X-Men (1st series) #139

Issue Date: 
November 1980
Story Title: 
… Something Wicked this Way Comes!

Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (plot & pencils), Terry Austin (Inker),Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

After a Danger Room session with newly returned member, Angel, new X-Man, Kitty Pryde, receives her codename, “Sprite.” Wolverine announces that he’d like to return to Canada to make peace with Alpha Flight and Department H and asks Nightcrawler to accompany him. After meeting with Vindicator’s wife, Heather, the two X-Men learn that half of Alpha Flight is up north, dealing with some trouble there. They decide to follow and, after some tensions, the Alphans tell them about the kidnapping case they are trying to solve. Wolverine realizes that the mystery creature they are after is the Wendigo and tells them of his first battle with the creature. He offers their help. In the meantime, Nightcrawler unloads their gear outside when, suddenly, he is attacked by the Wendigo. In the meantime, Storm takes Kitty to her first dancing lesson at Stevie Hunter’s studio in Salem Center.

Full Summary: 

The Danger Room:

Angel, look out! one of his teammates warns. The Angel barely evades one of the Danger Room’s many traps, only to carelessly collide with Nightcrawler, who is hanging from a trapeze one moment later. Along a suitably impressed Kitty Pryde, Professor Xavier watches the display from the Observation Booth. He was afraid of this. Angel’s badly out of shape and his lack of skill is endangering his teammates. Kitty shouts out in terror as Nightcrawler falls straight towards a firepit. Unable to reach him, Angel shouts at the Professor to shut down the Danger Room.

Wolverine tells him not to get himself into an uproar. The situation is well in hands. His hands. With unbelievable speed, he uses his claws to tear out a section of the Danger Room’s omnium steel wall and holds it above the pit, catching Nightcrawler before he can fall into he flames. The confused Nightcrawler instinctively teleports away, only to appear straight at the place Colossus is throwing his robot foe at. Cracking a joke, Storm flies to his side and grabs him out of harm’s way, only to be grabbed herself by steel tentacles the next moment. She drops Kurt into Colossus’ arms and then short-circuits the trap’s control circuits with a controlled, mini rainstorm. As she lands, even Wolverine commends her, telling her that Charles made the right decision when he named her team leader after Cyclops left.

Xavier and Kitty enter and Xavier asks Wolverine to call him ‘Professor,’ ‘Professor X,’ ‘Professor Xavier’ or, even if he must, ‘Charles.’ But not ‘Charley.’ Sure thing, Chuck, Wolverine replies, unfazed.

Angel apologizes for his dumb moves and assures Xavier that it won’t happen again. Sure it will, Wolverine interjects; that’s natural. He needn’t worry, though, they’ll help him over the rough spots.

Nightcrawler swings back into the room, frightening Kitty in the process, with some lemonade and even a beer for Wolverine. Kurt notices Kitty’s nervousness and wonders how he can break the ice between them.

Kitty confides in Colossus that she’s afraid of the Danger Room. A sensible reaction, Xavier tells her. He‘d be concerned if she weren’t. But she won’t turned be turned loose in here until she’s ready. Xavier suggests “Ariel” as Kitty’s codename, to which Kitty replies with an unenthusiastic ‘Yuck’. Storm suggests Sprite and Kitty agrees. But she better not hear crack about anyone pulling her “tab.”

Xavier proposes a toast to their newest member and Nightcrawler asks Wolverine why the new costume. Typically, he replies ‘why not.’ Wolverine then reminds Xavier about his hassles with the Canadian government, as he was part o their secret service before joining the X-Men. Trouble is, they refused to accept his resignation. If this isn’t cleared up, they’ll be hassling the X-Men till doomsday. It’s his mess and he wants to go home to straighten it out. Xavier agrees but figures he shouldn’t go alone. Wolverine asks Nightcrawler if he wants to play chaperone and Kurt can’t resist the temptation of possibly seeing Aurora again. Xavier agrees to make travel arrangements and tells Kitty he has one more surprise for her.

A little later, Ororo and an enthusiastic Kitty walk though the nearby town of Salem Center for Kitty’s first dance class. Kitty confides hat she was afraid she’d have to give up dancing as an X-Man.

