Wolverine (2nd series) #184

Issue Date: 
February 2003
Story Title: 
When in Rome ...

Frank Tieri (writer), Sean Chen (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Avalon Studios’ Edgar Tadeo (colors), Comicraft (letters), Warren Simmons and John Miesegaes (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Sweeper walks into a café where Logan is eating and lights a cigarette. Logan immediately picks up the smell and asks the Sweeper to stop. He goes and sits with him and begins to enumerate every possible disease connected to smoking. Meanwhile the Sweeper assembles his gun under the table and the other customers leave the coffee house as soon as they see this. Logan pops his claws and kills him. He sends the ashes to the Roman. The Roman ponders that they will have to pay Logan a fee to go away and orders one of his henchmen to bring in Logan. Later that night, Johnny sends two goons to kill Logan. They fail; Logan kills them both and then goes after Johnny. Johnny asks him to kill him, but they are interrupted by the Roman’s goons who take them back to the Roman’s mansion. The Roman offers Logan a large sum to leave and stay away, but he refuses, as he honors his deal with the Pazzo family. The Roman drops him into the lion’s pit, but Logan manages not to fall in. Instead the Roman’s henchmen drop Johnny inside. Johnny cries out for help, so Logan jumps in after having dispatched of all the mobsters, save for Roman. In the pit, Logan manages to tame the lions. When the Roman looks down, wondering what’s happening, Logan climbs up and droops the Roman into the pit. He gets Johnny out and the latter thanks him. Logan calls Freddo to tell him the deal is off, since the job is finished. Freddo answers that Logan must first kill a grand jury witness from a trial against Freddo. He says Logan will obey, because he has his friend and his daughter hostage. Johnny and Logan look at each other perplexed.

Full Summary: 

Logan walks into Clyde’s café. The Sweeper is tailing him and enters the cafe as well. He sees Logan sitting behind a newspaper having a cup of coffee. He sits on a nearby table, orders some coffee and puts a cigarette in his mouth. The second he light the cigarette, Logan asks him to stop since some people “are trying to breathe”. The Sweeper is stunned and only manages to utter: “How’d you?”. Logan grabs a chair and sits right next to him. He tells him that the cigarettes don’t affect him that much since he is different. However he tells the Sweeper he should be worried about what they’ll do to him. He takes the cigarette pack and tells him not to take his word for it but to read the package instead. Logan clarifies however that the warning on the pack doesn’t begin to describe all the types of cancer derived from smoking. He begins to enumerate all of them. The Sweeper takes the opportunity to discreetly open his briefcase and reach for the gun inside it.

Meanwhile Logan takes the Sweeper’s coffee mug and continues to list all the possible illnesses caused by smoking. The Sweeper slowly pulls out all the parts of his gun from the suitcase and begins to assemble it under the table. Logan is listing all the side effects smoking has on one’s outward appearance, he notes that that the Sweeper doesn’t seem to concerned with that. He chugs down the coffee, while the other customers get more and more nervous. Many have noticed the gun the Sweeper is wielding and begin to leave. Logan takes the cigarette from the Sweepers mouth and puts it out. He tells the Sweeper that they don’t call them coffin nails for nothing, since they will kill a person. By this time everyone else in the café has quietly left, leaving Logan and the Sweeper alone. The Sweeper has finished assembling his gun and is pointing it at Logan under the table; he begins to make a remark as how cigarettes aren’t the only thing that can kill him. Suddenly the familiar “snikt!” noise is heard, as blood spurts from the Sweepers mouths as he falls dead on the table. Logan answers that he sees his point and then asks at the empty kitchen for his check.

Later the roman receives a pot containing the Sweepers ashes. There is a note inside that reads: “All clean. Logan”. “Well played” says the Roman looking at the card. His henchman comments that Logan has been tougher to destroy than they thought. The Roman replies that he has proven to be quite the “Hun”. The henchman doesn’t know what the Roman means. The Roman explains that he is talking about Attila the Hun, a Mongolian warrior from circa 400 AD. No one could defeat him. He started his military career off destroying barbarian hordes that neighbored his peoples. It was not enough however, as Attila decided to attack the Roman Empire. The henchman asks if that’s when Attila was stopped. The Roman angrily turns and asks:” What part of ‘No one could defeat him’ did you not understand?”. He goes on to explain that not even the Roman Empire could stop him. He routinely invaded both sides of the Empire, that is until he was paid an annual fee to go away. The henchman says he understands. The Roman instructs him to tell Logan that he seeks an audience.

That night Logan is walking out of a massage parlor. Two thugs sitting in a van holding SMG’s comment on how it’s not bad idea to unwind at a spa after killing the Sweeper, they might just do the same when their current assignment is over. One of the killers is talking on a cell phone to their boss, who is sitting in another car hidden in an alleyway close to them. He tells his goons to concentrate on the task at hand since Logan can’t be taken lightly. The thug tells him not to worry; they will kill him once he’s moved ahead a little more. Suddenly Logan stops dead in his tracks and begins to sniff. The boss yells that he is sniffing for a scent; they have to attack now before Logan can pinpoint the boss. The two thugs open fire on Logan hitting him multiple times in the back, while their boss awaits the outcome impatiently in his car. One of the thugs stops shooting, as he is stunned to see Logan charging straight at them, despite his injuries.

