For decades, Marvel Comics writers have adhered to the 'Illusion of Change' rule when crafting stories. To that end, Marvel writers focus more on developing and evolving individual heroes and villains via character arcs; Spider-Man's grown from a nervous high school kid to brilliant scientist, and Wolverine evolved from a Hulk villain to an X-Men.
Now that Disney's acquired Fox, most film fans think that it's only a matter of time until Wolverine enters the MCU. Should that happen, we can think of at least ten great story and character arcs that Marvel Studios might want to bring to the big screen.
10 NYX: Wannabe
This story arc explores the backstory of Laura Kinney, better known as X-23 - Wolverine's clone. If your knowledge of X-23 only consists of Dafen Keen's immaculate portrayal of Laura in Logan, then you know that she and Wolvie have a father-daughter bond. You're probably also imagining Laura as a cute little girl that mostly speaks Spanish.
Pero, in the Marvel Comics Universe Laura, is a young Caucasian woman whose working as a prostitute by the time we meet her. The NYX: Wannabe story arc explores Laura's harrowing origins, her connection with Wolverine, and her humble beginnings as an X-Men. We think that the MCU might be ready to tackle more serious topics.
While taking a stroll down memory lane, we learn that Wolverine conceived a son with a woman named Itsu. James met her while he was training in Japan. The two of them eventually fell head over heels for each other - leading them to make love and bring Akihiro into the world. But Savior isn't an arc that ends happily ever after; Itsu gets killed by the Winter Soldier, and Akihiro goes missing!
Years later, Akihiro resurfaces - calling himself Daken and harboring a bitter grudge against Wolverine. This story arc forces James to deal with his prodigal son and introduces a new mutant to the X-Men world.
8 Wolverine's History With The Hulk
Newer Marvel fans might not know this, but Wolverine wasn't always a hero; in his debut, he tried to kill the Hulk! This was back when Bruce was a drifter and the Hulk "just wanted to be left alone." Marvel could have their version of Wolverine debut by stalking Smart Hulk as a potential callback.
Conversely, Marvel Studios could adapt the Wolverine vs. Hulk story arc from the Ultimate Comics. We don't want to spoil the events of this six-issue miniseries, but we will say that the ending might tear you up!
7 "Dying" For The First Time
During Marvel's seminal Days of Future Past story arc, Wolverine and Kitty Pryde narrowly died numerous times. As the series progresses, we gradually learn that various X-Men have either died, gone missing, or betrayed their fellow mutants. Wolverine is one of the last mutants managing to evade capture - but just barely.
Near the end of the story arc, Logan and Kitty come face to face with a Sentinel. It's not one of the usual buckets of bolts that the X-Men regularly tear apart - it's a suped-up death machine capable of killing powerful mutants in one blast. Wolverine charges the Sentinel to save Kitty's life. Logan succeeds but at the cost of his own.
6 Becoming The Horseman Of Death
If Disney does nothing else of note with the X-Men mythos, we hope that they rectify the damage X-Men Apocalypse inflicted upon cinematic history! En Sabah Nur lacked the gravitas of his comic book counterpart (despite the magnificent Oscar Isaac's best efforts,) the story lacked the emotional weight of its source material and most of the character arcs felt like character circles.
Sure, Wolverine's cameo in the X-Men Apocalypse was neat. However, it pales in comparison to the role Logan plays in the comics. Admiring James' penchant for violence, Apocalypse makes Wolverine his Horseman of Death! Wolverine proceeds to wrestle with his inner demons while battling his friends - culminating in a major deviation from his usual "I'm a loner" character arc.
5 "Dying" Once Again
Wolverine might be "the best there is" and all that good jazz, but Magento's career consists of him beating Marvel's top dogs single-handedly! When Erik and James fought during the Fatal Attractions story arc, we already knew who had that battle in the bag.
Before the fight could begin, Magneto stripped the Adamantium from Wolverine's body, seemingly killing him! James managed to survive thanks to his healing factor, but he did turn feral for a while. He also lost his nose for no apparent reason, making him look like an angry Furby for a while. We say 'yay' to the adamantium ripping, but 'nay' to the edgy redesign.
4 Logan's Beef With Deadpool
The Merc with a Mouth doesn't just annoy readers, but he also grates on the nerves of heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe. Naturally, that adds on the Wade Wison's charm - no one reminds comic fans not to always take things so seriously quite like Deadpool. Either way, most of the story arcs that revolve around Wolverine and Deadpool usually play both characters up for laughs.
If Marvel Studios does incorporate both the X-Men and Deadpool into the MCU, we'd love to see a buddy film starring these two! They wouldn't even have to follow one story arc - they could pick and choose some of the greatest hits from Marvel Comics history.
3 Wolverine's Rivalry With Sabretooth
We say rivalry, but Wolverine and Sabretooth's relationship is much more complicated than that. Both Victor Creed and James Howlett were cut from the same cloth; both mutants are berzerkers who revel in bloodshed to a degree. Wolverine and Sabretooth have also both struggled against their bestial nature - experiencing multiple story arcs as heroes and villains respectively.
The way we see it, the MCU has to feature Sabretooth if their version of Wolverine gets solo films. Other than someone like Omega Red, we can't imagine a better onscreen adversary for Logan. Tyler Mane and Liev Schreiber did awesome jobs portraying Victor Creed, so we'd be happy seeing either actor return to the fold - or both, in a multiversal story!
2 Hopefully, "Dying" For The Last Time
2014's Death of Wolverine looked to be a definitive end for James Howlett. After a virus deactivates Wolverine's healing factor, his enemies come out of the woodwork to take him down. Even without the ability to heal, Logan is still of the most lethal mutants out there. However, lethality has its limits - as do berserker rage and feral strength.
By the end of this story arc, Wolverine gets coated in adamantium and suffocates to death. Before he takes his last gasp, however, Logan thinks back on his life and dies contentedly. He gets better later on - these are comics we're talking about - but Death of Wolverine did serve as an inflective notch on James' character arc over the years.
1 Weapon X
Wolverine's origins are complex and storied, largely thanks to the Weapon X story arcs. And yes, we meant to use the plural version of our keyword for the day. Over the years, James' past with this shady organization has come back to haunt him on innumerable occasions.
Marvel Studios and Disney could get a lot of mileage out of Weapon X. We figure that they'll undoubtedly take a stab at Wolverine's origin story. How far they go, as well as the extent Weapon X will impact the future o the MCU, is another matter entirely.