Wolverine (3rd series) #40

Issue Date: 
May 2006
Story Title: 
Origins and Endings: part 5

Daniel Way (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Mark Texeira (finishes), JD Smith (colors), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Kaare Andrews (cover), Kate Levin (production), Michael O’Connor (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

In Serbia, the Winter Soldier confesses to Wolverine that he feels sorry about killing his wife and unborn baby. Logan remembers that he fell in love with his wife, Itsu, from the moment he first laid eyes upon her, back in Japan. He met her when his master, Ogun, had sent him on a quest to seek redemption, and to train with master Suboro. Suboro instead want to teach Logan how to become a better man, just like he had done with many other former samurai and ninja before him. He gave Logan a beautiful hill where he could live on. Logan built his own house, and was happy. After about five years had passed, Logan took Itsu as his wife and she eventually became pregnant. However, during a celebration ceremony to test if Logan was worthy of the life that was ahead of him, Logan lost control when a madman named Muramasa attacked the mountains nearby. He sniked out his claws, and accidentally hurt one of the villagers, which he wasn’t supposed to do. Itsu looked away from him, and Logan believed that he had failed both her and his clan, so he decided to run away. But, he couldn’t do that without saying goodbye to her first. As he was about to do that, Logan learned that somebody had killed her! Until today, Logan never knew who was responsible for that until the Soldier confessed it to him. The Soldier also mentions that he was hired to track Logan down, and made his move when Logan sought out Muramasa for revenge, thinking he was responsible, and the Soldier had Logan picked up eight hours later. Logan now knows everything he needs to know and thanks Bucky for the info, but promises that things between them aren’t over yet. He later has some old “acquaintances” forge some fake ID’s to help him get out of the country, and also picks up his old brown/orange uniform to wear, as Logan believes he needs some special gear as there will be a lot of blood spilled. He locates Muramasa in the Jasmine Hills, and is ready for revenge. Instead of immediately starting the battle, Muramasa tosses Logan a sword and tells him to wield it like an angry god.

Full Summary: 

Beneath the streets of Belgrade, Serbia…

The Winter Soldier has dragged himself and Wolverine down to the Serbian sewers for protection. The Soldier mentions to Wolverine that he knows Logan can hear him and, since they don’t have much time left, he decides to spill it all. The Soldier remembers everything now and, since Logan is there, he assumes that he remembers everything as well. The Soldiers also realizes he can’t make up for what happened, and can only apologize for doing it. So, he does that. The Soldier is sorry for killing Logan’s wife. Wolverine, sitting next to the Soldier, just glares at him without saying a word. He remembers his wife’s name… Itsu.

Years ago…

Wolverine remembers that he loved Itsu the moment he first laid eyes upon her. But that’s not the reason why he headed towards the Jasmine Falls back then. As Logan meets up with Itsu on a beautiful grass field, the two smile at each other. On that moment, Bando Suboro and his partners meet up with Logan, and recognize him. They want to know why he’s here. Logan respectfully bows for the Samurai masters, and claims that he’s here seeking redemption. Suboro wants to know how Logan knows his name. Logan explains that his sensei, Master Ogun, had told him to seek Suboro out here when he was ready for it. Suboro asks Logan if he’s ready for it now, which he confirms. Suboro and his partners tell Logan to get up, as he doesn’t need to bow for them anymore. Instead, Suboro and his partners bow to Logan, which surprises Logan greatly.

Logan, Suboro and his partners head towards a village. Suboro explains to Logan that the men of this village were all ninjas once. However, he taught them a better way, and they all live happily now and even have children. They guide Logan towards a grass hill, where they tell him he shall live. Logan takes a look around, and goes to relax on the grass. But, Suboro angrily immediately tells Logan to get back up, as he’s not a dog. He’s a man, and they don’t need to sleep on the ground. Suboro mentions to Logan that this hill will be his home, but first he’ll have to build one on it.

Wolverine remembers how he started building his new home, and didn’t quit until it was finished, and even worked at nights. He recalls that for his entire life, he has only known destruction, but there, on that hill, he learned that he could create something with his bare hands.

Later, as the house was finished, Logan invited Itsu in it and they made love. They spent some time together, and Itsu confessed that she was pregnant. Logan was happy about it. Today, Logan remembers how he, after four years of training, took Itsu as his wife. Shortly afterward, she honored him by carrying his child. Logan was the happiest man alive that day. Because from that day on, he really was a man. When Logan told the news to Suboro, he insisted they celebrated the good news.

The ceremony they had in the village was ages old. It was a test of worthiness, strength and honor. Logan remembers how scared and nervous he was on that moment. He wasn’t scared because of Itsu’s sake, but for himself. Now retired ninjas attacked Logan in a circle, and attacked him one by one and in groups. They didn’t let up. Any one of these men could have killed him with a single blow. And yet, Logan remembers how he never struck back. He kept himself in check. He realized that was the nature of the ceremony: it wasn’t really a fight, but a dance.

Suddenly, during the ceremony, an explosion takes place in the mountains nearby. Logan panics and sniks his claws open, accidentally hurting one of the villagers. Logan tries to apologize for it, but Itsu looks away from him. Suboro explains that Muramasa is responsible for the explosion. Logan doesn’t know who that is. Suboro explains that Muramasa is a madman, but that doesn’t mean he’s without power. People even spread rumors that the guy is immortal.

Logan doesn’t understand what that has to do with anything. Suboro further explains that in all things, there must be a balance, just like how he heals the broken souls of men who were once nothing but weapons, showing them the way of creation. Muramasa uses men’s souls to create greater and more terrible weapons, which are only capable of destruction. Suboro is certain that Logan will one day meet up with Muramasa, as that will be his final test. Suboro takes off, telling Logan to pray that he won’t fail that test… again.

