Wolverine, in costume, squats atop a roof in Madripoor, the capital of a small island principality, south of Singapore. He looks over the central business district, crammed with skyscrapers belonging predominantly to major banks. They tower over the city and look out to the South China Sea, which provides excellent shipping routes. Like many cities, there are not only the obvious signs of economic success but also poverty and the city exists as an example of the twentieth century living cheek-by-jowl alongside the eighteenth, the ultra-rich gouging space from the poorest of the poor. People are what are sold the most. Lives become commodities, usually cheap. When Wolverine is involved, though, it can cost the world.
In Madripoor, tourists mostly stay up on the peaks, away from Lowtown. There, in the gleaming sky rise hotel-malls, they live cocooned in air-conditioned comfort, protected by glass walls that allow them to see the world outside but not be touched by it. Lowtown’s different. It smells.
Spice from the cookshops, people sweat-steaming in the heat, laundry overhead, trash in the gutters and more scents than Logan can put a name to. It’s a human jungle, as teeming and dangerous as any natural one. It suits him fine. When people see him, they give him a wide berth. They recognize instinctively that he’s a predator, prowling his turf and, maybe, that he’s more than simply human too. He’s a mutant, with senses most folks can’t even conceive of.
Later, now dressed in civvies, he approaches the Princess Bar, already knowing that inside there is trouble. A group of punkboys are keeping the customers at bay, armed with guns and knives. Others are beating up on a big guy named O’Donnell. One of them informs him that their boss wants him hurt bad. He doesn’t like O’Donnell opposing him. If he wishes to live, he’ll have to pay, a lot, in order to regain his good will. Logan enters the bar and doesn’t much like what he sees. Casually smoking a cigar, he actually came to see O’Donnell and is surprised that a man like him hasn’t already worked out his arrangements with the local mob. Ah well, nobody’s perfect.
He calls to a thug with a Mohawk and a large knife, and asks if it’s a private party or can anyone join in? The punkboy turns and says he should have stayed outside. Logan says he’s thirsty and this is, after all, a saloon. The thug runs towards him, too young to know better. He thinks he’s as tough as nails, cock of the walk. He never knows what hits him, as Logan smacks him in the face. His pals don’t like it and they rush Logan, but he’s dealt with enough punks in the past to not waste too much effort in sorting them out.
He hurls a guy through the window but simultaneously gets smashed on the back of his head by some nunchakus. It’s too bad for their wielder that they barely affect him, his adamantium skeleton protecting everything but his self-healing skin. He takes him out with one backhand to the kidneys and breaks the jaw of the next one foolish enough to have a go. There are only two left and they’re rattled. One of them shoots at Logan but he dodges the shot and it hits the guy’s partner full on. Logan picks up his hat and the last remaining punk takes a woman hostage, warning Logan not to try anything or the lady loses her looks. The guy’s scared and Logan knows that one false move and the lady’s history. He has an idea and places his hat on his head, telling him to go ahead and pull the trigger. The punk gives him a strange look. “But, after you do,” Logan continues, “Then you’re mine.” He gets the message and flees without his weapon.
The crowd is very appreciative of Logan’s actions but they decide not to bother calling the cops. They’ll be back on the street within the hour. Let Roche deal with them. Wolverine doesn’t know the name Roche but figures that he’ll find out soon enough. The tall, blond-haired O’Donnell approaches Logan and shakes his hand. He tells Logan that he can have whatever he wants, on the house. He hasn’t seen his face before, though, and Logan replies that he’s just arrived and is only passing through.
Logan has been here before, long ago. It was before he became Wolverine, before he became an X-Man. An attractive redhead sidles up to him and places her hand around his neck, kissing him on the lips. She introduces herself as Sapphire. Logan knows that she’s fishing for a name but he doesn’t provide her with one. O’Donnell lets it ride, for now. He asks Logan what brings him to Madripoor. Holding a beer, Logan replies that the he wants information. Word is, the place to find it is in the Princess Bar. “Could be,” O’Donnell replies, “Depends on who’s asking the question.” Logan says that Dave Chapel sent him, to find the Tiger.
Instantly, O’Donnell, the barman, Sapphire and another guy in a dinner jacket all train their weapons on him. O’Donnell says that’s real interesting, considering Dave Chapel is dead! So much for the direct approach, thinks Logan.