In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconning away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, we look at how Chris Claremont altered the limitations of Wolverine's healing powers within the span of four months!
It started with Uncanny X-Men #214, by Chris Claremont, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Wiacek. This issue, in a lot of ways, is sort of the "lost" Barry Windsor-Smith Uncanny X-Men one-off issue, as his one-off issues tended to be a bit more on the dramatic side of things, like Wolverine's classic clash with the Reavers in New York City during Christmastime or the two Storm/Forge Lifedeath stories. This one, though, was set in the aftermath of the Mutant Massacre, with the X-Men taking in the surviving Morlocks, including their former leader, Callisto.
In this issue, she and Wolverine train against each other and Callisto makes a point of noting that Wolverine's adamantium skeleton is a huge advantage, but he is still vulnerable at the parts where the skeleton does not protect him, namely the fleshy parts of his body. She notes that she could kill him by stabbing him in the throat and Wolverine agrees...
Now, could Wolverine be lying for whatever reason? Sure, even with Psylocke listening in on his thoughts, he COULD be lying. That's a possibility, but it sure seems as though he is confirming Callisto's statement regarding his throat.
However, just four months later, Classic X-Men #10 came out, which featured a back-up story by Claremont and John Bolton that was set around the time that Jean Grey first became Phoenix. Wolverine is minding his own business when he is suddenly lightly "tagged" by a mysterious stranger...
Wolverine doesn't like being surprised like that, so he sets off to find his assailant and it turns out that his assailant is ready for him and while we don't see him exactly, it's obviously Sabretooth. Sabretooth then TEARS WOLVERINE'S THROAT OUT!
And what do you know? Wolverine survives it...
Since we didn't see Wolverine expressly die from a neck wound in the earlier story, this is not really a retcon, so instead, it's just Claremont changing the terms of Wolverine's healing factor just within a few months of each other.
If anyone else has a suggestion for a future Abandoned Love, drop me a line at email@example.com!