SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains a MAJOR SPOILER for Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Marvel Legacy one-shot, in stores Wednesday, Sept. 27.
It’s been three years since the original Wolverine was killed in the final act of act of Charles Soule and Steve McNiven’s “Death of Wolverine” storyline. In the interim, though, fans have had no shortage of replacement Wolverines, thanks to the the mantle being passed down to his female clone, X-23, and the arrival of Old Man Logan post-Secret Wars. But, as is human nature, nothing’s more enjoyable for many fans than the original.
Which is why Logan’s return in this week’s Marvel Legacy one-shot already has fans buzzing, a return that’s made all the more interesting given that he’ll be revealed to be in possession of an Infinity Stone. Which one is he wielding? Well, that’s still a mystery, as is the exact role he’s playing once Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic set the stage for the next phase of the Marvel Universe.
That said, the past is prologue, so with his resurrection around the corner, we decided to take a look back at the road which removed Wolverine from the board, and which ultimately paved the way for his return.
Soule and McNiven’s picked up the threads set by Paul Cornell’s Wolverine run, with Logan dealing with the loss of his healing factor. The X-Man sought medical advice far and wide, from Beast to Reed Richards, until the X-Man/Avenger basically accepted the inevitable. As the title implied, he was dying, no longer able to unsheathe his adamantium-coated claws as the resulting wounds would allow for bacteria infection. His adamantium skeleton also proved to be a source of poisoning for his body, enhanced by him being present at history’s ill-fated Nagasaki explosion.
Richards believed he could likely to find a cure, but Logan knew that his time was running out, not in terms of just in terms of having a terminal illness, but because he knew word of his situation was already out and his enemies would come hunting for him, in droves. “Ultimately, I think he’s one of the most human of the superheroes — Wolverine is deeply flawed, and that’s what makes him great,” Soule told CBR at the time, as he painted the character as “a mix of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name and a Kurosawa samurai.”
With this in mind, the writer ensured that Logan’s last days would be a rollicking adventure so he could go out with a bang. Nuke, Hand ninjas and more all hunted Logan, even killing each other along the way. At this point, because he was lacking a healing factor and not able to use his claws, he was more Logan than Wolverine — in essence, he was at his most human, a take on can clearly see as an influence on director James Mangold’s critically-acclaimed Logan. Yes, Mark Millar and McNiven’s’s Old Man Logan was clearly channeled into the film, but a lot of how Mangold presented the hero, battered, bloodied and bruised beyond belief, comes from his end of days.
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