It's been lonely days for fans of Wolverine in the pages of Marvel Comics lately, even as movie fans got to enjoy one last Logan story with Hugh Jackman. He may seem like an irreplaceable hero to the casual comic fans, but The Death of Wolverine brought his career to an end back in 2014, concluding with Logan not just dead or buried, but encased in a block of unbreakable Adamantium. It was a poetic death, well-earned, leaving Laura Kinney (X-23) to take his place as the true 'Wolverine' of the Marvel Universe.
Marvel fans knew that he would return some day, and it may now be on the horizon. The new solicits for Marvel's June 2017 issues are openly teasing a clawed hero's "return," and concealing their identity for the time being. Is Wolverine on his way back to the main Marvel line - or is it another Logan family character in diguise?
The comic in question is X-Men: Blue #5 and #6, one of Marvel's two new mainline X-Men books. Due to some time-displacement the current rosters of both X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold are hard to explain, with an Old Man Logan (an aging Wolverine from a dystopic future) on Gold, and younger versions of the classic mutant heroes comprising Blue. But with the unveiling of Cullen Bunn and Julian Lopez Velarde's Blue #5 and #6, a new member of the team is teased.
One with claws... a fondness for the color brown... and who's been pixelated to conceal both said claws and their face. We'll let you connect the dots:
Both covers are the work of artis Arthur Adams, depicting the team in pursuit of, and then surrounded by enemies alongside the mystery man with the metal claws. There are a few more clues for the comic book detective among us: the story for Issue #5 is titled "The Return of..." left unresolved for now, and the tease of Ms. Sinister's role in the story. That villain's presence - a fail-safe of Mr. Sinister's, injected with his DNA and telepathic powers followings his death - could offer one answer, since both have been strongly tied to cloning and genetic experimentation in the past.
But before fans assume that it will be a clone of Logan that joins the X-Men Blue team, there's also one other clawed male in the Marvel Universe whose return would warrant some secrecy. That would be Daken, also known as Akihiro, the son of Wolverine. He's blessed with all the same powers of his father, but with two claws instead of one (possibly another reason to blur them, as well?). Daken was last seen among the Wolverines battling Ms. Sinister and being severely injured, so it could be just as likely.
With Wolverine down for the count in the Marvel Universe, and Laura taking his place in the main All-New Wolverine series, the emergence of his biological son could be an interesting development. We doubt he would emerge with the intention of claiming that title for himself, although he did take the name of Wolverine as a member of the Dark Avengers. Whatever his reasons, the vacuum left by Wolverine's absence is a perfect space for a new take on Daken to debut. Assuming this isn't all connected to that Wolverine/Hulk hybrid Marvel has been teasing.
We'll keep you posted as more details arrive, but what are you hoping to see revealed in X-Men: Blue #5? The return of Wolverine freed from his Adamantium cocoon or cloned anew, or his son?
X-Men: Blue #5 will be released in June 2017.