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Dec 4

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2007

Posted on Sunday, December 4, 2022 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988
 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991
1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997
1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003
2004 |2005 | 2006

Welcome to 2007. We’re in the middle of Civil War. But the X-Men are on the margins of that crossover, and Wolverine’s already had his tie-in arc. In Civil War #6, we’re told that Wolverine declined to join Captain America’s rebel forces because he wasn’t ultimately willing to break ranks with the X-Men. Instead…

BLADE vol 5 #5
“Vendetta’s Echo”
by Marc Guggenheim, Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado
January 2007

Despite the fact that Wolverine isn’t actually an unregistered hero, SHIELD want to hunt him down in this story. Blade agrees to do the job in exchange for SHIELD’s help against vampires. But when he realises that Wolverine saved him from vampires decades ago, Blade abandons the mission and tells SHIELD to leave Wolverine alone. As for Wolverine, he doesn’t recognise Blade at all and is baffled by the whole thing. Officially this is a Civil War tie-in, but nothing turns on it. For some reason Wolverine is shown living in an apartment in Brooklyn.

The rest of Civil War plays out without Wolverine’s involvement, and Captain America is assassinated at the end. Don’t worry, kids, he’ll be fine.

In a flashback in Fantastic Four #543, Wolverine appears briefly as an interviewee in a documentary about the Fantastic Four, and criticises Reed’s choice of side during Civil War.

by Jeph Loeb, Leinil Francis Yu & Dave McCaig
April 2007

Wolverine persuades Daredevil and Doctor Strange to break into the Helicarrier with him, and verify that Cap is really dead. It’s strongly implied that Wolverine really wants to confront the apparent assassin, Crossbones (Brock Rumlow), who is already in SHIELD custody, and find an excuse to kill him – but Crossbones seems to be innocent. Wolverine verifies that the dead body really is Cap, then persuades Iron Man to let him confirm the news to the heroes who are still on the run after Civil War.

by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines & Jason Keith
April 2007

Wolverine duly confirms Cap’s death to the New Avengers. Spider-Man refuses to believe it and storms out; Wolverine goes after him. We skip the next chapter (which rejoices in the title Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America – Captain America) and pick up again with…

by Jeph Loeb, David Finch, Danny Miki & Frank D’Armata
June 2007

At Uncle Ben’s grave, Wolverine tries to cheer up Spider-Man by inventing a story about how much Cap believed in him. Spider-Man sees right through it, so Wolverine offers advice about coming to terms with grief instead. There’s also a fight with the Rhino, but Wolverine’s not involved in that.

by Jeph Loeb, John Cassaday & Laura Martin
July 2007

A cameo of the New Avengers watching Captain America’s funeral on television, regretting the fact that, as outlaws, they can’t go. There’s a fundamental problem in the next year or so, where New Avengers wants Wolverine to be part of an outlaw team on the run from the authorities, but the X-books have him living at the Mansion, which is monitored by O*N*E around the clock. You can square this somewhat by claiming that nobody ever manages to prove that he’s hanging out with the New Avengers, but it really is getting close to parallel tracks of continuity in a way we haven’t quite seen before.

5-issue miniseries
by Greg Pak, Tyler Kirkham, Sal Regla & John Starr
September 2006 to February 2007

The sequel to X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong. That mini was better than I remembered; this one is not.

The Stepford Cuckoos turn out to be escapees from a batch of flawed Emma Frost clones created by John Sublime. An A.I. copy of Sublime plans to trap the Cuckoos’ fragment of the Phoenix force within their organic diamond bodies, and then use that fragment to access the Phoenix’s infinite power. The Cuckoos thwart his plan, but have to stay in their emotionless diamond forms in order to contain the Phoenix. The X-Men chase around after them, during which they meet SHIELD agent Jake Oh. Mediocre.

X-MEN vol 2 #200-203
“Blinded by the Light”
by Mike Carey, Chris Bachalo, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas, Tim Townsend, Edgar Delgado & Antonio Fabela
June to September 2007

The X-Men fight a new Marauders team; Wolverine is there, among the guests from other X-Men titles. Not much more to it, as far as he’s concerned.

flashback in the third story in Wolverine vol 6 #12 appears here on the MCP timeline: Detective Chikeko Tomomaatsu takes Logan to the Guernica bar, newly popular wihth the superhero community. Wolverine meets the current writer of his comic, Marcus Harold, and they argue. If the bar owner is to be believed, “Logan and some of the guys who’ve written his comic, they go back a long way. They’re close like brothers, but damn they fight.” Does Wolverine really have the profile to have a long-running solo title within the Marvel Universe? Apparently so.

