Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #133

Issue Date: 
July 1993
Story Title: 
<BR>(1st story) Wolverine & Cyber in Brothers in Arms: Part 2 of 5 – “Alone Against the Coven”<BR>(2nd story) Iron Fist in Depths of Despair: Part 1 of 4 – “Opening Gambit”<BR>(4th story) Cloak & Dagger in “Nocturnal Cravings”

(1st story) Dan Slott (writer), Steve Lightle (artist), Ul Higgins (letterer), Steve & Marianne Lightle (colorist)
(2nd story) Tony Matias (writer), Fred Haynes (penciler), Jeff Albrecht (inker), Michael Higgins (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist)
(4th story) Chuck Kim (writer), Walter McDaniels (penciler), Greg Adams (inker), Diana Albers (letterer), John Kalisz (colorist)

Terry Kavanagh (lame duck editor), Mark Powers (assistant editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief), Steve Lightle (Wolverine cover art), Colin MacNeil (Ghost Rider cover art)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
Inside the fortress of the Coven on the island of Koma Koi, Wolverine makes his way to where the gem, the Tear of Heaven, is being held. Once there, he is attacked by Satyr, Vex and Fetish. Wolverine manages to defeat them but, when he faces their leader Blood Shadow, he is in turn defeated with ease. When Wolverine comes to, he finds himself chained at the wrist to his long-time nemesis, Cyber.

(2nd story)
Inside an abandoned warehouse in New York, Iron Fist, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight battle a splinter group of the Yakuzida Clan after saving an F.B.I. informant. Eventually, the trio is able to beat the ninjas. During the battle, Iron Fist manages to refocus himself. Meanwhile, the head of the Yakuzida, Mr. Shiro, hires Sabretooth to kill the same F.B.I. informant, Karl Powers, whom Iron Fist and his allies just saved.

(4th story)
In New York, Cloak engulfs two thugs while Dagger looks on. Once he releases them, Dagger tells him about a killer on the loose. After they teleport to Central Park to find the killer, a young woman by the name of Tessa (who is a vampire) arrives on the scene and kills the thugs. In Central Park, the young woman tricks Cloak and Dagger into entering a nearby building. Inside, Tessa separates Dagger from Cloak and tries to convince Cloak to turn to his dark side. When he does, Tessa pleads with him to let her go. With the help of Dagger, Tessa is saved and Cloak is stopped from giving into his animalistic desires.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)
Koma Koi. Island paradise or safe haven for religious nut cases? You tell me. My original plans for tonight included a secluded lagoon, a six pack, ‘n a couple o’ skirts. Grass skirts at that. Instead, I’m tryin’ to stop a demonic cult called the Coven from summoning the final dark age of man. Go figure. The gemstone, the Tear of Heaven, is the key.

Near the end of every century, it’s used in a sacred ritual. According to legend, it will summon either an age of enlightenment or darkness. My plan’s simple. Get the tear away from the “bad guys” and back to the “good guys,” namely, my priestess pal, Kayla. Not that I believe any of this bunk. It’s just that guess who’s been nominated as the sacrificial offerings? Good reason as any to put an end to this li’l caper.

After entering the temple and slaying the guards near the gem known as the Tear of Heaven, Wolverine calls out to the people behind the second and third pillars. They might as well come on out. He knows they’re there. No need to be afraid, it’ll only hurt a second. Moving their way out into the open, Satyr tells Wolverine that he’s wrong. The Coven will ensure that his pain lasts an eternity. Fetish adds such is the fate of all their sacrifices. Wolverine states that he’s got a few points to get across to them. One, he don’t believe in their blamed religion. Two, he ain’t gonna be their flamin’ sacrifice. ‘N three, this is supposed to be his vacation. Just then, Wolverine turns around and blocks Vex’s attack from behind.

As he continues to fight Vex, Wolverine tells the Coven that they are really gettin’ under his skin. Vex says, if that is his wish, he will oblige. Read his entrails to boot. Dodging Vex’s attack, Wolverine tells him that, if it’s all the same to him, he has another readin’ selection fer him. How ‘bout his pal’s appendix. At that moment, Wolverine spins around and slashes Satyr in the chest before he can punch Wolverine.

From the shadows, Blood Shadow orders Fetish to put an end to this. Fetish tells him his desire is her pleasure. How does he feel about giving up a burnt offering? When Fetish blows fire into Wolverine, he asks what the devil? Vex exclaims flames of the Faltine. A powerful spell, sister. In moments, he’ll be a charred husk. Escaping the flame, Wolverine attacks Vex and asks him that she’s his sister? Mebbe time they had a family reunion. With that, Wolverine tosses Vex into Fetish, knocking them both to the ground.

