Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler Paul Smith
Inker Bob Wiacek
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Colorist Glynis Wein
Cover Dated September 1983
That cover, of all the times to have your eyes shut, Wolverine.
Issue opens with Wolverine trashing a local bar. He is speaking Japanese, Rogue is enjoying watching a professional at work. They are looking for Nabatone.
The two page upper panel of Wolverine holding the guy by his neck, so much talent there.
Yukio and Storm are looking for safe shelter, to rest. No one will let them in. Storm’s hair is a mess. Six guys show up and Yukio likes the odds. Storm believes you only live once.
At Nabatone’s house, Rogue flies the two of them to the top floor – by passing the traps. While inside, Rogue trips an alarm. Wolverine is tempted to have her take the shot, to see how much punishment she can take. He figures he might need her later, so he pushs her out of the way.
Rogue wants to kiss him for the safe. This sequence is spread out over five small panels, slowing down the pace. He lifts his fist under her chin, telling her if she ever threatens him or the X-Men like that again, he will end her. She didn’t mean any harm.
Wolverine comes across Nabatone, who had been dead for a week. They know they have been chasing a dead end, as well as someone is posing as Nabatone.
Yukio and Storm finish their fight. Now that Storm is embracing her new wild attitude, her powers are under control again.
At the hospital, Viper and some ninjas are taking out the bodyguards protecting the sick X-Men. Rogue dashes in, taking out several of the ninjas. Wolverine shows up as does Silver Samurai.
These next three pages. Smith, Wiacek and Wein are in perfect harmony. From the red backgrounds to the wordless fight, the sequence is perfection.
Right as Wolverine is going to kill her half-brother, Mariko takes pity and stops him. Wolverine states this will never end if Silver Samurai doesn’t die tonight. He lives, and it never does end until everyone is dead.
Viper, not happy with this lost, picks up a gun. Wolverine is too weak, but he still tries to move Mariko to safety. Luckily, Rogue flies in in time and pushes Wolverine and Mariko across the hall.
Smith really does an amazing job of using either five or four wide screen panels to move the story at an exciting pace.
Rogue doesn’t know her new strength still and the couple flies through the hallway. Viper tells Rogue that Viper hopes her teammates know the sacrifice she has made, Rogue laughs that her teammates don’t care about her at all. Viper leaves and Wolverine gets to Rogue finally. Rogue tells him that she wanted to save Mariko as she showed her kindness. Viper states that both sides has had loses and that it is now up to Silver Samurai to decide if he will continue the fight. The scene ends with a fantastic nearly all white panel with Wolverine holding Rogue as small as Smith could draw them while still being identifiable.
Now, if this was a modern comic, this is where the issue would end. Instead, we get another issue’s worth of content without it feeling too much or overwhelming. All of Smith’s issues feel like blockbusters can could be movies onto themselves.
A week has passed. Mariko is in front of a Buddha statue, she is nervous on her wedding day. She is lost in thought and doesn’t notice that she isn’t alone. The guy is nearly off panel but puts her under a spell.
Logan and the X-Men are welcoming guests. Too bad we don’t see if Mariko has anyone for her side of the aisle. I am under the impression she doesn’t, as Kitty is operating as her maid of honor.
Scott’s family shows up, his brother Alex, his girlfiriend, Polaris, his father Corsair, and Madelyne Pryor. This is weird for the next few pages. One would think that Scott would have called ahead, to give people a heads up that Maddie looks like a super weird clone of Jean. I wonder if he wanted to gauge reactions to confirm some of his fears and to make Maddie feel out of place.
Lilandra sees Maddie and tries to kill her. Colossus holds her back, Xavier puts her at ease. Alex should have told Scott to not approach Maddie romantically, as it is weird. There should be a What If? Scott stayed with Lee Forrester. That would have changed a slew of stories.
Then Storm shows up, and we get 80s Storm in full glory. Storm likes her new mohawk and leather outfit. She asks if Kitty likes it and poor Kitty states “how could you?” and runs off crying. I have never understood this reaction, it is way too extreme. I like this Storm, strong and fierce. Scott asks about her change and Storm is ready to ignore him when she is caught off guard by Madelyne. Honestly, Scott must really hate her at this point to subject her to this. Why she stuck around is beyond me.
Now comes the page that made me fall in love with both Madelyne and Lockheed. Kitty gets teased (or flirted with) by Kurt, telling her she looks good in her outfit. Kitty moves on to Madelyne, handing her a big hat box. Kitty asks her if she wouldn’t mind looking over Lockheed for her. Lockheed is sleeping and shouldn’t be a bother. Madelyne agrees and Kitty is off. I adore this scene as Kitty doesn’t even hint that what is in the box is anything unusual. At least point of her career, Lockheed is a normal part of life.
Madelyne thinks to herself how she wished she had a younger sister like Kitty. She also loves the name Lockheed for a cat. She peeks inside to make sure the little guy is sleeping. Lockheed is curled into a ball and sleeping without a care in the world. Madelyne looks up, and in a great sequence, grabs Scott’s tie, pulls him in, and asks what he has gotten her into. It is broken up in four panels and it is a great acting moment and Scott’s surprise only adds to the beauty of it.
Mariko walks in, dressed in her wedding gown. Logan heads to the alter. Mariko stops the ceremony, tells Logan he is not worry of her. The wedding is off. Logan is left with a tear on his face and a mustached man, who any long time fan would instantly recognize as Mastermind in his Jason Wyngarde shape, is smiling.
I feel bad for Logan, no doubt, but I feel worst for people like Scott who had to travel from Alaska to Japan for this ceremony. It isn’t like they teleported. It is over 3,000 miles and over 7 hours of time in a plane. Then you get Xavier and Lilandra from New York. I don’t get the impression the Starjammers are there so the Summers clan had to fly there. Of course, this was suppose to be a happy occasion but to not go through with it? Ooof, what a waste.
Issue ends with Colossus answering the letters. If I had my letter printed that month, I would have been sorely disappointed.