Wolverine (2nd series) #167

Issue Date: 
October 2001
Story Title: 
Blood Sport: Part 1

Frank Tieri (the announcer), Dan Fraga (in the red shorts), Norm Rapmund (in the blue shorts), Barry Windsor-Smith (cover prizefighter), Avalon’s Raymund Lee (cauliflower ears), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida! (fat lips), Mike Raicht (the waterboy), Mike Marts (the trainer), Joe Quesada (the promoter), Bill Jemas (Don King)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine, aka Logan, aka Patch, is invited to participate in the yearly Bloodsport tournament held in Madripoor by “his friend.” When he makes his way over there, Logan runs into his wife, Viper, who is overseeing the tournament. In the first round, Headhunter defeats Oddball, Puma defeats Gamecock, Taskmaster defeats Cat, Zaran defeats Razorfist, Anaconda defeats Forearm, Toad defeats Eel, and Patch defeats Speed Demon. In the second round, Taskmaster defeats Zaran, Puma defeats Anaconda, and Patch defeats Toad. The final battle of the second round involves Logan’s “friend” decapitating Headhunter. Logan is then shocked to learn the identity of his “friend” – Mister X.

Full Summary: 

Riding on a plane, Logan, wearing an eye patch and smoking a cigar, proceeds to read a newspaper article with the headline “Mutant Senator Slay Tape a Hoax.” As he does, he thinks to himself that, if there’s one thing ya can say about Nick Fury, it’s that he’s a man of his word. He said he’d use his connections in S.H.I.E.L.D. to make the murder rap against him go away an’ that’s exactly what he did. Shame he couldn’t use those same connections t’ bring down the dirtbags who made him do the deed, the Weapon X program, but…

Just then, a stewardess comes up to him and informs him that this is a non-smoking flight. As he puts out his cigar, Logan says it’s all right, he’s thinkin’ a’ quittin’ anyway. Seeing him sneer, the stewardess tells him that she’s sorry for the inconvenience Mr.? Logan replies that his name is Patch. When the stewardess leaves him alone, he thinks to himself yeah, Patch. He hasn’t used that name in a long time. But what the hell, when in Rome. Madripoor’s a far cry from Rome though. ‘Cept fer that whole feedin’ people t’ the lions thing of course.

Looking out the window, Logan sees a demonic face poppin’ up in the clouds. He wonders what the freak it means. Is it some connection t’ why he’s going back t’ his ol’ stompin’ grounds in the first place? Logan guesses that anythin’s possible at this point. Who’d a thought lookin’ through the X-Men’s mail would put him on this place fer instance. His good buddy, Beast, who was still recoverin’ from the stabbin’ he suffered from their stay in the Cage had asked him t’ look out fer his latest issue a’ “Science and Skateboarding.” Somethin’ about Tony Hawk an’ Steven Hawkings battlin’ for the title a’ “Hawk” – whatever.

An’ then it caught his eye (his good eye he should say) – a letter addressed t’ him. He was surprised. Outside a’ his foster daughter Amiko, nobody usually bothers writin’ t’ him. It was from his mysterious “friend” telling him that he is in debt to him since he helped Logan with his recent incident with the new Weapon X program. Since he owes him, he asks that he enter in the yearly Bloodsport contest in Madripoor. He will know him when he sees him, he is the reigning champion. Logan figured that he didn’t owe “a friend” a damned thing since his info didn’t help him all that much but he couldn’t help curiosity get the best a’ him.

Walking through the airport terminal, Logan finds himself in Madripoor once again. Where, especially with his “wife” Viper runnin’ the underworld, danger’s gonna be waitin’ fer him ‘round every corner. Just then, a man puts his arm on Logan’s shoulder. Grabbing it and twisting the man’s arm behind him, Logan asks him if he can help him with something. The man calls out in pain and sarcastically asks if the flight ran out of peanuts or something, he was just trying to say hello.

Logan replies so is he and asks the man who he is. The man tells him his name is Jae Lo. They sent him there to be his assistant to the Bloodsport, every contestant get one. He then asks if he can have his arm back now. Logan lets him go and they get into Jae Lo’s vehicle. Inside, Logan says to him that he might want t’ think about changin’ his…

Jae asks his name, so not associated with American singer with big butt, he thinking about it one-eye. Jae then asks Logan if he needs anything. He can get him whatever he wants. Weapons, drugs, even girl to love him long time. Logan replies that he’s not interested. Jae asks is he sure, the Foxy Den used to be old Princess Bar, lots of nice girls in there now. Logan remembers that he lost a lot a’ good friends in a massacre at the Princess Bar. An’ now it’s a strip club. Ah well, maybe just one drink, to toast the ol’ gang. Yeah, that’s it.

