Title: Debts And Obligations
Cover: Frank Miller, Josef Rubinstein
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Frank Miller
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.60
Cover Date: October 1982
Release Date: June 1982
Synopsis: Logan awakes to the urgent cries of the woman Yukio who saved him at the end of Wolverine #1. He finds himself in a bedroom surrounded by more than half a dozen ninjas intent on doing them harm. Logan responds in kindand dives through the window only to find a larger cadre of ninjas waiting on the rooftops below. Frank Miller is at his best drawing the fight scenes in this issue and the double-page spread at the beginning of this issue is nothing short of remarkable. Yukio thinks that the Hand is comprised of the world’s finest assassins, assuming that Logan will be no match for their superior numbers and skill, but he surprises her and emerges victorious.
It’s important to note that Chris Claremont’s Wolverine could be seriously harmed and would take quite a bit of time to heal from potentially mortal wounds in contrast to the way that the character is written today. This dynamic added a layer of gravity to Logan’s fights and wounds that simply doesn’t exist today as he’s written almost like Superman with a healing factor that serves as shorthand for invulnerability. The screenwriter's decision to eliminate Logan’s healing factor in The Wolverine movie was a great move that really allowed the writers to explore the depths of his character and courage in the face of insurmountable odds and seemingly certain death.
Logan and Yukio return to Logan’s hotel where she is astounded to see that his wounds from the fight have already healed. “A useful talent for a warrior,” she says. “I would give my soul to be like you.” Logan asks about the assassins of the Hand and Yukio explains that they serve a powerful crime lord who she fears and Logan vows to protect her. Yukio is clearly smitten by Logan, but his thoughts remain with Markio and he denies her advances. In an interlude that follows, Yukio visits Shingen Yashida in his office, revealing her true colors. Shingen instructs Yukio to kill a rival crime lord Katsuyori with Wolverine’s help and then to kill the mutant after he serves his purpose.
Yukio tells Logan that Katsuyori is the crimelord that she fears, tricking him into helping her with carry out Shingen’s plot. The pair sneak into Katsuyori’s castle to find the villain, but Logan is shocked to find Mariko and her husband sitting down with Katsuyori and his wife to watch a performance of the play 47 Ronin. Logan realizes that the play is a trap and intervenes in the nick of time as the lead actor draws a real sword and attacks Mariko and her husband. “If you wish Mariko-Chan’s life…You’ll have to get past me to take it.” “Then, Gaijin, We shall!” “Ok, Bub -- It’s your funeral!” An amazing fight scene follows.
As Logan fights the assassins, Katsuyori and his wife flee the castle only to have their car blown up by Yukio. “Gotcha!” Logan is holding his own against the assassins, but one of them hits him perfectly from the back with a downward sword stroke that would have cut the mutant in half if not for his adamantium bones. The wound drives Logan into a berserker rage and he makes quick and brutal work of the assassins. When the dust settles, Wolverine stands as the winner, but he is stunned to see that Mariko witnessed the whole fight and a side of himself that he would never have wanted her to know. Logan’s descent into shame will be continued next issue in “Loss.”
Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics