Wolverine (2nd series) #96

Issue Date: 
December 1995
Story Title: 
Campfire Tales

Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert & Luciano Lima (pencilers), Dan Green (inker), Joe Rosas (colors), Comicraft (letters), Malibu (seps), Bob Harras (editor) cover by Adam Kubert & Jesse Delperdang

Brief Description: 

In the Canadian Rockies, Logan, Storm, Cannonball and Caliban are enjoying a trip to nature. When they reach the summit of a mountain, they make camp and Logan tells them off a time when Ororo Munroe showed compassion to him after his failed attempt at marrying Mariko Yashida. Before other tales can be told, however, Logan senses something in the surrounding woods. There, Zoe and her associate Noah are continuing to monitor Logan’s activities. However, they aren’t what Logan sensed, which was a bear. Zoe stops Noah from killing the bear and begins to have second thoughts about what they are doing, eventually transporting herself and Noah away. Oblivious to this, after dealing with the bear peacefully, Logan wonders how he is going to tell his friends that the feral side is coming out of him. Meanwhile in Egypt, Cyber is overpowered by Genesis and his Dark Riders and is tossed inside a chamber where his body is eaten by a swarm of mutant deathwatch beetles. When the beetles have completed consuming his flesh, all that is left is his adamantium. With it, Genesis finally has a mean to his ends.

Full Summary: 

In the Canadian Rockies, Caliban – climbing up the side of a mountain – asks “friend-Sam” (Cannonball) if they are having fun yet. Behind him, Sam replies that he’s too tired and sore to tell. At the top of the mountain, Logan mentions to Storm ain’t that somethin’. Storm then yells down to Sam and Caliban to get up there immediately. Using his blast power, Sam takes off towards the top. As he does, he says to Caliban that it sounds like Wolverine and Storm are in trouble up there. Caliban replies that he is coming as fast as he can.

Once they both reach the top of the mountain, Sam says to Logan and Storm that he they thought they were in danger up there. Logan informs him that he guesses you could say they’re in danger o’ gettin’ their faces beat by the sheer stupefyin’ beauty o’ the sunset before them. Storm agrees and asks is it not breath-taking. Caliban, carrying the heaviest bag and wearing a duck hat, says that his breath is already taken away. Sam agrees, as both of them collapse from the heat. To this, Caliban asks Logan & Storm to wake them up when the fun starts.

Logan tells them that they gotta let nature seep into them; it ain’t the same as seein’ it in virtual reality. Storm adds this is an important thing – one finds the body with nutritious food, one feeds the soul with beauty. As both of them begin to suck down water, Sam replies that it sure is right pretty, but it was still gonna be there when they got up there. And besides, it happens every day around this time. Caliban adds that he doesn’t understand, this trip was supposed to be fun. Sam agrees and says gettin’ all hot and sweaty is not his idea of fun. Storm informs them some of their problems can be alleviated.

Just then, Storm calls up a rainstorm that drenches them both. Once they are sufficiently soaked, Storm asks them if that suffices to regulate their body temperatures. A little perturbed, Sam and Caliban say yes it did, thank you. Logan then informs them to pick out a nice dry spot for a fire, while he rounds up some firewood.

Later that night, as all four of them are around a campfire, Sam introduces Caliban to S’Mores, which he finds to be quite good. Sam mentions to the group that this reminds him of campouts back when he was a boy, out in the woods with his daddy. They’d sit by the campfire and look at the stars while he’d tell the best stories in the world. Caliban says yes and asks Logan to tell some stories. Logan says okay and begins to tell them about a couple who was in their car at a Lovers’ Lane and they heard this scratching at their window like some sort of metal hook or something… Sam cuts him off and tells him that’s not what they meant; they want stories about the X-Men. Caliban agrees and says the fights, the big adventures. Logan looks at them and says war stories, huh.

