What might Maria Hill have to say about our favourite X-Men? In the wake of the latest issue of ‘Wolverine and the X-Men‘, this seemed a good question to ask! So:
The X-Men are insane. They have their weird little school down in Westchester, run by a guy who’s probably killed more people in his life than all the world’s serial killers put together. They traipse around through time willy-nilly, they die and come back to life like it’s nothing, and they fight each other more than they ever do any real bad guys. They’re a hot mess always waiting to happen.
Know your enemy. Far be it from me to disagree with Sun Tzu. But it seems to me, if you have to know your enemy, you also have to know the nutcases next door. Just in case they ever become your enemy.
The man’s incredible. He has over a hundred years of combat experience, he fought in the First and Second World Wars, and he’s been in black ops longer than I’ve been alive. That healing factor is something special, even if it is screwed up at the moment. Way these things work out, that’ll last until a convenient moment when he’s near death, and it’ll pop back up all over again. If we’re lucky, he might even be reported dead for a couple of years in the meantime, and maybe we’ll even get a funeral. That’d be fun.
I’ve heard lots of rumours about how that healing factor works. Sure, it’s clearly part of his powers, but there are whispers – just whispers, mind – that he once crossed paths with the Angel of Death, and beat him in a duel. I want to mock, but I’ve had arguments with Norse gods. Something about that encounter apparently means he heals like most people breathe. I don’t really know what the limit of his healing factor is – guess the reality is, we’ve never found it. Most incredible was footage we got of his scrapping with Nitro back in the days of the Civil War. Nitro burned the flesh from his bones, left him nothing but an adamantium skeleton – and Wolverine healed right back up, and socked him on the jaw. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is. The healing factor means he never gets sick, and gives him resistance to most drugs. Sure, he might be overcome by the toxin for a while, but it won’t last, and it sure as hell won’t kill him. It also makes him near-immortal.
Years back, some bright sparks got the idea of taking a rough-housing Canadian scrapper and adding another element. They surgically implanted adamantium in his bones, making him even tougher. I’m not sure if they knew what they were really doing, though; because as part of his mutation, Wolverine has three bone claws on each hand. And they only went and turned the bone into metal, meaning he has claws made of one of the toughest metals in the world. He can cut diamond.
So, you’ve got an unkilled, super-healing tough guy with claws that can cut through steel like butter. And all that in the hands of a man who knows his black ops, his martial arts, and his battle tactics. He’s exactly what Weapon X were wanting to make; the ultimate fighter.
The irony is, he’s always been a puppet on a string. Romulus, the Hand, Gorgon, Viper, Sabretooth – the list of people who’ve twisted Wolverine round their little fingers is insane, usually with brainwashing involved (and sometimes possession). On one occasion, he went on a lovely little rampage and almost killed the President. Finally, he got his memories back, and it was kind of funny seeing everyone scramble around in a panic. Way I see it, if your secrets are only safe because a guy who hangs around with telepaths has had his mind wiped, then you’re practically begging for exposure. Irony is, way I hear it, Wolverine only hung around with the X-Men because he was reprogrammed by Xavier; he was originally meant to kill him.
Added to all this, he’s still a loose cannon. You’re talking a guy who thinks nothing of driving a motorcycle on to the bridge of the SHIELD Helicarrier. No, I wish I was joking, he did that back in Nick Fury’s day; managed to track the Helicarrier down, drove through the windows while it was refuelling.
Wolverine’s sense of honour is twisted and weird. For years he tortured Matsuo Tsurayabi for killing his lady-love, Mariko Yashida. And I’ve heard tales of him hunting and killing a gang because an old lady got killed by them just after she’d given him a flower. I’ve been thinking about that weirdness, and the best description I’ve heard is that he’s a samurai. He has a code, he stands for principles, and he doesn’t really give a damn what the rest of the world thinks. He just gets on with what he sees as his job.
And these two things are why Wolverine scares me. First, he practically seems to be addicted to brainwashing. And because he’s so potent a weapon, that makes him one really tempting target. Ever since Gorgon turned him into a Hand assassin for a while, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been carefully monitoring to make sure he stays stable. And we still missed a freaking demon possession. Second, though, he could just as easily go rogue without a nudge. If we push him at a moment when we should’ve pulled, he’ll be off and doing whatever he thinks right. And if we’re in the way, he won’t care about the repair bill coming out of the taxpayers’ pockets.
Question is, how do we stop him?
I’ve found two ways. The first is what I call the Gorgon stratagem. You neutralise his powers, then stab him through the heart – or find a way to cut off his head. You make him dead as dead is dead. But nobody’s quite sure what’ll happen when the powers are no longer inhibited. Will he just suddenly come to life again?
No, the best way to do it is to take a leaf out of his own book. Wolverine killed his son, Daken, a twisted sociopath who had his father’s healing factor. He killed him by drowning him, flooding his lungs with water. It may be kind of sick, but it’s practical, and even more of a threat for Wolverine – his bones are heavy metal. Get him out to sea and sink him, and he’s dead.
Realistically, those are your only options. He’s too well-connected nowadays to capture and hide away; in the event we go to war with Wolverine, it’ll be a fight to the death.