X-Men Adventures (Season I) #6

Issue Date: 
March 1993
Story Title: 
Northern Exposure

Ralph Macchio (writer), Andrew Wildman (penciler), Robert C Campanella (inker), Michael Higgins (letterer), Dana Moreshead (colorist), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Based on the Teleplay by Michael Edens


Brief Description: 

Wolverine is in the Arctic, he reminds himself that he had to split from the X-Mansion, he couldn't take being near Jean and Cyclops. He heads north, unaware that Sabretooth has been tracking him and is out for revenge. With dynamite rigged to an ice-bridge, Sabretooth detonates it as Wolverine starts to cross, sending the X-Man falling into the ice-cold arctic water. Wolverine emerges from the water to find Sabretooth on an ice-floe nearby. But Wolverine is too weak to attack him, and he collapses. He is found sometime later by Pooyetah and his son, Keuwock, two men from the local Inuit village. Pooyetah is determined to help the mysterious stranger, but Keuwock thinks they could get a reward from the government settlement for handing him in. Wolverine wakes in their house, Pooyetah and Keuwock are surprised that he has recovered from the cold so fast. Wolverine wants to help out around the village, to repay the debt for their rescuing him. Keuwock doesn't like him, even more so when he and Wolverine go fishing, and Wolverine catches a much larger amount of fish than Keowock. The female villagers swoon over Wolverine as well. Wolverine and Pooyetah discuss the villagers, who are happy thanks to what Wolverine has been doing for them. Wolverine joins in their evening celebrations, while an angry Keuwock storms off, and is located by Sabretooth, who enlists Keuwock's help to make Wolverine disappear. The next morning, Wolverine and Keuwock are out fishing on the boat, when Keuwock reveals he knows what mutants are, and that they are evil. Wolverine wonders who told Keuwock about mutants, when they see that the village is ablaze. They row the boat back to shore and Wolverine realizes Sabretooth has been here. Keuwock explains tthat he wanted revenge against Wolverine, and Sabretooth told him to lead Wolverine away from the village, but he didn't know this would happen. Wolverine believes Keuwock, and they follow the footprints in the snow, leading to where Sabretooth has the villagers tied up with explosives. Sabretooth lunges at Wolverine and they battle. Seeing Wolverine is in trouble, Keuwock tries to help, but Sabretooth just slashes him with his claws. Wolverine gathers himsdelf and throws Sabretooth off an ice-ledge, realizing that he has seconds before the explosives detonate. He instructs Pooyetah to lead the others to safety, and throws the dynamite over the ledge, some of it breaks, and Wolverine falls with it – until Pooyetah grabs him and helps him up. However, Keuwock did not survive Sabretooth's attack. A small funeral is held back agt the burnt village, and Wolverine and Pooyetah exchange advice, before Wolverine departs. Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, the X-Men are discussing Wolverine's disappearance, while Gambit is angry at Cyclops because he wants to investigate the island nation of Genosha, which claims to welcome mutants, and he thinks they should investigate. In fact, as the Professor explains, Cyclops has spoken to him about this, and he agrees that a team of X-Men should go to investigate. Gambit, Storm and Jubilee arrive at Kennedy Airport, and after checking in at the ticket booth, they are approached by a woman from the Citizens for Mutant Regulation, who asks them to sign her petition for stricter government regulation of mutants. Gambit takes her petition, kinetically charges it, and gives it back to her. Arriving in Genosha, the X-Men are given the keys to their bungalow, while a hotel clerk phones someone to report that new arrivals are here. Relaxing in their bungalow that night, Storm, Gambit and Jubilee soon fall to gas that seeps in , and soldiers, backed up by Sentinels come to collect them!

