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   NEW! Wolverine Files Blog
   000: The True Origin
   001: Wild Child
   002: The Origin
   003: Young Logan
   004: The Amazing Skunk-Bear
   005: Sabretooth and Silver Fox
   006: The Lost Years
   007: The Thirties
   008: Ogun
   009: World War II
   010: Landau, Luckman and Lake
   011: Team X Beginnings
   012: Logan, Creed and North
   013: Secret Agent Man, eh?
   014: Weapon X: The Origin(s)
   015: Weapon X: Adamantium
   016: Memory Implants
   017: The Ultimate Warrior
   018: Weapon X: Escape
   019: The Hudsons
   020: License to Kill
   021: Department H: Weapon X
   022: Department H: The Flight
   023: The Best There Is
   024: The Wolverine
   025: The X-Men
   026: Death in the Family
   027: The Phoenix
   028: Where No X-Men Has Gone
   029: Missing, Presumed Dead

The Wolverine Files

027 - The Phoenix

The Phoenix

John Byrne and Terry Austin,  X-Men #112.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

 

      Wolverine returns to the X-Men in time for Christmas…

 

Marvel Holiday Special #1 (1991) - “A Miracle A Few Blocks Down From 34 th Street

Writer: Scott Lobdell; Artist: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Joe Rubinstein

     At Xavier's mansion on Christmas Eve, Banshee, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Storm joyfully decorate a Christmas tree, while Wolverine grumpily ignores the festivities. Cerebro, a mutant-tracking computer, interrupts the evening with an alert concerning a powerful mutant. The tension between Colossus and Wolverine is still quite evident, but Wolverine and Nightcrawler seem to have worked out their differences. While searching for the mutant at a downtown shopping mall, the X-Men run into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Wolverine recognizes Unus the Untouchable from his Department H file and attempts to penetrate his impenetrable force field with his claws. Suddenly and mysteriously, the Brotherhood is seemingly transformed into action figures, and the X-Men are transported to Rockefeller Center. The only person seemingly not surprised by this turn of events is the mall Santa Claus.

 

X-Men #98 (Apr 1976) – “Merry Christmas, X-Men…”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     It is later the same Christmas Eve, and the X-Men, out of uniform, are at Rockefeller Center to celebrate. The group separates in to smaller factions, leaving Wolverine alone. As he says, "I got no use for Christmas." Before too long Sentinels attack, attempting to capture the X-Men. The original X-Men had faced this menace before, huge, intelligent robots programmed to capture and eliminate all mutants, but for Wolverine and the new X-Men, this is their first meeting. Banshee, realizing the danger for what it is, leaps to the air only to find Wolverine attached to his legs, not wanting to miss a good scrap.

     From the original publication order, this is the first time that we see Wolverine without his mask. Because Len Wein had envisioned the Wolverine to be a teenager like the rest of the new X-Men, Wein was quite shocked by Wolverine's civilian appearance as rendered by Dave Cockrum. “With those sideburns and the cigar, I went, ‘You just put thirty years on that guy.'”[1] Cockrum himself added, “I gave him his face. I was the first one to take the mask off. Since he was a little crazy, I tried to put a crazy look in his eyes.”[2] When asked about why he created the western look for Wolverine's clothes, Cockrum explained, “He just struck me as the type of guy that would relax in jeans, a jean jacket and things like… the [cowboy} hat.”[3]

 

Wolverine unmasked for the first time

Dave Cockrim and Sam Grainger, X-Men #98.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

Classic X-Men #6 (Feb 1987) – “Merry Christmas, X-Men…”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: James Fry; Inker: Jack Abel & Mike Esposito

     A sentinel blasts Banshee, but in its rush to capture the two falling mutants, gets too close to Wolverine's claws. After neutralizing one sentinel, Wolverine finds himself at the receiving end of a backhand smash by a second sentinel that propels him through a building and a water tower.

