Wolverine: Origins #9

Issue Date: 
February 2007
Story Title: 
Savior - Part Four

Daniel Way (writer), Steve Dillon (artist), Dan Kemp (colorist), VC’s Randy Gentile (letterer), Michael O’Connor (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

After Wolverine was able to explain his situation to the Black Widow, she takes him back to her place. There, she provides him with a fake copy of the carbonadium synthesizer, just in case he may need it. Wolverine thanks her but indicates that he still needs to find out where Omega Red is – he needs to save a young girl. The Black Widow reminisces that he wants to save this girl just like he saved her, or at least he tried. Years ago, a younger Logan met up with a young Natalia Romanova. They were on the same train that was attacked by Natalia’s father – Taras Romanov. Once they meet up with him, Logan trained under the tutelage of Taras, who was a great spy. During the two years he spent with him, he learned everything he could about the spy game. He also trained Natalia on how to fight. One night, Taras burst into his room, informing him that Natalia had been kidnapped and his guards had all been killed. Logan offers to go after him alone and, when he finds Natalia in the woods, she informs him that Taras is not her father. Logan informs her that he has lied to her as well. His mission was to kill Taras and, ultimately, her. He completed the first part but can’t bring himself to kill Natalia. He tells her that she is now “dead” as well but does not kill her. Back in present day, Wolverine finds out where Omega Red is when an explosion occurs a few blocks away. The Black Widow had deceived S.H.I.E.L.D., who was looking for Wolverine. She had instead given them the location of Omega Red. Unfortunately, during the explosion, a beam had fallen on Jubilee and Wolverine knows that, if he doesn’t act, Jubilee will be dead. Knowing this, he stands on the roof of his building and waves the “fake” carbonadium synthesizer over his head daring both Dum Dum Dugan, leading the S.H.I.E.L.D. operation, and Omega Red to come and get him.

Full Summary: 

After Wolverine was able to convince the Black Widow that he hadn’t been followed, she took him to her place. She also told him that he could catch some shut-eye there and that he looked like he needed it. Wolverine knows that he does need some sleep, but he doesn’t have the time. He wants to get out of there and not put anybody else in danger, even the ones he’s sure can handle it.

Wolverine’s thoughts are interrupted by the Black Widow, who pulls a device out of her briefcase which she offers to him. Wolverine thinks to himself that it is the carbonadium synthesizer – the only device in the world capable of producing carbonadium, a mutated form of adamantium. He had big plans for it, but… He is brought back to reality by the Black Widow, informing him that it’s a fake. Wolverine is shocked.

The Black Widow then indicates to him that one of her associates, a counterfeit jeweler made this copy for her, just in case he’s not the only one looking for it. She then informs him that the real one is in a safe-deposit box in Brussels. Upon hearing the explanation, Wolverine realizes that his plan has fallen back into place.

When Wolverine then asks her if she knows where Omega Red is, the Widow replies that he is there in Berlin and, from what she’s heard, he’s desperate. The metal bonded to his body, carbonadium, is killing him somehow. It is corroding and poisoning him. Wolverine realizes that must explain his behavior. Before, Red never would have left him breathing on that rooftop back in New York. The Widow continues that Red wants the synthesizer so he can produce a cleaner sample of the metal, which he then plans to give to a Korean bio-weapons firm in exchange for a cure of some kind.

Wolverine asks her if she has an exact location on him for he needs to find him, to which the Widow asks him why. She will supply him with all of the documentation he will need to get the synthesizer from the… She is cut off by Wolverine, who informs her that Red is holding a girl hostage, an American. Widow apologizes, she heard nothing about such a girl. Wolverine adds that she’s… a friend of his. Widow, with her head down, adds that he wants to save her, like he saved her. Wolverine informs the Widow, calling her by her given name of Natalia, to look around – he didn’t save her. Natalia replies that perhaps he did not but at least he tried.


Years ago, a young Logan entered a train car where a young Natalia Romanova was seated. No sooner did he enter the windows than he was shot. Logan was able to duck Natalia down to safety, avoiding the gunfire. Eventually, the train was derailed by a gang of individuals, who promptly killed everyone on board. When the gang reached the car holding Logan and Natalia, Logan is ready to protect her, gun in hand.

