Wolverine: Mr. X

Issue Date: 
May 2010
Story Title: 
Unfinished Business

Frank Tieri (writer), Paco Diaz with Guillermo Ortego (art), Ulises Arreola (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letters), Damien Lucchese (productions), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Francesco Mattina (cover)

Brief Description: 

Ever since he was last defeated by Wolverine, Mr. X has been obsessed with revenge. All this time, he has trained himself to deal not only with Wolverine the man, but also the berserker side. When he feels that he is ready, X sends a package to Logan that contains the head of a kindergarten teacher. X has taken children hostage and challenges Logan to come save them. Logan does and, in order to save the children, gives in to X’s demands and agrees to meet him at a museum that night. That night, Logan meets up with X and they begin to do battle. During their fight, Logan figures out what X is truly after and stops fighting him. Realizing that Logan isn’t going to fight back, X is left defeated and distraught. Later, Mr. X is contacted by Norman Osborn, who offers him a spot in the Thunderbolts.

Full Summary: 

They call me Mr. X. It’s as good a name as any, I suppose, since my birth name is now meaningless. Because, truth be told, I wasn’t truly born until that fateful day. The day I met her (when he was a young boy). As she lay there dying (after being hit by a car), my mind, as it was put to me, “opened.” And with her final breath, all her thoughts, her dreams… everything she desired, everything she thought, everything she feared… were now mine. I sucked it all out of her like yolk from an egg. And I was truly alive for the first time.

It was a feeling I would spend the rest of my days trying to recapture. And so, I trained myself to become the world’s greatest killing machine. And with my secret ability, honed over the years to the point where I could actually see the moves of others before they made them, I became exactly that. Neither human, nor super human could defeat me.

That is, until he came along. Wolverine. A mutant warrior blessed with a healing factor as impressive as his fabled adamantium claws. He had a reputation for being the “best there is.” But after our first encounter, I laid those rumors to rest. The second time we met, we faced off in the infamous bloodsports of Madripoor. And for the first time ever, due in large part to my inability to cope with his berserker rage, the unthinkable happened. I lost. I’ve never lost. And I must admit; I’m having trouble with it.

Sitting in a chair, Mr. X slices his arm with his sword. He then proceeds to block Wolverine’s claw strike with his sword with ease. As he does, he calls Wolverine pathetic. Slicing him with his sword X tells him that he could hear him a mile away. When Wolverine gives him a roundhouse kick, X blocks it and says roundhouse kick, so damned predictable. Then a pedestrian left hook. Followed by him choking the %#*$ out of him.

After killing Wolverine, X drops him to the ground and yells at him that he’s pathetic. Sitting back in the chair, X remarks that some people might say he’s obsessed Maybe those people are onto something. Inside X’s warehouse are a multitude of “Wolverine’s” in various stages of complete defeat. But of course, that’s only if obsession is a bad thing. And who’s to say that it is? After all, didn’t obsession drive him to become what he is today? Didn’t it allow him to refocus his thoughts over the past few months? To stop using his special ability as a crutch? To re-train himself to block out unnecessary thoughts in order to combat the savage mind?

After X presses a button, six wolverines enter the warehouse and immediately go after him. As he battles them, all X sees is Wolverine fighting him. Once he soundly defeats them all, Mr. X carves an X into his arm and says “I’m ready.”

Standing in a bank line, a plain-clothes Logan asks what the hell is taking so long. He swears, as many people as he’s killed in his life, sometimes he thinks it’s a miracle he hasn’t killed more. He means, a %$*@# hour he’s been waiting in this line. Just then, Logan sees two men carrying weapons tells everyone not to make a %$*@# move. This is a stick-up.

Walking up to the men, Logan tells them to just calm down. He knows what’ll do the trick. He’s got a joke. One of the men points his gun at Logan’s head and tells him that he’s gonna make his face a joke when he fills it full of holes. Now back the %@*$# up. His partner says to him to let him tell it. He wants to hear what kind of joke was worth him losin’ his life over. Logan says ok, so one day, two stupid-ass bank robbers walk into the wrooong bank…

Readying their weapons, the bank robbers ask is that so. Popping his claws, Logan slices their weapons into pieces and deftly takes them out in short order. Once he does, he tells them yeah, that’s so. The teller proceeds to throw her hands in the air and tells Logan to take it all, just don’t hurt her. Pulling out his Avengers identification card, Logan tells her to calm down. He’s with the Avengers. Just then, Logan smells someone behind him and wheels around. Standing there, a man leaves a package for Mr. Logan and rushes off. Looking down at the package, Logan says aww crap when he sees that it’s from Mr. X.

Departing the bank, Logan opens up the note from Mr. X and reads what it says. “Dear worthy opponent. It has been some time since we last met. Miss me? I’m quite certain you do not as I am equally certain you will not accept another invitation to fight.” Logan remarks that he’s got that right. He has no reason to. X lost, he won. Deal with it, bub. Continuing to read the note, it says “Which is why I have taken certain assurances to guarantee a return engagement. Look in the box.”

Opening up the box, Logan is shocked when he sees a severed woman’s head inside it wearing a Wolverine mask. Logan continues to read the note. “I tell you now, you will not recognize this head. The woman it once belonged to was no one of any particular importance. Well, unless you consider the fact that she taught a kindergarten class I am currently holding hostage important. The time you receive my gift, will determine whether or not you can save her class. Hope to see you soon. Yours faithfully, Mr. X.”

