Wolverine (2nd series) #87

Issue Date: 
November 1994
Story Title: 
Showdown in Lowtown!

Larry Hama (script), Adam Kubert (pencils), Farmer, Green, Townsend, Rubinstein (inkers), Pat Brosseau (lettering), Marie Javins (coloring), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief), cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

On a mission in Madripoor, during which Gambit expresses to Logan his concern about Sabretooth staying at the X-Mansion, the two eventually make their way over to the Princess Bar, where many of Logan’s acquaintances are there to celebrate his return. At the bar, Logan meets up with Rose Wu, O’Donnell, Archie Corrigan, Chief of Police Tai, Tyger Tiger and others. The festivities, however, are cut short when two dead ninjas from the Hand fall from above. As they move to the roof to investigate, Logan tells Gambit a story of his Team X days and how Sabretooth was instrumental in getting them out of a tight spot. Shortly after Logan finishes his tale, they are attacked by an unknown assailant, whose identity turns out to be Maverick. He confesses that he is suffering from the Legacy Virus and was hoping to go out as a warrior to somebody he respects. Logan declines to do so but learns something very important, to make life count.

Full Summary: 

In the Lowtown of Madripoor in the wee hours, Logan asks Gambit what gives. He didn’t make this side-trip on the way home to Salem Center just to pass the time o’ day. Gambit replies they need to talk about Sabretooth an’ what he’s doin’ at Xavier’s. Logan tells him there’s nothin’ to talk about. He oughta just take him out fishin’ one dark night and lose him. Now, he don’t have ta tell him there’s a mess o’ right unsavory characters habituatin’ the joint they’re goin’ into.

Just then, Logan tells Gambit to hold it. Standing outside the Princess Bar, Gambit mentions that the “Princess” be a lot quieter that he remembers. Logan tells him that’s what’s wrong, the joint should be jumpin’. He can tell there’s folks inside, but they’re keepin’ real still. Gambit asks “ambusquer?” to which Logan says yes. They go in on three. One – two – three! With that, Gambit and Logan jump through the front window of the bar and proceed to knock over a table that had a cake. The cake read “Welcome back Logan.” As they land in a heap, Gambit says they did some dat overreaction stuff, hah. Logan replies you might say that.

From behind the bar, many of Logan’s old acquaintances yell out surprise, welcome back. O’Donnell tells Logan that was some entrance and that he knows they don’t generally start busting up the furniture until dawn, but hey, it’s his party. Picking himself up off the floor, Logan introduces a friend o’ his from Salem Center… Before he can finish his sentence, many of the ladies present greet Remy LeBeau. Gambit looks towards Logan and tells him that he’s no etranger ‘round there, leastways not to les belles de la nuit.

Just then, a short, rather unattractive lady comes up behinds Logan and gives him a big hug. She tells him to congratulate her; she retired from Landau Luckman and Lake. Logan recognizes her as Rose and says that she looks like she’s been metamorphin’ again. He mentions that she was runnin’ LL&L’s operation in Hong Kong the last time he saw her. Rose tells him things change except for him. She cashed her annuity and bought the dump (bar) from O’Donnell. About time too, her bailiwick was being taken over by a young blood, a protégé of old man Chang, no less. As Rose leads him across the bar floor and lift a few with old friends, Logan says that he’s met her – Zoe Culloden. Looking at a painting of a young, very attractive lady hanging on the wall he mentions that is some piece o’ work. Rose asks him if he remembers when she posed for that painting, time flies, don’t it?

At the bar, O’Donnell calls out to the bartender to pour Logan a double of Laphroaig single malt and to make it neat with water on the side. Archie Corrigan tells him that he got his telegram from Tibet and that a check arrived from C. Xavier this morning. He adds that his man Harry Tabeshaw is now the owner of a Grade A used Douglas DC-3 Dakota. Logan recognizes them both and says that it’s good to see the two of them. He needs to talk to both of them about…

Before he can finish, Police chief Tai tells him cheers Mr. Patch. Logan turns and tells Tai that he don’t use that moniker anymore, to which Tai replies that he’s quite aware of that. After all, ‘twas he who alerted his cohorts to his imminent arrival. Their joy at the return of their prodigal peregrinator was quite touching. Logan says that he bets General Coy and the Prince weren’t exactly tickled when he dropped a dime on them, huh? Tai responds by telling him to excuse him. He has to remind Mr. LeBeau that they frown on certain of his more felonious activities and that their penal code has no provisions for caning, only for summary execution. At that moment, Tyger Tiger tells Logan they are playing a tango and proceeds to drag him onto the dance floor. When he attempts to greet her, she tells him no talking, just dance.

