|Wolverine (3rd series) #60|| || |
Issue Date: February 2008
Story Title: Logan Dies part 4
Staff: Marc Guggenheim (writer), Howard Chaykin (artist), Edgar Delgado (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Arthur Suydam (cover), Irene Lee (production), Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editor), John Barber (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Wolverine visits Japan and gets into a brawl, on purpose, with some Hand ninjas. He kills them all but leaves one alive so that he can get some information from him. After he discovers that the mystery redhead is called Phaedra, it starts to make sense to Logan. Phaedra and Shogun were both there when the Hand resurrected him. They are now both working for Scimitar. He wants to know how they ended up with Scimitar, and what they were doing with the Hand before that. He calls on an old friend named Shiori Masakuma, and she informs him that Scimitar’s base of operations is close by. She doesn’t know where, though. He figures there’s only one place large enough that is uninhabited for the base to be. He heads to Mount Fuji and notices some familiar image-inducer tech. He enters the base and finds Shogun. After a brief skirmish, he attaches a bomb to Shogun’s chest which explodes, killing him. Logan then enters the bedroom and finds Phaedra in bed with someone. He gets her out and asks her why she’s trying to kill him. She replies that it’s a debt of honor to be paid in blood, but not to her. She asks him to take a look around and see if he can see anything familiar. He looks, and notices the Yashida family seal. Lord Shingen then appears and tells Logan that, for killing him and his daughter, he will make sure his death this time around will be permanent.
(flashback, Ypres, Belgium, April 22, 1915)
Logan has a pistol aimed at his head, held by his own hand. A voice tells him to do it, and end the anguish of his mortal existence. Logan turns to see Azrael standing there in his long red cloak. He can’t believe it. He thought he’d killed him. Azrael tells him that he defeated him in combat. The ennui that Logan has been feeling since their encounter; the despair that has him putting a gun to his own head – they are the result, the punishment for defying the natural order of things. Logan hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about. Azrael tells him that they are not finished. “Then let’s finish it,” replies Logan as he charges Azrael.
Logan lunges but Azrael appears to simply step aside. “Don’t embarrass yourself,” he advises. He informs Logan that he is a singular combatant, and because he defeated him on this plane of existence, he cannot vanquish Logan there. But their time will come. He vanishes, leaving Logan to receive some ribbing from a fellow soldier who asks if he’s getting enough sleep on the floor. He should gear up, he tells Logan. The Bosch won’t kill themselves.
(ninety-three years later, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan)
Logan walks into a toy store and asks the assistant, in Japanese, that he’s looking for ninjas. She replies that they don’t have those kinds of toys, but she can recommend a store two stops from there on the Jr. Yamanote Line. He replies that he’s not looking for the toy. The store is a front for the ninja brotherhood known as the Hand. He snikts three claws and says that they might help. In an instant, he is surrounded by ninjas wearing red. “Yeah,” he grins. “There we go.”
As bystanders make a quick exit, Wolverine goes to work on the ninjas, slicing and dicing his way through them all until only one is left alive to talk. He tells his captive that if he tells him what he wants to know, he’ll let him end his life with honor. Dr. Strange has hooked Logan up with a doohickey called a Treskara, which takes an image straight from his mind and displays it like a hologram. He informs the ninja that the woman shown is a high priestess in his order. He wants a name. He warns the ninja that he hasn’t got all day. The ninja informs him that she is Phaedra. Logan notes that it’s a Greek name yet she has Japanese ancestry. She must have a heckuva interesting family.
The ninja adds that she is gone from the order. “Dead?” asks Logan. He replies that she disappeared off to pursue her own path. Logan holds the ninja’s sword to his throat and says that he’s real interested in finding that path. The ninja says that no one knows where she is. She’s defected and joined a new order calling itself Scimitar. Logan lowers the sword and turns away. The ninja kneels and asks if that’s sufficient. Logan says that it is, and tosses him the sword. As he departs, the ninja takes his own life.
As Logan walks through the neon lit streets, he thinks it’s funny how some things just fall into place. He hadn’t given much thought to why Scimitar had gone to so much trouble to take him out. There was the bait in Iraq and the image-induced helicarrier. When you’re someone like Wolverine, you get used to people trying to kill you, but this makes sense.