Full Summary: 

The Arctic, where a lone figure surveys the bleakness before him. 'Can't get much farther away from the world than this' Wolverine a.k.a. Logan decides, wearing a snowsuit, backpack strapped to his back, he tells himself that it still isn't far enough for him, as the white icy terrain shines back at him from under the sun. He reminds himself that he had to split from the X-Mansion because he couldn't take being near Scott and Jean knowing how they feel about each other – and how he feels about her. 'The way she was holding him in the Morlock Tunnels when he was hurt – like he was the only thing on Earth that mattered. Ahh, Jeannie, I wish I never met you' Wolverine thinks to himself as he adjusts his skies, and moves down a slope, telling himself that he has to keep moving, pushing north until there ain't any more north to reach for. He believes that somewhere up in all this white he is going to forget it all – lose himself in the snow and the sparkle. However, Logan doesn't see his deadly enemy, Sabretooth, on an ice-ridge nearby. 'Yer slippin', pal. Ten years ago I never could'a got this close. You were always on yer toes back then. Things change, though' Sabretooth thinks to himself, as Wolverine approaches an ice-bridge. He thinks it looks strong enough to support his weight, and starts to walk over it – he doesn't see the dynamite shoved underneath the middle of the bridge.

Sabretooth holds the detonator in his hands and thinks that after he infiltrated the X-Mansion under the pretense of being hurt, Logan caught onto his act, because they go way back, then after they had their little tussle, the Professor turned him over to the cops – but it was a snap getting away from them and tracking Wolverine up here. 'Laying my trap so I could do – this' he thinks to himself as he presses the detonator, which causes the bridge to explode, sending chunks of ice and Wolveirne crashing down into the icy water beneath.

Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion in Westchester County, New York, Jubilee, Remy “Gambit” LeBeau, Jean Grey, Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Ororo “Storm” Munroe are gathered in the War Room with Professor X, as Cyclops announces that Wolverine hasn't turned up and it has been days since he left. 'Wow! What a bummer!' Jubilee mutters. Jean reports Logan's room was cleared out and that he left no note. The Professor turns to Gambit and points out that he looks disturbed. Gambit declares that he and Cyclops have been arguing of late, and Wolverine's disappearance doesn't change anything. Gambit announces that he has been reading about the island of Genosha, where mutants are welcomed with open arms. He believes that they need a rest, as they have been on edge. Angrily, Gambit turns to Cyclops and declares that he says no, that he won't even bring the subject, as deputy leader, to the Professor. 'Well, it in the open now! What you think, Summers?' Gambit snaps. 'Back off my back, Remy' Cyclops retorts, pointing out that this isn't the time or place to discuss going away on vacation, as they have got serious business to deal with. The Professor informs Gambit that Cyclops has spoken to him about Genosha, and that he believes this is the perfect time to put together a team to investigate it. The Professor adds that Wolverine is an adult and will return of his own accord. Storm smiles, and Jubilee exclaims 'That-a-way, Professor! You're a primo guy!' Jean looks concerned, and remarks that she is only worried Wolverine won't be joining them. 'But I suppose, wherever he is, he's safe' she concludes.

Back in the Arctic, Sabretooth stands at the edge of the icy water, 'So, it's over, Logan! And I'm the only one standing!' he calls out. He declares that doing dirty work for Magneto has been a blast, but this little payback was strictly personal. He grins as he remarks that he wishes he could have ripped Wolverine to shreds with his bare hands, but there is something sweet about Wolverine not knowing what hit him, too. 'Yeah, but looking in yer face, that might'a been -' Sabretooth begins, when suddenly, Wolverine's claws hand bursts out of the deadly water. 'Gotta pull myself up – water freezing! Bridge didn't collapse – exploded! All broke up – but healing factor kicking in' Logan thinks to himself as his claws slice into the ice. 'Ya got more lives than a cat, you chump! But it ain't doing ya any good!' Sabretooth calls out from the other side of the water. 'Maybe them explosives didn't do ya in – but yer gonna freeze to death in a few hours – less ya find two sticks to rub together!' Sabretooth laughs. 'SABRETOOTH!' roars Wolverine.

