Wolverine: In the Flesh #1

Issue Date: 
September 2013
Story Title: 

Chris Cosentino (writer), Dalibor Talajic (artist), Jean-Francios Beaulieu (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Time Seeley with Chris Sotomayor (cover artists), Jennifer M Smith (assistant editor), C B Beluski & Jeanine Schaeffer (editors), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine enlists the help of renowned chef Chris Cosentino when more victims of the Bay Area Butcher are found. They visit the morgue where the latest victims have been taken, and Chris examines their bodies, noting some burns on the victims’ neck, and Chris explains that they seem consistent with a stun-wand, like animals being stunned at a slaughterhouse. Wolverine and Chris leave, and hear a news report about the murders in the car, so decide to follow up on it, while, at the same time, the Bay Area Butcher has captured another victim. The Bay Area Butcher explains that he has tired of human flesh and wants something stronger - which is why he has set his plan in motion. Wolverine and Chris find another victim, and also pick up a clue - some fancy fast food wrappers. They canvas food trucks in the area to see if anyone recognizes the food wrappers, and a vendor that Logan knows points him to the new food truck. But when Wolverine goes to question the vendor, the food truck takes off. They follow it, and park up near the seemingly abandoned warehouse where the food truck enters. Overnight, there is no activity, but in the morning Chris tells Wolverine that he is not a hero and that he has to get back to his family and his restaurant, so he leaves, while Wolverine enters the warehouse, but is taken out by the Bay Area Butcher who uses a cattle prod to stun him. The Bay Area Butcher ties Wolverine to a table and starts to cut him, explaining that he as wanting to “upgrade” to mutant flesh, and now that he has captured Wolverine, with his healing factor and endless supply of flesh, he won’t have to capture mutants off the streets. Chris is on his way back to the restaurant and phones his family, but has regrets about leaving Wolverine, so drives back to the warehouse, and finds the captive Wolverine. He enters, and is attacked by the Bay Area Butcher. They battle with knives, and the Bay Area Butcher boasts that he will get to take out his competition. Wolverine frees himself and battles the Butcher, until finally knocking him out with a punch. Wolverine explains to Chris that you don’t need mutant powers to be a hero, and later helps out Chris and his family at their restaurant. Chris admires the newspaper article about the two of them capturing the Bay Area Butcher, who is now in prison.

Full Summary: 

McLaren Park, San Francisco: The sun is setting over the city, as two cyclists come to a stop in the park. One of them tells the other that it is getting dark, to which the second replies ‘So what? We need to pre-ride the course before tomorrow’s race’. The first cyclist picks up his bike and announces that he is going to run this section. The second cyclist agrees that this is where she always loses time, and picks up her bike as well. They run along a path, unaware that a man wearing a hooded sweater is lurking behind a large tree. He holds in his hand a very large knife, which gleams in the setting sun.

The next morning, a police cordon has been placed in part of the park, as officers go about their business, civilians gather around to see what is going on. Medics have arrived on scene, including a man in a hooded sweater. ‘Yeah, I know. They were cut in pieces’ an officer tells a cyclist, who replies: ‘No, not cut. Butchered. I work in a restaurant and it looked like a real butcher carved them up like a hog’. Wolverine a.k.a. Logan approaches the police cordon and calls out to the medic, asking him what is going on, as it looks like a damn circus. The bald man greets Logan and explains that it is the annual urban outlaw cyclo-cross cross-dress bike race, and this year, someone rolled over two dead bodies.

Looking at the body laid out on a gurney, covered by a sheet, Logan asks the medic for a look. ‘You still owe me for that last scent ID case and I might be able to help out’ Wolverine reminds the medic. The doctor replies that he knows Logan’s nose has been a huge help a few times, but he can’t show him here. He asks him to come by the morgue later. The doctor reveals to Logan that the killer took both men’s legs and their major organs. Logan announces that he thinks he knows someone who can help, and tells the doctor that he will see him later. He turns and walks past a reporter, who is speaking into a camera, and states that the city is a powder keg and police fear that the protests at City Hall may erupt into rioting if the Bay Area Butcher is not caught soon. ‘Guess I better hurry’ Logan remarks to himself.

