Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #3

Issue Date: 
January 1985
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Allen Milgrom (artist), Glynis Wein (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine is waiting at a temple for Kitty to be brought to him when he is joined by Yukio. After some banter, she promises to check out Shigematsu for him, just in case. In Shigematsu’s office, she is attacked and almost killed by the bodyguard Shumai and Carmen Pryde’s drunken attempt to help only makes matters worse. Nevertheless, Yukio is able to learn that Wolverine is walking into a trap. Taking Carmen along, she decides to warn him. Wolverine, in the meantime, is attacked by an unusually skilful ninja who almost manages to poison him. However, Wolverine hides long enough to recover and manages to turn the tide as he chases the ninja into a train station, refusing to believe what his senses are telling him. Yukio catches up with him, only just for the ninja to be revealed to be as a brainwashed Kitty. When Logan hesitates from the shock, she runs him through with her sword.

Full Summary: 

Night time in Tokyo. Wolverine stands atop a temple roof, smoking a cigar and reminiscing how much he hates cities. He’s a creature of the wild. Yet, paradoxically, he loves this structured land, this city…

A shady figure sneaks up on him. She attacks with a kick. Wolverine whirls around and counters her attack. She throws blades at him. He blocks them with his claws. They wrestle until Wolverine puts his hand under her chin. He need only pop his claws… Gotcha, he announces. In return, Yukio kisses him.

Later she hugs him. He remarks that coming from downwind as she did, he couldn’t spot her scent. That was her intent. She wanted to surprise him. He warns her that a crazy stunt like that could have gotten her killed. She takes his cigar, inhales and blows the smoke in his face. The risk is what makes the game exciting!

How did she know he was in Japan, much less where to find him? he demands. She has sources, she replies evasively. She missed him. Why, when she knows nothing can come out of it? he demands. Consider her a cock-eyed optimist, Yukio jokes. She will never understand what he sees in Mariko Yashida. She thinks he does? Logan replies. Of all the women in creation she’s the last he would have expected to love, much less love him in return. But she’s the one… More fool he, Yukio sulks.

Logan changes the subject. He is here because of business. Kitty Pryde’s over her head in trouble. She stowed away on a J.A.L. flight outta Chicago, he doesn’t know why yet, then tangled with a local crimelord named Shigematsu. Last night she tried to heist a bank cash machine.

Yukio claps her hands in appreciation. There’s hope for the child yet! she announces. With her powers she’d make a splendid thief!

Logan continues that Kitty’s being held as hostage in some Yakuza caper. He arranged for her to be released tonight at this temple.

Does he trust Shigematsu? Yukio inquires. Nope, comes the reply, but it’s worth the try. Leave the Oyabun to her, Yukio suggests. If he’s planning any treachery, she’ll find out. Logan appreciates her offer. Take care! she calls as a goodbye. Always do, darlin’ he replies, she’s the crazy one.

Yukio dives head first from the roof. She has but one life, she cries. She means to enjoy every second. If that makes her “crazy,” so be it. Sounds good to him, Logan calls after her, thinking he used to be the same. He didn’t ask to change, but can’t deny it either.

He swings down and to the ground, wondering what brought Kitty here, anyway. And why did she act like such an amateur? He thought he taught her better than that. She had to have a reason that made her act impulsively, from the gut and heart. Something personal, real close to home. Something she doesn’t want the X-Men involved in. Else she would have called them for this, at the start.

He wonders why this temple was specified for the meet. He’s always loved its garden. The elegant simplicity of the patterns formed by the arrangement of rocks and stones - creating harmony from diversity, order from chaos – a man’s spirit, it is said, can be shaped the same way. He’s tried from the first trip to these islands longer ago than he cares to remember and always failed.

His musings are interrupted by a stinkbomb that lands next to him. He can’t get the stench out oh his nostrils. His enhanced sense of smell is utterly neutralized.

The next moment, an arrow almost hits him. He’s got some nerve calling the kid an amateur, he realizes. A novice right out of trade school wouldn’t have been so careless.

His healing factor can handle the arrows that struck its mark and the dulled senses but it will take time. He breaks off the arrow in his calf.

When he hears a whizzing noise, he unsheathes his claws and fends off the shuriken. He’s a sitting duck in the courtyard, he realizes and climbs up a tree to the roof. He has no idea what the odds are. How many he is up against. Whoever they are they are keeping their distance. Meaning they know how to fight him.

He uses the lull in fighting to pull the arrow out of his calf. He’s been stupid enough for one night, he tells himself. If he were assigned the job of killing him, what would be his next move? He figures it out one split-second before the ninja hits, a small shape with a demon mask.

Wolverine finds his foe is very good, losing one set of tiger claws but managing to draw blood. Getting the other claw costs Wolverine a hammer kick to the gut, followed by a throat strike that would’ve stunned a normal man. That brings the ninja close right where Wolverine wanted him. He strikes with both clawed arms, and impossibly misses the ninja. The ninja somersaults when Logan attacks, meaning his momentum makes him fall off the roof.

