Typing Monkeys
 - Home
 - The Cat Who Wouldn't Purr
 - The P.O.B. Conspiracy
 - Warren Zevon in Concert
 - Wolverine Files

   000: The True Origin
   001: Wild Child
   002: The Origin
   003: Young Logan
   004: The Amazing Skunk-Bear
   005: Sabretooth and Silver Fox
   006: The Lost Years
   007: The Thirties
   008: Ogun
   009: World War II
   010: Landau, Luckman and Lake
   011: Team X Beginnings
   012: Logan, Creed and North
   013: Secret Agent Man, eh?
   014: Weapon X: The Origin(s)
   015: Weapon X: Adamantium
   016: Memory Implants
   017: The Ultimate Warrior
   018: Weapon X: Escape
   019: The Hudsons
   020: License to Kill
   021: Department H: Weapon X
   022: Department H: The Flight
   023: The Best There Is
   024: The Wolverine
   025: The X-Men
   026: Death in the Family
   027: The Phoenix
   028: Where No X-Men Has Gone
   029: Missing, Presumed Dead

The Wolverine Files

026 - Death in the Family


Wolverine and the new X-Men

Arthur Adams, Classic X-Men #2.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

Classic X-Men #2 (Oct 1986) - "Chapter One: The Doomsmith Scenario"

Writer: Chris Claremont, Plotter: Len Wein, Artist: Dave Cockrum

    As the weeks in the Danger Room pass, the six outcast mutants of the new X-Men find themselves being forged by Cyclops into an effective and lethal team.


Giant-Size X-Men #4 (2005) – “Finding Home”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Rick Leonardi; Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti

     In the Danger Room, Cyclops sets Thunderbird against Storm in an exercise where mutant abilities are forbidden. When Thunderbird defeats Storm, she refuses to yield. Cyclops fails to recognize the seriousness of the situation, forcing Wolverine to intercede and end the battle. Later in Charles Xavier's study, Wolverine discusses the situation with Xavier, who asks Wolverine to support Cyclops as leader of the X-Men. Late in the night, Thunderbird slips into Wolverine's room, dodging the makeshift minefield of empty beer cans on the floor. While Thunderbird does notice photographs of Wolverine's past as a soldier on the desk, he fails to notice Wolverine himself who is sitting silently in the next room.

    Even though Chris Claremont is integral to the early history of Wolverine's chronology, he has the frustrating habit of contradicting his early stories when he revisits them years later. Jean, Scott and Professor Xavier refer to Wolverine as Logan , a name that no one in the X-Men learns until after the death of Phoenix . Wolverine's relationship with Nightcrawler is depicted as friendly and includes wagers on cases of beer. But these elements of their friendship are well chronicled and do not develop until after Thunderbird's death.

X-Men #94 (Aug 1975) - "Chapter Two: Death O'er Valhalla High!"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter: Len Wein; Artist: Dave Cockrum

     After several more weeks of training, the X-Men receive a priority distress call: Count Nefaria, an old X-Men foe, has seized control of the NORAD Command Center at Valhalla. With the Avengers unavailable, Beast passes the emergency to the X-Men explaining that Nefaria, with his Ani-man (animal/human hybrids), has threatened to launch the entire arsenal of U.S. nuclear weapons if his ransom demands are not met. Using their Blackbird SR-71 jet, the X-Men depart for Valhalla .


X-Men Unlimited #25 (Dec 1999) - "In Remembrance"

Writer: Joe Pruett; Penciler: Brett Booth; Inker: Sal Regla

     Many years after the events in Valhalla , Banshee reminisces about Wolverine. On the way to Valhalla Mountain, Wolverine tells Banshee that he will cut Count Nefaria into tiny little pieces if any of his friends at NORAD are hurt. At first Banshee assumes Wolverine is joking, but soon realizes, with a twinge of fear, that Wolverine is deadly serious.

