& Blade of the Immortal Page
They murdered his wife. They charged him, falsely, with treason. Now they stand, swords ready, in his home, holding an official order, signed by his master, demanding that he and his infant son die by ritual suicide.
Itto Ogami, the Shogun's decapitator, lifts his son, Daigoro, to his side and begins to laugh...
Wrongfully accused of plotting to overthrow the Shogun, Itto Ogami becomes an outlaw, wandering through the provinces of Japan, seeking vengeance for the murder of his wife and family. Accompanied by his infant son, Daigoro, Ogami soon becomes known as the "Lone Wolf with Cub" and "The Baby Cart Assassin."
Once Ogami had been the Shogun's official executioner, using his deft swordmanship
to end the lives of rebellious lords who defied the Shogun. His skills with the blade were
Issue 1 - The Assassin's Road + The Coming of the Cold
The Yagyu clan, the deadly assassins empowered to enforce the Shogun's will coveted Ogami's office of the executioner as well. They framed him, killed his wife, and now they come to his home bearing an official order from the Shogun, demanding Ogami's death by ritual suicide...
Issue 2 - Pitiful Osue
Ogami is feared by many in powerful places. They fear unseen enemies; they fear revenge from the families of those they murdered to attain their positions; they fear the Lone Wolf. They would kill Ogami before he has a chance to strike if they did not have to face his deadly blade. Now the Lone Wolf lies unconscious, deathly ill. Now he is defenseless. Now they will come. Now only the infant Daigoro - the Lone Wolf's cub - stands between his father and an army of assassins determined to destroy the Lone Wolf.
Issue 3 - The Gateless Barrier
The Lone Wolf has chosen the assassin's road; but can he truly transcend himself and become the perfect assassin? Is it possible for him to reach the state of "Mu" - to feel nothing? "When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha." These words echo in Itto Ogami's mind when he is hired to kill a wise and benevolent priest who shows him the way to "The Gateless Barrier."
|Issue 4 - The Flute of the Fallen Tiger
But in a nation of Samurai, there are many skilled warriors. Amongst the most fearsome are the Kurokuwashu ninja - the Shogun's dreaded secret agents. And the Kurokuwashu have legends of their own...
|Issue 5 - Half Mat, Whole Mat, A Fistful of Rice
Itto Ogami has taken the assassin's road. He has become a masterless samurai - a ronin - and he walks the path of Meifu-mado, the dark road to hell. But "Headless Sakon," a disenchanted samurai who has abandoned the art of death, teaches the Lone Wolf that there is another road - one which may cost Ogami his life.
|Issue 6 - The White Way between Two Rivers
The complete origin of Lone Wolf and Cub unfolds in this special 72 page issue. His wife and retainers brutally murdered, his exalted position ruined by treachery, Itto Ogami takes his newborn son in one hand and his executioner's sword in the other and sets out on the bloody path of vengeance across a nation of samurai.
|Issue 7 - Maiden, Harlot
Even in the fabled pleasure quarter - the realm of "those who shun the outside world" - they fear the Lone Wolf. But when Ogami befriends a young girl sold into prostitution by her destitute family, he must survive the tortures of the Kutsuwa to win her freedom from the shadowy Japanese underworld - the world of the dreaded Yakuza.
|Issue 8 - Dead End
They say that one who would catch the tiger's cub must enter the lair of the tiger. But what happens when the Lone Wolf uses his own cub as bait to lure the tiger out of his lair? Itto Ogami and Daigoro head straight into the jaws of the tiger and a "Dead End."
|Issue 9 - The Bell Keeper
To defend the great war bell of the Tokugawa is to defend Edo, the capital of feudal Japan. The warden of the bell, the Tsuji Genshichi, must combine heart and skill in a single body. To the bell warden, the loss of his right arm is the loss of his life - and the Lone Wolf has pledged to sever the arm of the new bell warden.
