Comic Legends: Was Wolverine Almost Going to be His Own Species?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighty-second week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As always, there will be three different posts for each legend this week!

NOTE: I noticed that the the CSBG Twitter page was nearing 10,000 followers. If we hit 10,050 followers on the the CSBG Twitter page then I'll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week that we hit 10,050. So three more legends! Sounds like a great deal, right?


John Byrne and Chris Claremont almost had Wolverine turn out to be his own unique species.



One of the most notable Comic Book Legends Revealed that I have done over the years came early on in the series, when I wrote about how at one point, Dave Cockrum and Chris Claremont were intending for Wolverine to be revealed to be an actual wolverine who was mutated by the High Evolutionary. Marvel turned the idea down and so the idea was then picked up for Spider-Woman's origin, until someone rightly noted that that was a weird idea and so her origin was quickly changed.

That is why they had this sequence in X-Men #98...

I'd love to have Banshee say, "Hey, I wasn't fine with them beating on me, either!"

But anyhow, the whole "mutated wolverine" thing didn't pan out, so that line has never really made a ton of sense.

So when John Byrne joined the series and began plotting the book with Claremont, he had an idea.

Byrne had earlier come up with a possible face for Wolverine, but it turned out that Dave Cockrum had just come up with his own, so Byrne's look was used instead for Sabretooth, who debuted in Iron Fist #14...

This then led Byrne to an idea, based on the line from X-Men #98. He told Back Issue magazine...

"And that sort of planted little things in my head, and then I got to thinking about that storyline, that typically Chris throwaway line in that Sentinels story in which the Sentinels said Wolverine was a mutant and a technician said he wasn’t. And I suggested that Sabretooth was his father and that Sabretooth was the mutant and that the mutation had bred true. So Wolverine was actually the first of a new species, and that’s why it confused the technician. Then we got to playing about how Wolverine is 50 years old and Sabretooth is 100 years old.”

The problem is that they never got around to actually implementing the idea and then Byrne was off the book and Claremont did not ever actually do it, but he had the idea still in his mind. But the whole "new species" angle never made it into the comics.

MANY years later, Jeph Loeb revealed that Wolverine was part of a special sub-species of mutant known as Lupines....

But the whole point of that one was to connect Wolverine TO other similar mutants and not to say that he was his own unique species. So the idea never went anywhere. Still, it sounds like it could have been an interesting idea!

Thanks to John Byrne and Back Issue for the information!

Check out some Star Wars legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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