X-Men #94 (Aug 1975) - "Chapter Two: Death O'er Valhalla High!"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter: Len Wein; Artist: Dave Cockrum

     Approaching Valhalla, the X-Men are informed by military personnel that Count Nefaria has armed the Doomsmith system that controls the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Before the X-Men can land, Nefaria destroys their SR-71 with heat-seeking missiles and a sonic disruptor, and the heroes find themselves plummeting through the air, awaiting impact.

Originally, Len Wein was slated to write this two-part Nefaria story as Giant-Sized X-Men #2, but when the series was awarded bimonthly status, Wein turned the plot over to a relative newcomer and Wein's former associate editor, Chris Claremont. While Claremont is credited with writing over Wein's plot, Claremont actually did not begin scripting until the X-Men's arrival at Valhalla.[1]


X-Men #95 (Oct 1975) - "Warhunt!"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter: Len Wein; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

    Banshee and Storm quickly move to slow everyone's descent, allowing the team to land safely at the base of the mountain complex. Using a blend of their mutant abilities, the X-Men are able to enter the complex, disarming several obstacles along the way.


Classic X-Men #3 (Nov 1986) - "Warhunt!"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter: Len Wein; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     With the Wolverine as scout, the group tracks down Count Nefario's Ani-Men with the Valhalla mountain complex.


X-Men #95 (Oct 1975) - "Warhunt!"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter: Len Wein; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     As the X-Men and the Ani-Men square off, the Wolverine finds himself overmatched by Cat-Man, a human/cat hybrid. Colossus defeats the feline before the Wolverine can stage a comeback, and the X-Men finally claim victory against the Ani-Men, highlighted by the Wolverine and Nightcrawler jointly defeating the human/gorilla hybrid, Gort. The pitched battle disables the Doomsmith system and the nuclear threat, but as Count Nefario attempts to escape in an F-16, Thunderbird destroys the jet's circuitry, causing the jet to explode, killing both Nefario and the Apache mutant.

     While the story itself is somewhat weak, the shocking ending more than makes up for it. Death was uncommon in comics at that time, and Wein wanted to demonstrate from the onset of the series that being a superhero was a dangerous business.[2] We also see a glimpse of Wein's original vision for the Wolverine when Cat-Man's comments that the Wolverine's claws are fake. “The adamantium claws were [only] in the gloves when I first created the character. And the claws were retractable. They were telescoping, and they would fit back in the casing of the gloves.” [3] It is interesting to note that by the end of this issue, Wein's plotting had cut the X-Men down from thirteen members to six. This seems to bolster Chris Claremont's suggestion that, “…Len [Wein} had intended Colossus to be the star of the book and Storm to be the girl, and Nightcrawler to be the tormented demon and Wolverine to be essentially the Johnny Storm-Hawkeye hothead.”[4]

The death of Thunderbird

John Bolton, Classic X-Men #3.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.


Classic X-Men #3/2 (Nov 1986) - "Mourning"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: John Bolton

     Traveling to New Mexico, the X-Men attempt to attend the funeral of their fallen teammate, but after arriving, discover that Thunderbird's body has been stolen. John's parents ask that the X-Men not interfere, but Wolverine ignores the warnings, stating, "Me, I was taught a team takes care of its own." Following the trail, Wolverine finds a boy burying his brother in the ways of the Apache tribe. When the rest of the team appears an hour later, Wolverine tells them it is time to leave. "Whatever Thunderbird was running from -- or trying to prove -- he's at peace now. We should all be so lucky." Claremont again effectively fills in early encounters of the X-Men with the back up stories from Classic X-Men . We discover that much of Thunderbird's motivation resulted from trying to be better than Wolverine, a task he was seemingly not up to. Ironically, it would seem that Thunderbird's death was precipitated by much the same reasoning on an editorial level: within The X-Men , Thunderbird was redundant. We also learn how tremendously effective a tracker Wolverine is, something that impresses even Cyclops.