He thinks about how Phaedra was there when the Hand killed him. She was the engine behind the whole thing. Ever since, he’s not been completely the same. She wasn’t alone, either. Shogun was with her. He remembers him in the temple. However, it looks like he’s also with Scimitar these days, just like Phaedra. He guesses the two of them went over together. If she goes where he does, then all he has to do to find her is find him. There are still a few questions left to ask, not the least of which is what are Phaedra and Shogun doing with the Hand - the outfit that brought him back to life? How did they end up with Scimitar who is trying to kill him?
Logan loves mysteries. He can usually solve a problem by beating the snot outta somebody. However, this calls for a different approach. Shogun could be anywhere in the world, so he has a needle/haystack situation. He decides to make use of his assets. Before he was an Avenger and before he was an X-Man, he was a spook. He still has a few friends left in the trade, and a few former friends.
He visits the home of Shiori Masakuma, the former lover of Asano Kimura, who was also a friend. She works for Naikaku Joho Chosashitsu, or Naicho for short – Japan’s intelligence agency. He died, and she blames him. The blame is not entirely misplaced. She slaps him hard across the face, only to find an adamantium-laced skull hurts. He informs her that he’s looking for Shogun who works for Scimitar. She replies that Scimitar is well on its way to turning Al Qaeda and Hydra into punch lines.
She informs Logan that Shogun is in Japan. He does what he’s told and goes where he’s told, and Scimitar’s base of operations is in Tokyo. Logan asks where. Shiori replies that if Naicho knew that, doesn’t he think they’d take them out? But, she adds, SIGINT and street buzz confirms it. They’re nearby. Logan tells her that he’s had a run-in with them and they’ve got access to industrial grade image-inducer tech. They could be anywhere.
Logan departs via the window, and she asks where he’s heading. He won’t tell her, because if he does, she’ll follow him and risk getting hurt. He owes it to Asano. He dons his costume and heads out of the city. Tokyo has over thirty million people in it; the world’s largest metropolis. There’s only one place uninhabitable enough to hide a facility as big as Scimitar’s has to be.
He reaches Mount Fuji and recognizes the image-inducer tech. He approaches a wall and reaches out. Bingo. He walks right through the fake wall and into their base - confirmed by the symbol of a scimitar on the walls. He appreciates the old-school feeling of people who carve their hideout into a volcano, and remembers to put in heating and cooling vents. The place is big, but after a while, Logan discovers Shogun who sits meditating.
The last time he and Shogun fought, Shogun ended up killing him. For real. He hopes that Shogun wakes from his trance so he can savor delivering some payback. He isn’t disappointed. Shogun stands and turns as Wolverine attacks. He’s fast, but unlike last time, Logan is prepared for him. He has a surprise in store. As they get in close to each other, Wolverine snaps a small bomb to his chest and dives for cover. Shogun looks down a split second before the bomb explodes. Shogun dies instantly.
Logan then makes his way to the bedroom and finds Phaedra in bed. He places a hand over her mouth so she doesn’t speak when she wakes up. Once she is out of bed and robed, he removes his mask and tells her that he wouldn’t want to wake her boyfriend. He apologizes for not being dead as she might expect. She replies that she’s a patient woman. He tells her that threats like that would sound better if he hadn’t come back from the worst she and her boy Shogun could throw at him.
Logan tells her that he knows who he is, and he knows her, too. What he doesn’t know, and the fact that he doesn’t is the only reason she is still sucking air, is why Scimitar went to so much trouble to take him out. Phaedra replies that it’s the simplest of reasons… vengeance. Logan says he’s never even met her. She says that he owes a debt of honor to be paid in blood, but not to her. He asks who, then. She tells him it’s one he has killed. He can’t be that surprised, as she resurrected him, after all.
Wolverine replies that he’s killed his fair share of souls, so could she narrow it down? She asks him to look around. Does he see anything familiar? Logan does, and his blood turns to frost. He sees the Yashida family seal. “Mariko…” he whispers. “No gaijin. Not Mariko,” comes a reply from the bedroom. “Her father! And for killing me, for killing my daughter, this time your death will be permanent.”
Lord Shingen is Mariko Yashida’s father. He was killed by Wolverine in Wolverine (1st series) #4.
SIGINT is an abbreviation used in espionage for Signal Intelligence, which refers to the interception of communication between two other parties.
Issue Summary written by: Fantomex