Wolverine (4th series) #301

Issue Date: 
April 2012
Story Title: 
Back in Japan: Part 2

Jason Aaron (writer), Billy Tan & Jason Keith (art for chapters 8, 11, 12), Steve Sanders & Sotocolor (art for chapters 9, 10), 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)

Brief Description: 

Inside the temple, Creed and Logan continue to fight as the battle rages on between the Hand and the Yakuza. When Logan sees that Amiko is in trouble, he leaps to save her, tackling Shingen Harada in the process as he mistakenly believes he is the bad guy. After a battle between he and Harada, in which each gives their best, Logan is triumphant. Nevertheless, in the end, Goda and Creed take Harada hostage, much to Amiko’s chagrin. Logan agrees to help save Harada from Goda and makes his way to a hospital, where he blows a ninjas cover as a patient and discovers where he can find the Hand. Later, at the cave opening, Logan and Yukio enter, unbeknownst to them that Amiko is following behind. Inside the cave, where Goda is keeping Harada hostage, a bunch of mind ninjas, Creed and Mystique are waiting for the heroes.

Full Summary: 

Chapter Eight: Just another day in Japan.

Hordes of ninja assassins battling an army of Yakuza gangsters, tearing apart a once peaceful Buddhist temple. A man in a high-tech samurai costume swinging glowing swords. The air thick with death rattles and guttural curses, the ground wet with blood, much of it my own. Someone with claws trying to tear my face off. In other words…nothin’ I ain’t used to.

As Wolverine continues to fight Sabretooth, Azuma Goda watches Shingen Harada (the Silver Samurai) tear through his Hand ninjas. He says impressive. It’s almost a shame they have to kill him. Notice he said almost. Why isn’t he dead yet? Just then, Amiko yells out to Shin to run. They’re going to kill him.

Upon hearing Amiko’s voice, Logan looks over in her direction. When he does, Sabretooth slashes him across the back and tells him that it’s best he keep his head in the game, runt. When Creed leaps at Logan, Logan asks him if he knows the big difference between them. The reason he’s always gonna beat him. After dodging Creed’s strike and jamming his claws in his back, his face, and then his throat, Logan tells him that he’s actually has something worth fightin’ for.

Watching Shin continue to take care of the ninjas with ease, Amiko tells Goda that his ninjas suck. Goda calmly thanks her for that thoroughly insightful criticism. But need he remind her, he cares absolutely nothing about her in any way whatsoever. She is there only as bait for her boyfriend. If she were to die screaming right this very second, it would make no difference whatsoever to him. Wrapping the chain holding her wrists together around Goda’s neck, Amiko tells him right back at ya, bub. As Shin rushes over towards her, he tells Amiko that they need to get outta there. Amiko replies yeah, just one more minute. At that moment, Logan runs over and tells Shin to get the hell away from his daughter. When he tackles Shin to the ground, Amiko calls him a big dumb idiot.

Amidst the battle, the Yakuza leaders remark that the ninja scum are falling in droves. It’s time to pour it on, send in wave two. Another quips ninja-Yakuza war… bah. This isn’t a war, it’s a massacre. Pulling Amiko off of Goda, Creed tells her hands off the boss man, he still owes him money. Barely able to talk, Goda tells Creed he hasn’t… he hasn’t earned it yet. Get them out of there. Turning around, Creed sees what wave two is – Yakuza thugs on crotch-rockets, armed with chainsaws. He’s starting to see why Logan likes this place so much. With that, Creed tears through and kills two of them.

Chapter Nine: Ladies and Gentlemen…the all-new Silver Samurai!

Flying out the window, Logan and Shin land on the front lawn of the temple. Logan proceeds to tell him that he never shoulda dragged his daughter into this, pal. Shin retorts that she’s not his daughter, and he’s not his pal. Logan asks yeah, what is he to him then, bub? Shin tells him his name is Shingen Harada. His friends call him Shin. But he can call him the Silver Samurai. As they engage in battle, Logan tells him that he can’t just put on a costume and call himself a samurai. Doesn’t matter who his daddy was. Shin fires back that he loves that he’s getting a lecture on his own culture from an American. When Logan corrects that he’s a Canadian, Shin says that’s even worse.

