WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Thor #5 by Jason Aaron, Christian Ward and VC’s Joe Sabino, on sale now.
The Phoenix is one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel Universe, which is the reason why the cosmic entity is feared on a universal level. The flaming bird has wiped out entire solar systems, with its very presence on Earth enough to send the Avengers and X-Men, two of Marvel’s most recognizable and popular superhero teams, into war with one another.
The last couple of years have brought the Phoenix back in a major way, with it making appearances across several titles and bringing Jean Grey back to life in Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey. One surprising comic that the Phoenix found itself in was Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor when Jane Foster did battle against a pair of Shi’ar gods.
However, no one expected the Phoenix to show up in the final pages of Thor when Aaron jumped the story to the far-flung future to check in with King Thor after he restored life on Midgard, aka Earth. As the Phoenix is known to do, it had chosen a new host in the future, who turned out to be Thor’s former teammate on the Avengers, a rather samurai-looking, gray-haired Wolverine.
The Wolverine-Phoenix wouldn’t be seen again until Thor #5 with an issue dedicated to exploring why Logan was so against King Thor reviving the Earth. Of course, we quickly found out it’s because of an extremely powerful Doctor Doom looking to destroy Earth yet again, more than likely forcing Thor and Wolverine to team up to stop him.
Since this future version of Wolverine is possessed by the Phoenix and has undergone some physical changes, that necessitates a brand new name for the character, right? Fans can’t simply keep referring to him as “Wolverine-Phoenix” or “Phoenix-Wolverine.” If Marvel has plans of using this hybrid character for more than a guest appearance, then a proper naming must take place. Thankfully, Wolverine does the pleasure of revealing what his name going forward will be: Old Man Phoenix.
Though not particularly creative, Old Man Phoenix makes perfect sense as a name. Old Man Logan is an older Wolverine from an alternate reality where he’s responsible for the death of the X-Men, with the character making his way to the Marvel Prime Universe after Secret Wars. Old Man Logan has fought alongside the X-Men and has his own solo series that is nearing an end. If a millennia-old, Phoenix-possessed Wolverine were going to choose a name, then you can’t go wrong with “Old Man Phoenix.”
Marvel is currently in love with having multiple iterations of Wolverine running around, especially when you factor in the original Wolverine’s return, Old Man Logan, X-23 and Ultimate Wolverine (now calling himself Poison). It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Old Man Phoenix to stick around either. Who knows, maybe one day he can meet and fall in love with the cavewoman Phoenix from the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC.
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