Logan’s race has caused his kind.

Wolverine lifts his head and glares at his captor. He’s got his powers backward, he tells him; he may have the Thing’s looks, but he punches like the Invisible Girl.

Angered, the Skrull scowls. He tells Wolverine that he believes he thinks he’s still going to survive this encounter—still going to escape. “To do so would be a feat that would truly make me marvel,” the Super-Skrull says.

“Actually,” a third voice in the room says, “…it would make him marvel.” Both the Super-Skrull and Wolverine turn their heads and see the new arrivals: Kitty Pryde, standing arms-crossed next to Captain Marvel.

“That’s Captain Marvel to you,” Captain Marvel says, his wrist-bands glowing with the energy he intends to unleash on his alien nemesis.

Characters Involved: 

Sprite, Wolverine (both X-Men)
Captain Marvel I

Super-Skrull (Kl’rt)


Various Skrulls

Story Notes: 

This issue’s title is a play on the Marvel’s 2008 Skrull-centric crossover “Secret Invasion”, with ‘discreet’ being a synonym for ‘secret’.

“In space, no one can hear you scream” is the iconic tagline from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic horror film Alien.

The Super-Skrull, originally known as Kl’rt, was handpicked by the Skrull Emperor to be endowed with the powers of the Fantastic Four, as shown in FANTASTIC FOUR (1st series) #18. He later came into conflict with Captain Marvel in CAPTAIN MARVEL (1st series) #2-3 and #25-33.

Captain Marvel, originally named Mar-Vell, is a Kree soldier originally sent to Earth to spy on its inhabitants who slowly became its protector.

Issue Information: 
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