Wolverine / Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants #4

Issue Date: 
August 2011
Story Title: 

Frank Tieri (writer), Juan Santacruz (artist) Moose Baumann (colorist), Bill Tortolini (letterer), Irene Y Lee (production), Charlie Beckerman (editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

While Wolverine battles Matsu’o, and succeeds in killing his foe, the Kraken rises from the ocean, ready to destroy the nearby city, until Hercules arrives on scene and does battle with the creature. However the Kraken prepares to eat Hercules, until Wolverine appears and uses Medusa the Gorgon’s head to turn the Kraken to stone. King Eurytheus and Achelous the Minotaur prepare to launch their attack on Athens, but Wolverine and Hercules arrive and are on hand to battle their army of the undead. The army is huge, although Wolverine and Hercules are given aid when Pluto takes control of the dead. Pluto then ends the approaching decimation of Athens by sending Achelous to Hades, while leaving King Eurytheus to a face worse than death. Today, Wolverine sits at the memorial of his wife, Mariko, when Hercules shows up. They discuss their friendship and Wolverine’s potential immortality, while elsewhere in the cemetery, the head of King Eurytheus calls out for help, and in an unknown location, Matsu’o is resurrected by the Hand!

Full Summary: 

“Present” (actually some years ago):
‘Every year I took a piece of him. And every time I did, there was fear. Fear of losing what I would take. But not this time. This time there is no fear whatsoever’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan thinks to himself as he battles his foe Matsu’o Tsurayaba, inside the tomb of Odysseus, in Greece. Logan’s claws and Matsu’o’s sword clang together, and energy surges from Matsu’o’s body armor. Logan realizes that this time, Matsu’o knows one of them is dying tonight, and that it could very well be him. But this time, Matsu’o doesn’t care. He leers at Wolverine, who knows that this makes his foe even more dangerous than ever.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Jaffa, a smaller fishing boat floats on the ocean, as three fishermen pull in a net. Suddenly, the boat is rocked by a wave - and an instant later, a massive tentacle rises from the ocean, snapping the fishing net. But this is no tentacle belonging to an octopus or squid - it is none other than the Kraken! Its grotesque form rises from the ocean, its tentacles flailing about, while it opens its mouth, lined with dozens of razor-sharp teeth. A voice from the air over the Kraken remarks ‘This won’t sound too “Olympian” of my, but what the hey - GERONIMOOO!’ shouts Hercules as he drops down from a jet - and lands on the Kraken’s head.

‘Now then, beast, as we have never been properly acquainted, permit me to introduce myself. I am Hercules, Lion of Olympus, Prince of Power…and a number of other wonderful things’. Hercules tells the Kraken that although it may have given Perseus fits in its day, it will soon find he is a different - but Herc doesn’t get to finish his sentence, as the Kraken uses a tentacle to swat Hercules into the ocean. ‘Hmph’ Hercules mutters.

Back in the tomb of Odysseus, Wolverine realizes that he does not know what has happened with Hercules and the Kraken, and decides that his battle with Matsu’o has gone on long enough. ‘I’m ending this’ he thinks to himself, but as he lunges towards Matsu’o, Matsu’o gains the upper hand, and cuts Wolverine across his stomach, drawing blood. Logan drops to the ground, and Matsu’o stands over him, sword raises, ready to bring it down to finish off his hated foe. But before Matsu’o can finish Wolverine off, Logan lunges upwards, and shoves his claws into Matsu’os chest.

Matsu’o drops to the ground, ‘Well…played, Logan. Feigning injury. Drawing…me in like that’ Matsu’o coughs, while blood pours from his chest. Logan picks up Matsu’o’s sword, ‘And now going in for the kill’ Logan declares, but suddenly, Matsu’o asks him to stay his hand for a moment. ‘I am about to die. I know it. I even welcome it’ Matsu’o declares, before revealing to Wolverine that there is something he needs to know - ‘What happened with Mariko…I am sorry’ Matsu’o announces. Wolverine says nothing, before bringing the sword down. ‘I know’ he declares.

