New Mangaverse #2

Issue Date: 
April 2006
Story Title: 
The Rings of Fate: Part 2: Trial By Fire

C.B. Cebulski (writer), Tommy Ohtsuka (pencils), Guru Efx (colors), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Tom Valente (production), John Barber (editor), Ralph Macchio (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Fantastic Four and Daredevil find themselves under attack by Elektra and her ninjas, who have already killed Reed. Daredevil is shocked to find out that the love of his life is still alive, but is soon killed himself after the discovery. The remaining FF members bravely fight the ninjas but, during the battle, Ben is severely injured and eventually dies as well. Sioux and the Torch decide to escape. Meanwhile, Tony believes he knows who is responsible for all this mess. He recently discovered that his old nemesis, the Mandarin, has been killed and that an “X” was carved in his blood. Wolverine recognizes the note: it comes from his old flame; Deathstrike! He thinks Deathstrike went back to her old masters at Weapon X and wants to pay Logan back for ending their relationship. Tony also discovers that the Mandarin’s rings have been stolen and that the ninjas are also after them. The Torch and Sioux make it back to Tony’s base, but were followed by the ninjas. As the battle rages on, Elektra, unnoticed by anyone, steals the shield from Captain America. She and the other ninjas vanish back to their lair, where Elektra hands over the shield to her masters: Deathstrike, the Silver Samurai and Sunfire!

Full Summary: 

The Fantastic Four and Daredevil find themselves surrounded by ninjas, led by a female ninja in red. With Reed lying unconscious, an angry Sioux shouts at the ninjas that she’ll make them pay for what they did to Reed. Daredevil tries to calm Sioux down and tells her she needs to save her strength. It’s pointless to attack ninjas from afar, as they can dodge all day. They need to wait until the ninjas are closer and when their senses need to be more focused. Ben wonders how Daredevil could possibly know all this. Daredevil simply replies it takes one to know one. He pulls out his nun chucks and jumps at Elektra, who is ready for a battle.

Matt’s nunchucks clash with the red ninja’s blocking sword. Matt shouts at the ninja how she dares take the life of his beloved Elektra, and promises that reminding him of her death won’t lower his guard. The ninja admits to Daredevil, calling him Matthew, that they knew it would take more than that. Daredevil is stunned... could he possibly truly be fighting Elektra? Elektra confirms it’s truly her, and slices with her sword through Daredevil’s chest! Matt bleeds and falls on the ground, trying to control his pain. Elektra kneels next to him, and takes off Matt’s helmet. As Matt starts to cry, Elektra looks at him as well with sad eyes. They share a kiss.

After the kiss Elektra rises and triumphantly stands over Matt, who still rests on his knees. She takes out huge blades and recalls Matt once tried to save her soul. However, she’s sorry there was nothing worth saving. She swings with the blades and slices through Daredevil again, this time killing him!

Stark’s building...

Wolverine smiles and knocks on the tube he’s in. When Spider-Man wonders what the guy wants, Tony realizes Logan wants out and presses a button so the tube opens. Peter wonders if that’s such a good idea, as Tony just told them Logan might want to kill them once he’s free. Tony thinks it’s still better that they leave Logan out, than Logan gets himself out. Peter panics a bit, still not sure if they need to let Wolverine out at all. Tony tells Peter to relax, asking him if his “spider-sense” is even tingling or not. Peter admits it isn’t, but wonders how Tony knows about that. “Oh yeah,” Peter quickly remembers, Tony knows a lot about him.

A naked Wolverine steps out of his tube, scaring Mary Jane. Logan smiles that Stark did a good job remembering he likes redheads. Logan gently touches MJ’s chin and asks her what’s wrong. Spider-Man angrily slaps Logan’s hand away from MJ, shouting to leave her alone. Logan quickly grabs Peter by his clothes and snikts two of his claws out, threatening to kill him. Logan smiles it’s cute Peter is trying to protect his girl’s honor.

