Wolverine (2nd series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 1988
Story Title: 
Sword Quest

Chris Claremont (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

A band of modern day pirates has captured an aircraft, forcing it to land on a small Indonesian island. After killing most of the crew and passengers, they make sport of killing the captain. Later, Logan is creeping through the island terrain, first killing a guard, then infiltrating the main village, stopping one of the pirates from killing a flight attendant for scratching him. He tells her to stay where she is and heads off, later finding the man he was sent there to search for–Kojima Noburo, chief secretary to Mariko Yashida. He's been badly beaten and is near death, and doesn’t believe Logan when he tells him who he is, saying he knows Wolverine to be dead. The captain of the pirates, Khan, and his men, bust in on Logan, and they attack. During the fight, the cabin collapses. The flight attendant finds Noburo, and instead of taking her chance to escape, stays with him. The fight moves outside, and eventually, Logan kills them all, save one man–Khan, who snuck away during the fight. Now that the fight seems to be over, Khan pokes his head out, calling for his men to answer him. Logan answers him instead. Khan grabs ahold of one of the passengers as a hostage, and makes his way to a small boat at the dock, climbing aboard and pulling away from shore. The flight attendant, who had secretly stowed away on the boat, emerges with a gun, and kills him. Logan finds Noburo, who warns him that the pirates were hired by the Cult of the Black Blade, who were after the Muramasa, a blade that can corrupt and devour souls. He didn’t have the blade, but now the cult knows who does, two couriers arriving in Madripoor Airport from America tomorrow. Before he can reveal their names, he dies.

In Madripoor, Lindsay McCabe arrives from her plane. She is followed by thugs hired by the cult, and by Logan, who thwarts their efforts to follow her taxi by slicing their tires. Once she arrives at the hotel, she is shown to her room by the bellhop, and inside, two members of the cult demand she answer their questions. The hop is a member too, and he shoves her inside and locks the door. They search her luggage and demand to know where the black blade is after not finding it. Logan, as Patch, busts in, and takes out the two men quickly. The second man's gun skitters across the floor to the female member, and she grabs it, holding it to Patch's head. McCabe takes her out with a lamp and takes the gun herself, pointing it at Patch. He tells her that he was sent by Noburo, and she replies she'd rather hear it from him. He says she can’t because he's dead, and she says that's impossible because she just spoke to him yesterday. Patch tells her that whoever it is, it wasn’t Noburo, and McCabe reveals that her partner, Jessie, is the one carrying the blade, and is currently on her way to meet 'Noburo'.

Full Summary: 

Telambang – A small island in Indonesia. Captain Lee Kwan Pen of the Sovereign Airways is making his last desperate stand against a group of modern pirates, led by Banapur Khan. Fighting valiantly, he does his best, though with his hands tied behind his back, he never stood a chance. Finally, Khan gets the best of Pen, and with his men and the terrified remaining members of the crew and passengers– one flight attendant and four female passengers – looking on, he beheads the captain with a machete. The women begin to cry and pray for their lives, and the men tease Khan behind his back for nearly losing to a bound man, though none of them seem willing to challenge him for leadership.

Later, a lone guard stands near the captured plane the captain and women were apparently kidnapped from. It originally held 21 crew and 180 passengers, but as Logan advances towards the guard, his thoughts reveal that he found most of them in a mass grave when he first arrived. In a flash, his hands shoot from the bushes and snap the guards neck.

Logan makes his way towards the village proper, easily bypassing a number of simple booby traps and the perimeter patrols, who's minds aren’t on their jobs, but on the fun and games inside. Their mistake.

Inside, the flight attendant is thrown to the floor by one of the pirates, who is now advancing on her with a blade for being scratched in the face. Defiant, she shouts that she's glad he's bleeding. Before he can make her bleed in return, Logan is behind him. Yo, bub! –SNIKT– And the man falls lifeless, stabbed through the chest. The woman, seeing the attack, reaches for the blade dropped by the pirate in fear of Logan, but he calms her, telling her not to cry out and that he's a friend, here to help. He also tells her to stay there, out of sight, and stay quiet until he comes back for her. She agrees, thanking him for his help.

In the next house, a man is hanging by his hands, his arms and legs tied spread eagle, severely beaten and near death. The man is who Logan was specifically sent to find, Kojima Noburo, a servant of Lady Markio Yashida. Noburo denies Logan's claims of who he is, stating that he will not be fooled, and that Wolverine is dead. He tells him to consider him a ghost. Just that moment, Khan and his cronies burst in, and he informs Logan that when they're through, a ghost is what he'll truly be.

Its now that the first full shot of Logan can be seen. In a severe departure from his wing tipped mask and boots, he's clad in full black, with a smear of black camo paint across his eyes. He tells them that if they want his hide, to take it, if they can.

