Wolverine's been dead for years, but he's back - and his claws are deadlier than ever before. As if the resurrection of Logan wasn't enough of a reason for fans to pick up the Return of Wolverine comic series, the creators are now teasing a new - and even more nightmarish - superpower.
Marvel is making the most of Wolverine's return, giving fans multiple titles through which to first follow the "hunt for Wolverine," with his adamantium cocoon (the cause of his death) empty, and his remains stolen. Remains that, unbeknownst to fans, walks the Earth alive and well. Better than ever, in fact, since his claws are no longer just indestructible and infinitely sharp.
They can also get red hot, as well. A twist that will have fans dreading the sound of the "SNIKT" more than ever before.
Before fans start to argue the feasibility of the new power, and where or how such energy could be drawn, get the facts straight from the source. The five-part series will be handled by writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven, who are making their mark on Logan... by giving him a new means to leave marks of his own. Soule explains (via CBR) the decision to give Wolverine a new, temperature-based ability:
Wolverine’s body has been missing. The entire Marvel Universe has been looking for him, because he’s a very important part of the Super Hero puzzle. And at long last, he will be found. I thought this was a real opportunity to do things that would make him feel new and fresh in a way; if you come back from the dead, it should mean something.
One of the outwardly physical manifestations of that is that now, from time to time, his claws—once they’re popped—they can heat up. They can get really hot.
Along with the quotes comes a variant cover from artist Adam Kubert artwork from the series, depicting nothing but Wolverine's claws in mid-slice. And hot enough to glow orange, even if we're not yet sure why.
From a visual standpoint, granting Wolverine an added red-hot effect, glow, or sizzle once the claws have been popped will certainly deliver some novelty; the popping of Logan's claws may still get a cheer from movie fans, but comic fans have had over forty years to raise their expectations (or their hopes, at the very least). And from the very start, the message of Return of Wolverine is clear: the mutant may be back, but he's changed in his time out of the spotlight.
Where movie adaptations are concerned, it's a safe bet that Fox - is or Disney, if they purchase X-Men rights - won't be able to swing the power in anything but an R-Rated adventure. Even then, there's a difference between a man swiping with a set of knives in his hand and a man burning his enemies at the same time (and quite possibly his own flesh, before it regenerates). Not to mention the real dilemma: even if you can add the horrific ability to both stab and internally roast an enemy to the movie Wolverine... what's the real added benefit?
There's also the problem of explaining where the ability comes from. In the comics, it can be theorized that Logan's extended dip in molten hot adamantium imbued him with extra thermal energy (comic logic, gotta love it). Or maybe it's tied to Wolverine's time with an Infinity Stone. Either way, it's an intensely fantastical ability. So even if the studio is looking to reboot a younger Wolverine at some point, this hot updating shouldn't be hoped for. Maybe a scene in which Logan's claws are superheated externally as a bit of a nod for current fans.
But as cool as it may be to bridge the gap between Wolverine's claws and the Jedi's cauterizing lightsabers... Even for Disney, that's a stretch.
Return of Wolverine #1 arrives on September 19th from Marvel Comics.