X-Men #96 (Dec 1975)- "Night of the Demon"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     Shortly after returning from New Mexico , the X-Men continue training in the Danger Room. Colossus mistakenly hits the Wolverine at full strength. Rebounding off the walls, the unfazed Wolverine lunges at Colossus, only to be thrown back again by a windblast from Storm. Nightcrawler, finding the whole episode humorous, laughs at the Wolverine, a dangerous thing to do. The Wolverine, ablaze with anger, charges Nightcrawler with his claws and yells, "Nobody laughs at the Wolverine, mister -- Nobody!" As Nightcrawler barely teleports to safety, Banshee, aghast at the savagery of the attack, admonishes the Wolverine, "Laddie -- take it easy. Ye could have killed Nightcrawler then, y'know..." The Wolverine merely nods, "Yeah -- I know."


Classic X-Men #4 (Dec 1986) - "Night of the Demon"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger and Jack Abel

     Later at the pool, the Wolverine is privy to Ororo's naivete, when she swims like she did back in Africa , naked. While Kurt, Sean and Peter are all embarrassed, Wolverine seems to be the only one enjoying the confusion.


X-Men #96 (Dec 1975) - "Night of the Demon"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     By nightfall, Xavier introduces Moira MacTaggert as the person who will watch over the mansion during Xavier's well-deserved vacation. The Wolverine, bored by the pleasantries, carves a game of tic-tac-toe into the antique living room table with his claws. Seconds later, Cyclops crashes through a wall, followed by a dragon-like creature, Kierrok. Though Storm and Colossus attack first, it is not until Nightcrawler is knocked unconscious by Kierrok that the Wolverine reacts. Incensed at Nightcrawler's fate, he attacks Kierrok, yelling, "...nobody beats on Wolverine's buddies!" Letting his beserker rage take over for the first time in front of his teammates, the Wolverine cuts Kierrok to ribbons. But even the Wolverine's damage is not enough, as Kierrok quickly regenerates. Finally, with the help of Xavier's mindprobe, Storm is able to destroy the source of Kierrok's power, an ancient obelisk, thus defeating Kierrok.

     During the fight with Kierrok, Wolverine does reveals to the rest of the team, "Ten years 'o psycho-training, o' hypnotism, o' drug therapy, o' prayin'... an' I cut him to pieces without a thought." As this was Chris Claremont's first full issue as writer, we see that already he was taking Wolverine in a different direction than Len Wein had planned. “I went for the psycho killer idea as an explanation of why he was as violent as he was,” Claremont explains, “and to provide an interesting dynamic for the group.”[5]


X-Men Unlimited #25 (Dec 1999) - "In Remembrance"

Writer: Joe Pruett; Penciler: Brett Booth; Inker: Sal Regla

     Xavier reminisces about the first time he saw the rage and conflict within Wolverine, during the battle against Kierrok. “Savage… Vicious… Untamed… His feral side only thinly contained by sheer willpower and a fragile psyche that could collapse at any given moment.”


X-Men #106 (Aug 1977) - "Dark Shroud of the Past"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Bob Brown (flashback); Inker: Tom Sutton

     In a flashback courtesy of Professor Xavier, we return, once again, to the Danger Room. Wolverine is dodging laser beams, seemingly unaware of a steel beam flying into his path. Colossus shoves Wolverine aside and takes the brunt of the beam's impact. Incensed that someone would cramp his combat space, Wolverine threatens to disembowel Colossus with his adamantium claws. Before a fight can occur, Cyclops fires an optic blast, separating the two would-be combatants. Cyclops admonishes Wolverine for his "mad killer" act, but Wolverine retorts that Cyclops should be the one to back off considering that he has been a slave driver since Thunderbird's death. Banshee sides with Wolverine, forcing Cyclops to apologize, but Wolverine, always the epitome of tact, tells Cyclops that if death affects him so deeply, maybe he should quit as leader. Storm chastises Wolverine, but her comments are cut short by a surprisingly hostile Angel in an old X-Men costume. The rest of the old X-Men (sans Cyclops) appear, equally belligerent, and dressed in X-Men costumes circa 1964. Heated words are exchanged as the older X-Men demand that the newer mutants vacate immediately. A fight erupts and Wolverine, facing off with Iceman, senses something is not quite right. They are, in fact, creations of Xavier's fevered mind. An evil version of Xavier joins the fray, one who is able to wreak havoc on Wolverine's senses with an illusion of an endlessly deep chasm. Gaining control of his dark side, Xavier vanquishes the original X-Men and the evil Xavier.

