COMIC LEGEND: Wolverine's mutated wolverine origin was squelched because of Spider-Woman taking the origin.
STATUS: Appears to be True
One of the weirdest legends I've covered in these 500 installments of Comic Book Legends Revealed is the fact that Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum planned on Wolverine being revealed to be a mutated wolverine, likely due to the High Evolutionary.
This origin was hinted at heavily in X-Men #98...
However, the origin was shelved at the time.
A year later, Spider-Woman debuted in Marvel Spotlight #32 and SHE got that origin! She was a mutated spider!
I always thought that Archie Goodwin simply picked up on a rejected story idea, however, as it turns out, even when John Byrne joined the X-Men late in 1977, the mutated wolverine origin was STILL in place! As it turns out, it was the Spider-Woman origin that scuttled it!
John Byrne explained to The Comics Journal in 1980:
You see, we're already on our second origin for Wolverine. The first origin that was concocted, was that he was actually a mutant Wolverine, boosted up to human form by the High Evolutionary. Okay, that works... except that Archie did a similar number in the first Spider-Woman story. And no matter how things have changed in that strip since, the idea has been done before... so we dropped it.
Isn't that amazing? So we actually owe Spider-Woman (whose origin was VERY quickly retconned to get rid of the evolved spider idea) for Wolverine not being a mutated wolverine!
Okay, that's it for part one!
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