hunter_in_darkness-wolv86-attack HUNTER IN DARKNESS

Real Name: Unrevealed or Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Terrestrial semi-humanoid "Hidden race";
   
18th century and modern era;
    although not a citizen, it is native to Canada

Occupation: Pack leader

Group Membership: Unidentified pack

Affiliations: Albert (Wolverine robot), Elsie Dee, Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan)

Enemies: Athabasca Ike, Lady Deathstrike
    formerly Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan); an 18th century Siksika tribe

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Puppy" (as nicknamed by Elsie Dee);
    "the Lurker," "the Monster from the Sewers"

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    last seen in the wilderness in the proximity of a
Canadian Arctic Research Station;
    formerly the wilderness around a Siksika tribe in the 18th century;
    formerly Buffalo Woods National Park, Alberta, Canada;

First Appearance: Wolverine II#34 (December, 1990)hunter_in_darkness-ohotmu

Powers/Abilities: The Hunter in Darkness is some sort of lupine (or other carnivorous mammal)-human hybrid. It was described as a "hungry spirit" according to Harry Tabeshaw.

    It possesses enhanced strength (lifting approximately 1000 lbs.), speed, senses, and possibly healing.

    It can run swiftly on two or four legs.

    Its sharp claws can score steel, and it also has sharp teeth, especially its elongated canines.

    The Hunter in Darkness possesses enhanced olfactory (smell), auditory (hearing), and gustatory (taste) senses of smell, enabling it to track and identify prey in the darkness by their scent and sounds; its eyesight is poor, however, and bright light blinds it. 

    Though an animal, it is capable of reasoning out problems given time, and has a good memory. Its experience allowed it to act as leader to a pack of similar creatures, and they followed his direction.

    Hunts by smell and hearing, but was "as good as blind."

Height: 8'
Weight: 350 lbs.
Eyes: Green (often seen as glowing red (perhaps a reflection of the tapetum lucidum)
Hair/fur: White
hunter_in_darkness-wolv46-beartrap

History: The origins of the Hunter in Darkness are unrevealed (see comments).

(Wolverine II#34 (fb) - BTS) - The Hunter in Darkness was part of an old Blackfoot legend.

( Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#1: Hunter in Darkness entry) - Considered by most to be just a Blackfoot legend, a monster that haunted Buffalo Woods State Park in Northern Alberta, the Hunter in Darkness seemed to be the last of its lupine kind.

(Wolverine II#34 (fb)) <Perhaps 15-30 years before the main story; see comments> - The Hunter got its left foot caught in a bear trap. Stuck there for an uncertain period of time, when the naked Logan (see comments) approached it, the agonized and weakened Hunter apparently offered up its throat, hoping for a clean death.

     The Hunter was surprised when Logan forced open the bear trap, broke the chain binding it to a tree, and then wandered off through the snow dragging the trap, apparently trying to draw hunters off the Hunter's trail.

(Wolverine II#34 (fb) - BTS) -
Thinking he was seeing the Hunter in the Darkness, Doolin shot a distant Logan through the chest, but Logan escaped.

hunter_in_darkness-wolv34-looming(Wolverine II#46 (fb) - BTS) - After Logan looked back it him with "something this side of pity," Doolin, hoping for another encounter with "the Hunter," declined promotions out of the field. Doolin's obsession negatively affected his daughter, Emmy.

(Wolverine II#34) - In Northern Alberta's Buffalo Woods State Park, as Sgt. Doolin and Constable Morris tracked escaped murderer Athabasca Ike with aid from Wolverine, Doolin worried about being in the woods in the dark when the Hunter in Darkness was prowling the woods; Morris teased that this was an old Blackfoot legend, but Doolin told him of how he had encountered the Hunter in the past.

    After Ike had slain Morris, the Hunter's howls were heard and recognized by Doolin and the Golightly girl (whom Ike had taken hostage) as the Hunter's, although Ike dismissed this as "Injun fairy tales."

    Having stayed downwind of Wolverine, the Hunter ambushed him, tackling him as Logan and Doolin waded through the waters. Fighting back claw-for-claw against the immense Hunter, Wolverine urged Doolin to shoot it, but when Doolin turned on his light to see clearly, Wolverine told him not to worry about hitting him but to kill the light.