After punching Logan away into a nearby tree with ease, Shin tells him to go back to Canada. Nobody needs him there. least of all Amiko. Throwing a log at Shin, Logan says what nobody needs is another smart-ass kid putting people in danger, playing a man’s game he’s got no business playing. When Logan gets close, Shin fries him with a blast and tells him he doesn’t know, he thinks he’s playing it pretty good. Flying, Shin grabs Logan in mid-air. When he does, he asks him where he thinks his father was while his mother was dying of cancer. Probably off fighting him, or trying to rob some stupid bank. Where he wasn’t, was by her side. But he was.

How about when the kids in the orphanage took their turns kicking him down the stairs. Where was his father then? Or when he made his first battle suit from an old microwave, three bicycle chains, and a bag of rusty old nails… and put every last one of those little bastards in traction for a month. He grew up a long time ago with no damn help from him or anyone else. Shin then pins Logan to a tree with a sword through his gut and then blows him up with a large blast.

As Shin walks away triumphantly, a badly damaged Logan walks away from the explosion and proceeds to slice Shin across the back with the sword. He then tells him that he may think he’s all growed up… but he still has some growin’ yet to do, junior. Pulling back his sword from Logan, Shin tells him that he’ll avoid the obvious short joke and just tell him to go @#$% himself.

Chapter Ten: Ninjas = 1. Yakuza = 0.

Just then, the doors to the temple open and Goda leads a cadre of Hand ninjas out. He tells them to forget the girl, referring to Amiko. It’s the samurai they want. When some dust is blown in Amiko’s face, she cries out in pain. Hearing her call out, Logan (who is beginning to heal) begins to rush towards her. Shin does as well. When Shin gets close, Logan knocks him into the ground and tells him to find himself a new line of work and a new girlfriend.

Grabbing hold of Amiko, Logan begins to slice through the ninjas. As they do, Amiko begins to cry and asks where Shin is. Logan tells her gettin’ the hell outta there if he’s got any sense. Picking himself up off the ground, Shin says “okay, dad.” Now he sees why he always wanted to kill that guy. Shin then looks up to see Creed standing over him, holding a chainsaw. Amiko sees that Sabretooth is there and tells Logan that they can’t just leave Shin to fight Creed. A fully healed Logan says damn it and tells her to wait right there.

Across the grounds of the temple, members of the Yakuza point their guns at the ninjas of the Hand. With Shin in the clutches of Creed, Goda tells the Yakuza that he suggests they go and bury their dead now. While they still have someone left to do the digging. When the order is given to kill them, the Yakuza begin to fire upon the Hand. Their bullets do not meet their intended target however, when they disappear into thin air. As Amiko yells out noooooo and cries profusely, members of the Yakuza state that they hate ninjas. Logan then drives off on his motorcycle, with Amiko in tow.

Chapter Eleven: Ninja in a coma.

As Logan, Yukio and Amiko enter a hospital, Amiko reminds Logan that they need to find Shin. Logan tells her they will but Amiko states that if they don’t find him, the Hand will kill him. After Logan says he won’t let that happen, Amiko says “so he says.” But he’s the guy who let them take him in the first place. Logan answers that he was busy saving her life. Amiko shoots back that she doesn’t need him to save her. She never has. Logan tells her that, if she wants him to find her boyfriend, let him do his job.

Entering a hospital room, Amiko sees a man lying in a bed, connected to a breathing apparatus and asks Logan who he is. Logan tells her this is the guy who’s gonna tell them where to find the Hand. Reading his chart, Yukio adds that his name is Mamoru Tsuruoka. According to this, he’s been in a coma… for five years. Leaning over him, Logan asks “five years, huh?” Then he oughtta have plenty to say. Popping a single claw, Logan adds that he just has to give him the proper motivation.

After Logan cuts the breathing tube, Amiko and Yukio are in shock and a number of nurses rush into the room. They point out that Mamoru’s vital signs are off-line. Get the crash cart! With Logan standing in their way, the nurses tell him to move or this man will die. Logan calmly says no. He doesn’t think he will. Yukio looks at Logan and tells him this is barbaric. Just then, Mamoru pops up in his bed, calls Logan an insufferable bastard and that he’s going to kill him for this.