From above, two ninjas from the Hand watch the festivities below. One of them tells his fellow ninja, Kuro Ryu, that she debases herself with the gaijin dog and that they should slay her as well. Kuro tells his partner, Shiro Tora, that Tyger Tiger is the head of Madripoor’s most powerful crime family and that their masters in the Hand will not approve. Shiro says they will bide their time and when they separate, they will kill the dog Logan. Kuro says laser directed plasma bolts through the top of the head, a clean and quiet death.

A voice behind them tells them that it will be unlike his, which is going to be messy and loud. Kuro turns and calls out interloper. Shiro tells him no energy weapons and to take him out silently. With that, they fling throwing stars in the interloper’s direction. The interloper tells them that they just sacrificed speed and accuracy for stealth and that’s a loser’s trade-off. The interloper then blasts both of them with his weapon which knocks them backwards.

As they fall back, they crash through the glass skylight behind them and down into the Princess Bar. The patrons inside look up and say it’s a bird, it’s a plane. Logan replies, while continuing to dance, that it sure ain’t George Reeves. He then pops his claws and slices each of the ninjas dead without missing a dance move. Over near the bar, Gambit, who is surrounded by ladies, calls out bravo. Magnifique. He adds that even Fred Astaire couldn’t have done that. One of his lady friends says of course not. Fred Astaire didn’t have claws.

At that moment, Logan grabs Gambit and tells LeBeau it’s time to go. The two ninjas were cold meat before they came through the skylight. Gambit tells him that maybe he got a guardian angel up dere or maybe his enemies are fallin’ out among themselves. On the roof, Logan tells him that would make his day to see Cyber and Sabretooth do the downtown stomp on each other but it ain’t just happenin’. Picking up a board, Logan sniffs it. He says that his sniffer ain’t what it used to be but even so he can tell that someone who knows what he’s doin’ about scent and particle suppression has been at work up there, somebody bein’ real careful. Gambit replies then it would have to be someone he would recognize. Logan tells him yeah, how about that and if he’s supposed to be on his side, then why is he doin’ the downwind lurk.

From a building across the way, an unknown man is looking at Logan and Gambit through binoculars.

As they continue, Logan mentions to Gambit that he is behavin’ like the way ol’ Sabretooth used to when they was steppin’ over the fence bein’ bad for Uncle Sugar. Gambit says oh, he would be tres curieux to hear anything about Sabretooth. Logan tells him that it sounds like his hate runs deep and that he musta hurt him bad. With that, Logan proceeds to tell Gambit a story to freeze his craw.

(Logan’s tale)

It was he, Sabretooth (called Creed back then), and Maverick. They were on another hairy mission and it had turned into a Class “A” cluster foul-up. Creed calls out to his teammates that they are compromised to the max. Maverick says that he’s not telling them anything they don’t know. He then tells Logan the info they just heisted is too important and that one of them has to make it back, no matter what. Logan replies that he hears him.

Continuing to shoot down the hallway, Creed asks Mav what he was saying. Is he gonna hold the bad guys off right there and buy his escape with his bod? Maverick says that he was thinking maybe their chances are better if they split up and take three different routes out. That would also split up the pursuit… Logan cuts him off and tells him that he don’t buy it. They’re a team, they trained as a team, and they fight as a team – they should stick together. Creed starts to tell Logan that he is such a when he is knocked out by a blast.

