NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for Marvel Legacy #1
The return of Wolverine was going to come sooner or later, and the day has arrived. With the release of Marvel's Legacy #1 the next phase of the comic book universe and continuity begins, including the long-awaited return of Wolverine - not a copy, an alternate universe version of Logan, or a retconned doppelganger with a strange new history of his own. The Death of Wolverine saw the healing hero sacrifice himself for the greater good, but the time has come for him to step back into Marvel's world once more.
Marvel actually revealed Wolverine's return ahead of the issue, clearly wanting every interested fan or lapsed Wolverine nut to get in on the action. The issue in which he's returned may have been somewhat 'spoiled' in the name of alerting fans to his coming, but seeing Wolverine's return is something else entirely. The issue is available now, but for those eager to see how the stage is set - and what incredible new power Wolverine will wield now that he's back and well-rested - read on.
Mystery Man Saves The Day in Legacy #1
The first issue of Legacy makes it clear just how much rewriting of history and Marvel canon is being done, giving new storylines to too many major and supporting characters to count. Take, for instance, Loki: typically a villain, it's revealed that he's up to no good. Bringing his Frost Giant underlings to steal an unknown package from a S.H.I.E.L.D. storage facility before soldiers can remove it, the brother of Thor reveals to the reader that he's merely playing the part... in truth, he's trying to "save the world."
The first mention that the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers believed they were being tailed by a beer truck, of all things, is brushed aside as soon as it's mentioned. But when the Frost Giants decimate the opposition (including a surprise bout with the new Avengers) and escape, they only make it a few steps before that very same beer truck sends them flying. And while most people may shiver when faced with a Frost Giant promising an imminent death... this mysterious driver isn't shaking in his boots.
And with the telltale "SNIKT," the long-awaited return of a Marvel icon is in motion.
Remember That Adamantium Cocoon?
'But wait,' readers might say, 'wasn't Wolverine entombed in a cocoon of hardened Adamantium and left for dead?' While it's true that the conclusion of 2014's The Death of Wolverine saw the mutant's healing factor lost, and drowning himself in liquid hot adamantium, it apparently wasn't as final an end as it seemed. And final it did, considering the unbreakable metal hardened with Logan dropped to his knees in the knowledge that his DNA would never be used for evil again. Suffocation is as impossible a death to avoid as there is, even for a mutant like Wolverine.
But in Legacy #1, the young Jean Grey makes her way to a remote Canadian cabin with more than just hope in her heart. Given all that's happened in Marvel's Universe of late - faith rewarded, and the impossible made real for reasons still not known - Jean seems to know that she won't find the entombed adamantium hero where they left him. He may not be there to greet her, but she can't help but smile when her suspicions are confirmed - seeing what remains of the adamantium cocoon, cracked down the middle and missing its occupant.
So make no mistake, Marvel fans: this is the REAL Wolverine who is back in the fight.
Wolverine is BACK - And He's Got an Infinity Stone
It wouldn't be a twist without an even bigger question mark affixed to Wolverine's long-awaited return, even if it's not known exactly how, why, or when Logan was awakened and urged to smash his way out of his prison. Was he ever dead? In a coma? Did the alterations to reality that came when Captain America returned to remake Secret Empire that suddenly breathed life back into the hero? Those are the questions that would be on every reader's mind... if Wolverine wasn't looking for the cargo that Loki and his Frost Giants were trying to claim for themselves.
Even stranger, Wolverine doesn't seem all that surprised to find an Infinity Stone - the Mind Stone, to be more precise - in the box, suggesting it's what he was coming for all along. Mind control or mental manipulation isn't usually Wolverine's territory, so what he wishes for from the Stone is anyone's guess. Although, given his past trauma and origin story, it's interesting to think what Wolverine might finally learn about himself if given the tools to regain every piece of his fractured memory and history.
That's the cliffhanger upon which Legacy #1 is left, at least as the story pertains to Wolverine. There are too many other shocking twists, retcons, and potential returning faces to count. Best pick up the issue, and see for yourselves.
Marvel Legacy #1 is available now.