Marvel finally explained Wolverine's resurrection and return to the Marvel Universe.
SPOILERS for Marvel's Return of Wolverine #5 by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven and Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 by Gerry Duggan and Andy MacDonald follow.
Wolverine died in October 2014 at the conclusion of Marvel's Death of Wolverine. He returned in September 2017 in Marvel Legacy #1, appearing in time to claim the Space Stone before Loki could get his hands on it.
Since then, Logan has appeared in several post-credits scenes in Marvel's comics. He traveled the world before dropping the Space Stone off at a safe house for Black Widow to find.
At the same time, grave-robbers took Wolverine's body. The X-Men, Logan's friends from the Avengers, and other Marvel heroes investigated. They discovered Logan was being used for black ops against his will.
These two stories seemed contradictory, but Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 explains how they make sense together. The short version is that there have been two different Wolverines operating in the Marvel Universe at the same time.
The Wolverine from the main Marvel Universe, who died in 2014, is the one resurrected by the villain Persephone in Return of Wolverine. He finally frees himself from Persphone in Return of Wolverine #5 and returns to Xavier's School.
Or at least he thought he was returning to Xavier's School. The school turns out to be an illusion created by Loki. The real school is in ruins due to the events of Uncanny X-Men's "Disassembled" story.
Loki is as confused by Wolverine as readers have been. A second Wolverine, one possessed by the Phoenix Force, reveals himself to Loki and the other Wolverine. This "Old Man Phoenix" explains that he was the one who stole the stone and gave it to Black Widow, and that he did it at Loki's request.
This is where Wolverine's return intersects with Infinity Wars, Marvel's latest cosmic event. In that story, Gamora collects the Infinity Stones, becomes Requiem, and kills Thanos. Old Man Phoenix explains this isn't how things happened the first time around.
It had been Loki that collected the Stones, became Requiem, and killed Thanos. Loki used the Stones to pass through the Quarry of Creation, gaining access to a primordial realm where Celestials dwell. He saw something on the other side that scared him.
After returning, he sought out Old Man Phoenix and asked him to travel back in time to prevent him from crossing over in the first place. By taking the Space Stone, Old Man Phoenix altered the timeline. Instead of Loki collecting the Stones, Gamora did. With his task complete, Old Man Phoenix heads back to his own timeline to die. This likely leads to the battle between Old Man Phoenix and Thor as seen in recent issues of Thor.
That's how Marvel makes sense out of this long, winding path through Wolverine's return. Now there's only one Wolverine left in the Marvel Universe. He rejoins Cyclops as the last X-Men standing in Uncanny X-Men #11, which follows the events of Wolverine: Infinity Watch.
What do you think of Wolverine's return? Let us know in the comments.
Return of Wolverine #5 and Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 are both on sale now.