Overview

Muramasa was an immortal madman and a legendary and feared swordsmith and swordsman, who lived in Japan near Jasmine Falls, two of the blades he forged played an important role through Wolverine's history. The first blade was many centuries old and possessed a variety of mystical properties in and of itself as well as those it granted to its wielders, it was commonly known as the Black Blade.[1]

The second Muramasa Blade was the one wielded by Wolverine after he recovered his memories.[2] Having been dragged strait to Hell by acolytes of the Beast, fabled immortal sword maker Muramasa would later forge two new blades fashioned from his own timeless soul under coercion while trapped in their service.[3]

History

Origins

Muramasa forging the second Muramasa blade

The story of the second Muramasa Blade started after the end of World War II when Logan was seeking redemption for his past actions. Under Ogun's advice he went to Jasmine Falls, Japan, where he studied with Bando Saburo, in order to learn how to be a man and leave his warrior nature behind.[2] During his fourth year of training, Logan met and fell in love with a local woman, named Itsu they married and conceived a child together which filled Logan with joy.[2]

One day while Logan was proving himself worthy of being a father in combat, Muramasa created an explosion that caused Logan to accidentally stab a villager with his claws. As a result, Logan was banned from the village, but before leaving he wanted to say one last good-bye to Itsu. Returning to their self-built home, Logan found Itsu murdered, by the Winter Soldier, supposedly under Romulus' orders.[4]

After Itsu's death, Logan disappeared for a month, during this time he went to see Muramasa so he could help him to "kill 'em all." Muramasa accepted, and promised to forge him a "mighty blade -...- against which all... even one as great as you... will fall".[5]. To create this mighty blade, Muramasa used a piece of Logan's soul and Logan's own blood, he then used his powers to focus on Logan's rage and extract it in order to bond it to the metal of the blade.[6]

The process took many years, but the blade was prepared for Logan and after he recovered his memories and learned the location of the blade from the Silver Samurai[7] he went to see Muramasa to claim it. Muramasa gladly gave this "red sword" to him, telling him to "wield it like an angry god".[5]

Quest for Revenge

The blade now in his possession, Wolverine started his quest for revenge against those who manipulated him through the years, he first used the blade against a S.H.I.V.A. robot, cutting it in half with a single blow. Later research of the remains of the robot showed that it was not cut, but rather "sliced, on the molecular level". The scientist who was doing the research theorized, that the instrument could have been some sort of plasmic form.

Wolverine wielding the Muramasa Blade against Nuke

Later after defeating Nuke, the blade was taken from Wolverine by Captain America,[8] who used it against him, leaving a scar on his chest, which oddly didn't heal as usual and turned Wolverine feral. After the fight was over and after he retrieved his sword, Wolverine gave it to Cyclops, explaining it by saying: "This is the only thing in the world that can put me down for good."[8]

During his quest, Wolverine found what appeared to be Sabretooth, but his foe had regressed to being no more than a feral animal.[9] After attacking Wolverine, this feral Sabretooth killed Feral,[10] which prompted Wolverine to get his Muramasa blade back from Cyclops in order to confront his foe near the cabin he used to live with Silver Fox years ago. Armed with the Muramasa Blade, Wolverine was able to easily defeat this feral Sabretooth by cutting his right arm off, he then beheaded him while wishing him a "Happy Birthday."[11]

Wolverine wielding the Muramasa Blade against Wild Child

After discovering the existence of Romulus, the person who supposedly manipulated him during his whole life, and that his son, Daken, was alive, Wolverine gave the sword back to Cyclops and continued his quest for revenge without it. Some time later, Logan met with Nick Fury and they understood that Daken was after the Muramasa blade in order to have the metal bonded to his bones and becoming unstoppable. Before Wolverine could warn the X-Men of Daken's plan, Cyclops decided to take matter into his own hands and almost got himself and his squad of X-Men killed by Daken.[12] Logan managed to save them and stopped his son from getting the Muramasa blade, but unfortunately a piece of the blade was retrieved by Daken[6] and with the help of both Romulus and the Tinkerer, two of his claws were bonded with the metal of the Muramasa blade.[13]

Later on, Black Widow helped Wolverine retrieved the broken Muramasa blade again when Omega Red was hunting him. It came down to a final showdown and Wolverine stabbed Omega Red through the heart with the blade which killed him just before being confronted by Romulus.

Wolverine managed to defeat him but Romulus reminded him that no matter what happened, if Wolverine killed him he would be at the "top of the food chain" and he would have to kill his son next because there could be only one person at the top. Wolverine shocked by this reveal decided to let Romulus live but he vowed to destroy his empire but as Wolverine turned his back and lowered his guard, Romulus used this opportunity to knock him out and then left him alone with his broken Muramasa blade.[14]

Later on, after Romulus was out of the shadows, Daken revealed to Romulus that he wanted to kill him and take his place at the head of his empire but as he was about to strike Romulus with his Muramasa claws, Romulus was teleported away by Cloak.[15][16] Romulus was transported by Cloak near the Howlett Estate, in here Wolverine slashed Romulus with the Muramasa Blade but didn't kill him, instead he made sure that Romulus would be trapped in the Darkforce dimension forever.[17]

