In a move that surprised literally no one, Marvel Comics has decided to bring Wolverine back from the dead (now with Hot Claws, baby!) and has made a pretty big deal of the whole thing. Of course, why wouldn't they? Wolverine has been the most popular X-person for the last thirty years across all media. His absence left such a large cavern, several alternate versions of the character were brought into the Earth-616 continuity to help alleviate the longing for our dearly departed Canucklehead. The surrogates worked with varying levels of success (Laura Kinney IS our Wolverine, dammit!), but ready or not, it's time for papa Logan to return.
As the "Hunt for Wolverine" miniseries crossover even is winding down, we're getting closer and closer to the debut of The Return of Wolverine, a five-issue limited series by Charles Soule (Astonishing X-Men, Star Wars: Darth Vader), Steve McNiven (Civil War, Nemesis) and Declan Shalvey. While the primary cover and a heap of the variant for the first issue of this series feature Logan sporting familiar outfits (which include the classic yellow getup and that silly ol' "Patch" persona), a variant cover by Shalvey for the second issue shows Wolverine wearing something a bit different.
Now before we go down this rabbit hole of objective observations that are based upon simple preferences of aesthetics (it's okay to disagree, guys), let's get this out of the way right up front: No matter what people may think of his new black and red outfit, it is by no means the worst costume Wolverine has worn...not by a long shot. Remember this little number?
The defense of Wolverine's new costume isn't solely predicated upon how bad (or simply dated) some of his other designs are, but it's a good enough place to start. What makes the new Wolverine costume kind of cool is the context of the variant cover of The Return of Wolverine #2.
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If you weren't too distracted by the new outfit, you'll notice that in the background of the cover is some sort of watercraft from which Wolverine seems to be leaping. The first impression we got was that this new costume has some sort of nautical-based design. The large buttons on the breast flap of his black top kind of back this up.