Wolverine (2nd series) #57

Issue Date: 
July 1992
Story Title: 
Death in the Family!

Larry Hama (script), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Green/Milgrom/Rubenstein (inkers), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

In the Yashida compound, Wolverine, Silver Samurai, Gambit and Mariko continue their battle against the ninjas of the Hand. Eventually, they retreat into the safety of the house itself. Outside, Tsurayaba Matsuo and Silver Fox join forces while Jubilee and Yukio take to the rooftops. At that point, Matsuo and Fox send Reiko in to the compound. On the roof, Jubilee and Yukio are attacked by Cylla, when Wolverine comes to their protection. He battles Cylla and, with the help of Jubilee and Yukio, is able to knock Cylla off of the roof. Over time, Reiko is able to navigate the compound and enters the house. She offers a deal where Mariko is able to divulge her underworld holdings if she will cut off her finger. Mariko agrees and cuts her finger with the blade covered with blowfish toxin and immediately screams in pain. Wolverine comes down from the roof and, once Reiko learns of what she has done, kills herself. Mariko implores Wolverine to take her into the chapel. There, she tells Wolverine that she loves him and asks him to use his claws to put her out of her misery. With a heavy heard, Wolverine does as he is asked and kills Mariko, ending her pain.

Full Summary: 

In Tokyo, at the Yashida mansion compound, Wolverine, Silver Samurai and Gambit face off against a horde of ninjas from the Hand. As they do, Samurai asks Wolverine why Matsuo is sending his Hand ninjas to assault Mariko’s home – they were in the midst of negotiations. Wolverine tells him that you can say that he has “a hand” in it. Gambit asks if that is to say that Matsuo has an itch where his fingers used to be. Wolverine replies that it’s an itch that don’t go away.

Nearby, Mariko, brandishing a sword, tells them that Matsuo may have a personal score to settle with Logan but he also wants the Yashida Clan underworld connections intact for the Hand. Wolverine asks her if that is something she doesn’t want to hand over, is it? Mariko replies that not while she can still hold the honor sword of the Yashida Clan.

Gambit points out that there are too many ninjas and that they must force their way out, but Mariko tells him no, they need to fall back, inside the mansion. Gambit says that there will be no room to maneuver and that they will be trapped. Mariko informs him that a Yashida can’t be trapped in a house built by Shingen. Gambit asks “pourqoi?” Wolverine says why, ‘cause Shingen was a master of many a fiendish weapon but his house was the deadliest. As Samurai, Mariko, Wolverine, and Gambit enter into the house, a trap door of spikes flies up and kills some of the ninjas.

Outside the mansion in a car, Tsurayaba Matsuo tells his driver that this is taking too long. He can’t keep the authorities at bay much longer and who knows how long it will take to winkle the lot of them out at the weasel warren. Just then, Silver Fox answers him that it will be longer than he has, unless he changes his tactics and use cunning instead of brute force. Matsuo recognizes that someone has approached his limousine and asks who. Silver Fox informs him that it is just another arm of the many-tentacled Hydra. Aboard a Hydra vessel, holding Reiko captive, Fox tells Matsuo that she believes the sightless waif is one of his.

Hiding in the bushes, Jubilee informs Yukio that the blind girls name is Reiko and that Matsuo sicced her on her and she let her go ‘cause she knew Wolvy. Yukio tells her then she would want her to keep going and try to get to him. She recommends that they take to the rooftops.

Inside the compound, Gambit notices that there are razor blades imbedded in the walls of a maze. He tells Wolverine that he is not so impressed. One jus’ has to be careful. Wolverine replies that bein’ careful part ain’t so easy after they turn out the lights and let loose the starvin’ dogs. In time, they eventually reach the core of the mansion, Shingen’s impregnable citadel. She then tells Samurai and Gambit to excuse them, for she and Logan have important matters to discuss in the privacy of the chapel. As they enter, Samurai confesses to Gambit that he doesn’t like this. Gambit simply replies that’s why they doin’ it.