As Logan checks on Creed, Maverick tells him that he’s dead and that they have to get out of there. Logan says that Creed is still kickin’ but he ain’t getting outta there on his own power. Maverick raises his weapon, readies it and says that he’s afraid he knows their codes and extraction sites; they can’t afford to leave him there alive. Logan pushes his gun away and asks him who died and made him chief o’ triage. Putting Creed on his back, Logan says like he said, they’re a team and they bring back their own. Taking off down the hallway, Creed tells Logan that he’s insane. Creed would’ve left him in a flash. Logan says yeah, but he ain’t Creed, is he?

At the last second, Logan is able to grab Maverick just before he almost falls over a ledge. Across the ledge is a bridge that looks none to stable. Upon seeing it, Maverick asks Logan if he believes the catwalk will get them out of there. Logan says it had better because he ain’t too partial to blastin’ their way back through that crowd behind them. Just then, Creed wakes up and says that he’s ain’t crossing the rinky-dink bridge and proceeds to shoot it down. Logan yells at him and asks him if he knows what he just did. Creed said yeah, he just saved their lucky butts. He then calls them losers and tells them they were gonna get them all aced. Runnin’ across the bridge was exactly what they expected them to do. They gotta do what they don’t expect and that’s take back the initiative.

With that, Creed takes off back down the hallway and shoots their attackers. As he does, he asks Logan and Maverick if they’re gonna follow him or are they jus’ gonna curl up an’ die in place. Maverick follows and says that they don’t leave them much choice. Logan adds that he oughta… Creed tells him that he wants to, but he ain’t gonna ‘cause now, they need his firepower. As he continues to shoot he says that he may bust a gut laughin’ if he don’t bleed outta it first.


Completing his tale, Logan tells Remy that what he’s sayin’ is that Sabretooth’s got his uses. He’s got the sheer guts and total lack o’ fear to try some nigh impossible things and pull ‘em off. He got them all outta that scrape, but he only did it to save his own neck. Remy asks him if he t’inks dat ol’ Sabretooth is gonna help them out. Is dat what he is sayin’? Logan says ol’ Mr. Creed wouldn’t spit in his face if his nose was on fire; he just ain’t no team player. Logan adds that he thinks ol’ Charlie X has gone off the deep end bringin’ that sack o’ trouble into the mansion. Remy responds yeah, he knows lots ‘bout dat team player stuff. They thought he was wit’ them all de way, but turns out maybe he got his own row to hoe. He then asks Logan if his personal agenda is more important than the X-Men. Logan snarls at him and tells him to watch his lip.

Before he can say anything further, he pushes Remy out of the way and tells him to get down. At that moment, a blast occurs on the rooftop. Gambit immediately recognizes it as an energy weapon and asks Logan if he saw dat laser spotting beam. Logan tells him on the next roof. Looking over at the next building they see the shooter, wearing a cape, leap towards another rooftop. Logan tells Gambit to shake a leg, their attacker is makin’ for the docks. Gambit tells him they’ll catch him up right quick.

Before long, Gambit and Logan have made it to the docks. He mentions to Logan that they almost have him. Logan replies that “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Almost on cue, their attacker tosses two grenades in their direction. When they land, Gambit says they ain’t no frags – they’re gas. Logan says naaa, just smoke. In all of the smoke, Gambit says that he can’t see nutttin’ and that their attacker gone get away sure ‘nuff. Logan replies not unless he’s doublin’ back.

In the cover of smoke, Gambit is knocked out by a crack from the attacker’s gun. Upon hearing the attack, Logan pops his claws and tells the attacker that he shoulda’ just slunk away in the smoke. Now, he has to mess with the ol’ canuckle-cutter and he’s still the best at what he does. With that, Logan starts to hack away at their attacker. As he does, he tells him let’s see what he looks like under the cape an’ cowl, he hopes he ain’t no psycho millionaire with a utility belt.

Before long, Logan recognizes their assailant as Maverick and asks what… Maverick tells him that he’s not what he used to be, but then who is in these bitter times. He adds that his adamantium would have opened him up clean to the spine. Maverick then tells Logan so much for idle chitchat and challenges him to get down. He tells Logan that he had best go for it, before hot leptons start burning through his sinus cavities. Logan answers he don’t think so. Just then, Gambit’s playing cards fly in and create a blast that knocks Maverick backwards. Gambit tells Logan that if he ain’t goin’ take him out, to leave him to him, he’ll… Logan informs Remy to back off; he has this under control.