Logan begins to tell them of a time when he was talkin’ to spirits, the eighty proof kind. He didn’t think he was no bon vivant; he jus’ wanted to be numb. He drank away his pride and didn’t care how pathetic some others thought he was. Others like Rogue, Colossus, Ariel and Storm. He had his excuses. Every drunk has an excuse. Staring at a photo of himself and Mariko Yashida, Logan recalls he had the fear o’ the animal in him. Fear and self pity like to make ya forget who your friends are until one o’ them comes knockin’ at yer door. It was Ororo askin’ him to come up to her attic greenhouse with her. Said there was somethin’ she wanted to show him. Showing him a flower she told him it was supposed to be a hybrid cypripedium but it turned out to be something else entirely. It is a mutant just like them. Logan recalls that it was beautiful, eerie and strange. Like some alien creature swayin’ in the moonlight, all alone and orphaned in the genetic wilderness.

Then… Ororo cut it. It was a one-of-a-kind flower and she cut it and gave it to him. She told him he is a one-of-a-kind person and that there are things of ephemeral beauty. They bloom and they fade. They must appreciate them while they are there. After she gave the flower to him, she asked him if he didn’t think it would look pretty in a vase next to his picture o’ Mariko.

At that moment, Sam asked if that’s when Sabretooth came crashin’ through the door, right. Caliban says no, it was Lady Deathstrike. Logan tells them nope, that was it, no big fight. No intergalactic travel, no transdimensional warping. No cavalry to the rescue. The point is, they take care of their own. That there are some among them that don’t lecture and preach, but who show the way with their actions and their hearts. Storm says no more than he’s done for her or all the other X-Men… Logan then tells her to be quiet and still – somethin’s out there.

Near the group, in the woods and under cloaking cover, Noah asks Zoe how Logan can sense them; isn’t their cloaking device working? Zoe tells him that he’s not talking about them; he’s talking about the grizzly bear that’s behind them. Noah turns, sees the bear and states it is jeopardizing their surveillance and thereby subject to disincorporation with extreme prejudice. Zoe yells at Noah that use of an impulse weapon on this plane is proscribed by their charter. Noah tells her that this is nothing compared to what they’ve already done. Zoe is able to knock his hand away, but not before it grazes the bear’s arm. As she does, she tells Noah that maybe she’s had enough. Maybe Landau, Luckman and Lake have gone too far this time. Zoe then opens up a teleportation area and pulls Noah through it. While she does, Noah tells her that she can make it right, that’s why they call her the…. He is cut off when the teleportation area closes.

Just then, Logan sees the bear and tells his friends to clear outta there, it’s wounded and angry. As soon as Logan can push Storm and Caliban out of the way, the bear leaps at him and slashes Logan across the chest. Sam answers by slamming his fists down onto the head of the bear, telling it dumb animal or not, it just ripped up his friend and he’s not gonna…. The bear, unfazed by Sam’s attack, responds by slashing Sam across the face, knocking him down. Seeing that, Caliban rushes over to Sam and tells him he will save him.

On the ground, Sam tells Cal to run, save himself. Caliban informs him “nooo,” he won’t leave him. Storm jumps into action and is just about to unleash her lightning power when Logan stops her. He tells her she don’t want to do that; it ain’t out to kill. It’s just hurt and afraid. Ororo asks that he can sense that. Logan tells her that it’s part o’ becomin’ more feral and tosses a marshmallow at the bear. He says that it’s part o’ the regression that started when Magneto sucked the adamantium outta him. When Ororo asks him about his wounds, Logan tells her that his mutant healin’ factor’s goin’ great guns, ain’t it?

Later, the four friends are high in a tree, as the bear eats their food below. Sitting on the same branch, Ororo says to Logan that they’ve all been a little worried about him. Despite these changes he has been going through in the end, it was the rest of them and not him, who resorted to violence. Logan tells her that killin’ anything is bad mojo. That’s why every huntin’ society has cleansin’ rituals for after the hunt. People get too civilized; they forget that they need stuff like that. He asks if she knows what he means. Taking his hand, Ororo says that some of them may forget that but he certainly does not. She asks if he remembers the time Magneto had her trapped underwater and he came down to cut her free. He shared the air in his own lungs with her – a sly way to steal a kiss.

