Meet Albert, the Dark X-Men's Robot Wolverine
Who is Albert? Learn more about the Dark X-Men's Wolverine android and his fierce dedication to his 'daughter' Elsie-Dee.
In the Marvel Universe, everyone wants a piece of Wolverine. While the real Logan splits his time between teams like the X-Men and the Avengers, some less-than-heroic operators have created Wolverines of their own. For instance, Beast created several mindless clones of his old friend Logan to serve as his personal army, and the mutant-hating organization Orchis has turned Wolverine's lost adamantium skeletons into a savage new kind of Sentinel.
As part of their efforts to effectively wipe out the world's mutants, Orchis even recruited Albert, a reprogrammed Wolverine android. While Albert has acted as both a friend and a foe to Wolverine, he has proven himself to be a lethal fighter by nearly killing multiple X-Men.
Now, let's take a closer look at Albert and how the Robot Wolverine forged a path of his own throughout the Marvel Universe. We'll also take a look at how he ended up on Madelyne Pryor's team of misfit mutants in DARK X-MEN (2023) #2 by Steve Foxe, Jonas Scharf, Frank Martin, and VC's Clayton Cowles.
WHO IS ALBERT, THE ROBOT WOLVERINE?
Albert was constructed by Donald Pierce, the leader of the mutant-hating cybernetic Reavers and a former member of the Hellfire Club. Pierce designed Albert as a remorseless killing machine and activated him for the first time in WOLVERINE (1988) #37 by Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green.
As part of a plot to kill Logan, Albert joined forces with Elsie-Dee, a child-shaped android whose body was largely comprised of plastic explosives. Albert was supposed to lure Wolverine into a fight, and then Elsie-Dee would set off a massive explosion that killed the X-Man. However, Pierce's plans did not come to fruition.
Bonebreaker—one of Pierce's cybernetic Reavers—accidentally programmed Elsie-Dee to be a genius, and she developed a sense of self-awareness. After Elsie-Dee and the Robot Wolverine bonded, she upgraded his intelligence and named him Albert, after Einstein. Fighting against their destructive programming, Albert and Elsie-Dee went on to save and rebuild each other numerous times.
Although he is modeled after Wolverine's physical appearance, Albert is a synthetic being built around a "moly-steel laminate" exoskeleton, complete with three retractable claws on each hand. Since he was partially destroyed, Albert's body has been partially rebuilt or upgraded a few times, and he is largely bulletproof.
In addition to his machine genius, Albert also has superhuman strength and can mimic some of Wolverine's enhanced senses through technological means like infrared vision. Despite the advanced technology that powers him, Albert occasionally displays a limited vocabulary or electronic pops that interrupt his speech patterns.
ALBERT AND ELSIE-DEE
Albert and Elsie-Dee have remained fiercely dedicated to each other since they first teamed up, forming an unlikely duo just like the ones Wolverine made with younger heroes like Kate "Kitty" Pryde and Jubilee. After Pierce sent Albert and Elsie-Dee on a crimewave to draw Logan's attention, Elsie-Dee realized she could stop her body from exploding if Albert could kill Wolverine first. Once she upgraded Albert to make him a smarter and more lethal fighter, the Wolverine android came to a similar conclusion, and he realized her destruction would leave him without his only friend.
However, Albert lost his fight with the real Logan and was separated from Elsie-Dee. After Logan rescued Elsie-Dee from a fire, Albert used his technological abilities to help her permanently overcome her programming.
Following several encounters with government authorities, Albert stole a stealth bomber plane, which became his main base of operations. Although Albert fought Wolverine one more time, they started working together after he reunited with Elsie-Dee. They even helped Wolverine and Cable defeat Sabretooth, with Elsie-Dee detonating the explosive part of her body in the process. The two androids took refuge in the Morlock tunnels under New York while Albert built Elsie-Dee a new body.
During their subsequent travels, Albert and Elsie-Dee found an adamantium skeleton with Wolverine-like claws that was over 200 years old in WOLVERINE (1988) #52 by Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green. Thanks to Spiral, Albert and Elsie-Dee traveled back in time to find out what happened, which dropped them in the middle of a battle between members of a Siksika Nation tribe.