NEW X-MEN vol 2 #38-39 and #41
“The Quest for Magik, parts 1, 2 and 4”
by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Skottie Young, Sean Parsons & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
May to August 2007

Belasco captures the X-Men while searching for Magik; they get freed at the end just in time to get teleported back home by the Darkchylde, a soulless version of Magik. Little more than cameos.

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS vol 2 #8 (Cyclops & Wolverine story)
“The Rabbit Hunt”
by Andy Schmidt, Marco Turini & Chris Sotomayor
April 2008

Prompted by the death of his father (which happened in July 2007, hence the placement of this story), Scott Summers decides to brush up his survival skills, claiming that it’s a response to mutants’ current predicament of near extinction. Logan shares some tips. They discuss Xavier’s dream and realise that Scott comes to the wilderness to vent, while Logan goes there for calm. Logan’s advice prompts Scott to talk properly with Alex about the death of their father. This is a nice little story, the subtext being that Scott is turning to Logan as a possible replacement father figure.

by Mike Carey, Scot Eaton, John Dell & Frank D’Armata
June 2007

The X-Men attend the funeral of a mutant boy who retained his powers only to get run over by a truck; the boy’s father is furious at what he sees as an intrusion into the family’s private grief by a bunch of mutants mourning a kid they never met, solely because he was another mutant. It’s basically a collection of character vignettes. Logan reflects on how it’s taken the near wipeout of mutants to make the X-Men truly value every life, and says that they will fight on because they don’t know how to do anything else.

In a flashback in the backup strip in X-Men vol 2 #201, the X-Men ask Wolverine for information about the Neverland death camp (from Weapon X) and he gives them some fairly uninformative answers.

SHE-HULK vol 2 #16
“Planet Without a Hulk, part 2”
by Dan Slott, Rick Burchett, Cliff Rathburn & Dave Kemp
February 2007

Wolverine and the She-Hulk team up to capture a new Wendigo. He lets SHIELD’s Hulkbuster Unit take the Wendigo into custody – this group includes Clay Quartermain, Agent Cheesecake and Agent Crimson – but privately tells She-Hulk that he doesn’t trust them in the slightest.

SUB-MARINER vol 2 #2-3
“Revolution, parts 2-3”
by Matt Cherniss, Peter Johnson, Phil Briones & Paul Mounts
July & August 2007

Namor shows up at the X-Men Mansion, looking for Professor X’s help in dealing with Atlantean terrorists who have destroyed a Kansas town. Wolverine tries to drive Namor off, on the curious pretext that his presence will provoke Sentinel Squad O*N*E and endanger the remaining students. It’s a very gratuitous fight scene, in other words. Professor X eventually calms the situation but ultimately refuses to help anyway.

5-issue miniseries
by Paul Jenkins, Paul Gulacy & Rain Beredo
November 2007 and March 2008

This is from the desperately stupid period where sad Speedball was wandering around in a BDSM suit and calling himself Penance. He steals nuclear launch codes as part of a convoluted scheme to get his hands on Nitro, currently a prisoner in Latveria. Wolverine tries to deal with that, but winds up diverting the new Thunderbolts – Moonstone (Karla Sofen), Songbird (Melissa Gold), the Swordsman (Andreas Strucker, formerly of Fenris), the Radioactive Man (Chen Lu) and Venom (Mac Gargan) – so that Penance can steal their plane for his actual plan. Later, Wolverine helps him escape after he’s finished torturing and killing Nitro. Cheerful!

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #27-31
by Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu & Dave McCaig
February to June 2007

The “New” Avengers are now hanging out at Dr Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, which is magically disguised to look abandoned. Following a tip-off that Captain America is alive after all, they try to rescue him from the Raft, but it’s a trap set by Iron Man’s official Avengers – himself, Wasp, Ms Marvel, Sentry, Wonder Man, Black Widow and Ares. Fortunately, Iron Man’s team aren’t prepared for Dr Strange’s magic, so the New Avengers escape. The next day, the official Avengers show up at the Sanctum with Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) to have another go, but they can’t get in.

The New Avengers discuss whether there’s any real point in staying together, and Luke Cage continues to insist that there’s an alien invasion they need to deal with. Clint Barton joins as the new Ronin, and they all head to Japan in answer to a distress call from Echo, who has been investigating the Hand. (Wolverine claims later that he only sticks around at this point to make sure Echo gets rescued.)