Soon, at a restaurant called Incanto, the chef announces that he needs to fabricate the pig in front of him, and asks for 45 minutes. ‘You got it, boss. Drinks on you if you can’t finish on time!’ one of his staff replies. ‘Ha-ha, you wish!’ the chef replies in the kitchen of the busy restaurant. Shortly: ‘Fifteen minutes left. You’re not going to make it, chef’ someone goads as the chef is slicing a knife into a large piece of meat. ‘Talking to me isn’t going to slow me down. Drinks will be on you tonight’ the chef replies.
Logan enters the restaurant and is greeted by a woman who recognizes him. Logan greets her back, and asks if Chris is around. Tatiana explains that he is prepping in the kitchen, and tells Logan to go in, as she is sure he would love to see him.

‘Impressive!’ Logan smiles as he enters the kitchen, where the chef puts his glasses back on and stands over the piece of meat. He smiles back and thanks Logan, adding that he just needs one more cut and then he is off to marinate. He takes a knife-sharpener and starts using it on a large butcher knife, before asking Logan what it will be today. Logan tells Chris that he is not here to eat, rather, he is here for his expertise.

Soon, Logan and Chris arrive at the morgue, and Chris remarks that he feels bad about leaving the restaurant, but he thinks Tatiana and his crew can handle it for a bit. ‘I’m sure they can’ Logan replies, reminding Chris that the people of San Francisco need him here. ‘I’ll help if I can’ Chris replies. Entering the morgue, they find two bodies laid out on examination tables, and the bald doctor standing over them. ‘What the #$&%?!’ Chris the chef asks. The doctor frowns and asks Logan what a celebrity chef is doing in his morgue, to which Wolverine replies that he has a hunch. ‘I’m the best there is at what I do, he’s the best at what he does. If these people were actually butchered like a hog, he’ll know’ Logan explains.
Chris vomits in a trash can, and drops to the ground. Logan tells him to get it together, as he needs answers.

Logan reminds Chris that he knows meat cuts like no one else, and asks him to do him a favor and look at the bodies and tell him what he sees. ‘C’mon, Logan. What do you need me for? You know a hell of a lot about meat and butchery, too’ Chris points out. ‘Sure do, been doing it for decades’ Logan replies, explaining that he wants to be certain about the details in the cuts, that there is no time for error. ‘Just take a look, would you?’ Logan asks. ‘Okay, okay, but we better get another garbage can in here’ Chris sighs. He turns to one of the bodies, ‘So, this is one of the victims?’ he asks. ‘Wow, you’re a regular crime-solving genius’ the doc mutters. ‘I’m going to ignore that’ Chris replies, before looking at the dismembered body of the first cyclist and announces that these are definitely a butcher’s cuts. ‘Look at how the leg was cut off above the butt, just like you would a hog’s hind leg’.

He continues, pointing out hat the leg was removed at the ball joint, an alerts them to the slash marks on the bone - meaning that with tears like this in the meat, whoever did this must have been using a dull knife. Chris rubs his head and mutters that this is so nasty, he thinks he might be sick again. ‘It’s not over yet. Hold it together, kid’ Logan asks him, putting a hand on his shoulder. The medic smirks and cleans his glasses, ‘For a guy who harvests animals, you sure are a baby’. Chris points a finger and replies ‘I bet you’re a vegetarian’. Logan laughs, ‘He can smell you a mile away. I guess what they say about you veg-heads is true’ Logan tells the medic, who just frowns.

Chris the chef turns his attention to the female victim and reports that her forearms and legs are cut off, her entire back is gone, so whoever the murderer is, they were definitely in a hurry, as the cuts are sloppy, but consistent with being butchered. ‘That narrows down the suspects to either a real butcher or a trained chef’ Logan points out. ‘What’s wrong? You going to toss your cookies again?’ the doc smirks. Chris goes over to him and looks him in the eye: ‘You think eating a vegetarian diet is good for you? Have you looked in the mirror lately? You look dead yourself! Do you sleep in one of these? Which one is yours?’ he asks, referring to the small cupboards where the deceased are kept. ‘Let yourselves out when you’re done’ the doc tells Wolverine, before taking his leave.

