Wolverine has returned from the dead in Marvel Comics, but it's turning out to be more of a cause for confusion than celebration. After his fellow heroes launched their Hunt For Wolverine, Logan has popped back up with a new black suit, without his memories, and with a brand new superpower suggesting Wolverine brought a souvenir back from Hell...
Since the beginning of Return of Wolverine, Logan has been helping a stranger recover her kidnapped son from the new, evil corporation Soteira - the very same corporation that seems to have recovered and resurrected Wolverine himself. Along with the new costume, readers have recently discovered that Wolverine's claws have a new power, too. No longer are they simply super-sharp adamantium, but now he's able to heat them to nearly white-hot temperatures. The new ability has, surprisingly, not yet been explained. But the comic's writer has shot down one possible explanation tied to Wolverine's long lost love, Jean Grey.
Earlier this week, comic book news site Newsarama posted some speculation that Wolverine's new heat claws could actually be linked to the Phoenix Force. The theory supposes that after a young Jean Grey confronted the Phoenix Force and separated from it, it attached itself (in some form) to Logan; explaining his resurrection and this new fiery gift.
However, there are some issues with the theory too - primarily, that it draws from multiple storylines that may not be connected. Although the theory is interesting, Return of Wolverine (and Death Of Wolverine) writer Charles Soule took to Twitter to debunk it with a single word: "Nope."
This seems like a pretty clear refutation of the theory - there's not a whole lot of debate in 'Nope' - and given that it's coming from the writer himself, we have to assume that he's telling the truth. Of course, there is always the possibility that Soule is choosing to be less than honest in order to keep fans guessing, but given the other issues with the original theory, we're guessing that he's speaking truthfully to keep fans from expecting to see the Phoenix-charged cosmic Wolverine recently seen in Jason Aaron's Thor series in his own Logan-focused book.
So what could have led to Wolverine's new white-hot ability, if not the cosmic energy of the Phoenix Force? The simplest explanation doesn't need to draw from galactic entities, or even the wider world of the X-Men mythology. Instead, given how his Return began, it seems most probable that Wolverine gained this new power in the same way he gained the original adamantium skeleton; it was given to him by an experimental program. From what we've seen so far, it's clear that Soteira (and leader Persephone) stole Wolverine's body from its adamantium cocoon, and resurrected him in order to use for some nefarious purpose.
Without his memories, whether by luck or design, the group could have been trying to use him as a weapon (again), and added a few upgrades to make him even more effective. Although, this does seem like overkill, given his already impressive abilities. If this is indeed the case, there's a much more interesting question fans should consider than how Wolverine got his new power... was he given any others that have yet to be revealed?
Source: Charles Soule