Wolverine (4th series) #20

Issue Date: 
February 2012
Story Title: 
And Then There Was War: Part 1

Jason Aaron (writer), Renato Guedes (pencils), Jose Wilson Magalhaes (inks), Matthew Wilson (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody LeHeup and Sebastian Girner (assistant editors), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Renato Guedes (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In Central Park, Mr. Takenaka (leader of the Yakuza) and Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin (leader of the Hand) meet to diffuse any hostilities between the two organizations. When the Buzzard Brothers interrupt and break-up the meeting, Cassie Lathrop intervenes and ushers Takenaka and Fisk out of there. Before the Buzzard Brothers can give chase, Logan jumps into the fray and begins to battle them. He is assisted by an unnamed shooter, who takes out the Buzzard’s out from afar. Logan eventually meets up with the van that Fisk and Takenaka are ushered into and finds Lynx, Cassie Lathrop and Seraph there. Joining them with Melita in tow, the group takes Takenaka to a private plane headed to Tokyo. Seraph tells Logan that, if Takenaka dies, a war happens between the Yakuza and the Hand. Seraph has an idea who would want that, but Logan wouldn’t be happy about who she thinks it is. Aboard Takenaka’s plane, he is pulled out of it and dropped from it. Radioing in, Takenaka’s attacker tells his boss that they wanted a war; he – Sabretooth – just gave it to them.

Full Summary: 

By way of radio contact, a voice tells one of their undercover agents “all right, here we go.” As a limousine pulls up, the voice states that it looks like their secondary target is arriving now. Visual confirmation – the fat man has landed. He’s making his way through the park. You should have him any second now. The undercover agent, a young blonde-haired lady sees the Kingpin, flanked by his entourage and says she’s got it; she’s following. After she asks if there’s any sign of their primary target, she is told no and is reminded to stay sharp. As the young woman begins to tail the Kingpin, two homeless men looking in a trashcan watch her intently.

In another section of the park, Logan takes Melita Garner to a hot dog cart. Melita remarks that, when he says he’ll buy a girl breakfast, he really goes all out, doesn’t he? Logan replies that the next time they’ll do the Shake Shack, he promises. Laughing, Melita tells him now he’s just trying to impress her. She has to get going anyway. She doesn’t wanna be late for her fist day at the (Daily) Bugle. She still doesn’t quiet know her way around the subway. Yesterday, she thought she was going to Soho and ended up in the Bronx. Lovely place, the Bronx. As Melita continues to talk, Logan sees an older Asian man walking down the path, flanked by two of his men. Melita then begins to ask Logan what he’s got planned for the day but finds him to be nowhere around.

In a rather secluded area of Central Park, Kingpin welcomes Mr. Takenaka to New York City. Now mind telling him exactly what it is he can do for him. Takenaka says to Mr. Fisk that he can end this war before it begins. When Fisk asks what war this is, Takenaka tells him not to play games that will only get men killed – many men, both of theirs. Fisk replies that he’s a guest in his country, so he’ll forgive his ignorance. But he assures him he does not play games. Takenaka says either he is lying or it is him who is the ignorant one. Fisk tells Takenaka that he suggest he makes his point with more haste.

Takenaka asks Fisk that he knows the man named Kenuichio Harada, more commonly known as the Silver Samurai. After Fisk answers that he knows of him, Takenaka adds then he knows that he is dead. Fisk replies he did not, nor does he particularly care. Takenaka continues that Mr. Harada was the Oyabun of Clan Yashida, a powerful force in the Japanese underworld. His death has left a great vacancy there. One they are now expected to fight over. Fisk informs Takenaka that this man and his Clan mean nothing to him. He has no interest in squabbling over Japanese table scraps. Takenaka states nor does he have any interest in teaching manners to upstart Americans. But nevertheless, here he is. He has come all this way in order to secure a peace, face-to-face. His country has suffered much in recent months. He would not add to that burden with a needless war. Bowing, Fisk says then so be it. Let there be peace between the Hand and the Yakuza.

Watching from afar, voices remark that the bowing is good. Nice friendly meeting. Let’s just keep it that way.

Just then, from behind, one of the homeless men walks up to one of Takenaka’s men and asks him if he can spare any change. He’s trying to raise a down payment on a cheeseburger. When the man utters something in Japanese, the homeless man (Boyd Buzzard) jams his knife into the man’s neck. As he does, he says that sure didn’t sound very nice.

Hiding behind a tree, the young blonde lady following the action is informed that they have hostiles and to go to plan B.

