019: The Hudsons

Version 3.00, last updated on January 28, 2008

Logan pops claws for James Hudsons
John Byrne, Alpha Flight #3.

We shift back to James Hudson and his work for the Canadian Ministry of Defense…

Alpha Flight #3/2 (Oct 1983) – “Purpose”
Writer/Artist: John Byrne
Three years previous, James Hudson is appointed by the Canadian Prime Minister to lead up Research and Development for the Ministry of Defense, and, in the intervening years, creates Department H for that very purpose.

Alpha Flight #-1 (Jul 1997) – “Vows”
Writer: Steven Seagle; Penciler: Anthony Winn; Inker: Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad
While James Hudson works to build Department H from the ground up, he begins dating and, finally, becomes engaged to Heather McNeil. Shortly thereafter, Hudson reviews plans for a Cosmic Ray Collector for his boss, Gary Cody. Referencing Reed Richards as an expert cosmic ray researcher, Hudson recommends that the project not proceed due to the dangerous risks posed by cosmic rays and the lack of sufficient safeguards.

Alpha Flight #52 (Nov 1987) – “Specters”
Writer: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: June Brigman; Inker: Whilce Portacio
Secret Department H surveillance tapes show that James Hudson believes that he named Department H after himself. He further claims that his primitive cybernetic suit made him Canada’s first superhero and that the Canadian government tasked him with locating and creating a team of super-powered beings.

Alpha Flight #-1 (Jul 1997) – “Vows”
Writer: Steven Seagle; Penciler: Anthony Winn; Inker: Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad
James Hudson marries Heather McNeil in a civil ceremony, but Heather’s religious parents refuse to recognize the marriage until it is performed in a church by a Catholic priest.

Alpha Flight #34 (May 1986) – “Honor”
Writer: Bill Mantlo; Artist: Sal Buscema; Finisher: Gerry Talaoc
Heather McDonald remembers a time shortly after getting married, when James McDonald reviewed a translation from the Japanese entitled, “A Report on the Process of Bonding Adamantium to the Human Skeletal Structure.” Heather claims that was one year before she met Logan.

Alpha Flight #53 (Dec 1987) – “A Blast From the Past”
Scripter: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: Jim Lee; Inker: Whilce Portacio
While Heather Hudson contemplates the possibility that James Hudson created Wolverine by orchestrating the adamantium bonding of Logan’s skeleton, the psychic villain Bedlam confirms that James Hudson had no involvement with Experiment X.

Logan attacks the Hudsons
Anthony Winn and Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad, Alpha Flight #-1.

Alpha Flight #-1 (Jul 1997) – “Vows”
Writer: Steven Seagle; Penciler: Anthony Winn; Inker: Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad
James Hudson convinces Heather to take their honeymoon prior to their church wedding in the form of a hunting trip to Northern Canada. Money being tight, the promise of a free trip to scout out a potential future Department H site is appealing. Once on the honeymoon, James Hudson is attacked by a feral (and mostly nude) Logan. Heather pumps a shot into Logan, who promptly collapses on James Hudson.

Wolverine #92 (Aug 1995) – “A Northern Exposure”
Writer: Larry Hama; Penciler: Adam Kubert; Inker: Dan Green
As James and Heather Hudson, Dr. Hank McCoy, and Professor Charles Xavier run tests on Logan to determine the cause of his physical regression to a more animal-like state, Logan vividly remember being in Buffalo Wood, living like an animal. Coming across a slew of dead animals, Logan, even in his bestial state, realizes it was the work of poachers. Logan catches up to the poachers and attacks, but is chased off in a barrage of gunfire. Circling around, Logan prepares for another attack and mistakes Dr. James “Mac” Hudson and Heather McNeil for the poachers.

