Wolverine: The Best There Is #1

Issue Date: 
February 2011
Story Title: 
Contagion chapter one: Impulsion and Whim

Charlie Huston (writer), Juan Jose Ryp (artist), Andreas Mossa (colorist), VC's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary and Paul Mounts (cover), Marko Djurdjevic, Gabriel Del'Otto and Phil Jiminez with Frank D'Armata (variant covers), Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Logan hitches a lift with a young brunette named Driver Reese. As they head along the highway, he explains how he came to be there. He was in a bar, completely drunk, when he was captured by some hillbillies and ended up in a pit-fight with a mutate called Griz. He managed to escape, killing many on the way out. Ms. Reese takes a liking to Wolverine and invites him to a party. Meanwhile, Winsor and his team retrieve a guy named Harry Sikes from some quicksand where he's spent the last sixty years. His body is able to regenerate but his mind is shot. Later at the party, unbeknownst to Wolverine, Winsor uses a chemical reaction to gas everyone in the club, allowing them to express their true selves. Mayhem ensues and Logan only just manages to make it out. However, he is now insane and repeatedly stabs himself in the chest as Winsor looks on, pleased with his work.

Full Summary: 


Wolverine is naked and locked in a cage. Two numskulls stand outside ordering him to get up. "Here doggy!" they say, treating Logan like an animal. One of them hits a button on a small contraption which activates a collar that Logan is wearing. It sends a powerful electric shock through his body, forcing him to his feet. The two guys are loving it. They hit the switch again and again until Logan drops to the ground in pain. They then open the cage and put a lead around his neck, forcing him to scuttle on his hands and knees. One of them warns his friend to watch his step. Looks like the animal's messed itself. He asks his friend if he can't wire the restraining collar for his ###. "Only if its ### was part of its mutation, bro," his friend replies. They shove Logan into a large room and leave him there before heading to a prominent position overlooking the large walled rectangular area.

The crowd calls out a name... Grizzzzz repeatedly. An emcee with shades on stands next to a girl in a bikini who holds up a sign which reads 'Main Event.' The emcee tells the crowd that they've seen what he can do with the little dogs. Now they can watch what he does with a big dog... a big mutant dog. In the opposite corner to where Wolverine is sitting, rats converge into a pile and form a muscular-looking chemical-bath mutate named Griz. He quickly attacks Wolverine, punching him hard into the brick wall.

The restraining collar is activated once again to get Logan to fight. Griz grabs him around the neck and squeezes, but he inadvertently snaps the restraining collar, switching it off. This done, there's nothing to prevent Wolverine from snitking his claws, and he makes short work of Griz. He then looks at the two numskulls and leaps towards them, decapitating them where they stand as the crowd begins to panic. Wolverine slashes his way through the petrified crowd, making his way towards the emcee. The cowardly emcee tries to use the girl as a human shield, but nothing is going to stop Wolverine's animalistic rage now. He kills the guy and makes his way to the door.


Logan is in the passenger seat of a car with an attractive brunette named Driver Reese at the wheel. He is telling her the story of what just happened; that he was in a biker bar, drunk on about a gallon of Everclear. Half-smart Northern Californian hillbillies with a tinker-toy restraining collar made from plans on an anti-mutant website caught him and he ended up in a mutant/mutate pit-fight with a sad mutate from NYC looking to make a buck. Griz would regrow himself from the rats, but that not important to Logan. The driver understands what he's told her, but doesn't get what his shirt is all about. He is dressed in a tight-fitting black shirt made to look like it has a shirt and bowtie underneath. He explains that it was either that or the bikini, and he ain't been waxed lately.

The girl reckons it's as convincing a story as any as to why he'd be thumbing a ride looking like he does, but she's still not certain she believes him. Logan asks what she wants. Credentials or something? He slices a little of her hair off with his claws and drops it onto her lap. "Left my passport at home. That cover it?" he asks. She is shocked, but not too much. She looks at her reflection in the rear-view mirror and tells him he could have a second career. He could call his salon Claws. Logan's not impressed with her sense of humor.