 

X-Men #98 (Apr 1976) – “Merry Christmas, X-Men…”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger

     By evening's end, the Sentinels have captured Wolverine, Banshee, Jean Grey and Xavier. Four days later at the Sentinel base, the director of Project Armageddon, Dr. Steven Lang, inspects the examinations of the mutants. Interestingly, Wolverine's readings are totally unlike the rest of the mutant readings, leading one researcher to doubt his mutant status. After Lang strikes Jean Grey in the face, Wolverine breaks free of his “unbreakable” chromalloy shackles, destroys a Sentinel, and chases all of the workers off. While freeing Banshee and Jean Grey, Banshee notes that no one realized that Wolverine's claws were housed inside of his forearms. In typical Wolverine fashion, his reply is short and harsh. In a humorous moment, Wolverine helps Jean shorten the hem of her gown by tearing it and creating an extreme mini-dress. Before the threesome can free Xavier, the mutants are attacked by another host of Sentinels. After wiping out at least six more Sentinels, Banshee makes a break for it with Wolverine and Jean Grey in tow. Bursting through the wall of the base, the mutants find themselves in outer space. The Sentinel base is, in fact, the SHIELD orbital platform, orbiting the planet Earth.

     We learn for the first time in publication order that Wolverine's claws are actually a part of him. As Chris Claremont explains, “If the claws are in the gloves, then anyone can put on the gloves and be Wolverine. So what makes Wolverine special?”[4] Banshee's shock at realizing that Wolverine's claws are actually a part of his body was actually spurred on by comments from the Marvel editor Marv Wolfman to Chris Claremont.[5] We also discover from the lab technician's reaction that Wolverine is somewhat more (or less) than a mutant. Dave Cockrum asserts that originally, he and Len Wein intended to have Wolverine be revealed to be a mutated wolverine, but that Stan Lee nixed the idea.[6]

 

X-Men #99 (Jun 1976)– “Deathstar Rising”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

     Lang orders several Sentinels to rescue Wolverine, Banshee and Jean Grey and returns them to captivity. Meanwhile, the rest of the X-Men, with the help of Dr. Peter Corbeau, gain access to Corbeau's Starcore shuttle mission and take off to rescue Wolverine, Banshee, Jean Grey and Xavier. After being damaged by Sentinels, the space shuttle crashes into the orbital platform. The X-Men board the platform and wipe out the Sentinel opposition.

 

Classic X-Men #7 (Mar 1987) – “Deathstar Rising”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: im Sherman ; Inker: Frank Joe Rubinstein

     While being held captive in an elaborate contraption, Wolverine is taunted and threatened by Lang's men. Just as one of them is about to carve up Wolverine with a knife, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus arrive, freeing both Wolverine and Banshee. Before Wolverine can take his revenge, his would-be attacker faints.

 

X-Men #99 (Jun 1976) – “Deathstar Rising”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

     While Cyclops frees Jean Grey and battles with Dr. Lang, the rest of the X-Men shockingly come face to face with the original X-Men, led by a belligerent Charles Xavier who declares the new X-Men to be imposters.

 

X-Men #100 (Aug 1976) – "Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: Dave Cockrum

     The battle between X-Men begins with Havok and Polaris entering the fray against the new X-Men, and Professor Xavier ordering the original X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and the Beast) to kill the new X-Men. Wolverine tangles with Iceman and Angel before employing “the fastball special” with the help of Colossus. As the fight continues, Wolverine challenges Xavier, who miraculously stands and drops Wolverine with one punch. Marvel Girl then attacks Wolverine with a mental blast, which forces him to act on instincts alone. And his instincts tell him that this Marvel Girl is not Jean Grey. To the shock of the rest of the X-Men, Wolverine guts Marvel Girl, revealing her to be the next generation of sentinel, an X-Sentinel. Realizing that they are fighting robots, the new X-Men quickly destroy the remaining X-Sentinels.

Wolverine destroys an X-Sentinel

Dave Cockrum, X-Men #100.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

 

Classic X-Men #8 (Apr 1987) – "Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: James Sherman; Inker: Sam Grainger

     Cyclops' battle with Dr. Lang damages the integrity of the orbital platform, forcing Wolverine and the other X-Men to fight their way through the resulting fires and explosions.

 

X-Men #100 (Aug 1976) – "Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: Dave Cockrum

     The X-Men, Xavier, and Dr. Corbeau race for the space shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttle's radiation shields within the cockpit are non-operational, and the damaged shuttle requires manual steering to return to Earth in one piece. Jean psychically absorbs Corbeau's piloting skills and sends the rest of the group to a safe area of the shuttle where the radiation will not affect them. Cyclops protests, but Jean silences him with a mental blast and nearly does the same to an objecting Wolverine. Sealing the damage to the shuttle's hull telekinetically, Jean begins the flight back to Earth.

