Warning: SPOILERS for Return Of Wolverine #1
Wolverine has finally made his official return from the dead and back into Marvel Comics... but he's not the hero he used to be. Not yet, anyway, since his memories haven't returned with him.
Wolverine died back in 2014, and while being encased in liquid adamantium seemed permanent at the time, this summer has been a slow build up to his eventual return. First, it was revealed that Wolverine's body wasn't left in the adamantium, having been buried separate from the metal cocoon that killed him and became his memorial. Over a series of Hunt For Wolverine comic adventures, Logan's missing body became the most valuable object in the Marvel Universe.
The woman behind his disappearance has been revealed: Persephone, leader of a company called Soteira. And this week in Return Of Wolverine, Logan realizes not only does he not know why Persephone has brought him back... he doesn't even know who he is.
Return Of Wolverine #1 is the first full reappearance of Wolverine since Death Of Wolverine, and the issue weaves back and forth between past and present as the resurrected Logan struggles to remember who he is. The issue starts with Wolverine in the shreds of his old blue and yellow costume, surrounded by bodies and trying to fight his way out of a strange camp. Memories of old friends and enemies surface as he battles, but when a worker in the camp turns to Wolverine for help, it all becomes clear.
As well as not remembering his own past, Wolverine seems to be struggling to remember what has happened since he was resurrected. He has some memory of Persephone, and an idea of what's going on at the facility, but it's unclear, and comes in guesses and flashes. But Wolverine is still a hero to his core. He doesn't know the X-Men, the name Wolverine, or the extent of his powers, but he knows that what's being done at this camp is wrong... and that if a woman comes to him for help finding her kidnapped son, Logan is going to help her, no matter what.
There's a whole lot to unpack in this issue (unsurprisingly), including some of Logan's memories that seem to suggest Persephone has been cloning other X-Men (which can't be good news), a new black suit for the hero, and an explanation of why he wore his original blue and yellow colors. Not to mention more set up for a showdown with Persephone and Soteira (which is bound to take a while to come to an end). However, the loss of his memory may be one of the most important takeaways from Return Of Wolverine #1. If Wolverine doesn't recover his memory, that's going to change all kinds of dynamics that he has with the team - assuming he even returns to the X-Men.
His past relationships will essentially be wiped, and his attitude and approach may also be changed, if he no longer remembers the events that shaped him. Of course, it's likely that he will eventually get those memories back, but it's going to be fascinating to see how he behaves without them - and how the rest of the Marvel universe reacts to this new version of a favorite hero.
Return of Wolverine #1 is now available from Marvel Comics.