Wolverine: Origins #3

Issue Date: 
August 2006
Story Title: 
Born In Blood: Part 3

Daniel Way (writer), Steve Dillon (pencils), Dan Kemp (pencils), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Michael O’Connor (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Years ago, when Frank Simpson was just a little boy, he had a terrible childhood. Though his father, Charles, loved him, he was too much caught up in his work and his mother was a raging alcoholic. The only person who seemed to love him was his sitter, Betsy. On night, as Frank’s parents for out for a party, Betsy admitted to little Frank that she didn’t like his mom very much and that it would be best if she would go away… forever. Frank thought that, by that, Betsy meant she wanted his mom dead. Later that night, as his parents returned home and his mom was once again drunk, Frank was left alone with her when his dad drove the sitter home. Betsy at first tried to seduce Charles, but couldn’t and wanted to admit she did something awful. However, before she could say anything more, a police officer knocked on the car’s window, and shot Betsy. And that police officer was… Logan?! Logan then painted the picture for Charles that no one would believe his innocence. Realizing that his wife would never believe him and pay for a lawyer, Charles shot himself. Logan reported his success back to his associate via radio, and went to pick up little Frank, who in the meantime had already killed his mother! Today, in Vietnam, Wolverine and Nuke face each other again, which results in Logan using his claws to sever both of Nuke’s legs. Hardly defeated, Frank fires his rocket launcher, knocking Logan back and burning the false flesh from his arm and face, revealing the cybernetic pieces beneath. In better shape than Nuke, Logan admits to himself that he came there hoping to save Nuke and bring him back to his former self, though he now realizes he can’t do anything for him but end it. Meanwhile at the White House, the president feels terrible about this messy situation and for the person they sent into the field. He summons Trevor to his side to discuss this, but Trevor completely stands behind the plan. In Vietnam, Logan is ready to use his sword to kill Nuke, but is prevented by none other than… Captain America?!

Full Summary: 

Vietnam, Present time…

Wolverine and Nuke stand in a grass field, staring at each other without saying a word to each other. Logan’s claws, as well as his sword are sheathed, with the blade and scabbard strapped to his back. Nuke, however, has his automatic rifle drawn, with his finger on the trigger. Staring with cold eyes, Logan recommends to Nuke that he give up. He’s outgunned.

Without a reply, Nuke raises his weapon and opens fire. However, Logan gracefully back-flips away, silently admitting to himself that he had already figured out this wouldn’t work. He jokes that Frank Simpson, aka Nuke, doesn’t know anything about dying. All the guy knows is killing things. He has been that way since he was a kid.

Years ago…

Little Frank stands in his parents’ house’s kitchen. His hands are covered in what looks like blood, with pools of it splashed on the floor. His furious mother rages into the kitchen, calling Frank names and demands to know what he has done. Frank apologizes to his mama; he was just trying to make some cherry Kool… Frank’s mother interrupts, eyeing the overturned pitcher Frank was using, as well as the spilled bag of sugar, and tells him to look at the mess. He’s he ruined everything, she tells him.

Frank’s dad, Charles, tries to get his wife’s attention, however Frank’s mom ignores her husband, and shouts at Frank that he should be ashamed of himself. The problems at school Frank has after what he did to that doctor, and now this?! Charles reminds his wife that they are running late, and that the sitter has arrived. As she storms out, Frank’s mom shouts that that’s good and tells the dumbstruck sitter to clean up the $%#$ing mess. Pausing at the door with an embarrassed look on his face, Charles tells the sitter that they’ll be back around 10:30 or so, before his wife calls out for him to hurry up. A bit ashamed, Charles follows his wife to the car.

Frank watches his parents leave. Betsy, the sitter, grumbles that she’s only getting paid thirty cents an hour and now she gets to clean floors. Frank tells Betsy that he’s glad she’s there, and that he loves her. Betsy grins devilishly and replies that she knows that, and that she loves him too. She only can’t stand Frank’s awful mother. She thinks that everyone would be better off if Frank’s mother was just gone. Frank doesn’t understand, because his mom is gone now. After cleaning up the floor, Betsy corrects that she meant she wished Frank’s mom was gone… forever. Frank asks Betsy if she means… dead? Betsy corrects him that she never said that… He thought that up all on his own.