Meanwhile at his mansion, Freddo is talking on the phone with Tony. On his desk lies a copy of the Daily Bugle with a headline referring to Freddo’s ongoing trial and the mystery female star witness. Freddo asks if Tony if he found “her”. Tony answers that he has. Freddo asks if there was any trouble getting to her. Tony says that there were none once they found her. Freddo compliments Tony and makes a sarcastic remark about how it payed off not to kill Tony.

Back on the street Logan lunges at the thug who is still firing and slashes his chest. The thug is sent flying. The second would-be assassin tries to make a run for it, but Logan manages to kill him nonetheless. Johnny hears the scream trough the cell phone and reaches for a gun in the glove compartment. He mentions that he this wasn’t supposed to happen and that today is as good as any day to die. Logan is standing in front of the car and Johnny empties his gun on Logan’s face. Logan remains unfazed and after asking Johnny if he’s finished, he tears the roof from his car and pulls him out. He says he smelled something old and past its due date. Holding Johnny up by his collar, he asks Johnny how comes that he doesn’t have the guts to kill his boss, but has the stones to kill Logan. Johnny confirms this and asks what he’s waiting for. He wants to know why he doesn’t do him a favor and takes him out of his misery. Logan is taken aback by the old gangster’s request, as suddenly a van stops behind them. Four mobsters with SMG’s step out of the van. The Roman’s henchman tells them his boss wants to talk to them.

A short amount of time later, at the Roman’s mansion, Logan is led into the Roman’s office. The mob boss greets Logan. Logan tells him to stop the pseudo-pleasantries, the only reason he has come is for the white flag, the Roman’s surrender. The Roman answers that this is not a case of “vini, vidi, vici”. He actually wants to come to an understanding with him. He says that while he imagines that the Pazzo’s are paying him a considerable sum of money, he is willing to pay a lot more. He writes a sum on a piece of paper and gives it to Logan. Logan is sitting in a chair in front of the Roman’s desk, he crushes the paper and tells the Roman that he already came to an understanding with his competitor and he intends to honor it. The Roman is disappointed, pointing out that together they could have built an empire worthy of Rome, instead Logan will build his Empire in Hades.

He pushes the button concealed in the lion statue on his desk, triggering the trap door beneath Logan, but Logan grabs a hold of the ledge before he falls into the lion’s pit. He staggers back up, pops the claws from one hand and grabs the Roman by the neck. The Roman remains unfazed, suddenly the Roman’s goons burst into the room with Johnny who has his hands tied. The Roman remarks that now they will see how loyal Logan truly is and orders his lackey’s to drop Johnny into the pit. The mobsters then begin to shoot at Logan, but he makes quick work of them. From down below the pit, Johnny calls out to Logan for help, but he answers that he is busy at the moment. Johnny tells him there are lion’s in the pit and that he knows he has no right to ask for his help, after the attempted murder, but he asks for it anyway. Logan finally gives in and jumps into the pit. He gets in a growling contest with the lions and asks them if he looks like something they want to mess with.

Topside the Roman wonders why he doesn’t hear the usual blood curling screams. He peers down at the pit and sees Logan, with the lions at his side, smiling back at him. The Roman can’t believe this, the lions should be eating them alive since they are starving. Logan climbs back up and grabs the Roman leg. Pulling him into the pit, he says that the lions are still hungry. Logan pulls Johnny up, telling him there is no sense in becoming dessert. Topside the two men stare at each for a moment, Logan knows Johnny has something to say. Johnny thanks Logan. Logan asks him for his cell phone in return. He calls Freddo and tells him the deal is finished. Freddo laughs, telling him he’s only out when he says he’s out. Logan replies that he knows he’s wanted to kill him ever since they met and he shouldn’t give him an excuse by not honoring their deal. Freddo says that what he wants is for Logan to kill the grand jury witness. Logan laughs and asks Freddo how he intends to make him do that. Freddo replies that he has found Logan’s price.

Sitting in his office is Logan’s friend and his daughter. One of the mobsters is pointing a gun at them, with Tony looking on very troubled. Logan and Johnny look at each stupefied.

Characters Involved: 


Freddo Pazzo, the Godfather of the Pazzo Family

Johnny Delacavva, underboss of the Pazzo Family

Tony Ditello and other members of the Pazzo Family

The Roman

the Roman’s henchmen

The Sweeper

Logan’s friend and his daughter
people at the dinner

Story Notes: 

Logan used to be a smoker, but began to quit in issue #167.

Logan sends the Sweeper’s ashes to the Roman, because that is what the Sweeper usually did with his victims, as seen last issue.

Logan made a deal with Freddo Pazzo in issue Wolverine (2nd series) #182.

The Daily Bugle is a newspaper Peter Parker (Spider-Man) used to work for. J.Jonah Jameson is the editor and Ben Urich is one of the journalists.

“Veni, vidi, vici.” is a phrase credited to Julius Caesar. It’s Latin and translates as “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

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