Wolverine #31-33 (1990)

Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri will be on this book for a while, and they’ll start treating it like a true “solo character” book, with ongoing plotlines and attempts to develop Wolverine as a character.  It starts with a tie back to the best solo Wolverine story ever—the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller 4-issue miniseries that broke Logan out as an important Marvel character.  The Yakuza were the bad guys there, and they return, here, as employees of Tiger Tyger, the Madripoor crime kingpin, and protectors of an evil scientist who tries to get monkeys exported from Madripoor for his experiments, and they are negotiating with Karma’s dad, General Coy, who is a Madripoor military leader.

The Yakuza preemptively attack Wolverine because he’s foiled General Coy’s plans before.

During their first fight, Wolverine gets stabbed, thrown into the Pacific, and eaten by sharks.  When he is recovering, he smokes a cigar and his lungs are still punctured so smoke comes out of his belly.

That’s cool, right?  See, already this book is better with Hama.

He’s left for dead, buried alive, heals, wakes up, and goes to Japan to fight the Yakuza on their home turf.  And, of course, he kills the evil scientist in the end.

That scene of him underground is pretty chilling.  Silvestri’s art is working well.

The Yakuza prove to be formidable foes in this story, rather than just a bunch of ninjas who get killed a lot.  This is a really nice reboot of a book that was kind of pointless and tired.

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