Standing over them, Wolverine thanks them for the scrap but, if they don’t mind, he’ll just borrow that unholy relic o’ theirs and hit the road. Blood Shadow tells him that he won’t be leaving. It’s been preordained. Seeing his new foe, Wolverine asks him who he’s supposed to be; the boogie man? The new foe introduces himself as Blood Shadow. His is the power to invade men’s minds. He can anticipate his every move before it’s made.

Rushing at Blood Shadow, Wolverine tells him to anticipate this. Once he gets to his foe, Wolverine is surprised when his foe is able to dodge his attack. When Blood Shadow tells him this fight is over, Wolverine says he’s gettin’ ahead of himself, ain’t he. He didn’t hear no fat lady singin’. Blood Shadow says very well, let’s play this out. As Wolverine again engages Blood Shadow in battle, he sees that he’s cocky all right, but he can afford it. ‘Cause while he’s clawin’ air, he’s hittin’ nerve clusters, vital areas. Not long ‘fore everything starts goin’ black.

Sometime later, Wolverine comes to in the darkness. Somethin’s holdin’ back his left arm. Some kinda manacle. No problem, he’ll just claw it off. Good ol’ adamantium claws cut through anything, ‘cept of course adamantium. Just then, Wolverine realizes that his left arm is chained to Cyber’s right arm. Cyber proceeds to welcome his long-time nemesis to the land o’ the livin’. Does he have a light?

(2nd story)
Inside an abandoned warehouse in New York, Iron Fist, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight find themselves in the middle of a small war, fighting to protect an informant-turned-witness who threatens to bring down a large Yakuzida clan and one of their splinter organizations.

Punching out one of the ninjas, Iron Fist tells him that this would go easier if him and his fellow warriors would realize they’re fighting a losing battle. One of the ninjas exclaims no, they’d rather die than fail their senpai. Looking over at Misty, Iron Fist asks her how she’s holding up. Misty replies that she’s had better days. No sign of the attack letting up. But she’s sure as heck not going home a loser. Iron Fist tells her they’ll stop them, trust him. With their stool-pigeon helping the F.B.I., they’ll bring down the entire Yakuzida, starting with this faction.

Misty interjects that this Karl Powers is a real hot property right now. These guys they’re fighting are good, real good, better than the first Yakuza. No wonder they decided to break off, they’ll make a mint by themselves. As one of the ninjas prepares to take Misty out from behind, Colleen Wing leaps into action. Colleen tells Misty to look out and that maybe she should listen to herself more.

As he kicks the attacker in the head, Colleen calls him a coward. A true warrior would not attack from behind. Fortunately, they had the agents take Powers from the area, before these goons began their attack, one less thing to worry about. Misty remarks that she’s staring to wonder why Knightwing Restorations took this job from the F.B.I. in the first place. Colleen states that she can always blame the recession.

At the headquarters of the Yakuzida, located not too far from where the battle wages, a private complex, known only to a few, its outer façade belies its true nature – the quiet serenity, a deception. Their leader, Mr. Shiro is furious over a small faction of his Red Dragons breaking away and creating their own “tongs.”

As Sabretooth enters Mr. Shiro’s office, Shiro tells him that he’s glad he’s finally there. He’s never been one to tolerate lateness. Now, come in, they need to speak. Sabretooth asks if he always talks this way to his employees or is he just happy to see him. Shiro tells Sabretooth that his wit and charming personality are, as ever, astounding. Sabretooth remarks that he’s fun at parties, too. Shiro informs Sabretooth that he’s lost his patience. He wants this done quickly and clean. Some of his men will accompany him. He for one, does not trust his supposed prowess, he is nothing but an animal. Grabbing Shiro by the collar, Sabretooth snarls at him and tells him the way he figures it is that he’s not long for this world, so he’ll kill this Powers informant guy and for no extra charge, he’ll do him. Sound good? Shiro answers that it does not, just kill him.

Meanwhile, the situation in the warehouse grows grim… Observing Danny Rand (Iron Fist) in battle, Misty notices that he must be hurt, his moves are so stiff. His reactions are slower; his moves are too defensive to be effective. He has to press the attack. Continuing to punch and attack Iron Fist, the ninja asks him how he can call himself a warrior when he lacks a killing style. The great Iron Fist – hah! He fights without grace or passion. His chi is soft.

As he continues to get beat up, Danny recognizes that his foe is right. His moves, and mindset are weak. He can’t apply himself effectively. The ninja adds that a warrior does not allow himself to be distracted. His mind should be uncluttered. Clearly, his is not. Continuing to watch from afar, Misty wonders what’s wrong with Fist. He’s getting his butt handed to him. Calling out to Colleen she tells her to hurry, they have to help him.

