Deathblow / Wolverine #1

Issue Date: 
September 1996
Story Title: 

Aron Wiesenfeld (wirter & penciler), Richard Bennett (inker), Monica Bennett (colorist), Mike Heisler (letterer), BAD@$$ (computer colorist), Greg Brother ton (design), ERT (assistant editor), Tom Harrington (editor), Halid Boulanour, Claudia Chong, Jennifer Fenner, Tom Lon, Emilio Medina, Bob Patrridge, Chris Provinzano, Robert Robbins, Thom Sullivan, James Thomas (WildStorm Production), Sarah Ditzer (production coordinator), Joe Cotrupe (director of manufacturing), Mike Heisler (editor-in-chief), Larry Marder (executive director, for Image Comics)

Brief Description: 

In San Francisco, Wolverine goes to visit his girlfriend, Sung, and finds her upset that her mother has been acting strangely. They go to visit her, but Sung’s mother appears normal, though Sung knows something is up, as her mother is speaking English, something she has never done. Suddenly Sung’s mother attacks her, and a group of ninjas invade, attacking Wolverine, and injuring Sung’s mother in the process. Wolverine takes the fight out onto the street as the ninjas pursue him. This gets the attention of a tall man wearing a suit and a bandana on his head, who intervenes when a ninja stabs Logan, by shooting the ninja. The tall man takes Logan back to his home, after shaking off some pursuing ninjas. As Logan lies unconscious on his couch, the stranger goes through Logan’s wallet and finds a document with an address that is the same address on a letter that he received. When Wolverine wakes, he confronts him about it, and suspects that it has something to do with the ninjas that attacked him. More ninjas enter the man’s house, but they Wolverine and the stranger escape and head back to Chinatown, as Sung could be in danger. They find Wolverine’s place ransacked, and a strange man wearing a tuxedo sitting in a corner, announcing that a plan to destroy the city has been set in motion, and that Wolverine’s girlfriend is at the heart of it.

Full Summary: 

San Francisco, 1982:

Wolverine a.k.a. Logan rides a motorcycle, a bags of groceries attached to the back of it. He speeds down a street, the motorcycle going into the air. Some groceries fall out of the bags. He lands on the street lower down, causing two cars to crash into each other. He parks his motorcycle against the sidewalk of another street and walks to a front door, which is padlocked. He reaches down under a doormat and pulls out a key. Entering the house with the remaining groceries, he calls out ‘Lucy! I’m home!’ He finds Lucy in the living room, slumped over on a sofa. ‘Hi’ the girl utters.
‘What’s wrong?’ Logan asks, concerned. Lucy replies that she talked to her mother today, and her mother didn’t recognize her voice. Lucy sits up and announces ‘I had to tell her it was me - her daughter. She said she didn’t know what I was talking about. The thing is, I think she meant it!’

Lucy removes her glasses, tears falling down her face. She informs Logan that she went over to her mother’s apartment, and she wouldn’t even let her in. ‘She said she’d call the police if I didn’t go away. My own mother would’ve called the police on me!’ Lucy tells Logan that she is not joking, and that it was like she was someone else. ‘My Mom and I… we’ve always been so close…’ her voice trails off.
Logan crouches beside Lucy and points out that her mother is getting older, that it can happen. ‘No. not to her. She’s more on top of it than anyone I know’ Lucy replies, adding that even so, how could it happen so suddenly, as when she talked to her mother last week ,she was fine. Logan and Lucy hug, and Lucy reveals that she is worried, that she thinks something really strange is happening. ‘I wish you’d go over there with me’ she adds.

Soon, Lucy and Logan walk along a busy sidewalk, and as Lucy puts on her jacket, she suggests that it might be just a big joke. ‘Is that like her?’ Logan inquires. Lucy replies that it is not, and they shortly arrive at her mother’s building. Crowds of people gather on the street, some forming a Chinese Dragon. Logan looks up at the building, examining it, before they climb the inside staircase, and knock on the door to Lucy’s mother’s apartment. An older woman opens the door, ‘Sung!’ she smiles. ‘I was not expecting to see you! And who is your friend?’ the older woman asks, opening the door. Logan introduces himself to Miss Li as Logan, and she welcomes them in. She asks her daughter if she has eaten, and remarks that she has finished a batch of cookies. Logan and Lucy look at each other in surprise.

