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Wolverine #2 (1982, October)

September 12, 2013

So Tuesdays may or may not have reviews each week. Thursdays definitely will. Today, we continue the original Wolverine mini, by Claremont and Miller, with “Debts and Obligations.”

Debts and Obligations

Simple, but effective.

Wolverine wakes up surrounded by ninjas. He knocks them out the window, but there’s a whole army of them outside. Yukio explains that they’re the Hand – funny to think that this is his first encounter with them, considering how much he’s become associated with them – and also tells him who she is. Yukio gets hurt, and Wolverine pops the claws. He tumbles off the roof, and the ninjas follow him. Yukio thinks about how she only expected a few assassins, and that Wolverine doesn’t stand a chance. She’s wrong, and he’s incredibly badass.

They go back to his hotel room. She talks about wanting to be like him, so she could defend herself against the Hand, and the crimelord who sent them after her. He offers to keep her safe, and she says she can take care of herself, then tries to sex him up. But his love for Mariko gets in the way.

Then she goes to see Shingen. Turns out she’s working for him as an assassin. He sent the Hand in order to get Wolverine to trust her. Now he wants her to kill a rival crimelord, at a “peace conference” that’s been arranged, with Mariko and her husband serving as Shingen’s representatives. Then Wolverine has to die.

She tricks him into helping her sneak into the place to kill the dude. The Kabuki theatre is filled with security systems and guards. Wolverine deals with all of them. Then a play is put on, and Wolverine realizes it’s meant as an attack on Mariko and her husband, so he gets involved, slaughtering the Kabuki troupe. The crimelord runs away, and Yukio blows up his car.

Mariko watches Wolverine go berserk on the actors, then turns and leaves in shock and horror.

This is excellent. Miller’s art works well with the story. It’s dark and violent and stylized. And Claremont’s writing matches it, with Wolverine’s narration being just as moody and dark. Yukio’s a really cool, interesting character. She’s dangerous, and she’s unpredictable. She’s manipulating Wolverine effortlessly, but she’s also clearly deeply attracted to him. And he’s attracted to her, but he’s still too in love with Mariko to act on it. There’s some nice twists and turns going on, and it makes for an exciting story. But, of course, Frank Miller’s artwork is the real draw here. He was still a rising star, as both artist and writer, and his pencils were really different and stunning.

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