Wolverine is back - and we do mean Wolverine. Not Old Man Logan, not alternate-reality Wolverine, not from-a-different-timeline Wolverine, and not another-character-calling-themselves Wolverine. Original Recipe Wolverine returned to the Marvel universe this year, and it’s good to have him back. Of course, his return hasn’t been simple… this is a comic book world we are talking about.
After his grave was found to be empty, there was a massive Hunt For Wolverine event involving characters from across the Marvel Universe - but they all came up empty-handed. Now, Return Of Wolverine is reintroducing Logan, and he’s already back in the hero business… but a whole lot has changed since he died.
10. New: Black Suit
Wolverine has something of an iconic look, but it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that he hasn’t returned to his classic yellow-and-blue spandex super-suit. Instead, Logan has updated his look with something a little less cartoonish and a little more appropriate for sneaking around taking out bad guys: an all-black suit. Of course, this may not last, as it’s just what Wolverine happened to find when he needed something to wear, but it’s likely that this (or a version of it) will be his go-to outfit for a little while yet.
9. Classic: Signature Hairstyle
Costumes may change, but it seems that Wolverine’s healing factor extends to his hair, which remains as long and messy as ever. Sometimes it’s a little longer, true. Sometimes he styled it into two spikes (for whatever reason). Sometimes he’s had a little more facial hair, too. But this returned Wolverine still looks like Wolverine when it comes to his locks; right down to the interesting mutton-chop choice. It’s great to see that even when resurrected by an evil organization, he’s got time to shave three-quarters of his face…
8. New: Heat Claws
Wolverine has a new power to match his new suit; heat claws! That’s right, his classic claws and healing factor got an upgrade this time around, and now it’s possible for him to super-heat his adamantium. It’s not quite clear how this works yet - we don’t know how he got this new power, if it just affects his claws (surely his whole skeleton can’t superheat?!), and if he can control it. For the time being, it’s brand new - and looks incredibly cool!
7. Classic: Height
Whoever has been tinkering with Wolverine may have given him heat claws, but they didn’t make him any taller… which may come as something of a surprise to new readers of the comics. The big screen Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, is over six feet tall, but the Original Recipe Wolverine is actually only 5’3”… and that hasn’t changed. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing. Wolvie’s height is a big part of his character, and there would be no reason to change it other than to try and make him look a little more like his big screen counterpart.
6. New: Amnesia
Wolverine may have returned with a new power, but he’s missing something else… his memory. Logan woke up in the middle of a mystery, and he has no idea who he is. The scientist that he is currently trying to help has been able to fill him in on some of the basics, as are the few memories that are beginning to surface in his mind, but he’s still pretty much clueless when it comes to his entire life history. When he first woke up, he didn’t even recognize his own name.
5. Classic: Hero Complex
Speaking of that scientist that he decided to help… his actions immediately after waking up are proof that he may not have a memory (right now) but he is definitely still a hero. Even though he had no idea where (or who) he was, as soon as he realized that there was someone in trouble, whose son had been kidnapped, he leaped into action to try and help her. He even says that he knows he’s a hero… and while he’s always been pretty heroic, we also don’t know what he’s been doing without his memory intact - so he may have been doing some less than heroic things, too.
4. New: Son-Killer
Wolverine and Daken have always had a complicated relationship - but while Daken has often been a villainous character and a remorseless killer, Wolverine has usually been kind to his son. He knows that Daken was warped as a child, and he regrets the loss of his wife and son and the family they could have had. He’s even let Daken attack him and refused to fight back… until now. Without his memory, Wolverine recently barbecued his own son with his heat claws and some gasoline… and when he realizes, we doubt he’ll be happy.
3. Classic: Berserker Rage
In an interesting twist on his memory loss, Wolverine has started turning inward and viewing his mind as a prison, where each cell contains a version of his past self. This is a great way to introduce new readers to Wolverine’s history, but it also means that old fans get to see exactly what’s still in Wolverine’s head… like his berzerker rage self, who was accidentally unleashed in one of the most recent issues of this title. Combined with those new heat claws, this is going to be brutal…
2. New: X-23 Returns
Since the Death of Wolverine, the Wolverine name has been carried on by Laura Kinney, aka X-23, Wolverine’s clone (and, as was recently revealed, his daughter). However, with the return of Original Recipe Wolverine, Laura is back to being X-23 in the Marvel Universe, a decision that isn’t sitting too well with fans of the character. Of course, she may take on another code name in the future, but for now, she’s back with an X-23 solo title once again.
1. Classic: Grumpiness
And finally, the one thing that will presumably never change about Wolverine - he’s still far from a ray of sunshine! Of course, we could expect any character to be more than a little bit annoyed at having been resurrected sans memory in a weird war with a shadowy organization that’s messing with genetics… but with Wolverine, there’s little doubt that this is going to stay that way long after he figures out what has happened to him. Would he really be the same man if he came back cheerful?