Alpha Flight #33 (Apr 1986) – “A Friend in Need”
Writer: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: Sal Buscema; Inker: Gerry Talaoc
Logan and Heather reminisce about their first meeting at Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada. As Dr. James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson and Heather McNeil enjoy their honeymoon hiking across the park, a feral Logan attacks them. Logan leaps at Mac, who is able to unload a .50-.50 slug into Logan’s chest at point blank range. But when Logan continues his assault, Heather picks up the rifle and fires another round into Logan’s back causing him, finally, to collapse. Dragging Logan to their nearby cabin, Mac and Heather are unsuccessful in raising Department H with their radio. Mac decides to ski for help, leaving Heather to care for the unconscious and bound Logan. As a blizzard blows in, Heather comes to the realization that Mac will not return for days, and she will be spending the first night of her honeymoon with an unconscious savage. When Logan does wake up, he ‘pops’ his claws and severs his bonds, but the sight of the knives extending from the backs of his hands triggers a nervous breakdown. Throughout the rest of the long night, Heather comforts Logan, who has absolutely no recollection of receiving his claws. By the time Mac returned, Heather and her sympathy have helped Logan regain his sanity.

Logan first seeing his claws
Sal Buscema and Gerry Talaoc, Alpha Flight #33.

Alpha Flight (Vol. 2) #8 (Mar 1998) – “The Weapon X Files”
Writer: Steve Seagle; Penciler: Scott Clark; Inker: Chris Carlson
Heather recalls going on a mid-winter hunting trip in Wood Buffalo National Park for her honeymoon and shooting the feral Logan when he attacked Mac. When Mac set off to contact Department H, she nursed Logan back to health.

Wolverine: First Class #5 (Sep 2008) – “Citadel”
Writer: Fred Van Lente; Artist: Clayton Henry
Wolverine tells Kitty Pryde, “Jimmy Hudson, head of Canada’s superhuman program, Department H, found me while he and his wife were hikin’ on their honeymoon. Nothing like findin’ a stark ravin’ wild man with no memory at all — not even o’ how his bones got laced with unbreakable adamantium — to ruin a romantic evening, eh?”

Wolverine #176 (Jul 2002) – “The Logan Files, Epilogue”
Writer: Frank Tieri; Penciler: Sean Chen; Inker: Norm Rapmund
In a near-death experience, Logan is confronted with the reality that he blocks the memories of especially traumatic events, specifically the abuse he suffered in Experiment X.

Wolverine: Origins #15 (Aug 2008) – “Swift and Terrible, Concusion”
Writer: Daniel Way; Artist: Steve Dillon
Cyber points out to Wolverine that Hudsons have been controlling his life years, including the Hudson Bay Company and the Hudson who ran the Devil’s Brigade training facility before WWI.  He then suggests that James and Heather Hudson finding him in the wilderness may not have been an accident.

Alpha Flight #-1 (Jul 1997) – “Vows”
Writer: Steven Seagle; Penciler: Anthony Winn; Inker: Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad
Bringing Logan back to Department H labs, Dr. James Hudson begins to run tests on Logan and discovers that there is more to him than meets the eye. These discoveries again cause a delay in Mac and Heather’s church wedding.

Classic X-Men #16 (Dec 1987) – “Home Are the Heroes”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Kieron Dwyer; Inker: Terry Austin
When preparing to kidnap Wolverine from the X-Men, James Hudson as Vindicator reviews film of Logan tearing up a tank with his claws. He notes, “I always envied your brute berserker courage. You always seemed more of a man than every man around you, a throwback to a younger, rougher, more vital age. The complete warrior – skeleton bonded with adamantium to make your bones virtually unbreakable. Added to that, adamantium claws, housed in your forearms. Extended and retracted with a thought. That miracle metal forged with a razor-keen edge that will never dull capable of slashing with ridiculous ease through virtually any substance. But those assets are man-made. There’s still the genetic quirk that makes you a mutant. A healing factor that enables you to survive almost any wound, or poison or disease. That raises your physical senses to impossible heights.”

Wolverine #-1 (Jul 1997) – “A Whiff of Sartre’s Madeleine!”
Writer: Larry Hama; Penciler: Cary Nord; Inker: Scott Hanna
Dr. James Hudson arranges for Logan to meet with Dr. Myron MacLain, the inventor of adamantium, in Washington, D.C. to see if he can provide any additional information on Logan’s continued amnesiac condition. Ben Grimm, a pilot of U.S. experimental jets and later a member of the Fantastic Four, gives Logan a ride from Ottawa to Washington D.C.

