Wolverine is back and it seems like he has a major role to play in the future of the Marvel Universe.
SPOILERS for Avengers #10 by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, David Marquez, Frazer Irving, Adam Kubert, and Andrea Sorrentino follow.
Wolverine first reappeared in the Marvel Universe in the pages of Marvel Legacy #1, where he foiled Loki's attempts to steal the Space Stone and took the powerful cosmic artifact for himself. Logan then appeared in several "post-credits" scenes in Marvel Comics releases in which he almost revealed himself to some of his allies in the Marvel Universe before eventually leaving the Space Stone in Black Widow's hands heading into the events of Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars.
Since then, the story of Logan's return has been told in the pages of The Hunt for Wolverine, the four miniseries that spun out of it, and now in The Return of Wolverine, but those stories have shown no connection to that first Marvel Legacy appearance or Logan's subsequent post-credits scenes.
Avengers #10 (of Avengers #700, by Marvel's legacy numbering) finally picks up on that plot thread. Loki had sent the Final Host to Earth, supposedly an attempt to force a new team of Avengers to assemble. Following his defeat, the Celestials took Loki as their prisoner. The Celestials spent some time torturing Loki until Wolverine reveals himself.
Despite having stopped Loki's attempts to gather the Infinity Stones, Wolverine says he's here to help Loki. Strangely, Wolverine is able to communicate with the Celestials. He reveals that he's been around for "eons" and says that Earth is going to need every cosmic defense system it has at the ready if it is to survive what's coming.
Wolverine then frees Loki and gives him a glimpse at things to come:
There's a lot there to take in. The newly reformed Squadron Supreme seemingly taking down the Avengers. Iron Fist battling Hand ninjas. The Punisher in medieval armor. Man-Thing holding Mjolnir and Iron Man's helmet. Moon Knight leading an army of the dead. Namor attacking with a legion of sharks. Maleketh the accursed setting the world on fire, apparently a tease for the War of the Realms event.
And at the center of it all is Logan surrounded by the Phoenix Force. This...could explain a lot. Logan's dialogue in the issue heavily implies that he is from the future. We recently saw a version of Wolverine with the Phoenix in the future in the pages of Thor. Perhaps this is that version of Wolverine traveling back in time from the future, which would explain why his story has been separate from that of Wolverine's return on Earth.
There's also the recent announcement of Wolverine: Infinity Watch to consider. Wolverine in this issue implies that he is partly to blame for the dark future awaiting Earth. It seems possible that Wolverine: Infinity Watch will explain Logan's cosmic mission and how he failed to complete it.
What do you think of Wolverine's cosmic future in the Marvel Universe? Let us know in the comments!
Avengers #10 is on sale now.