Inside the chapel, Mariko asks Wolverine if he has returned to shame her. After all this time, she has not yet succeeded in divesting the Yashida Clan of its underworld holdings. She tells him that she is dishonored. Wolverine tells her no dishonor, things happen is all. Mariko tells him that she is very close to accomplishing her task – to cleanse her clan so that she may be worthy. She adds that it is so complicated. There are so many families within the clan and she is responsible for their well-being. As she talks, she pulls a uniform out of a box. Wolverine tells her that she knows what that is she’s unpackin’ and that he hasn’t seen that set o’ colors in a while. He tells her that he gave ‘em up. Mariko holds up the brown and tan costume and tells him that perhaps it is fitting for him to wear them again to serve the honor of Clan Yashida.

Outside, Matsuo extends his hand out the window of his limo and tells Silver Fox to bring him that traitorous poisoner so that he may throttle her personally. Just then, Kojiro wraps his chain around his hand and tells him not so fast. He doesn’t get to choke the merchandise until he pays for it. Just then, Matsuo releases his right hand and it wraps itself around Kojiro’s neck, choking him. As it does, Matsuo tells him that she already owns her. Silver Fox tells him that, while it is true that the girl is his to kill, she is also the means to his ends. She asks if they can talk. Matsuo tells her that he doesn’t deal with nameless entities. Silver Fox gives him her name.

On a rooftop, Yukio directs Jubilee’s attention to a building located inside the complex. She tells her that is where Wolverine probably is. Deep within the trap-riddled labyrinth known as Shingen’s citadel. It is just across the street. Jubilee replies, Great, what are they going to do, fly? Yukio tells her no, they are going to slide down the power line above. As they do, Jubilee asks her if she is sure this is safe. Yukio tells her just not to ground herself. Jubilee sarcastically asks why she would do that, she likes going out.

Yukio then tells her to be quiet, Matsuo’s limo is below them. Jubilee says and she is without a brick. As they land on the roof, she asks Yukio what now and asks if this is the right roof. Yukio tells her that it is, but there’s somebody or something up there with them.

Inside the compound, the Silver Samurai addresses the men of the Yashida Clan and asks them if they have no shame that they allow themselves to be led by a woman. He asks if she has ever proven her honor. Has she ever cut off a finger in atonement for her complicity in the death of Shingen? He adds that she was even betrothed to Shingen’s killer. He tells them that he has agreed to this embarrassment long enough. Having heard enough, Gambit steps in and tells him to lay off; the man isn’t even there to defend himself from his slurs. Wolverine, in his brown and tan costume, tells him that he is now. At that moment, one of the guards calls out that the silent alarms have been triggered. The Hand has entered the mansion. He adds that the sensors indicate that it is but a single intruder, someone small – like a girl.

Inside the maze, Reiko deftly makes her way through without being cut. Outside the compound, with Kojiro standing guard, Matsuo says to Silver Fox that he understands Reiko blooding her sword for them to buy her eyes back but isn’t she under obligation to Wolverine? As they drink champagne, Fox tells him that she doesn’t know about his relationship to Mariko. Matsuo tips his glass to her and tells her that she has let her hatred run amok like a pack of starving dogs. Inside the maze, Reiko is attacked by two dogs, which she kills easily. She then senses that something else is out there, something strong, but alien, up on the roof.

Up on the roof, Jubilee points out a figure perched on an adjacent building to Yukio. Yukio tells her that she can’t see with the dark and the heavy rain. Jubilee answers no prob, she will just pop some light on the situation and… As she uses her fireworks power, she notices that the figure took off “on warp nine.” She adds that, whatever it is, it’s not stalking Wolvy. He’s got enough to worry about right now. Yukio turns and tells Jubilee that it’s behind them. She asks who or what is that. Cylla tells her that she will tell her what she is. She’s the last thing she’ll see in this life. Especially since they’re pals o’ Wolverine.

As Cylla leaps towards Jubilee, Yukio pulls her out of the way at the last second. Jubilee thanks Yukio but Yukio tells her to get herself together; they’re not out of this yet. When Cylla lands with her spikes, she knocks a hole through the roof of the compound. Cylla is able to hold on and calls down to Wolverine below to look who she has up there. She invites him to come on up an’ watch while she minces them. Down below, Wolverine notices that the maniac cyborg Cylla has Jube and Yukio. Gambit tells him that he best get up there. Wolverine tells him that they don’t know what’s coming’ through the maze and that he can’t leave Mariko. Gambit tells him that he will look after her and to go save the girls on the roof. He adds that he will give him a boost.

