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Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #179

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In Uncanny X-Men #126, there’s a reference to the musical "Little Shop of Horrors". On the way to Muir Island, where they would encounter Proteus for the first time, the X-Men’s Blackbird nearly capsized a boat named "Audrey II". - Submitted by Quicksilver


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Wolverine (2nd series) #169

Issue Date: December 2001

Story Title: Blood Sport: Part 3

Staff: Frank Tieri (official), Dan Fraga (in the red boots), Norm Rapmund (in the blue boots), JH Williams III (taking tickets at the door), Avalon’s Raymund Lee (slobber knocker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Oscar! (stick and move), Mike Raicht (the jabber), Mike Marts (the fixer), Joe Quesada (the champ), Bill Jemas (T.K.O.)

Brief Description:
Remembering a moment of his past, Logan recalls the time he witnessed his mentor, Ogun, being stabbed in the gut with a sword from Hana. Ogun not only survived, but killed Hana. In present day, Logan and Viper are combing the streets of Madripoor looking for Ogun. At first, the search is fruitless but they eventually find him. As Ogun proceeds to jump from body to body, Logan tries to prevent Viper from killing the innocent people Ogun possesses. After Ogun possesses a number of people, he invites Logan to finish this at the docks later that night. That night, Logan is shocked to see Viper there. He discovers that she herself has been possessed by Ogun. Ogun next attempts to make his way into Logan’s mind, but finds it too bestial and heads back into Viper. Once he is there, Logan stabs Viper in the gut which drives Ogun out of her and into the night sky. Angry, Viper tells Logan that she isn’t going to grant him their deal, their divorce, because he stabbed her. Logan tells her fine and to make her way to the hospital on her own. Viper then concedes but Logan leaves her bleeding on the docks anyway.

Full Synopsis:
Logan remembers that night in Kanaziwa like it was yesterday. He’d been there just a few short weeks actually, trainin’ under the tutelage a’ the man who had become his sensei, Lord Ogun. He was still sort a’ green in them days. He had yet t’ learn what his true nature was fer one thing, never mind that a’ his sensei. But little did he know that night he was about t’ get a crash course as far as the latter was concerned. Even in that short time, he had come to discover that Lord Ogun had his fair share a’ enemies, t’ say the least. So, the fact that a fistful a’ ninjas showed up that night lookin’ fer his blood wasn’t all that surprisin’.

What was surprisin’ however, was the man they cleared a path for – Lord Ugama Hana. One o’ the nastiest crimelords Japan’s ever seen. Him an’ Ogun got into it right off the bat, goin’ back an’ forth ‘bout some ancient wrong Ogun had committed that Hana now demanded satisfaction for. Didn’t much now who was right or wrong, didn’t much care neither. All he knew was that they had come fer his mentor an’ they’d have to go through him to get him. But Ogun squawked, said it was a “blood feud” between him an’ Hana an’ was t’ be treated as such. He told him t’ stand down. Understandin’ what a blood feud meant to a samurai, he respected his mentor’s wishes, knowin’ full well the responsibility t’ avenge him would land squarely on his shoulders should Ogun fall that day.

Yet, even he couldn’t have realized at the time how silly the notion a’ Ogun fallin’ in battle actually was. He had never seen anythin’ like it – the way he cut through those ninjas virtually unscathed. He certainly didn’t need his help or anyone else’s, fer that matter. Hell, he probably would’ve just gotten in the way.

Ogun then turned his attention to Hana, who obviously wasn’t nearly as impressed with his prowess as was Logan. They battled fer what seemed like forever, neither man gainin’ quarter, neither man succumbin’ to the skills a’ the other. That is, until Ogun did something most unexpected and dropped his sword. He taunted Hana, sayin’ how he had grown weary a’ their battle. He demanded Hana kill him, if he really had the nerve t’ do it. It’s what he was there for anyway, wasn’t it?

Hana, not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, happily obliged and stabbed Ogun through the gut with his sword. Ogun was done fer – that strike most certainly would ‘a killed any man alive. It was tense, really, waitin’ there. Waitin’ fer him t’ keel over an’ breath his last. But instead, he did somethin’ he’ll remember fer the rest a’ his days. His eyes turned red an’ he laughed. As he unbelievably pulled the sword from his gut, he couldn’t even tell ya who looked on with more disbelief – him or Lord Hana.

All he can tell ya was Hana wanted no part ‘a Ogun from that point on. He backed up, callin’ on his gods for help as Ogun advanced. But apparently, his cries fell on deaf ears ‘cause with a quick slash ‘a Hana’s own honor sword and that was all she wrote, Hana’s head was chopped off.

