Wolverine (4th series) #5.1

Issue Date: 
April 2011
Story Title: 

Jason Aaron (writer), Jefte Palo (art), Nathan Fairbairn (color art), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Paolo Rivera (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In the Canadian wilderness, Logan is on his way to somewhere when he gets sidetracked by a trail of blood. Following his instincts, Logan is eventually ambushed by a cannibalistic man. When the man, Bufford, returns to his own cabin, he shows his brother Boyd what he has found. However, before they can toss Logan into a pot of boiling grease, Logan comes to and slices off Bufford’s hand. Boyd begins to eat his brother’s hand, leading to a fight between the two. Rather than killing them, Logan takes them to a nearby police station. He then heads to his intended location, another cabin, this one with Melita inside. Melita informs him that all his friends were there and he missed his own surprise birthday party. At first, Logan tells Melita that it isn’t his birthday but she shows him his birth certificate which shows him it is. They then share a tender embrace. Back at the police station, the Buzzard Brothers are broken out of the jail by ninjas of the Hand, who tell them they have a job for them: kill.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, Logan sees an abandoned tractor trailer. He knows as soon as he sees it that his night is shot. Just once, it’d be nice to come across an abandoned truck where the fellas have just run outta gas or had some sorta engine trouble, just once.

Noticing the blood on the snow, he recognizes that it’s from a dog. Butchered, nothing but offal left behind. Trucker’s been dragged off into the night, still alive by the looks of it, by two assailants on foot. And they don’t seem to care if they’re followed, which means they’re either badass and fearless or just plum damn crazy. He catches their scent, focuses on it and, just like that, everything else fades. He forgets where he’s headed, what he was fixin’ to do. Nothing else matters but this trail, this hunt. As of this moment, he’s completely and utterly alone in this world.

Elsewhere, in the Canadian wilderness, Melita Garner is inside a cabin, with a number of Logan’s friends present – Colossus, Iron Fist, Steve Rogers and Doctor Strange are among the guests. A banner reads “Happy Birthday Logan.” The Thing tells Melita that it’s a nice party and asks when the canucklehead gets there. Melita replies that he should be on his way. Excuse her; she thinks someone’s at the door.

Opening the door, Melita sees Luke Cage and Jessica Jones standing there. Melita welcomes them in and offers to take their coats. As she does, Jessica apologizes that they’re late. Their nanny had some sort of squirrel-related emergency to deal with. Looking around, Cage remarks that he’s seen some crazy stuff in his day… like the fact that their nanny is a giant squirrel… but this... this he really had to see to believe. Jessica tells Melita that what Cage means to say is that it’s a pleasure to meet her. And thanks so much for inviting them. Melita tells them she’s glad they could come. Logan’s not there yet but, please, just make themselves at home. Handing a bottle to Melita, Cage tells her it’s for the birthday boy. It’s an 18 year old single malt. He tried getting him a book one time, but damn if he hasn’t already read everything. Melita tells them that’s so nice. She’ll put it with the other gifts (bottles of alcohol).

Mingling at the party, Cage notices steaks, beer and a jukebox full of the Rolling Stones. Melita knows her man, he’ll give her that. Jessica says she seems like a lovely woman. Honestly, not at all what she expected. She means, you hear, “Wolverine’s girlfriend,” you can’t help but picture a porn star with claws. Cage remarks that he’ll give her five to one that he don’t even show. Or he does show and, when they all pop out and yell “surprise,” he flips out and stabs someone. Jessica tells him to please. Cage says he’s just saying remember who they’re talking about here. Jessica proceeds to ask him that if he thought the party was bound to be such a disaster, why did he want to come. Cage asks if she kidding; he wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Rushing through the snow, Logan notices that the trail keeps leading deeper into the woods. It’s gonna be a long night. These fellas are moving fast. And they know this terrain well. Hard to gain any ground on ‘em. His stomach’s grumbling. He finds half a strip of beef jerky in his pocket and washes it down with a fistful of snow. All alone in the forest with some cold jerky and a dirty snow cone. Not exactly the sort of night he had in mind.

Back at the cabin, Deadpool is standing on top of a table. As he does, he tells everybody that it’s time to turn this mother out – karaoke Deadpool-style. Let’s do this. Sweeeeeeet Caaroliiiine! Standing next to Steve Rogers, Colossus and Thing, Luke Cage asks who invited Deadpool. Steve replies nobody actually. Apparently, he just sort of showed up. After Colossus remarks that he did bring a cheese dip, Thing points out that it has bullets in it. Beast proceeds to ask Iceman that Scott (Summers aka Cyclops) couldn’t be bothered to leave his precious island, he sees. Iceman says Scott politely declined, yes. And Emma, when he asked her about it, she just walked away, laughing. Beast remarks God, he does not miss that place.

Seeing Melita conversing with the Sons of the Tiger – Abe Brown, Bob Diamond and Lin Sun, Storm says she’s pretty and sharp. She’s gotta admit, she likes her. So who thinks she has any idea what she’s getting herself into? One by one, Jubilee, Ms. Marvel, Rogue and Spider-Woman agree. Not a damn clue. Just then, Melita exclaims that if everyone’s there, she’d like to say a little something. Is this everyone? Back at Avengers Mansion, Spider-Man wanders the empty halls and asks where everybody is.