Chris grins and tells Wolverine that he is sorry, but he couldn’t resist. Logan points out that all of them have the same MO - their hearts, livers and kidneys are all missing. Chris notices two burn marks behind the ears on the woman, and asks Logan if the same marks are on the others as well. Logan checks the man, and tells Chris that it looks like it. ‘Good catch’ he adds. Chris adjusts his glasses and announces that the marks are from a stunning wand, which means the murderer is stunning them first, just like at a slaughterhouse. ‘This killer definitely has a plan’ Wolverine frowns.

Soon, Logan and Chris are in Chris’s car, as the radio announcer calls out ‘And here you go, my chickadees, today’s number one requested song by Frightened by Gauchos “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, the reeeeee-mix!’ Logan smiles at Chris and tells him that the only good version of that tune was done by ol’ Blue Eyes. ‘Plus, I need to hear what’s going on in the city’ he points out, as he readjusts the car stereo until he finds a channel reporting the news. The announcer states that, in local news, suspicious activity has been reported near the Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza, where a hooded figure with a knife was seen running through the street. Logan frowns and asks Chris if he is up for a field trip. ‘Oui’ Chris replies in French, adding ‘While we’re there, can we stop at that food truck that received 3.5 stars? That’s unheard of for a food truck’ Chris explains, adding that he has to see what is up with this guy.

Elsewhere, ‘Oh good, you’re awake’ a voice states inside an empty warehouse. A woman with two marks on her upper neck, under her ear, looks up and sees steel beams criss-crossing above, and a bald man standing over her, with a knife and a knife-sharpener in his hands. He wears a butcher’s apron, and tells her that she is so pretty, so fit, so perfect - like the girls who wouldn’t talk to him back in high school. ‘In fact, nobody noticed me in high school. But it got even worse once I got sick’. He paces around the table that the naked woman is tied to. ‘Imagine having all the hair on your body fall off, your fingerprints disappear, your natural aroma gone forever. I was invisible - until I learned to cook. Then people knew the name Bay Area Butcher’ he declares, holding the knife towards her.
He suddenly grabs her by her face, and the trapped woman goes wide-eyed with fear. ‘Unfortunately, human just isn’t good enough anymore. To create the next culinary masterpiece, I need a higher life form. A predator stronger than man’ he explains, adding that, fortunately, that portion of his plan has already been set in motion, and blood splatters everywhere as he starts to cut the woman.

Back in the car, Chris tells Logan that this is the area, but he doesn’t see anything. Logan instructs Chris to pull over so they can take a look around. They get out of the car, ‘You smell that?’ Logan asks. ‘Smell what’ Chris shrugs his shoulders as they walk down an alleyway littered with trash. ‘Something’s under here’ Logan announces as he makes his way towards a large box, and lifting it up, finds a woman’s body. ’Same as before’ Logan remarks as Chris checks the body, and tells him that this is different, that it looks like he took his time. ‘I think he might be getting better at this’ Chris explains.

Logan suggests that they really need to catch a break before this nut job kills again and the city erupts. Chris points at some food wrappers and supposes that they could be from a fast food stop. He asks Logan if he thinks there is a connection. Logan replies that he doesn’t know, but that perhaps one of the guys working in the trucks has seen something. He adds that he is hungry, and informs Chris that they will tip off the cops on the way. They take some of the wrappers and head down out of the alley, as Chris tells Logan that he doesn’t know how he can be hungry right now. ‘A man’s gotta eat…’ Logan replies.

