Wolverine #3 (1989, January)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Tomorrow’s the American election. So today, I’m talking about a Canadian ina (fictional) Asian country. Makes sense. By Claremont, Buscema, Williamson, Oliver and Orzechowski, “The Black Blade.”
Logan’s been possessed by the Black Blade, and plans to kill Jessica to seal the deal. He jumps back into the flaming warehouse, and Lindsay tries to run inside, but it collapses first. Silver Samurai admires her loyalty and courage, but also thinks she’s kind of an idiot. It’s hard to argue with him. The Samurai figures Logan will take Jessica somewhere, to kill her in a more ritualistic manner. Lindsay thinks she has an idea for how to find them.
At the Princess Bar, O’Donnell is talking to Chief of Police Tai. Tai’s pretty cool. He’s a corrupt cop, because Madripoor, but he’s also a pretty decent guy, and he is good at his job. He’s a good detective, and he’s friendly. He’s also a chain-smoker. He stubs out a cigarette as he says he’s leaving, and then immediately lights up another one.
I’m pretty sure both of those were purely for effect. That stubbing out the first cigarette, and lighting the second, were both about looking cool. But it just makes him look goofy. Anyway, Lindsay asks if she can interrogate the cultists captured previously. She has an interesting approach.
The two male cultists are scared shitless. O’Donnell is about to stop it, but Samurai tells him to let Lindsay work. And work she does.
The guy agrees to talk as long as Lindsay is kept away from him. O’Donnell takes over, though Lindsay offers to come back if she’s needed. Outside the cell, Samurai expresses his shock at what she did, and she says it was all a show. Obviously, she didn’t kill the woman.
Later, she chats some more with the Samurai, and he explains that he’s a mutant, and he generates cutting energy within his body, which is focused through the sword. He even mentions that a mail-order replica katana would work just as well. Which raises some interesting questions: Could he use anything as a focus? Could he grab, say, a stick, and cut through steel with it? For that matter, would he be able to use his hand? Could he focus his energy into his hand and chop someone’s head clean off? These are things I think would have been worth exploring with the character, before he died.
Regardless, he also talks more about the Black Blade, about how “the creation of a true sword is as much a spiritual act as a physical one.” That Muramasa was the best swordsmith ever. O’Donnell comes to let them know where “Patch” is. They head out to an old temple in the middle of nowhere. Samurai and Lindsay head inside, while O’Donnell waits outside. He gives Lindsay his rifle, and is impressed when she recognizes it.
There’s enough cultists to prevent the Samurai from reaching the altar in time to save Jessica, which means Lindsay will have to shoot Patch. She hesitates, not wanting to kill someone, but in the end, she shoots. While Samurai fights the cultists, she runs to the still-entranced Jessica, but then gets grabbed by Logan. Lindsay seems a little put-out by him surviving being shot in the head.
Samurai and Logan fight. Logan has the upper hand, so Lindsay shoots him again, though this time, she only wings his torso. Still, the fact that Lindsay repeatedly shot Logan just makes her even better, in my eyes. Just the same, he’s about to kill everyone, but Logan finally manages to shake off the mind control and throw the Blade away. Silver Samurai picks it back up. And nothing happens. Turns out he’s the perfect master for the Blade. He also reminds Logan that he’s already got an Honour Sword, so he had no room for another. Then everyone leaves, happy ending, hurrah.
It’s a good issue. Lindsay is awesome here. This really is her issue. Her fears for Jessica (and almost getting herself killed running into a burning building for her) shows the depth of their friendship (or “friendship” nudge nudge wink wink), and the issue really details her loyalty and her courage. She was willing to kill for Jessica. That’s pretty heavy. She also gets to display her acting chops by scaring the shit out of those cultists, and O’Donnell. Even Silver Samurai was stunned. And impressed. And no less impressed when he found out she was acting. I love how much he respects her. Just this silly little American actress, and the Silver Samurai has the utmost respect for her. It’s great. So, yeah, Lindsay just owns this issue.
Logan gets his little show of willpower when he finally manages to resist the sword’s control. I do like the little touch of the Samurai reminding Logan that he’s already sworn to the Yashida Honour Sword, which helped him resists the Black Blade. Nice little extra metaphysical touch. This arc also does a lot to make the Silver Samurai more sympathetic than he’s ever been. He’s not just an evil killer, he has a lot of honour. He even notes that he hopes he and the Blade will find peace together.
This arc was pretty good. An odd choice to kick off the ongoing. But it’s got a lot of good stuff in it, and it’s fun. I like it. And I really, really want Lindsay McCabe to be brought back.