Wolverine (2nd series) #89

Issue Date: 
January 1995
Story Title: 
The Mask of Ogun

Larry Hama (script), Fabio Laguna (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Pat Brosseau (lettering), Marie Javins (coloring), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief), cover by Adam Kubert

Brief Description: 

In New York, Logan is in the process of making his way home – Salem Center. He is almost there when he is approached by the Ghost Rider. He tells him that the spirit of Ogun has killed some guards at a local museum. Logan decides to follow Ghost Rider and discovers the carnage that exists in Ogun’s wake. At the museum Logan also sees the demon mask of Ogun, which he thought he already destroyed. After recalling the training he received from Ogun, Logan with the assistance of Ghost Rider is able to kill his former sensei again. In Salem Center, Gambit informs Sabretooth that an old friend of his is coming to visit. Sabretooth isn’t impressed and tells Gambit to inform the little runt that he’s waiting for him.

Full Summary: 

Driving his motorcycle down the road, Logan thinks to himself that the smell o’ the industrial Jersey marshlands greets him like a friendly old wind. It’s the smell o’ the outskirts o’ the “tri-state area.” It means the ol’ canucklehead is getting close to home. Home is where folks care. They can love ya or they can hate ya, but whichever way, it really matters. Funny, it took a man dyin’ o’ the Legacy Virus to show him the way home.

Arriving at the toll-booth, Logan tosses four bucks at the still asleep toll attendant. At four in the mornin’, even the toll booth attendants on the George Washington bridge are snoozin’. The other side o’ the bridge is New York City but he’s just skirtin’ the northern edge o’ Manhattan and boltin’ straight up to Salem Center where…

At that moment, Logan catches a sight out of the corner of his eye and hears the sound of another motorcycle pulling up next to him. He tells the other rider fancy meetin’ him there. Too bad he gave up smokin’, he could’ve got a light from his head.

Ghost Rider informs him that this is no chance meeting. A long and complex skein of occult evil unravels tonight and the loose strands bear the marks of his claws. Logan asks him if he is waxin’ poetical on him again and how that is in plain English. Ghost Rider replies a spectre from his past sheds innocent blood this night. Logan tells him that he’s gotta do better than that. He adds that he best say something right quick to make him take the right turn or he’s gonna peel off to the left and head for Salem Center. Ghost Rider gives him one name – Ogun. Hearing that name, Logan follow Ghost Rider and tells him that he sure knows how to press the right buttons when he has a mind to, don’t he?

Driving through the dark recesses of the city, Logan thinks to himself that he could be ridin’ past the manicured lawns o’ suburban Westchester but instead he’s cruisin’ the mean streets of upper Manhattan, rollin’ through neighborhoods wasted by drugs and despair. A place where random gunfire is just part o’ the local color. A place where predators rule. Predators have a finely tuned survival instinct. They know when not to mess and who not to mess with. For instance, the ruffians of the street leave Logan and Ghost Rider well enough alone. Logan knows it’s no use askin’ ol’ flame-head where they’re headin’. He’ll just find out when they get there. Pretty soon, they leave the barrio behind and hit Fifth Avenue. Ritzy condos, home to plutocrats, shysters, rag-traders, entertainment lawyers, investment bankers, and bejeweled dowagers.

Eventually, they reach their destination – the Metropolitan Museum. When they get there, Logan asks Ghost Rider if he’s into late-night culture. Ghost Rider doesn’t answer as they drive their bikes up the steps of the museum. Logan mentions that he guesses they’ll find out inside.

When they get inside, Logan views the carnage before him. He says aloud that the doors are blasted open and all the guards have been taken out. Logan then asks what happened to the alarms and where the armed response is. To himself, he wonders why he bothers asking.

He then asks Ghost Rider what the museum has to do with his long-dead mentor Ogun. Ghost Rider replies that it was the shedding of innocent blood that drew him to the museum. He found the entire building permeated with an evil mystic aura. The empty halls reverberating with the thin echo of the name Logan as if some revanent wraith, unshriven and lost, was intoning a malicious mantra.

Logan asks him how he knew he was comin’, how did he know to wait for him at the bridge. Ghost Rider informs him that he who waits for him there knew of his arrival and he sensed his longing for confrontation. There are only so many routes across the river to Westchester and he reasoned he would choose the one with a view. Logan informs Ghost Rider that he don’t know if he buys all o’ that.