As Boyd Buzzard takes a bite out of the man’s face, his brother (Bufford Buzzard) reminds him to stick to the plan. First they kill, then they eat. With that, Bufford fires his bone gun and shoots teeth bullets into the other man following Takenaka. Boyd tells his brother sorry. He just ain’t never met no Oriental fellar before. He’s gotta say, they ain’t bad. Bufford says fine, he can have all the little guys. He wants the big ole fat one.

Upon seeing the attackers, Fisk asks what in the hell... Takenaka calls Fisk a coward and a black-hearted devil. Fisk replies that this isn’t him, you crazy old bastard. Beginning to open up his shirt, Takenaka says this is what happens when you let an American run the Hand. He poisons everyone around him with his laziness and dishonor. Does he want to kill the Kumicho? Have the courage to do it like a man.

Just then, the young lady watching intervenes and knocks Takenaka to the ground, telling him to keep his shirt on as she does. The young blonde lady informs her contact that the target’s been acquired. Which way’s the exit? The contact tells her to hold that thought. They’re making one now.

At that moment, a shot is fired from afar from a rifle with scope and blows a large hole in Boyd’s stomach. Grabbing hold of his stomach, Boyd mentions to Bufford that he thinks someone just shot a big ole hole in his gut. Bufford says yeah, and proceeds to ask him how that makes him feel. Boyd replies would he believe… hungry as hell.

As the young blonde woman leads Takenaka and Kingpin away from the battle, her contact informs her that they’re super-powered. Get the targets out now. Make for the street. Takenaka says to Fisk that now he sends women to do his work, you cowardly… After the woman tells them both to keep moving, Fisk asks her who the hell she is. The young woman replies that her name is Cassie Lathrop and she’s there to keep them alive. Don’t make her second-guess herself.

Further back, Bufford remarks to Boyd that they’re making a run for it. Boyd says they ain’t goin’ nowhere. Let him just grab a quick bite. Just then, Logan arrives on the scene, pops his claws with a snikt, jams them into Boyd’s head, and tells him to chew on this. Bufford says well lookie here. It’s the man who cut off his pleasurin’ hand. Hold him down. Grabbing hold of Logan, Boyd tells him he’s got him. Carve him off a slice.

While Cassie continues to lead Takenaka and Fisk towards the street, she looks back and asks if that was a “snikt” she just heard. She could’ve sworn she just heard a snikt. Her contact tells her to keep moving. They’ve got this. Pulling another property of NASA experimental bullet asteroid buster out of the box, the contact remarks how tempting it is to wanna put one of these right up his… Instead, they fire at Bufford’s legs.

Reaching the street, Fisk mentions to Cassie that it sounds like they’re shooting cannons back there. Cassie tells him to just keep moving and points out that a nearby van is their ride. When she tells him to get in, Fisk says he’s had about enough of this. No way is he going anywhere with her. Pointing her gun at Fisk’s face, Cassie tells him that she swears to God she will kill him herself before she’ll let them do it. That’s just the sort of sore loser she is. Get in the van. Now! As Takenaka and Fisk enter the van, the driver, a young woman asks Cassie if she really heard a snikt. Did she see him? Cassie tells her simply to drive.

Back inside Central Park, the shooter fires again, this time hitting Boyd. Lying on the ground, Boyd weakly tells Bufford that he don’t feel so good. What in the hell kinda bullets were those?

Inside the van, the driver asks Cassie what the hell happened. Who tried the hit? Cassie informs her that it was a coupla homeless guys with guns that shoot teeth. Turning towards Fisk, she asks him if that rings any bells, fat boy. Just then, the driver curses and slams on the brakes. Standing outside the van, Logan tells everybody to get out, slowly. Don’t make any sudden… When the windows are rolled down, Logan sees the two ladies inside and asks what… in the hell… are they…? From behind, a diminutive woman asks Logan that he sees lots of familiar places, huh? Make it one more. <>

Turning around, Logan sees Seraph carrying a sniper rifle and mentions that he thought she was… Seraph asks “dead?” Yeah. And last she heard, he was in hell. Logan asks what this is. What sorta web is she tangled up in this time? Seraph tells him war, assassination, international espionage. He knows, same old same old. Get in. She’ll explain on the way.

As Logan prepares to enter the van, Melita arrives and asks Logan what this is. Why did he run off? Who are all these women? Stammering, Logan says to Seraph um… this is… Seraph asks Logan does he think she doesn’t know who he’s sleeping with at any given moment. She then tells Ms. Garner that it’s a pleasure to finally meet her. Formal introductions will have to wait. Everybody please… get in the damn van.

Sometime later, as Mr. Takenaka boards a private plane, Seraph tells Cassie to get on the phone to Japan and tell them Takenaka is on his way home, still in one piece. Tell them they did their job.

