Did John Byrne Originally Plan on Wolverine Joining Alpha Flight?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and twentieth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.

NOTE: If the CSBG Twitter page hits 11,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow the CSBG Twitter page!


John Byrne originally planned on having Wolverine transferred from the X-Men to Alpha Flight!


Appeared True Based on What 1983 John Byrne Said, But Apparently False According to 2019 John Byrne

John Byrne famously joined the creative team of the X-Men when Dave Cockrum gave the series up and Byrne instantly clicked with writer Chris Claremont and inker Terry Austin. Very soon into Byrne's time on the series, Claremont used a character Byrne had designed as a fan as a Canadian government superhero who was sent to bring Wolverine back (after Wolverine famously quit working for Canada in Giant-Size X-Men #1)...

The hero was called Weapon Alpha...

He did not succeed in bringing Wolverine back into the fold.

Soon after that issue, Byrne began plotting the X-Men alongside Claremont. They decided to re-visit the whole "Canada hasn't forgotten about Wolverine working for them" issue in X-Men #120-121, when a whole TEAM of heroes show up to bring Wolverine home. Dubbed "Alpha Flight," Byrne created the characters in the team himself, using another character he had created as a fan (Snowbird) for the team along with a few other new creations...

In 1980, Byrne left the X-Men. He became the writer and artist on Fantastic Four while Cockrum returned to draw the X-Men. After a couple of years, Marvel decided that they wanted to do an Alpha Flight series and Byrne agreed that if they were going to do it, he should be the guy to be in charge of it, so he launched Alpha Flight in 1983...

He added a new character, Puck, to the team. Amusingly enough, Puck's addition was to make him the sort of Wolverine replacement, because Byrne's original plan was to have Wolverine transferred from the X-Men to Alpha Flight!

Byrne explained it to the always informative Peter Sanderson in Amazing Heroes #22 that he initially wanted Wolverine to join Alpha Flight as a permanent member. Byrne then noted, though, "But things are happening with Alpha Flight right now so that I don't feel I need Wolverine any more. Wolverine may walk through the book but I don't think he'll have a three, four, or five issue stay or even a permanent stay as I had originally planned. For one thing, Puck, who I freely admit was created to be my Wolverine surrogate, has actually turned into a more interesting character to me than Wolverine. This will tell you, knowing how much I love Wolverine, something about how I feel about this character."

Here's the piece from the issue...

Byrne did do teasers for Wolverine possibly joining the team after Guardian died...

and Wolverine did guest star in the issue after the Guardian died...

How realistic it ever was to think that Wolverine would have been allowed to leave Marvel's most popular series is a whole other question, of course, but it is still fascinating to see that Byrne did, in fact, say that it WAS his original plan.

Thanks to Peter Sanderson and John Byrne for the information!

EDITED TO ADD: John Byrne responded on his forum to say that he disagrees with 1983 John Byrne. So fair enough! 2019 Byrne is hopefully more accurate than 1983 Byrne, so we'll go with a false here.

Check out some other entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Was The Crystals’ Hit “He’s a Rebel” Not Actually Performed by the Crystals?

2. How Did Charles Schulz Owning a Ford Indirectly Lead to A Charlie Brown Christmas?

3. Did Sigourney Weaver Actually Make a Shocking Trick Shot in Alien Resurrection?

4. Were the Bronte Sisters Raised as Vegans?

Check back later for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

Iron Man helmet projection in Avengers Endgame
Could Iron Man’s MCU Future Ruin His Endgame Death?

More in CBR Exclusives