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Abandoned Love: Remember How Wolverine Went Feral And Lost His Nose And Then Just Went Back to Normal?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, we look at how Wolverine devolved to the point of losing his nose and then went back to normal over night…

As you all likely recall, during the 1993 X-Men crossover, Fatal Attractions, Wolverine had the adamantium ripped out of his body by Magneto. He soon learned that his claws were actually part of his natural skeleton, so he continued having claws, they were just bone claws.

A while after that, in Wolverine #90 (by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer and Dan Green), Wolverine decided to take care of the Sabretooth “problem” (at the time, Professor Xavier was keeping Sabretooth prisoner at the X-Mansion) permanently…




In Wolverine #91 (by Hama, Duncan Rouleau and Joe Rubinstein, which followed the Age of Apocalypse storyline, so it was five months after #90), it was kind of weird how everyone is all so shocked that Wolverine would do that. “ZOMG! The guy we know kills people tried to kill his longtime hated foe who killed at least one of his girlfriends in the past and was currently threatening to kill his friends now! How could Wolverine possibly do this?!?” In any event, Professor X reveals that Wolverine was actually regressing due to the fact that the adamantium was no longer holding his natural mutation back (his natural mutation was to turn Wolverine into a feral creature)…




So for the next nine issues or so, we had a lot of “ZOMG! I am totally becoming feral” stories while otherwise just having normal Wolverine adventures. This culminated in #100 (by Hama, Kubert and Green) where Cable’s son from the future had gone nuts and began to serve Apocalypse and decided to give Wolverine adamantium to stop the regression and then brainwash him into becoming a servant of Apocalypse…


Wolverine rejects the adamantium bonding process…


And the result is an acceleration of the de-evolution process…




Wolverine is at first able to fight off his animalistic nature and not kill Genesis but eventually loses control and kills Genesis.

The next issue saw Val Semeiks and Chris Hunt join the title as the art team for the next few issues (alongside Kubert returning for one issue out of nowhere – wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense for Kubert to just say goodbye at #100?)

Wolverine #101 saw the official debut of flat-out noseless Wolverine (as Kubert’s de-evolved Wolverine in #100 still had a bit of a nose)…



It also saw Wolverine just go way too far down the evolution change for no good reason. I mean, check this scene out when he tries to rescue Cyclops…


I love that the rest of the X-Men are just going with this. “Ah well, I’m sure this will work itself out. I’m fine with bringing him on to the missions anyways. I’m sure it will be fine. He’ll be able to handle himself despite now acting like an animal.” I mean, I guess they were RIGHT, but still, seems kind of foolish.

In Wolverine #103 (after Kubert returned for one last issue in #102), Elektra shows up to bring out the humanity in Wolverine, as she tests him and he eventually succeeds…



However, even though he has regained his humanity (they really never explain how he goes from being a mindless creature in #101 to being someone that Elektra could even reason with at ALL in #103), it isn’t like he just regained his appearance, as he didn’t. It was just that he was mentally a man again, but he was still feral…


Along with a new bandanna mask (as his old cowl now no longer fit), Wolverine seemed to have a new status quo…




By Semeiks’ last issue, Wolverine seems to be settled in as a devolved guy with the mind of his old self…


But then Anthony Winn began his first fill-in arc from #107-109, and Wolverine suddenly looks normal…


This is explained in the story as saying that Wolverine is using an image inducer to make himself look normal again (it sure as heck looks like what happened was that Winn drew old school Wolverine and then they just decided to keep it and explain it in the story, as it doesn’t make any sense that Wolverine spend this entire story arc in an image inducer), so they’re conceding that Wolverine still looks feral.

This is confirmed when Joe Bennett fills in for #110, and Wolverine is still de-evolved…


But then Winn returns for two issues and Wolverine is back to normal without any image inducer explanation…


Leinil Francis Yu takes over as the new regular artist with #113 and #115-118 are part of the Zero Tolerance crossover and Wolverine is back to normal without explanation.

Hama’s run ends with #118 and when Warren Ellis takes over with Yu for Ellis’ short but acclaimed “Not Dead Yet” storyline in #119, Wolverine’s feral time is never discussed again and his appearance is just back to normal…


So it seriously just dropped away overnight between #110 and #111. Probably for the best, but still kind of silly how it happened.

In Wolverine #145, Apocalypse follows up on the Genesis plan from #100 and DOES bond adamantium to Wolverine’s bones and temporarily makes him a brainwashed servant of Apocalypse but Wolverine eventually breaks free.

If YOU have a suggestion for an abandoned storyline that you’d like to see featured here, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.