Hearing this, an incredulous Wolverine asks, “A boost? Fifty feet worth?” Gambit kneels down and clasps his fingers together. As Wolverine steps into his hands, Gambit tells him that anybody else give him a boost, he ain’t got the power. When he unleashes his power, that of exploding cards, Wolverine is propelled into the air. He asks Gambit if he’s sendin’ him up like a big game of’ 52-pickup. He adds that it’s Jake with the ol’ canucklehead, as long as he’s got all the aces. As he crashes through the ceiling and lands on the roof, he tells Cylla heads up. She wanted a fight, now she has it in spades!

Down below, inside the compound Reiko appears from the maze much to the surprise of Silver Samurai, and Gambit. Samurai asks this is the intruder who safely traversed Shingen’s maze? Gambit quips c’est une jeune fille dangereux. Reiko bows before them and offers them salutations from Tsurayaba Matsuo of the Hand. She introduces herself as Reiko, a free agent, formerly of the Dai-Kumo group in Osaka. She is empowered to make a proposition. Matsuo offers to buy out Yashida Clan underworld holdings at fair-market value and he will dissolve those holdings so that Mariko will not be profiting from vice…

She stops mid-sentence and asks what the commotion is above them. Mariko tells her that is none of her concern. She adds that what she is offering is generous. It allows her to fulfill her vow to divest without financially ruining the families of her clan. She asks what Matsuo wants in return. Reiko tells her that he wants her to make atonement in the manner of the Yakuza; he wants one of her fingers. With that, Reiko pulls her blade out of her pocket.

On the roof, Cylla and Wolverine continue their battle while Jubilee and Yukio look on. Cylla tells Wolverine that it’s too bad he’s so prompt. She was fixing to enjoy slicing and dicing his little pals. Wolverine asks her that she really likes bein’ a sick puppy, doesn’t she? Cylla replies that it ain’t sick to do what you’re made for. Pierce gave her state-of-the-art cyborg weapons systems. She can track him in the dark from his infrared signature and her targeting suite is… She is cut off by Wolverine who tells her that he heard this rap the last time. Truth is, if she was truly the masterpiece of all that fancy hardware, she wouldn’t be needin’ to use it all the time. Just then, Cylla connects with a spike to Wolverine’s gut.

Down below, some more of the ceiling falls to the ground. Gambit calls up to Wolverine that this is barbaric and for him to come down and stop them. Reiko asks who he is speaking to up there. Silver Samurai tells her that she was told that it is none of her concern. He then approaches Reiko and takes the blade out of her hands. He asks if this is the blade that Matsuo offers for the finger-cutting. Reiko tells him that it is a Muramasa tanto, a worthy blade. Samurai asks her how do they know it isn’t poisoned and if Matsuo takes them for fools. Reiko takes the blade back and tells him that is besides the point. As she places her hand on a table, she drives the blade through it. She asks if she would do that with sullied steel. Once done, she tells Mariko Oyabun that it is her turn.

Up above, Cylla continues her assault on Wolverine and tells him that, if she were inclined to use chess metaphors, she’d say that he was in check. His back is to the rain-gutter and he has no room to maneuver. Wolverine tells her that she has a face full o’ ugly and a mouth full o’ “I’m gonna getcha.” Howsabout gettin’ down with the ol’ claws? He tells her let’s go Cylla and turn on that electronic targeting system she’s been braggin’ on. Cylla tells him that he’s already been sighted. As she sets the target on Wolverine, Jubilee unleashes her firework power and ruins her targeting system. She tells Yukio that she will keep frying her vision receptors while she hauls in Wolverine. Cylla tells her that she doesn’t need to see him to…

At that moment, she misses Wolverine and flies off the roof. As she does, Jubilee tells her to watch out for that first step… it’s a killer! At the last second, Cylla is able to grasp a hold of the rain gutter. Wolverine tells her that there’s a lil’ devil sittin’ on his shoulder, shoutin’, go ahead and kick her in the face. Watch her fall down and go boom. Cylla tells him to try it and she’ll bite it off. She adds that deep inside, he’s weak, that he ain’t got the guts to do her in cold blood. That’s why she’s gonna win.

