Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #9

Issue Date: 
December 1988
Story Title: 
<BR>Save the Tiger - part 9: The Confrontation (1st story)

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

Brief Description: 

First Story:

Now that both Wolverine and Jessan Hoan are inside Roche’s mansion, they find themselves with similar problems. Wolverine finds Razorfist blocking his path to Roche, while Jessan, despite taking out the inquisitor fairly easily, is attacked by Sapphire Styx. Wolverine is still less than at full strength and Razorfist is simply too quick and strong for him in this condition. Sapphire sucks much of Jessan’s strength from her but she manages to find just enough energy to slash her with a red hot blade. The inquisitor takes Sapphire away to recover, whilst Wolverine plays possum and draws Razorfist close enough to be able to fight on equal terms. He uses his claws to open up Razorfist’s defenses and plunges his claws straight into his ribcage. Razorfist drops to the floor, lifeless. Roche is next.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

To get through to Roche, Razorfist told Wolverine he’d have to do it over his dead body. That suits Wolverine fine and they go at it hammer and tongs. Wolverine doesn’t use his adamantium claws, despite Razorfist slashing at him with two foot-long blades.

While Wolverine is trying to bull his way in through the front doors, Jessan Hoan has entered via the rear. Unfortunately, after shooting at Sapphire Styx, she has been floored by Roche’s inquisitor, who tells her that she trespasses his domain at her peril. He approaches her with a red-hot blade but the agile Jessan soon kicks it free of his grasp. She has come to bust out O’Donnell and is determined to succeed.

She sends him crashing to the floor and leaps onto him. She now calls herself Tyger Tiger, and with good reason. She wants Roche’s position of power and Wolverine hopes she’s having an easier time than he is. Fighting Razorfist within the confines of a room, Wolverine struggles to avoid the blades, which slash at his body with regularity. He isn’t anywhere near one hundred percent fighting fit since his run in with the inquisitor, but figured that wouldn’t be a problem. He thought he was up against a bully boy with a gimmick, a man whose hands have been replaced by razor-keen blades. Then again, he too has blades, and a skeleton made of an unbreakable alloy. He is also a mutant, but Razorfist doesn’t seem to notice the difference.

Still keeping his claws sheathed for the time being, Wolverine is caught in the face by Razorfist’s blade and he doesn’t allow Wolverine to get close enough to respond in kind. Razorfist is fast, strong and skilful but, despite being sent crashing through a wall, Wolverine knows he has a healing factor on his side. It doesn’t make him invulnerable; he bleeds when he is cut, but it does make him flamin’ hard to kill.

Razorfist seems determined to make that extra effort and Wolverine knows that it’s his fault. He got cocky and now he’s paying for it but, for all the hurt, his string’s a long way from run out. Razorfist picks him up and prepares to drive his blade through Wolverine’s heart but he finds himself on the receiving end of a solid punch to the chest. A good hit is usually all it takes to end a good scrap and Razorfist drops hard. However, he is as stubborn as the X-Man and doesn’t stay down for long.

Meanwhile, Jessan is sitting on the inquisitor’s back, slamming his face into the ground repeatedly, and she asks why he can’t take his own medicine even in this small measure. As she concentrates on dishing out some pain, Sapphire Styx recovers and grabs her by the ponytail, lifting Jessan off her colleague. The inquisitor’s face drops again, as she is lifted onto her feet and thrown against the wall. She tells Jessan to save her pity for herself, in the few moments left of her wretched misbegotten life.

Jessan picks herself up but Sapphire isn’t finished. She tells her that the inquisitor is without peer at his craft but, at rock bottom, he’s just a guy like any other. She wrenches Jessan’s head back, asking if she’s listening. “Pay attention when I’m talking. I get nasty when I’m ignored.” She moves in closer to Jessan and gently holds her cheeks. Energy begins to crackle between them.

Razorfist continues his attack on Wolverine. He doesn’t let up for an instant, providing Wolverine with no chance to get his balance and pull his act together. Once again, he finds himself crashing to the floor, only this time, he doesn’t try to get up.

Sapphire Styx works her magic on Jessan, who appears to submit to her touch. She informs Jessan that she lives on the life forces of others. When she drains them dry, they die. She says Jessan’s tasty; almost as detectable a feast as Patch. Jess somehow finds the will to resist and her eyes pop wide open. “No!” she cries, “Tyger Tiger is no one’s prey, vampire!” She leans forward and bites Sapphire on the neck and she reels as much from surprise as from pain. She can’t believe Jessan bit her and she asks what sort of madwoman she is. “Tiger not simply in name, but in fact!” replies Jessan, as she picks up the hot blade that the inquisitor dropped earlier.

She slashes Sapphire across the face but then feels faint. Sapphire stole much of her strength and she has hardly any left. She kneels down to recover and, thankfully, Sapphire tells the now conscious inquisitor to forget her. She burned her face and wants away before she can do anything worse.

Razorfist, meanwhile, walks towards the downed Wolverine. He tells him that he fought the good fight, as he knew he would, but the end has come, as he knew it would. He tells Wolverine to make peace with his deities; they shall not meet again. “That bub, is a fact!” Wolverine stands and three claws shoot from his left hand. He played possum to lure Razorfist close. Their blades meet and now there is no time for subtlety, no fancy moves. Now it’s just brute force; two bruisers giving all they’ve got. The winner takes all. Whoever slips first pays the forfeit with their life.

The two maneuver themselves, using their blades, until Wolverine manages to swing his arms out wide, forcing Razorfist’s out with them. He then quickly brings his blades back inside and forces them deep into Razorfist’s ribcage. Wolverine’s opponent drops like a stone. Now, thinks Wolverine, it’s Roche’s turn.

Characters Involved: 


Jessan Hoan


Roche’s inquisitor

Sapphire Styx

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: The Man Thing “Elements of Terror (part 9 of 12).

3rd story: a stand alone story starring Cloak.

4th story: a stand alone story starring El Aguila.

Razorfist somehow survived and later appeared in Wolverine (3rd series) #167, where he once again appeared to die.

The inquisitor tortured Wolverine in Marvel Comics Presents #4.

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