Wolverine: First Class #2

Issue Date: 
June 2008
Story Title: 

Fred van Lente (writer), Andrea de Vito (artist), Laura Villari (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Leonard Kirk & Moose Baumann (cover), Anthony Dial (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Kitty Pryde begs Wolverine to chauffeur her and her friends to the upcoming Dazzler concert, but he refuses. So, she tries to find a way to get on his good side. After breaking into Xavier’s files, she learns that he has birthday coming up. She throws him a surprise party and even invites his girlfriend, Mariko Yashida. After the party, Kitty escorts the two to a fancy Japanese restaurant for a special dinner, but fails to notice that Wolverine seems severely agitated. Kitty leaves, but gets kidnapped by Sabretooth on the way out. Meanwhile, back at the dinner table, Wolverine explains that he usually spends his birthdays in seclusion. Before he has a chance to explain why, Sabretooth attacks. He beats Wolverine into submission in a violent battle that ends in the kitchen. With Wolverine defeated, Sabretooth forces him to choose which of his women he wants to save: Kitty or Mariko. Wolverine chooses Mariko, but then Kitty shows up and tells Wolverine to escape. He does, and then Kitty ignites a gas leak and blows up the restaurant. She meets up with Wolverine outside and promises to keep his rivalry with Sabretooth a secret if he will take her and her friends to the Dazzler concert. He begrudgingly accepts, but regrets it when he finally has to drive Kitty and her screaming teenage friends to the show in a limousine.

Full Summary: 

Kitty Pryde begs Professor X to let her borrow his family limousine. When he asks why, she explains that she and her friends have tickets to the upcoming Dazzler concert at Madison Square Garden, and she wants to arrive at the show in style.

“I need to make the night really special! I just moved here from Chicago and I really have to show those stuck-up brats!” Kitty begs.

“I thought these were supposed to be your friends,” Xavier says, confused.

“You’ve never been a girl before, have you?” Kitty replies. Xavier once again declines to chauffer them, as he will be out of town on that particular date for a conference on secondary mutations. However, he adds that if one of the other X-Men is willing to take her, then she can borrow the limo.

Kitty immediately runs to the kitchen and finds Peter and Storm having a cup of tea together. She asks them, but neither of them is a licensed driver.
She finds Warren next, who is currently working out in the Danger Room. He initially accepts her request, but after learning that Xavier’s limousine has been customized to be driven by a handicapped person, he declines. “I’ve never driven like that before!” he says. “A high net worth individual like myself can’t afford to get into an accident. I’ve got a blinking sign that says ‘please sue me’ over my head!”

Quickly running out of options, Kitty seeks out Nightcrawler. She finds him in the hallway and begins to ask the favor of him. She barely ekes out a word before remembering that she is terrified of him, and probably wouldn’t want her friends to associate her with such a strange-looking man. “Never mind,” she says, and phases through the wall.

She finally finds Logan in the library. He concentrates on composing a letter to his girlfriend Mariko Yashida in traditional Japanese calligraphy. “I know Kaisho style like the back of my hand, but this old-timey Reisho is drivin’ me nuts--”

“Wow, that’s really interesting,” Kitty interrupts. “Say, would you mind--”

“No,” Logan interrupts her back.

“You didn’t even hear what it is yet!” Kitty protests.

“Funny thing, that,” he responds. “I’ve developed a new mutant power that lets me know that anything you could possibly ask me is something I’m not gonna wanna do.” He then guilt trips the young X-Man by telling her that she only comes to him when she needs help with something. “You never want to spend time with just me.”

“Do you want me to spend more time with you?” she asks in response. Logan stares at her for a moment while he formulates an answer.


Frustrated, Kitty goes to her room to brood. A Dazzler poster adorns the wall next to her bed. She declares to herself that she will find a way to go to the Dazzler concert. It’s times like these that I’m glad I stay up all night cracking Professor Xavier’s computer encryptions, she says while booting up her computer. She examines Wolverine’s file, desperately searching for some bit of information she can use as leverage. After a bit of searching, she finds some information she thinks may be useful.

Not long thereafter…

Wolverine descends the front staircase of the mansion. He carries a duffel bag over his shoulder and appears to be dressed for camping. On his way out, he senses something strange in the adjacent room, and goes to investigate, expecting the worst. What he finds when he cracks open the door is worse than anything he possibly imagined.