Elsewhere, Sabretooth is flanked by a number of Shiro’s ninjas. Sabretooth proceeds to tell them to listen up, stiffs. First off, none o’ them are worth spit. Their better off staying at home. Their liable ta get hurt. He fights alone. One of the ninjas states that Mr. Shiro demanded that they fight alongside him. It is vital to their existence that this man, Karl Powers, is eliminated. They are hardly pleased by the need to ally themselves with him. His kind should be on a leash. He is not worthy to fight with them. Sabretooth tells him he’s stupid, but he’s got guts. Let’s see ‘em. With that, Sabretooth slashes the ninja across the gut with his claws. He then informs the others they are his. None of them likes it, but tough. Accept it and get their butts in gear. Questions? Didn’t think so.

At the warehouse, Iron Fist continues his fight against the ninja. As he does, he says to him that he’s blinded by his own rage. Open his eyes. He’s being used by his senpai, just like Shiro was using him. He broke off from his family for what – drugs, weapons, prostitution, and assassination? Where is the honor in that? The ninja replies that they wanted their freedom. The fight for them, not someone else… they’re united now. Iron Fist points out that Powers was part of their “united” group until he finally realized it was only a matter of time before he was killed. Join him and his friends, fight with them, help them bring Shiro to justice.

The ninja replies his brand of justice, one that they do not believe in. Honor and justice are to be found in combat. That is why he is inherently flawed, he fights a hollow battle. Iron Fist tells the ninja that he fights like a beaten man. Only he doesn’t know it yet. He is so lost within himself, he no longer has the spirit to fight. His vision is clouded; he can no longer see the truth.

Seeing Iron Fist continuously taking punches and kicks, Misty yells out “No!” Turning to Colleen, she tells her they have to help him. Stopping her, Colleen tells her no. Danny has to do this by himself. If they help him, he’ll continue to doubt himself. And to him, that’s worse than death. Let him go, he’ll be fine… she hopes.

Clenching his teeth, Iron Fist asks “clouded?” No, he might not be the same man since “returning from the dead,” but he is still a warrior. He will not stand quietly by and let an innocent man be murdered, because they happen to have a demented view of life and justice. He takes his skills and training and offers it to anyone. Yet they are not afraid to accept weakness. He will work until they are no longer his faults, but his strengths. Can he say the same? He has seen and experienced much violence, endured pain and learned from it. That is the reason he is the man that he is. That is why he never loses. He will always find a way to win, and raise himself above those who can’t. Can he say the same?

With that, Iron Fist takes the battle to the ninja and knocks him through a nearby wall. Picking the ninja up by the collar, Iron Fist asks him can he? Where is his bravado now? He could take his life with one blow, but he will not. It is harder to accept your enemy that it is to kill him. He is no murderer. Yet he will defeat his clan, and anyone that tries to harm any innocent. Tell them to come. He’ll be waiting.

A quiet evening, he hears the violence, smells the anger and the sweat… it’s exhilarating. He is enthralled by the emotions… thrives on them. He jumps from rooftop to rooftop as easily as another man would take a step. Sniffing the air, Sabretooth remarks that he loves the smell of blood. And, before the night’s over, it’ll flow in rivers through the streets.

(4th story)
When Dagger was a child, her father told her tales about creatures that go bump in the night. When she sees Cloak feeding his darkness, she can’t help but wonder if there was some truth to those stories. Although the night is warm, she shivers involuntarily, pondering whether Cloak’s cry is a defiant protest against his dark hungering or a scream of outrage that he must relinquish his prey.

Releasing the thugs from the darkness in his cloak, Cloak remarks that he is finished. Turning his attention to Dagger, he asks her what disturbs her. Dagger informs him that there’s a killer loose, stalking runaways and they still haven’t found a clue. Runaways like they were. This monster has been drinking the victim’s blood, feeding off them. Clenching his teeth, Cloak asks a monster? A monster like him? Dagger tells him that he knows that’s not what she meant. In her mind, Dagger wonders if perhaps she did. Making her way close to Cloak, Dagger informs him that the latest victim was found in Central Park. Perhaps there they can find some clue. These men won’t be hurting anyone too soon.

Once Cloak and Dagger depart, a young lady emerges from the shadows. As she does, she states that she thought they’d never leave. It’s getting soooo tough for a lady to have some fun around there. When one of the thugs asks who, the young lady introduces herself as Tessa. She adds that she’s absolutely famished for a party. She then asks the two men if they are just going to lie there and miss the action. She’s sure they’ll find Tessa’s embrace no less frightening and just as vicious as Cloak’s. Grabbing hold of one of the men by the collar, Tessa proceeds to slam his head up against the concrete wall, killing him. Grabbing hold of the other one by the face she tells him to pucker up. After all, not just anyone gets picked up by a vampire. Exposing her fangs, she tells him he looks absolutely exquisite. He will keep her secret won’t he? Just then, Tessa bites him, feeding off his blood. Leaving both thugs dead, Tessa morphs into a bat and departs. As she does, she says she’s gotta run, she has a date with Cloak and Dagger.