After Cage informs Melita that everybody is there, she thanks everybody for coming. It’s really going to mean a lot to Logan that they’re all there. It means a lot to her too, since she’s meeting most of them for the first time. The guest of honor should be arriving any minute now. She’s got Angel out patrolling the skies, keeping an eye out for him. And, before he gets there, Iceman’s going to cover up all the tracks outside and the Invisible Woman’s going to hide all the aircraft. So when he walks in, they’ll all jump out and yell surprise. Under his breath, Cage asks Jessica Jones if he should point out that he’s got super-senses and will know they’re all there from a mile away. Smiling, Jessica tells him, if he does, she’ll kill him.

Continuing, Melita says it’s all pretty corny, she knows. But it’s the kind of party Logan’s never had. They all know he likes to play the cold-hearted loner. But looking around this room, she thinks it’s rather obvious that he’s anything but. They are more than just his friends and colleagues, they’re his family. Upon hearing Melita talk, Deadpool begins to tear up. Melita adds that this is a very special birthday for Logan. He doesn’t even know how special. And she’s just glad he’ll be spending it with all the smiling faces she sees around her.

Inside a cabin filled with bones and beakers with human intestines in them, a large burly man tells his captive “howdy.” ‘Bout time he woke up. He was gettin’ worried. Thought he might’ve bonked him too hard on the noggin back there at the truck. And if he ain’t gonna be awake and screaming the whole time, well, it kinda takes the fun out of it, you know. That dog a’ his, now he was a screamer. Damn good ‘un. Tasted funny thought. Was he on some sorta special diet or somethin’? Him and Bufford et a woman who come through there one time, was a vegan. You know what a vegan is? She tasted all dry and grass-fed, like a damn squirrel. Him, he likes his meat to taste lived in, you know. Americans is the best. Americans taste just like cigarettes and syrup. What about you? You American? You look kinda American to him. You a smoker? Please say yes.

Just then, two gunshots are heard outside. The large man takes a break from stirring his pot and tells the man that’s Bufford. He musta found something. Said he was sure somebody was following them. Guess it’s gonna be a regular old Vegas buffet in there tonight. The trucker begs please…no. The man remarks that he can see he’s admiring his handiwork. Him and his brother, they got a ways with bones and carcasses and such. Reckon that’s why they’re called the Buzzard Brothers. He’s Boyd, Bufford’ll be along directly. Does he wanna see somethin’ cool?

Pulling a gun out of his holster, Boyd asks the trucker ain’t it a beaut? Hand-carved, all outta bone. Ain’t but two like it in the whole world. His brother’s got the other. Whattya think it shoots? Go on, guess. When Boyd points the gun at the trucker’s leg, the trucker screams no, please. After he fires the gun into the man’s leg, he digs into the wound as the man screams in pain. Boyd tells him to stop his squirming. He’s just getting his bullet back is all. Heh, look at that. Tooth bullets. Has he ever seen such a thing, now he asks him.

Kicking the door in, Bufford says he told him there was somebody following them. He caught him out in the woods. Tossing the fallen body of Logan on the floor, Boyd asks if he’s dead. Bufford says he put a whole mouthful of teeth in him. He damn sure oughtta be. Here, help him get him to the cuttin’ board.

Still serving food to her guests, Melita tells them all to eat up, there’s still more steaks. Behind her cheery demeanor, however, Melita silently wonders where Logan is at. Just then, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage inform her that they’re sorry, but they’re gonna have to go. They promised Doreen they wouldn’t be out too late. Cage adds you do not wanna make that squirrel mad, trust him. Walking them out, Melita apologizes. She can’t imagine what’s keeping him. Jessica tells her it’s okay, don’t worry about it. It was a lovely party, really. Inside, Steve Rogers mentions to Thing that it looks like it’s time to pull the chute. He’ll go warm up the Quinjet. With a drunk Deadpool draped over his shoulder, Thing says let’s just go before Deadpool… After Deadpool vomits, Thing says never mind.

In the isolate cabin, Boyd looks over Logan’s prone body and says he’s kinda hairy. Couldn’t they, you know…shave him or somethin’ first? Sharpening up his knife, Bufford tells him if he wants to shave him, go right ahead. Boyd replies he’s just sayin’ he doesn’t wanna be pickin’ hairs outta his stew is all. That’s just gross. Bufford says they’ll deep-fry him. Burn that right off. Boyd says oh yeah, good idea. When Bufford asks if the bathtub is still full of grease, Boyd answers yeah. It’s still full from when they had those boy scouts come by.

As they turn away for a moment, Logan begins to stir, much to the surprise of the captive trucker. Unbeknownst to him, Bufford tells Boyd to get the fire started, he’ll start chopping him up. Excitedly, Boyd says oh boy, it’s gonna smell like French fries in there. He loves it when it smells like French fries. Checking his knife one last time, Bufford tells his victim that it’s time to make the donuts.