The pain wracked figure collapses into unconsciousness as his mutant metabolism closes the wounds, miraculously restoring the tissue to its normal health and vigor. The snarls of his cheated enemy grow distant, replaced by the sound of lapping waves against the ice floe that carries Wolverine away. Far away, until, he is discovered. An elderly local man stands over Wolverine's unmoving body and announces that he is alive. His voice causes Wolverine to stir, and the old man turns back on the ice floe to several other men in a canoe. He reports that there is no telling how long he has suffered exposure, and they must take him to the village. He addresses one of the younger men as Keuwock. Keuwock calls the oldfer man Pooyetah and points out that the stranger could bring a big reward if they take him south to the government settlement. 'Maybe enough for a new snow-mobile' he suggests. Wolverine is placed in the canoe and the men paddle away, with Pooyetah telling Keuwock to hurry, as there is no telling how long the stranger has been out here. 'Where can he be from? Are others of his tribe aware he is missing, I wonder?' Keuwock replies.

At Kennedy Airport, Terminal Four, Gambit, Storm and Jubilee walk away from the check-in terminal where staff are busy with other travelers, and Gambit remarks to Jubilee that he has never seen her champing at the bit so much. 'What ails you?' he asks her. 'Get with it, Gumbo! I'm champing to do some serious beach time! Yessss!' Jubilee replies. As they carry on through the terminal, a blonde woman smiles at Gambit and holds up a petition as she stands under a sign that reads “CMR: Works for Your Rights”. She explains that she is with the Citizens for Mutant Regulation, and that they are asking everyone to sign their petition calling for stricter government regulations on mutants. 'Will you join our cause?' she asks. Gambit smiles back at her and taking the clipboard holding the petition, he tells her that she performs a noble service. 'Who knows where these evil ones they hide, eh?' he asks, as he starts to sign the petition. 'Perhaps there is one among us even as we speak, non?' Gambit suggests as kinetically charges the clipboard and gtosses it back to the woman. 'Gambit! You risk our exposure by such an open display of your power!' Storm whispers. 'Hey, I thought it was kinda neat!' Jubilee grins. 'Put me on the mailing list, as well, merci! Au revoir!' Gambit calls out to the CMR advocate as the clipboard and papers blow up before her.

The Arctic once again, where Wolverine has come to. 'Where am I?' he asks as he sits up, to find Pooyetah and Keuwock seated nearby. 'Sabretooth – I remember! He blew up the ice-bridge I was on! Where is he?' Wolverine asks. Pooyetah informs Wolverine that they know nothing of this Sabretooth, and introduces himself as the elder of this tribe of the Inuit, before revealing that Keuwock is his son, and that they found him unconscious on an ice floe. 'We've taken you to our village to recover your strength' the younger local explains. Pooyetah tells Wolverine that he needs rest, as he amost died in the cold. 'Accept our hospitality' he adds, surprised as Wolverine starts to get up. 'How can you rise? No man recovers from the ice so rapidly!' Pooyetah exclaims. 'I'm a mu – let's just say I'm a fast healer' Wolverine replies, interrupting himself. He walks towards the door and adds that he bets there is lot to do around here. 'Little hard work'll help me pay off thje debt I owe you. Be seeing ya' Logan tells the men. Pooyetah tells his son that Wolverine is a strange one, haunted in some way. 'And this Sabretooth...' he begins. 'He's a man with secrets, father' Keuwock points out, adding that he refuses to believe in omens, but that there is something tragic about Wolverine. 'As there is about us all, Keuwock' the older man replies.

In the following days, Logan joins the activities of the Inuit. He is in a canoe with Keuwock, nets over the side to catch some fish, and Keuwock tells Wolverine thsat it will take him many months before he is able to pull in large numbers of fish in the net. 'This is a great skill' he ponts out. 'I hear ya, pal' Wolverine replies as he easily brings in a much larger haul than Keuwock. They make their way across the ice, and Wolverine declares that he is not only a fast healer, but a fast learner, too. 'Think we got enough for chow, tonight?' Logan asks. 'I see my teaching's paid off, Wolverine. Until now, my nets were always the most full' Keuwock replies. Wolverine holds a knife to one of the fish he has caught and assures Keuwock that he is not interested in cutting in on his turf, but that he isn't playing the stooge, either. 'No offense meant' Logan adds. 'None taken... my friend' Keuwock frowns. A woman gooes over to where Logan is laying the fish out and calls out to another, 'Kooton, look at the stranger. He has caught and filleted more fish than the rest of the tribe together'. She then tells Keuwock that his old record is broken. 'I never thought I'd see the day' she grins. 'Nor I, Nobok' Keuwock scowls in response at the woman.