Walking the paths of Central Park, Dagger mentions to Cloak that they’ve been searching for hours and nothing. All these powers and they can’t do anything… Just then, the duo hears a woman’s scream. A young woman rushes towards them, begging for their help. Pointing to a nearby building, the young woman tells them that something grabbed her sister and dragged her into the building. As he and Dagger teleport into the building, Cloak tells the young woman to call the police and find someone safe. Showing her fangs, the young woman reveals herself to be Tessa. She whispers that she didn’t know he cared.

Inside the building, Dagger mentions to Cloak that the sense of death is almost tangible, like walking over her own grave. Just then, Dagger falls through a trap-door below. Cloak remarks that he must find Dagger before… When the young woman rushes up to Cloak and puts her arms around him, Cloak tells her that she must leave. He cannot guarantee her safety. The young woman tells him that she couldn’t leave. He makes her feel safe. With a gleam in her eyes, the young woman asks Cloak to turn, look at her, and call her Tessa. Turning around, Cloak says very well Tessa.

Below, Dagger notices that her light knives barely penetrate the darkness. It’s as if supernatural forces are… Just then, Dagger notices the girl and asks her what’s going on there. Turning around with a gleam in her eyes, Tessa tells Dagger that she looks positively shocked. Poor bunny, she’ll have to… relax her. Falling to the ground, Dagger says she can’t move. Tessa tells her that she’s under her power – fully aware, but frozen as long as she wills so. She watched them two tonight. Her “beau,” Cloak, has some killer moves. Seems to her, Cloak and she have oodles in common, but he’s soooo repressed. All he needs is a nudge in the right direction.

Turning to Cloak, Tessa tells him to listen to her. He’s resisted his power for so long. She knows his hunger; she shares the pain with him. She is vampyre. No more holding back. No more excuses. Time to let loose, embrace his power. As Tessa moves closer to the inside of Cloak’s cloak, Dagger yells at her that she doesn’t know what she is doing. Falling to the ground, Tessa says dark, so painful. She never imagined, so alone, cold. Seeing Cloak’s reaction to Tessa, Dagger thinks to herself that he looks so feral, like he’s going to kill.

At that moment, Dagger yells at him to stop. Beginning to envelop Tessa with the darkness of his cloak, Cloak says to her that she loves to kill, the thrill of the hunt. She gave him the craving, only fair that he returns the favor. Tessa exclaims that she surrenders. Cloak repeats that he’s hunger, ravenous, he must feed.

Noticing that Tessa has been engulfed by Cloak’s dark force, Dagger realizes that she must enter the darkness. Even with her light powers absorbing the brunt of Cloak’s assault, she can still feel the cold. If this is what she’s feeling, her life is in danger. Even though she has driven Cloak insane, she must help her. She must use her light powers to protect them both. If she stays there much longer, she’ll die. But she can’t abandon her, no matter how evil she is. Putting her arms around Tessa, Dagger yells at Cloak and asks him if he will become the very demon he fears. Will he kill for that hunger? She knows he’s stronger than that. Does he hear her, Tyrone? Be a man, not a monster!

Just then, Cloak releases both Dagger and Tessa from his grasp. Once he does, he calls Tessa a witch. For years, he has bottled up his feelings, his desires. Restraint became normal, the pain almost manageable. Yet, for her pleasure, her amusement, she destroyed that discipline. Perhaps, harridan, this world would be a better place without her. Vampires are immortal, perhaps an eternity within his cloak will even the score. Tessa exclaims no. Cloak has an evil within him that matches her own. Cloak remarks that maybe they should put it to the test.

At that moment, Dagger tosses one of her light knives, narrowly missing Cloak. She then tells him enough; Dr. Strange can deal with her now. Cloak proceeds to thank Dagger and then wonders to himself without her, might he have become Tessa. If so, what right does he have to judge her?

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)
Blood Shadow, Fetish, Satyr, and Vex (all members of the Coven)

(2nd story)
Iron Fist/Danny Rand
Colleen Wing and Misty Knight

Mr. Shiro (leader of the Yakuzida Clan)
Sabretooth/Victor Creed
Various unnamed ninjas of the Yakuzida Clan

(4th story)
Cloak & Dagger

Tessa (a vampire, not the mutant Sage)
Various unnamed petty thieves in New York

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes:

3rd story – Ghost Rider and Cage in Heart and Soul: Part 3 of 6 – “Emotional Rescue”

Iron Fist returned from the dead in Namor, the Sub-Mariner #23.

Written By: