Is Marvel secretly making a move that would allow it to bring its most beloved Canadian mutant to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Could [The Avengers: Infinity War](movie:738027) include Wolverine?
It’s starting to feel that way to me. A few events are lining up in such a way to make me think it’s possible. I should say right off the top that this is, quite obviously, all speculation.
The first: The Death of Wolverine
Marvel made a splash in 2014 with its hit comic event The Death of Wolverine, in which our beloved mutant met his end after losing his healing factor, saving a trio of innocent lives and becoming encased in adamantium Han Solo-style.
As we all know, though, superheroes never stay dead for long. Even in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men series, Jean Grey, Scott Summers and Professor X are back at it, after a bit of trippy time travelling in [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) . And Hugh Jackman’s mega-popular Wolverine is more than alive and well.
He’s also very mutant, which means, while Marvel Comics can do whatever they’d like with him, Marvel Studios can’t touch the uber-popular mutant with a 10-foot pole. All mutants seem to be the domain of 20th Century Fox, as it owns the rights to screen versions of the X-Men and all of Marvel’s merry mutants.
Marvel Studios is not a fan of this arrangement (at least if you believe all those Marvel Studios/20th Century Fox feud rumors). You know Marvel would really like Wolverine around for Avengers: Infinity War.
The second event: The loophole
Marvel may have discovered a loophole. That loophole, as we all know, are the very mutant-like Inhumans.
Already Marvel has adapted on-screen versions of mutant characters by retconning them as not mutants.
Daisy Johnson, aka Quake, aka Skye, on ABC’s [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) , was originally thought to be a mutant with earthquake-inducing powers and was later determined to be the result of experimentation by her father, Mr. Hyde. On the show she gets her powers via Terrigen Mist, the power-giving source of the Inhumans.
It’s believed [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) will reveal that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are also Inhuman and not mutant, as they have been for decades in the comics. It’s also speculated Marvel is retconning the twins history in the comics. No longer are they the offspring of Magneto (they weren’t originally, to be honest, but were retconned years ago to be the Master of Magnetism’s babies). Instead they are - something else. You know that’s going to be Inhuman, right?
If this is the case - and this logic holds with respect to entertainment law and licensing rights - why wouldn’t Marvel retcon some of its more popular mutants?
Or at the very least its exceedingly most popular mutant?
The final event: The Rebirth of Wolverine
How would you start? Probably by killing the mutant version of the character. Then you’d let some time pass, slowly laying the groundwork for a way in which Logan, Wolverine’s secret identity, could regain his healing factor.
Maybe that’s via a trip to Attilan and exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Maybe - just maybe - little James Howlett (also Wolverine’s secret identity) really became Wolverine in the first place not because he was a mutant but because he was an Inhuman. His rich parents may have taken James on a journey to Attilan at a very young age. Maybe it was the mists what made him so sickly.
He could have easily been mistaken as a mutant all those years. Just like, apparently, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Okay, sure, it’s a stretch. And there’s all kinds of legal maneuvers that would keep this from happening on the screen.
But who knows? It may be that Marvel Studios has already figured all that out and that, yes, an Inhuman version of Logan would be perfectly fine to use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper.
Maybe, bub. Just maybe.