At the same time Daken, now all alone and without any means to kill Romulus and take his place, was confronted by Logan armed with the Muramasa Blade. Thanks to the lessons of the Silver Samurai,[18] Logan was able to easily defeat Daken and removed his Muramasa claws. He then hid both Daken's claws and the broken Muramasa blade in an unmarked grave near the Howlett Estate putting an end to Romulus empire and legacy once and for all.[17]

Destruction

The Orphans of X forging bullets from the melted down fragments of the Muramasa Blade

After Wolverine's temporary death,[19] Carol Danvers and Laura Kinney were tricked into revealing the location of the blade and its fragments to the Orphans of X,[20] who melted it down and forged it into several bullets.[21]

New Caste

On the onset of a pan-dimensional tournament between the distaff nations of Krakoa and Arakko, Wolverine seeked out the enigmatic forgemaster Muramasa in order to refashion a new blade for him to compete in the life-or-death games.[22]

It was drawn to his attention that the gateway responsible for merging the two islands had opened multiple breaches between various realms; one of which caused a stronger union between a radicalized faction of Hand ninja and their demonic lord, The Beast, which vastly strengthened their numbers and influence; so much so, they were able to coerce the immortal swordsmith to forge new works in their services, both in Life and in Death,[3] having literally dragged him through the depths of Hell itself in order to craft new blades for a wedding ceremony.

As it happened, Logan wasn't the only one searching for a means of participating in the contest of worlds. Solem, an acolyte of the First Horsemen, had been advised by an elderly mutant seer to ferret out his own enchanted sword in the infernal afterlife.[22] Finding his own way to the abyss, the exile was eventually imprisoned but soon found himself in new company; the same company he would likely have met in the arena. The two combatants worked together to disrupt a wedding between two lieutenants of The Beast after they had just finished dispatching the crafter who had finished forging the equivalent of their wedding rings for them.[3]

New Muramasa forged from their creator himself.

During the scuffle Solem was wounded by one of the enchanted wedding presents; something that was thought to be impossible as his skin was made of Adamantium. In exchange for returning the favor of his would-be rival; the enigmatic grifter offered the second edge in his possession to James for a price.[3]

Having accommodated the assailant's terms, Logan returned to Krakoa with the blade in hand ready to fight on Krakoa's behalf.

Powers and Abilities

This second Muramasa Blade was forged by Muramasa by using a piece of Wolverine's soul, just as he used a piece of his own when he forged the Black Blade. This second sword is also made of an unknown alloy that was originally bright red in color, but now has the color of a conventional blade. However, much like the Black Blade, this sword is also extremely durable and is capable of cutting almost any substance. The blade has easily cut through the armor of a S.H.I.V.A. robot on a molecular level and has also "sliced" one of Cyclops' optic beams into several different beams and reflected them in different directions.[23]

The sword is also capable of greatly reducing the efficiency of a superhumanly fast healing rate. Wolverine himself has stated that the sword is the only thing on Earth that can truly kill him.[6] For example, during a battle with Captain America, Wolverine was injured with the sword. Though the wound was minor, it remained inflamed and didn't fully heal for a period of several days.[24] Another, more recent example, involved Wolverine using the sword to slice off the right arm of a Sabretooth's clone created by Romulus and to decapitate him moments later. The Sabretooth clone attempted to hold his severed arm in place so that the tissues would reconnect, as the original Sabretooth did after having his right hand sliced off by Wolverine's Adamantium claws. The arm merely falls back to the ground.[11]

Another facet of the Muramasa that Logan mentioned was that they can cut through solid Adamantium with the utmost ease. Something that becomes evident by how a newly forged blade can cleave the all but indestructible skin of Solem in one cut.[3] As well as with how Daken's Adamantium sheathes served to prevent his Muramasa Claws from fatally incapacitating his healing factor; not preventing their release.[13] Slugs made from the blade can penetrate solid Adamantium skeletons.[21]

During the fight between Daken and the X-Men, it was discovered that the blade could not cut through Armor's psychic shields, which was powered by her ancestors' memories.[6] Another limitation is that cutting around the damaged tissue will allow the victim's healing factor to begin functioning again as normal.[21] Muramasa would later fashion two new blades in the malefic demon realm owned by the Beast, this time they would embody the entirety of their creators being body and soul gifting them unknown power.[3]

Notes

  • Daken had a broken piece of the blade for a while, from which he had a claw made by the Tinkerer.[13]
  • A radicalized self-help group known as the Orphans of X stole and melted down the Muramasa Blade and its fragments into bullets as revenge against all Weapon X affiliates.[21]
  • Sensing the need for a counterbalance, Muramasa used once again fragments of Wolverine's soul in secret to make a shield to defend against the blade.[21]

Trivia

Vergil stealing the Muramasa Blade from Wolverine

  • In the crossover fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 the Muramasa Blade makes an appearance in Vergil's ending where he steals the sword from Wolverine in order to gain more power. This Muramasa Blade seems to combine the properties of the two "Muramasa Blade" that appeared in the comics.
    • This version of the Muramasa Blade is similar in appearance to the second Muramasa Blade and it's also capable of greatly reducing the efficiency of healing factors, however, this blade seems to have psychological side-effects on its wielder similar to the first Muramasa Blade.

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

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