     This rather weak story was published as a filler issue due to deadline pressures during the M'kraan Crystal saga the following year.[6] Written by Bill Mantlo around the time of X-Men #96, it had to be extensively reworked by Chris Claremont because character development had been in such turmoil at that point in time. Claremont conceded that, “…there are maybe two lines in the entire book that are Bill's.”[7] It is so weak, in fact, that Classic X-Men declined to reprint it when republishing the early new X-Men stories. It does show, however, the continuing friction between the Wolverine and the rest of the team, and confirms that Nightcrawler had not yet met Spider-Man, a fact that helps to place Wolverine's next appearance.


Amazing Spider-Man #161 (Oct 1976) - "...And the Nightcrawler Came Prowling, Prowling"

Writer: Len Wein; Illustrator: Ross Andru

     During these early months of training, Nightcrawler reads a newspaper while hanging upside down from a high ring. His attention focused on an article, Nightcrawler fails to notice Wolverine cutting the ring support as a practical joke. Not viewing the act as a joke, Nightcrawler challenges Wolverine. Colossus breaks the two up, but not without another threat from Wolverine. Nightcrawler leaves in a huff and into an adventure with Spider-Man.

Wolverine and Nightcrawler

John Bolton, Classic X-Men #4

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.


Classic X-Men #4/2 (Dec 1986) - "The Big Dare"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: John Bolton

     Wolverine and Nightcrawler are playing a game of tag on the grounds of Xavier's estate probably as an exercise to lessen tensions between the two. Nightcrawler tags Wolverine first and avoids all of Wolverine's return attempts with teleportation, circus acrobatics and taunts. Finally, when Nightcrawler suggests that Wolverine has lost, Wolverine anticipates Nightcrawler's next move and catches him in the gut with an elbow. Before Nightcrawler can move, Wolverine swings his claws at him, retracting them at the last second. With his point made, Wolverine requests their wager, loser buys the beer, be paid off in town. For the first time in front of Wolverine, Nightcrawler activates an image inducer, a device capable of disguising its user with a perfect illusion, and the two depart for a local bar, Harry's Hideout. Once there, Wolverine, in civilian clothes, accuses his drinking partner of being ashamed of his demonic appearance and dares him to walk down the street without the aid of his image inducer. Nightcrawler grudgingly accepts the challenge and finds, much to his surprise, that he actually enjoys the experience, publicly displaying his true inner self. The exercise is ended when a group of troublemakers starts to harass Nightcrawler because of his appearance. A threat from Wolverine and a brimstone *bamf*, Nightcrawler's teleportation trademark, scares them off, and Nightcrawler realizes that Wolverine is, in fact, a friend.

     The final page of this story incorrectly shows Nightcrawler teleporting himself and Wolverine away. According to Chris Claremont during a private conversation with this writer, this was an error in the story because, otherwise, this tale could not have fit into the continuity at all. This story is the epitome of the fun and the frustration involved in piecing together a chronology. The story effectively acts as segue between the animosity and the long-term friendship soon to develop between Wolverine and Nightcrawler. We are also introduced to the image inducer and its somewhat erratic use. But Nightcrawler's nonchalant teleportation of Wolverine and himself at the end would demand that this story be placed well after the events in X-Men #110 at the earliest, long after Nightcrawler abandons the use of the image inducer!


X-Men #97 (Feb 1976) - "My Brother, My Enemy"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     Xavier finally boards his plane at Kennedy International Airport to start his vacation, but as the plane departs, the X-Men, minus the Wolverine and Banshee, are attacked by Cyclops' brother Havok, Polaris and a figure named Eric the Red. As an explosive battle is waged, it becomes obvious that Havok and Polaris are under the control of Eric the Red. Before long the Wolverine and Banshee arrive, forcing Eric to flee with Havok and Polaris. Cyclops, unable to bring himself to use his optic blast on his own brother, watches them leave, causing the Wolverine to accuse Cyclops of cowardice. Cyclops decks the Wolverine in frustration, but before the Wolverine can retaliate, Storm grabs the Canadian mutant, warning him that he will have to go through her first.