Felicia slices Wolverine a couple of time using her claws, joking that perhaps Logan should have practiced protecting his own honor. She goes to stand behind Logan, pointing her claws at him and threatens Logan to drop Peter or else she will drop her claws on Logan’s back. Logan does as told and holds his hands in the air, asking Felicia to do her part now. Felicia sheathes her claws. Logan smiles at her his back would have healed, calling her a pussycat. Felicia angrily corrects she’s actually called “Black Cat” and slices through Logan’s chest, causing him to bleed. This way, she thinks, he’ll remember her name better!

Nevertheless, the wounds on Wolverine’s chest quickly heal, and Peter can’t believe Logan’s power actually is liquid band-aid. Logan smiles he always has been a sucker for girls with big... claws. Felicia is shocked to see the wounds already vanishing. Tony thinks that’s it: the claws... and the X! Why didn’t he see it earlier?! Peter guesses they should follow the talking wheelchair guy. Mary Jane begs Wolverine to put some pants on.

After Logan is properly dressed, he meets back up with Stark asking how long he was out. “Two days,” Tony explains. Whatever it was they hit Logan’s system with, they must have wiped Logan’s healing factor pretty good. Logan knows it did a lot worse to other mutants. Peter is surprised that whoever’s attacking heroes also came after Wolverine. He wonders how the ninjas managed found Logan, as he thought all of the mutants had gone underground.

Logan confirms they had. But they scattered after everything that went down with the Hellfire Club and the Sentinels a few years back. But the ninjas didn’t need to find them. They sent some kind of virus to do their dirty work for them. The mutants were attacked on a genetic level. And now, Logan wants to know why. He asks Tony if he had any luck finding out what’s going on. Tony thinks he has just figured it out, which is music to Logan’s ears. Tony thinks Logan might need to change his tune after he hears what he has to say.

Tony shows the heroes a golden ring with a red star on it. Logan mocks he’s really scared now. Tony states it’s not just a ring... it’s the Impact Beam ring! It’s one of the ten rings belonging to... the Mandarin! Tony shows them all a picture of the Mandarin on a computer screen. Peter can’t believe the villain actually named himself after an orange. Hearing this, both MJ and Felicia slap Peter on the head. Tony reveals the Mandarin was one of his old villains... or rather, one of Iron Man’s, and both his sister and he fought the Mandarin over the years. He was a powerful madman bent on world domination. He almost succeeded a few times, too... thanks to the ten magic rings he wields, each possessing an incredible power, be it heat, light or ice.

Wolverine thinks it sounds like Mandarin is back on a tear. He asks Tony why he thinks one of his baddies is back after all the heroes. Actually, Tony doesn’t believe the Mandarin’s behind all this. His latest intelligence reveals that the Mandarin has been killed a few days ago, and shows them a picture of it. Mary Jane stares at the picture and recognizes claw marks on the Mandarin. Wolverine and Felicia stare at each other, both promising they didn’t do it.

Tony tells them both not to worry, certain their alibis will check out just fine. He was at a loss trying to figure out who would do something like this until Wolverine made a mention about his taste in women. Tony thinks it’s a safe bet to say the Mandarin’s hands were removed against his will by someone with similar “attributes” to Logan’s. And given the X that’s been carved into the Mandarin’s chest, the signs all point out to Logan’s old flame: Deathstrike!

Logan is shocked and angry. He snikts out his red claws, but quickly calms down. He apologizes for this, but he still gets itchy whenever Deathstrike’s name is brought up. Felicia asks Logan if Deathstrike is responsible for all that, and Logan replies she partly is. Ashamed, Logan reveals that he and Miss Yuriko Oyama share a bit of history together, both personal and professional. He just wants to say Yuriko didn’t react well to them splitting up. And, Tony adds, for the “X”... the “Weapon X” stands for the old outfit Logan served in. He wonders if Weapon X could be behind all this.