Later, the tribe has eaten, and several dance around a large fire, while Wolverine sits with Pooyetah, who remarks that this is the best catch since the big ships came from the south and took all the fish. Wolverine tells Pooyetah that his people seem happy. 'Because of you, Wolverine' Pooyetah responds. Logan admits that he has been feeling pretty good lately, and remarks that he is not often at peace. 'What is the turmoil in your soul, my friend? We still know so little of your heart' Pooyetah smiles. Wolverine replies that he still knows so little of it himself, but what he has seen scares him though, so better it stays hidden. Pooyetah tells Wolverine to come, it is because of him they celebrate, and now it his turn. Wolverine sees others being tossed into the air on blankets that the tribe hold up, and smiles, 'Just gimme an airsick bag' he jokes, and shortly, some of the tribe toss Wolverine into the air. 'How many times I gotta go up in this flippin' blanket?' Wolverine calls out. 'Until the celebration is over' someone calls back. 'Swell' Wolverine mutters.

Nearby, Keuwock watches, 'I was the one they cheered – before he came' he thinks to himself, before turning, he walks away, recalling that he was once the tribal hero, though he pretended it meant little, now Wolverine is their hero, a stranger. Suddenly, 'Hey, rusty, don't ya know walking alone in the woods at night is dangerous?' a voice calls out. 'Who are you?' a wide-eyed Keuwock asks, as Sabretooth appears behind him. 'Now there's an original response. Bet it's a great pick up line with the ladies' Sabretooth jokes, before sniffing Keuwock, and telling him that he has the stink of Wolverine on him. 'I got it even though the lousy smell of fish. And I been tailing that stench fer weeks' Sabretooth adds, before asking Keuwock if he is a friend of Wolverine's. 'No. No, I am no friend of his' Keuwock responds. 'Don't fib ta me, flounder-face! As of now – yer on borrowed time!' Sabretooth snarls as he knocks Keuwock backwards. But Keuwock looks scared, and he assures Sabretooth that he doesn't lie. He explains that he was the leader of his tribe's young men, and now they follow Wolverine, and the women laugh at him. 'Hhe has made me a fool to my people' Keuwock declares. 'Save it for Oprah!' Sabretooth declares, before asking Keuwock if he wants to get back at that sawed-off shrimp? 'Well, maybe he ain't told ya, but he's a mutant – like me. And I don't like competition' Sabreooth remarks, asking Keuwock if he wants to make Wolverine disappear, to listen to what he has to say and not to screw up.

Half a world away, at the Kensington Resort Hotel, in Genosha, Storm, Gambit and Jubilee stand at the check in, and the staff hands them their keys, informing them that they have bungalow twelve and he will have a bellhop take their bags. 'You are most kind' Storm smiles. As the trio follows the bellhop with their bags, the man behind the desk wishes them a pleasant stay. 'We wouldn't dream of having any other!' Gambit calls back. 'You're a wit' Jubilee mutters, while the man behind the counter narrows his eyes and picks up the telephone: 'New arrivals. Make preparations' he says to someone.

Morning in the Arctic, a placid setting that masks the turmoil which is moments from erupting. 'Okay, Bub, you wanted to go fishing... just the two of us. Now come across, what's up?' Wolverine asks. Nervously, Keuwock asks him what he means. 'We still have far to go to the hunting ground' Keuwock points out. 'We're going nowhere. Now give' Wolverine declares, moving closer to Keuwock, who produces a harpoon and holds it towars Wolverine. 'You – you are a mutant! Evil thing!' Keuwock shouts. 'Yeah, you get the door prize!' Logan replies as he pops his claws and knocks the harpoon away from the frightened Keuwock. 'Now who told you about mutants, chum?' Wolverine asks, when suddenly, he hears the sounds of explosions. They turn back to the fishing camp, and see that it is ablaze.

