Deathblow / Wolverine #2

Issue Date: 
February 1997
Story Title: 

Aron Wiesenfeld (wirter & penciler), Richard Bennett (penciler & inker), Monica Bennett (colorist), Mike Heisler (letterer), BAD@$$ (computer colorist), Emilio Medina (design), Mike Heisler (editor), Aron Wiesenfeld, Richard Bennett and Monica Bennett (cover artits), Bob Harras (consulting editor)

Special thanks to Ivan Zaidman for plot assistance

Brief Description: 

The strange man wearing a tuxedo reveals to Wolverine that his girlfriend, Sung, has been kidnapped and is being held in a dark place surrounded by magic. He adds that he has been sent by someone who wants to help, the Librarian. Wolverine recalls Sung telling him the story of the Librarian, before a portal opens and he and his new companion, Deathblow, are sucked through the portal, and find themselves in the Librarian’s library. The Librarian, hidden in a large cloak, reveals to them a story about an ancient civilization whose spirits were cast into an urn to protect them in time of strife, and how now is the time of their return. The Librarian claims that Wolverine’s girlfriend is a direct descendant of the high priestess who performed the ritual to save the ancient civilization, and Sung has the power to bring them back. There are millions of spirits in the urn, and that when they are freed, they will possess human bodies, and create an unstoppable army. The Librarian gives Wolverine a talisman which will enable him to destroy the urn and free the world of the approaching threat. Wolverine and his companion are shunted back into the real world, and after taking a supply of weapons, set out to find the urn. They make their way through a busy marketplace, before Wolverine encounters some more ninjas. He engages them in combat, and battles some sort of sorcerer, while Deathblow finds even more ninjas protecting the urn. Wolverine joins him, and they battle for some time, before Wolverine forces his way to the urn, and using the talisman, destroys it with ease. Sung walks towards Wolverine, and they leave to go back home, with Wolverine and his new companion parting as friends. Wolverine goes to Sung’s room, and finds her there. She seems nervous and tries to hide a robe in her closet. Logan recognizes it as the robe the Librarian was wearing. He realizes that it was Sung in the Library, and Sung explains that she did what she had to do because the urn could have changed the balance of power on the entire planet. Wolverine tells her that she could have just asked for his help instead of manipulating him, and despite Sung telling him that everything else was real, he leaves her.

Full Summary: 

Logan a.k.a. Wolverine has arrived back at his apartment, along with his new companion, an enigmatic tall man wearing a suit and a bandana. The apartment has been ransacked, and a grinning man wearing a tuxedo and a very tall hat sits in the corner of the room.
Logan lunges towards the grinning man, claws outstretched, he attacks him - and slices his face off in three parts. The man drops to the ground, but when Logan turns away, he stands up, re-formed. ‘Feel better?’ he asks Logan, who turns back to the grinning man, hovering in the air, and demands to know where Sung Li is. ‘Your girlfriend has been kidnapped. She is held in a dark place, surrounded by magic. She needs your help’ the grinning man explains. ‘Who are you?’ Logan demands, but the grinning man states that he is not important, but is here on behalf of someone who wishes to help him. When Logan asks who that is, the grinning man replies ‘The Librarian’.

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ the tall man asks as he walks over, and Logan remarks that he thinks he knows what the grinning man is talking about. Logan explains that it is an ancient myth about an old man in a library, that he has all the knowledge of the world stored up, but he is short of hired help, so anyone that goes in become a slave and has to maintain the library until they die. Logan adds that Sung told it to him, that she said it was a story from the Feudal days of China, told to keep the peasants from getting too interested in reading - same as in Europe before the printing press.
‘The Librarian is quite real, Mr Logan. If you wish to see Miss Sung again… there are things you must allow yourself to believe’ the grinning man warns, as reality around Logan and his companion begins to warp, and they are sucked through some sort of portal.

Wolverine and the tall man land in an old room, lined with books, floor to ceiling. People wearing brown monk-like clothes sit at tables, reading. Various pots and other artifacts are placed about throughout the room. Logan looks around, and goes over to one of the people sitting at the tables. He touches them on their shoulder, and they turn to him - but from beneath their hood, Logan sees that their face is blank. ‘Stop doing that’ a voice orders. Logan and the tall man turn to see someone wearing a colorful robe sitting on a cushion that hovers in the air, with a piece of glass hovering in front of them, a vase and some books on the glass. ‘Don’t bother my assistants. They have work to do’ the person hidden by the long hood of the robe declares. ‘Where are we?’ the tall man asks as he and Logan approach the stranger.

The person hovering in the air announces that they are the Librarian, and explains that circumstances dictate that they become allies and that is fortunate for them. ‘But do not overestimate your value. Now, if you can keep your hands to yourselves, I will tell you a story…’ the Librarian states, waving their hand over the vase, and begins the story: ‘5,000 years ago, the world’s most advanced civilization covered half of China. They were scientists, scholars, warriors and magicians…’


The martial arts that the ancient civilization created built the foundations on which all since have been built. They tapped supernatural forces, and learned to bend them to their wills. They were the masters of their minds and bodies. As an army, they had no equal, and they conquered the peoples of surroundings lands.


