Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #6

Issue Date: 
April 1985
Story Title: 

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

Brief Description: 

Wolverine intervenes to save Kitty but becomes hunted by Logan himself. Kitty follows, intending to help (after a brief detour where she meets her friends who are fighting Shigematsu’s bodygaurd Shumai). Looking for the two combatants, she is found by Ogun. Once again she refuses him, certain this means her death. This time, however, Wolverine gives rein to the animal within him and beats Ogun. He offers Kitty Ogun’s life and she finds she cannot murder in cold blood, proof that she is still herself. Ogun is a sore loser and tries to kill Kitty but is killed in turn by Wolverine. Carmen Pryde, in the meantime, impressed by his daughter’s courage, has confessed to the American authorities. He doesn’t know what the future holds for him but, for the moment, they all have a happy ending of sorts.

Full Summary: 

Just as Ogun was about to kill Kitty Pryde, the newly-christened Shadowcat, Wolverine announced his presence, warning Ogun he wouldn’t do that if he were him.

So the pupil at last thinks himself equal to the master, Ogun observes and takes off his demon mask. Yup, Wolverine replies and jumps closer. Kitty tells him not to and he orders her to stay out of this.

As he and Ogun face off, Wolverine remembers the story he told Kitty about the day Ogun met Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman in Japanese history on a bridge too narrow for both men to cross together. The lesser samurai would have to give way to let his better pass. But neither stepped aside. Instead, they drew swords. For one minute, they stood with eyes locked, each taking the full measure of his foe, realizing at last, that they were in all respect equals. The test of will had been their duel, wherein they learned this was a battle neither could win. And so they sheathed their blades and went their separate ways.

Now it’s Wolverine’s turn. He’s not so lucky. Ogun puts his demon mask on a gain and with a cry runs to attack. Wolverine unsheathes his claws and runs to meet his foe, who easily dodges at the last moment.

More than once, Wolverine is sure he has him. And each time, with contemptuous ease, Ogun proves him wrong. Finally, Ogun draws first blood. Triumphantly, he announces that, as good as Logan has become, he will always be his better.

Seeing his point, Logan flees jumping off the roof’s edge, hoping that Ogun will no longer consider Kitty a threat and instead follow him. All the while, he is aware that if he is wrong he’s killed her.

Ogun indeed follows Logan, telling Kitty he will return with her champion’s head. He trusts she will wait. Fleeing, hiding, will no more save her than him!

Kitty looks over the roof’s edge but both of them are gone. Inwardly, she curses Wolverine. It was hard enough facing her own death. She can’t bear to have his on her conscience as well. But what can she do? When she was in tip-top shape, Ogun made mincemeat of her. Now she’s so weak that she can barely stand much less fight.

Suddenly, she hears a car pulling up in front of the building. Inside are Yukio and Carmen Pryde. Mariko and Akiko come running out of the building. They quickly exchange facts while Carmen demands to know if Kitty is okay.

Yukio tells Mariko all that happened. Suddenly, a grenade flies toward them and Carmen manages to push the women aside before they are hit. The perpetrator turns out to be Shumai, Shigematsu’s bodyguard, who announces that his master wishes the Yashida woman slain. With her eliminated, he will be left as the pre-eminent ruler of the Yakuza clans, absolute crimelord of Japan. The gaijin pig, Pryde was to be spared, but accidents happen…

Not while she has breath to stop him! Yukio swears. He was hoping for that, seeing as he looks most forward to her death, Shumai replies.

Peering down, Kitty sees them. She wonders how to reach them. Ogun drugged her during the fight so she couldn’t phase but she doesn’t feel as groggy anymore. She tests her power by phasing through the retaining wall, but when she tries to walk on air she falls. However, she manages to concentrate and slow her descent. She falls through Shumai distracting him enough for Yukio to kick him.

Carmen calls out to Kitty, wondering how anyone could survive a fall like that. Practice makes perfect! Kitty jokes and asks Yukio if she needs a hand fighting the bodyguard. She’s doing fine the ronin assures her and easily and precisely takes out the villain.

Kitty airwalks up, telling the others she has unfinished business. Carmen warns her she hasn’t got a prayer against Ogun. Kitty replies that Wolverine risked everything for her. She owes him the same chance.

Wolverine tried to lose himself in a crowd in a Pachinko Parlor. Didn’t quite work out. Ogun tosses him through the parlor’s window. When the parlor’s owner draws a gun out and aims it at Wolverine Ogun pulls it away, reminding him that guns are illegal in their land. He fires the weapon at Wolverine, musing one might almost think they are in the Wild West.

