Wolverine (4th series) #300

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 
Back in Japan: Part 1

Jason Aaron (writer), Adam Kubert & Paul Mounts (art for chapters 1, 4, 7), Ron Garney & Jason Keith (art for chapters 2, 5), Steve Sanders & Sotocolors (art for chapters 3, 6), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody LeHeup & 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), Adam Kubert (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In Japan, Logan learns from Yukio that the Silver Samurai had a son and that there is a war brewing between the Hand and the Yakuza. At a building owned by the Hand, the new Silver Samurai (Shingen Harada) and his girlfriend, Amiko, break in and steal a power source. During the break-in, however, Amiko is taken captive. Using his own special way of interrogating people, Logan learns about an upcoming meeting between the Hand and the Yakuza at a temple. At the same time, members of the Yakuza try to convince Sabretooth to go to Los Angeles airport and get a briefcase with a million dollars in it. Making his way to a secret Hand outpost, Azuma Goda, director of the Tokyo branch of the Hand recruits a bunch of ninjas. At the temple, the Yakuza meeting there are attacked by the Hand ninjas brought there by Goda. Simultaneously, Creed (hired by Goda) and Logan meet up, begin to fight and eventually end up in the temple as well. As the battle rages on in the temple, Shingen arrives in his new armor to get Amiko back. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, “Sabretooth” picks up the money but is revealed later to by Mystique, who is in cohorts with Creed as well.

Full Summary: 

In Westchester, at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Kitty Pryde angrily leads Quentin Quire down the hall by his ear. As she does, she tells him just wait until the headmaster hears about this. Upon reaching Logan’s door, she finds a note taped to it that says “Gone to Japan!”

Chapter One: Welcome Back, Gaijin.

Sitting on a plane, surrounded by Japanese businessmen, Logan remarks that they’re still somewhere over the Pacific when he gets tired of waiting. Once he gets up to use the bathroom, the flight attendant heads down the aisle and passes out swords to everyone.

Inside the bathroom, Logan knows that it shouldn’t be long now. As gas seeps through the vents, he states that he knew there was something funny about this flight as soon as he stepped on board. Something tells him after this, Avengers ID or not, it’s gonna be a helluva long time before anybody lets him on another plane. Slicing the door open with his claws, Logan finds himself face to face with ninjas wearing gas masks. Rushing into battle, Logan says just once you’d think he could come to Japan without being attacked by a bunch of damn ninjas. Ah, who is he kidding, this is better than the in-flight movie.
Hours later, the plane lands in Japan. When it does, Logan exits it, leaving the dead ninjas behind him.

Chapter Two: Secret of the Silver Samurai.

Standing at the Miyago Prefecture, Clan Yashida ancestral compound, Logan stands solemnly in front of a gravestone. Just then, a voice from behind tells him they buried him where he fell. The Silver Samurai died defending this place. As you can see, he wasn’t entirely successful. They suppose they’ve all lost something of late. Seeing Yukio in a wheelchair, Logan tells her he doesn’t know what to say, except he’s sorry. This was all his fault. Yukio says the ones who orchestrated all of this, who burned these buildings, who killed the Silver Samurai, who took her legs, the ones who called themselves the Red Right Hand… they are dead, yes? Gritting his teeth, Logan answers yes. Rolling away, Yukio asks then what is there to whine about? Come, they have much to discuss.

As they walk, Yukio says to Logan that he’s come back because of the war, she imagines. With Silver Samurai’s death leaving Clan Yashida leaderless, it was only a matter of time before the vultures began circling. The Hand and the Yakuza have proven to be the fattest of those vultures. For many years, there has been a balance of power between the gangsters and the disciples of the beast. Those days, she’s afraid, are finished. Word is, the Hand have assassinated boss Takenaka, supreme godfather of the Yamaguchi-Gumi, largest of the Yakuza. War is inevitable.

Logan says not if he can help it. He just has to find out who’s pulling the strings and how they wanna die. Yukio replies oh Logan, ever the big American, come to save them lowly Orientals from themselves. When Logan notes that he’s Canadian, Yukio replies “same difference.” Reaching a secured vault, Yukio opens it and shows Logan its insides. Yukio tells him to behold the ancestral fortunes of Clan Yashida, the secret treasure of the Silver Samurai.