    As the Hunter slashed open Wolverine's chest, Athabasca Ike took advantage of the light to shoot and drop Doolin. Meanwhile the taste of Logan's blood and the sound of his voice triggered memories within the Hunter of his previous encounter with Logan.

    With the light still shining, Ike shot the Hunter as well, dropping him to the ground. However, the Hunter soon pulled himself to his feet, sniffing and listening up the slope of the mountain. As the wind changed and the Hunter sensed Ike, the creature's hunger overwhelmed his pain, and it lurched up the hill. hunter_in_darkness-wolv34-face

    Chasing after the Golightly girl (who had escaped from him and was found by Wolverine) and trying to find the rifle she had kicked away from him, Athabasca Ike lit his lighter, only to find the Hunter right in front of him. As he dropped the lighter and it went dark again, screams and the apparent cracking of bones was heard.

(Wolverine II#46 (fb) - BTS) - Sgt. Doolin was considered a hero for bringing in Ike, but his RCMP friends discussed Ike's mauled condition, noting that there had been a cover-up due to Logan's involvement.

    Emmy Doolin became convinced that the Hunter had killed her father.

(Wolverine II#43 (fb) - BTS) - The Hunter in Darkness was captured by Harry Tabeshaw for Ronald Parvenue, who sought to make a profit by putting him on display at his Parvenue Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Parvenue had billboards placed in Manhattan, advertising the Hunter's upcoming feature at his casino.

(Wolverine II#43 - BTS) - Seeing an advertisement for the Hunter in the newspaper, Lady Deathstrike instructed her driver to take her to the office of Ronald Parvenue so she could arrange to be present when the Hunter's presence drew out Wolverine.

(Wolverine II#46 (fb) - BTS) - Also seeing such an advertisement, Emmy Doolin headed to New York in hopes of killing the Hunter and/or Wolverine.

(Wolverine II#45 - BTS) - Feeling a connection to the Hunter, Wolverine approached as Parvenue displayed the Hunter in Times Square prior to the planned trip to Atlantic City, while Emmy Doolin (daughter of Sgt. Doolin) prepared in a hotel room, planning to slay the creature with a sniper rifle.

(Wolverine II#45) - With the Hunter suspended by a helicopter in a cage covered by a tarp, Parvenue (alongside Lady Deathstrike, who had linked up with Parvenue in hopes of encountering Wolverine) spoke from the helicopter to the crowd, announcing a free peek at the "wonder of the decade."

    As Parvenue had the tarp dropped, the Hunter roared in rage, capturing the crowd's attention as it was pained by all the surrounding noise. Emmie fired an intended killshot at the Hunter, but it moved enough that the shot only struck it in the left shoulder.

    Parvenue had the helicopter taken up to avoid the gunfire, while Wolverine leapt atop the cage, hoping to free the Hunter. Wolverine's presence drew out Sabretooth, who also wanted to confront Wolverine. After the Wolverine robot known as Albert caused a blackout by severing the main trunkline power cables to Manhattan so he could use its power to revive his ally and fellow robot Elsie Dee, Lady Deathstrike climbed leapt down at Wolverine, arriving at the same time as Sabretooth, who had leapt from a nearby streetlight.

    As Wolverine battled both Sabretooth and Deathstrike, Doolin found she could not isolate the Hunter to get a clean shot at it. In an effort to aid Wolverine, his young ally Jubilee used her pyrotechnics power to light up the area over the cage, but this dazzled the pilots, causing them to strike a water tower with the cage, shattering it and free the Hunter, who landed on the roof along with Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, and Wolverine.hunter_in_darkness-wolv46-gator

(Wolverine II#46) - As Wolverine unsheathed his claws to fight back against Deathstrike and Sabretooth, the Hunter recognized the sound from the one who had freed him from the bear trap years before and leapt to Wolverine's aid. Stunned by his injuries, Wolverine briefly collapsed, but swiftly rallied to return to aid the Hunter. As Wolverine fought Sabretooth, the Hunter battled Deathstrike; and Emmy Doolin, unable to identify the combatants in the darkness, shot both Sabretooth and Deathstrike. Seeking to prevent Doolin from shooting Wolverine, Jubilee generated some pyrotechnics to temporarily blind her, but the Hunter was frightened by the fireworks, and it fled.

