Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #173

Issue Date: 
October 1983
Story Title: 
To Have and Have Not

Chris Claremont (writer), Paul Smith (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker),Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine and Rogue mix it up with the Yakuza in Tokyo’s Ginza district, until they get the information that leads them to the crimelord Nabatone, who in turn is supposed to lead them to Viper and the Silver Samurai. They infiltrate Nabatone’s estate - with Rogue being horribly cocky and find Nabatone dead. He has been for over a week. The man who arranged the meeting between Mariko and the Silver Samurai was an impostor and, while they’ve been wasting time here, their foes might be attacking the hospital where Mariko and the poisoned X-Men are. The fears are correct: Viper and a team of ninja assassins are attacking the hospital and dispatching of the agents posted there. Rogue flies in, grabs Viper and the Ninja and tosses them out of the building. Wolverine, in the meantime, challenges the Samurai and wins their brutal battle. As he intends to kill him, Mariko asks him to spare her half-brother. They are joined by an armed Viper, who demands they let the Samurai go. The Samurai faints, Wolverine and Mariko make a run for it and, before the gun’s energy ray can hit them, Rogue throws herself into the ray’s path, suffering severe injuries. After the gun overloads, Viper teleports herself and the Samurai away. Wolverine lets Rogue absorb his powers to save her life. In the meantime, Yukio and Storm battled some muggers and Storm, inspired by Yukio, starts to revel in her emotions, even her darker ones, instead of suppressing them
One week later, at the Yashida’s ancestral seat, Mariko, preparing for the wedding, is visited by Mastermind, who influences her in some way. At the wedding reception, the X-Men meet Cyclops’ girlfriend, Madelyne Pryor, for the first time and are shocked by her similarity to Jean Grey. Also, Storm returns, changed in a startling manner. She has gone, punk much to Kitty’s horror. As the wedding ceremony is to start, Mariko breaks it off in front of everybody, insulting Wolverine as unworthy.

Full Summary: 

The Ginza district: the place to have a good time in Tokyo; the good times are bound to be a bit rowdier, though, when Wolverine is mixing it up. Wolverine is beating up several patrons in a bar. He grabs one Yakuza member by the throat and demands information. The Yakuza – Akio - refuses – his life would be at stake if he betrayed his oath of silence. Rogue sits smirking on a bar stool, playing good cop to Logan’s bad one, and enjoys watching a professional at work or so she states. Another Yakuza tries to stab her in the back with a sai, but finds the metal bending instead of penetrating her semi-invulnerable skin. Rogue grabs the gangster and forcefully slams him down, telling him this is no way to treat a lady.

Funtime’s over. Wolverine unsheathes his claws. He wants the Grand Oyabun of the Yakuza: Nabatone Yokuse. He’ll never get him, Akio states. He is protected by a veritable army. But that’s Wolverine’s problem, not his. He talks and runs away. Rogue asks what their next move is. Lighting a cigarette, Wolverine tells her they’ll pay a visit to Nabatone. He’ll lead them to Viper and the Silver Samurai. Then things are going to get nasty.

Elsewhere, the missing X-Man, Storm – injured and with badly singed-off hair – and her companion, Yukio, are searching for shelter. None of Yukio’ acquaintances are willing to take them in though: both of them are marked with the Oyabun’s death-mark. Yukio asks Storm whether she’s up for a trip across town to the X-Men’s hospital. That decision has just been taken out of their hands, Storm replies, pointing at the armed group of gangsters closing in on them. Three-to-one-odds, Yukio smirks. Hardly a fair fight, but beggars can’t be choosers. Storm shakes her head. There are out-manned, outmaneuvered, injured and her control over her powers is marginal at best… and Yukio treats this as a game. Oh well, you only die once, she thinks with black humor and waits for the gangsters to close in.

Rogue and Wolverine, in the meantime, have reached Nabatone’s estate outside Tokyo. Thanks to Rogue’s power of flight, bypassing the computer-controlled defenses is a breeze. As they enter the building, they wonder what’s going on: no guards and Wolverine perceives only residual scents. Wolverine orders her to follow his lead. As Rogue mockingly agrees, he sharply asks whether she thinks this is a game? No, she replies, but she’s not afraid of getting hurt, considering she’s invulnerable. Famous last words, he predicts. He adds that he senses someone downstairs alone. Eagerly, Rogue walks ahead triggering an electric eye. Wolverine drops her. He may be tempted to let her take the robot’s shot, to find out what her limits really are, but he might need her later on. Watching the beam destroy the stone Buddha instead of her, Rogue gasps. Both of them still on the ground. Rogue thanks Wolverine and closes in on his face as if to kiss him. Suddenly, Wolverine’s fist – ready to unsheathe his claws – is under her chin and he curtly tells her “no.” She’s never to pull a stunt like that or threaten him or the X-Men in that manner, even as a joke, he warns her. Rogue stammers that she meant no harm and he replies that’s why she still is alive.