At that moment, Fisk demands to know what’s happening there. Who do these women work for? Wagging her finger at him, Seraph informs Fisk they work for her, Seraph Investigations. Does he want a business card? She can nail one to his kneecap if he’d like. Fisk asks who she works for, little woman. Seraph answers whoever the hell she pleases, at present, the Japanese government. Their mission was to make sure Mr. Takenaka didn’t meet with any unfortunate accidents during his trip there, like being gunned down in the park by super-powered homeless men.

After Fisk states that he had nothing to do with that, Seraph asks is that right. Logan interjects that they’re called the Buzzard Brothers. But when he crossed paths with them, they were just regular old rednecks who liked to eat folks for fun. Somebody powered ‘em up. Pulling out her radio, Seraph says let’s just find out who, shall they?

Inside a warehouse, the driver of the van, Lynx, continues to beat on the chained Buzzard Brothers. Seraph radios in and asks if their captives said anything. Lynx replies that they said everything. Seraph asks if they said everything then why is she still hitting them? Lynx answers it’s either hit them or tear her eyeballs out. Did she see her? She bets she thinks she’s prettier than all of them put together. Seraph tells her to keep it together or she goes back to the jungle. Lynx says ninjas. They say they work for ninjas. Fisk says that’s a lie. Seraph says maybe or maybe he just isn’t as in control of the Hand as he’d like to believe.

Just then, two limousines pull up and a number of Hand ninjas leap out, surrounding Fisk. Fisk informs them he will be leaving now, and takes off. Watching him leave, Seraph says ah shucks. And here they were just getting to know each other.

With Mr. Takenaka on his way back to Japan, and Fisk gone, Seraph says somebody wants a war. And if it isn’t either one of them… Logan tells Seraph that she really needs to tell him what the hell’s going on. Cassie yells at Logan that they don’t take orders from him, #&*%@. Seraph tries to calm her down, but Cassie exclaims no, to hell with him. They can’t trust him. She might think she can but, just as soon as you look the other way, he’ll up and run out on you. Melita says oh okay, she gets it. They’re all ex-girlfriends, aren’t they? When Logan calls out Seraph’s name, she tells him that like she said, someone in the Japanese underworld wants to see a war between the Hand and the Yakuza. If Takenaka had died on American soil, that’s exactly what they would’ve had. Logan asks someone, “like who?” When she gives him no answer at first, Logan asks, “like who?” Seraph tells him she has some ideas and he isn’t gonna like ‘em.

Aboard Takenaka’s plane, the pilot says there are clear skies ahead. They should be touching down in Tokyo in about 12 hours. Turning to his co-pilot, he asks if something is wrong. His co-pilot says he could’ve sworn he saw another plane back there. The pilot tells him there’s nothing on the radar.

Just then, a loud whump is heard that shakes the plane. The pilot asks what the hell that was and tells his co-pilot that he better go check on Mr. Takenaka, just to be safe. Heading back to the main part of the plane, the co-pilot asks Takenaka if everything is all right. When Takenaka asks what that noise was, the co-pilot says it was just a bit of turbulence. He can assure him everything’s all… Looking out the window, Takenaka remarks and so, the devil comes at last… At that moment, a large hand crashes through the window, grabs Takenaka, and pulls him out of the plane.

Perched on top of the plane, Takenaka’s attacker is asked via radio if they have made contact with the target. The attacker replies oh yeah, he’d say so. The radio asks him to please confirm that the target has been neutralized. The attacker answers that the target’s taking a nose dive from 30,000 feet. That neutralized enough for them? He told them he’d deliver, didn’t he? They wanted a war? Sabretooth just gave them a war.

Characters Involved: 


Melita Garner

Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (leader of the Hand)

Various unnamed members of the Kingpin’s entourage

Various unnamed ninjas of the Hand

Mr. Takenaka (leader of the Yakuza)

Various unnamed members of the Yakuza

Unnamed pilots flying Mr. Takenaka’s plane

Boyd and Bufford Buzzard

Cassie Lathrop, Lynx, and Seraph


Various unnamed residents and street vendors in New York

Story Notes: 

Kingpin took control of the Hand back in the “Shadowland” storyline.

The original Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada was killed back in Wolverine (4th series) #1.

Boyd and Bufford Buzzard were first seen in Wolverine (4th series) #5.1. In that issue, Logan sliced off Bufford’s left hand.

Cassie Lathrop was last seen in Wolverine (3rd series) #13. She is, amongst others, one of Logan’s ex-flames.

Lynx was last seen in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #123-130, published 19 years previously way back in 1993.

Issue Information: 
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