Meanwhile, the Kraken has made its way to shore, and is destroying the costal town. Civilians are running for their lives, when suddenly, ‘Ho, monster!’ Hercules calls out as he throws a ship at the Kraken’s head. ‘I do believe we are ready for what the mortals refer to as round two!’ Herc shouts. Hercules makes his way up the side of a building, closer to the Kraken’s head, and he slams another boat against his foe. ‘Isn’t this a bit cliché? The monster rising from the sea, attacking the panicking costal -’ but he is cut off mid-sentence, as the Kraken wraps a tentacle around Hercules, and brings the Olympian towards its mouth. But suddenly, the Kraken stops, as Hercules is almost at its teeth. ‘What now?’ Hercules mutters.

‘Just one big piece of advice, big guy. Whatever you do…don’t turn around’ Wolverine calls out as he stands behind Hercules, holding the head of Medusa the Gorgon up at the Kraken, who has now turned to stone. ‘Let me guess…Clash of the Titans?’ Hercules asks as he pries himself free of the Kraken’s hold, and jumps down to the ground, while Logan places the Gorgon’s head back into a bag. ‘Well…yeah. It worked for Harry Hamlin, no?’ Logan asks. Hercules holds his hands up against his head, exasperated: ‘Oh, got Zeus’ sake, not you too. Damn that Clash of the Titans garbage, Perseus did not use Medusa’s head to freeze the Kraken, he -’, but Wolverine interrupts his friend: ‘Ha! You said Kraken!’ Logan exclaims. ‘What? I…no, I…’ Hercules utters, before declaring ‘I hate #$%^ing Clash of the Titans’. Logan tells Hercules that they can compare movie tastes later, as he received Avenger alerts on the way over here - it seems there is an army marching on the Greek countryside. ‘Of the undead variety’ Wolverine explains. ‘Let me guess…a king with no body and an ugly face’ Hercules replies.

At that moment, in Greece, just outside of Athens, that head - King Eurytheus, is being held up while Achelous the Minotaur stands alongside. ‘Ah, this takes me back, Achelous’, Eurytheus exclaims as they walk under a shade, held up by several young men, and their army is massed before them. ‘A good old-fashioned march on a helpless city!’ Eurytheus declares, gazing out over Athens, he adds that it is a city, that after all these long centuries, is about to belong to him. ‘Yours? And what about me?’ Achelous asks. ‘You? Well, with all due respect, my friend, you are not ruling material’ Eurytheus replies. ‘Oh, I’m not, am I? You know, I’m getting a little sick and tired of being treated like a common -’ Achelous begins, when suddenly, ‘Mym, my…do I detect trouble in paradise?’ Hercules asks as he and Wolverine appear on the road ahead of their enemies. ‘Oh, and they were such a cute couple’ Wolverine jokes.

Wolverine’s comment causes several of the undead army to burst into laughter. ‘Gentleman, it appears we have a couple of small pebbles in our road to victory!’ Eurytheus announces, ordering the army to crush them and then be on their way. The army of the undead rages forward, but Hercules and Wolverine stand their found - until, suddenly, the army of the undead are pulled downwards, they cannot run towards Wolverine and Hercules. ‘By Zeus!’ But, ‘No, not Zeus…but you’re sort of in the ballpark’ Pluto declares as he stands nearby. ‘Pluto…’ Achelous utters. Logan tells his friend that they have a break here, but Hercules asks ‘How so? My uncle’s a scumbag’.

But Wolverine points out that Pluto is not about to sack Athens. ‘So unless you’ve got a better idea to get out of this mess…’ Logan begins. ‘Ok, ok’ Hercules replies, before sighing, ‘The thing I do for mortals’ as he and Wolverine begin engaging the remaining army in battle. But, Pluto yawns: ‘Ho-hum…’ he mumbles as he checks his watch. ‘Ok…enough!’ Pluto announces as he snaps his fingers, and his army of the undead disappears, leaving only the ancient Greek beings on the battlefield. ‘What the hell just happened?’ Wolverine asks. ‘I happened. I merely returned them from whence they came. I am the God of Death, after all’ Pluto points out.