     When I first read this story, I was appalled at Storm's handling of the situation. I really wanted to see Wolverine drop the self-righteous Cyclops with one punch. While editing this text, I still feel the same way. Perhaps that is why this chronology is being written about Wolverine and not Cyclops or Storm.


Marvel Holiday Special #1 (1991) - “A Miracle A Few Blocks Down From 34 th Street

Writer: Scott Lobdell; Artist: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Joe Rubinstein

Mastermind comments that he recognized the new X-Men from television news footage of their battle at Kennedy airport.


     It is my supposition that the fight between Wolverine and Cyclops at Kennedy International Airport led to Wolverine taking an extended leave of absence from the X-Men. If this is the case, it makes sense that several “solo adventures” from this time period would take place here.


Marvel Treasury Edition #26/2 (Jul 1980) –“At the Sign of the Lion”

Writer: Mary Jo Duffy; Penciler: Ken Landgraf; Inker: George Perez

     Logan thinks about his confrontation with Cyclops while drinking a few beers at the Sign of the Lion, a drinking establishment far away from Westchester, New York. After receiving a come-on from a cute redhead, Logan makes the mistake of being rude. Before he can apologize, Hercules, the god, walks into the bar and immediately receives the attention of all the women. Hercules asks Wolverine to move to the end of the bar, since his own party is so large. Wolverine agrees to move but only for the redhead with whom he had spoken earlier. Hercules picks up Wolverine and tosses him into a chair because, well, he is a god. Wolverine, not taking kindly to the insult, hits Hercules without any discernible results. In response, Hercules knocks him across the bar, but soon finds himself up against Wolverine's claws. In mighty Marvel fashion, a fight ensues which trashes the entire bar and finally ends when Hercules suggests that the two warriors drink and carouse rather than fight. But as the two heroes sit down to share a beer, they realize that all of the women have fled the bar.

     It is understandable that Hercules would not remember Wolverine from their earlier meeting when they fought the Leader since Wolverine is not in costume, but it is curious that Wolverine does not remark about that encounter as they trade blows.


Classic X-Men #25/2 (Sept 1988) – “Just Don't Look in its Eyes…”

Writer: Ann Nocenti; Artist: John Bolton

     Against his better judgment, Wolverine takes an espionage mission from the folks at Central (Canadian Intelligence or the CIA ). Perhaps due to his anger with Cyclops, Logan decides blowing stuff up might act as a form of therapy. Traveling into Canada , Wolverine sets explosives at an enemy facility, but the fuses are too short causing Wolverine to be injured during the explosion. A hunter catches a glimpse of the battered Wolverine and mistakes him for a wild beast. Wolverine hopes to lose the hunter, but is slowed down by an angry bear which he is forced to kill. The hunter fires an arrow at Wolverine, who catches it and throws back at the hunter. The hunter is felled by the arrow, and Wolverine makes his way back the Central HQ to complain about short fuses.

     Ann Nocenti, the writer, based the second half of this story on conversations with hunters in upstate New York. She also asserts that Wolverine kills a bunker filled with sleeping people inside. “Marvel characters, in general, don't kill people. For the most part, Wolverine does. His M.O. is that he doesn't care. The people are bad. He's on assignment.”[8]


Deathblow/Wolverine #1 (Sep 1996)

Writer/Breakdowns: Aron Wiesenfeld; Finisher: Richard Bennett

     Logan heads for San Francisco where he gets an apartment and falls for a young Asian woman, Sung Li. When Sung Li's mother begins to act strangely, Logan is drawn into a bizarre world of demonic possessions and is attacked by a host of ninjas. Sung Li gets kidnapped, and Logan, his body riddled with arrows, is rescued by a mysterious and well-armed individual (the soldier-of-fortune Deathblow from Image Comics continuity). Taking Logan to his home, Navy (as he is later dubbed by Logan ) drags him unconscious into his house and rifles through his belongings. There he realizes Logan 's past connection with the top secret Canadian Department H. When Logan comes to, they are again attacked by ninjas who invade through the windows. Logan slays several more ninjas before making an escape with Navy in his car. Returning to Logan 's apartment, they come face to face with an Asian stranger who explains that Sung Li is in grave danger.