The Avengers fight the Hand and Elektra – who gets killed and turns out to be a Skrull impostor. Despite the fact that the Hand are Wolverine villains, he doesn’t get much to do here. A flashback in Daredevil vol 2 #112 shows the New Avengers reacting to the Skrull body, and the MCP has a generic fight with ninjas, from a flashback in Punisher vol 8 #3, placed as taking place during the fight.

NEW AVENGERS vol 1 #32-34 and #36-37
“The Trust”
by Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu & Dave McCaig
July to December 2007

The New Avengers fly back to the USA on Iron Fist’s private jet, bring the body of “Elektra” with them. Wolverine blithely points out that if there are Skrull infiltrators around, none of them can be trusted, including himself – someone who “is everywhere at once”. Because of an EMP taking place over in Mighty Avengers, the plane crashes. “Spider-Woman” (still a Skrull impostor) takes the opportunity to escape with the corpse. Wolverine notices, but wrongly concludes that she’s taking the body to Iron Man.

Once he’s back in New York, Logan goes looking for Skrulls, but winds up fighting the Hood (Parker Robbins) and his sidekick John King. He learns that the Hood is planning to attack Avengers Tower using a Deathlok cyborg. The New Avengers decide to warn the official team, but wind up getting stuck in a team-up against a horde of symbiotes instead. “Spider-Woman” switches teams and joins the official Avengers; Wolverine confronts her about it, but gets fobbed off again. Later, the New Avengers take down the Hood and his army of villains, who include the Wizard (Bentley Whitman), the Wrecking Crew, Madame Masque (Whitney Frost) and Chemistro (Calvin Carr). Wolverine gets a couple of nice moments in this arc, but there’s still no particularly good reason for him to be here at all.

“With Friends Like These–?” / “Head Games”
by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Lim, Jeremy Freeman & Gotham
July & August 2007

We’re in the dying days of Cable & Deadpool here, where Cable had been written out and the book was limping on as a Deadpool team-up series.

Wolverine travels to Benghazi to investigate contraband shipments of hi-tech materials. Deadpool’s old sidekick Weasel, currently a reluctant ally of HYDRA, is gathering these materials in order to make his “Penetrator” teleporting armour. Deadpool and his new sidekick Bob, Agent of HYDRA try to rescue Weasel before Wolverine can get to him and kill him. But Weasel has talked the HYDRA agents into accepting him as their new sector commander, and outfits them all with his new teleporter devices – which take them all directly to Guantanamo Bay.

Wolverine is basically a foil here, playing the unstoppable force that Deadpool has to try and rein in. He does come across as a bit dim, since he fails to figure out a twist that even Deadpool anticipates.

NEW WARRIORS vol 4 #2-3
“Defiant, parts 2-3”
by Kevin Grevioux, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco & Marte Gracia
July & August 2007

New heroine Wondra, from the latest incarnation New Warriors, is actually the de-powered Jubilee, using tech to fake new superpowers. Wolverine warns her that it’s dangerous to try to replace lost powers, and reminds her that when he lost his adamantium, he had to learn that he was still himself.

3-issue miniseries
by Christos Gage, Andrea DiVito & Laura Villari
June to August 2007

The Hulk has returned to Earth after being fired into space by the Illuminati, and shows up at the Mansion to confront Professor X. Even though he wasn’t actually there for the meeting in question, Hulk wants to know how he would have voted. Much fighting ensues, until the Hulk sees the graves of all the mutants who have died recently, concludes that the X-Men are already in hell, and wanders off to get back to the main plot of his crossover event. Wolverine is just a face in the crowd.

3-issue miniseries
by Dwayne McDuffie, Salva Espin & Guru eFX
February and March 2008

Just two cameos in the crowd – one among the heroes helping to rebuild after World War Hulk, and one among the heroes who fight the Chrysler Building when it briefly comes to life. (Literally, his hand is in one panel.) Wolverine ticks a few minor names off his list here: Black Goliath (Tom Foster), Monstro (Frank Johnson), Visioneer (Abby Dunton), Slapstick (Steve Harmon), Komodo of the Initiative, a Skrull impostor Thor Girl, and Damage Control intern Bart Rozum.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #50-55
by Jeph Loeb, Simone Bianchi, Andrea Silvestri, Simone Peruzzi & Frank D’Armata
January to June 2007

Oh dear. This.

Brace yourself, because this is really bad.

Ever since regaining his memories, Logan has been plagued by visions of a werewolf-like race, the Lupine, who have existed since the dawn of time with a repeated cycle of conflict between warriors who resemble himself and Creed, while a shadowy villain watches from above. By this point, Sabretooth is living at the Mansion again, and Wolverine fights him for no particular reason. He asks Sabretooth what he meant when he said “quod sum eris” after killing Silver Fox years ago, and after more pointless fighting, Sabretooth explains that it’s Latin for “I am what you will be” – in other words, one day Wolverine will become like Sabretooth. After yet more pointless fighting, the story randomly heads off to an archaeological dig in Wakanda which has apparently discovered Lupine skeletons. Wolverine’s visions reveal the Lupine’s leader as Romulus.