“Surprise!!” the X-Men shout. Birthday decorations cover the room, and all the X-Men wear party hats while drinking champagne. Wolverine angrily confronts Xavier, accusing him of leaking confidential information related to his therapy. Xavier assures him that he didn’t say a word, and in fact heard that Wolverine himself was the one who told Kitty.

Before the conversation has a chance to progress any further, Mariko Yashida jumps out of the crowd and throws her arms around Wolverine. She explains that after Kitty e-mailed her the surprise party plans, she rearranged her business trip plans so she could attend. He assures her that he is happy to see her, but still feels conflicted.

“You,” he snarls at the smiling Kitty.

“Now you can’t say I never do anything for you, huh?” she responds. Logan begins to retort, but she shoves a bite of cake into his mouth and tells him that the best is yet to come.

Kitty escorts Logan and Mariko via taxi to a fancy, Japan-themed restaurant called Tribeca. Logan, dressed in a stylish suit, gives Mariko a hand out of the cab. They stare in amazement at the restaurant, but it’s unclear whether or not they are impressed or horrified at its tackiness. As Kitty leads them inside, she explains that it’s a four-star restaurant staffed by people dressed as ninjas. “And…if you remembered this…say, when the Dazzler concert rolls around…I wouldn’t complain,” Kitty whispers in Wolverine’s ear as the ninja-waiter summons him to his table. He scowls as he is led away with his date.

It’s true what my P.S.A.T. scores say: I’m a genius, Kitty tells herself. As she turns to leave the happy couple alone on their date, she trips over someone’s foot and falls flat on her side. As she picks herself up, a grizzly hand with reaches down and offers her help getting up. A rugged, blonde man with wild sideburns helps her off the ground. “Say, was that my old buddy Logan I just saw you with?” the man asks. Kitty seems perplexed that this man also knows her fellow X-Man. He responds that he probably knows Logan better than he knows himself. He smiles, revealing his enlarged canine teeth.

Meanwhile, the ninja-waiter escorts Logan and Mariko to a private table in a secluded, Japanese-themed room. Once they are left alone, Mariko comments that Logan seems agitated. She asks if he is unhappy to see her. Logan assures her that he is always happy to see her. He tells her that something else is definitely bothering him, however. “It’s just…the kid doesn’t know what she’s gotten us into, here. I’m gonna have to shove off before it gets too much later,” he explains. He begins to explain that he usually sneaks off to an isolated location for his birthday, a secret he shamefully keeps from his friends.

Before Logan has a chance to fully explain, their waiter appears out of a cloud of smoke. She begins to take their order. Suddenly, Mariko gets a business call on her brick-sized mobile phone, and has to leave the table to answer it. She tells Logan that she expects to hear about his troubles when she gets back.

As she leaves the room, Logan catches a whiff of a familiar smell. He rips open one of the paper walls, revealing his nemesis Sabretooth casually drinking a cup of tea. “Look,” Wolverine begins. “I know this isn’t how we usually do this. This year there were…complications. But I’ll be with you in a minute. You leave her out of this.”

Sabretooth asks to whom Wolverine refers, and then dismisses his request. “You don’t get to make the rules of you and me,” Sabretooth says while finishing his cup of tea. “Least not ‘til you finally beat me. Which you never have. And never will. Know why?”

Wolverine angrily holds out his claws. Sabretooth continues. “You ever try to make a photocopy of a photocopy? Each time you do, the machine just makes it come out blurrier and blurrier and blurrier. Why, you’re so muddy I hardly know where I end, and you begin.” This comment sufficiently angers Wolverine and he lashes out.

Sabretooth tells him to calm down, and then once again asks which girl he wants left out of the conflict. Wolverine realizes both Kitty and Mariko are in danger, and leaves to rescue them. However, Sabretooth grabs him before he can escape and stuffs two fingers of wasabi up his nose. Then, he hurls him through the wall and disappears.

Wolverine chases after him but, due to the wasabi he has up his nose, cannot track his scent. He begins searching the massive restaurant for Sabretooth. He mostly encounters mannequins dressed like ninjas that are poised to appear threatening. During the whole ordeal he can hear Sabretooth mocking him.

“You got two ladies here tonight. I’ll just take one away with me after I continue my string o’ uninterrupted undefeateds,” Sabretooth taunts. Finally, Wolverine sees Sabretooth’s familiar silhouette behind a curtain. “Say…how about I let you pick which one I take with me?” the silhouette says.