Wolverine hides behind a wall and tries to surprise Ogun, who immediately fires the gun at him. Logan realizes that Ogun set him up. Injured, he tries to enter an elevator, realizing that another well-placed shot might kayo him long enough for Ogun to finish the job. Ogun attempts to fire the gun again to find it is empty. Wolverine figures he knew and was just trying to rattle him. He throws Shuriken after Logan who gets into the elevator cabin.

Alone inside, Wolverine sags down as his body succumbs to first stage shock.

Meanwhile, Ogun cuts the elevator’s cables holding the counterweights. The car drops like a runaway rocket. Logan punches the emergency stop and the brakes hold, though the strain tears the steel cables like paper. It’s only a matter of seconds before the car starts falling again.

Logan gets out of the car and holds onto a girder, watching the car drop down. He gets out at the top floor. As good a place as any for a last stand, he figures.

Somewhere in the streets, Yukio wonders where Pryde has disappeared to, calling him a fool. Mariko defends him, stating he has gone, not fled. Angrily, Yukio decides he can save his own butt for now on. Mariko demands why Yukio is so harsh towards Pryde, who is not an evil man. He deserves better. He deserves exactly what she is going to give him, Yukio replies rudely, noting! Then she orders Mariko and Akiko to come. They have a safehouse to find.

Carmen Pryde, in the meantime, is pitying himself, wondering what he has done to deserve this. Then he orders himself to stop the sob story. He made a choice, now he hasn’t got the guts to live with it. What brought him here doesn’t matter. The important thing is what he does next. He thinks of Kitty, who will probably die, trying to fulfill her obligation to Wolverine. He wishes he had a fraction of her courage.

May he help him? a guard at the American embassy asks. Nobody can, Carmen replies, it’s something only he can do. The guard is understandably confused. Carmen asks to speak to someone from the justice department, and a treasury officer as well. He’d like to report a crime.

Kitty, in the meantime, still walks on air trying to find Wolverine. She is completely exhausted though. She barely manages to reach the scaffolding of a skyscraper before she solidifies. She is too weak to pull herself up. When a hand grabs her, she hopes it’s Wolverine only to find it is Ogun, who praises her courage and persistence as he throws her to the ground. She is the perfect choice as his disciple!

She slides toward Wolverine, who angrily asks her what she is doing here. Why didn’t she stay away like he told her to? She couldn’t she insists. She doesn’t care how mad he is. He just didn’t want her to die, he tells her clearly as Ogun steps closer to the two exhausted heroes. Not here, not like this, he tells her as he cradles her.

He’s giving up? she asks horrified. He’s facing reality he tells her. He couldn’t beat Ogun when they first met. He can’t now. She doesn’t want to die! she shouts. She thought she could face it when she first confronted Ogun, that she wouldn’t be afraid, but she was lying to herself. She was so happy when he appeared. She thought she was saved. Wolverine apologizes. Don’t give her “sorry,” Kitty orders, give her life!

That is quite beyond his powers, Ogun states. He, however, offers immortality! He stretches out his hand. If she places her soul into his care, they shall view eternity together!

Wolverine unsheathes his claws, ordering him to leave her be. Ogun refuses as he draws his sword. He offers life on his terms or not at all!

The two of them run toward each other. Ogun stabs Wolverine in the side. Wolverine manages to slice through his katana.

Their eyes meet, their wills cross for the last time. Wolverine smiles and goes berserk. No longer thinking, no longer feeling any pain, he just attacks.

Kitty watches frightened. Wolverine realizes that Ogun fights with all his heart and demon’s soul but, from the last moment their eyes met, they both knew he was beaten. That test of will was the real battle and Wolverine had won! Still fighting wildly, Wolverines shrugs off all off Ogun’s attacks, finally he has him pressed to a girder and disarmed. With his claws, he tears off Ogun’s demon mask.

Wolverine calls out to Kitty, telling her Ogun is hers! This is the moment she’s earned. His sword lies there. She can kill him if she wishes.

She doesn’t notice Wolverine is speaking Japanese. She moves like quicksilver lightning as she takes up the weapon, sure, deadly and full of grace. She strikes but stops the blow right above Ogun’s head. Crying, she drops the weapon and admits she couldn’t do it.