|Issue 10 - Lawless Samurai
Two children hire the Lone Wolf to avenge the death of their father at the hands of the "Lawless Samurai." But Bushido, the code of the samurai, demands that the youths exact their own revenge, and Itto Ogami cannot violate the samurai code...or can he?
|Issue 11 - Parting Frost
Separated from his father, lost and alone, Daigoro must fend for himself and endure both hunger and the raging elements. An ordinary child would surely perish under such circumstances. But Daigoro is no ordinary child - he is the son of Itto Ogami. He is the Lone Wolf's cub.
|Issue 12 - Executioner's Hill
Both the Lone Wolf and his cub live by Meifu Mado - the dark road to hell. But can Itto Ogami sacrifice his own son when Daigoro becomes the pawn in the scheme of samurai bounty hunters seeking the head of the Lone Wolf?
|Issue 13 - The Six Ways Without End: The Way of Heaven. The Way of Man. The Way of
Murder. The Way of the Beast. The Way of the Demon. The Way of Hell.
The Prequel to the saga of Lone Wolf and Cub reveals the events that led to Itto Ogami's appointment as the Shogun's officer of death - and the origins of the dreaded Yagyu's plot to overthrow Ogami and seize control of the Shogunate.
|Issue 14 - Black Wind
A simple gesture of atonement for the death of a serving girl, an innocent accidently sacrificed to the way of the assassin, leads the Lone Wolf to risk his freedom and his life when he discovers the meaning of "Black Wind."
|Issue 15 - Trail Markers
Itto Ogami became an outcast because he dared to challenge the treacherous Yagyu clan for the post of Kaishakunin - the Shogun's officer of death. Now his adversary from that fateful duel, Gunbei Yagyu, seeks the Lone Wolf's death.
|Issue 16 - Asaemon the Decapitator
The Lone Wolf crosses the path and swords with Asaemon the Decapitator, a master of dissection, unaware the Yagyu clan is tightening its deadly net around him.
|Issue 17 - The Deer Chasers
A wily group of "Deer Chasers," wandering masters of thievery and deceit, lay a trap for Ogami. Their leader decides to impersonate Lone Wolf, but first he must find a Cub.
|Issue 18 - The Guns of Sakai
Itto Ogami is hired to track down Shichirobei, the man they call the silent gunsmith. But Shichirobei has developed a horrific new multiple firing weapon, and he is prepared to use it on Lone Wolf.
|Issue 19 - The Town where Hunger Lives
In "The Town Where Hunger Lives," even the dogs are a delicacy denied the peasants, their only food sacrificed to the hunt lust of the castle Lord. But then the Lord attempts to hunt the dog of the Lone Wolf...
|Issue 20 - The Soldier is the Castle
A tiny Han finds itself threatened by the greedy Shogunate and turns to Itto Ogami. The Lone Wolf decides he must fight fire with fire in "The Soldier is the Castle."
|Issue 21 - One Stone Bridge
The Road to Hell has no resting places. Still suffering from the burns of battle and weak with fever, the Lone Wolf must find the strength for one more confronation at "One Stone Bridge."
|Issue 22 - The Homeless Hunt
"The Homeless Hunt" was often used by the Shogunate to rid Japan of its poor and indigent, and to provide slave labor for their mines. But the Yagyu clan sees the hunt as an opportunity to capture the Lone Wolf and Cub, and Ogami is forced into a deadly showdown with the Dosa Go-yo - the magistrate police.
|Issue 23 - Dragon Cloud, Tiger Wind
In the distant province, a samurai guards the grave of his lord - executed by Itto Ogami when Ogami was the Shogun's officer of death. This faithful retainer waits to fulfill his fallen lord's last wish: that he kill his lord's executioner - Lone Wolf and Cub in "Dragon Cloud, Tiger Wind."
|Issue 24 - Inn of the Last Chrysanthemum
A forlorn maiden, forced into a life of shame, awaits the opportunity to avenge her humiliation and the deaths of her brother and mother. Like a blossom facing the winter, she patiently and calmly approaches her fate. A fate she encounters with Lone Wolf and Cub at "The Inn of the Last Chrysanthemum."
|Issue 25 - The Message of the Geese + Tale of the Winter Crane
A kindly and revered lord, banished by greedy elders, sends an unspoken plea for help. Lone Wolf and Cub answer "The Message of the Geese." In "Tale of the Winter Crane," a widow struggles for a revenge that Lone Wolf knows needs no pardon.
|Issue 26 - The Chains of the Kurokuwa
Black flowers bloom in winter on the road to hell, as the Shogun's ninja clan once again hunts the Lone Wolf and Cub. To survive, the travelers must smash "The Chains of the Kurokuwa."
|Issue 27 - Thread of Tears
Attacked in the frigid wilds of Japan, Lone Wolf must battle a vengeful widow, ehile Daigoro's life is in danger.
|Issue 28 - A Wife of the Heart
A former Samurais' vision becomes his epitaph, and a legacy that is left to his "Wife of the Heart." But while a life may end, know Lone Wolf and Cub, a dream, nurtured in the breast of another, can live forever.
|Issue 29 - Wayward Swords
A wandering Samurai, tormented by his past, seeks a knowledge that has long eluded him. At last, the answer comes from Lone Wolf and Cub in "Wayward Swords."
|Issue 30 - Shadows, Echoes
Behind his cloak of kindness, a young doctor hides an evil plan. In "Shadows, Echoes," Lone Wolf and Cub must discover the truth - or die.
|Issue 31 - Naked Grubs
River porters, known as the hadaka-mushi - "Naked Grubs" - are the crudest of men. To carry out his mission, the Lone Wolf must pose as one of them; only when the river floods can his true purpose be revealed.
|Issue 32 - The Yagyu's Letter
The Yagyu clan - Ogami's bitter enemies and the architects of his downfall - marshall all their forces for a final confronation. Aided by the Kurokuwa Ninja and backed by a small army of government troops, they plan to kill the Lone Wolf before he can decipher the secret of their treachery - a secret concealed in "The Yagyu's Letter."
|Issue 33 - Separate Paths
But in the wake of an epic confrontation with the Yagyu, the Lone Wolf and his Cub are forced to walk "Separate Paths." And when Daigoro meets a ronin who ekes out a living as a woodcutter to care for his retarded son, the lost boy learns that no matter how humble his station, a true samurai does not forget the meaning of bushidom the warrior's code of honor.
|Issue 34 - The Sympathy Trap
Separated from his father, Daigoro struggles to survive until he is taken in by a family of compassionate fishermen. But when a local priestess looks into the boy's eyes and pronounces him cursed, their concern for Cub's welfare could enmesh them all in "The Sympathy Trap."
|Issue 35 - Drifting Shadows
Like "Drifting Shadows," the Lone Wolf and his Cub flit across the Japanese countryside searching for each other. But when Ogami discovers Daigoro's trail, he also finds enemies who would prevent him from following it - the treacherous Yagyu.
|Issue 36 - Child Decoy
But now Daigoro walks that road alone, lost and starving, too proud to beg for charity from strangers. And when a gang of thieves and murderers discover the half-unconscious boy, he becomes a pawn in their schemes as a "Child Decoy."
|Issue 37 - Talismans
In "Talismans," the Lone Wolf lays down his sword and takes up the pen in an attempt to call forth his missing Cub. But the pictographs he posts also form a trail to his den - a trail followed by a band of students determined to prove that they, too, are worthy to be samurai.
|Issue 38 - Ailing Star
While searching the countryside for his father, Daigoro is befriended by a lonely old woman who lives under a dilapidated bridge. She believes her life is tied to an "Ailing Star" - a star that's in danger of flickering out when the villagers who've ignored her for years try to force her to move to make way for a new bridge.