Eventually, the androids discovered another timeline's Forge and Wolverine, who had gone back in time to stop the Adversary from disrupting the timestream. After the other time-travelers vanished in a temporal explosion, Else-Dee and Albert began running low on power and put themselves in stasis until the present day, satisfied with the knowledge that the adamantium skeleton was a temporal anomaly created as an aftereffect of the time travel. Following this, Albert and Elsie-Dee kept a low profile for several years.
THE HUNT FOR WOLVERINE
After hiding in the shadows of the Marvel Universe for years, Albert resurfaced when several Marvel heroes started searching for the missing Wolverine. After he was separated from Elsie-Dee, Albert returned to Canada, where he murdered several forest rangers in Saskatchewan.
While investigating several potential Wolverine sightings, a team of investigators including Daredevil, Misty Knight, Cypher, and the Inhuman detective Frank McGee tracked down Albert in HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: WEAPON LOST (2018) #2 by Charles Soule and Matteo Buffagni. Before the team could confront Albert, the android slashed Cypher's throat, which left the veteran New Mutant clinging to life and unable to speak.
Despite his enraged state, Albert remained a tactical genius, and he even evaded Daredevil's superhumanly acute senses. During his subsequent fight with the heroes, Albert repeatedly asked about Elsie-Dee's whereabouts and even referred to her as his daughter. Still, Daredevil and a recovering Cypher eventually stopped the robot Wolverine by attacking a weak spot on his back.
THE ROBOT REVOLUTION
When many of the world's robots, androids, and other artificial beings formed the A.I. Army, Albert briefly joined their fight for machine rights in IRON MAN 2020 (2020) #1 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Peter M. Woods. Around that same time, Albert traveled to Madripoor, where he confronted Donald Pierce about Elsie-Dee in 2020 iWOLVERINE (2020) #1 by Larry Hama and Roland Boschi. After bringing Albert into the Reavers' base, Pierce told Albert that Elsie-Dee approached him about removing her self-detonating programming permanently. However, Pierce sold Elsie for parts to some of Madripoor's criminal enterprises instead.
After destroying Pierce's robotics lab and tearing through his forces, Albert found Elsie's head, which was being used to cook the books of a Yakuza-operated casino. After reassembling and reattaching Elsie-Dee's body, the android duo tore through Madripoor, battling several gangs. When the Yakuza leader Kimura confronted them, Elsie-Dee and Albert avoided a fight by deleting the casino's bookkeeping data. After one of Albert's fingers was removed as penance for his actions against the Yakuza, Kimura helped the machines escape Madripoor without alerting Pierce or his Reavers.
During the rise of the mutant nation Krakoa, Albert and Elsie-Dee stayed in the shadows. However, the mutant-hunting organization Orchis eventually captured the pair and made them unwilling participants in their efforts to eradicate mutantkind.
After a massive Orchis attack at Krakoa's Hellfire Gala left the world's remaining mutants scattered, Albert was reprogrammed and transformed into another one of Orchis' vicious mutant-hunting machines in DARK X-MEN (2023) #1 by Steve Foxe and Jonas Scharf. While accompanying a prisoner transport moving the young mutant Gimmick, Albert's convoy encountered a group of X-Men including Gambit, Maggott, and Archangel.
Albert attacked the X-Men and critically wounded Archangel, all while struggling to say Elsie-Dee. Madelyne Pryor, the clone of Jean Grey who rules Limbo, jumped into the fight to save Gimmick with Havok and a few other mutants. Just as these X-Men teams started working together, Albert stabbed Havok through the throat, and Pryor telekinetically contorted the robot's body.
As Pryor teleported the X-Men away, the body-morphing Zero took custody of Albert's body, unwittingly playing into Orchis' plans. As revealed in DARK X-MEN (2023) #2, an Orchis cybernetics expert known as Krol captured Albert and Elsie-Dee and implanted a black box recording device inside of him.
Even though Zero has physically merged with Albert and turned him into a deactivated puppet, the android's body is constantly recording the misfit mutant team that Pryor is building inside Limbo's embassy on Earth. After a lifetime on the run, Albert may have finally found a home with Pryor's Dark X-Men, but Orchis might just turn him into the key of their destruction.
See what's in store for Albert in DARK X-MEN #2, now on sale!
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