The Black Panther and Storm then explain a bizarre pseudoscientific theory: the Lupine are a split evolutionary strand evolved from wolves, who somehow became part of mutantkind. This supposedly explains the number of mutants who have lupine components, and Sabretooth indicates that all Lupine degenerate into murderers like him in the end. When Wolverine asks directly about Romulus, Sabretooth is shaken and won’t answer. Soon after that, Wolverine has an encounter with Wild Child, and winds up pursuing him to the Weapon X facility alongside Sasquatch, Wolfsbane, Feral and Thornn (who are all presented as somehow linked to the Lupine, even though Sasquatch isn’t a mutant, and Feral and Thornn are cats). Logan now recalls seeing Romulus in Weapon X when he was a prisoner there. Finally, all this builds to Wolverine confronting Sabretooth at the old cabin that he used to share with Silver Fox, and beheading him with the Muramasa Blade. Romulus briefly puts in an appearance in person, to tell Wolverine that everything he has learned is true, before moving on.

“Evolution” is incoherent drivel, and its attempt to tie Wolverine and Sabretooth to some sort of hidden race never took off – in fact, Loeb’s own sequel will brush it aside as mind games by Romulus. It’s particularly bizarre that this idea was introduced at the same time that Daniel Way’s Wolverine: Origins was already under way, initially set up as a straightforward story of Wolverine hunting down the black ops conspiracy that had exploited him in the past. Romulus gets plugged in to the Origins conspiracy as the head of a shadowy criminal organisation, but even that book didn’t touch the Lupine nonsense.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #50 (second story)
“Puny Little Man”
by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines & Dave McCaig
January 2007

Weird meta story in which Wolverine dreams about his first fight with the Hulk, and it then segues into the version from Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk (which at the time was the most recent version of the fight). I suppose the idea is meant to be that the story keeps being re-told, but so what?

“Return to Madripoor”
by Daniel Way, Kaare Andrews & Shannon Blanchard
July 2007

Logan returns to Madripoor in search of a box kept by his old partner Seraph, which supposedly contained secrets that she would take to the grave. Police officer Tai turns out to be part of Romulus’s conspiracy and commits suicide; Seraph’s coffin contains no box of secrets, but does have Romulus’s name written inside.

Largely a framing sequence for a flashback story set in 1942, but very pretty at least.

“Our War”
by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Matt Milla
August to December 2007

Wolverine reminisces about his encounters with Captain America and Bucky during World War II, in a private wake for the late superhero. Just a framing sequence for a story we covered back in the World War II chapter.

NEW X-MEN vol 2 #43
“Children of X-Men, part 2”
by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle, Skottie Young & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
October 2007

The X-Men discuss the traumatised state of their remaining pupils, but get them back to training regardless.

“The Death Song of J Patrick Smitty”
by Gregg Hurwitz & Marcelo Frusin
October 2007

Logan has a pleasant encounter on the streets with an old woman, only for her to be killed by crossfire in a bank robbery soon after. He hunts down the robbers, but leaves one of them – the titular J Patrick Smitty – alive in order to send a message of fear to the others, promising to return and kill him last. And in the end, that’s exactly what happens.

It’s really Smitty’s story, the point being that he spent his whole life telling himself that there was still time to change, and that he left it too late. Quite good, though it does veer towards the Punisher interpretation of Wolverine.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #56
“The Man in the Pit”
by Jason Aaron, Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado
August 2007

A mystery villain (identified in the epilogue as Romulus) keeps Wolverine in a pit for eight weeks, with guards paid to keep shooting at him in order to keep him subdued. Over several weeks, Wolverine drives one of the guards to madness and convinces the guy to let him out in an act of attempted suicide.

It’s a banality-of-evil story told from the point of view of the guard, along with a Sherlock Holmes routine based on Wolverine picking up details about the guard’s life through his enhanced senses. A lot better than the over-the-top high concept makes it sound.

“Modern Love”
by Brian Michael Bendis, Christian Nauck, Terry Austin & Matt Wilson
March 2010

The New Avengers have a brief cameo, reacting to a whirlwind romance between Iron Fist and Spider-Woman.

