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 retconnng 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, based on a suggestion from reader s sunn, we look at the short-lived history of Wolverine as a mutated wolverine.
Wolverine debuted in Incredible Hulk #181 and what's interesting is that they don't really call Wolverine a mutant for most of the issue...
However, at one point, the Canadian government do, in fact, refer to Weapon X (which is all Weapon X was back in the day, just a name for Wolverine) as a mutant...
And thus, obviously, Len Wein (who created the character based on a suggestion by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas) brought him over to the All-New, All-Different X-Men that Wein developed alongside Dave Cockrum (Wein and Cockrum created four new mutants for the team - Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Cannon Fodder...later renamed Thunderbird).
Wein was replaced by Chris Claremont on the series after Wein had to drop some series because he had become Marvel's new Editor-in-Chief (he soon left the job, but by that point, he didn't feel right taking the assignment back from Claremont).
In X-Men #98, we saw Wolverine without his mask for the first time and we also saw that Wolverine's claws are NOT part of his costume (as intended by Len Wein) but actually part of his actual body.
That same issue, however, also revealed that Wolverine was NOT a mutant!!
Speaking about the story to Peter Sanderson in X-Men Companion, Dave Cockrum has confused a generation of fans (and led to me getting a rather major fact wrong in my first book, Was Superman A Spy?) by telling the story of how he originally intended for Wolverine to be a muated wolverine
Cockrum: As far as his origin goes, originally we had intended to have him be a mutated wolverine and--
Sanderson: Like one of the High Evolutionary's New Men?
Cockrum: Yeah. Yeah.
Sanderson: Might he have even been developed by the High Evolutionary?
Cockrum: Possibly, I don't know. Len and I kicked that out, but I don't think we ever developed it very far.
Obviously, as it turned out (and how Len was sure to remind me a few times in the years since), Len Wein had nothing to do with the idea. Cockrum just mis-remembered that it was only AFTER Wein left the series that Cockrum and CHRIS CLAREMONT came up with the idea to reveal that Wolverine was actually a mutated wolverine.
Cockrum later explained that the idea was dropped because "Stan Lee found the concept disgusting.”
That was how the idea was abandoned OUTSIDE the comic book, but what is interesting is that it took quite a while to definitively show that Wolverine was a muant IN the comic itself, as after all, how do you prove a character is a mutant anyways?