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Wolverine a Reader's Perspective Part 8

By: NLogan

Wolverine art by John Byrne

Chronological Wolverine facts as revealed to the reader part VIII

Continuing our journey to understand the Wolverine character as was revealed to the reader issue to issue, month to month through his publication history. So from a reader's point of view, here is Logan's history, who he was, and how and when we learned it!

Aug 1978
X-MEN 112
Writer: Christ Claremont
Penciller: John Byrne

No new Wolvie information this time and again Magneto defeats the X-Men. Although there is a "KowaBonga sweetums" said by the furry Beast as he drops and attacks ole buckethead. KowaBonga later changed to Cowabunga and came from the Howdy Doody show from the late forties and fifties.  It was picked up by surfers, Bart Simpson, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Magneto does force Wolverine to stare down his own claws as the cover suggests after the sneaky mutant got close enough to slash his cape.

Sept 1978
X-Men 113
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: John Byrne

As the X-Men battle Magneto in the heart of an active volcano they start using teamwork and hit and run tactics to keep Magneto off balance, surprisingly Wolverine is doing his part as part of the team albeit grudgingly.

The new X-Men defeat Magneto using teamwork instead of as individuals, wounded Magneto escapes only to have the volcano collapse into Magneto's base smothering the X-Men with lava before erupting! Only Beast saved by Phoenix makes it to the surface before succumbing to an Antarctic blizzard. The rest of the X-Men are feared dead!

Oct 1978
THE UNCANNY X-MEN 114 (the first time Uncanny is in the title!)
Writers: Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Penciller: John Byrne

More than a mile beneath the ice and rock of Antarctica the rest of the X-Men tunnel their way to safety after Storm caused an ice-storm to stall the lava long enough to escape. They find themselves in the Savage Land. As soon as they have open sky Banshee and the claustrophobic Storm take to the air only to be attacked by a an unidentifiable species of Pterosaur!

Wolverine seems to be enjoying himself as he is able to cut loose on the flying reptile.

Wolverine passes on an invitation to join Colossus and his uh friends. Logan still has the picture he had in Iron Fist 15* and besides Ororo seems to be the only one mourning for Jean, Scott weirdly is indifferent about his girlfriend being supposedly dead. Wolverine knows how to sew!

*See Wolverine a Reader's Perspective Part 5 -NLogan

Nov 1978
Writers: Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Penciller: John Byrne

Wolverine is difficult to control especially when he is pissed about seeing a fallen teammate. He leaps right in without knowing his adversary.

Apparently Logan has seen some Toho films and is familiar with Rodan, a frequent Godzilla opponent. Wolverine is hypnotized by Sauron whose abilities make Mesmero look like an amateur. Wolverine is turned against his teammates and nearly eviscerates Cyclops who manages to pivot enough to save his life and avoid Wolverine's claws.

Even hypnotized and seeing a monster (Cyclops) attacking Jean (Sauron) Logan's mind knows the truth and causes him to hesitate against Sauron's will.

Wolverine becoming fully conscious and aware is not happy and is ready to kill Sauron who has reverted back into Karl Lykos. Lykos is spared by the arrival of Ka-Zar and Zabu.

Dec 1978
Writers: Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Penciller: John Byrne

Cyclops, Banshee, Colossus, and Ka-Zar are captured. Wolverine immediately takes charge of the remaining group and comes up with a plan to rescue them by slipping into the metropolis undetected. Wolverine has a rapport with animals and speaks to Ka-Zar's sabre-tooth Zabu. It appears he has the ability to calm the big cat and let him know what is needed of him.

For Wolverine this is war. They need to take out the sentry swiftly, silently, and with Wolverine doing it, permanently. Even though this is off panel, the claw protrusion snikt sound and Nightcrawler's "My God" and Storms reaction tell us what happened. This is the first time explicitly that we know Wolverine is a killer. He is mentioned as one previously and has dispatched various beasts in the pages of previous comics but this time the target was human. Storm compares him to the great cats of her homeland in Africa.

While sneaking into the sewers Wolverine in bitten by a dinosaur. Most will tell you this is the first time we knew Wolverine has a healing factor. They are right in one aspect, it is the very first time we are explicitly told that he heals real fast. However we have already seen him recover in moments from a knock-out blow from the Hulk in Incredible Hulk 181-182, and the Juggernaut in X-Men 102. We have seen his arm burnt in Marvel Team-Up King Sized Annual 1 starring Spider-Man and the X-Men and he apparently recovered. We saw him immolated by Star-Bolt's fire storm and recover in X-Men 107, and survive and recover from being knocked into orbit in X-Men 108. All of which would have killed or seriously scarred a normal person. But no they are right it is the first time it is specifically said he has a healing factor*.

Those same erudites would also tell you that this is the first time we learn that his bones are unbreakable. But we at RetroDaze know better, we already established that Wolverine has unbreakable bones in his first full appearance when the Hulk hurled him down with bone-shattering force in Incredible Hulk 181 and he bounced right back up and continued fighting with out shattered bones*.

* See Wolverine a Reader's Perspective Parts 1, 4, and 6 -NLogan

Wolverine states he has seen prisons. It is impossible to say under what circumstances but we do know that freedom is a vital need at Wolverine's core and has been all his life*. It is possible he was just matching Nightcrawler's being facetious.

*We found out in X-MEN 111, see Wolverine a Reader's Perspective Part 7 -NLogan

Wolverine shows empathy towards storm in understanding what she was trying to accomplish to save a life and when she failed that she may need time alone to deal with her feelings. The Wolverine that was a jerk when he first joined the team has transitioned to starting to care about his fellow teammates and even considers them friends having called some of them pal or buddy*.

*It happened in X-Men 96 and X-Men 114, see Wolverine a Reader's Perspective 3 and above in this one- NLogan

Until next time...
This is NLogan signing off.
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