Crumpling up the note in anger, Logan speeds to the school where Mr. X is holding the children hostage. When he walks in, X greets him and tells him “Hello James.” It’s so good of him to join them. Looking around, Logan sees that all of the kids are tied up and wearing Wolverine masks. There is also gasoline all over the floor and X is holding a match. Popping his claws, Logan tells X that if he harms one hair on their heads and he swear he’ll…

X asks him what, identify the bodies? He then holds the match closer to one of the kids’ heads and tells Logan to back off before the children have themselves the best school cookout they’ll ever have. When Logan retracts his claws, X thanks him and tells him that if he truly wants to save the children, if he truly wants to save all the children, he will target next, then give him what he wants. Otherwise, well, maybe the next school he’ll pay a visit to is his. He heard San Francisco is lovely at this time of year.

After looking at the kids, the match, and the gasoline, Logan concedes and tells X that he’s got it. Dousing the flame, X proceeds to tell Logan that he has made him very happy. He then tells him that he’ll leave him to see the children home. He just needs to be at the Museum of Natural History at midnight in the halls of the warriors. He’ll be waiting anxiously.

That night, Logan walks into the Museum of Natural History wearing his yellow and blue uniform. As he does, he remarks that X scares him. Not the main. Ain’t a man alive he’s afraid of, but what he sees in him. And that’s himself. He’s him with no filter. With his dark side unchecked, free. Entering the hall of warriors, Logan can tell that X is there. He’s not exactly sure where, but he’s in the room. He’s maskin’ his scent but he can still…

Just then, Logan spins around and destroys an arrow that comes flying at the back of his head. Clapping, Mr. X tells him bravo. He had to make sure he hadn’t lost his touch. He can assure him that he hasn’t. With that, Mr. X rushes at Logan with a sword. For quite some time, X and Logan violently trade blows, each giving as good as they get.

During the battle, Logan thinks to himself that he’s been here before. Every move he makes, X anticipates and he’s already waitin’ with a counter. After X jams two swords into Logan’s gut, Logan angrily calls him a motherless piece of… and leaps at him. As Logan pins him to the ground, X laughs and tells him that’s it. Give him the beast inside him. Let him come out and play.

Just then, Logan steps back from X and thinks to himself no. He’s playin’ right into his hands. These last few months, X must’ve been trainin’ himself for this, learned to counter his berserker rage. Ain’t Logan the man he’s after. He wants to slay the beast that beat him. Which means if he goes berserk, he gives X exactly what he wants. Wait a sec, that’s it. That’s what he wants. What he wants.

Enraged, X asks Logan what is this and punches him across the face. Picking himself up off the ground, Logan replies this is him not fighting anymore. After X asks “excuse me,” Logan tells him that it just hit him. X acts like he’s got the upper hand here, but really it’s him who’s holdin’ all the cards. He has what he wants. He has nothin’. X asks him is that so? His school, he’ll…

Logan asks him he’ll do what? Hunt ‘em down, kill ‘em? And then what? He comes after him, lookin’ for revenge, right? But the best way he figures it, the best way to do that, the worst thing he can do to him is never fight him again. So in other words, he harms one hair on a mutant’s head and he makes Nelson Mandela look like $%@*# Rambo. X tells Logan that he’s bluffing. Logan asks is he? Can he afford to find out? Grabbing an axe, X calls Logan a sonofa, he’ll make him fight him.

Once he brings the axe down onto Logan’s neck, Logan laughs at him and tells him that’ll grow back. Pulling down a hook, X asks that he’s laughing at him? He’ll give him something to laugh at. With that, X slashes Logan across the face, taking out his right eye. Logan’s response is so what? Takes a little longer, but that grows back too. Enraged, X takes the hook and slams it into Logan’s crotch. When he does, Logan yells out in pain and falls to the ground. He then tells X that was a good one but guess what? That heals up too. Which is good for him, because he needs him alive. Otherwise, he’ll never know if he can truly beat the one man that defeated him. Accept it, X, he’s powerless there.

Dropping the hook, X tells him that he can’t do this. Bandaging up his eye, Logan tells X that it’s already done. As Wolverine walks away, he remarks that it’s kinda apropos their last fight bein’ there, with all the old war relics which now include X himself.

As Mr. X sits on his knees and is extremely distraught in his warehouse, the phone rings. Answering it, X tells the person on the other end of the line that he’s not in the mood. The person on the other end replies so he’s heard. They then asks that it’s this latest business with Wolverine, isn’t it? X answers that just happened, how did they…

The person on the other end, Norman Osborn, informs him that it’s his business to know. He then tells Mr. X that he has something that might take his mind off of things, something where his unique talents could be of some use. Osborn then asks Mr. X what he knows about a group called the Thunderbolts.

Characters Involved: 


Mr. X

Norman Osborn

Various unnamed patrons and employees at a bank

Two unnamed bank robbers

Various unnamed kindergarten children

Various unnamed individuals on the streets of New York

Story Notes: 

Wolverine first battled against Mr. X in Wolverine (2nd series) #159-161.

Wolverine battled Mr. X for the second time in Wolverine (2nd series) #167-169.

In this issue, it shows Mr. X battling what looks to be the inhabitants of Wundagore Mountain, something never depicted prior to the publication of this issue.

Mr. X would become a member of the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #132.

Issue Information: 
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