Logan tells her impressive. He assumes she knows they’re being followed. Yukio tells him she’s paralyzed, not deaf. They’re Yakuza. Opening the vault was the surest way to draw them out. When Logan asks if they’re there just for the money, Yukio says no. There’s something else…

Just then, Logan is shot in the back with a bazooka, flinging him towards the Silver Samurai’s grave. One of the Yakuza sees Logan reaching for the sword and says sword versus bullets and bazookas. That’s a sucker’s bet, gaijin. Logan says he likes his odds. At the vault, one of the Yakuza calls Yukio a gimp and tells her that she knows why they’re there. Give them what they want, and they promise not to make her life any more miserable than it already is. Pulling out her own sword, Yukio tells him she’ll remind him that he said that in about 90 seconds… once they’re all looking up at her.

82 seconds later, Yukio mentions to Logan that it always puts her in the mood. When Logan asks what’s that, Yukio tells him killing a bunch of fools who deserves to die. Yukio then asks Logan what does he say? Once around the block for old time’s sake? She still has some feeling below the waist. When Logan declines, she tells him fine, your loss.

Logan mentions that Yukio said the treasure wasn’t the only thing they were after. Yukio says no, they were hoping to find a clue. Logan asks a clue to what. Yukio replies to the identity of Harada’s heir. She’s read his will. The Silver Samurai had a son. Logan remarks that this is gonna be uglier than he thought. Does she know where to find this kid? Yukio says she’s got a pretty good idea, but she’s hesitant to tell him. After Logan asks why that is, Yukio says because it answers another question he hasn’t even had the guts to ask her yet…

Chapter Three: Young Ronin in Love.

Sitting in a van outside a building, a young man asks Amiko where she is and proceeds to ask her if she’s ready for this. Amiko tells him no, but let’s do it anyway. The young man calls Amiko babe and tells her she better get suited up. Amiko tells the young man, Shin(gen) that she still doesn’t even understand what they’re doing there. Shin tells her it’s simple: They’re breaking into the most sophisticated corporate laboratory in all of Tokyo. A lab with secrets so coveted they allegedly use assassins as security guards. They’ll have to navigate through security systems so cutting edge that the rest of the world won’t have them for another 15 years. All so they can steal something so dangerous and unstable that if used improperly, the ambulance will have to gather up their remains with a sponge.

Amiko asks why exactly she is helping him do this crazy and highly illegal thing. Shin tells her because she’s his girlfriend. And she has to admit, this beats the hell out of dinner and a movie. Placing the helmet on his head and using suction cups to climb the wall, Shin tells Amiko that the helmet works. That’s promising. Amiko remarks that she thought he said he tested that thing. Shin answers that he ran some computer simulations. And she’ll be happy to know he was explosively decapitated in only 32% of them. Following closely behind, Amiko says dinner and a movie wouldn’t be so bad every once in a while.

Inside the building, Amiko asks Shin how it’s coming. Shin tells her he’s just disabled something called a “full body liquefier.” Now if he can just keep them alive another hour and a half… they’ll be a third of the way there. Amiko points out this is ridiculous, this is taking way too long. Shin states that he’s circumventing their systems three at a time. Give him a little credit, would she? Seeing light-bending incubators, Shin wonders aloud what in the world would they be growing in those? When some creatures come through the wall, Amiko says she think she can guess. Turning around, Shin sees the invisible four-armed techno-organic wall ninjas. Of course. He wants one.

Amiko remarks that she knows this fighting style. He (Shin) didn’t tell her the Hand was involved in this. Shin says they own the building. Did he forget to mention that? Shin then asks Amiko if she would like a laser sword or some nuclear-powered nunchucks. Fighting the wall ninjas with her fighting skill, Amiko says to Shin him and his damn gadgets. Just find whatever the hell it is they came there for. And pray to God her father never finds out about any of this.

Grabbing the power source, Shin flies out the window. Outside, Shin excitedly exclaims they did it. With this power source, he can finish his suit and then they can…Amiko, hang on tight, baby. He seems to have lost steering control of his boot jets. They better… Amiko! After seeing Amiko being absorbed into the wall by the techno ninjas, Shin yells nooooo!!

Chapter Four: Same old snikt.

In various locations around Japan, Logan takes out a number of members of the Japanese underground. Eventually, Logan finally finds someone who is willing to talk. He tells him either he starts talkin’ or he starts stabbin’. What’s it gonna be?

