WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Return of Wolverine #1, by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Laura Martin and VC's Joe Sabino, on sale now.
There have been many questions surrounding the Return of Wolverine ever since his shock appearance in last year’s Marvel Legacy #1, but now that the fan-favorite mutant has made his comeback, at least one of the questions -- regarding the origin of his new costume -- has been answered.
Return of Wolverine #1 arrived last week, and in the issue, we saw a battered and bruised Logan back from the dead and seemingly in the clutches of the mysterious Soteira corporation. The issue opened with him wearing his classic yellow and blue costume from his first appearances in Uncanny X-Men, only it’s ripped and shredded like he’s been through Hell. Following that introduction, he fights a sabertooth tiger (really!), gets shot at and is involved in a motorcycle crash, meaning that by the end of the issue he’s definitely in need of a new outfit.
Thankfully, it seems that not everyone that works for Soteira are bad guys. Wolverine is taken in by a member of the canteen staff and given some much-needed rest and first aid. While there, she pulls out a black and red uniform from a nearby locker and hands it to Logan. By the end of the issue, Wolverine is kitted out in this new costume, which appears to be a standard Soteira uniform. There are the organization's signature three red dots on the belt, which was seen in the Soteira logo earlier in the issue, and the color scheme matches that worn by the security forces around the camp that were killing scientists indiscriminately.
First revealed in August 2018, this temporary new costume for Wolverine was designed by artist Declan Shalvey (Moon Knight, Injection) who will be joining writer Charles Soule to illustrate Return of Wolverine issues #2-4. Shalvey’s variant cover for issue #2 was the image originally used to reveal Logan’s new look.
What’s really fascinating about the new costume is what immediately precedes its introduction in the issue. While patching up his wounds, the Soteira worker tells Wolverine that she believes he wears his signature yellow and blue costume so that he will be seen, so that the focus of enemies will be drawn to him, enabling him to save more lives. His new outfit, all black with only red detailing, would imply that he no longer wants to be seen (at least for now), and by the telltale "SNIKT" at the end of the issue, we can tell Soteira has made a dangerous new enemy.