She asks if he wants to go to a party but Logan isn't sure it'll be his scene. She says she can't promise Everclear, but there'll be an ample selection of bourbon, Scotch and beer. "My favorite cocktail," quips Logan. He reckons it'd be a shame to waste the duds. They cross the Golden Gate Bridge heading towards Marin County. She asks what he didn't like most about his treatment at the pit-fight: that they were speciesists or their general cruelty. Logan replies that it's because they called him Dog! That was a bad choice of words on their part.

(Bayou County)

Some people are in the swamp. A muscular black guy named Mr. Daniels holds a rope that leads into quicksand. As Ms. Brink clicks away on a laptop, a guy in a white suit named Winsor asks what he's looking for. A tin can? A piece of the true cross? Al Pacino's talent? He radios to Mr. Slaughter who is on the other end of the rope and asks if he can be more specific about what he's after. Slaughter replies that he's after a guy. He's hooked up.

Daniels hauls him out of the sand and finds that Slaughter's holding another man in his arms. Slaughter complains that his stupid mask didn't help. He got sand in his teeth and doesn't need to breathe anyway. Winsor says of course not, but then imagine trying to transmit speech via exhaled sand rather than air! Once out, the other man, an older balding man named Mr. Sikes, vomits sand. Winsor explains that he's been down there over half a century.

Slaughter says the guy is a mess. How is he supposed to help them? He won't last in the arena for sure. He replies that after nearly sixty years of sensory deprivation, nothing but the constant sensation of his flesh being scoured away and regrown... it's safe to say that Mr. Sikes no longer has a conventional personality. Nonetheless, he will serve more than one valuable purpose. He spits on a handkerchief and wipes Sikes' cheek. He thanks Ms. Brink for her valuable research. Without her, this treasure would have remained buried forever.

He asks for the time. "Three seconds and counting," she replies. Sikes makes a break for the sand, but Daniels grabs him. He's not hauling his ass out of there again. A large red hole opens in Mr. Sikes' cheek. Ms. Brink informs them that it's six point seven seconds to regeneration - a record with a Strain XV infection. Mr. Slaughter finds the sight of Sikes makes him feel hungry. Winsor replies of course it does. That is one of Mr. Sikes' intended uses.

He asks Daniels if he can trust him to have Mr. Sikes at the facility by morning. Daniels says sure. Whatever's left of him. Ms. Brink tells Winsor that his event coordinator is concerned that the ninety-eight Dom Ruinart won't last the night. He replies that she may supplement it as she sees fit, as long as she doesn't resort to Cristal. Standards must be maintained. Slaughter looks down at Sikes and grins. It's like a dream come true, he thinks. An all-you-can-eat buffet!

(sometime later)

Logan joins the brunette at a party in a huge warehouse. There is a pool in the center with people swimming and dancers at the side. The DJ booth is in the centre of the room surrounded by water. Logan leans against the bar. "Classy bunch," he exclaims. She tells him a number of them can afford not to bother with class. "And the rest?" he asks. She says they're naturally classless. "Or they just don't give a ####," replies Logan. She reckons that's a rare trait. It's something Logan finds comes easy if you spend enough time alone. She asks if he doesn't have a team or something. He tells her he has too many teams, but they're busy people. They're time-travelling, visiting alternate Earths or negotiating with alien species. "Really?" she asks. He reckons they could be. He gets himself in a jam... he likes to get himself out.

She stares at him with her green eyes and reminds him that he flagged her down. Logan replies that it could be that he was looking for another jam to get into. She finds that promising and asks if he wants to dance. Logan explains that he tries to get his groove on, and he'll need every team he's on to rescue him from that jam. She waltzes off anyway towards the dance floor.


