Writer: Ed Brisson
Pencils: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mike Deodato Jr. & Frank Martin
WHAT YOU MISSED (SPOILERS FOR ISSUES #31 and #32)
In this story Logan does the second thing he is best at, and that’s going to Japan. He reminisces a bit about his time previously spent in the country, remembering simpler times and old loves. His walk down memory-lane is cut short by running into a gang beating up a patron outside of a bar. Being the cool grandpa that he is Logan offers the buy the next round of drinks in exchange for the gang letting the man go. The generic thugs, of course, deny this offer and charge at Logan.
As he is doing the first thing that he does best (not being very nice) he notices that the gang members are healing. He maims the group, save for one member, and inquires about the source of their healing factor. Turns out they are using Regenix, an experimental drug being developed by Shigen Yashida’s (Silver Samurai) company. The hand has been smuggling this drug under Shingen’s nose and using it to give their ninjas healing abilities. They infiltrate Shingen’s office to attempt a hostile takeover. Gorgon, the hand leader, and Shingen square up to each other only to have Shingen stabbed through the back by the Scarlet Samurai. His body is unceremoniously dumped in the trash. Logan tracks down Gorgon and the Hand to put a stop to their plans and cease the manufacturing of Reginix. As he clears his way through the nameless Hand ninjas his literal hand is severed by the Scarlet Samurai who is revealed to be the resurrected former lover of our hero – Mariko Yashida.
The issue opens with a cute flashback of one of the first moments shared by Logan and Mariko where he gives her a white chrysanthemum. Flash forward to the present where Logan is on his back and missing a hand. Mariko stands above him with Gorgon pushing her to finish the job. She hesitates just long enough for Logan to dodge the blade and escape the situation.
Logan hides at a dock to heal and is found by Shingen Yashida, who has survived the attack in issue #31. Shingen informs Logan that Reginix is unstable and will eventually breakdown and kill all those who have used it. The two make an uneasy alliance and agree to stop the Hand and the shipment of Reginix going to Madripoor on the grounds that Shingen cease production of the drug and vow to not kill Mariko.
The two get the jump on Gorgon and Mariko inside of Shingen’s science facility. Gorgon escapes while Mariko is incapacitated. Shingen leaves Logan with an unconscious Mariko and sends them off to stop the Madripoor shipment, wishing to never see them again.
This is a pretty straight forward Wolverine story, but not in a bad way. This harkens back to a simpler time in Logan’s life before he was in every book and on every team. I personally love when his time spent in Japan is expounded upon and remind us that, despite being a beer-loving killing machine, there’s a side of Logan that just wants peace and quiet.
The art works best in the action sequences as the dynamic pencils and popping colors really create a sense of movement and action that not every comic artist can capture. The faces range from detailed and highly expressive to a little flat in group shots, but it’s mostly forgivable due to the great close-ups and exciting fight sequences.