As many of you know, the Wolverine we have grown to love is dead. He died a couple of years ago like any hero would want to: Saving lives. While X-23 and Old Man Logan are around in comic books to carry on his legacy — and doing it well — it just isn't the same without the original Wolverine. As I sat back and reread some of my old Wolverine comic books, I couldn't help but notice one glaring thing about Logan in his later years right before (and after) he lost his healing factor. Logan became a much better character.
The casual fan of Wolverine only know that he is one of the best fighters in comic books and from what have seen in the movies. While the movies spin a decent tale and Logan is one of the top five or ten best fighters in comic books, Logan was more than that. And everything leading up to his inevitable death proves what kind of person he really is. He was more than just a killer.
Trying To Protect The Children
After the first mutant birth since Scarlet Witch almost got rid of all the mutants on Earth, Cyclops turned the goal of the X-Men from peaceful coexistence among humans to survival of the mutant race. It turned the X-Men from a school to a military way of living. One day, a villainous group called the Hellfire Club set out to to destroy the X-Men. Before they could, Cyclops ordered one of the young mutants named Idie to kill all of the henchmen there. Wolverine pleaded with Cyclops not to make her do it and that he would be there soon. But Cyclops made the order and Idie, a young African girl who was raised in violence, killed all of the Hellfire Club's foot soldiers. Wolverine obviously had a major issue with this.
While the two argued over who's fault it was that Idie had to kill those men, a mutant hunting machine called a Sentinel was making its way to the X-Men's home home on Utopia with the intent to kill them all. Cyclops wanted to put the kids into the fight and Wolverine did not. Logan told Cyclops:
Cyclops disagreed and Logan left and came back with a detonator set to blow up the island. Logan and Cyclops fought each other while the Sentinel was trying to destroy them and the island. Eventually, the kids on the island came back and started to attack the Sentinel. Cyclops and Wolverine put their fight on hold and together they took the giant robot down.
The next day, Logan was talking to Idie who told Logan that now that she accepted that she was a murderer and monster and because of that, she knows what it was like to be an X-Man. This didn't sit right with Wolverine at all. Instead of complaining, he did something about it.
Jean Grey School For Higher Learning
After Logan and Cyclops' fight, Logan felt he had to find a way to let the mutant kids be kids. So Logan took all the money he had (apparently he was rich and no one knew it) and did the one thing he thought he could do: He recruited Iceman, Kitty Pryde, and Beast and reopened Xavier's school and renamed it after Jean Grey.
Logan made sure that all kids with powers had a place to go and learn without being in a war-like environment. The school enrolled more than just mutants. The campus had a Brood (an alien) child and the son of the Shi'Ar Emperor. Logan wasn't naive in thinking that opening the school would be the end of all of their problems. People always fear and hate what they don't understand.
So, along with the normal school classes like math and history, Logan also had classes that taught the students to use their powers properly as well as random Danger Room sessions throughout the school campus to keep everyone on their toes. Even Quentin Quire — who couldn't wait to destroy the school — ended up thinking of the campus as his home. He even fell in love with Idie.
Logan accepted his role of headmaster and protector of his students. So much so that when his future self warned him that his son Daken was going to kill all of the students if he didn't do something about it, Logan made what might have been the hardest decision of his life: Logan Killed his son after Daken kidnapped one of Logan's students. Logan abandoned the X-Force strike team and focused more on the school after that. And just when things seemed bleak, love came into Logan's life.
Storm And Wolverine
Many of you may not know this, but Storm and Wolverine have always had an attraction to one another. Two people whose personalities could not be further apart have always had a relationship that always seemed more than friendly. In issue #24 of Wolverine and the X-Men, Storm hinted to them actually having sex:
Storm had seen enough fighting after the war between the Avengers and the X-Men. When the opportunity to for something new came up, Storm jumped at the chance to teach. Storm took Kitty Pryde up on the offer to replace her as headmistress of the school. For Storm, this was a new start. Her marriage to the Black Panther was annulled, Utopia was abandoned, and more mutants were popping up every day.
What better place for her to start over than the place where her adult life really began? Logan and Storm talked about their old lives and what was going to happen next. What I'm sure readers didn't expect was for Logan to cut Storm's hair back to her famous mohawk and for the two to kiss in the shower.
No More Healing Factor
Other than the adamantium claws, Wolverine is known for his ability to heal from almost anything. T'CHalla has even said that Logan's fighting style is based off the fact that Wolverine can heal, rather than actual skill. Well, a virus from the Microverse was infecting S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and controlling their mind. That same virus attached itself to Wolverine and shut off his healing factor. For the first time in Logan's long life, he no longer had the safety blanket of being able to heal. To Logan's credit, he was given the option of getting his healing factor back by the same virus that took it away. All he had to do was let the virus live in him, but he did the right thing and said no.
This left Logan scared to do things as simple as crossing the street in fear that he might die. He ended up doing a lot of things that were out of character as a result of this fear. Chief among them was leaving the X-Men because he didn't think he could hold his own anymore. But little did people know, some of this was all part of an act to take down his arch-nemesis Sabretooth.
Acknowledgement And Acceptance
After everything that happened to Logan in the last few years of his life, he appreciated the world more than he did when he had his healing factor. Knowing that he wouldn't have to live to see everyone he loves die and being able to grow old with Storm were all things that Logan was looking forward to.
Even his last thought — "Enough" — after replaying his life as a teacher, a soldier, and an X-Man was acknowledgement to himself that he can forgive his past and that he has led a good life. While he didn't spend his last few years killing and fighting as much as he had in his earlier years, his last days were probably his best days.
What did you think of Logan's last days? Let me know in the comments below.