    In the tunnels that were home to the Morlocks, the Hunter slew an albino alligator whose death screams were heard by Albert and Morlock-leader Masque.

(Wolverine II#51) - Within the Morlock Alley, the Hunter approached Masque's group of Morlocks. Masque fearfully instructed Elsie Dee to tell Albert to rip the creature's arms off, but Elsie, noting that the creature was nothing more than a big puppy, petted it on the head and told the docile Hunter it could come with Albert and her. She then led the creature to accompany them about the stealth bomber Albert had repaired, explaining what they were doing so the Hunter wouldn't feel left out, even though she appreciated that it didn't understand her words. Aboard the stealth bomber, they departed the Alley and took to the skies.

(Wolverine II#52) - As the ship flew over the Cloud 9 Hotel in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York, both the Hunter and Elsie Dee sensed something strange (Wolverine, Mystique, and Spiral were fighting a Plasma Wraith within a "cardinal locus," the intersection of five different strings in the timestream). Before they could sense what it was, Spiral shielded the room with a cloaking field so they assess the situation without interference. No longer sensing anything of significance, Elsie had Albert continue north toward Canada.

    The Hunter apparently led Albert and Elsie Dee to an unmapped and abandoned facility near an old Blackfoot burial ground and guided them to a burial mound. The Hunter further guided Albert to help him dig into the mound where they found a skeleton with Wolverine-esque Adamantium claws.

(Wolverine II#53) - Aboard the stealth bomber, the Hunter watched as Albert evaluated the skeleton, eventually determining it to be over 200 years old and using facial reconstruction programs to flesh out the tissue. When an image resembling Logan appeared, the Hunter growled.

    When Mystique and Spiral -- having traveled back from the end of time while Wolverine faced Mojo and his Plasma Wraiths -- arrived and insisted they needed the bomber's missile to save Wolverine, the Hunter growled at them. Noting the skeleton to be a relic from an alternate time string, Spiral arranged an agreement with Elsie Dee: Spiral sent Elsie Dee, Albert, and the Hunter back in time to investigate the skeleton while sending the missile forward in time to help Wolverine.

(Wolverine II#83 (fb) - BTS) - The Hunter, Albert, and Elsie Dee arrive amidst a battle between some Native Canadian tribes.

(Wolverine II#86 (fb)) - Albert identified the groups as factions of a branch of the Siksika.

    After Albert had disemboweled Man-Killer Wolf, the other warriors piled on Albert, leading Elsie Dee to direct the Hunter in helping him. After the warriors stopped fighting, Elsie instructed the Hunter to step down, at which point they were confronted by Forge of Reality
-94102 (who had traveled there with Wolverine from a time 10 years after the time from which Hunter Elsie Dee, and Albert had come, on order to thwart a plot of the demonic Adversary that threatened the entire time continuum). Forge further revealed that Man-Killer Wolf was an agent of the Adversary, and that half of the Siksika tribe followed Man-Killer Wolf while the others were aware of the Adversary's involvement and opposed it.

    Adversary healed Man-Killer Wolf, enhanced his power, and sent him to capture Forge. Aided by Wolverine, Forge blasted Man-Killer Wolf back, and Wolverine had Elsie Dee, Albert, and the Hunter stay back to protect the Siksika while he and Forge went after the Adversary.

(Wolverine II#83 (fb) - BTS / Wolverine II#86 (fb)) - Not trusting these travelers whose arrival coincided with the recent destruction and terror, the Siksika had Albert run a gauntlet, which he successfully completed. The Siksika then proclaimed Albert their war-chief.hunter_in_darkness-wolv84-pack-reunited

(Wolverine II#86 (fb)) - The Hunter, Albert, Elsie Dee, and the Siksika then heard an explosion from the direction to which Wolverine and Forge had gone; Albert determined there to have been another temporal displacement. Feeling that they had only traveled  a few years into the future, Elsie advised the others to keep looking for him.
   