Winsor is seated at a desk. A blue-skinned man, the Corruptor, is tethered nearby with countless feeds and cables attached to his body. Winsor explains that self-control is overrated. He spent actual decades reigning in his natural impulses, an act of concealment denying himself indulgence in his true nature. He can't say that he grew or learned anything about himself or benefited from the usual clichés. No. It was strategically sound but personally unfulfilling. Letting oneself go and giving in to impulsion and whim, that's how one learns about one's true nature. He paints a chemical called Liquatex onto his palms and walks over to his captive. He places his palms on the side of the man's torso and the chemicals begin to burn him. He tells the man that it's time to make his entrance. Loosen a few ties. Let down some hair.

Inside the club, a gas created from the captive's body begins to permeate the atmosphere. Logan is being pestered by a woman who wants a similar haircut to the one he gave the brunette when he smells something strange. Slowly, he begins to go a little crazy, cutting people's hair and rambling on about Simon Cowell and getting into the dance music. He leaps to the dance floor to join his date.

Winsor walks through the club, shaking people's hands and asking them to be themselves. He approaches Driver Reese and tells her that she’s glowing... luminous. She tells Winsor that it's the best party ever. She introduces her date as Wolverine. He's a ###### X-Man! Logan turns to Winsor and shakes his hand, telling him he's tall. He adds that he wanted to be tall. "Mr. Wolverine. A pleasure," replies Winsor. Logan jokes that Mr. Wolverine was his dad's name. He's Logan. Winsor tells him to be himself. Be entirely himself. They shake and he tells him that he always is.

Logan continues dancing with his date. She holds both his hands as they dance and tells him that they have to do something crazy. She rambles on about being the moon, glowing like the moon. "Howl at me. Howl at the moon!" she says. Logan starts to foam at the mouth as the chemicals take hold of his body and he sees a distorted vision of Driver Reese before him, tentacles and blood and craziness all around. The other people in the club begin to fight and soon a full-scale battle is taking place around them.

Wolverine temporarily gets a hint of what's going on around him and backs away from Driver Reese. He fights his way through the crowd towards the exit as Winsor watches from above, playing with some protective gloop on his fingers. 'Just imagine,' he thinks, 'A world where you could always be yourself, always. Where nature was the mirror, so that when you looked at it, you only saw yourself... only your true self.' Logan doesn't see the fighting dancers. He sees only corpses, piles of them glistening in the club's lights. He screams and snikts his claws before plunging them into his stomach. He crawls outside and leans against the wall, plunging them into his stomach once again. Winsor stands with his companions which include Tiger Shark and Madcap. "Well now, that's a start. Shocking though isn't it," he states. "I'd never have imagined it myself that he'd be so very short in person."

Characters Involved: 


Contagion (Winsor) and his companions including Marjorie Brink, Suicide (Christopher Daniels) and Victor Slaughter

Immortalis (Mortigan Goth), Madcap, Scavenger (Robert Nicolle), Harold Sikes, Yi Yang (all Unkillables)

Driver Reese


The Corruptor

(in flashback)


Two numskulls

Griz (Mac Garrity)

Emcee and assistant

Baying crowd

Story Notes: 

Everclear is a very strong alcohol manufactured by Luxco, something Logan would use to get drunk quickly due to his healing factor fighting against it.

Ninety-eight Dom Ruinart and Cristal are makes of champagne.

Simon Cowell is a music executive and television personality, best known for being a judge on American Idol and X-Factor.

Immortalis has his eye-patch over the wrong eye for some reason.

Marjorie Brink first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #61, Suicide in Ghost Rider #19, Victor Slaughter in Morbius the Living Vampire #6, Scavenger in Man Thing (1st series) #19, Harold Sikes in Menace #3 (way back in 1953), Immortalis in Mortigan Goth: Immortalis #1 (Marvel UK), Madcap in Captain America (1st series) #307 and Yi Yang in Hulk Comic #17 (Marvel UK). Winsor and Driver Reese make their first appearances.

In subsequent issues, Winsor is sometimes spelt Windsor.

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