Wolverine (2nd series) #108

Issue Date: 
December 1996
Story Title: 
Fast is Fast…

Larry Hama (script), Anthony Winn (pencils), Dan Green with Vince Russell (inks), Joe Rosas (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/KF (letters), Bob Harras (editor & chief), cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

In a prison in Japan, Logan survives an assassination attempt on his life by a priest who goes by the name the Iron Monk. He does so with the assistance of Pale Flower and a new accomplice, Yohei, an errand runner for Clan Yashida, who provides him with the Honor Sword. When they reach the docks, all three of them choose to form an alliance so they can take on the Hand and save Amiko. In Tokyo bay, Emi and Sumi, Akatora’s associates continue to attempt to brainwash Amiko. While they do so, they also continue to beat up a helpless Yukio in secret. Eventually, Akatora sends Emi and Sumi to take out the noodle vendor. When they come back unsuccessful, Akatora tells them that he is going to be sending the cyber-ninjas of the Death Touch cult to take out not only the noodle vendor, but Logan as well.

Full Summary: 

In the holding cells of the Tokyo metropolitan police where the feral X-Man called Wolverine is being held captive. He came to Japan to honor his obligations to his friend, Yukio and young Amiko, who Wolverine swore to protect to her dying mother. Instead, he found himself caught in the crossfire of rival criminal organizations all of whom have major grudges against him.

From behind the bars, Logan calls out to the guards that they had better make themselves scarce if they value their hides because it’s gonna get kind o’ rough around there right soon. One of the guards tells him to be quiet and not tell them what to do. Across the hall, in another cell, Shirohana, the Pale Flower, Oyabun of the Double Jade Clan tells Logan that she is disappointed in him. She expected him to put up a fight against the soldiers. Instead, he just let himself be captured. Why?

Logan informs her that the Hand obviously set him up. They kidnapped his friends Yukio and Amiko. They wanted the army to do their dirty work for them, but now he has put the ball back in the Hand’s court to make them send more o’ their ninjas after him and give him a trail to follow back to whoever is behind all this. Shirohana says that he wasn’t joking? She adds to think such an imbecile destroyed her father’s entire clan. She then asks if he really expects the Hand to show up there. Logan tells her that he expected them hours ago.

Just then, a ping is heard and a priest appears. One of the guards asks the priest how he got in; no one is allowed down there. The priest tells them that surely they will not deny the mutant a few sutras chanted to ensure his safe passage to the pure land. Looking at Logan, one of the guards says that he doesn’t look like he’s dying to him. The priest replies that his feet are certainly standing close to the great change men call death. The guard asks about his rosary beads and why they are made out of iron. The priest says because they wouldn’t be very effective as weapons if they were made out of wood. With that, he spins his rosary beads around and knocks both of the guards out cold.

Shirohana calls out to the monk that he wasted his time. The guards don’t have the keys to the cells. Ripping Logan’s cell door off with his bare hand, the monk tells her that a master of the Hand has no need of mere keys. Free, Logan pops his claws and tells the monk that he ain’t ever too anxious to be cuttin’ down on no geriatric geezer, especially a member o’ the clergy but he’s gonna make an exception in his case. Slicing at the monk, Logan is shocked when it has no effect on the monk himself. That shoulda sliced him open six ways to Sunday. Removing his hat, the monk replies that it would have if he were not the Iron Monk. No mortal hand or blade may harm him.

As the monk begins to twirl his rosary in an attack on Logan, Logan manages to evade. While he does, he tells the monk that it seems like he’s heard that from more than a few palookas who ended up in the daisy farm. When the monk’s beads crack the bars on Shirohana’s cell, Logan says that if hands or blades can’t smoke his shoes, maybe an iron bar can. With that, Logan rips one of the bars from the cell door and cracks the Iron Monk over the top of the head. When it has no effect, the monk informs the gene-filth, Logan, that neither bludgeons nor bullets may lay him low.

As the monk continues his assault on Logan, he is told that if cops an attitude like the gingerbread man, he might just wind up getting eaten by a fox. Shirohana jumps into the fray and adds or brained with a cinder block before cracking him over the head with one. The monk flings her away, replying that a fly landed on his head. Just then, a diminutive man wearing a black suit, a hat and dark glasses enters into the prison through a trap door. When he arrives, he asks Logan if he is indeed Logan. When Logan replies that he is, the monk asks how the short man got in there. Cracking the monk across the face with a steel bar, Logan says who cares as long as he distracts him long enough for him to get his licks in. The monk replies that he is slow to learn, he cannot be slain by… Logan says he knows, he knows by mortal hand or blade before getting knocked to the ground.