In short time, they reach a section of the museum that houses a suit o’ Japanese armor. Logan inquires as to why it is there. Ghost Rider tells him there’s a special exhibit there this month on loan from the Japanese government – “Treasures of the Martial Tradition.” Logan then sees something in the display case and exclaims no, it can’t be. He pulverized it! He crumbled it to dust above his dead body. He destroyed the demon mask when he killed his former mentor.

Logan dismounts his bike and stands before the mask in the case. He recalls there was a full moon shinin’ on that Tokyo rooftop that night. Ogun was wearin’ the mask, like he was showin’ his true colors. He was tryin’ to steal Kitty Pryde’s soul and he forced him to let the berserker animal inside him loose. He’d loved Ogun like a father, and he put him down like a dog. He tells Ghost Rider that he crushed that mask, he knows he did.
Ghost Rider informs him that there are certain artifacts of the black arts that can’t be unmade by normal means, they must be mystically unbound from their physical manifestation.

Just then, a crash is heard from another area. Logan and Ghost Rider immediately head back towards the arms and armor exhibit to discover that the suit of Japanese armor is missing, all except the helmet. Ghost Rider exclaims that it was all a ploy, a ruse to draw them away from the mask and sword.

Logan, changing into his yellow and blue costume tells Ghost Rider that he’s way ahead o’ him, he knows he’s back there. When they get back to where the demon mask was, they find that it is gone along with the sword. Logan informs Ghost Rider that Ogun is still there, somewhere. Ghost Rider says he lurks in the darkling corners but he casts a long shadow. Logan indicates that he sees it, but somethin’s not right – the scent is familiar, but it’s wrong. Ghost Rider asks if it is the taint of the grave. Logan says maybe, but now it’s time to throw down, it’s time to get heavy.

From behind Logan, Ogun comes flying and tells him brave words, but mere bravado will not save him this night. He tells Logan that he was the master and that he was the pupil – as good as he has become, he is still his better. Ghost Rider asks if he is good enough to stave off righteous vengeance for the innocent lives he has taken. With that, he flings the pieces of his chain towards Ogun. With deft ease, Ogun blocks them all and tells him that he is a master of thirteen styles and he is above the pitiful human characterizations of innocent and guilt.

As Ghost Rider’s chain returns to him, he tells Ogun he has great skill but he’s not above his vengeance. Logan then says to Ogun that only the master himself could have pulled off that piece o’ technique and challenges him to go to claw city. Popping his bone claws, he rushes towards Ogun and says let’s see how clean his style really is. When Logan takes a swipe with his claws, Ogun leaps over him. As he does, he asks him if remembers the writings of Sun Tzu. Be swift as the wind, unfathomable as the clouds, move like a thunderbolt. He also said choose your killing ground and make the enemy come to it. With that, Ogun takes off deeper into the museum.

Ghost Rider informs Logan that Ogun is going into the new Egyptian wing, into the temple of Dendur. He adds that there is a fearsome evil power at work there. He then asks Wolverine if his mentor was a sorcerer as well as a martial artist. Logan replies that he didn’t know it until it was too late. He had Kitty Pryde completely under his evil spell for a while. He offered her immortality, maybe he really meant it. It sure looks like he managed to beat death himself. Ghost Rider says that it is as hard to kill a sorcerer as it is to unmake their magic. Logan tells him that he did it once before and he’s sure he didn’t want to do it. He can’t forget what he once was to him. If there’s any way to stop him short o’ killin’ him again…
Ogun overhears Logan and tells him that he must, that is his doom. Just as his (Ogun’s) doom is to die by his (Logan’s) hand, over and over again. It is the fate of the scientific warrior to be devoured by the untamed beast. Tossing up his sword, Ogun tells Logan that he casts away his sword; the glaive of laminated steel, forged by mystic smiths. He then challenges Logan to challenge him – he is unarmed.

