A young James Howlett stands over his dead parents and a girl named Rose yelled out “James”.
Xavier’s Narration: The Howlett Estate. Canada, 19th century.
“The memories are like shattered glass. Fragments of a shattered life. Like flashes from a nightmare that never fade completely. But can never be remembered in full. In one instant, the child’s entire existence changes. The smell of the blood, of the gunpowder…even in these lost memories, his incredible senses are like beacons. The sound of a girl’s scream, her red shimmering hair, the smell of her fear…it shocks him back to reality. But to the child, reality itself is now the nightmare. Everything he knew, everything he was is gone. Only the animal remains.”
Many years later:
Wolverine is woken by a soldier. He is in a plane over Canada. He is told to suit up, he is about to be dropped to his next target. While Wolverine gets ready the soldiers call him a mutant and an animal. They say they would all be better off if he got killed. It does not go unheard by Wolverine’s keen sense of hearing. As he falls from the plane he says to himself in response to their suggestion “Here’s hoping.”
When Wolverine returns to Department H headquarters his commanding officer, Major Chasin, is furious that Wolverine did not kill his target. “You’re not a man, you’re a killer. And if we tell you to kill someone, you be a good little dog and kill them!” Chasin says to Wolverine who in turn grabs Chasin, pops his claws and says, “You don’t know what I am.” Soldiers draw their weapons and Chasin tells Wolverine to stand down or they will put him down like the animal he is.
Flashback to the 19th Century:
James Howlett is hunting down a deer with a pack of wolves.
“More fragments. The hunt, a rush of adrenaline, the fear of the prey. He pushes down the older memories, the trauma of the violent loss of his parents, of realizing that he isn’t human. His mind simply could not cope. He loses himself to the animal. At seventeen he is more beast than man. Life is simpler that way. The pack hunts. They feed. The pain fades. But he’s still haunted by the screams, the nightmare he can’t remember.”
Xavier continues to narrate the events of Wolverine’s past. Years later Wolverine was face down in the snow when he was approached by a man and two soldiers. The soldiers shot Wolverine down. He was taken into the Weapon X program where they gave him an adamantium skeleton. They wiped his memory and trained him to be an ultimate killer. All he could remember of his past was a name, Logan. They tried to control him but they did so in vain. Wolverine’s animal side took over and he went into a berserker rage killing everything he could find.
After killing everything he could in the Weapon X facility, Wolverine wandered the cold snow covered wilderness of Canada. He stumbled onto a house where he was found by a woman. For a moment he saw her as Rose, the girl from his past. She was Heather Hudson. She and her husband James took Wolverine in and got him well. James brought him to Department H. James was starting a super hero team called Alpha Flight. But while James was still assembling that team Major Chasin used Wolverine as an assassin. Heather started to worry because Wolverine was getting distant. Due to all the killing assignments Wolverine could feel that he was losing control again.
Wolverine is lying in his room at Department H when is told to come to Major Chasin’s office to meet someone. When he arrives he is introduced to Professor Charles Xavier. Chasin tells Xavier he has five minutes. Xavier tells Wolverine he wants him to join his school and work for him. Chasin gets angry and calls in guards to throw Xavier out. Xavier freezes everyone with his mind except Wolverine. Xavier tells Wolverine he will help him recover his past if he agrees to come with him. When Xavier lets everyone go Wolverine tells Chasin he quits.
As Wolverine and Xavier leave, Chasin calls someone and says “Wolverine is off the reservation. He’s all yours.” When Wolverine and Xavier arrive at the jet they both sense something is wrong. The jet blows up and soldiers surround the two men. One soldier yells out, “Tranq Weapon X. Put the collar on Xavier.” Wolverine doesn’t understand and Xavier explains that Weapon X turns mutants into weapons. Xavier has a concussion and can’t use his powers. Xavier says that his powers could kill and that he can’t be captured. He asks Wolverine to kill him but Wolverine says he will kill all of them instead.
While Wolverine is fighting off the soldiers he sees Xavier being captured. Wolverine goes into his animalistic rage and massacres the soldiers. Xavier sees firsthand the violence Wolverine has within him. “This was violence as a force of nature. This was evolution. Nature had created a creature that was a perfect killer. And man had found a way to make it better. This was death indiscriminate and uncaring. The man called Logan was gone. He had given in to the animal that he hated so much. And the animal wasn’t done killing.”
In his rage Wolverine tries to kill Xavier. Xavier tells Wolverine he is a man not an animal and he can control it. Wolverine is able to overcome his rage and not kill Xavier. When they finally reach Xavier’s school Wolverine is introduced to the X-Men. Xavier tells him “You believe yourself an outcast? A monster? Hated and feared by those around you? Then I say welcome home. Welcome to the X-Men.”