When he is on the floor, the short man asks Logan if he was once the betrothed of Yashida Mariko, the late oyabun of the Yashida yakuza clan. Logan says he got it, but this is a lousy time to be makin’ introductions. The man then tells Logan that the Silver Samurai sends his regrets that he is unavoidably detained elsewhere and that he is fully aware of this gross dereliction in familial duty and expresses deepest regrets and sincere apology and in token of the deep sincerity of that aforementioned regret he is returning this priceless treasure. That which symbolizes the family’s reverence for duty and loyalty. After being continuously pounded on by the monk’s iron rosary beads, Logan pulls out the honor sword. Seeing the sword, the monk asks if must reiterate, he cannot be slain by… Logan replies oh yeah, this bad boy was forged out o’ meteorite iron by a demon. With that, he plunges the sword through the monk, killing him instantly.

With the monk dead, Logan asks the man if he would mind watchin’ the sword for a bit. The man introduces himself as Yohei. Logan says okay and asks if the trapdoor he popped out of lead to a way outta there. Yohei says sure and invites Logan to follow him. Walking down the winding staircase, Yohei says that he should explain that he is a button man for the Yashida clan. His job was really over as soon as he gave him the sword. He then adds that the lady on his shoulder is Pale Flower, the daughter of oyabun Dai-Kumo, and sworn enemy of the Yashida clan. Logan tells him he knows, she also tried to kill him with blowfish toxin but back there in the cell, she stepped in and gave the monk a lick for him. That sort of evens the scales a bit. Yohei sarcastically replies “is that so?”

In the middle of Tokyo bay, Amiko mentions to her caretakers that she misses Yukio and asks where she is. Why doesn’t she come to visit her? Her caretakers inform her that Yukio is off in Paris, having a great time with Logan, her former so-called protector. They don’t have time for her anymore; they are just interested in themselves. Amiko tells them that’s not true. Yukio loves her, she told her so. And Logan saved her from the dragon and he came and took her away from those horrible people at the nomi-ya. One of the caretakers asks her what that ever did for her. She still had to live in that nasty little flat with Yukio. And she never got treats like the ones they give her, and look at all these beautiful toys and clothes she has now. As one of them leaves, she adds that doesn’t Yukio have the two of them, Emi and Sumi, to play with all day long.

Making her way down a dark corridor, Sumi reaches the spot where they have chained Yukio to the wall. Pulling out a whip she tells her that it’s time for more indoctrination. Before she proceeds to beat her some more, Sumi tells her that Amiko is really putting up a lot of resistance and that she has quite a pain tolerance for such a little girl. They are going to have to take her off the rack and try some of those archaic bamboo slivers under the nails. Yukio responds that they are sick. She lives on the edge, but Amiko is just a kid. Gritting her teeth, she tells Sumi that she swears that, if she gets out of there, they will all pay dearly and she truly pity them if Logan ever finds out what they are doing to his former ward.

Shortly, the other caretaker tells Amiko that she will be right back and encourages her to have some more nice cake and soda. When she returns, they will play Candy Land. Exiting through the door, one of the guards asks Emi if they broke the brat yet. Emi informs him any day now and continues to make her way towards Akatora. When she reaches him, she begins to tell him that Amiko is ready for the next stage of indoctrination but Akatora tells her to be quiet. He is talking to the noodle vendor. He asks the noodle vendor what happened. More troops showed up, ambulances? They didn’t take the priest of Logan out? What about Pale Flower? Is he surrounded by incompetents? The noodle vendor tells Akatora that he should assume the worst and that perhaps he should lock his windows and bar his doors.

At the Tokyo waterfront, Yohei, Logan, and Pale Flower emerge from a manhole cover. Yohei informs Logan that all is clear and this is where he parts company, his job is done. He then begins to hand the Honor Sword to Logan but Logan declines it. He offers Yohei to stick around for a while and give him a bit o’ help. Yohei replies help, from him, he don’t think so. He is Yohei after all. From behind, a gang of thugs carrying various weapons says that he is – Yohei, the running dog of the Yashida clan. The leader then says don’t he know the Blue Monkey Gang runs the docks there, he’s off his turf. As Logan lays Pale Flower on the ground, he tells Yohei to hang tough for a sec. Let him put the lady down and he’ll…

When he turns around, he sees that Yohei has single handedly taken out the entire gang. Shocked, he asks how he did that. The answer comes from Pale Flower who informs him that Yohei is the head enforcer of the Yashida clan. Hearing that, Logan is surprised that she is awake. Pale Flower continues that Yohei feigns laziness and stupidity and he acts the part of a minor flunky. In reality, he is the deadly secret weapon of the clan. Yohei remarks that he’s not the only pretender for Pale Flower to know as much about him as she has revealed she herself must be more than she appears to be.