Belated, she realizes Wolverine did this deliberately. He goaded her into an attack. She had to be sure, he tells her, and so did he. That Kitty wouldn’t kill, not ever? she asks. Maybe, given the need, he concedes. But not a beaten man, a helpless one, a foe who’d surrendered. That’s Ogun’s way. An execution like that would have tipped the scales inside Kitty. Made her in the fundamental core of her being just like Ogun. He’d have won, she realizes. It was very close. She wanted to so much! What if she had… he sheathes his claws. Oh, she realizes.

She needed a real victory he tells her. Irrefutable proof that she was still herself. This was it. Let’s go home. But Ogun? she asks. He’s history, he tells her.

Unnoticed, Ogun reaches for his sword and runs toward Kitty who has her back turned to him. Logan notices and orders Kitty to phase. Wolverine reaches straight through her and slices Ogun’s heart while Ogun’s sword strike only goes skindeep. Ogun falls and dies.

Wolverine mourns, calling him sensei and chichi-san as he holds Ogun’s mask. Kitty realizes he knew Ogun would attack. The immortal ninja had been beaten, Wolverine explains, he wasn’t the best anymore. He’d hoped Ogun wouldn’t. He respected him. Loved him like a son. Whatever he is today a lot of it is because of Ogun. How could he have been so blind not to see what he truly was? Or perhaps, he continues in Japanese, perhaps he was simply afraid. And was it Ogun he feared or himself? The man hadn’t a prayer. It took the animal, the psycho killer to bring him down. Whose victory is this? he wonders. Ogun is dead but he’s face to face with his true self. He stares at the demon mask.

That’s right, Kitty agrees, but not the way he thinks. Logan was young when he and Ogun met. And in the years since he changed. Ogun stayed the same. There’s Logan’s edge. It would have been safe to keep his beast in its cage and let Ogun cut him to ribbons but he let it loose, made a choice, knowing the risks. He unleashed his demon but kept it under control. When he could have, should have and really wanted to kill him he didn’t to give Kitty her chance for salvation. He risked his life when he didn’t have to. He risked his soul for her. By any standard that is the hallmark of a man.

Logan crushes the mask, deciding that both of them won this night. He empties the dust over Ogun’s corpse and the two of them leave.

Mariko squares things with the police and, from them, they learn where Carmen Pryde has gone. When he leaves the embassy Kitty, Logan, Yukio, Akiko and Mariko are already waiting for him.

Carmen is happy to see they are still alive. He tells them that he informed federal agents, telling them everything he knew about Shigematsu’s American operation. With a little luck, he may have put him out of business. He didn’t cut any deals or ask for immunity. There’s a fair chance he’ll be arrested as soon as he steps off the plane. But he finds the thought of jail doesn’t scare him as much as it used to. He’s through as a banker. He’s lost that, no matter what but at least his conscience is clear. He doesn’t know how Kitty feels about that or him. If she hates him for all that’s happened, he’ll understand.

Sometimes he is so dumb! she tells him and hugs him. She is proud of him. The next moment, she shouts that a happy ending deserves a celebration. Logan knows just the place. Yukio tells them she’ll pass walking away and telling Kitty to remember her to Storm.

Looking after her, Mariko remarks to Logan Yukio loves him so much. But he loves Mariko, comes the reply. Jokingly, he asks Akiko if she likes what she sees in her foster father. It’s been quite a while since they last met and she was banged up. Kitty draws the stunned girl aside, telling her not to let him fluster her. He only looks tough.

They walk to Shapiro’s, an American ice cream parlor. Logan muses to Mariko that it’s strange for him suddenly being a family man instead of a loner.

Kitty finds herself rather surprised that Mr. Shapiro is a Yiddish-speaking Japanese gentleman.

In the meantime, Logan suggests to Mariko they finally make their relationship official. Mariko refuses. She will not marry until she has proved herself worthy of him.

Changing the subject, she asks if Kitty will ever be the girl she was again. No, he tells her, but her soul is still hers. It’s like a deadly illness which almost killed her but she got better. As for how she’s doing he suggests she see for herself. Kitty is about to happily wulf down a giant cup of ice cream, much to Akiko’s shock.

Characters Involved: 

Shadowcat, Wolverine, (both X-Men)

Carmen Pryde

Mariko Yashida





Story Notes: 

Ronin is a masterless samurai.

Pachinko is a mixture of slot machine and pinball.

Sensei: Master

Chichi-san: father

Death can’t keep a good ninja down, Ogun eventually returns as a disembodied spirit and has a final showdown with Kitty and Wolverine in the Kitty Pryde: Agent of SHIELD LS.

While Carmen Pryde’s further story is not explicitly told, issues of Excalibur state that he enters the witness protection program after this.

Issue Information: 
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