Wolverine: Origins #46

Issue Date: 
May 2010
Story Title: 
Reckoning: Prologue

Daniel Way (writer), Scot Eaton (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Andy Troy (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters & production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Leinil Yu with Jason Keith (cover art)

Brief Description: 

Having decided that he’s waited long enough to face the truth about his past, Logan contacts Nightcrawler to talk. On the rooftop of the Cliff House restaurant, Logan repeats his history with Mariko. From the first time he saw her and saved her from being crushed with an earthquake, writing letters back and forth, discovering that she was married, his conflict with Lord Shingen and their unsuccessful attempt at being married. He then recounted the time when Mariko died at his own hands after she had been poisoned with blowfish toxin. Logan confesses to Kurt that he had killed her not because she wanted him to but because he didn’t want their love to die. Kurt proceeds to point out to him that she was going to die anyway and that she died on her terms, not his and that’s what he can’t handle. Logan thanks him for listening and after they exchange goodbyes, meets up with Daken, who will be joining him in his next mission.

Full Summary: 

In San Francisco, at the Tenderloin, Logan sits on his bed and looks through a satchel full of letters written by him to her. He needs to remember, he needs to… Glancing over at a bottle of Old Panther alcohol, Logan tells him there’s no more runnin’, you gotta do this. But he can’t do it alone. Destroying the shot glass with his claws, Logan calls up Nightcrawler and asks him if he can meet him somewhere. Kurt immediately agrees to do so and asks where. Logan tells him it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s private.

A while later, Logan and Kurt find are on the roof of the Cliff House restaurant. Logan says to Kurt damn elf, how’d he… Kurt answers that he called in a favor. Speaking of which… Logan tells him there’s somethin’ he needs to confess. If he would he’d like him to hear it. Kurt informs him he’s not a priest. Logan says he’s a friend, that’s better. Looking out at the sun setting, Kurt asks if it’s bad. Remembering back when he impaled Mariko Yashida on his claws, Logan tells Kurt yeah, it’s bad.

Logan mentions to Kurt there was a woman, Mariko Yashida. Does he remember her? Kurt says of course. She was to be his Logan’s wife. He remembers when he first met her. Logan replies him too. The earth moved. After saving her from an earthquake, he was in love. He didn’t even say goodbye to her when the X-Men left Japan. He didn’t want to. They kept in touch through letters – a first for him. For some reason, he was able to say a helluva lot more in writin’ than he could by talkin’.

Eventually, he told her he loved her. Eventually, she told him she loved him too. An’ then the letter stopped. ‘Bout a month later, his letters started coming back unopened. He got on a plane and went to Japan. What he found out was that Mariko had gotten married. It didn’t matter that she didn’t love him, or that he beat her. She’d done it out of a sense of duty to her father Lord Shingen. Shingen had used her to repay some debt he’d racked up, an’ was usin’ his family’s name to build a highly profitable criminal empire. The shame of it all had nearly broken Mariko’s heart. So he went to work with a vengeance. Somebody (Yukio) else got the husband, he took care of Shingen personally. But that didn’t stop him from getting’ between them. ‘Cause of what her father did, an’ the deals he’d made.

Mariko’s family, the Clan Yashida had become bound to the Japanese underworld. Until those bonds were broken, their wedding was off. As matriarch of her family, the task o’ breakin’ the Clan free of its association with the Yakuza fell upon her an’ her alone. He tried to change her mind but she told him that if she is to remain true to her sense of honor, she must undertake the task herself. She said that if he loved her, more importantly, if he respected her, he will let her do so. There was nothin’ he could do, but he couldn’t just stand by an’ do nothin’. So he left.

Kurt proceeds to ask Logan if he wishes he had not. Logan answers every day an’ night. Kurt points out that Mariko asked him… Logan says she asked him to let her regain her family’s honors on her terms rather ‘n his. An’ he couldn’t handle that. Selfishness – that’s why he left. It’s the same reason he went back, years later uninvited. It’s the same reason he killed her. Shocked, Kurt asks if this is what he came to him to confess. Logan says yes, if he’ll still hear it. After a brief moment, Kurt puts his hand on Logan’s shoulder and tells him of course he will.