Logan and Lucy - Sung - sit around a table as Miss Li brings over the tray of cookies, and Logan tells the older woman that he thinks there has been some misunderstanding, revealing that Sung told him that she doesn’t remember her. ‘Ha ha! Silly Billy! You play joke with me. Do not pull on my leg. I am old woman - ha ha!’ Miss Li laughs, before returning to the kitchen.
Logan quietly tells Lucy that he doesn’t see anything wrong with her. He suggests that her English could use a little work, to which Lucy reveals that her mother never spoke any English. ‘More tea, anyone?’ Miss Li smiles, holding up a kettle. Logan turns to her, before Lucy stands up and announces that they are leaving before she really freaks out.

Lucy goes to open the front door, but her mother rushes over and pushes it closed, before smiling and slapping Lucy across the face. ‘What the hell…’ Logan begins, as Lucy falls to the ground. ‘Mom?’ she cries, while Miss Li starts to scream, and an instant later, a ninja bursts through a window, sending glass shattering all over the floor. Another ninja follows. ‘Logan!’ Lucy calls out. ‘Stay down’ he tells her as he pops his claws and turns to the ninjas. At the same time, Miss Li draws a sword, and as Wolverine steps back, he trips over Lucy, while the ninja misses him, and his sword slices across Miss Li’s front. The old woman looks down at her wound, before collapsing. ‘MOM!’ Lucy screams

Logan gets up and puts his arms around Lucy as she tries to go over to her mother, but a ninja throws a chain around Logan’s face, it wraps around him so that it covers his mouth, and the ninja pulls on it, sending Logan flying backwards. The ninja kicks him in the face, and another punches him in the neck. From behind the chain, Logan manages to tell Lucy to run. She starts towards the door, while another ninja moves to attack Logan, who pushes himself backwards, slamming the ninja that is attacking him with the chain against a window - and they fall through it. The ninja plummets to the street below, while the chain wrapped around Logan’s neck catches on the windowsill.

Logan pops his claws, and cuts the chain, sending him plummeting to the street below, he lands in a pile of trash bags. He removes the chain from around his neck and gets to his feet, as the ninjas above start firing arrows at him. He rushes into the crowd of people dancing about the Chinese Dragon, and he falls into the Dragon, knocking some people over. They call out to him in their native tongue, but he carries on through the crowd - until two arrows strike him in the back. He stumbles, and this is observed by a tall, muscular man in a suit, with a bandana over his head. The man watches as ninja rushes through the crowd, while Wolverine is about to cross a police barrier, out of the cordoned-off street, when he sees the ninja and turns to face him. The tall muscular man continues to watch, and Wolverine snorts, before lunging at the ninja, who dodges him that the last minute. Logan drops to his knees, ‘Oww’ he mutters, blood trickling from his mouth. The tall man moves to the front of the crowd that has fathered to watch, as the ninja prepares to bring his sword down on the fallen Wolverine.

Suddenly, the tall man pushes his way forward and grabs the ninja, knocking him off balance and throwing him across the ground. The tall man stands over Wolverine, a pool of blood now formed around the mutant. The ninja kneels down, before the tall man fires his gun, striking the ninja in the shoulder. The crowd begins to rush around while the ninjas start firing arrows at random, striking some of the civilians. The man grabs Wolverine and pulls him into his convertible car. He then drives off as a ninja starts to chase after him, then leap towards the car, flipping in the air, the ninja is about to land in the car, but the tall man brakes, so he lands on the hood instead, and falls off it when the tall man shoots him in the stomach. He falls backwards and lands on the ground with a thud.

The tall man then drives the car forward - straight over the fallen ninja. Another ninja rushes after the car, managing to grab on to the bumper, he is dragged along the ground as the tall man drives the car down a narrow alleyway. ‘Heh… losers’ the tall man smiles, while checking his rear-view mirror, before speeding out of the alleyway, and almost running into a couple pushing a cart down the street. The ninja is still clinging to the bumper of the convertible car, as the tall man drives it down the road, swerving between other cars. ‘Oh, you want some more, do ya?’ the tall man asks, adding that there is plenty to go around. He then pops the trunk, sending the ninja flying upwards, but he manages to grab the lip of the trunk - until it drops down, and breaks off, leaving the ninja in the middle of the road.

The tall man speeds off in the car, and Logan soon wakes, ‘Sung! Get out!’ he exclaims, before realizing that he is not in the apartment. ‘Who’re you? Cop?’ Logan asks, looking up at the stranger. ‘Navy’ comes the response. ‘Navy!’ Logan repeats, before coughing. He then states that he needs to lie down for a while. The stranger assures Wolverine that he is taking him to the hospital. ‘No… no hospital’ Wolverine utters. ‘You’ve got to be kidding - have you taken a look at yourself?’ the tall man asks. Wolverine pops his claws and explains that if he goes to a hospital and the doctors see his claws, they will never let him out. ‘Besides…I heal quick’ he adds. ‘Okaaay…so where do you want to be dropped?’ the tall man inquires, but Wolverine has already fallen asleep.