The next sound Boyd hears is “snikt” and his brother Bufford screaming. Rushing over towards him, he sees Bufford’s severed left hand lying on the floor. Bufford warns him to watch out. He’s got some kind razor fingers. He done cut off his whittlin’ hand. He then tells his brother to not just stand there like an idiot – shoot him. Looking down, Bufford sees his brother gnawing on his severed hand. Boyd says he’s sorry. He just saw it layin’ there and he was so hungry. Bufford says why you little… and proceeds to attack his brother.

As they fight, Logan gets up off of the table and pulls a tooth bullet out of his forehead. Passing the captive trucker, Logan tells him that it’s all right. This is almost over. Standing over top of the feuding brothers, Logan pops his claws. Looking at ‘em, the two animals, squirming around like they’re alive, but they’re already dead to him. He’s already stabbed ‘em and gutted ‘em and left ‘em outside for the maggots to chew on. He’s already killed ‘em and moved on. He’s already finished the hunt. These dumb-asses just don’t know it yet. Then he remembers who he is and where he’s headed. Whom he’s meeting. And he decides not to go with any more blood on his hands. Not if he can help it. Holstering his claws, Logan kicks the two brothers to the ground and tells them to both shut up or he’ll cut off more than just their hands. Turning to the trucker, Logan asks him how far the nearest police station is from there.

Eventually, Logan reaches the cabin and tells Melita that he’s sorry he’s late. After introducing her to Terrence (the trucker), Logan tells him to make himself at home. As he makes his way over to Melita, she asks him where the hell he has been. Logan tells her “long story” and asks what happened there. Melita says it was supposed to be a surprise. Looking around, Logan says he thought this was gonna be a quiet, little getaway, just them. Sniffing around, he asks if Deadpool was there.

Melita tells him it was a birthday party, a surprise birthday party. She invited all his friends and cooked a bunch of food. But he was late and they all had to leave. She did manage to save him a ste… Just then, the sound of Terrence burping is heard. Chomping away at the lone steak, he asks if they have anymore beer.

Ignoring him, Logan asks his birthday? Melita tells him yes, it was supposed to be a special night. Logan says he doesn’t know what to say. Melita tells him not to be mad. It was all her idea. Logan says it’s not that, it’s not his birthday. It’s sweet and all, but today ain’t his birthday. Pulling out a piece of paper, Melita says that’s the thing. It actually is. She found a record of his birth. Took some doing, but she dug it up. She’s a reporter, that’s what she does. The day he always thought was his birthday, well, turns out he was wrong. It’s actually today. Happy birthday, baby.

Logan asks her how she did this, how did she know…? Melita asks his real name? You talk in your sleep sometimes. If he likes, she could start calling him James. Logan tells her no. Melita says don’t be mad. She just thought with everything that’s happened to him lately that he could use a bit of a new beginning. That’s all she wanted to give him. Pulling out a cake, Melita tells him happy birthday, Logan. As Logan looks down at the cake, Melita says it’s the first real one he’s had in a hundred years. Please, just enjoy it. He deserves it. After a brief moment of silence, Melita asks Logan if he’s still mad at her. Looking up at her, Logan proceeds to tell Terrence that he sleeps on the couch tonight. Just then, Logan talks Melita in his arms and gives her a tender embrace.


At the community police station, Boyd asks the guard if they got nothin’ to eat in this place but beans. He needs some meat. Just a hot dog. Some Spam. Anything! Bufford tells him if he wants meat, he can just cut off his other hand. Maybe that’ll tide him over. Boyd says he told him he was sorry. When is he gonna give it a rest? Yelling out at the guard, Boyd demands to call his lawyer. This is cruel and unusual punishment. Do they hear him?

Just then, the guard falls to the ground with throwing stars in his back. Shadowy figures enter the police station and tell Mr. Buzzard that he will not be needing his lawyer. Boyd asks what the…who the hell are they? The figures reply admirers, they might say. They have been admiring their handiwork for quite some time now. They have come there tonight to present them with a very special employee opportunity. With shocked looks on both the Buzzard brothers’ faces, Boyd asks who they are and what the job is.

The shadowy figures step into the light and reply that they are an organization called the Hand and, when they work for them, they do one thing and one thing only: they kill. They kill whoever they say. And they promise, they will keep them very busy.

Characters Involved: 


Beast, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Steve Rogers, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Thing (all Avengers)

Colossus, Ice-Man, Jubilee, Rogue, and Storm (all X-Men)


Invisible Woman

Abe Brown, Bob Diamond, and Lin Sun (all Sons of the Tiger)

Melita Garner

Boyd and Bufford (the Buzzard Brothers)

Terrence (captive of the Buzzard Brothers)

Various unnamed Hand ninjas

Unnamed prison guard

Story Notes: 

Squirrel Girl became Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ nanny to their child in New Avengers (2nd series) #7.

The song Deadpool is singing in this issue in karaoke is “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. It was originally released in 1969.

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