Two people are killed outside of their car and Logan is prepared to take action. Just then the door opens up to reveal Natalia’s father. As they leave together to go home, Natalia’s father asks Logan if he is coming with them or not. Logan is in shock by this. Outside the train, Logan asks Natalia’s father if he is Taras Romanov. When the man replies that he is, Logan then asks him why he did all of this. Tara responds that he is an agent provocateur – a spy. Much like his father and his father before him, he trades in illicit information. Also, much like his ancestors, he is a wanted man. He is wanted for the secrets that he keeps and those that he has sold. It is for that reason that he has spent his entire lifetime building a web – a web of informants. He not longer ventures out into the world for he does not have to. He is now the spider in the center of the web, aware of the slightest tremble across its strands.

Taras then turns his attention to his daughter and adds that she has been out in the world and it is a very dangerous place, full of dangerous men. If they were to discover that he had a daughter, they would undoubtedly plot to abduct her so they can use her against him. He then turns his attention to Logan and indicates that he has also been out in the world and that he has traveled a great distance to arrive in his company during his journey. He adds that it is also possible, perhaps probable, that he, Logan, had been marked and subsequently followed. He finishes by asking Logan if he now understands why he did “all this.” Logan looks back at the wreckage and responds that anybody looking for him or Natalia will think that they were dead, killed during a train robbery. Once it gets around they are dead, nobody will come looking for them. Taras is very pleased and informs Logan that he was sent to him to learn and for him to consider that this was his first lesson.

There would be many more lessons to come at the compound of Taras Romanov. His compound was heavily guarded by armed men with rifles. This was Logan’s first mission after he had been picked up in Jasmine Falls and having his brain scrambled again. He had no memories of Itsu – no memories of anything really. He was a blank slate, making him the ideal student. Over the next two years, he trained with Taras, picking his brain for everything he knew about the information trade – which was a lot. He learned about networks, codes, and ciphers. He also learned that the guy damn near wrote the book on the whole modern day spy game. Eventually, Logan came to know almost everything he did. Everything except who he worked for.

There came a day when he asked Taras that very question. Taras informed him that he will learn that what you avoid knowing is sometimes more valuable than what you do know. Logan verified with him that he didn’t know. Taras indicated that he did not but Logan was able to detect a slight mist of sweat, an almost imperceptible rise in his heartbeat, that only somebody with his senses would be able to pick up. Taras may have indicated that he doesn’t know who he’s working for, but Logan knew better.

During the day, he was in training with Taras. At night, he was the trainer. He did his best to keep it from the guards but he knew Taras knew about it. After all it would have been foolish to assume someone like him wouldn’t but he never said anything. Logans’s student – Natalia Romanova. They had grown close during his time there. She even called him “Little Uncle.” Logan liked that and Natalia liked the training. In fact, she loved it. She was amazing, a natural. She could’ve been a world-class ballerina but that just wasn’t going to happen. Not with her family history. She didn’t have any brothers or sisters and her mother had died years before. Taras, even though he doted on her, treated her more like a possession than a daughter. Logan felt bad for her – he couldn’t help it. That’s why he agreed to train her. Knowing what he knew about the world and what was out there waiting for her, it was only right. He wanted her to have a fighting chance – it included teaching her how to fight.

One particular night, Natalia asked him not to hold back. She wanted to show him what she could do. She was able to dodge one of Logan’s kicks and block one of his punches until he was able to connect with a sidekick to her gut. It knocked her down and put her in severe pain. At that point, Logan grew concerned and leaned down to check on her. Natalia, however, was playing opossum and connected with a swift kick to his groin area. When she asked him if he was okay, he put his arm behind him fending her off indicating that he was fine. Natalia took the opening to grab his arm and twist it. After that, she was able to force him to the ground and pin his head underneath her foot. Once she had him in this compromising position she asked Logan how she did. Logan only replied with a smile.

Logan knew that for all the bad that was to come of things, it was still a good life with Taras and Natalia. That must have been why it all had to end. One night, Taras barged into his room, brandishing a pistol and a sword, demanding to know where she was and what he had done with his daughter. Logan informed him that he hadn’t done anything with her and that if she is gone and not just hiding somewhere – all he’s doing is wasting time while the trail goes cold. Taras took a look at Logan’s face looking for a lie. Finding none, he instructed Logan to follow him, quickly. All of Taras’ guards had been killed during the night by knife wounds – silently and professionally. When Taras saw his guards dead he assumed that it was the work of kidnappers. He gathered that they must be on foot – he would have heard them otherwise.