They reach the address Xavier gave them but the entrance is blocked from inside. Kitty phases inside the building and sees that some cleaning apparel has fallen out of its cabinet and blocks the doorway. She quickly tidies up and lets Ororo in. As they walk upstairs Kitty explains that, as a certified genius, she is taking college level courses, while her peers are still in ninth grade. But when she dances, she is just like other kids her age and can relate to them as equals. Ororo remembers how she too had to grow up too soon and she hopes she can help Kitty hold on to as normal a life as possible. They enter the dance studio and are greeted by Stevie Hunter, former primaballerina before her accident.

Meanwhile, in a nice neighborhood in Ottawa, Heather Hudson returns home, arms full with shopping groceries. As she walks inside, she notices that the front door is open. It can’t be Jamie. He told her he’d be up north for a few more days. But the apartment doesn’t seem burgled either. She grabs a broom and, suddenly, hears a burping noise from the kitchen. She storms into the kitchen, ordering whoever’s inside not to move. ‘Hiya, sexy. How ya been?’ Wolverine greets her with a grin. Heather happily exclaims ‘Logan’ and greets him enthusiastically.

Nightcrawler inquires about Heather calling him Logan. Is that his name? ‘Yup,’ Wolverine agrees. He never told them. They never asked, Wolverine typically replies.

His friend is one of the X-Men, right? Heather asks. Nightcreeper? Nightcrawler, Wolverine corrects her, while the elf politely introduces himself to Heather and lays on the charm. Wolverine explains that he came here to make peace with Mac and Heather tells him that he’s in Hudson Bay, with some other Alpha Flight members.

Elsewhere, the man they are talking about – James MacDonald Hudson aka Vindicator - flies down to join his colleagues, Dr Michael Twoyoungmen and Corporal Anne MavcKenzie, at the camp. The news he brings them is bad. Department H sent the other half of Alpha Flight into the United States on a covert operation to kidnap some robot. Vindicator had protested but was overruled. Until they are finished, the three of them are on their own. How was their day?

Michael announces that the creature they are hunting is nearby but he couldn’t yet pinpoint him. They’ve been after him for over a week, Vindicator sighs. The minister wants to know why it’s taking so long. Then he should come up and do the work himself, Anne suggests exasperated.

The three study a map, discussing possibilities, when Twoyoungmen suddenly announces that something has triggered his mystic alarm. In response, Mac dons his helmet, while Twoyoungmen transforms himself into Shaman and Anne becomes the shapechanging demigoddess known as Snowbird. She changes into a polar bear to check out the danger. Suddenly, a voice from the other side of the shack announces that they needn’t bother on their account. Wolverine is insolently standing in the doorway, while Nightcrawler whispers that he hopes he knows what he’s doing.

Vindicator expects a fight and Wolverine responds in kind, unsheathing his claws. He’s not making the first move, he announces. But if they are going to start something, they’d better be prepared to finish it. Nightcrawler tells Wolverine to calm down and Wolverine announces that he’s willing to abide by a truce. Nightcrawler relaxes, only to scream like a girl and jump onto Wolverine the next moment when the bear comes in. Wolverine tells him to get off, before those bozos laugh themselves to death. With a smile, Vindicator tells him he has nothing to fear - from Alpha Flight at least. Whom should they fear then, Wolverine asks. Heather said there was trouble. Shaman fills the X-Men in:

(Shaman’s tale)

They’re a looking for the family of a Mountie named Joe Parnall. They had been camping along Big Moose Creek. One night, the boy, Tommy, saw from inside the tent how a big monster attacked his father. It tried to tear down the tent next but Tommy escaped. He didn’t stop running until a bush pilot found him two days later. He’s still catatonic … Alpha Flight found the campsite and what was left of his father.


There was no sign of Eileen Parnall and the baby. Their best guess is that they were taken away by the assailant. They might still be alive. Vindicator kind of hopes they aren’t He shows the X-Men the mold of a huge foot. This should give them a good idea why. First, they assumed it was a bear but nobody could identify this kind of footprint. He can, Wolverine states. How’s that for irony? He came here to tie up some loose ends and winds up face to face with the biggest loose end of them all. What they are chasing, he continues, is a legend come to life called the Wendigo.