Soon, civilians go about their business down a busy sidewalk as Logan and Chris stand in front of a food truck, showing the wrappers to the worker inside, who tells them ‘Nope, sorry’. Another food truck, and the worker announces that they don’t recognize the wrapper. A third food truck, where Logan knows the man working there, and greets him as Hector. ‘Hola, senor Logan. How are you? The regular, si?’ Hector replies. ‘You know it, Hector’ Logan tells him, before asking how the family are. Hector informs Logan that they are good, but that business has been slow at night, as people are scared. Logan hands Hector the wrappers and asks him if he knows who uses them. ‘That’s some pretty fancy stuff’ Hector comments, before telling Logan to check with the new guy, that he is kind of rude, but he is just stressed and not prepared. ‘Why’s he so busy?’ Logan asks as he and Chris look at the new guy’s food truck parked nearby, to which Hector replies ‘That’s what a 3.5 star review and lots of Twitter followers gets you’.

‘&#$%! He’s closed’ Chris complains as he and Logan walk over, and find the many other people standing there are not being served. ‘That’s the good review blues for you’ Chris frowns when he sees a sign on the food truck that says “sorry we’re out of food”. ‘Hey bub, open up. Got some questions for you’ Logan calls out as he thumps his fist on the truck. ‘Sorry, we’re closed. Try again tomorrow’ the person inside replies without making an appearance. Logan decides that something isn’t right, as he is not getting a scent off the guy inside. The food truck then drives off. Logan tells Christ that they could follow him, and although it might not be anything, they have to make sure.

Keeping a safe distance behind the new food truck, Logan and Chris listen to another report on the news which states that another body was discovered, but that the police still aren’t releasing the name of any suspects. ‘This better not be a wild good chase’ Logan remarks, while the announcer continues, informing listeners that may fear recently reported acts of vandalism allegedly perpetrated by protesters near City Hall may escalate into fill-blown riots, and the National Guard have been called in as reinforcements by the Governor. They park as the food truck pulls up into a run-down industrial area. A security barrier raising so that the food truck can pass through into the ruined grounds. ‘Well, that seems sketchy. It stinks here, too’ Logan comments. ‘Yeah, it’s interfering with my sense of smell’ Chris remarks. Logan tells Chris that they are in for a long night, to which Chris replies that long nights are part of the job, and taking out his mobile phone, announces that he better call home.

The next morning, the sun rises over the city, and Chris tells Logan that nothing his happening here, and he has to go. ‘What about catching this psycho?’ Logan asks his friend. ‘I’m not a hero. I don’t have super-powers like you’ Chris replies, to which Logan points out that you don’t need super-powers to be a hero - you just need to care. Chris hangs his head and replies that he does care - about his family, his restaurant and his life, which it is time that he got back to. Logan gets out of Chris’s car and tells him that he is disappointed, but that he gets it. ‘Take care of that family. And watch your back’ Logan tells his friend, who then drives off, while Wolverine decides ‘Screw this, I’m going in’. He enters the ruined grounds, walks past some sort of large tank, possibly for storing water, and is still unable to catch the scent of the guy he is after. He sees more of those wrappers scattered on the ground, and squats down to pick one up - when he is electrocuted in the back of the neck by a cattle-prod. Logan collapses to the ground, as the Bay Area Butcher stands over him.

Shortly, a now shirtless Logan is strapped to a table, a bright light placed above him, as the Bay Area Butcher stands over him, large butcher’s knife in his hand. ‘Ah, the famous Wolverine’. He adds that it is funny, he was just about to go hunting for a mutant. ‘Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to have one of my prey find me. Must be my lucky day’ he smiles, bringing the knife close to his own face. ‘That’s about to change’ Logan replies. ‘I don’t think you are in a position of stop me’ the Bay Area Butcher points out, before shoving the knife through a section of Wolverine’s stomach. Logan cries out in pain, and the Bay Area Butcher brings a small piece of Logan’s flesh to his mouth, ‘Delicious, and thanks to your healing factor, I’ll never have to hunt again’ he declares. Blood seeps from Logan’s wound, before the Bay Area Butcher shoves the cattle prod into Logan’s neck, and Logan recoils in distress. ‘Pity, seems to my plan to trap mutants off the streets wasn’t needed after all. Seems like a waste of time. I guess I’ll have to find something else to fill the void. Nighty-nighty’ the villain states.

