Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
September 1988
Story Title: 
<BR>Save the Tiger - part 3: The Gals (1st story)

Chris Claremont (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Michael Rockwitz (assistant editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

Wolverine maintains his hold on Jessan Hoan, whom he remembers meeting before. He remembers how the Reavers attacked Hoan’s family-run bank and kidnapped her to the Australian Outback. The X-Men fought the Reavers and kicked their butts, but their problem was that the X-Men weren’t supposed to be alive and something had to be done to keep everyone quiet. The Reavers were sent through the Siege Perilous by Roma and Jessan was returned to the place she was before all this happened. The X-men trusted her not to reveal their existence. Now, Wolverine wants answers but Jessan isn’t prepared to give any. She escapes his grasp and debilitates him by blowing a powder in his face. She drops him to the ground before stealing a motorcycle and following her initial move up with a kick to the small of his back. Defeated and with Jessan gone, Wolverine laughs about it, but knows he can always follow her scent again. Suddenly, Sapphire Styx approaches him. She offers to help him but he is wary, as her scent doesn’t feel right. He is right to be cautious. When Sapphire kisses him, she turns out to be a kind of energy vampire. He manages to break free but he is then ambushed by Razorfist, who hammers him to the ground. Sapphire forces Wolverine into unconsciousness, promising that he’ll be woken in time to die.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Having followed a woman who was passing the window of the Princess Bar, Wolverine catches up to and grabs her, surprised that it is Jessan Hoan. It never fails to amaze him, the people you run into in the unlikeliest of places and when you least expect it. He asks what the devil she is doing here, dressed like she is.


Jessan Hoan is from Singapore. Her family runs one of the island’s merchant banks. It’s not the biggest or most powerful outfit, but it has a top notch rep as an outfit that’s going places. Jessan, young as she was and a woman to boot, was one of its financial whiz-kids; until the morning the Reavers teleported in and blitzed the place. In no time, they had stripped the bank bare and slaughtered most of the people inside. They decided to take Jessan with them. They figured they’d make her work for them and let her handle their money wisely, so they took her to a dump in the Australian Outback. There, they were found by the X-Men, who took the Reavers down, hard.

The problem then was what to do with them. The X-Men wished the world to think them dead, which meant either killing their prisoners or making sure they couldn’t ever talk. Roma, who sicc’d them on the Reavers, came up with a solution. She had them enter the Siege Perilous. All who passed through it were judged according to the good and ill they had done, and appointed a new life accordingly. Jessan pleaded not to have to enter, as she was an innocent party. The kid had a point, thought Wolverine, and even though it jeopardized their security they backed her up. Roma sent her back to the place and moment when she was abducted. She said she might not thank her for it.


That was a while ago and the X-Men got on with their new lives. Wolverine figured Jessan had done the same. He never thought they would meet again. Jessan struggles in his grasp, insisting she isn’t the person he thinks she is. Wolverine won’t let her go without answers but Jessan says she has none to give and skilfully wriggles out of her jacket. Wolverine recognizes it as a street fighting move and not at all what you’d expect from a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard. That’s his big mistake: thinking of her as the cultivated, sophisticated banker, rather than the scrapper she’s become.

Reaching into her belt buckle, Jessan removes a powder and blows it into Wolverine’s face. With his enhanced senses, his reaction to the powder is worse than a normal human’s. It hits him like mace and he’s instantly blinded, coughing, choking and with his sense of smell totally gone. His brain is all out of whack, as Jessan uses a swift aikido kick to send him spinning to the ground, right into the path of an oncoming truck.

The driver bails out but the truck continues on its path and collides with both Wolverine and the wall he’s standing next to. There’s a heckuva mess. Luckily, his adamantium bones are unbreakable and his healing factor quickly begins to take care of the cuts and bruises. Seeing that Wolverine is actually in pretty good shape, considering he’s been hit by a truck, Jessan wisely makes a break for it. She grabs a bike from a guy called Philly before returning to where Wolverine is recovering. His senses are still a little zoned out and he doesn’t even hear her coming. She rides past him and delivers a deft kick in the small of his back, sending him crashing to the ground once again.

He gets up quickly but she’s gone and there’s no catching her. It’s no problem for Wolverine, though; he can follow her scent anywhere. But why bother, he thinks. She nailed him good and it’s been a fair while since anyone’s done that. He begins to laugh, wondering how he looks, sat on the floor amongst the garbage, supposedly the deadliest critter on two legs, humbled by a slip of a girl. She’s changed, though, evidently not for the better.

He turns to see a woman standing nearby. She says that it doesn’t seem to be his night. Wolverine recognizes her scent. Her name is Sapphire and he met her at the bar recently. She says that maybe his luck’s about to change but Logan says that maybe he should quit while he’s ahead. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, she replies. She bends down and gently touches his chin. Her place is nearby if he wishes to tidy up and…relax. Tempting offer, he thinks, but something about her scent just isn’t right. It bothers him but his senses aren’t functioning properly and he decides to play it wary. He tells her that he appreciates the invite but he’s committed elsewhere.

Sapphire holds his arm and says she’s a lucky woman, whoever she is. She’s stronger than she looks and Wolverine finds that he can’t break her grip. She looks straight into his eyes and says, “Such a pity Sapphire Styx doesn’t take no for an answer.” She kisses him on the lips and, instantly, Logan finds himself drowning. His strength, his very life is suddenly overwhelmed, consumed by a sea of shadow. He takes a chance and pulls away which surprises both of them. He’s weak from the experience, though, and staggers blindly down an alley like an animal on the run. He tries to put as much distance between himself and the vampire as he can, but he should have realized that she’s the type who doesn’t come alone.

“There’s no escape for you tonight, my friend,” says a voice from the shadows. “Your fate’s signed, sealed, delivered, courtesy of Razorfist!” He slashes at Wolverine with both knives, though they are sheathed, and Logan falls to the ground as Sapphire approaches. She can’t believe he’s still conscious and fighting. She leans down towards him and says that she’s never tasted anybody like him. It’s a shame she has to turn him over to Roche; she’d so love to keep him for herself. Wolverine’s world again falls from his grasp, as Sapphire’s powers take their toll on his mind. As he fades into unconsciousness, Sapphire adds that a contract’s a contract. Not to worry, though, they’ll wake him up in time to die!

Characters Involved: 


Jessan Hoan


Sapphire Styx

Citizens of Madripoor including Philly

(in flashback)

Jessan Hoan

Mrs. Pei and two children

Hoan International Bank customer and staff

Bonebreaker, Pretty Boy, Skullbuster (all Reavers)

Several unnamed Reavers

Colossus, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: The Man Thing “Elements of Terror” (part 3 of 12)

3rd story: Master of Kung Fu “Crossing Lines” (part 3 of 8)

4th story: a stand alone story starring the Thing, the third of four tales featuring an alien called the Fear Eater

The entire flashback takes place during Uncanny X-Men #229.

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