WOLVERINE vol 3 #57-61
“Logan Dies”
by Marc Guggenheim, Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado
September 2007 to January 2008

And now, back for the last chunk of Marc Guggenheim’s run. Remember Amir, the Atlantean spy from the Civil War arc last year? Well, she and Wolverine head to Iraq to fight the mercenary group Scimitar. But Amir is killed, and Scimitar agent Shogun kills Wolverine. When he heads to his regular fight with Lazaer, he loses – meaning that his body heals but he remains comatose.

Dr Strange sets out to retrieve Wolverine’s soul from Purgatory. He shows Wolverine how he’s been fighting Lazaer every time he dies, and theorises that Wolverine lost this time because he was so upset about, er, the death of Amir. If you say so. Strange then takes Logan on a tour through his history, and Logan finally figures out that he’s been struggling in his battles with Lazaer ever since being resurrected by the Hand during “Enemy of the State”.

Somehow or other, this realisation allows Logan to return to his body. He then hunts down Phaedra, the woman who resurrected him for the Hand. After fighting a resurrected Shingen Yashida (and re-killing him), Wolverine learns that Phaedra and Lazaer are taking revenge on him for escaping death so many times. If that’s their objection, then one might have thought that a good plan would be not to resurrect him during “Enemy of the State” in the first place. But instead, their more ornate plan was to resurrect him with only part of his soul; the other part of his soul is now Shogun. Wolverine kills Shogun, then offers to kill Phaedra in exchange for Lazaer fully restoring him (since Lazaer doesn’t like any resurrectionists running around). Lazaer agrees, on condition that Wolverine will never be able to return from the dead again. Phaedra tries to buy him off by offering to resurrect Mariko, but Wolverine refuses to have her sullied. He then kills Phaedra and all the Scimitar members, and leaves contentedly.

Presumably, this whole arc was supposed to provide an explanation for Wolverine’s more extreme healing stunts, and then rein in his powers to put a stop to that sort of thing. It didn’t stick in the slightest, but the idea had some merit. This arc also features Howard Chaykin drawing Wolverine in a chainmail T-shirt and combat trousers, for absolutely no reason other than that’s what Chaykin thinks he wears.

by Brian Michael Bendis, Carlo Pagulayan, Jeff Huet & Justin Ponsor
January 2008

The Hood and his army of supervillains attack the New Avengers; they get driven off, but Dr Strange declares that he needs to leave the team and rebuild his strength.

Among the random villains, Wolverine ticks off the Living Laser (Arthur Parks), one of the Blood BrothersCenturius (Noah Black), the Corruptor (Jackson Day), the Answer (Aaron Nicholson), Cutthroat (Daniel Leightoon), one of the Brothers Grimmthe Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave), Dr Demonicus (Douglas Birely), the Griffin (Johnny Horton), Crossfire (William Cross), Jigsaw (Billy Russo), the Slug (Ulysses Lugman) and Shockwave (Lancaster Sneed). Oh, and Night Nurse (Linda Carter) is at the Sanctum too.

by Mike Carey, Scott Kolins & Moose Baumann
December 2007

When a HYDRA chemical warfare test goes wrong and starts a forest fire, a blinded Wolverine helps a squabbling family to escape. It’s a gimmick story but it’s done well.

“Little White Lies”
by Macon Blair, Vasilis Lolos & Nestor Pereyra
December 2007

Psychotic criminal Carmelo SS (Carmelo de lo Santo Silva) abducts Samuel Lacey. Samuel is the estranged son of White House drug czar William Lacey, who asks Wolverine to sort it out discreetly. Unfortunately, by the time Wolverine reaches Samuel, he’s been infected with a slow-acting fatal poison, to which there is no antidote. Satisfied that the boy’s condition really is terminal, Wolverine puts him out of his misery (at his own request). He falsely tells the father that the boy died instantly and painlessly, but Lacey is most hurt by the truthful news that his son died bravely. This is quite good, aside from a baffling diversion to fight some circus performers.

Next time, Jason Aaron writes his first arc in a lengthy stint as Wolverine’s regular writer; and the X-Men head to San Francisco.

Bring on the comments

  1. Andrew says:

    We’re really deep into a period I’m not a fan of at all.

    The highlight of this whole period is the Messiah Complex story (which was a blast to read/pick-up over the Spring/summer of 2007/08)

    But so much of this goes absolutely nowhere and Wolverine (like most other characters) is trapped between wall-to-wall events like Civil War, World War Hulk, the Endangered Species/Messiah Complex stuff and the build-up to Secret Invasion.

    It wasn’t a lot of fun to read at the time (As I recall my favourite comic during this period was Green Lantern with the generally great Sinestro Corp War).