Logan realizes he can barely move. His nerves feel dipped in acid. He wants to howl like a mad dog. He’s thinking as fast and clear as ever but the messages are taking longer to get to the rest of his body. Either the arrows or the claws were coated with poison.

He runs through the temple’s window and into the open street, realizing he mustn’t make another mistake… or he’s dead! Won’t be long before he’s paralyzed, he realizes. No illusions about what happens if the ninja finds him then. He has to go to ground, hide somewhere and give his body a chance to heal!

He hides in a back alley behind a dumpster, covering himself with old papers and garbage. Mentally, he apologizes to Kitty. She deserved better!

Yukio, in the ,meantime has broken into Shigematsu’s office building and finds no one home She figures Wolverine must have scared the oyabun when he paid him a visit last night, so he skipped town.

She pours herself a glass of brandy, then hears a snore coming from the guest room. In it she finds a drunk American, sleeping in an armchair. She identifies him by the name on his briefcase as Carmen Pryde. She is disgusted that such a noble child has such a sorry wreck for a father.

Suddenly, somebody grabs and lifts her from behind. It’s Shigematsu’s renegade sumo wrester bodyguard Shumai, who promises he will dispose of her as he would of any other piece of garbage by throwing her away. He promises she will fly like a bird before hitting the ground, not murder at all, simply an accident….

As he carries her to the window, Yukio doesn’t try to break his grip. Instead, she attacks vulnerable spots like his ears and eyes. Once she’s broken free, she uses a judo throw that propels him out of the window. He barely holds on to the edge of the window sill.

Shumai begs Yukio to help him. She reminds him he meant that fate for her. She is not sure how long she can hold him and demands info: Where is the girl? What girl? he plays dumb. Bye, she threatens. Panicked, he shouts that Shigematsu-san gave her to the ronin, Ogun.

The Ogun, she wonders. Why? Ogun asked for Kitty as payment in full for all the services her has rendered Shigematsu-san. He knows no more and pleads to be pulled up. He has lost his grip and only Yukio is holding him up. Would Ogun give Kitty Pryde up if asked? she asks. His master would not be so great a fool as to try, he replies.

Wolverine is walking into an ambush then, she realizes. Shigematsu never intended to honor his word. She decides Shumai has earned his life and drags him up.

That moment, the barely-awake, hung-over Carmen Pryde appears at the window, asking what is going on. Using him as distraction Shumai pushes Yukio off the sill.

Yukio holds fast to him. Carmen balances onto the sill to help. Instead, Shumai throws him into Yukio, making sure both of them fall.

Carmen screams horrified, whereas Yukio laughs and tells him to savor the experience while it lasts. She holds fast to him and manages to grab hold of some window cleaner’s scaffolding. Their momentum makes it come loose and they crash through a window. They land inside an office.

Carmen is sick. “Later!” Yukio tells him and drags him up. The alarms go off. They are needed elsewhere, she orders while vowing she will have her vengeance on Shumai eventually.

Elsewhere, Wolverine’s ninja attacker closes in on the back alley where Logan hid. However, Wolverine is no longer there. He got better and waits for the ninja, hidden on a nearby roof.

The ninja realizes he’s being followed and tries to lose Wolverine in the crowd of Tokyo station. Right play, except that Wolverine has the ninja’s scent now and follows.

The ninja uses several weapons to attack but this time Wolverine manages to keep him off, though he keeps missing his foe. Something doesn’t add up.

As his quarry runs down the subway, Wolverine realizes it’s a girl. According to her scent, only one person she could be. But she’s fighting on his level. No one that young could! It took him more than a lifetime.

He gets on the roof of the train the ninja is on. Too many flaming questions, he figures, and he won’t get the answers sitting on his duff. The ninja throws a flashbomb and, before Wolverine can reach her, she’s gone. He figures she has to have ducked inside the train. Doors are locked, windows sealed, he figures as he crashes through it. How did she do it? Easy, he admits to himself, for someone who can phase through objects like a ghost.

Yukio and Carmen in a car have heard of the fight on the police radio alert. She orders Carmen to follow her in the car as best as he can while she jumps out. She warns him not to get so much as a smudge on her beauty.

Wolverine and the ninja are jumping from train to train above or under them. The idea is to push the girl to her limits, chase her until she drops. He wants her alive, now more than ever.

Yukio, in the meantime, has almost caught up. Carmen shouts a warning – a train. The Shinkansen, the bullet train with a top speed of over 200 km/h.

Both of them cross the tracks at the last moment, getting caught up in the train’s pressure. Wolverine makes sure to land on his feet. The fall made the ninja lose her mask. And though he knew the truth, seeing the ninja’s face revealed as Kitty’s still shocks him. Enough to give her time to run him straight through with her sword.

Characters Involved: 

Ariel, Wolverine (both X-Men)


Carmen Pryde

Shumai (Shigematsu’s bodyguard)

Story Notes: 

Gaijin: derogative term for “foreigner.”

The Japanese honorific suffix of “sama” is a very deferential form of address.

An “oyabun” is a Japanese crimelord.

Issue Information: 
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