Shortly, on a rooftop, Logan and Mamoru face off against each other, swords in the air. As they continue to stare at each other, Amiko mentions to Yukio that she thought she said they were gonna fight each other. After Yukio says they are, Amiko remarks that they haven’t even moved for 15 minutes. Yukio tells her, if she believes that, then she simply is not watching. Just then, Mamoru drops his sword and says that’s impossible. Bowing to Mamoru, Logan tells him that was a splendid battle. Shocked, Mamoru says Logan just killed him. Logan adds in only 487 moves. Mamoru says but he’s never killed him. Logan states that in “Mamoru defense,” he has been lying in a bed for five years.

Angrily pointing his finger at Logan, Mamoru tells him not to remind him. He just cost him five years of work. When Logan asks who the target was, Mamoru tells him someone at the hospital has been secretly murdering coma patients. He was hired by the families of the deceased to find them and deliver justice. And he was getting close. Another two years or so and he would have most certainly uncovered them. Logan offers his apologies and adds that, when he’s done with his business, he promises he’ll help him with his.

Mamoru asks what business that is and Logan tells him he needs to find the Hand. Mamoru rhetorically asks that he came to an old man who’s pretending to be in a coma for five years to do so? Logan replies that he’s the only ninja he knows that’ll talk to him. Mamoru says the Hand are not ninja. They are the cheapest of imitations; pretenders, slandering a once proud art. Logan says all he needs to know is where to find them. Mamoru responds that, like the rats they are, the Hand have always preferred to hide in the darkness. They have used many caves over the years. But none more so than the Yoshimi Hyakuana tombs.

Bowing, Logan thanks Mamoru and tells him he is a fine and honorable man. For a ninja. Mamoru bows back and tells Logan that he is at least slightly less insufferable and embarrassingly ignorant than the average gaijin. As Logan begins to walk away, Mamoru tells him to be warned. Rats they may be, but even rats can be dangerous when one invades their lair.

Chapter Twelve: In the clutches of the Hand.

In the underground lair of the Hand, Goda has Shingen Harada tied to a chair on a rock, surrounded by figures in cloaks and holding torches. Goda proceeds to tell Shin that he could always just kill him. As usual, that was his first instinct. But then he thought… why not give him the chance to make things easier? As the son of the Silver Samurai, he is the sole heir to Clan Yashida. Even if her were to kill him, let’s say, by stuffing him full of flesh-eating beetles, he would still have a problem. He would still have a war to wage against the Yakuza for full control of the Japanese underworld.

After Goda places one of the beetles inside his neck, Shin begins to scream. Goda remarks that he knows it’s quite the conundrum. Though perhaps there’s a simpler solution. He then tells him to go ahead and finish screaming. They’ll talk more when he’s done.

Outside the cave, Logan (in his yellow and blue uniform) tells Yukio this is it. Before entering the cave, he asks Yukio that she was sure Amiko was unconscious when they left. Yukio replies that she gassed her bedroom. She won’t be up for hours. Logan suggests they then grab the boy and go. Watching from a nearby tree, Amiko (dressed in stealth) whispers “duh” – like she doesn’t have a gas mask in her bedroom.

Once Logan and Yukio enter the cave, a ninja wearing a mask tells his cohorts they’re there. They’ve come for the boy. Creed replies yeah, partly, he guesses. But mostly just to kill every last damn one of them. The ninja wearing the mask states then they are fools. For only fools would dare enter the cave of the mind ninjas.

Flanked by a number of mind ninjas, Creed remarks that he sure likes the sound of that. Also present, Mystique says the only sounds she wants to hear are the screams of the man who killed her. One of the mind ninjas says “then let the blood orgy begin!”

Characters Involved: 


Amiko Koboyashi

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



Mamoru Tsuruoka

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

Various unnamed ninjas of the Hand

Various unnamed members of the Yakuza

Various unnamed mind ninjas – associates of the Hand

Story Notes: 

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

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.

Issue Information: 
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