Logan takes on the entire crew. Fists, feet, knives, pipes, machetes, pistols, and even automatic rifles fare no match for adamantium claws and berzerker fury. In the middle of the fight, the cabin collapses. During the ruckus, the flight attendant sees a chance to escape, but one look at the battered Noburo keeps here there, if only for her duty to the other passengers.

Back to the fight. Logan is staggered, and the men begin to advance on him. He leaps into the fray, downing them left and right, and at one point, his adamantium neck bone serves as a quick way to break a machete. Fighting, fighting, and fighting.. and then… more fighting, wild raw and untamed. But, finally, Logan runs out of opponents, and he heads off for the one man who snuck off during the fight, Khan.

The village is now silent, and Khan pokes his chubby head out from one of the cabins, calling out by name his men. Finally, more than scared, he calls out for someone to answer him. Logan does, he's the only one left. As Logan advances, Khan grabs a conveniently placed female passenger and holds a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her if he takes another step. She screams and he encourages her. Backing slowly away, he heads for a small boat at the dock, taking the girl along with him. He climbs on and starts the craft, pulling away as Logan looks on. He doesn’t give chase.

Logan's thoughts once again clue us in on why: from the light breeze, he could make out that there was someone else aboard that boat Lee's flight attendant, and that she had a gun. She fires, and Khan dies, falling into the ocean. The attendant returns to the dock for Logan, telling him that was for Captain Lee. He wishes he'd been in time to save him, save them all, instead of avenge them.

Logan finds Noburo amidst the wreckage of the cabin. Noburo knows he's dying, and with his last breath, he warns Logan that the pirates were hired by the Cult of the Black Blade. They wanted the Muramasa sword their sacred talisman. Noburo didn’t have it, but they were able to torture the information out of him on who did. Two couriers from America, arriving in Madripoor Airport tomorrow. He also warns Logan that the blade is evil, and it can corrupt and consume souls. Before he can reveal the names of the couriers, he dies.

Scene change.

Lindsay McCabe is arriving in Madripoor Airport from America. After checking through customs, she heads outside for a taxi, not realizing she's being watched by a number of suited gentlemen. On her way out, she bumps into Wolverine, in disguise as Patch (by wearing a patch over his eye – how very Clark Kent). She doesn’t recognize him, and as she climbs into a taxi, the suited men climb into their car to follow her. Logan slashes their tires as he walks by, and Lindsay escapes unharmed, without even knowing she's being followed.

Lindsay reaches her hotel, one of the finest in Madripoor's Hightown, the wealthy half of the small island. She's led to her room by the bellhop, but once inside, a man and a woman are waiting for her. The bellhop then shoves her into the room and locks the door, and the man (later named as Tsuboro) demands she tell them all she knows. He grabs her, and the other two look through her luggage. Not finding what they came for, the threaten to kill her if she doesnt tell them the location of the Black Blade. Obviously, these three are members of the Cult of the Black Blade that Noburo warned Logan about.

Patch busts the door down with a police-style kick, and the bellhop attacks him. Patch grabs his arm and flips him into Tsuboro, who had just drawn his gun, knocking him down and the gun free. The gun skitters towards the woman (later named as Mei Yin), and she grabs it. Instead of drawing his claws and blowing his cover, he lets her think she has the best of him, and she puts the gun to his head.

Don't move, stranger, I have the gun

Big deal. I have the lamp!


McCabe smashes Mei over the head with a lamp and knocks her out, grabbing the gun. She then points it at Patch, who tells her he's on her side, obviously, since he saved her life. Then he went about searching the unconscious cult members, telling her Kojima sent him to find her. McCabe tells him she'd rather hear that from him, and he replies he can’t, since he's dead. She tells him that's impossible she just spoke to him yesterday. Patch tells her that whoever she was talking to, it wasn’t him. McCabe then tells Patch that her partner, Jessie, is the one carrying the sword, and is on her way to meet him.

Characters Involved: 

Logan / Wolverine (Patch)

Captain Lee Kwan Pen (flight captain)

Female Flight Attendant

Female passengers

Banapur Khan (pirate leader)

Cheong, Lal, Amram Singh, Hanrahan, Krause, Rohmer (Khan's underlings)

Numerous unnamed underlings

Kojima Noburo - chief secretary to Mariko Yashida

Lindsay McCabe (courier)

Unnamed Bellhop, Tsuboro, Mei Yin (cult of the Black Blade)

Airport Security

Random Suited Thugs

People mulling about the Airport

Story Notes: 

Logan established his ‘Patch’ identity in Madripoor in Marvel Comics Presents #1 - 10.
Lindsay McCabe's partner Jessie is Jessica Drew, the original Spider Woman.
Koburo believes Wolverine dead because he and the other X-Men seemingly died fighting the Adversary in the now classic Fall of the Mutants storyline.
Lindsay McCabe and Jessica Drew are old friends of the X-Men who stayed with the pair while they were in San Francisco.

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