So much has been written about this very influential miniseries that I don’t want to belabor it on my little site. It’s one of the best miniseries of the ’80s. Suffice to say that before this, Wolverine was a favorite of some X-Men fans but after this, he was a favorite of just about everyone. The book added depth and weight and backstory (but not too much!), and was one of the early books to contain a heavy Japanese influence.
The splash page alone contained the iconic phrase about Wolverine being the best at what he does.
And he is.
He kills a bear.
He gets into a bar fight.
He goes to Japan to save his beloved Mariko from her own crime family. He duels her dad.
There’s lots of cool duels like that.
Wolverine’s feral ferocity scares Mariko.
As the story progresses, Wolverine gets deeper into the crime family and meets an assassin named Yukio…
…And includes The Hand, ninjas introduced by Frank Miller in Daredevil.
Wolverine is in Japan for Mariko, but ends up teaming up with–and flirting with–Yuriko.
But Wolverine is drunk. He’s still thinking of Mariko.
Eventually, Wolverine takes down Mariko’s dad.
And cuts through dozens of Hand Ninjas.
And kills her daddy.
Despite their flirting and Mariko resisting betraying her family, the story still ends with a wedding invitation.
That leads directly into X-Men #173.
And here’s an influence this book had that you probably haven’t heard before:
David Mack stole Frank Miller’s close-up face shot for Kabuki #1.