(Because we moved the events of the Ben Grimm and Logan miniseries to before this story, this no longer represents Ben and Logan’s very first meeting. If that is the case, then Ben not remembering Logan is a mystery. Either it’s been several years and Ben no longer remembers Logan, or Ben is under orders to not remind Logan of their acquaintance, to gauge how bad his amnesia truly is. Since Ben fails to remember Logan later on in their careers, both options are viable, though the latter is more probable.)

Arriving at the Department of Agriculture, Annex B, Logan is identified by members of the CIA and Hydra, as “the escapee from the project… the secret weapon,” and colleague to Creed and North. Once inside, Logan forces his way past Dr. MacLain’s secretary, who quickly and secretly alerts Creed of Logan’s appearance. After initial skepticism, Dr. MacLain grows horrified at the amount of adamantium bonded to Logan’s skeleton and relates the rumors of Lord Darkwind’s research in the field. Before he can reveal more about other covert projects, Dr. MacLain is interrupted by Creed’s sudden appearance in the office. Due to an incomplete memory, Logan fails to recognize Creed and willingly departs with him to learn more about his past, despite vigorous protests from Dr. MacLain. In an alley behind the building, Creed prepares to terminate Logan, but Hydra agents launch an assault on both of them. As Logan fights off the Hydra agents with his new claws, Nick Fury and Carol Danvers arrive, driving off Hydra and pulling Logan into the car to make good their escape. Logan has no memory of his good friend Nick Fury, nor his former close associate Carol Danvers. Nick Fury seems to be unaware of the fact that Logan and Carol were partners of a sort, and Carol does nothing to dissuade him of this opinion. This is curious since Nick Fury sent them on a mission together during the Ben Grimm and Logan miniseries. Again, the most likely scenario is that Logan is being tested by the intelligence community to see if he does have amnesia and how severe it actually is. As the Hydra agents chasing them close in, Natasha Romanoff, a Soviet agent who will soon become the Black Widow, disposes of Hydra’s remaining vehicles and agents with a bazooka. Moments later, Creed catches up to Logan and again attempts to kill him, allegedly on government orders, but Nick Fury intercedes on Logan’s behalf, based on his CIA orders to bring him in alive. Logan takes the fight to Creed and disables him in short order, taking his cowboy hat. As Logan walks off, Nick Fury decides to ignore his orders and leave Logan alone. Before long, Logan has returned to Ottawa, and even Hydra has backed off, canceling his termination orders at the behest of a high-ranking female Hydra agent, presumably the second Silver Fox.

As noted before, moving the Ben Grimm and Logan: Before the Four miniseries to earlier in the chronology is critical for many reasons, but the resulting inconsistencies are still evident, even with the clever solutions we humbly suggest. However, the removal of the miniseries from this period of time does cleans up the evolutionary flow of Logan’s character quite nicely because we no longer need to deal with a very calm and collected Logan, one at odds with the deadly berserker rages that characterizes his post-Experiment X life.

The Marvel Saga: The Official History of the Marvel Universe #1 (Dec 1985)
“The Saga Begins”

Writer: Peter Sanderson
In chronicling the early days of the Marvel Universe, Peter Sanderson confirms that Logan’s early involvement with James Hudson coincides with the events of Fantastic Four #1, where Ben Grimm becomes the Thing and the Marvel superhero universe truly begins. In other words, Ben Grimm becomes the Thing shortly after the events of the last entry.

Young Logan by John Byrne
John Byrne and Terry Austin, The X-Men #140.

X-Men #140 (Dec, 1980) – “Rage”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Plotter – Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin
Logan remembers a time after James and Heather Hudson nursed him back to health when he complains bitterly about his claws and adamantium skeleton. He feels that there is no such thing as a fair fight anymore, adding, “I’ve been turned into a killing machine, an’ I don’t like it!” This is the very first glimpse of a younger Logan in the publishing history of Wolverine, and I vividly remember the discussions from the time and the dissections of every word that was written in these few flashback panels.

