If you’re a fan of the Wolverine character and you’ve been away for a bit, now is a good time to get back into the swing of things! I’m not even trying to make a reference back to the upcoming Marvel NOW! quasi-reboot, I’m just taking a look around his comic world and seeing a lot that might be of interest. I myself backed away a bit shortly after he experienced a full return of his true memories after M-Day. I know characters need to grow and change, but his amnesia combined with his false memories left him in a constant state of searching that always felt essential to me. I wasn’t practicing a full or purposeful boycott, I just had a kind of vague aversion for a while. Wolverine gets enough projects that there’s always an interesting one, but I didn’t end my self imposed exile for any particular reason- it just kind of felt like time, and looking around it seems like my instincts were right.
1. First of all, apparently Wolverine is the first ever X-Man. I know on this surface this idea smacks of his typical overexposure, but given his biological age it’s pretty believable. The first issue of this mini series didn’t give us much beyond setting up the premise for Wolverine’s X-Men team (which includes a mercenary Sabretooth and Nazi hunting Magneto) and while it’s probably a continuity nightmare Wolverine’s “lost adventures” can be some of the coolest.
2. Next we have the upcoming Wolverine MAX title. Not everything needs to be dark and gritty and realistic like Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman, but Wolverine is almost guaranteed to thrive on this mature readers’ only imprint. Marvel MAX stories take place outside of the mainstream continuity so you can expect some remixing of traits, but as long as it all stays close enough to the core character this is going to be a hit!
3. Speaking of hits, he’s running his own black ops assassination squad in the pages Uncanny X-Force, which is balanced out by his school teacher/headmaster activities in Wolverine and the X-Men. Wolverine founded the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning as a haven to keep mutant children safe from being turned into soldiers by Cyclops, and I love seeing him put his money where his mouth is on his “we fight so they don’t have to” attitude. These two very polar roles might actually represent a bit of peace too- instead of allowing his noble soul to continually clash with his more savage instincts, he is fully embracing both sides.
4. Dog Logan – I hesitated to add this to the list because the return of Wolverine’s brother from the Origin mini-series is hardly something we’ve been clamoring for, but I look forward to it finally putting the “is he Sabretooth?” debate to rest once and for all.
5. Cyclops is losing his mind! All Wolverine fans know Cyclops is a tool, and have enjoyed mocking him as his sanity has slipped over the past decade or so. Watching him fall from grace in the pages of AvX is a treat for every Wolverine fan, and his crowning moment of embarrassment (assuming it gets worse than this) is probably coming up soon so don’t miss it!
6. There is of course the issue of the Wolverine movie as well. I just spoke of embarrassments, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine was one of the biggest ones of them all. I don’t take many opportunities to speak so off the cuff, but that thing was an abomination. It completely failed in any attempt to translate the core concepts of what makes Wolverine cool, and doesn’t have many merits as a film on its own. It was so bad that even with a new creative team on The Wolverine I can’t muster up much excitement or hope for it, but perhaps this new film can wash away the bad taste of the old and save at least some face for the character in live action media.
7. The return of Wolverine’s memory loss – I guess this is where it all comes full circle for me, and I have to admit I love how Wolverine # 312 muddled up his past again. They’ve even gone as far as to imply that the mastermind behind the Weapon X program was actually Logan himself! This kind of insanity is what happens when you continue to write decades worth of story for a character, but I HAVE to see where this one goes!