Wolverine moves closer to the Librarian, and sniffs the mysterious person, as they continue the story, staring that the ancient civilization’s dynasty spanned centuries, and in time, the moment was ripe for them to march across the globe. They smack Logan away with their hand, and Logan responds by growling at them.


‘Where was I…’ the Librarian muses, before announcing that the ancient civilization would march across the globe and enslave the barbarian world. But, that was not to be, as there came a natural disaster of such magnitude, that nothing since compares. The ground tore apart and fires spread. The Librarian states that in a desperate attempt to save her people, the high priestess cast a spell to remove the spirits from their bodies, and suspend them in an urn. Their time on the Earth was at an end - but one day, these millions of spirits would be drawn from the urn, and they would once again rule the Earth.


‘This is that day’ the Librarian announces, revealing to Logan that Sung Li is the direct descendant of that high priestess, and she has the magical power bestowed on one child in one hundred generations. ‘Are you listening you hairy little man? She has the power to bring these ancient people back to life’. the Librarian snarls.


The Librarian reveals more of the story, explaining that after the disaster, there were a few who survived, they roamed the Earth and lived like dogs, biding their time. Then, two hundred years ago, the stragglers converged on San Francisco, waiting patiently for the girl to be born and grow into maturity. In the past weeks, the Librarian’s sources have reported strange occurrences, even for Chinatown - family members forgetting the names of their kin, normal people have become fluent in dead languages overnight. In China, the ancient urn was stolen from its resting place, and the kidnapped girl is another piece of the puzzle, the tool that will be used to draw the spirits from the urn. Millions of spirits lay dormant in the urn, but when they come out, they will need bodies - every person from Marin County will be possessed - and they will be an unstoppable army.


Wolverine lights a match by striking it against an old bottle. ‘All right, let’s say I’m believing this. Is there a point yer trying to make?’ Logan asks as he lights his cigar. The Librarian holds up a small charm and explains that the physical forces that guard the urn are too powerful for them to overcome. ‘I want you to take this talisman and place it on the urn. It will be destroyed and free us of any further threat’ the Librarian claims. ‘I could care less, bub. I only want to find Sung’ Logan replies. ‘Listen, you savage! She will be a slave for the rest of her life if these events are not stopped in time!’ the Librarian exclaims from beneath their hood. They toss the charm towards Logan and instruct him to go to the market at the end of Grant Street, as it happens at dawn. Logan catches the talisman, and instantly he and his tall friend are shunted backwards through another portal.

They land back in Wolverine’s apartment, ‘Ohhh… I think I’m gonna throw up…’ the tall man mutters, clutching his head. Addressing his companion as “Navy”, Logan tells him that he doesn’t have to stick around if he doesn’t want. ‘Lord knows you’ve done enough’ he adds, before opening a trap door in the living room. Logan starts pulling out various weapons - guns, rifles, swords, knives, grenades and many others. The tall man smiles and replies that he has come this far, so he might as well see it through, and after removing his trench coat, arms himself with many of the weapons. ‘Ya like guns, do ya?’ Logan asks, cigar in his mouth. ‘Yeah. Why?’ the tall man smiles.

Soon, Wolverine and his friend run down a filthy alleyway, and arrive at a busy market place. Logan suggests they split up, and tells his companion to take the far side. ‘Holler if you find anything’ he adds as they start walking down separate aisles in the busy market. As the tall man walks behind a stall with chickens and various other birds in cages, the men at the stall see him, and quickly reach for their guns. The tall man hears the commotion, and quickly drops to the ground, though bullets strike others in the market. The tall man rolls over, and reaches for one of his weapons, he starts firing back at his attackers, blowing their brains out, or shooting them through the chest. There are screams, and the tall man sees a trail of blood leading towards an open door.

He follows the blood and goes through the door, stepping down a flight of stairs, he comes to an underground corridor, lined with pipes overhead, and dead ninjas scattered about on the ground with arrows and knives sticking out of their bodies. The tall man sees Logan at the end of the corridor, shoving his claws into one of the ninjas, blood flows out of him and he drops to the ground. Suddenly, as the tall man approaches Logan, he finds the bloodied claws shoved to his own face. ‘Whoa… careful there, buddy. Those things looks sharp’ the tall man smiles. Logan pulls away and announces that he has picked up Sung’s scent, and he thinks she is down below them. But he decides that there is no way that it is this easy, so he will circle around and meet his companion down there. ‘You’re the boss’ the tall man replies as they walk onto a catwalk over some sort of warehouse, where boxes and crates are packed up.

Logan carries along down the catwalk for a short distance, before dropping down onto the crates. He gets onto the ground, and makes his way behind some crates, where workers are going about their business, moving some of them. He readies his claws, then sees four men in white robes carry someone into the room on a platform where they sit, head covered by a large hat. Logan lunges forward and takes out two of the men, causing the others to be unable to hold up the platform, and they person they are carrying falls to the ground. Still covered by the large hat, they reach out for Logan, ‘Please…’ they utter, while the servants gather their swords, and someone starts firing at the servants, but also hits Logan, striking him in the arm.