He recommends they take the horses to find them. Logan indicates to him that isn’t necessary for she is nearby, somewhere on the grounds. He adds that it’s a trap. They want him to come looking for her, they’re counting on it. He asks Taras to let him go look for her alone. After some deliberation Taras agrees and hands Logan the pistol.

When Logan went out into the woods to find Natalia he went searching for the girl who called him her uncle. She was more like a daughter to him. It didn’t take long to find her, or rather, long for her to find him. Behind him, Natalia was able to sneak up on him with a shotgun.

Logan indicates to her that she has done well and that her father would be proud. With tears in her eyes, Natalia informs him that Taras is not her father. Logan already knew that, for their scents didn’t match up at all. Natalia then apologizes to Logan for lying to him but he was not the only one sent there to train. Logan realizes at that point that he was supposed to be her final test. He then apologizes to her as well for lying. He wasn’t just sent there to train. With that, he holds out his hand showing Natalia a ring. A ring he got from Taras.

Natalia asks Logan if Taras is dead to which Logan replies that he is. That’s what his mission, his real mission, was really about. Finding out what Romanov knew and killing him if he knew too much. Logan indicates to Natalia that she is as well and removes the necklace from around her neck. As he walks away, Natalia informs him that she owes him a great debt and someday, somehow she will make it up to him.


Wolverine asks Natalia to tell him where Omega Red is. The Black Widow then asks for his forgiveness, as she only wanted to help because she owes him so much. Wolverine asks her what she did. Natalia responds that “they” wanted to know where he was but instead she gave them the location of Red. Wolverine asks for clarification on who “they” are. Before the Black Widow can respond, an explosion occurs a few blocks away at another building. Natalia then informs Wolverine that “they” are S.H.I.E.L.D.

On the other building, a brigade of S.H.I.E.L.D. troops are dropping down from helicopters, attacking with everything they have. They are being led by Dum Dum Dugan. During one of the explosions, a beam falls on top of Jubilee. Wolverine knows that Dugan thinks he’s going after him and that he’s going to hit that place with everything he’s got and by the time he realizes that he’s not there, it will be too late. Jubilee will be dead.

When Dum Dum Dugan reaches the roof, he is met by Omega Red’s troops. He wonders aloud who they are when he is informed by one of his troops that their target has been sighted. Dugan asks where when he is informed that he is over on another building. There, Wolverine is holding the carbonadium synthesizer over his head and daring both Dum Dum Dugan and Omega Red to come and get him.

Characters Involved: 


Black Widow (Natalia Romanova)

Arkady Rossovich – Omega Red

Omega Red’s henchmen (all unnamed)

Dum Dum Dugan

Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (unnamed)

Jubilation Lee – Jubilee


Logan (a much younger version of him)

Natalia Romanova (as a child)

Taras Romanov

Taras Romanov’s guards (unnamed)

Various passengers on a train (all unnamed except for Mariska and Losko)

Story Notes: 

Omega Red was born Arkady Gregorivich. Arkady Rossovich is one of his aliases. He was transformed into Omega Red by the KGB so he can be a Russian super-soldier. Years ago, Team X stole a device called the carbonadium synthesizer. It was a device that was used to stabilize Omega Red‘s mutant power. Omega Red‘s powers are as follows: he is a mutant with the ability to secrete bodily pheromones deadly to everyone in his immediate vicinity. This power greatly drains his energy, requiring him to absorb the life force of others. He also has superhuman strength gained from the KGB‘s enhancement. Omega Red‘s arms were implanted with long carbonadium coils that he can extend and retract through openings in his wrists. The coils serve as both a conduit and a stabilizing factor for his mutant pheromones.

Another instance of Logan meeting the Black Widow as a child occurred in Uncanny X-Men #268. In that issue, Logan, along with Captain America, rescued a young Natalia from the Hand and Baron Von Strucker in 1941.

Dum Dum Dugan has been on the trail of Wolverine ever since Wolverine: Origins #7.

S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage, and Logistics Directorate.

Jubilee was kidnapped by Omega Red back in Wolverine: Origins #8.

This issue also explains who has had the carbonadium synthesizer for all of this time – the Black Widow.

The Black Widow’s last name is sometimes known as Romanoff. It is a rough transition from the English version of Romanova. Romanov is closer to the masculine version while Romanova is the feminine version. (Thanks goes out to Monolith for this note)

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