It’s almost too good to be true. Insomniac Games—the makers of the unbelievable Spider-Man series—are adding Wolverine to their offerings. In an Easter egg-filled teaser, the company announced that Logan would be getting his own game. And we cannot wait. But where will the game draw from? The trailer has some big hints at a few classic comic book arcs, and there’s some other obvious touch points too. So let’s break it down.
Wolverine miniseries (1982)
An angry man with an unknown past, Logan was an enigma wrapped in a mystery as he rose to popularity in Uncanny X-Men. Writer Chris Claremont teamed up with rising star Frank Miller to reveal some hints about Wolverine’s history in this infamous miniseries. Logan travels to Japan in search of his old love, Mariko Yashida. This puts Wolvie in conflict with Lord Shingen, Mariko’s father, and the Silver Samurai, her half-brother. Luckily, he has a freewheeling ally in this fight named Yukio, who also battles the deadly organization known as the Hand alongside Logan. This was loosely adapted in the 2013 film The Wolverine.
Due to the longevity of this part of Wolverine’s backstory, there’s a strong chance we’ll see the game include characters and plot from this comic. We may even see Logan’s love for Mariko become a major part of his motivation. Along with Jean Grey, Mariko is the other great love of Logan’s life and certainly someone he’s willing to fight for.
Wolverine ongoing (1988)
Going by the teaser, Wolverine’s first ongoing series seems to be the most obvious influence on the game. We see Logan sitting in the Princess Bar, which means the game at least in part will be set in Madripoor. That ties into what seems like it’ll be one of the game’s biggest influences. The ongoing Wolverine miniseries was launched by Chris Claremont and John Buscema in 1988, and later on featured a notable run by comics legend Larry Hama (bone claws, anyone?). It was the character’s first ongoing since his debut in 1974. We get a nice nod to that in the trailer as the total on the cash register says 19.74. So, aside from Madripoor, what else could the game take from the 1988 Wolverine series?
One of the biggest additions to Wolverine canon comes from this series: the Muramasa Blade. So it’s pretty likely that we’ll see that legendary weapon appear here. During the early issues we’re introduced to the famed Black Blade, and reintroduced to one of Wolverine’s most famed foes, the Silver Samurai. Both of those will likely play a part in the game especially if they reimagine Wolverine’s slightly dodgy comic book connection to Japan. Luckily, with some of the team behind Miles Morales heading to Wolverine, we trust them to give the character the contemporary recontextualization he needs. If the team does take from the tone of the original Wolverine ongoing, we can expect some high adventure and action as well as the emotionally driven storytelling we’ve come to connect with him.
X-23: Innocence Lost (2005)
While X-23 A.K.A. Laura Kinney made her comic book debut in the 2003 series NYX, it was here that her origins and connection to Wolverine was revealed. That connection makes us think this will be a likely inspiration point for the game. This revealing series saw the creators of X-23, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, return to the character alongside artist Billy Tan. It was a radical introduction that established a new generation of clawed hero.
Just like Wolverine, Laura was subjected to an experimental scientific program. But her traumatic origin is directly linked to Logan. Laura was born out of a desire to replicate the Weapon X program. And the way they decided to do that was by cloning Wolverine. In a nightmarish twist of events, the scientist who created Laura is forced to carry her to term, becoming her surrogate mother. With Laura now such a fan fave character after Logan, she’ll surely at least cameo here. And her tragic, scientifically questionable origins would fit into the darker tone we’re expecting. Laura could even be an inciting incident for Wolverine in the game…
Wolverine: Origins (2006)
This cult favorite arc by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon introduces another kid we’re sure we’ll see in the upcoming game: Wolverine’s son Daken. During the run we meet a ton of vital characters who could but probably won’t show up like Captain America, Emma Frost, and Cyclops. But it’s Emma who tells Wolverine that he has a son who’s being held and experimented on by the government. It’s a brutal awakening for Logan who decides to try and save his son. We could see that mission come into play here either as a driving force or a side plot. Either way it would make a great inclusion.
Saving his son isn’t that simple though. Daken has been raised to hate Wolverine and the X-Man has to ally with some outrageous anti-heroes like the Winter Soldier and Deadpool to find him. While the latter of those seems tonally inconsistent with Wolverine and the game, it would make sense if he did play a role because of his connections to the Weapon X program that spawned Wolverine. Either way, we expect to see Daken show up as it adds another humane and family-focused story that will ground the surely incredible adventure to come.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan (2008)
The more serious Western influenced tone of the trailer immediately made us think of Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. The fact that this is also one of the most popular Wolverine arcs also makes it a top contender. While we don’t expect the series to be set on Earth-807128—an alt-Marvel universe where supervillains rule—it’s likely the game might take from the tone or characterization of Wolverine that became so beloved. In Old Man Logan we meet an aged violent version of the hero. He’s living in a dystopian world run by villains. It’s a dark take on the hero that sets him on a tragic quest for survival. That sounds like something we could see utilized. It could be interesting if we saw more than one version of Logan. So perhaps our hero might end up tangling with Old Man Logan or another alt-version of himself.
Other Things / People We’ll Likely See
There are a few things from Logan’s canon that are less directly connected to any single arc that you can safely say will show up. The first is his brother Sabretooth. One of Wolverine’s most famed antagonists, it’s likely he’ll play a key role here. That’s supported by the fact that Marvel just announced a new Sabretooth #1. Reintroducing that character in a new title to readers hints that he’s about to come to prominence in other media.
There’s also Logan’s recurring ally/mentor Charles Xavier. He’s been key to Logan’s story since its outset and we’d be surprised if we didn’t at least see him appear here in flashback or cameo. The other option, of course, is that this is a pre-Xavier story in which case we’ll likely meet him at the game’s close. If this is a post-Xavier game, though, we could also see other X-Men like Jean Grey. Perhaps there’s even a little love triangle with Cyclops. The Spider-Man games have set a wicked precedent for introducing deep cut characters, even some in reimagined guises like the Tinkerer in Miles Morales. That makes us think we might see some other less expected Marvel characters show up to aid or hinder Logan’s mission. Silver Fox, Omega Red, and Jubilee are all names that come to mind. We say bring it on bub!
Featured Image: Insomniac Games