The man tells him he’ll talk, just please… please don’t hurt him. When Logan tells him to talk faster, the man says he hears… he hears a lotta crazy things. War… war’s about to explode. He hears the Yakuza has an army a million strong and more money than God. But the Hand can bring people back from the dead. He hears somebody threw boss Takenaka out of an airplane. He hears the Silver Samurai had a bastard.

Logan asks who’s pulling the strings. Who wants war? The man tells him they all do. And they’ll all be there tomorrow, some little town in Iwate Prefecture. He heard something about a temple, a big meeting, everybody getting together to talk peace. As if there was any chance of that. People are gonna have to die, no way around it. Lots and lots of people. Just please, not him. He told him what he wanted. Okay? He told him all he knows. Please don’t pop the claws. Logan says all right and promptly, a distinctive snikt is heard. Screaming, the man calls Logan a lying #$&*@. Logan tells him not to be a baby. He only popped two.

Chapter Five: Cooking with Sabretooth.

Inside a whorehouse, a young lady tells the four men that he will see them now. Once inside the private room, the man asks the four what he can do for them. One of the men in business suits tells him they’ve been sent to make him a business proposal. The man says that’s funny. Last he checked, he and the Yakuza wasn’t exactly on the same side.

The Yakuza leader says one million dollars in cash. Someone will be waiting for him with the money, exactly twelve hours from now in the Los Angeles International airport. The man asks L.A.? But he was just starting to like it there. This Kobe beef is sure somethin’. And there is the little matter of the meeting planned for tomorrow. His boss would sure be sore if he missed that. The Yakuza say that is the deal. There is no negotiating. What is his answer? The man says well… he reckons they’ll just have to wait and find out tomorrow, won’t they?

Pointing their weapons at the man sitting at the table with a whole dead cow laying on it, the Yakuza tell him that is not good enough. The man, Sabretooth, asks them are they sure they ain’t hungry? There’s plenty for everybody. Just carve off whatever they like. He doesn’t know about them, but he likes his rare.

In short time, an older, white-haired woman steps into the room and asks Creed if he needs anything else. Creed says no thank ya, momma. He does believe he’s full. Tell him somethin’ though… how long has been coming there? The woman answers as long as momma been there. Very long time. Creed says in all that time, he bets he has ran up quite a tab, huh. The woman says he know momma had to mention it. Grabbing the old woman in a tender embrace, Creed tells her to grab three of her finest honeys and a couple dozen beers and meet him in the Jacuzzi to settle up. When the older woman asks Creed if he means it, he tells her yeah, ain’t she heard? He’s about to be a millionaire. The woman tells Creed that he hates to break it to him, but that not gonna cover it. With the dead Yakuza strewn around them in the room, Creed asks really? Damn. Better make it two honeys then.

Chapter Six: Last day on the farm.

The next day, at Iwate Prefecture, a limo pulls up and a young man in a business suit steps out. Bowing, he tells the farmer good morning. The farmer replies good morning and says he appears lost. The man remarks perhaps so, he is looking for Shirato-San. When the farmer replies that is he, the young man says then it would appear that his not so lost after all. He imagines he can guess why he has come.

Shirato says he’s sorry, but he’s afraid he can’t. The young man says he has come to talk business. They share the same employer. Shirato says he is afraid he is mistaken. He is a farmer. He owns this place himself. The young man replies he sees. He is, of course, an extremely and cautious man. He expected no less. It is a most tremendous honor to meet him. He must admit that he never dared believe men like him still existed. It does his heart good to see that he does. Shirato says he’s sorry… he still doesn’t understand. The man says invisibility. Their kind used to cherish that, did they not? There was a time, they were all like ghosts. When Shirato asks their kind, the man says he will play along for as long as he likes. He is referring of course to ninjas.

Shirato says ninjas. He must be joking. The young man says in the old days, when they killed a man, he never even knew they were there. No one did. Their methods were so painstakingly refined as to be imperceptible. They committed entire massacres that remained invisible. Wiped whole towns off the map, and no one ever knew. Now, what are they? Lazy, misguided, foolishly enamored of the west and their endless cavalcade of men in ridiculous costumes. They even have a bloated American gangster, the Kingpin, as their figurehead. He’s sure it must disgust him even more than it does him. If a customer today wishes to procure their services, what exactly do they have to offer him? Well, sir, we can have a dozen men in robes and masks jump through the window with swords and throwing stars. Or they can have two dozen men in robes and masks jump through the window with swords and throwing stars. As much as it pains him to admit, they have become a joke, a sad cliché. But they together will begin to change that, starting today. Won’t they?