Below, Mariko pulls the blade out of Reiko’s hand. She tells her that she is correct, it is time for Mariko Yashida to make things right for all those who have put their trust in her. Inside the limo, Matsuo mentions to Silver Fox that he sees that Wolverine has been distracted from the main event with the poisoned blade. Fox tells him yes, she arranged for that. As Mariko kneels down to cut her finger off, Gambit implores Silver Samurai that he can’t let her… Samurai stops him and tells him that she must do this.

Inside the limo, Matsuo asks Fox if he is missing something. Won’t they demand that the blade be tested on Reiko first? Fox informs him that Reiko has been gradually ingesting minutely larger doses of the toxin for years, she is quite immune. Inside the compound, Mariko uses the blade to cut her finger off. Once the blade touches her skin, she cries out in pain that it burns like white fire running up her veins. Silver Samurai exclaims blowfish toxin, but how?

On the roof, Wolverine recognizes the scream as Mariko’s. Yukio tells him to go to her. She and Jubilee will deal with the cyborg. As Wolverine lands inside the compound, he calls out to Mariko. She tells him, Logan, to take her into the chapel. Once Reiko hears the name “Logan,” she asks what has she done. Inside the limo, Matsuo asks Silver Fox how she was planning on extracting Reiko from the scenario. Fox tells him that problem is solving itself right about now. At that moment, Reiko grabs Silver Samurai’s blade and jams it through her own stomach. As she does, she asks if there is no peace other than the long darkness?

As Wolverine holds Mariko in his arms, she tells him that she is poisoned. Wolverine tells her that they need to get her to a hospital and get the antidote. Mariko tells him there is none and to just t-take her to the chapel. Once there, Mariko tells him that it is a horrible enough death, it should not be a public spectacle. She asks Wolverine to hold her. She tells him that she must ask of him one final boon. She has fulfilled her vow, she has divested the clan, even if the Hand delved in the treachery, she has upheld her end, she would have been free to marry him. She adds that aren’t they married in their hearts? Have they not paid a dowry in blood and pain and loneliness?

As she begins to cry, she asks him isn’t the most sacred vow the one they carry in the core of their souls? The tears begin to flow from Wolverine’s eyes as he asks her what she is askin’ him. Mariko tells him to spare her the final agonies, release her soul while it still sings with her love for him. She tells him to use his claws. Wolverine, in shock, tells her that he can’t.

On the roof, Cylla tells Jubilee and Yukio that she doesn’t need her vision receptors to finish of the likes of them. She’s got her audio-detection-finders, infrared detectors and pulse-doppler radar. She’s gonna… She is cut off by Jubilee who asks Yukio what she is doing. The little throwing dirk she just tossed isn’t even going to mess her mousse. Yukio informs her that she is trying to cut the power line they slid across the street on. She adds that the steady stream of water coursing over Cylla and down to the courtyard is going to ground her out.

As she says that, the power line touches Cylla and shocks her. When it does, she lets go of the storm drain and lands on the ground below. As she limps away, Jubilee asks that all of that didn’t put her down for the count? Yukio responds that it probably blew all her surge-protectors and that she’s limping away on reserve power.

Inside the compound, Gambit and Silver Samurai hear the distinctive sounds of Wolverine’s claws popping. The next image they witness is Wolverine emerging from the chapel, carrying the lifeless body of Mariko in his arms.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Tsurayaba Matsuo



Silver Fox

Mariko Oyabun Yashida
Silver Samurai

Various members of the Hand (all unnamed)
Various agents of Hydra (all unnamed)
Various members of Clan Yashida (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Shingen was killed by Wolverine back in Wolverine (1st series) #4.

Wolverine first faced Cylla back in Wolverine (2nd series) #55.

Wolverine was to marry Mariko back in Uncanny X-Men #173 but she cancelled the wedding after discovering her family’s ties to organized crime. With the events leading up to her death, she has finally fulfilled her promise to sever them.

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