WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the final page of Marvel's Avengers #680, by Al Ewing, Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Kim Jacinto, David Curiel and Cory Petit, on sale now.
The second month of Marvel Comics' "Where Is Wolverine?" post-credits scenes has begun, and in this week's Avengers #680, it might be more than a mere cameo. Previous entries have placed Wolverine a step behind his friends and allies, to the point where we questioned whether Marvel was missing a golden opportunity with these scenes, but this time, it appears there may be more to it.
Granted, there's still more of the same in this latest installment, with Logan arriving a second or two behind the people he's in search of. However, there are enough clues to leave us pondering whether Wolverine will have a role to play in Avengers: No Surrender before the storyline comes to a close.
The issue's final page opens with the A.I.M quinjet that Roberto da Costa dispatched to Falcon's Peru squad taking liftoff. The team is still reeling from the apparent death of Johnny Storm during their battle with the Black Order and Lethal Legion, so Falcon decides they need to head back to base and regroup.
Wolverine appears once the quinjet is up in the air, as he's shown walking down a flight of steps in a nearby town. At least, it looks like he's walking. In the two panels featuring the former Avenger, Wolverine is drawn in the exact same pose, with his left hand holding his backpack over his shoulder. Also, Wolverine's entire body is engulfed in a light blue light, giving the impression that he's frozen in place.
There are a few different possibilities, here. First, we must remember that when Logan came back from the dead in Marvel Legacy #1, he did so while in possession of the Space Stone. One of the abilities of the blue Infinity Stone is to open portals, allowing its user to travel from one location to another, no matter the distance between them. In Wolverine's case, perhaps he used the stone to get from London in The Amazing Spider-Man #794 to Peru, and it left him covered in its cosmic energy.
However, that doesn't explain why Logan appears to be frozen in one pose. But when you step back and consider the book this scene appears in, it opens up the possibility that perhaps Logan transported himself to this location, and was immediately "drafted" into the game by the Grandmaster and/or the Challenger. After all, many of the Avengers have been similarly frozen in a blue-colored stasis. It's only when one player is taken off the playing field that one of them is thus unfrozen. Is Wolverine being held on the bench until the game enters its later phase?
Another scenario also involves the intricate game being played by the Grandmaster and Challenger being to blame for Wolverine's blue hue. No Surrender has established that once an individual touches what is known as a Pyramoid, they immediately vanish in a flash of light and reappear inside a colored gem above the Grandmaster's game room. This is what happened to the Black Order's Black Dwarf and the Human Torch, with the former in a blue gem and the latter in a purple gem. There is a question of whether both figures are still alive while encased like this, but like Wolverine, they seem frozen as well. Why Wolverine would be treated like this remains unknown, but it's possible neither Elder of the Universe wants him meddling in their game, especially with such a powerful cosmic artifact in his possession.
Thus, we may have our first case of a "Where Is Wolverine?" post-credits scene foreshadowing something larger for Logan, especially if he's a pawn of the Grandmaster and Challenger. We know the Challenger is resurrecting another deceased Avenger as a mystery player against the Grandmaster, but what if they also have plans for Wolverine? And could they possibly tie into the recent announcements for The Hunt for Wolverine?
Marvel’s “Where Is Wolverine?” post-credits scene adventures continue this week in Marvel 2-In-One #3 and February 28's Black Panther #170.