Perched on the side of a building’s roof, Maverick points his gun at Logan. Logan begins to climb up the roof and tells him that the weight is on him and he’s comin’. He says to Maverick that he had best start shootin’ if he’s a mind to ‘cause he’s gonna dodge the first few and he can take a half dozen solid hits ‘fore he goes down to his knees but he knows that won’t stop him. He’d just crawl and, when he couldn’t crawl no more, he’d just slither along like some mean ol’ diamondback ‘til he was lookin’ him dead in the eye straight down into his heart. Once he reaches Maverick, he slices the gun out of his hand and says to him that he ain’t pullin’ the trigger on him. He adds that he was holdin’ back, he wasn’t tryin’ to kill them, he was trying to get them to kill him. Logan then asks him why. Maverick says why, he’ll tell him why.

He’ll show him why, Maverick responds. With that, Maverick removes his faceplate and shows Logan and Remy his face. He tells them it’s not a pretty sight. It is what happens in the middle stages of a Legacy Virus infection. In the final stages, he wouldn’t even be able to get around. Putting his faceplate back on, he says that it’s not a way for a man to die, is it. He has no wish to lie around and wait to rot away. Logan angrily grabs Maverick by the collar and says to him that he decided to get him to do his dirty work. He adds thanks a bunch, he ain’t got enough ugly luggage to carry around with him. Maverick replies that he went through all the “stages” – depression, anger, denial, acceptance. Everything the experts tell one to expect.

Logan lets go off him as Maverick continues. At first, he thought he should just go out and track down the primo villains of their time and let the chips fall. Go out with a bang, do the world some good. But he didn’t want to go out like that. Not blown away by some megalomaniac low life with pretensions towards world-class evil, he wanted a warrior’s death. He wanted to be sent to Valhalla by somebody he respected. Logan asks him what is he, a Viking funeral director? He asks Maverick if he wants to go out like a man, you gotta take the long walk into darkness just the same as if you was goin’ to the hardware store. You just do your job. You don’t drop out and… Maverick proceeds to walk away and says yeah, just like he’s been doing. He then tells Logan that he’s right of course. One must get on with what’s left of one’s life – make it count. He adds that perhaps Logan should be taking his own advice. Once Maverick has left, Gambit tells Logan to not let him get to him; he’s just hittin’ him back. Logan says yeah, but he’s doin’ what he meant t’do, he’s hittin’ home.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Wolverine (both X-Men)


O’Donnell, Archie Corrigan, Rose Wu, Tyger Tiger, and Police Chief Tai (acquaintances of Logan’s that reside in Madripoor)

Various patrons of the Princess Bar

Members of the Hand (Kuro Ryu and Shiro Tora)

In Wolverine’s memories:

Logan, Creed, and Maverick (members of Team X)
Unknown assailants

Story Notes: 

Sabretooth became a guest at Xavier’s back in X-Men (2nd series) #28.

Archie Corrigan’s last appearance was Wolverine (2nd series) #33.

O’Donnell’s last appearance was Wolverine (2nd series) #17.

Tyger Tiger’s last appearance was Wolverine (2nd series) #33.

Logan last saw Rose Wu back in Uncanny X-Men #257.

Gambit’s hatred towards Sabretooth stems back to an incident in Paris as shown in flashbacks – X-Men (2nd series) #33 and as his time with the Marauders as shown in Uncanny X-Men #350 during the trial of Gambit.

Logan spent time with Zoe Culloden back in Wolverine (2nd series) #79-81.

George Reeves played Superman in the 1950s in the television show “Adventures of Superman.”

Fred Astaire was a famous American dancer who is often remembered as dancing with Ginger Rogers as well as others. He was most active between 1930 and 1950.

Wolverine left the X-Men back in Wolverine (2nd series) #75.

The psycho millionaire with a utility belt that Logan refers to is of course, Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego Batman.

Maverick was last seen in a Wolverine comic back in Wolverine (2nd series) #64. After this appearance, he will be seen in his one-shot. From there, he will be seen in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #15 and then his own series.

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