NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for X-Men: Blue #1
Marvel Comics fans who suspected that the tease of a new Wolverine coming to X-Men: Blue #1 would actually be the clawed mutant’s son have turned out to be correct… but which son may be a bit of a surprise. It isn’t Daken, the somewhat-heroic, somewhat-villainous Dark Avengers Wolverine taking a turn back towards the light, but a far stranger twist. The new Wolverine progeny emerging in Marvel’s Universe is James Hudson, Jr. – Wolverine’s own son from the Ultimate universe.
Hudson becomes just one of several Ultimate characters to recently make a splash in the mainline Marvel universe, but judging by the early details surrounding Jimmy’s return, and the ferocity he demonstrates in his debut, his rise into his father’s place may not be as smooth as fans would hope…
The Return of Wolverine’s Son
Surprisingly, given that he’s going to be appearing on the covers of two upcoming X-Men: Blue issues, Jimmy’s return comes in a back-up story, once the younger, original roster of X-Men complete their first mission under new leader Magneto’s leadership. Shifting the action to a snow-swept town huddled beneath a forested mountain range, the police head into the woods in search of the strange animal that’s been terrorizing some residents. Stumbling upon a deer carcass that’s been ripped to shreds, the officers fail to notice the green hoodied figure perched in a nearby tree, scanning the action and sniffing the air.
What he’s sniffing for is soon revealed to be a monstrous Wendigo, an evil, cannibal spirit similar to a werewolf (who, wouldn’t you know it, played a significant role in the very first appearance of the original Wolverine). The shock leads to one officer discharging their weapon, firing a single bullet straight through the hooded figure’s head. That figure soon rising from the ground is the first hint at his mutation, but as he utters a single word – “Run!” – to the surviving officers, his clenched fist is the real moment fans have been waiting for.
Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina don’t waste time, as a massive “SNIKT!” confirms this is the clawed, Wolverine-related mutant we’ve all been waiting for.
Jimmy Hudson, Jr. – The Ultimate Wolverine
The full reveal of James Hudson, Jr. comes as he lets loose his claws along with a war cry, diving into combat with the monstrous creature. Slashes, punctures, and a whole lot of blood soon follow, even though the police do as asked and head away from the scene. While he isn’t actually stated to be Jimmy Hudson, the powers and the blond hair handful is all the confirmation fans really need, since Jimmy’s initial appearance in the Ultimate universe was typically that of a younger, leaner, blond Logan. The beard is new, offering the first of several hints that Jimmy has seen happier times.
In the Ultimate universe, Wolverine left his his newborn son to a fellow fighter in Iraq. In an effort to truly cut his connection and see his son raised safely, James’s name was changed to Hudson, and it wasnt until a fiery car accident in Jimmy’s high school days that he even realized his mutant abilities. Not long after his healing factor emerged, Kitty Pryde contacted Jimmy, confirmed that his father was the now-deceased Wolverine, and played a message recorded from father to son.
The message instructed Jimmy to join the X-Men – considering how strange and dangerous the future of that Ultimate timeline had gotten for mutants – and follow his footsteps as best he could. Jimmy’s career took some further twists and turns beyond that point, but he made good on his father’s legacy by taking the mantle of Wolverine in the Ultimate Comics X-Men series.
Wolverine Walks in His Father’s Footsteps…?
Now, the question of how Jimmy wound up in the Marvel universe is a bit of a mystery, considering the Ultimate universe (Earth-1610) was recently destroyed in Marvel’s massive Secret Wars event. Since then, Marvel has revealed that a few other characters and mystical items were not destroyed, but unknowingly folded into the mainline Marvel continuity. Thor, for instance, recently sought out the Ultimate Mjolnir after losing his own to Jane Foster. The power of ‘Asgardian Magic’ could be bought as the explanation there, but in this case… James has some explaining to do.
He may have some trouble, though, since the un-pixelated covers of X-Men: Blue revealed by ComicBook also include a few details from Senior Editor Mark Paniccia – mainly, that James is without his memories. Add it to the list of things James has in common with his father (to which he is completely oblivious). In his introduction story, it was established that even the affection for red-haired women had been passed from father to son.
So with the younger versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast, and Iceman now making up the X-Men: Blue roster, Marvel may get the chance to double down on the nostalgia, and add something of an amnesiac, Jean-focused Wolverine to their throwback team, as well. How this will impact the company’s announced returns of the currently-dead Wolverine in Generations, or the still under construction Wolverine/Hulk hybrid in Weapons of Mutant Destruction, is anybody’s guess.
But obviously, the future of Marvel includes plenty of Wolverine successors, variations, replacements, and hybrids. We can’t say that’s entirely bad news… but fans will be the ones to judge just how well the company has put those pieces into play.
X-Men: Blue #1 is available now.