Later that night, Frank lies in bed but can’t sleep due to the noise downstairs. His parents are fighting. He walks over to his door and opens it a bit, so he can peep through it. He finds his mother drunk again, and his father desperately trying to help her get quietly upstairs but she refuses. Interrupting sheepishly, Betsy tells Charles that it’s time for her to get going. Charles understands, and asks his wife if she’ll be okay. She calls Charles worthless, and crawls her way upstairs.

Once on top, she finds Frank waiting for her, and the boy just looks at her. She asks what he’s looking at.

Vietnam, present time…

Nuke is trying to find Wolverine, who is hiding behind some bushes. Logan emerges from behind and tells Frank that they should talk. Nuke quickly opens fire again, but Logan disappears and quickly as he appeared and the bullets hit nothing but foliage. As Nuke looks for where Wolverine went, Logan is already behind him.

Nuke tries to kick Logan, but he deftly dodges, then presses the opportunity and punches Nuke in the side. However, it is to no effect and Nuke delivers a powerful left cross across Logan’s face. Nuke then picks up his gun and smashes it into Logan’s face in an uppercut! As Logan lies on the grass, reeling in pain, Nuke places his foot triumphantly on Logan’s face, and uncontrollably yells at him at the top of his lungs to die!

On the contrary, Logan snikts his claws out, and slices both of Nuke’s feet off, silently apologizing to Frank for doing so. Falling on his back, Nuke reveals leg stumps composed more of robotics than flesh and blood.

Drawing his sword, Logan laments that Frank has left him with no choice. However, rather than helpless, Frank raises his rifle again and presses the button marked rocket launcher. Logan notices this and quickly kicks Frank’s gun into an other direction. The rocket does get launched, but is fired in a spot off to the side. Still, due to the explosion, Logan and Nuke get thrown back a bit, though both survive.

Though bleeding, Logan begins to rise. Nuke, however, suffers from severe burns, which has removed the skin from his right hand and a portion of the right side of his face – revealing robotic parts beneath. Legless, Nuke begins to crawl toward his rifle but pauses once he notices his skinless, robotic hand. Muttering to himself weakly, Nuke asks the absent Betsy how could she have done this to him…

The past…

As Charles drives Betsy home, the ride is quiet for a while. Breaking the silence, Betsy tells Charles that his wife sure is mean to him. Charles is hesitant to respond, but weakly agrees. He then notices that Betsy is drinking from a flask and is startled that it is his. Betsy smiles that she knows that: she stole it from Charles’ desk. She seductively moves closer to him, smiling that she likes being bad.

Charles stops the car somewhere away from the main road. Betsy starts to undress, but stops, claiming that she can’t do this. Startled, Charles says that’s fine and begins to stammer at the awkwardness. Betsy interrupts Charles, wanting to say something first. She starts to cry, claiming that she did something. Charles thinks it’s about the money in his desk, believing Betsy stole that too. He promises that’s fine and they can forget about it. Betsy claims that she didn’t do anything like that. Her name isn’t really…

Suddenly, someone knocks on the car’s window, not allowing Betsy to finish her sentence. Betsy starts to panic, as she recognizes the knocking man. Charles wonders who it could be and looks outside of his window, seeing a police officer. After Charles opens his window, asking the officer is there is something wrong, the officer asks Charles to sit back in his seat. Charles does so and, a moment later, the officer shoots Betsy!

Charles is speechless. The police officer, Logan, jokes that it looks like Charles is in a lot of trouble. Charles desperately tries to say that he didn’t do anything. Logan disagrees. It looks like Charles actually did do something. It looks like he tried to take advantage of the young lady next to him, and even went as far as to giving her liquor. But, the young lady resisted so Charles shot her. He shot the young lady… using his very own gun. Logan asks Charles if the gun he is holding really is his gun.