Moments later, they have returned to shore, 'All the people are missing, but I got a hunch – cause even with all the smoke there's no way I'm getting this scent wrong. Sabretooth!' Wolverine exclaims, examining some footprints in the ice, he supposes that Sabretooth ran into Keuwock somewhere and the two of them had a little pow wow. 'Yes. It is true' Keuwock admits. 'You made the other tribesmen laugh at me. You stole my position. Before you came – I was looked up to and admired'. Keuwock explains that he wanted revenge, 'The other stranger said to lead you away from the camp and he would set a trap. But I became over-anxious. Scared' Keuwock adds, asking Wolverine to believe him when he says he didn't know about this. Wolverine assures Keuwock that he believes him. 'Yer a stupid, glory-grabbing punk who don't know when he's got it good!' Wolverine tells Keuwock, asking him how he likes the results of his little scheme. 'You been played for a sap – and everyone ya know's paying for it' Logan points out.

They start to make their way across the snowy terrain, as Wolverine reports that he is following these tracks no matter where they lead, because he has a score to settle with Sabretooth. 'You wanna tag along – yer welcome, maybe you'll be a hero' Wolverine suggests to Keuwock, warning him that what is coming up is not going to be pretty. 'You still game?' Logan enquires. Keuwock tells Logan that he will come with him, for there is nothing left for him here now. 'Ah, don't let 'im foold ya, Eskimo! Ol' Logan's always been a great kidder!' Sabretooth calls out from his position on a nearby ice-ledge. 'Whattaya mean it ain't gonna be pretty? Red blood splattering on virgin snow – I can get into that!' Sabretooth grins. He asks Wolverine what the matter is. 'You didn't need to use them tracking senses of yours, 'cause I ain't hiding from you. I'm waiting right here!' Sabretooth calls out from the ledge. Wolverine tells Sabretooth to cut the breast-beating and tell him what happened to the villagers. 'Keep ya parka on, I got the rubes cooling their heels down there' Sabretooth replies, motioning to a lower part of the ice, where the tribe are held captive, chained together with a little explosive device. 'See, all I gotta do is flip this switch' Sabretooth smiles, holding the detonator up. 'Like so, and now you got one minute to get past me and save 'em! Let's give 'em a show!' Sabretooth exclaims as he flips the switch. 

Sabretooth roars as he leaps towards Wolverine, 'Little slow on the uptake, shorty!' he exclaims as he lands on Wolverine and shoves him to the ground. 'But I shoulda known! Back when we were working special ops together – I was always watching yer back – pulling her blasted butt outta the fire...when I wasn't kicking it!' Sabretooth exclaims, as ice and snow is tossed about. Sabretooth slashes Wolverine's snowsuit, but wolverine pops his calws and slashes back at Sabretooth. 'Took yer best shot, pal – and it ain't enough! Never was!' Sabretooth exclaims as he knocks Wolverine back. He grins wickedly and declares that this was worth the whole bloody trip – he can taste it. 'Hold that pose, pansy! I wanna remember that suckker's look on yer face – before it becomes part of this rock!' Sabretooth exclaims as he holds a large rock overhead, preparing to bring it down on the dazed Wolverine. 'Gonna make it – eh?' Sabretooth exclaims, as Keuwock comes up behind him and knocks the rock out of Sabretooth's hands. 'No! He is not the evil one here – you are! I won't allow his death!' Keuwock declares. 'Well bully fer you, boy scout. Guess what? You're going down first! Got me?' Sabretooth snarls as he lashes out at Keuwock with his claws.

