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Provide Some Answers – When Did We Learn That Wolverine Had Memory Implants?

by  in Comic News Comment
Provide Some Answers – When Did We Learn That Wolverine Had Memory Implants?

This feature is basically a counterpart to our Left Unresolved feature. That feature is for plotlines that were, well, left unresolved. In this one, though, we spotlight examples of long unresolved stories that WERE ultimately resolved by later writers. The only rule is that at least four years have to pass between the plot point being introduced and it being resolved.

One of the most famous things about Wolverine, and something that played a major role in his characterization in the popular X-Men films, is the fact that he had trouble remembering his past for years. However, did you know that that was not the case for the first DECADE of his existence? So when did he first have a memory gap? And how long did it take to confirm what caused that memory gap? Read on to find out!

A fascinating thing about comics is when concepts are introduced well into a character’s comic book history that then become SUCH a part of that character’s history that it is shocking to learn how late they actually showed up. One of these examples is how long it took to establish that Wolverine had a problem with his memory. He never addressed it in the first DECADE of existence in X-Men comics.

In fact, he certainly seemed like he DID remember his past pretty well on the very rare occasions that it came up.

For instance, in X-Men Annual #4 (by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Bob McLeod), Wolverine SEEMS to reference participating in a famous World War II battle in Italy…

Even if that wasn’t a reference to him being old enough to fight in World War II, it was clearly an indication that he had a memory of earlier in his life and it wasn’t anything significant to him.

Whenever he interacted with his old friends in Alpha Flight, he seemed like he had no problem remembering the past, like this bit from X-Men #109 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne…

In Wolverine’s debut mini-series (by Claremont, Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein), Wolverine again mentions old friends as if his memory is fine…

Remarkably enough, it would not be until 1986, in the pages of a comic OTHER than X-Men or Wolverine, that we learned that Wolverine had memory issues. In Alpha Flight #33 (by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema and Gerry Taloac), we learn how Wolverine met the Hudsons, how he was a feral animal in the Canadian wilderness when they found him and how he had no memory of how he got his claws and his adamantium skeleton…

Note, though, that his memory issues are related specifically to what happened to him with the claws and the skeleton. He specifically DOES remember stuff from before then with no problems.

Finally, roughly five years later, Barry Windsor-Smith wrote and drew Weapon X, the story that revealed how the government had given Wolverine his adamantium…

Soon after that, we would learn the extent of Wolverine’s memory issues. Go to the next page to find out…

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