(Wolverine II#83 (fb)) - The Hunter, Albert, and Elsie Dee searched for Wolverine in hopes of rescuing him from whatever horrible fate caused his skeleton to be in that burial mound, but despite the Hunter's enhanced senses and tracking skills (and Albert's advanced technological tracking equipment), they never found him. The more Albert and Elsie Dee used their sensors, the more they depleted their batteries. As the robots reached the point they would need to turn back and put themselves into system sleep, the Hunter refused to give up; eventually they found a whole pack of Hunter in Darkness-like creatures, and the Hunter/Puppy left with them.

(Wolverine II#86 (fb) - BTS) <According to Albert and Forge> - Albert, Elsie, and the Hunter displacing themselves back in time negated (more likely diverged) the timeline in which Wolverine was slain and his skeleton was left there (see comments).

(Wolverine II#83 (fb) - BTS) - The elderly Hunter and his pack were apparently frozen within ice.

(Wolverine II#83 (fb) - BTS) - Increased heat due to an increase in ultra-violet energy penetrating the atmosphere due to damage in the atmosphere's ozone layer released the Hunter(s) from cryogenic hibernation, and they wandered off, leaving an ice mold recovered by a nearby Canadian Arctic Research Station.

(Wolverine II#83 (fb) - BTS) - The Hunter creatures scored the massive steel door of the arctic research station in the process of trying to get in.

(Wolverine II#83 - BTS) - The visiting Wolverine (who had recently had his Adamantium forcibly removed by Magneto/Max Eisenhardt) and Harry Tabeshaw both recognized the mold and claw marks as being associated with the Hunter in Darkness; as team biologist DeLong prepared his rifle, Tabeshaw warned him that the creature was a hungry spirit, and it was going to eat him for breakfast, big gun and all. hunter_in_darkness-wolv84-elderly-body

    Mocking warnings as superstition, geologist Simpson opened the base door to collect seismic probes, after which one of the Hunter creatures slashed open her side and rushed into the base.
Physicist Sverdup  then assaulted the Hunter creature in armored freight-loader suit, but despite his analysis of his clear advantages, Sverdup was swiftly slain.

    When Wolverine, Guardian, and Vindicator assaulted the Hunter in unison, it tore a hole in the ceiling, leapt up through it, and escaped. The rest of the others then worked to fortify a section of station so that whoever worked on Simpson would be safe from the Hunter. The Hunter creature then began howling to others of its kind...and the others answered.


(Wolverine II#84 - BTS) - Wolverine and Guardian slew a quintet of Hunter creatures that were apparently feeding on Sverdup, but then a large group of Hunter creatures dropped down from the ceiling. Appreciating that there were too many to fight, the heroes fled back into their fortified vault.


    After one of the Hunters cut the base's generator line (possibly sacrificing itself in the process); team biologist DeLong subsequently concluded they may defer judgment to their oldest and wisest member, to accumulate lore and strategy.

(Wolverine II#84 - BTS) - Meanwhile, hundreds of miles to the south, Albert detected the Hunter's presence, and he and Elsie Dee -- joined by the vampiric Bloodscream, who had tricked them into thinking he was a benevolent mutant and was trying to save Wolverine, and who wished to locate the Hunter as a substitute source of "blood of a beast that ageth not" to cure his own bloodthirst -- headed out to locate the Hunter.

(Wolverine II#84) - Donning the Sverdup's armored loading suit, Wolverine tore into the Hunters, leading the leader to confront him. As they prepared to battle, however, both recognized each other as previous allies, although Wolverine wondered how the Hunter in Darkness had gotten so old so quickly.hunter_in_darkness-w84-old-face

(Wolverine II#84 - BTS) - The Hunter in Darkness led the pack to depart. When DeLong leveled his rifle to shoot the Hunter in the back, Wolverine punched him out.

(Wolverine II#84 (fb) - BTS) - The Hunter covered his and his pack's trail sufficiently that Albert lost track of him as they approached.

Comments: Created by Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green.

    So, apparently the Hunter in Darkness was part of a race of lupine-humanoid creatures. I'd guess that when the rest of the pack was frozen in ice <at some point, under unrevealed circumstances), that he was the sole member of his pack left, hence the legend of the solitary creature. When he traveled back in time, I'd have thought that he was frozen with the rest of the pack, while his younger self escaped that fate to continue the loop.
    I don't know how long ago they were frozen, but it had to be long enough ago that he could have gotten so much older ("ancient") than the last time Wolverine had seen him. If he wasn't frozen, then both he and his younger self would have been active in the woods at the same time, which is a little more odd.

