Wolverine: Soultaker #3

Issue Date: 
June 2005
Story Title: 
Soultaker: Chapter 3: Shosei Secrets

Akira Yoshida (writer), Shin Nagasawa (pencils), Guru EFX (colors), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Katsuya Terada (cover), Sean Ryan & John Barber (assistant editors), Nick Lowe (editor), Mike Marts (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Mana freaks out about the danger Wolverine has released by waking her up. They fight until Mana realizes that Logan is not her enemy. After introducing herself, Mana explains that in the necklace, the demon Ryuki was buried, who has taken over control of Mana’s jealous sister, Hana. Wolverine sees it as his responsibility to stop them, and is ready for a battle. However, Mana warns that the upcoming battle will be mystical and, since Wolverine will use his claws, they need to be blessed. After doing that, Mana gives Wolverine a special kimono and gloves to work with. They are ready. Meanwhile, Ryuki is also well prepared. He uses his magic powers to raise an army of zombies, who were once the Shisengumi army, a group of executed samurai!

Full Summary: 

Mana is still freaked out since she believes that Wolverine has sentenced everyone on this planet to death! She gets angry, and uses a magic spell and attacks Logan, who gets thrown to the back of the room. This makes Logan angry. He snikts his claws open and attacks Mana. She again tries a magic spell, but he doges and tackles her, causing her to fall down to the ground. Wolverine grabs her throat, and threatens her with his claws. After taking a closer look at the claws, Mana notices that Wolverine has spilled Ashurado blood, and therefore isn’t her enemy.

Mana apologizes to Logan, and explains that she knows everything the necklace knows. Wolverine still doesn’t understand what’s going on. Mana offers to explain. She introduces herself as Mana Yanowa, head priestess of the Shosei Order, which are the mystic guardians of Japan. She mentions that her family has protected Japanese shores for over 800 years.

Mana reveals that she is the latest in a long lineage of Miko priestess who have safeguarded Japan from demons, curses and magical threats over the centuries. While the shogun and samurai of old fought over land and power, it was Mana’s family who kept Japan safe. She explains that, when one priestess fell, another would take her place and serve their order as its champion. Until the day Mana and her sister Hana were born.

Two girls destined to clash over leadership. Mana remembers that, when they were children, it meant nothing to them, but they quickly grew as bitter rivals when getting older, each trying their best to prove themselves the more capable warrior. And when it came down to vote for the new leader, Mana was chosen. Mana explains that she became the head priestess, and Hana chose to turn her back on the order and even leave it.

However, none could suspect that Hana would return one day and seek to assume control of the order, using powers she’d gained through studying dark and forbidden mystic arts. It was on that fateful day when sister fought sister, and when Hana did the unthinkable: Hana loosed an ancient demon that even she couldn’t contain: the demon called Ryuki!

Ryuki is a demon from Ashurado, the fourth level of hell. It has the power to control the death. Ryuki possessed Hana and sought to use her to use her to raise corpses from their graves. Mana reveals that, by using these undead minions to kill innocent people, Ryuki would in turn grow more powerful himself by absorbing the souls of the slaughtered. Once he had grown strong enough on the feast of harvested souls, Ryuki would be able to open a gateway at the bridge of six realms and cross over from hell onto Earth in his own body.

With no time to come up with a more permanent solution, Mana had to gamble with her sister’s life. She had only one hope. Mana sought to trap Ryuki’s soul inside the jewel of her necklace for eternity. And though it was successful, sacrifices had to be made. Hana’s soul was imprisoned within the jewel as well as Mana’s.

Wolverine asks when this all happened. Mana, while drinking some tea, explains that, by the current calendar, it happened in 1864. Mana tells Logan that he shouldn’t be surprised by her long life, as he has lived for quite some time too. She explains that she knows that because of the necklace, since she knows what it knows.

Wolverine asks about the cults and warrior monks. Mana explains that, since the day of their fall, the Order of Shosei protected her body, Hana’s body and the necklace – in hopes of finding a way to save the imprisoned souls. However, one night, an Ashurado cult that had long worshipped Ryuki, stormed the Shosei shrine and stole Hana’s body and the necklace from the Order. But they could not perform the spell to release Ryuki and Hana from the jewel, because Mana’s body was the key to the spell. So for years, the followers of Ashurado have searched for the secret location where Mana’s body was hidden.

Logan realizes that he led Mana’s enemies to her, and that also Ryuki and Hana are the released evils. He gets angry at the mistake he made, but Mana calms him down. She explains that nobody could have guessed what was going to happen, since the events were all too random. However, Mana knows that Logan’s past with Japan dates a long time ago, so maybe the spirits that watch over the land may have contacted with him somehow. Logan tells the girl not to mess with his memories. He just wants to stop the evil he released, and asks Mana if she knows a way to do that, or where to find the bodies.

Mana assumes, as the spiritual epicenter of Japan, the Ashurado cult must have kept Hana’s body here. So she thinks that their next move will be to create a little army from hell. That’s what troubles Wolverine. He knows that it’s the tradition to cremate the bodies of dead people in Japan, so he thinks they can’t have zombies. Mana mentions that was not always the case, as often criminals and murderers were just executed and buried by authorities, as they believed that they didn’t deserve the ritual.

That’s swell by Logan, and he wants to know where Ryuki is going to begin his battle. Mana suspects at Mibu-Zaka where Ryuki last started. There, the Shisengumi are buried. They are eleven warriors of the most wild and deadly samurai to have ever live. They are brutal killing machines, who swore revenge when they were executed as traitors when the Shogunate fell. Wolverine wants to go to the battle, but Mana warns him not to be over confident. However, she knows someone who might help them. Wolverine snikts his claws open, ready for action!

Later, Wolverine and Mana tress-pass a locked up temple. They walk until they are in a Forest. Mana explains to Logan that weapons used in mystic battles are most effective when blessed and purified, and since purity has never been one of Wolverine’s strong points, he allows her to bless his claws. Mana, with a serious look on her face, asks Logan not to make jokes. She says that since the claws are the tools that are going to be used in the battle, Wolverine himself will be the weapon. She wants to bless the entire vessel that will enter the coming conflict. Logan smirks, but goes for it.

Logan takes his shirt off, and takes a meditating sit in front of a waterfall in a nearby lake. He watches Mana using her magic, and concentrates. A few minutes later, Logan walks over to the girl, who silently hands him over a kimono and gloves. Logan puts them on, and snikts his claws open. He’s ready to kill some zombies!

Mibu-Zuka Temple. Night.

While controlling Hana’s body, Ryuki starts to glow with energy. They are ready to begin. Using the power they have, Ryuki and Hana awaken those who will do their bidding: an army of Shisengumi zombies!

Characters Involved: 


Mana Yanowa

Ryuki (demon possessing Hana Yanowa)

Shisengumi zombie army (all unnamed)

In Mana’s flash-back:

young Mana & Hana Yanowa

Ryuki (demon)

Mana’s pre-priestess (all unnamed)

zombies (all unnamed)

demon army (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

First appearance of Ryuki, Hana Yanowa and the Shisengumi zombie army.

Issue Information: 

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