Above them, Caliban sighs and says to Sam that they are new to the X-Men. They don’t have history like the others do, so much saving each other. Sam asks him what he is, a kick in the shins. He tried to save him from that bear. Caliban tells him that he tried to save him first. Simultaneously, they both call out no kissies.

As Logan watches an eagle carry off a rabbit, he wonders how he explains it to ‘em. Where he’s goin’ is like another country, a place at the beginnin’ o’ consciousness where all the rules o’ society mean bupkis. It’s a landscape o’ brilliant colors. A whole new spectrum o’ smells where every hair on the back of his hand is sensitive to the slightest shift in the wind. Where his ears perk at the sound o’ footsteps a hundred yards away and a strange new feelin’s roil around inside him like a storm brewin’ in the tropics. He surely ain’t losing cognition or speech. Goin’ feral don’t mean he’s goin’ stupid. It’s just that he’s beginnin’ to see other people in a different light. He’s beginnin’ to see some o’ them as prey.

Somewhere in Egypt, Lifeforce, Spyne and Hurricane lead Cyber down a corridor. They tell him they need him to enter into another testing chamber and run a tensile strength scan on his adamantium. Cyber asks them how come they’re so interested in his adamantium, it ain’t like they can get it off him. It’s bonded to him and…

Just then, he asks them what that weird scurrying sound like thousands o’ hard shells scraping. Hurricane tells him to just step inside please. Before he enters the room, Cyber notices that it doesn’t have any windows and door looks like it’s off a bank vault. They ain’t tryin’ nothin’ funny, are they? Grabbing Hurricane by the throat, Cyber tells them that, if they are, ol’ Cyber’s gonna pop open a can o’ butt-kick on them. Hurricane tells him to just shut up and step into the room. Cyber tells him wrong answer and proceeds to punch him through a nearby wall. Lifeforce then grabs Cyber and tells Spyne to take him down. Spyne mentions that they should have taken him in his sleep. Knocking both Lifeforce and Spyne away, Cyber informs them they couldn’t bring him down if he was anesthetized.

On cue, Genesis leaps through the window of his viewing location and tells his Dark Riders to stand aside; he will deal with Cyber personally. Cyber sees him and says, “So, the head honcho has decided to show himself and asks if he thinks he has the sand to mess with him.” Genesis tells him he is less than the dirt beneath his feet, something to be swept away and discarded. With that, he shoots Cyber with his gun, stunning him. Genesis then orders Hurricane to deal with the garbage. Hurricane responds by tackling Cyber and slamming him into the chamber.

Once Cyber is inside, Lifeforce and Hurricane lock the door and pressure seal the hatch. When that is accomplished, Genesis initiates the stripping process. A moment later, a horde of bugs swarm down on Cyber. Cyber asks, “Bugs? They’re lettin’ bugs on him, they gotta be kiddin’.” Genesis tells him they are death watch beetles, mutant death watch beetles. At that moment, the beetles attack Cyber and he screams out in utter pain. In the control room, Lifeforce hears the unearthly sound of chirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Genesis informs her that is the sound of thousands of insectile mandibles gnawing through meat and cartilage. Hurricane questions how long it takes and Genesis replies mere moments. He tells his Dark Riders the mutant species of Xestobium Rufovillosum is nothing more than an eating machine. They strip away all the soft parts and leave behind all the indigestible adamantium. Seeing the fruits of his labors, Genesis informs them that at last, they have the means to their projected ends.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Zoe Culloden



Genesis, Hurricane, Lifeforce and Spyne (all Dark Riders)

In flashbacks:

Logan, Storm, Ariel (Kitty Pryde), Colossus and Rouge (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

Logan’s tale of his interaction with Storm occurred somewhere after Uncanny X-Men #173.

This issue confirms that the same Noah that was in Wolverine (2nd series) #95 is the same one that was assisting Zoe Culloden in #92 and 93.

The deathwatch beetles were first mentioned in Wolverine (2nd series) #79.

Death and “final appearance” of Cyber. He will, however, be reincarnated in Wolverine Origins #11-12.

Issue Information: 
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