 

Classic X-Men #8 (Apr 1987) – "Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: John Bolton

     As the shuttle flight back to Earth begins, Nightcrawler and Colossus are forced to hold down a hysterical Cyclops. Wolverine, seemingly aware of his own helplessness, sits quietly.

 

Fantastic Four #286 (Jan 1986) – “Like a Phoenix

Writer/Penciller: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin

     During the flight, a dying Jean Grey is replaced by a being known as the Phoenix . No one, not even Wolverine, becomes aware of this until many years later. While Classic X-Men #8 does reveal more exact details of the switch, Fantastic Four #286 is the first explanation of the actual events, published some 15 months earlier.

 

X-Men#101 (Oct 1976) – “Like a Phoenix , From the Ashes”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Frank Charamonte

     The space shuttle piloted by Jean Grey crash lands at Kennedy International Airport but skids along the runway and into Jamaica Bay . All the X-Men, save for Jean Grey, quickly escape to the surface. A few moments later, Jean Grey emerges in a new costume, proclaiming herself the Phoenix before collapsing.

 

Classic X-Men #9 (May 1987) – “Like a Phoenix , From the Ashes”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Tom Morgan; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     Scrambling to shore, Nightcrawler uses his image inducer to hide the X-Men from the onrushing firemen, and Dr. Corbeau stumbles into view, mumbling a cover story about terrorists. Grabbing a limousine, Xavier brainwashes the driver into taking them to a nearby hospital. Cyclops and Wolverine squabble over who should be attending to her.

 

X-Men#101 (Oct 1976) – “Like a Phoenix , From the Ashes”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Frank Charamonte
     Later, at the hospital, Wolverine arrives with flowers for Jean Grey, but disposes of them when he sees the rest of the X-Men in vigil. He does consider his feelings for Jean, thinking “…ain't never felt like this before, all hot-an'-bothered over a frail. Ain't never cared about anybody. I always like bein' a loner.” After several days, Jean Grey recovers.

 

     In order to fit the following Spider-Man crossover into chronology, Marvel was forced to create two separate hospitalizations for Jean Grey. As a result, the hospital stay described in X-Men #101 is actually two separate occurrences, a fact confirmed in a circuitous way by Chris Claremont. [7]

 

Marvel Team-Up Annual #1 (1976)– "The Lords of Light and Darkness."

Plotters: Bill Mantlo, Chris Claremont & Bonnie Wilford; Writer: Bill Mantlo; Artists: Sal Buscema & Mike Esposito

     Professor Xavier and the X-Men, as civilians, attend the world's first International Conference on Man-Made Mutation aboard an airborne Boeing 747. Among the many dignitaries are Dr. Mishkin from the Soviet Union and belligerent United States Senator Turner. After Turner insults Professor Xavier, Wolverine grabs the Senator, suggesting he use a more respectful tone of voice when addressing Xavier. Before Cyclops and reporter Peter Parker (alias Spider-man) can break it up, the plane begins to shudder. Flying robots called Rakks attack the plane, tearing away the superstructure, and forcing their way inside. Peter Parker changes into Spider-man and helps the X-Men destroy the robots and crash land the plane in the deserts of Nevada . Wolverine silences an annoying Senator Turner, allowing the Soviet scientist, Dr. Mishkin, to trace the source of the Rakks to some nearby caves. These caves turn out to be highly radioactive, prompting Dr. Mishkin to spray the X-Men and Spider-man with his anti-radiation chemical. Nearing the caves, Wolverine begins to bait Spider-Man, and the two nearly come to blows. The heroes are soon attacked by a team of super-powered former scientists in the guise of Indian gods. Wolverine slices open the death god, Yama Dharma, but the heroes are quickly knocked unconscious by the dark madness of Kali. When they awake, the heroes find themselves suspended in force fields designed to negate their individual powers. The Hindu "gods" explain that they were scientists caught in a nuclear explosion that transformed them into gods from Hindu mythology. While the gods' narrative runs on, Nightcrawler is able to disrupt Banshee's force field by teleporting, setting into motion a chain reaction that frees them all. The gods demand Phoenix 's power in order to sustain their lives, since the lethal draining of Earth's energies is not enough. Phoenix refuses, even though it would grant her immortality. Brahma, the leader of the gods, begins to attack when Wolverine leaps at him, claws slashing. Agni, the Fire god, grabs Wolverine, burning his arm, leading to a massive battle. Suddenly, the gods begin to fade and warn that their passing will destroy the Earth. Quickly devising a plan, Nightcrawler and Phoenix teleport the gods' life force into Cyclops eyebeams, which catapults the gods' mind forces into space where they can survive without endangering Earth.

     A few interesting notes: When Cyclops pulls Wolverine off of Senator Turner, it is readily apparent that Cyclops does not know Wolverine's real name. It is also obvious that Bill Mantlo is not a fan of Wolverine, as he is the hero who complains the most and contributes the least during this story.

 

Marvel Team-Up #53 (Jan 1977) – “Nightmare in New Mexico

Writer: Bill Mantlo; Artists: John Byrne & Frank Giacoia

     Phoenix psychokinetically summons the X-Shuttle and the heroes depart. Wolverine and Spider-Man continue to trade insults, but their witty repartee is interrupted by attacking government hovercrafts over New Mexico . After disposing of the attacking crafts, the X-Men drop off Spider-Man, at his request, in the town of Liberty . John Byrne, who would soon have a strong influence on the development of Wolverine and the X-Men, gets to draw Wolverine and the X-Men for the very first time in this issue.

 

Marvel Tales #262 (Jun1992) – “A Case of Sunstroke”

Writer: Barry Dutter; Artist: Vince Evans

     Continuing their flight in the X-Shuttle, the X-Men are attacked by the minor villain Sunstroke who knocks Professor Xavier and Jean Grey unconscious with a heat ray. The X-Men attack, highlighted by Wolverine missing with a “Fastball Special” and Banshee defeating Sunstroke with his sonic scream. As Xavier regains consciousness, it is apparent that Jean Grey is critically injured. The X-Men leave, intent on getting Jean Grey hospital attention.

 

Classic X-Men #9 (May 1987) – “The Gift”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: John Bolton

     With Jean Grey in the hospital, Wolverine and the X-Men hold another vigil, awaiting word on her condition.

 

X-Men #101 (Oct 1976) – “Like a Phoenix , From the Ashes”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Frank Charamonte

     When Jean Grey begins to recover for the second time, Professor Xavier orders the X-Men (sans Cyclops) to take a vacation so Jean has time to recuperate in quiet. Wolverine initially refuses, but is finally convinced to join the other X-Men on a trip to Banshee's recently inherited ancestral home in Ireland . After several days of travel and a week in Dublin , the X-Men finally arrive at Cassidy Keep, a staggering medieval castle. Once there, our heroes are ambushed by Sean's evil brother Black Tom Cassidy and X-Men nemesis and half-brother to Charles Xavier, the mighty Juggernaut. As Black Tom introduces himself, mentioning that they now prisoners in the dungeons under the Keep, Storm begins to scream.

 

Wolverine and Juggernaut

Dave Cockrim and Sam Grainger, X-Men #102.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

 

X-Men #102 (Dec 1976) - "Who Will Stop the Juggernaut?"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     As the battle begins with Black Tom (immune to Banshee's sonic scream) and the Juggernaut (a huge armored man surrounded by an impenetrable and mystical force field) Storm goes catatonic with claustrophobia. Colossus, seeking to help Storm, is angered by Wolverine's suggestion to stay focused on the fight. Hurling Colossus into the Juggernaut, Wolverine yells, "Way to go, Russkie!" Colossus, angered by the ethnic slur, turns on Wolverine but gets dropped from behind by the Juggernaut. Wolverine leaps at the Juggernaut, but as his claws fail to pierce the force field, he gets savagely pummeled into unconsciousness. The battle ends quickly and in defeat for the new X-Men. An unconscious Nightcrawler, however, goes unnoticed as his body seemingly vanishes in the shadows.

 

X-Men #103 (Feb 1977) – "The Fall of the Tower"

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     In the dungeon, Black Tom and the Juggernaut torture Storm, Wolverine, Colossus and Banshee in an attempt to lure the telepathic Charles Xavier into a trap to appease the Juggernaut's hatred of his half-brother. Nightcrawler, courtesy of his image inducer, appears as Xavier, and the Juggernaut goes ballistic, destroying half of the chamber where the prisoners are being held. As the wall of the chamber collapses, Storm sees the sky and overcomes her claustrophobia, whisking herself, Wolverine and Colossus to safety with a gust of wind. Outside, Storm uses her lock picking skills to remove Wolverine's shackles. Another confrontation between Colossus and Wolverine leads to Colossus bodily throwing Wolverine over the castle walls beyond the conflict. Landing at the far side of the Keep, Wolverine encounters a leprechaun who mysteriously calls him Logan. Wolverine cannot believe his ears but follows him to the battle. By the time Wolverine arrives, Nightcrawler has successfully freed Banshee, who goes after his cousin Black Tom. Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler maneuver to keep the Juggernaut occupied, while Banshee knocks Black Tom off of the Keep's high tower and into the rocks below. The Juggernaut, seeing his best friend fall to his death, knocks aside the X-men and leaps over the wall to save Black Tom. By the time the X-Men are able to search for their two foes, Black Tom and the Juggernaut have disappeared. The hostility between Wolverine and Colossus continues in these issues, finally reaching the stage of physical violence. We also learn the Wolverine's name is Logan for the first time within the publishing history of the character.

 

X-Men #104 (Apr 1977) – “The Gentleman's Name is Magneto”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     Receiving an emergency call from Moira MacTaggert, the vacationing X-Men rent a hovercraft in the Outer Hebrides (with much trouble) from a belligerent Angus MacWhirter to investigate possible problems at Muir Island , Moira's mutant research facility. As the X-Men approach Muir Island , the hovercraft inexplicably explodes around them. It does seem that Nightcrawler has forsaken his image inducer, probably due to Wolverine's prodding.

 

Classic X-Men #12 (Aug 1987) – “The Gentleman's Name is Magneto”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     Storm gets entangled in some heavy-gauge steel underwater, but Wolverine expertly slices the steel with his claws and gives Storm mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

 

X-Men #104 (Apr 1977) – “The Gentleman's Name is Magneto”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Dave Cockrum; Inker: Sam Grainger.

     All of the X-Men make it to shore safely, but they are prevented from proceeding any further due to a force dome. Suddenly the ground under them lifts, and they are hurled towards the outer wall of Dr. Moira MacTaggert's Muir Island laboratory. Wolverine, Banshee, Colossus and Storm break through the wall and are confronted by the evil master of magnetism and the X-Men's oldest foe, Magneto. As the X-Men battle the evil mutant, Magneto easily hurls the adamantium-clawed Wolverine and organically-metallic Colossus around. After effectively defeating each X-Men, Magneto is broadsided by Cyclops who has just arrived. While Magneto is recovering, Cyclops orders everyone to pull out. Wolverine is furious with Cyclops for turning them into cowards as they retreat to safety of the Strato-Jet. We do learn that the root of Magneto's animosity against the X-Men in this story is due to him having been regressed into childhood by Professor Xavier.

 

Classic X-Men #13 (Sep 1987) – “ Phoenix Unleashed”

Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: Bob Layton

    Flying back to Xavier's mansion in the SR-71 Blackbird, Cyclops explains to a furious Wolverine that Eric the Red restored Magneto to adulthood to serve as a diversion, so Eric the Red could attack Xavier without interference from the X-Men.

Wolverine and Cyclops face off

Dave Cockrim and Sam Grainger, X-Men #104.

© and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

 

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[1]  Peter Sanderson, "Wolverine: The Evolution of a Character, " The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1, 1986.

[2]  Scott Beatty, “Beastmasters,” Wizard Tribute to Wolverine , 1996.

[3]  "Interview with Dave Cockrum," The X-Men Companion I, 1982.

[4]  Peter Sanderson, "Wolverine: The Evolution of a Character, " The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1, 1986.

[5]  "Interview with Chris Claremont," The X-Men Companion , 1982.

[6]  Scott Beatty, “Beastmasters," Wizard Tribute to Wolverine, 1996.

[7]  The Marvel Comics Index: The X-Men , 1981.

 
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Wolverine and other Marvel Comics' characters © and ™  by Marvel Characters, Inc.

Contents of "Wolverine Files" © by Joel "DiG" DiGiacomo