This gives Wolverine the time he needs to get back to his feet, and popping his claws, he tells Sabretooth that is the last crack he will ever make. 'Cutting up a kid 'cause he got in yer way, just like friends of mine did years back – who ended up the same!' Wolverine points out. 'well, here's fer all of 'em, murderer! EAT THIS!' Wolverine shouts as he slashes away at Sabretooth, then picks him up and holds him overhead. 'Yer gonna stay nice and fresh at the bottom of this glacier, Bub!' Wolverine tells Sabretooth. 'So when I come trekking through these parts again, I'll know where to find the carcass – and I can spit in yer dead eye!' Wolverine adds as he throws the wide-eyed Sabretooth from the ravine. 'That settles it between us. Now I gotta get those Eskimos outta here!' Wolverine thinks to himself as he races to the tribe, hoping that Keuwock did his part and unshackled them. When he sees Pooyetah and the others, Logan knows that Keuwock did his part, and he tells the others not to stand here looking at him, to clear out, because the detonator is about to go off in five seconds. Wolverine tosses the detonator off the ravine, and it explodes. 'Or less' he mutters, but the whole glacier is rocked by the explosion, and Wolverine loses his grip on the slippery ledge. He falls, and knows that he has to pull himself up, or else it is all over.

'Here, friend Wolverine. Take my hand. There will be no more loss of life this day' Pooyetah calls out as he reaches down to help Wolverine up. 'Seems like there's been enough to last a lifetime' Wolverine replies. 'You mean Keuwock, the headstrong one' Pooyetah replies. 'Yer boy, yeah. Nothing I can say...' Wolverine begins, '...cept that he went out a hero. Yer whole tribe can be proud. I am' Wolverine tells Pooyetah as they look over to see Keuwock lying in a pool of blood.

Shortly, at the burnt village, a small funeral is underway. Keuwock's body lies on a table, as Wolverine and Pooyetah stand nearby. 'Everybody's got their rituals, Pooyetah. But death's still death' Wolverine remarks. Pooyetah agrees, and points out that life must continue, and that until their dwellings are replaced, they will have to move to the government settlement for a while. 'Still, we have each other. What do you have, Wolverine?' Pooyetah asks. Wolverine reveals that he walked out on the only family he knew, the situation there got to be too much to deal with, so he split for the far north to deal with his feelings. 'And cause of it, Keuwock's -' Wolverine begins, but Pooyetah interrupts him and tells him to go back to his family, as he is sure those he left will embrace him again. And if not, you have but to seek us out. You have a place here – always' Pooyetah informs Wolverine. As he walks away, Wolverine tells Pooyetah that he appreciates it, and that sometimes even a loner has to know somebody is burning a candle in the window for them somewhere. 'Maybe I'll be seeing you again, Mister, take care' Wolverine calls back.

Meanwhile, in a bungalow on the Genoshan shore, the stars shine down over the enigmatic island nation, and Gambit declares that this is his notion of a perfect mission. Relaxing in a chair, he adds that it is a pity Cyclops decided to remain in the States. Storm points out that Cyclops did not want them all in one place should something unforseen occur, which she thinks is understandable. 'And dumb. What grief could we get on this paradise – except sunburned tootsies' Jubilee remarks. Suddenly, panels slide down and cover the doors and windows, while a gas starts to seep into the bungalow. Gambit charges a playing card and tells Jubilee to hold her breath. 'We make the quick escape, non?' Gambit suggests as he tosses the card at the wall, and although it explodes, the three mutants fall to the floor. 'Too late, Gambit! We have inhaled too much gas...passing out...' Storm utters. When they are out cold, several armed Genoshan soldiers stand over the X-Men, while two Sentinels appear in the background. 'Worked like a charm. Set 'em up in posh surroundings – get their guard down and – boom! Three more ready for the slaughter!' one of the guards exclaims. 'Look at them – sleeping like babies. If these clowns only knew what's waiting for them... they'd be begging us to plug 'em full of goles right now!' another guard exclaims. 'Sweet dreams, muties!' he adds.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Jubilee,Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor X (all X-Men)



Keuwock, Nobuck, Pooyetah and other Inuit

Airport staff and travelers

Citizens of Mutant Regulations advocate

Resort staff

Genoshan soldiers


Story Notes: 

This issue is based on “Cold Vengeance”, which originally screened on 6 February 1993.

Wolverine's absence was discovered by Cyclops and Jean Grey at the end of the last issue.

Sabretooth infiltrated the X-Mansion in X-Men Adventures (Season I) #3-4.

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