Logan recalls how he, that same night, went out to stand on a mountain to think things over. He had dishonored his family and clan. He wasn’t worthy of raising his own child, as that was a task better left to the other, more honorable men of the village. He had failed Itsu, the woman he loved. Logan would leave Jasmine Falls, to return only when he was worthy of blessings heaped upon him. But, Logan couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to Itsu. He believed the reason for that was because he was weak. As Logan headed back home, he suddenly smelled the taste of blood half a mile out! It was Itsu’s blood! Once Logan got back home, he found Itsu… dead! He screamed in pain.

Present day…

Wolverine confesses that until today, he didn’t know that the Winter Soldier was responsible for his wife’s death. The Soldier wants to know, if that’s true, why Logan came after him. Logan wants to know if the Soldier was responsible for that explosion on the mountain as well. The Soldier denies that. He reveals that he had been watching for three days, hunkered down in a cave overlooking the village. When the Soldier heard the explosion, he thought he had been spotted. Logan believes that the Soldier killed Itsu to draw him out, and to get him to chase the Soldier.

The Soldier confirms that. He admits that, once he had accomplished his first objective, his orders were to let Logan spot him, string him around and lead him back to Madripoor. But, Logan didn’t chase him. Instead, he disappeared into the mountains. Logan explains that he had spent the last five years trying to become a better man, until he smelled blood. And that was when he realized he could never become a better man. Because after all, he wasn’t a man. Logan remembers that, once he made it to the top of the mountain, he was welcomed by Muramasa and his men.

Years ago…

Muramasa claimed that he had waited for this moment, as he wanted Logan to come to him in the way he truly was and not as a fake image. Logan only wanted one thing: to kill Muramasa and his men! It was on that night that he embraced vengeance. Muramasa promised he would help Logan achieve that goal. He wanted to take what’s inside Logan and purify it, making it stronger and harder. Next, Muramasa plans to transform that certain thing into a mighty blade, greater than any the world has ever seen and against which no man or beast that walks the Earth can stand. Even Logan himself would fall against its might. It will be Muramasa’s masterwork.

Present day…

Winter Soldier wants to know what a Muramasa is. Logan explains that Muramasa is a person, and he wants to know what the Soldier knows about that man. The Soldier claims he never heard of him. Logan reminds the Soldier that he had ambushed him a few days after he left the village, so wants to know how the Soldier could have found him. The Soldier confesses he didn’t tracked Logan over a few days… it was over the course of a couple of months.

Years ago…

The Soldier reveals that he was hiding behind a nearby hill, and had been holding his position just like he had been ordered to do. He was waiting for the right moment. Then, he heard footsteps. Logan was twenty feet away from him and completely incapacitated, and was carried away by Muramasa and his men. So, the Soldier made his move, not caring about his orders.

Present day…

Logan wants to know how long the Soldier waited for extraction. The Soldier reveals that Logan got picked up eight hours later, and he himself headed west and eventually hooked up with a unit operating in central China. When Logan wants to know if the Soldier was the only operator in the area, or if somebody had been send to shadow him, the Soldier is certain that wasn’t the case. Logan is ready to take off now, as that’s all he needed to know. He stops, promising the Soldier that the two of them aren’t done yet. The Soldier realizes that, but also that the two of them have other things to do first. Wolverine admits that the Soldier told him lots of things he didn’t even know about. He figures he has to return the favor. He leaves a stunned Soldier behind, and heads towards the train station.

Some time later…

Logan admits that he isn’t sure why he told Bucky what he told him, either if it was to get back at him or to help him out. But, he guesses that doesn’t matter. It’s too late now, anyway. He has dug up some old “acquaintances” and got them to work up some new passports, VISAS and all the other things he needs. Logan realizes those items won’t hold up under thorough inspection, but they’re good enough to get him through China. Logan also dug up his old brown/orange uniform. As he gets aboard a train, Logan believes that with all the blood that is about to be spilled, so he needs a change of clothes. There is only one thing left to get.

Later, at Jasmine Hill…

Wolverine made it back to the mountain he disappeared on years ago. He climbs it again, and angrily calls out to Muramasa, mentioning that he has returned to reclaim what’s his. Muramasa reveals himself, and wants Logan to tell him what he has come to claim. With a serious tone in his voice, Logan adds that he has come for revenge. Muramasa takes out a shining sword, tosses it to Logan, and tells him to wield it like an angry god!

Characters Involved: 


Winter Soldier


various people (all unnamed)

In flashback:

a younger Wolverine (in his Patch identity)

Itsu (Wolverine’s wife)

Winter Soldier

Bando Suboro and his unnamed partners

Muramasa and his unnamed partners

various villagers (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The story continues in Wolverine: Origins #1.

First appearance of Wolverine’s wife, Itsu and master Suboro.

More information about Wolverine and Ogun’s relationship with another can be found in the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #1-6 miniseries. The first meeting between the two was revealed in Wolverine (2nd series) #113.

Wolverine’s connection with Muramasa was first hinted upon in Wolverine (3rd series) #38.

It is unknown at this point who Wolverine’s “old acquaintances” are that help him forge the fake ID’s and such to help him get out of China. He first wore his brown/orange uniform in Uncanny X-Men #139 and stopped wearing it in X-Men (2nd series) #4 to return to his original yellow/black uniform. He’s going to wear the old uniform throughout the Wolverine: Origin series and his current one in this series.

As Logan heads back to Jasmine Hill to confront Muramasa, he has shaved off his hair as a cover identity, and looks just like he did when he was suspected of the murder on Senator Drexel Walsh, as seen in Wolverine (2nd series) #163.

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