X-Men #121 (May 1979)/Classic X-Men #27 (Nov 1988) – “Shoot-Out at the Stampede”
Plotter: Chris Claremont and John Byrne; Scripter: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin

When Chris Claremont updated this story for Classic X-Men in 1988, James Hudson as Vindicator reminds Logan, “Heather and I gave you a home, a chance to be human instead of the feral wild-man you’d been. If you’re anything today, it’s because of me.” It is interesting to note that James Hudson originally referred to Logan as a “feral wild-child” instead of a wild-man.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4 (Feb 1985) – “Rebirth”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist Allen Milgrom
After learning of James Hudson’s death, Wolverine remarks, “I was little more’n an animal when Jamie found me. I owe him my life. My humanity. He was like my brother.”

Wolverine #176 (Jul 2002) – “The Logan Files, Epilogue”
Writer: Frank Tieri; Penciler: Sean Chen; Inker: Norm Rapmund
In a near-death experience, Logan remembers seeking a family environment with James and Heather Hudson.

James "Mac" Hudson, Logan and Heather Hudson
Marc Silvestri and Dan Green, Wolverine #50.

Wolverine #50 (Jan 1991) – “Dreams of Gore: Phase 3”
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Marc Silvestri; Inker: Dan Green with Hilary Barta and Tom Palmer

A photograph of Logan, James and Heather Hudson on a fishing trip speaks to happy times. That Logan is smoking a cigar would place this after the events with Sabretooth in Washington, D.C.

X-Men #109 (Feb 1978) – “Home Are the Heroes”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin
Wolverine tells Peter Rasputin (Colossus) that he and James Hudson “…were buddies… almost brothers.”

Alpha Flight #-1 (Jul 1997) – “Vows”
Writer: Steven Seagle; Penciler: Anthony Winn; Inker: Alquiza, Ryan & Conrad
James MacDonald Hudson and Logan train together at the Department H facility on the morning of Mac’s church wedding. Mac, invoking the name Weapon Alpha, uses his mechanized armor, and Logan, ironically using the name Weapon X, retrains himself to adapt to fighting with claws. Gary Cody, Hudson’s supervisor, alerts them to an emergency created by the Cosmic Ray Collector in Orloo, the very same project that Hudson advised be canceled. Hudson airlifts Logan with his rocket-powered armor to the cosmic ray collector. When Logan attempts a suicide run to shutdown the overloading cosmic ray collector, Chinook, a Canadian superhero of yore, rescues Logan and attempts the shutdown on his own. As Chinook is bathed in cosmic rays, he begins to transform and grow into a hideous monster with evil on his mind. When Logan and an unnamed civilian (in actuality Eugene Judd, later Puck of Alpha Flight) are unsuccessful in bringing down Chinook, Weapon Alpha begins his assault, blasting Chinook with his armor blasters. As Chinook easily overpowers Hudson, Weapon X tosses the diminutive Judd at Chinook, nudging him into the black hole-like phenomenon created by Chinook’s sudden hyper-growth. Chinook is instantly pulled apart within the black hole, while Logan grabs a hold of Judd who clings to Weapon Alpha, his body mere inches from destruction. Heather McNeil arrives, searching for Mac, and holds onto Logan just long enough for the miniature black hole to collapse upon itself, ending the danger of the cosmic ray collector. One hour later, with Logan as best man, James MacDonald Hudson and Heather McNeil get married at the church, with Logan catching the bouquet.

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Facebook comments:

  1. Hi, under the fishing picture, I’m wondering what the comment means, “That Logan is smoking a cigar would place this after the events with Sabretooth in Washington, D.C.”? Could you be more specific about which events, issue#, etc.? Thanks, oh by the way, awesome website, you rock.

  2. Thanks for the compliment!

    I was referring to Wolverine #-1 mentioned earlier on the page. In that issue, Logan starts smoking cigars, specifically the one he takes out of Sabretooth’s mouth.

  3. actually, in that issue, he got the cigar from nick fury, but Logan did take sabretooth’s hat.

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