Wolverine lunges at the shadow, only to find that it is only a mannequin dressed in Sabretooth’s clothes. He can hear Sabretooth’s raucous laughter coming from the jacket pocket. Reaching in, he only finds Mariko’s mobile phone. Suddenly, Sabretooth bursts through the floorboards and grabs Wolverine by the shoulders.

Elsewhere, Kitty Pryde wakes up from a bout of unconsciousness. She examines her surroundings and realizes she has been stuffed in a laundry bag and hung in a closet. Well, this is embarrassing, she tells herself. I don’t even remember getting knocked out. She phases out of the bag and exits the coatroom, only to witness a panicked crowd of people running for the door. She stops one of the waiters and asks what is going on. The waiter replies that a couple of “psycho rednecks” are trashing the kitchen!

In the kitchen, Sabretooth continues to pound on Wolverine. In addition to beating him up, Sabretooth continues to make Wolverine choose which girl will be his next victim: Mariko or Kitty. Sabretooth then rips a gas oven right out of the wall and hurls it at Wolverine. He dodges the attack, and then reiterates that he refuses to make a choice. Sabretooth grabs two large kitchen forks off the counter and stabs Wolverine through his forearms, nailing him to the wall. He once again gives Wolverine his ultimatum: should he kill Kitty, or Mariko? This time, he adds that if Wolverine will not choose, he will simply take both of them.

“Every year…WHY? Why do you keep doing this?” Wolverine pleads.

“Because you ain’t no better than me!!” Sabretooth snarls. Wolverine resigns himself, and then whispers a name in Sabretooth’s ear. Sabretooth is surprised by his choice, but accepts it, and opens the door to reveal the woman Wolverine chose to save. However, Sabretooth is completely surprised to see that the captive Mariko has escaped.

“Logan! Get out!” a voice shouts from the kitchen. Sabretooth turns and sees Kitty Pryde, holding a lighter right next to the source of a large natural gas leak in the kitchen. Not hesitating for even a moment, Logan rips his arms out of the wall and jumps out the window. Sabretooth, however, lunges at Kitty, assuming she is bluffing. Just before he reaches her, she ignites the lighter, and the kitchen goes up in a fiery explosion.

Kitty nonchalantly floats down out of the restaurant and meets up with Logan and Mariko. She comments that Sabretooth obviously did not know about her mutant phasing power. Wolverine confirms this. “That’s why I knew you’d be able to take care of yourself if he tried to take you away with ‘im,” he adds.

“Well, that, and I am so totally a ninja,” Kitty quips.

Later, as the fire engines arrive to put out the flames, Logan asks Kitty if she would kindly refrain from telling the rest of the team about the night’s events. “Which part?” she asks. “The part where every year on your birthday this guy with basically the same powers as you shows up no matter where you are in the world and tries to carve you into cutlets?”

Logan stares at her for a moment. “Yeah. That part,” he responds. Kitty locks eyes with him, and they share a protracted, awkward silence while she formulates her answer.

“What’s in it for me?”

Much later…

Kitty and her friends, all decked out in their Dazzler T-shirts and concert clothes, excitedly dance on the sidewalk as they wait for Logan to pick them up in the limousine. They repeatedly shout the name “Dazzler,” scream, and give each other high fives as they get in the limousine. Logan, their reluctant chauffer, ponders whether or not he should kill himself as he drives the teeny-boppers to the show.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Sabretooth MarikoYashida

Stuck-up brats (Kitty’s friends)

Caitlin-san (waiter)

Various civilians at the restaurant

Story Notes: 

Kitty Pryde and Dazzler met briefly during Uncanny X-Men #131.

At this point in Wolverine’s chronology, Sabretooth believed he was Logan’s father, hence the “bad copy” taunts.
(Special thanks to Monolith for providing this background information. )
Kaisho and Reisho: styles of Japanese writing. Reisho is one of the original styles. Kaisho is one of the styles that later developed that tries to show the letters with great precision.
Sabretooth giving Wolverine hell on his birthday every year was first established in Wolverine (2nd series) #10.
Kitty does eventually become “so totally a ninja” during the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine Limited Series.
Some minor continuity issues: At this point Storm DEFINITELY has a driving license as she drove Kitty to her first dance class with Stevie Hunter in Uncanny X-Men #138-139.
Also at this point Angel had already revealed his identity to the public. Seems if he was worried about getting sued, he would have more to worry about than being caught in a car accident.

Issue Information: 
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