Charles doesn’t know what to say. Logan confirms that Charles is in deep trouble. But he proposes a deal to Charles: he’ll give him his gun back… if he wants it, that is. But, Logan adds, he has to tell Charles that there’s only one bullet left in it, so he’d better makes it count. Hesitant, Charles explains that his wife, the woman who hates him, has all the money. It’s hers and her family’s. She would never pay for a lawyer and believe him. Logan interrupts Charlie’s rambling, informing him that he doesn’t care.

Without another word, Logan stands outside of Charlie’s car in silence, simply staring.. After a few moments, a gunshot is heard and Logan heads back to his police car. He takes out the car radio, and reports to someone that all the loose ends are now tied up. The person Logan talks to understands, and orders Logan to head to the pick-up location. Logan tells his “associate” that this sure was a lot of trouble, and wants to know if his associate is certain that the guy is… The associate doesn’t want to hear Logan asking any questions, and suggests that he just does his job and leave. Logan does just that, leaving the dead bodies of Betsy and Charles behind.

A little later, Logan knocks on the house little Frank lives in. Opening the door, Frank immediately tells Logan that he did just what Betsy asked him to do: he killed his own mother. Logan sees Frank’s mother lying dead near the stairs, and is a bit shocked. Logan tells Frank to follow him to his car, and the boy does so. When Logan wonders aloud if Frank isn’t going to ask where he’s taking him, Frank thinks there’s no need: Logan is a policeman… he would never hurt him.

Vietnam, present…

Wolverine stares at Nuke again, holding his sword ready. He says to himself that he never wanted to do this to Frank. Logan was hoping he could save Frank… even bring him back… for what he did to him. But there is no saving the guy. Staring at Frank’s face, with all the robotic plates revealed, Logan realizes that now. There’s just… nothing left in him. Logan does think that this shouldn’t have been that easy.

US Embassy, Santiago, Chile…

The security agent holds his gun to the scientist’s face and orders the guy to power Nuke down all the way. The scientist starts to sweat, fearing what Logan will do to Nuke if he does what the security agent asks him. When the agent replies that he is certain Logan won’t do anything, the scientist is confused. What does he mean, “He won’t?” Holding a mobile phone, the agent smirks that the scientist can trust him: this is all part of the plan.

The White House…

The president, already in a meeting, welcomes Trevor into his office. The president excuses the other men present, promising that they’ll discuss the topic later. As the men leave, they stare back at Trevor, who returns the mobile phone he was just using back to his coat pocket.

Trevor asks the president if he wanted to see him, which the president confirms, asking just what the hell is going on. Elusive, Trevor suggests that, for his own protection, the president better doesn’t ask him that question. The president doesn’t want to hear about that: this is a mess! He believes that putting their man into the field like this isn’t what he was meant for. Not with all the risks involved.

Trevor defends that this is exactly what their man was “meant for.” And, he adds, the situation, being what it is, the risks are completely acceptable. This is all part of the plan. And the president can believe him… Logan will never see it coming.

Vietnam, present…

Wolverine is ready to use his sword to finish Nuke off but, suddenly, something bounces off against it, knocking the sword out of his hands! As Logan takes a moment to glance at the sword’s resting place, embedded a short distance away in the grass, a familiar voice call out to him. The voice tells Logan that he doesn’t know why Logan is so surprised… he had this coming for a long time. Logan stares at his new opponent… Captain America!

Characters Involved: 



Captain America

US President

Trevor (presidential aide)

other Presidential Staff (all unnamed)

security agent (unnamed)

scientist (unnamed)

In flashback:

Frank Simpson (as a kid, before becoming Nuke)

Charles Simpson (Frank’s father)

Mrs. Simpson (Frank’s mother)

“Betsy” (Frank’s sitter)

a younger Wolverine (US Army soldier)

Story Notes: 

First appearance or mention of Nuke’s parents and the sitter he had as a kid.

In what seems to be an error, Betsy calls Frank “Charlie,” which is of course his father’s name (Charles).

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