|Issue 39 - Schisms
The peasants of Otawara han, suffering under heavy taxes imposed by the lord of the castle, are contemplating revolution. At the same time, the castle lord is struggling to impose his will on his rebellious daughter. Into this volatile mix steps the Lone Wolf, searching for his missing Cub. Can Ogami's presence bind the "Schisms" in the han, or will Daigoro wind up as the first casualty in a bloody civil war?
|Issue 40 - The Poetry of the Grave
The life of a samurai is a gift to his lord and his duty lies in his willingness to die for his master. But should that life be thrown away to protect material possessions? The Lone Wolf meets a disgraced samurai who thinks not, who believes that a samurai's death should resonate with poetry: "The Poetry of the Grave."
|Issue 41 - Checkpoint
Hired to assassinate a corrupt local administrator as she travels to the Shogun's capital, the Lone Wolf plans to carry out his mission when her heavily guarded train of palanquins stops for inspection at the Hakone "Checkpoint." But all travelers on the road to Edo must have passes, and when Ogami's is discovered to have been stolen, the Lone Wolf is caged!
|Issue 42 - The Choice
Can a person be cut down without the cutting? Can an assassin fulfill his commission solely by taking that which makes his victim's life worth living? The Lone Wolf must find out when he is hired to kill the spirit, but not the flesh, of a wayward wife in "The Choice."
|Issue 43 - The Black Death
The brutal war between Itto Ogami and the Yagyu clan has claimed scores of victims, among them the three sons of Retsudo Yagyu. But a fourth illegitimate son survives, and he has been ordered to kill the Lone Wolf. Renowned as a master swordsman, the last Yagyu son also wields a far deadlier weapon, for he is the head of the dreaded Hojiro assassins, feared throughout Japan as the "Black Death."
|Issue 44 - Mamesho Marohoshi
"Mamesho Marohoshi" has been a policeman for thirty-seven years, and has dedicated himself to protecting the lives and property of others. He is getting old and his joints ache, but when he stumbles on the Lone Wolf about to carry out an assassination, Mamesho determines to bring Ogami to justice - no matter what the cost.
|Issue 45 - The Shichiri Man
The Shichiri are soldiers appointed to deliver messages between the lord of the han and the shogun himself. For "The Shichiri Man," the highway is a battlefield and his duty is his life! But this messenger's unwavering loyalty to his office has caused the death of his unnamed son. And now the mother of the child, vowing revenge, turns to the Lone Wolf for help.
This concludes a brief synopsis of each of the 45 issues published by First Publishing
(If anyone can help me get a hold of any of Issue 38 & 39, that would be greatly
appreciated). Unfortunately, only 1/3 of the entire saga was covered in these 45 American
issues. Personally, my favorite issues/storylines involve those in which Lone Wolf and his
Cub were separated (Issues 11,33-39). My thanks and apologies go out to Frank Miller and
Rick Oliver for reprinting their words without permission as they can convey the feelings
of this masterpiece far better than I.
Order of American Translations versus Order of Original Japanese Editions
The American editions of Lone Wolf and Cub mostly follows the order of the collected
Japanese volumes with, for the record, the following exceptions: Japanese Episode 29 was
published as First issue 13, Episode 15 was published as Issue 14, and Episodes 14 and 17
were combined to make up Issue 15. All other stories were published in their original
order (at least up to issue 32 that is). The changes were made at the suggestion of the
Japanese publishers, mostly to correct confusion caused by Ogami meeting Gunbei Yagyu for
the second time in Episode 14, but not meeting him for the first time until Episode 29.
Review of Shogun Assassin in Video Movie Guide 1994 - Martins & Porter
Shogun Assassin (a.k.a. Lupine Wolf : Lone Wolf with Cub : Episode : Baby Cart to
This film will rate a zero for the squeamish and close to a 5 (out of 5) for fans of the nineteen-film "Baby Cart" series, so popular in Japan in the 1970s. The color red predominates in this meticulously re-edited, re-scripted, re-scored (by Mark Lindsay), and English- dubbed version of the original Baby-Cart at the River Styx: swords enter bodies at the most imaginative of angles; a body count is impossible; all records are broken for bloodletting. Rated R for the violence, which is really fairly aesthetic. 90m. Dir: Kenji Masuni, David Weisman, Robert Hous. Cast: Tomisaburo Wakayama. 1980.