    Weirdly I also go back into reading Spawn that year too (another book which goes absolutely nowhere at all).

  2. Thom H. says:

    There’s a tendency in the current comics “age” to collect large groups of similar characters. Maybe it started with Alan Moore and The Green back in his days on Swamp Thing. Or maybe it started even before that with his Captain Britain Corps?

    It happens with alternate versions of the same character (Captain Britain Corps, Council of Reeds, Rainbow Lanterns), legacy characters (mostly DC: Flash, Batman, Superman, but Wolverine, too, and even Emma), previously unknown connections (The Green, this Romulus thing, Austen’s stupid “devils and angels” thing with Nightcrawler), and the “every member ever!” story (each successive Avengers book, Avengers: Endgame).

    I point this out because I just realized how prevalent it’s become. Also, because I find most of it lazy, watered down storytelling that isn’t clever or interesting. Finally, how many companions do loner characters like Batman and Wolverine actually need? Oh, and finally finally: so ironic that no one’s interested in the Legion of Super-heroes right now, the original “everyone all at once” team.

  3. Dave says:

    There’s also all the Spiders. Both the first 2 Spider-Women were usually quite separate from Peter Parker, but Spider-Verse made them all part of the same thing.

  4. Mark Coale says:

    It might go back to the Batmen of Many Nations, although that may have been a one time thing (them as a group together).

    As stated before, I think the multiple version of character has partially due to using a company’s IP without creating new characters by creators.

    I’m hoping to run this theory by a well known comics pro on the pod soon.

  5. Chris V says:

    There are a family of Wolverines now, although the Romulus ret-con did not accomplish this feat.
    Not only are two characters listed actually cat-persons while Sasquatch is neither a mutant nor a canid; but if we take their codenames at face value, Sabretooth would also be a feline while Wolverine would be a mustelid. Only one character that is given as an example could be considered lupus.
    It’s the worst type of ret-con imaginable. Not only is it completely unnecessary, but it also isn’t accurate.

    >Wolverine is just a face in the crowd.

    Not entirely – he does make an attempt to stall the Hulk, noting their respective healing powers keep them in stalemate. Of course, the Hulk has absolutely no patience for a drawn-out fight and ends it by hitting Wolverine repeatedly in the head until he’s suffered so much brain damage he’s rendered useless for the rest of the story.

    Easily my favourite Wolverine fail.

  7. The Other Michael says:

    “Does Wolverine really have the profile to have a long-running solo title within the Marvel Universe?”

    That’s always been such a bizarre conceit of the Marvel Universe: that some characters license themselves to comic book companies and have writers document their adventures, while others apparently just have knock-off stories written about them. Sure, this works for the Fantastic Four who have always been above board and in the public eye, and probably the Avengers when they’re officialy licensed/approved/government controlled, whatever. And them treating the FF comic like an actual thing featured into a number of stories. Heck, She-Hulk went so far as to introduce comics as legal documents in the Dan Slott run (I think it was Slott.)

    But there was a 5th week event a long while back that actually HAD comics as if from the MU Marvel Comics, and for instance their take on Spider-Man, without knowing anything about him, was utterly bizarre.

    So what kind of stories would a Wolverine comic tell? Does he sit down and drink with the writers and tell them stories of his adventures, or do they make shit up? Does he get paid by the company?

    What about Doctor Strange? Ghost Rider? Howard the Duck? Slapstick? Black Panther?

    “The Death Song of J Patrick Smitty” is obviously a riff on T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” though I can’t say if there’s any connection between similar titles or if it’s just a pretentious reach for a random Wolverine story.

    The less ever said about Romulous or the Evolution storyline, the better. I mean hell, that time a bunch of werewolves showed up in Captain America was more on wolf theme than this. Tribes of mutants (angels, demons, wolves) is even worse than tribes of Inhumans (bird people with their own flying island…)

    I can buy into mutants with similar themes because whatever force guides mutation in the MU decided that it was a handy and convenient shtick to replicate, much like you see so many telepaths and telekinetics and strong people. I can even buy into the idea of someone like the High Evolutionary or Sinister manipulating mutants to create variations on a theme, especially once we establish that mutants aren’t just a recent phenomenon. But just… “oh yeah, angels and demons.” No.

  8. Allan M says:

    The Lupines schtick is impossibly stupid and I can’t believe nobody pushed back that cats, wolverines and wolves are not, in fact, the same thing. And Wolverine’s the star of the damned story! Wolverines aren’t wolves! It’s like if DC decided that all bird-themed heroes got their powers from the Bird Force, stacked the cast with Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Hawk and Dove, Black Canary and Black Condor… and then centred the story on Batman.