Logan continues that for years, Mariko had been tryin’ to divest her family’s holdings in the Japanese underworld. She refused to go to war with the Yakuza for her family’s freedom, ‘cause that’d only lead to more bloodshed. Instead, she used political means. It wasn’t gettin’ her anywhere until Matsuo Tsurayaba of the Hand finally came to the table with an offer. As a means o’ levelin’ the playing field, the Hand would use its resources to break Clan Yashida free of its obligations to the Yakuza. It was a risky deal but one that Mariko was willin’ to make ‘cause it meant she could finally be with him.

But, there was a price to be paid in blood. Matsuo wanted one of Mariko’s fingers. He said it was a ceremonial gesture but he knew better. He’d taken somethin’ from Tsurayaba, his right hand, and he wanted to get even? He wanted to get more ‘n even, he wanted revenge. The blade was poisoned with blowfish toxin. It was quick and painful. When he got to her he didn’t know what to do. After taking her to the chapel as she had requested, Mariko asked that he kill her.

Logan explains that all the woman he’s ever loved have been taken from him. An’ he’s been powerless to stop it. He didn’t want it to happen again. That’s why he killed her. Kurt proceeds to tell Logan that what he did was not murder. It was mercy, she had been poisoned. Logan states that he could‘a saved ‘er somehow. He’s saved others from worse countless times. Kurt tries to tell him he can’t… but Logan stops him. He says to him dammit, he said he’d listen to him, so listen. He didn’t do it for her, he did it for him. He did it so that their love would last forever. So that he’d never have to watch it die.

Kurt then asks Logan if it has ever occurred to him that she may have felt the same way. Turning around, Logan asks “what?” Kurt tells him to forgive him for being blunt but she was going to die anyway. Be it from poison, old age or any number of reasons. All of which are immune to him. Pointing a finger at Kurt, Logan says he gets what he’s sayin’ but that ain’t it. He was lookin’ into her eyes when he did it. She didn’t wanna die. Kurt tells him that he doesn’t think he is “getting it” his friend.

As Logan tells him he has to go, Kurt states that she died on her terms rather than his and he cannot handle that. Logan thanks him for listening and starts to leave. Kurt asks him so now he is leaving and Logan tells him yeah. Teleporting in front of him, Kurt says not without saying goodbye he’s not. After shaking hands and sharing a hug, the two good friends part each other’s company and wish each other luck.

Standing on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Logan thinks to himself that a little luck wouldn’t hurt, considerin’ what he’s about to do an’ who he’s bringin’ with him. Logan then tells Daken it’s time and asks them if they’re ready. Daken, wearing a white suit, replies that he’s in luck, his schedule just opened up.

Characters Involved: 

Nightcrawler, Wolverine (both X-Men)


In Logan’s memories:

Mariko Yashida

Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Lilandra, Professor Charles Xavier

Lord Shingen and his followers

Mariko’s ex-husband


Madelyne Pryor

Silver Samurai

Matsuo Tsurayaba

Various unnamed members of the Hand

Story Notes: 

The Cliff House restaurant is located on the cliffs just north of Ocean Beach on the western side of San Francisco. It was first erected in 1858.

Logan first met Mariko Yashida back in X-Men (1st series) #118 and in that issue saved her from being killed by an earthquake.

Wolverine’s conflict with Shingen and his betrothal to Mariko all took place in Wolverine (1st series) #1-4.

Mariko broke off her wedding to Logan back in Uncanny X-Men #173.

Logan and Gambit traveled to Japan to bail Jubilee out of jail [Wolverine (2nd series) #55], subsequently end up getting attacked by Matsuo Tsurayaba’s forces Wolverine (2nd series) #56], and culminated with Logan’s mercy killing of Mariko [Wolverine (2nd series) #57].

This story is continued next in Dark Wolverine #85.

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