Wolverine had fought that monster during his first mission as Wolverine for Department H. His first mission and only failure. He’d been sent to deal with the Hulk and found the Hulk tussling with the Wendigo. Being a bit headstrong in those days, Wolverine figured two-to-one odds made this a fair fight and attacked both creatures.

The Wendigo is a man who consumes the flesh of other man, Wolverine explains. Later, he learned that this was what had happened to a hunter named Paul Cartier. He and some friends had been trapped by wolves. One of their party died. Faced with starvation, Cartier turned cannibal and the ancient curse of the north woods transformed him into Wendigo. What Wolverine didn’t know then was that Cartier’s sister was trying to save him with the help of his best friend, Georges Baptiste. She intended to use black magic to shift the Wendigo curse from Paul to the Hulk.

Wolverine, in the meantime, was embroiled in a crazy fight. Despite his berserker rages, he could barely hurt his two nigh-invulnerable foes. Between him and the Hulk, they eventually managed to knock out Wendigo. Wolverine then turned back to attack the Hulk but just managed to make him angry. They never finished that fight. Marie Cartier hit them with some sort of magic whammy - instant dreamtime. She never got her chance to zap the Hulk, though. Baptiste cast the spell, taking the Hulk’s place for the transformation. When the dust settled, Cartier was cured, Marie was insane and Baptiste had become the Wendigo. Wolverine was recalled by Department H. Hulk and the Wendigo escaped.


Wolverine offers his and Nightcrawler’s help and Vindicator accepts. Nightcrawler suggests they bring in the other X-Men. This is personal, Wolverine decides. Between him and Wendigo and him and Mac. He asks Kurt to get their gear and the elf teleports outside.

Turning back to the others, Wolverine recalls that Wendigo prefers freshly killed meat. If that holds true, Eileen Parnall and her baby might still be alive. He might be able to track their scents.

Outside, Nightcrawler admires the midnight sun. The fiery colors of the sunset bring back memories of Phoenix and the pain of her death and he cries, railing against a god who would allow this.

After some time, he pulls himself together and unloads their gear. He decides to get Wolverine to help him carry it inside. He hears a noise and looks up to find the Wendigo attacking him.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Shaman, Snowbird, Vinicator (all Alpha Flight)

Heather MacNeil Hudson

Stevie Hunter (Kitty’s dance instructor)

Wendigo II

in Shaman’s tale:

Joe Parnall

Eileen Parnall

Tommy Parnall

Wendigo II

in Wolverine’s tale:<´BR>


Wendigo I/ Paul Cartier

Wendigo II / Georges Baptiste

Marie Cartier

Story Notes: 

The title refers to a line spoken by the Three Witches in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, and was later used as the title of a horror novel by Ray Bradbury.

Kitty Pryde officially joins the team this issue taking on the codename Sprite. Originally, the creators had meant for her to take on the codename Ariel, with the intention of later adding more students, among them a “Caliban.” As editor-in-chief Shooter nixed these plans, without a Caliban, there wasn’t much point to having an Ariel, and so Kitty became Sprite.

Kitty’s joke at taking the name of Sprite as long as no one “pulls her tab,” is a joke regarding sodas of the time. While Sprite is still popular today, “TaB” is less known and distributed today. It was Coca-Coca’s first attempt at a sugar-free, diet soda, named on the notion that drinkers were keeping “tabs” on their weight. TaB was eventually supplanted by Diet Coke and removed from most venues but a still enjoys a small group of loyal consumers.

Wolverine simply walked out of his job at Department H in Giant Size X-Men #1. Since then, there were confrontations between him and Vindicator – not to mention the rest of Alpha Flight – in issues #109 and #120-121 respectively.

Wolverine’s adventures with the Hulk and the Wendigo took place in Incredible Hulk #180-181. Wendigo and the Hulk previously met in Incredible Hulk #162.

The other Alphans (Aurora, Northstar and Sasquatch) are busy in Machine Man #18, though the note in the issue wrongly refers to issue #19.

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