Shirato stammers that he… he doesn’t know who he thinks he is, but he’s afraid he must ask him to… Cutting him off, the man gets a stern look on his face and tells Shirato that he was stationed there 45 years ago, told to settle down, build a life and wait. Wait for a day that may never come. The young man introduces himself as Azuma Goda, director of the Tokyo branch of the Hand. And it is his honor to inform him that his day has finally arrived. Nearby, Shirato’s wife and son ask him if everything is all right. Goda proceeds to tell Shirato that he hopes this talk has satisfied his cautious nature, as he is afraid he can wait no longer. He must now ask that he show him his true face.

In short time, Shirato’s wife and son are dead as they walk to a nearby building. Goda tells Shirato that… was truly inspiring. He is as amazing as he was led to believe. He has no doubts his preparations will prove to be satisfactory. Shirato informs Goda that he has detailed maps of everything in a ten mile radius. Every hill and valley, every home, files on every resident or visitor for the last 50 years, both living and dead. Goda tells Shirato their target is a temple. Opening a gate, revealing a semi, Shirato says he knows the place. He has dug tunnels that will take him right to it. When the semi is opened, a number of ninjas shrouded in black leap out.

As they do, Goda tells Shirato perfect, he has done well. Shirato asks if this fulfills his duty to the Hand. Goda says if he so wishes it. Shirato tells him that he must hear him say it. As Shirato bows, Goda tells him his duty has been fulfilled. Shirato says thank you. While the ninjas leap into the tunnel that had been dug, Goda remarks what a great day to be a ninja. On the farm, Shirato kills himself by jamming his sword into his chest and dies next to his wife and son.

Chapter Seven: Welcome to the Temple of the Fist.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles International airport, members of the Yakuza inform their contacts in Japan that it’s done. Sabretooth is there and just walked away with the money. When the person in Japan asks if they’re sure it was him, the Yakuza says yes sir. There’s no mistaking the face.

In Japan, at the temple in Iwate Prefecture, members of the Yakuza sit in a circle. One of them remarks that the animal Sabretooth is being dealt with. If the Hand have the guts to dare show themselves there today, which he doubts, they simply shoot them very man times in their stupid ninja faces, dump their bodies in the sea and go back to the business of running this country however the hell they please. He trusts there are no objections to that.

Just then, Azuma Goda walks past the horde of Yakuza outside and opens the doors to the temple. He apologizes for being late. He hopes they haven’t started without him. When one of the Yakuza asks him who the hell he is, Goda introduces himself and adds that he will be representing the Hand today. Another member of the Yakuza informs him they don’t talk to lackeys. Where is Wilson Fisk? Goda says somewhere stuffing his face would be his guess. He’s the man they want to talk to. He’s the man who had boss Takenaka tossed out of his airplane, in midair. He’s the one responsible for starting this entire little war. Now are there any more questions or shall they get started?

As Logan makes his way down the road on his motorcycle towards the temple, he is seen by Yakuza members. They wonder aloud what the hell this guy thinks he’s doing. Doesn’t he know a Yakuza roadblock when he sees one? Upon reaching the cars, Logan pops his claws and, in short time, destroys the roadblock with ease. Continuing down the road, Logan is suddenly stopped by cords strung between two trees across the road. Once Logan’s motorcycle is destroyed and he is caught in the cords, Creed emerges from behind a tree and tells him he knows this is gonna sound crazy, but someone swore up and down that it was true. They told him he was a school teacher now. A school teacher! Now what the hell kinda class would he be qualified to teach. “1001 ways to get your ass beat, with Professor Jimbo Canucklehead.” Heh, always a pleasure, runt. With that, Creed, wearing a jetpack, takes off into the sky.

Once in the air, Creed contacts Goda and informs him that the schoolmarm’s been Wile E. Coyote’d. He is airborne and en route. He’ll be there in thirty seconds. Goda calmly tells him to take his time. Just then, Logan leaps onto Creed’s back. As Logan fights Creed mid-air, he tells him that he’s gonna wish he’d stayed dead. Creed shoots back that he’s gonna wish he’d stayed in hell. As they continue to fight, they crash into a nearby cliff, jostling the jetpack loose and they tumble to the ground below, fighting the whole way.