    I think I just wrote the synopsis of a Geoff Johns crossover miniseries.

    There’s also a thread beginning with Origin, continuing to House of M and then to Wolverine Origins, that Marvel decided to fully unpack Logan’s backstory and end all the false memories and mysteries… and it’s basically all inconsequential and seldom comes up aside from the Itsu/Daken stuff. The more they explained, the less anyone cared.

  9. Si says:

    If you’re going by hero names, I want a story a out the ancient mystical connection between Wolverine, Silver Sable, Weasel, and due to a clerical error, a guy named Martin Pine.

  10. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Lazaer is such a dumb idea.

    You can nerf Logan’s healing factor without adding an angel.

    You’d think it would be the stupidest unnecessary Wolverine retcon, but then the Lupine stuff arrives.

    How did that make it to print?

  11. Andrew says:

    The other weird thing is that the Loeb arc was heavily hyped before it came out but even by that point, people were getting a bit wary of his work.

    When it landed, the audience was rightfully horrified.

  12. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Absorbing Man’s ball and chain

    The last scions of the Ball Tribe.

  13. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Oh oh and Ruby Thursday!

  14. Thom H. says:

    I think you may have just breathed new life into the concept, X-Ben.

  15. Mark Coale says:

    Lobe’s non-Sale work just shows just how amazing sSale was on things like Long Halloween, the color books and Challengers.

  16. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Thanks Thom I’m already twelve pages into my spec script!

  17. Josie says:

    I don’t know if I actually read Secret Invasion, the main series, when it came out. I remember I was reading Paul’s reviews of various Secret Invasion tie-ins and such, and just the reviews made me sick of Skrulls forever, and somehow I came away with the opinion that the Secret Invasion event was the worst thing Bendis had ever written.

    In the last few years, I’ve reread House of M, Siege, and Age of Ultron, and I just got around to picking up a copy of Secret Invasion a couple months ago. It is far and away the best event book Bendis has written. It’s not great, but my god does it avoid a number of usual Bendisisms, the plot has momentum and actual structure, and things more or less happen in each issue. It is helped exponentially by reading no other tie-in book about Skrulls.

    Again, not saying it’s a great comic in itself, especially compared to other event comics or comics in general, but I was wrong to consider it the worst of Bendis. It’s some of the most competent stuff he’s done at Marvel post-Daredevil.

  18. Paul F says:

    My main memory of Phoenix: Warsong is that my LCS always had dozens of copies of the TPB which they were never able to sell.

  19. Andrew says:


    Yes I agree with you regarding Secret Invasion. If nothing else, it moves at a solid clip and covers a lot of ground.

    It reads a lot better in TPB than it did month-to month.

    Actually, I’d say most of that stuff in the 2000s reads better in TPB rather than singles .

  20. Omar Karindu says:

    Mark Coale said: It might go back to the Batmen of Many Nations, although that may have been a one time thing (them as a group together).

    Yeah, the Batman of Many Nations, sometimes called the Club of Heroes to justify Superman showing up as a member in World’s Finest Comics, were ore of a single-issue gimmick that was used, with minimal continuity, about three times in total.

    The general idea of a bunch of counterpart characters was one of the many innovations of Fawcett Comics, with their ever-expanding Marvel Family in the 1940s. Beyond the familiar Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel, there were the three Lieutenant Marvels; Uncle Marvel; and even the spectacularly obscure Freckles Marvel.

    eventually, Fawcett had enough Captain Marvel spinoff characters to launch a book around all of them teaming up — 1949’s Marvel Family #1. Naturally, the first villain was an evil Captain Marvel type: Black Adam.

    In terms of retroactively associating a bunch of preexisting characters together, though, I’d say Moore’s Swamp Thing sort of got the ball rolling, connecting two previously unrelated “Swamp Thing” characters with a newly invented origin story.

    After Fawcett collapsed in the 1950s thanks to falling superhero comics sales and lawsuits from what would become DC Comics, main Captain Marvel writer Otto Binder jumped ship to DC, where editor Mort Weisinger had already begun a similar process of creating Superman spin-off characters; Binder accelerated the process by so-creating, among others, Supergirl.

    Moore also, of course, used an old villain, the Floronic Man, in his story, but he was explicitly not an elemental in Moore’s formulation, just a plant-themed baddie who temporarily hijacked Swamp Thing’s connection to the plant world and los his mind.

    But it was really other writers who extended both “the Green” and the “Elementals” ideas Moore created. So Neil Gaiman hinted that Batman foe Poison Ivy had some kind of connection to all of this, and likewise tied in lack Orchid for a Vertigo-esque revamp.