     Published as a cross-company venture in 1996 by Image Comics, the story is set in 1982, but I think it best fits here before Wolverine meets Mariko. It certainly takes place after Wolverine joins the X-Men as evidenced by the photo of Nightcrawler and Colossus in his wallet. Note that Navy (Deathblow) and Logan met briefly many years previous in Team X/Team 7 #1 before the Weapon X experiment. As will be seen, this story did occur but disappeared from continuity after the events of X-Men/WILDC.A.T.S: The Dark Age.


Deathblow/Wolverine #2 (Feb 1997)

Writer/Breakdowns: Aron Wiesenfeld; Finisher: Richard Bennett

     Logan attacks the Asian stranger with his claws, carving his face to ribbons. But the stranger reappears in an instant directly behind Logan explaining that Sung Li is being held in a dark magical place. He then teleports Logan and Navy to a mythical library to meet the Librarian, an ancient legend, who tells of an ancient civilization that stored the spirits of their people in a mystic urn. Sung Li is a descendant of the civilization's high priestess and was kidnapped as part of a nefarious plan to release the spirits into the San Francisco area and possess every living soul as part of an unstoppable army. The Librarian gives Logan a talisman that will destroy the urn and returns Logan and Navy to his apartment. The two of them prepare for battle, Logan , dressed as Wolverine with his martial arts weapons, and Navy with lots of high caliber guns. As they approach Chinatown , they are attacked ninjas and gun-toting thugs, but Wolverine and Navy bloodily fight their way into the underground of Chinatown where the urn is stored. In the confusion of battle, a magician, disguised as Navy, injures Wolverine, but his hyper senses tell him something is amiss, and he kills the magician. As the fighting continues, it becomes apparent there are too many weaponed foes opposing them. But the sudden appearance of an attacking army of white ninjas gives Wolverine just enough of a diversion to destroy the urn with the talisman, freeing Sung Li. Back at Sung Li's home, Logan realizes that she and the Librarian are one in the same. Feeling used and betrayed, Logan mounts his motorcycle and rides back to the X-Men.


X-Men/WILDC.A.T.S: The Dark Age (May, 1998)

Writer: Warren Ellis; Penciller: Mat Broome; Inker: Sean Parsons

     In the year 2019, in an apocalyptic future dominated by the evil alien Daemonite race, a group of mutants (including Logan) and former members of the covert action team WILDC.A.T.S. succeed in altering the distant past, thereby eliminating the Daemonite influence from Earth's history. So while the events in the previous entry did occur, they are no longer a part of current continuity since Deathblow is from the same universe as WILDC.A.T.S.


Aron Wiesenfeld and Richard Bennett, Deathblow/Wolverine #2.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.


<<< Previous | Next: The Phoenix

[1]  "Interview with Chris Claremont," The X-Men Companion, 1982.

[2]  Interview with Len Wein," The X-Men Companion, 1982.

[3]  Peter Sanderson, "Wolverine: The Evolution of a Character, " The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1, 1986.

[4]  "Interview with Chris Claremont," The X-Men Companion, 1982.

[5]  Peter Sanderson, "Wolverine: The Evolution of a Character, " The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1, 1986.

[6]  “Power and Pain: A Hero History of the X-Men” by Robert Jones, Amazing Heroes, Sept. 15, 1984 .

[7]  "Interview with Chris Claremont," The X-Men Companion, 1982.

[8]  “Hunter & Prey,” Wizard Wolverine Master Edition, Dec. 2004.

Send comments, corrections or offers to write for Marvel Comics to DiG@typingmonkeys.com

Wolverine and other Marvel Comics' characters © and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

Contents of "Wolverine Files" © by Joel "DiG" DiGiacomo