Logan remembers he stood there fer a few minutes, still soakin’ in all he’d just witnessed. Finally, he snapped outta it long enough t’ ask Ogun if he was okay. Ogun just looked down at the wound in his gut an’ smiled. “This?” he said, “This is nothing. Nothing but a state of mind, much in the same way death itself is.” His smile grew broader as he went on, how he was beyond conventional moral concepts. How he spit at the four winds, how he laughed at the moon an’ the stars, how he routinely mocked the gods themselves an’ especially how even death herself was no match fer him. He went on braggin’ that night an’ Logan went on listenin’, takin’ it as no more than a warrior’s boast. Still he couldn’t explain what he had seen that day.

Just like he can’t explain what’s happenin’ now. Ogun is back. An’ considerin’ he’s seen him die more times than he can count, maybe his old sensei knows somethin’ the rest of us don’t. Even after all these years, even after he found out how freakin’ evil he actually was, he ain’t ever been able t’ get a handle on what he truly is – a demon, a ghost, or a god? Well, whatever the hell he is, he’s currently runnin’ amok in the Madripoor underworld. Which is why his “wife” an’ reignin’ underworld kingpin, Viper, brought Ogun’s return t’ his notice.

As they walk down the street together, Logan mentions to Viper that they’d attract a lot less attention if she wasn’t marchin’ down the streets with a drawn laser pistol. Viper replies that she absolutely refuses to be caught napping. Remember what she said, Ogun has the ability to jump from body to body. He could be anyone at any time, even him. Logan says yeah but reminds her to remember what he said – no killin’ unless absolutely necessary. Keep in mind these people he possesses ain’t t’ blame fer his actions. Oh, an in case she forgets already, when this is all over with, she best remember their other agreement. Viper says yes, yes and asks how many times he’s going to keep reminding her of it. Logan says as many times as it takes t’ get it through that twisted evil skull a’ hers.

Entering the Foxy Den, the former Princess Bar, Logan sees that Viper wasn’t pullin’ his leg about this though, Ogun’s been busy. Seeing a giant brawl amongst the patrons, Logan sees that Ogun’s possessions have been breedin’ so much dissension among Viper’s goons, they’re all at each other’s throats. Trouble is, not even his enhanced senses can tell him who he… Wait

a sec, that man with the glowin’ eyes, that’s gotta be him. The man with the glowing eyes looks over at Logan and says to him ‘look who’s finally come to pay respects to his old master. Quite a piece of handiwork, eh? Although, he is certain he’ll be pleased to know that he’s just begun. With that, “Ogun” runs out the back door.

Giving chase, Logan says to himself that if Ogun makes it to the marketplace, an’ wouldn’t ya know it, he does. Logan proceeds to scan the crowd fer a scent but what’s the use? Chances are he’s already…

Just then, Logan is hit in the back with a knife. It’s good placement with the knife; Ogun sure ain’t lost his touch. Question is though, who’s he gonna pop into next? Turning around, Logan sees an old lady tending a seafood market. She asks Logan what’s the matter. Have the skills he taught him eroded so much than an old woman now gives him pause? Viper immediately draws her weapon and tells Logan to keep the old cow busy; she’s got a nice, clean shot. Just as she pulls the trigger, Logan grabs her arm and knocks the shot off course.

As he is attacked by the old woman, Logan thinks to himself freakin’ Viper. Havin’ t’ stop her insanity left Ogun an opening an’ when ya got Ogun’s skills, no matter what body he’s in, that’s all it takes. After “Ogun” attempts to slash Viper across the stomach with “his” knife, he tells Logan that his role-reversal amuses him. Imagine him, the savage, now having to stop someone else from killing – how deliciously ironic. Taking the advantage, Logan grabs the old woman in a full-nelson and thinks to himself that it has been ironic so far. ‘Cause without knowin’ any other means a’ stoppin’ Ogun, he just hopes Viper’s way ain’t gonna win out in the end.

Just then, the old woman asks what is happening. Logan realizes that he musta jumped again. As a man smacks Logan in the back of the knee with his stick, Ogun asks Logan isn’t it frustrating, now knowing where he might strike next? At that moment, Viper leaps into action, smacks the man in the back of the head with her gun and says to him or where the butt of her gun might strike next, for that matter.

When the man falls down to the ground, Viper asks Logan if it’s over. Logan tells her that, judgin’ by the laughter in the air, safe money says no. Just then, they begin to get pelted in the back of the head with fruits. Behind them, the people say to them “were it only that simple.” Logan sees this and deduces that he’s leapin’ so fast from person t’ person that it’s like he’s got a link t’ the whole blasted crowd. Viper tells Ogun that it’s simpler than he might imagine. Especially when one adheres to the old credo, kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out. Punching her out, Logan tells Viper that was her second warnin’ an’ her last.