With those words, Logan remembers. All those years ago, back when was Ogun’s student. Ogun said those same words in that bamboo garden on the mountainside. They were fencing with the wooden practice swords called boken when Ogun dropped his weapon and told Logan that he was unarmed. Logan was hesitant at first, but Ogun ordered him to attack.
With that command, Logan did. The bamboo blocked his every thrust and every time he missed, Ogun swatted him with his open hand. A mere slap? A master like Ogun can kill a full-grown water buffalo with one slap. Ogun could have stopped. Logan recalls that he would have got the point after three or four slaps but he just kept whalin’ on him.
Eventually, he lost it. The animal inside him got loose. It was like a red fog rolled over him and all of a sudden, it was him doin’ the whalin’. It didn’t stop for a good long time.
Once the battle was complete, Logan drops to his knees and asks his sensei to forgive him and asks what he has done. The battered Ogun lifts himself up off the ground and tells him that he has won but asks was it the man or the beast who won. Ogun then tells Logan that they all have these two natures constantly in conflict with each other. The true master has them in perfectly balanced opposition, permitting neither to get the upper hand. This is called “walking the sword’s edge between heaven and hell.”

It’s a memory like a freight train speedin’ through his head flashin’ by and gone before he knows it. As Logan rushes towards Ogun he wonders if he’s forgettin’ somethin’. Just then he remembers Ogun’s sword and wonders where it is. He threw it away, no – straight up. He tries to recall how many seconds ago. Where is it coming down?

As it plummets towards his head, Ghost Rider whips it with his chain, allowing Logan to grab it out of mid-air. Holding the sword above his head, Logan tells Ogun that the beast ain’t winnin’ this time.
As he brings it down, he thinks to himself that Ogun taught him too well. He’s walkin’ the sword’s edge now. He’s splittin’ the difference. With that, he brings the sword down on Ogun’s head. The mask falls to the ground in two pieces and Logan is able to catch a fleetin’ glimpse o’ the face behind it. The face is his own before it vanishes into smoke and dust and the empty armor collapses like a puppet with cut strings.

With Ogun gone, Ghost Rider mentions to Logan that was him in the armor, or some sort of doppelganger. He thought Logan said it was Ogun. Logan replies that it was Ogun, the sorcerer, reachin’ out from beyond the grave to attack him with a part o’ himself but he forgot that he taught him about balancin’ the animal and the rational mind in himself. As the sun rises over the city and it pours into the museum’s windows Logan quips that maybe the dead can’t remember.

In Salem Center, Sabretooth watches reporter Trish Tilby on television. She reports there is a hostage situation in progress this moment in lower Manhattan. Suspected serial killer Linus Dorfman has barricaded himself in his apartment with an unknown number of prisoners. Emergency service unit SWAT teams are on site along with the hostage negotiation specialists.
Gambit comes up behind Sabretooth and switches off the television and tells him that he was wit’ a frien’ of his and he tol’ him to tell him he’s on his way back there. Sabretooth informs the Cajun that he ain’t got no friends Gambit says he’s not tell him dat to cheer him up. He’s thinkin’ maybe it make him squirm lil’ bit. Sabretooth replies that’ll be the day when a little, cutesy-boy like him can make him squirm. Angrily, he turns around and asks Gambit if he wants to see squirmin’. He’ll show him some world-class squirmin’.
With that, Sabretooth leaps towards Gambit. Gambit warns him to stay back, the force field. When Sabretooth hits the force field, he keeps pressing on until Gambit tells him to get back, he can’t… Picking himself up off the ground Sabretooth asks squirm. He then chuckles and tells Gambit that he shoulda seen himself. The look on his mug is gonna put him in stitches. He then tells him to go tell the lil’ sawed-off runt, Mr. ain’t-got-the-metal-no-more Logan that ol’ Creed’s jus’ waitin’ on him. You tell him that, hear?

Characters Involved: 


Ghost Rider


Trish Tilby

Various New York residents and museum personnel (all unnamed)

In Wolverine’s memories:



Kitty Pryde

Story Notes: 

Logan met up with Maverick, who was dying of the Legacy Virus, back in Wolverine 2nd series #87. That meeting changed Logan’s perspective on life.

Logan crushed the mask of Ogun and saved Kitty Pryde from his control back in Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #6.

Ogun took control of Kitty Pryde back in Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2-4.

Linus Dorfman was last seen in Wolverine 2nd series #43.

Gambit spent time with Logan in Madripoor back in Wolverine 2nd series #87.

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

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