Inside the temple, a member of the Yakuza tells Goda that, whoever he is, he must be the worst ninja ever. He then informs his fellow Yakuza to kill him and mail his bits to Wilson Fisk. Goda remarks that he rather likes his bits where they are, if they don’t mind. Hello? His bits have just been threatened. That should be their cue. At that moment, a number of Hand ninjas emerge from the ground below and begin to attack the Yakuza. As they do, Goda exclaims to them to with their swords. Death to the Yakuza! And may their wounds open the way to the future. Long live the Hand!

As the battle rages on, Creed and Logan plummet into the temple. In the insanity that ensues, one of the Yakuza leaders calls out for reinforcements in the form of sky Yakuza. While Yakuza parachute in, Creed and Logan continue their vicious fight. Upon seeing Creed, one of the Yakuza leaders asks how he is there. He’s supposed to be in Los Angeles. Another says he thought he was supposed to be dead. Still another orders his followers to kill the ninja bastards. Kill every last damn one!

Surrounding Goda, two Hand ninjas tell him they should get him to safety. Goda tells them not to be ridiculous. He’s not going anywhere. Their guest of honor hasn’t even shown up yet. Turning to a captive Amiko, he asks her has he? Amiko tells him her dad is totally going to kill him. Goda replies that it’s not her father he’s interested in. Just then, an explosion occurs. When it does, Goda says this should be their man now. Coming face to face with Shingen, Goda states that he was hoping her boyfriend might show, though he wasn’t expecting such an outlandish get-up. The day’s just full of surprises, isn’t it? But then…he supposes he should expect nothing less from the son of the Silver Samurai.

In Los Angeles, “Sabretooth” pulls out a phone and leaves Victor Creed a message that says they figured he was busy. Just wanted to let them know, they’ve got the money and they’re heading his way now. Same some for me… lover. As they walk through the airport, “Sabretooth” morphs into their actual form – Mystique!

Characters Involved: 



Kitty Pryde and Kid Omega (Quentin Quire)

Amiko Koboyashi

Shin Harada (Kenuichio Harada – the first Silver Samurai’s son)



Azuma Goda (director of the Tokyo branch of the Hand)

Various unnamed ninjas of the Hand

Various unnamed members of the Yakuza

Various unnamed ninjas

Various unnamed four-armed techno-organic wall ninjas

Various unnamed individuals in Los Angeles airport

Story Notes: 

This issue is marked as #300 in Wolverine’s series. The previous 299 were made up of: 189 issues of Wolverine’s 2nd series, 74 issues of Wolverine’s 3rd series (that series changed over to Dark Wolverine with #75), 16 issues of Wolverine: Weapon X and 20 issues of Wolverine’s 4th series. Some notable issues left out of this number include: Wolverine’s 1st series (4 issues) and Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant Size. There were also a number of annuals and a ton of one-shots.

At the end of this comic, there is a cover gallery of Wolverine (2nd series) #1-189, Wolverine (3rd series) #1-74, Wolverine: Weapon X #1-16, and Wolverine (4th series) #1-20 and #300. It also includes a number of the variant covers released during that span as well.

This issue marks the first appearance of both Azuma Goda and Shin Harada.

The 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.

Sabretooth was killed by Wolverine when he lopped off his head back in Wolverine (3rd series) #55.

Wolverine killed Mystique back in Wolverine (4th series) #9. At the end of that issue, Mystique’s dead body was auctioned off and purchased by what looked to be members of the Hand.

Wile E. Coyote was a famous character in the Warner Bros. cartoon series. His main nemesis was the Roadrunner, whom he was constantly trying to catch, almost invariably to no avail. One time, Wile E. Coyote caught the Roadrunner but did not know what to do with him once he had him.

This issue also has a 6 page preview of an upcoming issue entitled Wolverine: Sabretooth Reborn by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi. In it, Logan makes his way to the top of the Empire State Building where he finds Cloak chained. After freeing him, Logan discovers that Sabretooth is back and he is holding Dagger hostage. As the duo plummet to the street below, Logan implores Cloak to teleport them out of there, but Cloak is too weak.

Also included in this issue are pencil sketches of Sabretooth by Adam Kubert, and the Silver Samurai design sheet with commentary by artist Steven Sanders and assistant editor Sebastian Girner.

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