In the Shinjuku district, a noodle vendor pushes his cart down the street. Just then, a voice tells him that Akatora is very disappointed in him. The noodle vendor stops in his tracks and recognizes the voice as belonging to Emi and Sumi. Sumi tells him that it has come to their attention that he is working for two other clients as well him and the Japanese government. And he is also feeding information to an American agent. Emi mentions that he is a black man who carries NSA identification but who really reports to the special mutant task force. She asks the noodle vendor what that is all about. The noodle vendor replies big mistake. Those were bad people and then their agent, Daryll Smith, disappeared without a trace. He never should have trusted them and he swears he won’t ever deal with them again. Emi whispers to him that they’re quite sure he won’t. With that, both she and Sumi pull out their knives.

On the Tokyo waterfront, Yohei tells Pale Flower that not only is she not what she appears to be, she is something that she is not aware of being. Pale Flower asks him what that is supposed to mean. Yohei replies to say it bluntly, she’s a mutant. With that revelation Pale Flower is shocked and Logan finds it interesting. As the trio makes their way across the water, perched on top of a crate being maneuvered by a crane, Yohei tells the other two that he’s been keeping his eye on a certain itinerant noodle vendor. At first he thought he was just a casual informer, but he proved to be a stoolie of the first magnitude. The skinny fink was ratting out everybody to everybody else. What piqued his interest was the amount of information he was passing along about Pale Flower. Not to the gang squad in the Tokyo metropolitan police, but to a certain American agent of the special mutant task force. Pale Flower asks how this can be. Was this why her father sent her off to that boarding school in Switzerland?

Logan interjects that as interesting as all this is, he’s gotta get his act on the road and see about finding his former ward, Amiko. Yohei asks if this kid of his is a relative and what the nature is of the obligation. He acts if he knows what he is getting into by going up against the Hand. Logan replies that Amiko is no blood kin o’ his. He was there when the kid’s mom got killed. He promised the kid he’d always look after her and he ain’t always kept to the letter o’ that promise. But he gave the kid his word and, well, if a man don’t keep his word, he ain’t no better than an animal.

Hearing that, Yohei tells Logan that he’s going with him. Logan asks him why, he don’t owe him nothin’. Yohei informs him that he has an obligation to the Yashida clan and he was betrothed to Mariko, oyabun and custodian of the Honor Sword. Handing Logan the Honor Sword he tells him he is, in effect, his “elder and brother” in the clan and as such, command his loyalty. Besides, how often does a lowly errand runner get a chance to follow a true man of honor through the gates of Hades.

Accepting the sword, Logan quips the gates of Hades, huh? He’s givin’ the Hand slime more credit than they deserve. Pale Flower tells him that he should not underestimate the Hand. He will need all the help he can get and that is why she shall accompany him also. Logan says to her isn’t she the one who slipped him the poisoned seafood entrée. Pale Flower admits that yes, she tried to kill him in revenge for her father but she knows what her father was and she knows what he is. Her familial obligation was repaid by her sincere if failed attempt and any residual obligation was negated by his rescue of her from jail. She too, is ready to follow him through the gates of Hades and bait the dragon in his own lair. Logan says okay, the two of them are his little army. Now, where do they begin looking for Amiko. Yohei recommends that maybe they should look for the noodle vendor.

In Tokyo bay, an injured Emi and Sumi offer their humble apologies to Akatora for their failure to kill the noodle vendor. They sorely misjudged his martial arts talent and they are prepared to pay the price. Akatora yells at them if they weren’t essential to his plans for Amiko, he would have their heads stuffed for bolsters. He points down below and says that the cyber-ninjas of the Death Touch cult will finish the task they were assigned and they shall bring him the head of the mutant known as Logan as well. In unison, the armored ninjas toting swords and rifles call out “death to the mutant!”

Characters Involved: 


Shirohana/Pale Flower (oyabun of the Double Jade Clan and daughter of the late Dai-Kumo)

The Iron Monk (member of the Hand)

Yohei (associate of the Yashida clan)

Yukio and Amiko

Emi and Sumi (Amiko’s caretakers)


Various members of the Blue Monkey Gang (all unnamed)

Cyber-ninjas of the Death Touch Cult (all unnamed)

Noodle vendor (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Logan promised to look after Amiko in Uncanny X-Men #181 after a dragon killed her mother. He also took her away from horrible caretakers back in Wolverine (2nd series) #82.

Candy Land is a popular child’s game distributed by Milton Bradley, now Hasbro. It was created in the 1940s.

Issue Information: 
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