In the meantime, Chris is still in his car, and on his mobile phone to his wife, asking her how everything went with the restaurant, and how Easton is. ‘We’re fine, busy, but both proud of you for helping the city’ Chris’s wife replies as she holds the phone between her ear and shoulder while prepping some food in the kitchen. ‘We miss you, Daddy’ Easton calls out as he leans against the counter. Chris’s wife asks him how it went with Logan, and Chris replies ‘Not so good’. His wife inquires as to what happened, and Chris frowns, before suddenly driving down an off-ramp and assuring her that he will tell her later, as there is something he has to do. ‘Be careful’ his wife says.

Soon, Chris pulls up at the area where he left Wolverine. He makes his way through the seemingly abandoned grounds, and coming to one building with broken windows, spies Wolverine tied to the table. ‘#&$%. Never should have left’ Chris tells himself. He makes his way inside, and with a screwdriver starts to pull the ropes away from Logan, while quietly telling him to wake up - when suddenly, Chris screams as the Bay Area Butcher comes up behind him and slashes him across his back with the large butcher’s knife. Chris falls forward against a table where other knives are laid out, and knocks it as he falls to the ground. A knife-sharpener falls off the table and Chris grabs it, using it to deflect the butcher’s knife as the Bay Area Butcher comes in for a second attack.

Chris gets to his feet and backs away, as the Bay Area Butcher boasts that this is the greatest day ever, as he even gets to take out the competition. His knife gleans as rays of sunlight shine into the warehouse. ‘But just to be sure…’ the Bay Area Butcher remarks, before Logan exclaims ‘Looks like you’re about to get your just desserts’ as he pops his claws and slices one of the Bay Area Butcher’s knives with ease. Logan tells Chris to get out of here, while the Bay Area Butcher looks upset, and stares at the handle of the knife, declaring that it was his second favorite blade. He moves forward and shoves his other knife through Wolverine’s stomach, and as Logan drops to his knees, the Bay Area Butcher prepares to bring a meat clever down on Logan - who quickly raises his claws, ‘Ain’t gonna be that easy, bub’ Logan declares as the clever is locked into Logan’s claws.

Logan lashes out at the Butcher, who retaliates by grabbing Logan by his hair, and preparing to bring yet another knife towards the hero - but once more, Logan’s claws clash against the knife, shattering it. Logan retracts his claws and punches the Bay Area Butcher in the face, knocking out a tooth, and knocking him to the ground. ‘Looks like it’s going to be a while before you eat anyone else’ Logan remarks as he stares down at the Butcher’s twisted body. ‘See, kid, you don’t need powers to be a hero’ Logan tells Chris, who walks up beside him.

Later, Logan is in the kitchen at Chris’s restaurant, slicing some food with his claws, he concentrates hard, as Chris goes over to him and thanks him for helping him prep. Holding his wounded arm, Chris adds that it might be awhile, as he doesn’t heal like Logan. ‘No problem. You know, this is harder work than I thought. I think I’d rather tackle the Danger Room on its highest setting’ Logan replies. Tatiana goes over to Logan and tells him that it is break time. She puts a plate of food down in front of him and points out that she knows he likes the duck breast and giblets. ‘This should make all that hard work worth it’ she adds. Logan eyes up the plate and replies ‘Sure does. Smells great!’ Chris holds up a newspaper with a photo of the two of them, and the headline “Bay Area Butcher Caught”. Chris smiles and tells Logan that he does good work. ‘You too. Couldn’t have done it without you’ Logan replies, before skewering the duck breast on a claw and starts to eat it.

Meantime, in prison, the Bay Area Butcher sits slumped on the bed in his cell. ‘Indeed’ he mutters, as someone from another cell cries out ‘Check out the fresh meat!’

Characters Involved: 


Chris Cosentino

Tatiana & Easton Cosentino (Chris’s wife and son)

Bay Area Butcher




Police officer




Story Notes: 

Chris Consentino is a celebrity chef, known for the reality television show “Top Chef Masters”. The restaurant mentioned this issue, Incanto, is the restaurant which he is co-owner of.

Issue Information: 
Written By: