BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@The Comic Blog
There’s increasing chatter that Wolverine will be introduced to the MCU via Multiverse of Madness, but which Wolverine are we talking about?
Here we are a week prior to the movie’s release, and the speculation has intensified. There is another report from the gossip sites that the new Wolverine will appear in MOM. Whether or not it is true remains to be seen, but when has that ever stopped us from having fun?
Since last year, there have been whispers that the X-Men would make their MCU entrance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. After Patrick Stewart’s voiceover in the MOM Super Bowl trailer, the X-Men were all but confirmed. That shifted the attention to the rest of the mutants, specifically Wolverine. It is the latest in a long trend of Wolvie speculation that could come to a head in the next week.
What makes Wolverine so special? Despite a vocal sect of the comic community that is bored with his stories, the overall love for the character continues to grow.
Wolverine has been one of Marvel’s most popular and enduring characters for nearly 50 years. What’s not to love? He defies the age-old superhero trope that only tall guys can be comic stars. Past that, he’s barbaric and antagonistic with a rugged charm. Oftentimes, he is portrayed as being a borderline villain, which helped elevate him to stardom when Len Wein made the historic decision to add him to a revamped X-Men in 1975. There’s just something about a bad guy that everyone loves, especially when he was pitted opposite his teammate and field commander, Cyclops.
With every incarnation of the X-Men, there is a fan outcry for Logan. While modern comic writers make attempts to push him into the background, the fans won’t have it. The sentiment is the same for other media as well. Whether it’s on the silver screen or in cartoons, fans want the hard-boiled, cowboy hat-wearing Wolverine.
The last time we saw Wolverine in live action, director James Mangold gave him a worthy sendoff in 2017’s Logan. The touching and brutal tribute to an aging superhero trying to quiet his inner demons was magnificent. Wolverine fans want more, and Marvel is set to give it to them.
Hugh Jackman has repeatedly said that Logan was the end to his superhero days. Although it’s tough to believe actors when it comes to Marvel, he seems sincere in his statements. Outside of possibly a Jackman cameo, the prevailing theory is that Marvel will cast a new Wolverine for the MCU.
Since Disney acquired Fox and all its movie rights, there has been a bevy of fan casting for Wolverine. The actors clearly have had fun with the idea, with everyone from Keanu Reeves and Jason Momoa to Scott Eastwood and Daniel Radcliffe throwing their hats in the ring if nothing else but to send fans into a fit. In 2019, Old Man Logan writer Mark Millar gave his opinion, stating that Taron Egerton, famous for his roles in Millar’s Kingsman and Rocket Man, would be the MCU’s Wolverine.
Of course, Egerton denied the reports, and for a time, the Wolverine gossip grew quiet. With a character this famous
MAY THE MCU SPECULATION BEGIN
The first nod, albeit indirectly, toward Wolverine came courtesy of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Sam and Bucky’s adventures took them to the criminal haven known as Madripoor. While in the fictional island nation, they took a trip to the Princess Bar. As Wolverine scholars will tell you, Logan is a co-owner of that fine, upstanding establishment. Between Madripoor and the Princess Bar, there was no denying that Marvel knew how fans would take the locations.
Around that time, a new rumor surfaced. This time, the gossip sites reported that Wolverine would get his own Disney+ streaming series. The speculation was that the show would be an anthology and tell Logan’s history that would span centuries. In the past month, those rumors have been regurgitated but with the added connection of Wolverine’s debut in MOM.
MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
It would appear that all roads lead to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. When it comes to the X-Men’s role in the film, we don’t know much. Yes, Patrick Stewart is reprising his part as Professor X, which implies the X-Men. Recently, more MOM footage was released that confirmed the Illuminati, of which Charles Xavier is a prominent member. Past that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Why are we still talking about Wolverine if we don’t know much at all? It reminds me of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Rumors and gossip abounded for a year leading to the NWH release date. At first, they all seemed so far-fetched that there was no chance they could be true. Then came the movie, and the majority did pan out.
Thanks to NWH, the fan expectations for Multiverse of Madness are insanely high. Again, it would appear there is no way all the gossip can be true. If we narrow it down to the most prominent rumors, what are we left with? Wolverine, and that is a likely possibility.
THE RETURN OF LAURA KINNEY
Back to the big question. Who will be the MCU’s Wolverine? Although I am more of a fan of the Bronze Age version of the character, my money is on Laura Kinney, aka X-23, aka the All-New, All-Different Wolverine.
The last time we saw Stewart as Professor X was in Logan. If you recall, he had a special bond with Wolverine’s most famous clone, Laura. Although she was 12 years old in the movie, she proved to be as fearsome and savage as her “father.” Five years later, that would make her 17, and that seems to be in line with a target demographic for Marvel Studios. Having actress Dafne Keen return to the role not only ties her to the Fox X-Men films, but she serves as a link to Jackman’s iconic Wolverine portrayal, which would help to win over old school Logan fans.
With Kevin Feige looking ahead 10 years, casting Keen in the role as the MCU’s Wolverine would fit that timeline. Considering her age, she could play one of the most famous faces in Marvel for 20 years or more. It also fits Marvel’s push toward diversity as Kevin Feige has said that he wants to put more women in superhero leads. In 2018, he told IGN that he envisioned a time when more than half of all the MCU heroes are female.
A PG WOLVERINE
As much as I would like to see more of a Logan-inspired Wolverine in the MCU, I can’t see Marvel delivering that. Even if we do get a classic Wolverine, the character will be toned down and his claws dulled to fit the Disney PG mandates. That goes double for a teenage X-23 Wolverine.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.