As the crowd makes their way towards Logan and Viper, Ogun says to them that while he does so hate to break up this lover’s quarrel, he does believe he’d find learning where he’s been all this time much more relevant, wouldn’t he agree? After their last encounter, whether he was aware of it or not, he ended up in the body of a woman he was briefly acquainted with – Helen Bach. Unfortunately, he soon found her weak frame to be an inadequate vessel to house a warrior of his caliber. Thus began a quest that found him bouncing from host body to host body, all in an effort to find an appropriate candidate.

Then, one day, he found it in the person of the individual he refers to as Mr. X, a man who could see an opponent’s moves before he made them. How could he resist such a worthy host? And yet, that selfsame telepathy which made X such a formidable adversary in the first place proved to be his undoing in the end, for he drove him out. His entry thwarted, he was left with little choice but to inhabit his henchman Blok. And so he remained, even during his first meeting with the massive bodyguard, staying dormant for reasons of his own. But later, through X’s machinations, he was given the chance to reunite with him again there in Madripoor. He could not resist, transferring his essence to one of Viper’s men.

Logan recalls that that explains why he saw demonic faces whenever Blok was around, must’ve actually been Ogun’s presence he was sensin’ all along. Running away, Ogun tells Logan that after all this time, they still have much unfinished business between them. Meet him at the docks tonight and he will learn once and for all why he will forever be the student and he, forever his master.

Later that night, Logan makes his way to the dock. He senses that there ain’t a soul around, probably why Ogun picked there, he’s through playin’ games. No innocent bystanders t’ get in the way. Nobody fer him t’ bounce in an’ out of, just them. Reaching the end of the dock, Logan sees Viper standing there with her back to him. Putting his hand on her shoulder, he asks her what in blazes she is doing there. He told her not to come, this is between him and Ogun.

As Viper turns around with red eyes, indicating that she has been possessed by Ogun, “she” tells Logan as it always has been. Ogun adds that it seems he still has much to teach him. He should have learned by now that samurai might is never a substitute for ninja deception. It is no accident that he chose this moment to make his presence known and not when he last encountered him as Blok. For now, with the Weapon X mind control which protected him gone, he is free to enter the host body he groomed himself for all those years ago.

Shooting Logan in the shoulder, Ogun leaves Viper and transfers himself over to Logan. Kicking Viper in the chin, Ogun states that once he’s disposed of his filthy wife, he will use his body to take her place as lord of the Madripoor underworld as he planned the moment he arrived there. It will serve him well as… as… eh? Something is… Logan’s mind is too fragmented, too bestial. How can he stand it? The horrors he’s endured, it’s too much, he can’t remain.

Leaving Logan’s body, Ogun makes his way to the only option he has, his wife Viper. Logan remarks that, if Ogun thinks he’s safe, if he figures since he wasn’t willin’ t’ take innocent lives before, he certainly won’t off his own wife now. He figured wrong. With that, Logan stabs Viper through the gut with his claws. As Viper grabs her stomach, Ogun says that the wounds in this host are too severe. Can’t stay there, can’t enter Logan, no! He will not let it end this way, he will not – NO! While Ogun drifts off into the night sky, Logan says that he guesses ol’ death was a match fer him after all.

Turning his attention to Viper, she says that she asks him… for help fighting Ogun… and he guts her? Logan replies that he left him little choice. Besides, he did help – he’s gone, ain’t he? Weakly, Viper tells him to not be snide, this changes everything. She’s not honoring their other agreement. Logan says to her so she won’t be agreein’ t’ their divorce after all? Gee, an here he was all set t’ get a doctor t’ fix her up. It seems t’ him that she still has a shot t’ pull through, maybe. But if she’s gonna be that way…

Viper tells Logan okay, he wins. His debt to her is paid, he’s got the divorce, just get her to the damn doctor. But mark her words, if it takes her ‘til the end of time, she will see him dead for this, does she hear him? Dead! Walking away, Logan tells her that she best get in line now cuz it’s a long one.

Characters:
Wolverine

Viper
Ogun

Various people on the streets of Madripoor (all unnamed)

In flashbacks:
Logan
Lord Ogun
Lord Ugama Hana and his ninja followers
Helen Bach
Mister X
Blok
Jae Lo
Various other unnamed individuals whom were possessed by Ogun

Notes:
Logan faced off against Blok in Wolverine (2nd series) #160.

In this issue, Viper is dressed to look much like Lara Croft, the lead character in the Tomb Raider video game series.

Logan last faced Ogun in Wolverine (2nd series) #112-114. After what happened in issue #114, Ogun must have jumped back into Helen Bach’s body after he left that of Lady Deathstrike’s.

This Issue has been reprinted in:
Wolverine: The Best There Is (Trade Paperback)

Issue Summary written by: Wendigo (David M.)


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