Inside a sparsely decorated room, they find Nabatone, kneeling in front of a low table. Rogue wonders about the disgusting smell. Decay, Wolverine explains. Nabatone joined his ancestors over a week ago. But Mariko mentioned she saw Nabatone earlier that night when he arranged the meeting. How could he do that if he was dead? Rogue objects. An impostor, Wolverine states and realizes they’ve been suckered. While they wasted their time on their wild-goose chase, the Samurai has a clear shot at Mariko and the X-Men.

Elsewhere, Yukio and Storm have dispatched of their foes. Yukio commends Storm on her brutal use of her powers: that bolt of lightning should teach those lowlifes the error of their ways. Storm is not so sure about hat. She never used her powers to deliberately inflict pain before. They deserved it and had worse in store for Storm and her, Yukio shrugs. And after tonight, they’ll probably think twice about mugging anyone else. Storm starts to laugh wildly and finds herself agreeing with Yukio. Shooting wild lightning into the air, she shouts that she welcomes that madness of Yukio that has infected her.

Wolverine and Rogue hurry towards the X-Men’s hospital but are not in time as ninja, hired by Viper, ruthlessly dispatch of the agents posted there to protect the X-Men. Leading the Ninja in, Viper instructs them to be quick and efficient, she wants neither witnesses nor survivors. Suddenly, Rogue flies in, grabbing them all, flying through the window and dropping them outside. Viper orders the Ninja to kill the girl. She figures they’ll keep her busy, leaving her time to find the Silver Samurai and finish what they came to do.

Inside the building, Wolverine calls out for the Samurai to show himself… if he dares. Unable to resist a challenge, the villain shows himself and the men race towards each other, Adamantium claws meeting energized steel. They brutally stab and slash at each other, with the Samurai seemingly having the advantage, until Wolverine manages to grab and break his foe’s sword arm. His next blow is meant to be a killing one, but Mariko holds back his arm, ordering him to spare her half-brother. Enough blood has been spilled! He’ll keep coming back then, Wolverine shouts back. This won’t be over until he or Mariko is dead!

That dilemma is about to be solved, a voice announces. Viper has sneaked up on them, her weapon drawn. She orders Wolverine to stand away from the Samurai. Wolverine has no illusions – she’ll fire anyway, as soon Harada’s clear. He has no choice but to play things her way, while trying to edge towards the door in the hope that he can shove Mariko through there. Mentally, he curses Rogue. The dumb, over-confident kid probably let herself get nailed. The Samurai steps away from Wolverine, begging for Viper’s forgiveness before he staggers and passes out at her feet. While Viper is momentarily distracted, Mariko and Wolverine make a run for the door, but Viper quickly –too quickly - reaches for her gun again and fires.

Suddenly, Rogue flies in through the hole in the wall and pushes Wolverine and Mariko away, while she herself falls victim to the gun’s energy ray. Viper states she hopes that her compeers appreciate her sacrifice. Joke’s on Viper then, Rogue replies. The X-Men couldn’t care less if she lived or died. She doesn’t feel cocky anymore though, as she realizes that the blast is actually affecting her, but she has to keep the shot blocked. She owes Mariko, who showed her kindness. The exhausted Wolverine rushes back in, desperately looking for something to stop Viper. There’s no need, as the blaster finally overloads. Wolverine catches the semi-conscious Rogue, who barely has a pulse to speak of. Viper, kneeling over Harada, announces that they seem to part even – both sides have their casualties. This is Harada’s fight. It will be his decision whether to continue. He sees either of them again, it will be for the last time, Wolverine threatens, as Viper teleports herself and the Samurai away.

So much for her brilliant career and probably her life, Rogue weakly mumbles. Wolverine tells her not to be stupid. His healing factor can save her. Rogue protests. He needs it to save himself. He might die without it. That’s his risk, he replies, and who’s going to stop him? He owes her for saving Mariko. With that, he touches Rogue and she absorbs his powers.