Kazuo Koike is considered to be one of Japan's most successful writers and a master
scriptwriter for the graphic story genre. He is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his
screenplay for the feature film "Shogun Assassin," a re-edited version of the
Japanese film "Kozure Okami," based on the Lone Wolf and Cub stories (Issues 7,
29, 32-33). Mr. Koike currently operates a publishing/production company for comics,
Studio Ship, Inc., which publishes the works of Japan's major comic writers and artists in
both book and magazine format. Mr. Koike is also the founder of Gekiga-Sonjuko, a school
which offers a two year course for aspiring professional artists and writers.
If you liked Mr. Koike's work on Lone Wolf, check out his work with Ryoichi Ikegami on Crying
Goseki Kojima made his debut as a comic artist in 1967 with
"Oboro-Junin-Cho." With his unique style, Mr. Kojima created a new form of
expressive visual interpretation for the graphic storytelling medium, and established for
himself a position as a master craftsman with his groundbreaking work on Lone Wolf and
Cub. Other works by Mr. Kojima are "Kawaite Soro," "Kubikiri Asa,"
"Hanzo-No-Mon," "Do-Chi-Shi," and "Bohachi Buschido."
If you are a fan of Lone Wolf and Cub, try Blade of the Immortal, started June 1996 from Dark Horse Comics.
|Blade of the Immortal #1
To end his immortal suffering, he must slay one thousand enemies! Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan, has been cursed with immortality. To rid himself of this curse, to regain his mortality, and to end his life of misery, he must slay one thousand evil men! His quest begins when a young girl seeks his help in taking revenge on her parents' killers... and his quest won't end until the blood of a thousand has spilled!Shipped week of June 28,1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Conquest #1(of 3)
Anotsu is a master swordsman, perhaps the best in Japan. Such a claim might bring honor to other men, but Anotsu uses his skills only to harm others. His philosophy: the only use for a sword is to kill. And he shall learn that lesson well at the Blade of the Immortal. Follow the epic quest of Manji, who, cursed with immortality, must slay 1,000 enemies before he may enjoy eternal peace! Shipped July 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Conquest #2(of 3)
Rin is not a skilled fighter, certainly not as skilled as her father. But she is a warrior, and she will avenge her father's death at the hands of renegade swordsman Kuroi. Or die trying. Follow the epic quest of Manji, who, cursed with immortality, must slay 1,000 enemies before he may enjoy eternal peace! Shipped August 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Conquest #3(of 3)
Kuroi loves women. It is the kind of love that burns him down in the belly and make his brain fight to break out of his skull. It is the kind of love that forces him to cut off their heads and stitch them into clothing. He showed his love to Rin's mother. Now he wants to show his love to Rin. Follow the epic quest of Manji, who, cursed with immortality, must slay 1,000 enemies before he may enjoy eternal peace! Shipped Sep. 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Genius #1(of 2)
In order that he may end his immortal suffering, Manji must slay one thousand enemies - and it looks like he has all the targets he needs in the followers of Anotsu! The master swordman continues to elude Manji by sending his disciples to do his dirty work. As his flock dwindles, the immortal ninja gets closer to his prey.Shipped Oct. 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Genius #2(of 2)
Sori has given up the arts of the ninja for the arts of the painter, and he's more interested in finding the right shade of red paint than shedding red blood! But that doesn't mean there aren't killers looking for him! When a wave of ronin warriors invades the painter's compound, the immortal warrior Manji must face them alone. And while he may be immortal, these samurai are interested in seeing just how much pain and disfigurement he can take!Shipped Nov. 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Fanatic #1
Manji's female companion, Rin, find the treasured sword of her destroyed kendo dojo (school of swordsmanship). The ronin who has it must have been involved in the destruction of the shool - and that Manji could be one step closer to ending his curse.Shipped Dec. 1996
|Blade of the Immortal: Fanatic #2