    Doolin described what he thought to be his previous encounter with the Hunter in Darkness as "before you cut your first tooth" to his RCMP partner constable Morris. This would mean when Morris was less than a year old, and Morris looked to be 30 or perhaps as young as 20.
That being said, the naked Wolverine wandering through the wilderness shown in the flashback seems like it was meant to occur between Logan's initial escape from the Weapon X project and his discovery by Heather and James Hudson, which, I believe was around the time of Fantastic Four I#1, or the beginning of the "modern era," which equates to about 12-15 years "Marvel Time."

    At the time of Wolverine II#43-46, it was being strongly suggested that Sabretooth was Wolverine's father. That idea fell by the wayside and has subsequently been contradicted, specifically in the Origin series.

    While the story talked about the Hunter, Albert, and Elsie Dee traveling 200 years into the past, I think it can remain in the 18th century as a fixed point, even though the point in time from which they traveled back has moved 20 years due to the sliding timescale of "Marvel Time."

    After Albert and Forge in Reality-94102 discussed how the timeline that caused Wolverine's death (leaving behind the skeleton that led to Albert, Elsie Dee, and the Hunter traveling into the past to investigate), the editorial text then notes: Forge doesn't know it, but all this happened to Logan as a result of his traveling forward in time to the Crunch (in Wolverine II#52). I can't make sense of it, but it seems like, as the OHotMU entry for the Hunter in Darkness noted, that this was the skeleton of Wolverine-94102, but then the death/that timeline was somehow negated (or, more likely, diverged). Meaning there would probably be another reality in which Wolverine-94102 indeed perished. However, if this occurred after Wolverine-94102 had left his native time, then it would be more of a Kang-related individual divergence...or...you know what, this is making my head hurt...I'm moving on...

    Thanks to MarvelousLuke for cleaning up the image from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover #5.

    The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z softcover entry lists the Hunter's power grid incorrectly (Agatha Harkness' power grid was inadvertently used in its place).
    The correct grid, as shown in A to Z Update#1 and the A to Z hardcover#5 is:

Intelligence: 2
Strength: 4
Speed: 2 (I think he was a 3 in youth, but maybe a 2 in his more aged state)
Durability: 4
Energy Projection: 1
Fighting Skills: 4

It's noteworthy that while the Hunter may not have normal human intelligence, we have consistently listed "2" for animal/creatures who demonstrate reasoning abilities.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Hunter in Darkness
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Wolverine II#34, pg. 10, panel 2 (looming over Wolverine and Doolin);
       pg. 20, panel 1 (face, confronting Ike)
    #46, pg. 3, panel 3 (caught in bear trap);
       pg. 18? (last page), last panel (draggin' the gator);
    #84, pg. 4 (Wolverine and Guardian battling pack)
           panel 3 (more pack dropping down);
       pg. 7, panel 3 (pack, close-up);
       pg. 17, panel 1 (elderly hunter, body, from behind);
           panel 2 (elderly hunter, face)
    #86, pg. 2, panel 4 (leaping to the attack);
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#1: Hunter in Darkness entry (originally from Wolverine II#46, pg. 1, panel 1);
       


Appearances:
Wolverine II#34 (December, 1990) - Larry Hama (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#43 (Early August, 1991) - Larry Hama (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#45 (Early September, 1991) - Larry Hama (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#46 (Late September, 1991) - Larry Hama (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#51 (February, 1992) - Larry Hama (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#52-53 (March-April, 1992) - Larry Hama (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#83 (July, 1994) - Larry Hama (writer), John Nadeau (penciler), Bud LaRosa & Keith Champagne (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#84 (August, 1994) - Larry Hama (writer), Ron Wagner (penciler), Reinhold, Younger, Palmer, Younger (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#86 (October, 1994) - Larry Hama (writer), Ron Garney (penciler), Bud LaRosa & Al Vey (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#1: Hunter in Darkness entry (March, 2007) - Stuart Vandal, Jeff Christiansen, et al (writers), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green inker
    updated/revised in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover #5 and softcover entry


First posted: 06/15/2019
Last updated: 06/15/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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