This is the first installment of a brand-new feature that is about odd plot points that were rarely (sometimes never!) addressed again after they were first introduced.
We begin with the fact that we first learned Wolverine’s real name from a bunch of leprechauns!
X-Men #101-103 involved the X-Men visiting Banshee’s ancestral home, Cassidy Keep, in Ireland. However, they stumbled upon Banshee’s evil cousin, Black Tom, as well as Black Tom’s special friend, Juggernaut, who had taken control of the castle.
Before that, though, there’s a great scene where Wolverine criticizes the outfit Banshee is wearing for a formal dinner while Wolverine, himself, looks absolutely ridiculous…
“Formal dinner? Then I just HAVE to wear my cowboy hat!”
Anyhow, in a battle with the bad guys, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm and Colossus were captured but Nightcrawler escaped – just barely. He was knocked out and he was met by…leprechauns!
Nightcawler having the ability to vanish in the dark was, itself, more or less forgotten, but eventually Alan Davis returned to the idea during his Excalibur run, so it doesn’t qualify for this feature.
Then, after Nightcrawler frees most of his teammates (except for Banshee), we get the greatest revelation of all-time…
Yes, leprechauns know Wolverine’s name! This is the first time that ANYone had heard “Logan” referenced and it was a LEPRECHAUN who did it?! Insane.
And it is also kind of nuts that a character like Wolverine who gets his past CONSTANTLY revisited has never addressed this story again. Wolverine says he never saw leprechauns before, but with his memory issues, it was likely just blocked it out.
Heck, the leprechauns themselves only showed up two more times, which is ALSO weird, considering how often old X-Men stories are stripmined for modern X-Men stories.
First, in Generation X, Banshee and the gang return to Cassidy Keep…
And in a story set in the past in 2010’s Uncanny X-Men First Class #8, which, oddly enough, does not have Wolverine address the leprechaun thing again…
So come on, Marvel writers, what are you waiting for? Reveal the hidden history between Wolverine and the leprechauns!
EDITED TO ADD: Someone pointed me to a quote my pal Teebore posted from Claremont about this particular time in X-Men history. It’s an interesting look into his approach at the time (emphasis added):
The beauty of writing X-Men at that time was that nobody had any expectations at all. We were so far beneath the radar. It was Dave (Cockrum) and me and the X-Men. We were like, ‘What outrageous thing can we do now? How about a space battle?’ Dave would go, ‘Whoa, yeah, space battle, yeah! Starship, binary stars – eat your heart out, Star Trek!’ It was all the stuff that we wanted to see and no one would ever do. You know, alien space battles and demons. Let’s kill off Jean! Nobody’ll see it coming! And then we’ll bring her back! We wanted to do stuff that we enjoyed and stuff that was fun. Let’s blow up Kennedy Airport! Let’s throw in homages to John Carter, Warlord of Mars! Let’s bring back Magneto and have him beat the living daylights out of the X-Men! It was almost like, ‘Can you top this?’ In this issue: leprechauns! For some reason, the effervescence, the audacity, the good stuff outweighed the bad. I look back on it now, and it’s like, ‘Oh, God, I could throw out, like, two-thirds of the copy!’ We didn’t know what we were doing, but we were certainly enjoying ourselves.
If you have suggestions for future editions of this feature, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org