To atone for his sins, Manji was cursed with immortality -- he must kill 1,000 sinners before he will be released from his suffering. But when he is bested in battle -- when he strikes a killing blow which fails to kill -- he wonders if he is the only warrior who carries this curse. It seems there is another who cannot die, one who rejoices in his ability to survive any fight. One who is willing to spend his eternity sending good people to early graves. Shipped Jan. 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Blood of a Thousand TPBby Hiroaki Samura
"To end his eternal suffering, he must slay one thousand enemies!" Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan, has been cursed with immortality. To rid himself of this curse and end his life of misery, he must slay one thousand evil men! His quest begins when a young girl seeks his help in taking revenge on her parents' killers . . . and his quest won't end until the blood of a thousand has spilled! This trade paperback collects the first four hard-to-find issues of Blade of the Immortal in the same format as the recent best-selling Gunsmith Cats and Oh My Goddess! collections. If you're looking for samurai action, look no further than Blade of the Immortal!Shipped April 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Call of the Worm #1by Hiroaki Samura
The curse of the blood worm is what keeps Manji alive -- slit his throat or stab him in the heart and those mystical worms will force his body to heal. This immortal curse will not be lifted until Manji has killed one thousand evil men. So what is he to do when one of these evil men is himself afflicted with the same curse? It's a deathless, bloody showdown between two immortal samurai in Blade of the Immortal: Call of the Worm! This latest chapter in the saga of Manji features original pinups by some of the comics industry's greatest talents, including Kelley Jones, Jae Lee, Gil Kane, Dick Giordano, Dan Brereton, Gary Gianni, and Paul Grist. Blade of the Immortal is the best-selling samurai series in America -- if you've not yet tried it, now's the time! Shipped May 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Call of the Worm #2by Hiroaki Samura
The blood worms living underneath Manji's skin have protected him from death -- kept him from his eternal rest -- while he repays his debt by slaying one thousand evil men. But now a rival immortal, Shizuma, has poisoned those blood worms, and all of Manji's old wounds -- to his arms, his legs, his chest, and his head -- are bursting open. If he dies this day, he dies with foul dishonor. And that is not a death that Manji will accept. Call of the Worm is the best story arc yet in this best-selling samurai series! Featuring pin ups by such notables as Dan Brereton, Gene Ha, Jae Lee, and Gary Gianni, this miniseries is an ideal jumping-on point for new readers.Shipped May 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Call of the Worm #3by Hiroaki Samura
Shizuma and Manji, the two immortal swordsmen, have been hacking away at each other for some time now. But Shizuma still has enough poison left to kill Manji's bloodworms -- and, therefore, Manji himself -- once and for all. And only Rin -- her own dreams and nightmares of immortality put behind her -- can stop him from leading Manji to real death! Hiroaki Samura's best-selling ronin epic continues; this issue features pinups by Dan Brereton, Paul Grist, Gil Kane, and Gene Ha. Translation by Dana Lewis and Toren Smith.Scheduled to ship June 25, 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Dreamsong #1by Hiroaki Samura
Makie was born with the heart of a killer, but raised to be a geisha. It's a deadly combination that spells disaster for Manji, the immortal samurai! Scheduled to ship July 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Dreamsong #2by Hiroaki Samura
Makie is a natural-born killer bred to be a geisha. Splitting her life between servitude and slaughter is going to lead to an untimely death, so it's time she chose a path. And her choice could mean trouble for Manji, the immortal ronin.Scheduled to ship Aug. 1997
|Blade of the Immortal: Dreamsong #3by Hiroaki Samura
Makie was twice cursed -- she is a natural-born assassin, and she was born into a life of sexual servitude. Manji has bought her out of her geisha contract. Now she must find her own way out of a life of spilling blood. Scheduled to ship Sept. 1997
This page was created by Darren Andrews [email@example.com]