A week later at Clan Yashida’s ancestral seat in Miyago prefecture, 300 kilometres north of Tokyo.

Mariko kneels in front of a Buddha stature in her family’s shrine, admitting that she is terribly nervous. Do all brides feels that way on the eve of their wedding? She wishes the day were over with and yet wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. She admits how much she loves Logan, suddenly noticing that she is no longer alone. A man in a late-18th century costume emerges from the shadow, introducing himself as a friend who wishes Mariko and her consort well. Momentarily, his eyes seem to glow as do Mariko’s and, as he calmly strides away, Mariko breaks out of her trance, wondering what has just happened and why she was talking to herself.

In another part of the estate, an inexplicably nervous Wolverine and the recovered X-Men, joined by Xavier and Lilandra, are welcoming even more guests; the Summers’ men, along with Havok’s girlfriend, Polaris, and Scott’s new flame, Madelyne Pryor. As Lilandra beholds Madelyne, she jumps up cursing and drawing her lightsabre. Colossus restrains her and Xavier explains that Madelyne just resembles Phoenix but isn’t she. Lilandra apologizes: her reaction was automatic. Scott accepts the apology but silently admits to himself he wishes he was as sure as the Professor that Madelyne isn’t Jean Grey reincarnated.

Kitty points up at the sky. Storm is finally going to join them after a week’s absence. As Ororo lands, the X-Men look at her with shock. Storm has utterly changed her look. She has cut her hair into a short Mohawk and is now dressed in black leather pants and a shirt, matched with a vest and more punk accessories and make-up. Kitty runs away disgusted, shouting “how… could you!?!”

Scott inquires after the reason for the change. Storm intends to brush him off, but cries out in wonder as she sees Madelyne. She quickly apologizes and Madelyne remarks that she’s getting used to being stared at. A little later, the X-Men have taken their places. Lilandra tells Charles that she is ashamed of her reaction. Madelyne seems to be a lovely girl and she and Scott look very happy together. But she’s amazed at Ororo. Charles agrees, wondering if this change is a whim or indicative of a deeper, more serious metamorphosis. Scott hopes that Maddy will like his friends. Nightcrawler teases Kitty, dressed in a formal Japanese Kimono and wig, that she’s looking good. Kitty is ignoring Storm, who stands somewhat away from the others, looking at her.

Kitty approaches Madelyne, who asks her if she wasn’t a brunette before. She’s wearing a wig, Kitty explains She’s acting as the Miko – the priest’s female assistant for the ceremony – kind of like a maid of honor. She hands Madelyne a bag and asks if she could keep an eye on Lockheed for her. He’s asleep and shouldn’t be any trouble. Thinking that Kitty’s a nice kid and that Lockheed is a great name for a cat, Maddie peeks into the bag to discover a sleeping dragon. The weirdness of the entire situation finally catching up with her, she grabs Scott’s tie, pulls him over to her and calmly asks who precisely those people are and what the blazes has he gotten her into.

As the guests have all taken their seats, Mariko walks in dressed in her wedding gown and Logan follows her to the altar. However, suddenly, Mariko turns around and gives the order to stop the ceremony. She addresses the guests – including the emperor himself – and states that there will be no wedding. Why, Wolverine asks. “Because, Gaijin, you are not worthy,“ she coolly replies, while several guests lower their heads in shame or grief

Mariko and Logan wordlessly part into different directions. Mariko exits the room, watched by a mustached man with sideburns, dressed in an 18th-century-costume. The X-Men exit the other direction, some of them shooting worried glances towards Wolverine, who’s just standing there, lips silently pressed together, a tear falling from his eye.

Characters Involved: 

Ariel, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Havok, Polaris (former X-Men)
Corsair (Cyclops and Havok’s father)

Mariko Yashida (Wolverine’s fiancée)

Yukio (self-proclaimed Ronin, friend and one-time lover of Wolverine)


Madelyne Pryor (Cyclops’ girlfriend)

Lockheed, the Dragon


Keniuchio Harada / Silver Samurai (Mariko’ half-brother)

Akio and other Yakuza

Viper’s hired Ninja assassins


Story Notes: 

In this issue, all the hints of the previous issues finally come together, as the mystery villain who has been vexing several X-characters for the last months is revealed to be Mastermind.

More details about what prompted Storm to change her look so radically (apart from the fact that most of her hair was singed off, anyway) can be found in a story in X-Men Unlimited #39.

Issue Information: 
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