Eventually, the duo pulls up to a restaurant. When they get out of the vehicle, Jae tells one-eye that they have arrived. Logan asks where “here” is and warns Lo that he better not have any funny ideas in mind. Jae tells him that he drinks too much coffee, he’s too tense. He’s taking him to one he’s come to see. Walking into the restaurant, Logan expects to see “a friend” but sees instead Viper wearing a rather revealing dress. Logan asks that she’s “a friend?” Viper replies a friend? She may be his wife, but no one has ever mistaken them for friends. Speaking of which, they never did get around to actually consummating their marriage, did they? Logan tells her that’s ‘cause he ain’t into catchin’ diseases.

Laughing, Viper says to him charming and adds that his healing factor should be able to compensate. Snuggling up close to him, Viper says that maybe it’s more than that, maybe he’s just afraid he doesn’t have what it takes. Maybe he’s not “the best there is” after all. Grabbing her by the hair, Logan tells her that he hates to burst her bubble but he ain’t ever had any trouble in that department.

Just then, Viper’s bodyguards ready their rifles and point them directly at Logan. Popping his claws, Logan tells them that they really don’t wanna go there. Calmly, Viper states that they’re all friends there, there’s no need for gunplay. Letting Viper go, Logan says to her that if she ain’t “a friend,” then how come he’s there? Viper informs him that she doesn’t know why he keeps going on about this “friend” business but he’s there to compete in the tournament. As Madripoor’s leading crime-lord, it is her honor to oversee the Bloodsport. She adds that having already met this year’s crop of contestants, not to mention their reigning champion; she fears that he’ll make him a widow before long.

Storming out, Logan asks Lo who the champ is. Jae informs him that he’s a tough customer. Nobody even know his name, just call him champ ‘cause he win every year. If he the one he’s looking for, better for him, he look for somebody else.

The next day, Logan finds himself in a large arena with a number of observers present, including Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick from N’Sync. Logan recognizes that there’s not an empty seat in the house. As much as they like t’ think they’ve come a long way as civilized people, one thing sure ain’t changed. People still want their fill a’ blood. There’s fourteen contestants from around the world all too willin’ t’ give it to them, except fer him. Had he not thought this “friend” might possibly pose a threat t’ him or the X-Men, he’d be nowhere near these sorry slimebags. The first round provides an’ interestin’ mix a’ opponents an’ matchups. Headhunter (a large man wearing a mask and carrying a sword) versus Oddball (the new and improved version) is a brutal one with the Headhunter winning by killing Oddball. Gamecock versus Puma is quick with Puma winning – the outcome was never in question.

Cat versus Taskmaster was a bit more evenly matched. The Taskmaster wins in the end but doesn’t kill Cat. He only does so for money. In the match-up of Zaran versus Razorfist, the victor is Zaran. In a strap match, Anaconda beats Forearm by snapping his neck. In the battle of Eel versus Toad in a tank full of water, the Toad wins by electrocuting the Eel. Logan quickly discovers that all the combatants are there fer one thing an’ one thing only. They want the mantle a’ bein’ the greatest fighter in the world an’ they’ll do anythin’ t’ get it.

Now, it’s Logan’s turn. They put him in a “cylinder match” against some speedster foe of Spider-Man’s – a mook by the name a’ Speed Demon. As they start their battle, the Speed Demon introduces a new addition to his arsenal – throwing blades. On the receiving end of them, Logan sees that there are so many flyin’ at him, so fast, that he can’t possibly stop ‘em all. Makes ya wonder why he didn’t add them sooner. There’s a certain strategy t’ fightin’ speedsters. Sure, they’re gonna get their shots in. The key is lastin’ long enough t’ figure out where they’re gonna pop up next.

In time, Logan is able to connect with an elbow to Speed Demon’s throat, which puts him down. It doesn’t last long though and the Speed Demon recovers rather quickly. Running around the cylinder at high speed, the Speed Demon creates a vortex which sucks all of the air out of Logan’s lungs and raises him off of the floor. Even though he can’t breath, Logan has a plan. Taking some of the blades that fell on the ground, he tosses ‘em into the vortex t’ whirl around. Eventually, one of them catches up to Speed Demon and catches him in the neck. Falling to the ground and bleeding, Speed Demon begins to freak out over all of the blood around him. Logan tells him ‘quit yer whinin’ crybaby an’ take yer medicine like a man.’ With that, he punches the Speed Demon and knocks him out. As the crowd calls out for him to kill him, Logan tells them that it ain’t gonna happen, he doesn’t kill just ‘cause a crowd a’ degenerates tells him to.