Shortly, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ the tall man asks himself as he leans on a table in his living room. The blinds are pulled closed, and he looks at Wolverine, ‘I’ve got some guy I don’t know unconscious and bleeding to death on my couch’ he tells himself, before reaching into Wolverine’s jacket pocket and pulling out his wallet. He clears some things off a coffee table and sits down in a chair. He opens the wallet and pulls out some photographs, papers and cards. ‘Department H. I’ll be damned’ he remarks reading one of the cards, before noticing that a paper with “final notice” written on it has something familiar about it. He pulls a paper out of his own pocket, and sees that the address on the “Final notice” paper matches an address that is at the bottom of a letter. ‘Sung?’ a voice calls out. ‘Nope. But it’s good you’re awake, we can talk’ the tall man replies as Logan sits up on the couch.

Logan gets to his feet, and rubbing the back of his neck, announces that he has got to go. ‘Who are you? Who were those guys after you? What the hell is going on?’ the stranger asks. Wolverine starts to collect his things and replies that he would love to stay and chat, but that he is not going to. The tall man holds up the letter and explains that he received it yesterday from someone claiming to be an old buddy of his - Phil Chang - and it says that he is in trouble and needs his help. ‘So?’ Logan asks. The tall man explains that this is the reason why he was in Chinatown today, and suggests Logan look at the address on the bottom. ‘My place. Weird’ Logan remarks, adding that it could have something to do with that crazy bunch of ninjas trying to kill him. ‘But probably not’ he decides.

Suddenly, a blinding light shines through the windows, and an instant later, a motorcycle crashes through the window and the blinds, and the ninjas on the motorcycle knock the tall man out of the window behind him, sending him careening outside, where he lands in his car. ‘No! My house!’ he calls out, before swearing, and driving his car straight towards the house, where more ninjas are starting to swarm. An instant later, the tall man drives the car into the front of his house, where Wolverine is confronting a ninja. Logan’s claws clang against the ninja’s sword, then he guts the ninja, before leaping into the tall man’s car. The tall man reverses his convertible out of the house and speeds down the street. ‘Let me have your piece’ Logan asks as the ninjas follow on motorcycles. ‘We’ve gotta go back to Chinatown’ Logan explains as he turns around and starts firing at the pursuing ninjas.

‘Sure! Why not? I’ve nearly been killed and my house is destroyed, thanks to you - why not drive you around like I’m your personal #%*@$ chauffeur!’ he snarls. ‘Look, bub - if you hadn’t come along today, I’d probably be dead right now, and when this is over I’ll give you a big sloppy kiss. But right now, my lady might be in danger - or worse - so quit your bellyaching and drive!’ Logan declares. The tall man asks who will pay for the damage to his house. ‘You have insurance?’ Logan asks him. ‘Yeah, I’ve got health, dental, fire, flood and life with optional dismemberment plan - but I don’t think any of them cover this’ he replies.

Crowds of people converge on the street, ‘Great’ the tall man mutters. ‘This just great. Beautiful. What now?’ he asks as the car has to come to a standstill. Logan points out that they are sitting ducks here, and tells his new companion that they are going have to go on foot. ‘You mean ditch my car’ the tall man mutters as he exits the car and follows Logan through the street. ‘Hurry up, my place is just down the street’ Logan declares as he rushes through the crowd. On the rooftop of a building nearby, several men are watching them. ‘Not yet’ one of them remarks, before Wolverine and his companion arrive at Logan’s apartment, ‘Someone’s here… it’s not Sung’ Logan reports, before they enter the apartment.

The apartment is ransacked, and Logan and the tall man find a strange man wearing a tuxedo sitting on a box in the corner of the living room. ‘Calm yourselves. I am not responsible for this mess, but I know who is, and your girlfriend Sung Li is with them’ he announces. He reports that Sung is in grave danger, and that Logan must act now if he wishes to help her. ‘I tell you this not only out of concern for her safety, but out of concern for the safety of many great people’ the strange man explains, adding that a plan to destroy this city has been set in motion - and Sung Li is at the heart of it!

Characters Involved: 



Sung “Lucy” Li

Miss Li, Sung’s mother

Man in tuxedo



Story Notes: 

Deathblow is a WildStorm character who debuted in Darker Image #1.

Despite not being named this issue, the “tall man” is Deathblow.

Written By: