Appearing in "Promises To Keep"Edit
Synopsis for "Promises To Keep"Edit
This issue acts as a flashback story out of Wolverine's past. It opens with a group of men renting out a cabin at a camp ground. The men appear to be hunters as each carry rifles, pistols, and knives on them. The hunters are paranoid as at every little sound or sight of movement they draw their weapons - preparing to be attacked. When they make it to cabin we're introduced to all them: Bruno, Rollins, Van Slyke, Needle, and the apparent leader of the group - Malone. By now the reader learns that the group men are being pursued by some unknown assailant who has already claimed the lives of two of their other companions.
Shortly after entering the cabin, Van Slyke leans up against the wall and lights a cigarette. Moments later Wolverine's signature claws come ripping through the wall and kill him - disappearing back through the hole. The rest of the men run out of the house looking for their enemy, shooting wildly into the night air and at anything that moves - all the while Wolverine mocking them.
Scared but with nowhere to run, Malone puts Rollins on first watch while the rest of them get some sleep. As he sleeps, Malone starts to dream about the first time Wolverine attacked them. Out on a hunting trip the, then seven, men spot a deer move in the forest. After one of them shoots at it and leaves to find it a cry rings out from the woods. Frightened the group of men yell and shout for their companion but it's Wolverine who responds by throwing the man's dead body in front of them. Shooting at random, the men take off into the night - chased by the clawed mutant.
Malone violently awakes from his dream. As he sits up he sees someone covered in a sheet lying on the floor. At first Malone thinks it's Rollins, asleep on his watch, but as the figure rises the Adamantium claws come out and the sheet falls - revealing Wolverine. In shock, Malone sits there while Wolverine turns around and says: "Remember Iraq?" before jumping through the window and disappearing into the night. Yet again Malone attempts to chase after Wolverine but loses him again, only finding the body of Rollins outside the cabin.
Having no choice, the three surviving men (Malone, Needle, and Bruno) set out into the woods. As they travel along Malone and Needle try and remember what had happened in Iraq and what exactly the connection was between them and their mutant pursuer. We find out that Malone and Needle (not specifying the involvement of any of the other five men) served as mercenaries five years ago in Iraq. Hired by Iraqi militants, the group attacked and seized an American Embassy. While there, Malone took a liking to one of the female hostages - a nun. After having his advances rejected countless times, Malone decided that it would be a good idea to then take the nun and other hostages outside, line them up against the wall, and fire unloaded weapons at them from time to time - making them believe they were being executed. This caused the nun to eventually give into his desires.
On the thirteenth day, Delta Force attacked the Embassy and killed most of the mercenary soldiers. Malone escaped by killing one of the Delta Force commandos and taking his uniform. As Malone ran down a hall to the exit, an Iraqi soldier - not recognizing him - and was about to shoot him when suddenly he was killed. When Malone went to check out the body he found the Iraqi's throat slit from ear to ear. It's on remembering this that Malone makes the connection that Wolverine must have been there in Iraq.
Malone, Needle, and Bruno the come to a river where they stumble upon two men preparing to board a canoe. At gunpoint, the three hijack the canoe and set off down the river to supposed safety. Suddenly a hand comes out of the water ahead of them and as they draw closer the hand shoots out its claws and tears the canoe in half right down the middle. As they try and swim to shore Needle is pulled under the water and killed, but Malone and Bruno make it to shore.
Exhausted from being constantly chased, Bruno finally snaps and yells into the woods that he's willing to kill Malone right now if Wolverine lets him live. Before Bruno can shoot him though, Malone pulls out his pistol and kills his last companion. Alone, Malone runs as fast as he can for what seems like hours before he comes to a stop at a waterfall. With nowhere to go but down, Malone is finally cornered by Wolverine who suddenly appears behind him. Now, Wolverine finally explains why he's been chasing Malone.
Five years ago in Iraq Wolverine was in fact there. Supposedly, within the American Embassy there were Canadian nationals present so prior to Delta Force's entry the Canadian government was contacted. In turn, Wolverine was sent along with the commandos. During the raid Wolverine came across the nun, a Canadian civilian, now a broken and violated being. Catching a stray bullet in the cross-fire the nun's last words were to make the man who violated her so suffer as much as she had. The last two words she heard before dying were Wolverine saying: "I promise". Wolverine had every intention of keeping the promise and now five years later he's found Malone.
Defiant till the end, Malone refuses to die at the hands of Wolverine and instead puts the barrel of his gun to his head and shoots himself - falling down the waterfall into the abyss below. Satisfied with keeping his promise, Wolverine then leaves the scene. As the issue closes we come back to Madripoor where Wolverine sits at, what we can assume is, the Princess Bar holding a cross in his hand.
It should be known that at no point in the issue does it ever reveal where exactly it is that Wolverine is hunting Malone and his gang. However, one could assume that it's either somewhere in the rural USA or Canada.
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