Logan decides that, since his match fer round two don’t come till later, he figures he might as well size up some a’ these jokers in the meantime. The first match of round two is Taskmaster versus Zaran. Logan faced Zaran before but all he knows about Taskmaster is what he’s heard an’ none of it’s good. During the match, Taskmaster shoots a number of arrows in the direction of Zaran. As he does, he tells him that there’s nothing against him, but the way he figures it, winning this tournament’s gonna boost his price as a super-villain trainer so he can understand why he has ta get him outta his way. Knocking away the arrows with relative ease and back towards their original owner, Zaran recommends that he find a new line of work. Blocking his own arrows with his shield, Taskmaster brandishes a billy club and tosses it at Zaran, knocking him out and winning the match.

As Logan watches Anaconda getting her throat slashed by Puma, he can’t say he gave her much of a chance t’ beat Puma, at least not this Puma. As far as he knew, Puma was a noble warrior but there ain’t too noble ‘bout him now. He’s savage, utterly ruthless an’ in his bracket. But he can’t look ahead t’ Puma, not when he’s got his own bout comin’ up with the newly mutated Toad.

This ain’t the mousy, insecure Toad he’s fought before. This one’s got a swagger to him. Cocky enough t’ prove t’ the world he ain’t a joke no more so he has to use that overconfidence against him. While they battle in a cage stacked on top of another, Toad tells Logan that he’s been lookin’ forward to this battle and the chance to demonstrate how his paltry agilities now stack up against the augmented, terrible Toad. Before Logan can attack first, Toad delivers a kick to Logan’s face and retreats through a hole in the cage and into the bottom cage. When Logan gives chase and reaches the floor of the bottom cage, Toad spits a sticky green substance into his face. Peeling it from his skin with his claws, Logan tells Toad that was disgusting. Toad replies that he’s sorry he doesn’t approve, perhaps this ability will be more to his liking.

Logan observes Toad puffin’ up like a bullfrog and unleashes it, blowin’ him across the cage. Didn’t know he could do that. Just then, Toad uses his tongue on Logan and wraps it around him. Logan feels that he’s tryin’ t’ crush the life outta him like he did the Eel. Only problem fer him though, the Eel didn’t have adamantium claws. Cutting the Toad’s tongue, Logan frees himself and grabs hold of the rest of his tongue and slams him into the cage, winning the match. As he walks away, he tells the Toad that he guesses he’s a little less “terrible” now.

Out of the second round, Logan realizes that there are just two more rounds left of the tournament. But first, he finally gets to find out who “a friend” is ‘cause the champ’s up next. He got a bye in the first round on account a’ “champion’s privilege” – whatever that is. But now he’s gotta face that nasty Headhunter guy in a “curtain match. Shortly after the Headhunter enters the curtain brandishing a sword, a loud chopping sound is heard. Logan wonders what that sound was and sees that the curtain’s already risin’. When it rises, he sees that the Headhunter’s head has been cut clean off. Now he can see who’s responsible – him, Mister X. With disdain, he wonders why it had t’ be him.

Characters Involved: 


Jae Lo


Oddball, Headhunter, Gamecock, Puma, Cat, Taskmaster, Zaran, Razorfist, Anaconda, Forearm, Eel, Toad, Speed Demon (all participants in the Blood Sport tournament)

Mister X

Various unnamed bodyguards of Viper

Various unnamed observers in the crowd attending the Blood Sport tournament (Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick, member of N’Sync are the only recognizable ones)
Unnamed flight attendant on the flight over to Madripoor

Story Notes: 

Wolverine killed Senator Drexel Walsh in cold-blood back in Wolverine (2nd series) #162. He and the Beast were taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody by Brent Jackson in #163. In #164, they were incarcerated in the super-hero prison, the Cage. They were broken out of the prison by Sabretooth in #165. In #166, he learned about the new revamped Weapon X program.

Wolverine was known as Patch when he revisited Madripoor back in Wolverine (2nd series) #1. To some, he will always be known as Patch.

Tony Hawk is a world-famous skateboarder. Steven Hawkings is a world-famous theoretical physicist. Unfortunately, he also has a neuromuscular dystrophy that over time has left him almost completely paralyzed.

Many of Logan’s old friends were massacred at the Princess Bar back in Wolverine (2nd series) #98. Among the dead include Archie Corrigan, O’Donnell and Rose.

It was first revealed that Logan was married Viper back in Wolverine (2nd series) #125.

In this issue, it is made to seem that Oddball, Gamecock, Razorfist, Forearm, Eel, Anaconda, and Headhunter were all killed during their battles.
A (presumably second) Oddball appeared in Union Jack (2nd series) #2.

Gamecock never appeared again – R.I.P.

Razorfist would appear again, most recently as a member of the Hood’s gang of criminals in the pages of New Avengers.

Forearm would appear again in X-Force (2nd series) #4-5.

Eel would appear again, most recently in recent issues of Captain America.

Anaconda would appear again. Most recently in Cable & Deadpool #33-34.

Headhunter never appeared again – R.I.P.

Logan faced Zaran back in Wolverine (2nd series) #158.

Logan faced Mister X back in Wolverine (2nd series) #159-161.

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