Pluto approaches Hercules and tells him, just so he knows, he did not do this to help him. ‘Oh, believe me, I know that. You just came to realize that what I said to you in your café was true, that you didn’t like anybody infringing on your “turf”!’ Hercules replies, assuring his uncle that he knows where they stand. ‘Good’ Pluto remarks. ‘Yeah, good. Everybody’s still a happy family. Whatever. So now that that’s settled…what are we gonna do with these two?’ Wolverine asks as he motions to Achelous, who has been tied up, and Eurytheus. Pluto announces that Achelous will accompany him back to Hades. Pluto assures Wolverine and Hercules that Achelous will then learn the error of his ways. ‘No! Have mercy! Great Pluto!’ Achelous calls out. ‘Mercy? Hmmm…does such a word exist?’ Pluto asks.

Hercules asks what will happen to Eurytheus, but the Eurytheus declares that thanks to Hera’s enchantment, he cannot be killed. ‘You have no power over me, God of Death!’ the head boasts. ‘True. But after all these centuries, Eurytheus, I would’ve thought you would’ve realized by now…there are things that are worse than death’ Pluto declares, grinning.

Today (more recent than the above events)
Japan, Wolverine kneels before the gravestone of Mariko Yashida. ‘Well, sweetheart, it’s over. Finally decided to end my little game with Matsu’o once and for all. So yeah, in other words, I got me my pound of flesh’ Wolverine announces, before telling Mariko that it doesn’t make him miss her any less though. Suddenly, ‘It never does’ Hercules announces as he approaches his friend. Hercules tells Wolverine that he is sorry to interrupt, but he has a bit of experience with this stuff - a bit too much, in fact. ‘Yeah, well, it ain’t like I ain’t had my fair share either, which reminds me…ya never answered my question in the Sign of the Lion Bar, before all this craziness started…if I do turn out to be immortal like you, I’m gonna have to get used to this, won’t I?’ Wolverine replies.

Hercules looks at Wolverine a moment, before replying ‘Yes’. They walk side-by-side through the cemetery as Hercules remarks that it is the only thing they don’t tell you about immortality - watching everything and everyone you’ve ever cared about go the way of the dodo. ‘Yeah. Ya might even go outta your way to prevent that from happening. Seek out other immportals and make friends with them, like Thor, the Eternals…’ Wolverine replies. Hercules asks Logan what he is implying, to which Wolverine adds ‘And me’. He reminds Hercules that was the night they met, years ago, at the Sign of the Lion. ‘That was no coincidence, was it?’ Logan asks, suggesting that Hercules must have heard about him, that he might have been a fellow immortal, a possibly buddy who was not going to die on him. ‘You sought me out’ Wolverine declares.

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ Hercules claims. ‘Yeah, yeah. Whatever ya say. And look on the bright side of this immortal thing…it could be worse’ Wolverine remarks, ‘We could be King E’. And at that moment, ‘Hello? This won’t break me - do you hear me?’ Eurytheus calls out from inside a tomb in the cemetery. He boasts that he will rise from this, he will figure a way, as he always does. ‘I will make you all pay!’ he boasts. ‘Each and every one of you. Do you hear me? Hello?’ the head calls out.

‘Hello?’ Matsu’o asks from another location, where he is imprisoned on a slab, green energy beams keep him at bay. ‘Oh no…’ Matsu’o utters as he finds himself surrounded by Hand ninjas, and someone standing before him at the end of the slab. ‘You resurrected me! Why - dear, God, why?’ he asks, grabbing the man. ‘My Lord…we thought…’ he begins. ‘Don’t you understand what you’ve done? You fools…I was free from it all. I was free…’.

Characters Involved: 

Wolverine & Hercules

Matsu’o Tsurayaba


Polyphemus the Cyclops

The Kraken

Medusa the Gorgon’s head
Polyphemus the Cyclops
Various warriors
Various Zombies

In The Present
Wolverine & Hercules

Hand operatives

Story Notes: 

Matsu’o is responsible for Mariko’s death.

Matsu’o resurrection at the end in a relatively healthy state contradicts the events in the Psylocke limited series.

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