    But it was really John Ostrander who went whole hog with it, retconning Firestorm into a Fire Elemental, revamping Red Tornado (already a bizarrely convoluted character), into an Air Elemental, and so forth.

    The other big precedent, right around the same time, was Steve Engelhart’s Millennium crossover at DC, which retroactively tied all previous “Manhunter” characters to Englehart’s evil Manhunter robot cult, in turn creations of the Guardians. That crossover’s gimmick meant that lots of minor characters in various books turned out to be secretly Manhunter spies or dupes as well.

    Englehart was building on his retcon of the one-shot Mark Shaw Manhunter — a Jack Kirby creaton — into a dupe of the evil turncoat GL-related androids from his 1970s Justice League stories.

    But that was mostly a retcon of a single character, a story resembling similarly small-potatoes retcons of Englehart’s writing mentor Roy Thomas and the kinds of intense cross-title continuity that Engelhart, Jim Starlin, Steve Gerber, and others used in their Bronze Age work.

    We can probably also throw in Julius Schwartz and Gardner Fox with their Silver Age DC multiverse concept of alternates of characters. Moore’s Captain Britain was largely a riff on that, cross-pollinated with Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion stuff and Bryan Talbot’s The Adventures of Luther Arkwright.

    So, overall, the trend towards ever-multiplying alternates and legacies is the result of a bunch of trends converging.

  21. Omar Karindu says:

    One day, I’ll learn to use HTML tags. They’re only a few decades old, how hard can it be?

  22. Josie says:

    “I’d say most of that stuff in the 2000s reads better in TPB rather than singles.”

    I wonder. Perhaps you’re referring to the kind of stuff that was written for the trade? I’ve been buying up some 2000s-era collections, but they’re mostly books that were written to be consumed as single issues (Rucka’s Detective, Johns’s JSA, etc.).

    (On a side note, I’ve unintentionally picked up collections that include Wonder woman: The Hiketeia, JLA/JSA Virtue & Vice, and Selina’s Big Score, three high-quality OGNs DC released right around the same time. It’s weird that they made this push for OGNs by outstanding creators, and this lasted for like . . . one year, and then that was that. Probably didn’t sell too well because the collection market wasn’t as big at the time. Anyway, given the glacial pacing of comics around that time, it’ll be interesting to see how these OGNs read.)

  23. Mark coale says:

    Don’t forget Hoppy the Marvel Bunny. 🙂

  24. Psycho Andy says:

    I just want to take a moment and acknowledge that Paul has been doing the Incomplete Wolverine for two and a half years now. I appreciate the undertaking in chronicling all of Wolverine’s appearances.

  25. Paul says:

    Thanks, Andy!

  26. MasterMahan says:

    @Allan MIt’s like if DC decided that all bird-themed heroes got their powers from the Bird Force, stacked the cast with Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Hawk and Dove, Black Canary and Black Condor… and then centred the story on Batman.

    I think I just wrote the synopsis of a Geoff Johns crossover miniseries.

    Close – it’s a Scott Snyder crossover. Part of Dark Knights: Metal is that a bunch of bird-related characters like Hawkman and the Court of Owls are descended from the prehistoric Bird Tribe. And it’s a Batman story. And yes, there’s a Wolf Tribe – it includes Vandal Savage.

    I swear to god I’m not making this up.

  27. Luke says:

    I remember buying Wolverine 56 because you gave it an A on the X Axis. Money well spent!

  28. Allan M says:

    @MasterMahan I am torn between thanking you sincerely for informing me (I do!), and also being deeply depressed that my attempt at a joke has ended up being weirdly accurate. God, I hate comics sometimes.

  29. I am convinced that before DC snatched him back, Geoff Johns was trying to get a bunch-of-Hulks-each-powered/triggered-by-a-different-emotion thing off the ground. There is part of me that has a morbid curiosity about how that would turn out. (Terribly, most likely.)

  30. Karl_H says:

    Month-late-devil’s-advocate-corner: There’s no reason to think that every character chooses their name with taxonomic precision, or that choice of name is a solid link to an existing zoological branch. What (aside from the abandoned plot about him being an actual mutated wolverine) makes Wolverine a mustelid rather than a canid*? Sabretooth could have chosen the name “Big Wolfy” without necessarily being a canid or a feline. Even the name “Lupine” could be unrelated to modern biological science in the context of the story, meaning ‘mutant with fangs and claws’ instead of “canine’.

    Still, terrible idea.

    * a main distinguishing trait of Mustelidae being well developed anal scent glands raises some questions here.

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