We open the issue with our quite possibly most 90s cover yet!
Let’s see here. Wolverine? Check. A Marvel character smoking? Check. A giant impractical gun? Check. An unnessesary number of belts? Check! (I count six depending on your definition of belt!) All drawn by Rob Liefeld? Check check check. Jesus, look at this thing. It’s gorgeous.
Our story this week opens the way many Wolverine stories open. Actually, the way one Wolverine story opens. Specifically his first appearence in Hulk 181. You can tell by the giant double page spread of Wolvie and a suspiciously Macfarlene looking Hulk fighting it out while the Wendigo watches and waves his hand like the third ninja down the line in a fight movie. Side note: Look how much Wolverine is spitting! That’s disgusting. Get yourself a tissue, Logan. Jeez!
Anyway, Wolverine defeats the Hulk when who should arrive but Nick Fury! Agent of SHIELD* appears to offer him a job.
“No thanks, bub!” Logan replies in a hideous close-up of his gross wrinkle face. “I work for Department H in Canada!
“Then it’s a good thing I brought your boss, James Hudson!” Fury replies as the James in question merrily waves in the background.
With permission from Dad to go and play in America’s giant flying backyard, Fury and Wolverine leave. Fury fills Wolvie in on the problem. The SHIELD helicarrier (Comes with everything you see here, batteries not included, your parents put it together, fun to play with not to eat.) has been infiltrated by Hydra LMDs.** Fury’s sensors and electronics have been unable to detect the renegade robots so he’s turned to Wolverine’s ability to smell evil. Luckily, Wolverine finds the first LMD really goddamn quickly. It’s former circus strongman back when that was an occupation that could get you a job as second in command to the world’s foremost anti-terrorist team Dum Dum Dugan who Logan basically eviserates. Fury looks on in shock and the Black Widow looks on in what I can only describe as ‘dumbfoundedness.’
Seeing how good Wolverine is at murdering robots (Anyone who watched the old 90s X-Men cartoon could have told you that.), Fury sends him and the Black Widow on a seek-and-destroy mission across the Helicarrier. The two easily dispatch the secret army of androids, stopping only so Wolverine can give the Widow a quick haircut. Seriously.
When Wolverine and the newly shorn Widow (Looking ADORABLE by the way.) return to Fury, he assigns them a new task. Take the fight to Hydra and rescue Dum Dum Dugan in the most bad ass way possible!
One flying motorcycle ride later, Wolverine, Fury, the Widow and Fury’s giant Rob Liefeld gun arrive at the Hydradome (A term I just made up for Hydra’s headquarters but that’s pretty good, right?). They rescue Dum Dum pretty easily, mostly because evil mastermind Madame Hydra has chained him up right next to the front door. This seems both cruel and stupid, putting Madame Hydra firmly in the Cobra Commander school of villainy. While the Black Widow battles Madame Hydra (Because only women can fight evil women, SIGH.), Fury and Wolverine fight evil Nazi relic Baron Strucker and his MOTHERFUCKING SATAN CLAW. Which is basically a big metal fist but it’s called the Satan Claw so show a little fucking respect.
Wolvie cuts the Satan Claw (and also Strucker’s hand) off but then Strucker ignores Wolverine to fight Fury some more instead. Mostly by attempting to punch Fury with his arm stump for some reason. Unfortunately for him, “actual hand” tends to beat out “bloody flesh wad” in a fist fight so Fury quickly wins by shoving the remains of the hand into a light switch, electrocuting Strucker to death.
The forces of Hydra defeated (Hail Hydra! Cut off one limb and… eventually we will run out of limbs!), Fury offers Wolverine a permenent spot in SHIELD. After some consideration, Wolvie accepts, destroying his contract with Department H. Probably with a paper shredder if you were interested. This leads to a long and fruitful career as well as a montage page that includes a Rob Liefeld drawn picture of MODOK, something I cannot recommend to anyone.
A few months later, Fury is attacked in his flying car by Baron Strucker again. It’s probably a LMD but the issue doesn’t really spend much time talking about it before Fury crashes the car, killing them both. At the funeral, Dugan suggests Wolverine taking over as leader of SHIELD. Wolvie’s not really sure the US government will go for it, seeing as he just joined but Dugan points out that Wolverine is really, really popular. Nobody considers asking Black Widow if she wants the job.
*I Am Having Trouble Making New Versions of this Joke. -Out Of Ideas Matt!
**Life Model Decoys! They’re like Nick Fury’s Doombots.