Wolverine doesn’t think so. The “X” may be Deathstrike’s signature, but the last thing Logan heard about her, Deathstrike had gone back to her roots and rejoined the Hand. Tony jokes that means the Mandarin’s hands have fallen into the Hand’s hands. Peter jokes to try and say that sentence five times fast after each other. Felicia asks what they are supposed to do about this. Peter wants to know if they’re talking about the Japanese ninja assassin clan called the Hand. Tony thinks so, looking at the outfits of the attackers. And with what Logan just told them, he thinks that’s a safe bet.

Peter wants to get this straight: Wolverine’s villain cut off the hands of Tony’s villain, and now teamed up with his own villains?! Tony confirms that’s exactly what happened. Logan is surprised to hear the Hand are Spider-Man’s villains. Peter explains that the Spider-Clan are ninjas, and so are the Hand. Ninja clans fight each other... it’s what they do. MJ asks Peter when he was going to mention the Hand to her. Peter doesn’t think now is the time to argue about that.

A crumbling sound on the roof is heard. Wolverine snikts his claws open and, suddenly, both the Thing and Sioux crash through it! Sue asks Ben to get up as the ninjas are still after them. Tony doesn’t think it’s any use... the Thing is gone. Peter now guesses he should have told MJ about the Hand. Everyone looks up, and spots Elektra and her associates. Wolverine wants to attack Elektra, but she wants him to calm down or else she’ll put her sword into the Thing’s head.

The ninjas start shooting arrows at the heroes, and Sioux rises up a forcefield to protect herself and Tony. Sioux tells Tony he should get out of there, as things are about to get nasty. Tony agrees with that. He concentrates, and suddenly his wheelchair starts transforming into the armor of... Iron Man! The battle continues, and Elektra sends forth one of her archer ninjas to deal with Stark. Tony tries to protect Sioux and promises her he’ll take care of this Hawkeye wannabe, while she should go help the Spiders with the ninja with the sword.

MJ doesn’t think they can handle the sword guy, as he’s too strong. Peter asks Sioux to use one of her invisible blasts to knock the ninja out or something. Sioux smiles she can do better than that, as her powers can take any shape. She has her powers take the shapes of both Ben and Reed, shouting that now the dead will have their vengeance! The “ghost” forms of Reed and Ben team-up and together manage to knock the ninja out. Another ninja jumps at Sioux and slices her, using claws, killing her!

The Torch lashes out and throws fire at the ninja. Wolverine is busy fighting another ninja and destroys his battle stick with his claws. Elektra stabs Logan in his back, which brings the feral mutant to his knees. Elektra shouts at the other ninjas that it’s time to go, and they all jump back on the roof and escape!

The Torch wants to follow them and flies up using her flame powers, but Tony activates a device on his armor, which disrupts the Torch’s powers and causes her to fall down again. But, Tony promises the young girl that she will have her revenge. The Torch cries over the loss of her sister. Wolverine wonders what all that was about. Tony thinks they just dealt with a choreographed attack. Felicia is surprised that the ninjas knew where they all were. Wolverine disagrees with Stark’s statement, rather believing the attack was too random to have been planned.

Iron Man explains that’s what the ninjas wanted them to believe. He doesn’t know how the ninjas knew, but this was an exact “smash and grab” heist. He thinks the ninja were just decoys, while Elektra went after the score. When Spider-Man asks what the “score” was, Tony proclaims, “The ultimate symbol of freedom.”

Elsewhere, at a base at an unknown location...

Elektra bows before her masters the Silver Samurai, Sunfire and Deathstrike, and they all laugh as they are handed over... the shield of Captain America!

Characters Involved: 



Mary Jane Watson

Tony Stark

Black Cat

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic the Thing (all Fantastic Four)



Various ninjas (all unnamed)

Silver Samurai



On video screen:



Story Notes: 

First appearances of the Silver Samurai, Sunfire and Deathstrike in the Mangaverse.

More about the X-Men fighting the Hellfire Club and the Sentinels can be found throughout X-Men: Ronin #1-5.

Issue Information: 

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