Logan turns, to see his new friend standing against a wall, one of his guns smoldering, ‘Fish in a barrel’ the tall man smirks. ‘You hit me too, bub! I thought you were supposed to be some kinda expert’ Logan snarls. They move closer to each other, and the tall man replies ‘Nobody’s perfect, boss’, before Logan rakes his claws across the tall man’s chest. Blood pours out of the wounds, and suddenly, the tall man drops to the ground, as his form switches to that of an elderly man. Logan stares at the impostor, who starts to cast forth some sort of energy, but Logan goes over to him and shoves his claws through the man’s chest. The magician drops off, and his motionless body hit’s the ground.

Logan enters a chamber, and finds people digging at the ground, in front of a large dome, where an urn has been placed. His tall friend enters, and starts firing at the men, who reveal their swords. Logan enters the fray with his claws. ‘Hey! Did you find her?’ the tall man calls out. ‘No! And it’s almost dawn! We’re running out of time!’ Wolverine replies. The ninjas swarm towards them, building up mass of bodies. ‘Uh…hmm’ the tall man remarks as he finds himself standing on a mountain of ninjas. He is pulled down, while Wolverine lunges forward, and grabs the ninja who is pulling down the tall man. Suddenly, a barrage of arrows are fired into the crowd by another ground of ninjas. Wolverine uses the distraction to make his way to the urn, pushing past more people wearing large hats.

Wolverine looks at the urn, and pulls the talisman from behind his belt buckle. ‘Well, here goes nothing’ he remarks as he holds the talisman out to the urn, when suddenly, the urn starts shaking, and then energy pours from it, emanating throughout the chamber, smoldering across the bodies of both groups of ninjas. The urn breaks, and Logan looks at it. The tall man looks around, then turns to the second group of ninjas armed with the arrows and tells them that he doesn’t know who they are, but they saved him. ‘What d’ya say we all go get a beer, I know a place that opens at 6 AM…’ he remarks, but the ninjas suddenly vanish. The chamber is still a blur with the energies, and Logan shields his eyes when someone calls out to him. A woman walks forward, ‘Is that you?’ she asks.

It is Sung, and Wolverine embraces her, smiling. Sung asks if they can go home, and soon, walking down a street, the tall man walks a few paces ahead of Logan, who is holding onto Sung, and asks ‘So, was this a typical day for you?’ to which Logan replies ‘Yeah. Pretty much’. As they approach Sung’s apartment, the tall man gets into his car and announces that he is going home to sleep for about a week. ‘What about you?’ he asks Logan, who reports that they are going to visit Sung’s mother in the hospital, as she got cut pretty bad. Logan adds that Sung seems to be taking this thing pretty well, considering she must have had a pretty rough time. ‘Yeah, I guess…maybe she can shed some light…’ the tall man suggests. Wolverine replies that he doubts it, and points out that Sung was caught off guard by all this as much as anybody, and adds that if she is this “High Priestess”, he doesn’t think she even knows it. The two men shake hands, ‘Thanks. For everything. You ever need anything…’ Logan tells his new friend. ‘Yeah… you too’ the tall man replies, before smiling and telling Logan that he will be seeing him.

Logan goes into Sung’s apartment, still a mess from the earlier attack. ‘Hey babe! You ready to go to the hospital?’ Logan calls out to Sung, who is in her bedroom, and looking in the closet, she notices a colourful robe. Logan walks up behind her, ‘Ohhh!’ Sung exclaims, spinning around as she closes the closet, she tells Logan that he scared her. Logan doesn’t respond. ‘What?’ Sung smiles. ‘It was you, under the hood - in the library’ Logan frowns. ‘What? No! I…’ her voice trails off. ‘You used me from the start…why? How could you do that to me?’ Logan asks. Crying, Sung tells Logan that he doesn’t understand, and that in the wrong hands, the urn could have changed the balance of power on the entire planet. ‘You don’t realize what’s at stake’ she adds. Sung goes over to Logan and grabs his hands, as Logan asks her if now it is all over, if she is the same person she always was.

‘Yes! Logan, I love you! I had to do what I did - I had a responsibility! Surely you can see that’ Sun tells Logan. ‘Please…’ she touches his face, but Logan grabs her and pushes her away. ‘No. I don’t think so’ he replies, pointing out that Sung could have asked, but instead she betrayed his trust, and his love. Sung wipes her tears away, and drops to the ground as Logan turns from her. ‘I don’t know what you made up and what was real. Was any of it?’ he asks. Sung pulls Logan’s hand towards her face, but he moves away and leaves her on the floor. ‘It was all real…’ Sung calls out, but Wolverine leaves her apartment. Soon, he is on his motorcycle, driving away.

Characters Involved: 



Sung “Lucy” Li / The Librarian

Man in tuxedo





In flashback story:

Ancient civilization

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: