Issue(s): Wolverine #75
The bulk of this (double sized) issue features dream sequences while Jean Grey is trying to keep Wolverine's mind from falling apart as the X-Men rush Wolverine home to deal with his injuries. Wolvie has declined a shot of "meta-morphine". But his healing factor is overloaded (although the colorist wasn't quite on board with that point).
There's also a nuisance plot point about the X-Men's ship having trouble and nearly crashing during re-entry. It's some fake action to waste some space since this issue doesn't really have a whole lot of plot. At the same time, Wolverine has a "step into the light" moment facilitated by his memory of his best friend... teenaged Illyana Rasputin?!
I mean i know she died recently (after having reverted to childhood), but it just seems like an odd pick. No Guardian? Mariko? Silverfox?
Anyway, the story culminates when Wolverine wakes up from his coma to grab Jean when she nearly gets sucked out of the ship.
Then we jump ahead "two weeks" and Wolverine is recovered enough to insist on testing his post-adamantium self in a Danger Room session.
During that session, Wolverine i guess instinctively tries to pop his claws.
And, after a gross SHUKK instead of the familiar SNIKT, we learn that he still has claws. But they're just bone now.
It's said that his healing factor used to just automatically close up his wounds every time the claws popped out, but now that his healing factor is at less than top strength, we've got blood pouring down his arms.
This might not be as much of a revelation as it seems. During the Weapon X story, specifically in Marvel Comics Presents #74 (published in 1991), when Wolverine was getting pumped with adamantium, we did see the anomaly of adamantium clustering around his wrists, and then the scientists were surprised to see Wolverine with claws (it wasn't their intention). Whether that was intended to show that Wolverine already had bone claws or if it was trying to show some quirk of the adamantium bonding process (which would be silly), it certainly works as the former. That story also noted that Wolverine's healing factor is what closed up his hands every time he popped his claws (i guess as opposed to him having little folds or something), something that everyone seems surprised about here.
But this issue was generally received by fandom as revealing that Wolverine had the bone claws for the first time. I had a concern due to the fact that we've seen a lot of flashbacks showing pre-Weapon X Wolverine, and he never had claws (as opposed to cutesy scenes of him winding up with gloves with claws and the like), and i wondered how it could be that the claws never manifested in all those years of high risk missions. Not remembering the Marvel Comics Presents scene, i theorized for a time that Wolverine's healing factor actually caused the bones to grow, basically because it assumed that since adamantium laced his bones everywhere else, it should "fix" the fact that there were no bones under the adamantium that made up the claws. But i think the idea is really a combination of saying that he rarely used them and his memory problems. Wolverine actually kind of brings this up.
"Born with" might not be right. He's a mutant, so i assume his bones grew at puberty. But close enough.
Wolverine also decides to quit smoking now that his healing factor isn't compensating for it.
Wolverine also decides to quit the X-Men "before I get traded to the minors".
The final quarter or so of this issue is actually pretty strong, with the revelation and then Wolverine talking to Jubilee and then leaving her a goodbye letter. And luckily it's the final portion of the story, so you walk away with a positive impression and maybe forget that the majority of the issue that you paid $3.95 for was filler.
At the time it was pretty impossible to see how this book could continue, and while i didn't stick with any of the other X-books, i started getting Wolverine for a while (i wasn't reading it regularly prior to this). There's actually some merit to de-powering Wolverine, since he ought to be a street level hero but his healing factor had been escalated to such an extent that he was basically undefeatable (and, based on his lengthy backstory, seemingly immortal). But we'll see more about where this goes in upcoming issues.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This continues directly from X-Men #25, but "two weeks" pass after the X-Men return to Earth.
Crossover: Fatal Attractions
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBeast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Moira MacTaggert, Professor X, Psylocke, Quicksilver, Rogue, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Storm, Wolverine
There's a third interpretation to the MCP scene about the claws which seemed more likely to me until this issue, someone had changed the procedure unbeknownst to most of the scientists there. Hence, there shocked reaction.
Posted by: Wanyas the Self-Proclaimed | January 20, 2017 2:34 PM
@Wanyas: Yes, I've also heard it suggested that the intention in the "Weapon X" serial by Barry Windsor-Smith was that the secret mastermind (who at the time was supposed to be Apocalypse) had altered the adamantium-bonding procedure to create the claws, but he didn't notify the Professor and his staff about this, which is why they were shocked & horrified when Logan "popped" them out for the first time.
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 20, 2017 3:17 PM
I really don't like the idea of the bone claws. Yes, they did explain how the adamantium claws came to be (because one weak point of the "Weapon X" story was the suggestions that these things just... happened to come into being), but their introduction also lessened the impact of the adamantium loss. Here was one big change to Logan: he lost his claws! Only, he didn't... It was as if Claremont, after depowering Storm, supplied her with a Shi'Ar Weather Control Belt or something.
Posted by: Piotr W | January 20, 2017 4:29 PM
In the X-Men: True Friends mini we see a 1930s Wolverine using his claws. The art is ambiguous: they're presumably bone claws, but they're rounded like the adamantly Jones rather than jagged the way the bone claws are usually drawn. That can be chalked up to artistic license, but that mini is still tricky for continuity purposes. Wolverine doesn't use the claws in Uncanny 268, also a pre-WWII flashback. (And Baron Strucker, who gets cut by Logan's claws in the mini, doesn't even recognize him in 268.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 20, 2017 6:31 PM
There was a scene this issue that become infamous online. Rogue is being sucked out through a hole in the plane and she shouts out to Gambit "Help me Remy!" Aside from the question of why Rogue should care if she's sucked out the plane (they're low enough for lightning to strike the Blackbird and if they're that low Rogue should be able to fly back on her own), it makes no sense for Rogue to scream to Remy for help- if her strength and flying ability can't get her back in the plane, Gambit shouldn't be able to do anything. It make Rogue look like a damsel in distress. Hama previously depowered Rogue in issue 69-71, as fnord noted in his review of that issue, and he seems to be doing the same thing here. In any case, this sequence was mocked online.
Posted by: Michael | January 20, 2017 7:54 PM
I thought that this was a great idea at the time, ironically giving him claws that he couldn't actually use since the bones would break off the moment he tried.
That's what happened, right? Right?!?!?
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | January 20, 2017 9:00 PM
I don't buy it. Either (a) the bone claws were already there, in which case years of X-Men medical examinations and power analyses couldn't tell the difference between adamantium bonded to bone and pure adamantium; or (b) the bone claws weren't already there, in which case two weeks of X-Men medical examinations and power analyses in the wake of massive trauma couldn't reveal three extra bones in each forearm. Whichever way you go, the X-Men look scientifically and medically stupid.
Which means that the idea itself is stupid. Now, Wolvie with no claws at all? I wouldn't have wanted it to last for too long, but that seems interesting.
Posted by: Matt | January 21, 2017 12:26 AM
The thing is, if Marvel felt that the claws are too iconic element of Logan's character to get rid of (which might be a valid point), they could've easily have Forge construct mechanical claw gloves for him, or something. That wouldn't be that big a cheat as having him suddenly reveal previously-unnoticed bone claws...
Posted by: Piotr W | January 21, 2017 12:51 AM
Piotr, I agree entirely. And I'd just add that even if the claws are iconic, he could still go without them for a time. The FF can break up, Tony Stark can quit being Iron Man, Spidey can get a black costume, and the Hulk can go gray -- all temporary changes to iconic aspects of the characters. So Wolverine could be declawed for a year or two. Could've been cool.
Bone claws are not cool.
Posted by: Matt | January 21, 2017 1:11 AM
I think there is an important point here. the ONLY thing that makes Wolbverine cool is his claws. Take those away and he's just a d#ckish runt with no claws.
Posted by: kveto | January 21, 2017 8:58 AM
Vincemt, that doesn't happen to any of his "children" (which obviously brings up the question of if this is only a "bad idea" for Wolverine or is this equally unworkable for his various counterparts?)
By the way I assume that it it DID happen (Wolvie trying to slice something harder than his claws) they would just grow back.
Speaking if which, here's my latest fan-wank:
Basically, take Archangel's orgin and apply it here, except here the adamantium bondong process interfered with the claws healing properly and so were unabke yo do so until the adamantium was removed. So in short "Logan" DID have claw implants...but he also had naturally organic claws before that (some evidence for thst theory is the the metal claws are in a different shape than the bone ones.)
Yeah, at this point I'm racking up more "no-prizes" than the 2016 election (Boo-yah! Ok I'm sorry.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 21, 2017 9:54 PM
Someone in the next couple of years DOES break Wolverine's claws off - Sabretooth, maybe? I wish I'd taken a note of it as I was reading. And it leaves him temporarily short-handed (pun intended) but his healing factor does indeed grow them back.
Posted by: Greg T | January 22, 2017 5:31 AM
@Greg T- it was Cyber.
Posted by: Michael | January 22, 2017 9:01 AM
Before this story it was mentioned the healing factor closed the claw holes at least in one other instance: The "Green and Pleasant Land" story line in Uncanny, when Wolverine's powers are neutralized in Genosha.
Posted by: Jeff | January 23, 2017 10:25 AM
Huh for some reason I got the impression the bone claws were something more recent, well like 2000ish recent. Bigger fan of the metal blades even if there's no way they could fit with those forearms.
Posted by: davidbanes | January 23, 2017 1:08 PM
"By the way I assume that it it DID happen (Wolvie trying to slice something harder than his claws) they would just grow back."
But that's the thing....they continued to have Wolverine continue to slice things much harder than a sharp piece of bone should be able to handle without splintering or outright breaking, which would cause a great deal of pain - like walls, car doors, etc. IMO bone claws should not be able to cut much more than flesh. And even then a piercing action should result in a debilitating amount of pain, since anything harder than tissue paper would at least exert some force back against the exposed bone.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | January 23, 2017 9:39 PM
But again, at this point "Logan" isn't the only one with bone claws. And none of his "counterparts" have an issue with them.
Also maybe we should be saying "organic" instead of bone, because do we REALLY know if that's actually what they are made out of? In real life there are plenty of animal parts people assume are made of "bone " but aren't. (And of course in various "creature features" clawed animals can seemingly cut through anything. How's THAT for studied scientic research!)
Davidbanes, the "Bone-verine" stiryline did last until the beginning of the 2000s, so naybe that's why you thought that.
Finally there actually IS someone who LIKES the bone claws. If you ever read a website called "The X-axis", the proprietor there was a big fan of how the organic claws made Wolvie seemed to go with the raw feral nature of his inner character,and was disapointed that they reversed it. (One thing I would count as a "benefit" is that the "bones" made Wolverine seem less invulnerable (when your bones don't break and you can cut through anything, creators start thinking you're Superman.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 23, 2017 10:47 PM
@Vincent- but mutants with the power of invulnerability must have "invulnerable" bones, so obviously mutants can have bones that are more resilient than in real life.
Posted by: Michael | January 23, 2017 11:11 PM
Sabretooth's presumbly keratin claws are meant to be capable of tearing through steel, so I guess the same allowances can be made for Logan's bone claws. The bone claws are ok as a short-term gimmick: it creates a bit of tension as to how and when he'll get the admantium back, and in the meantime all his fights with old archenemies should have some fresh difficulty now. When the Hulk lost some strength when he went from green to gray, he had to fight dirtier to compensate, and it made for great stories. Unfortunately, we get little or none of that with the bone claws, and beating Sabretooth as easily as ever only makes Sabes seem really pathetic. The storyline also drags on far too long: it might have been cool for a year or so, but this lasts, what, five or six years?
It's also sad that an unused Claremont idea is the biggest Wolvie story of the '90s. Claremont was going to take away the adamantium as part of his "Dark Wolverine" plan. And it's Apocalypse who restores the adamantium, another rehash of an '80s Claremont (or Simonson) idea. The X-titles have turned into retreads-though Hama does his best to make this title weird and interesting.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 24, 2017 12:40 AM
The bone claw revelation was another one of those things that absolutely blew my teenage mind. It made perfect sense (in that "don't think about it too hard" comic logic kind of way) and seemed like a bold new direction for the character (as did having him leave the team - something that hadn't ever really happened since he joined it, aside from the brief post-Outback period where the team kind of fell apart around him). I'd just started reading WOLVERINE in the run-up to "Fatal Attractions", and this ensured I would keep reading, to see how Wolverine handled himself post-adamantium.
Of course, while Hama did get some interesting stories out of the idea, the bone claws also led to one of my first legitimate feelings of disappointment, as it quickly became clear, once Cyber performed the obligatory "break them off" moment, that the claws were, functionally, not all that different from the metal ones. And it's become difficult to separate the "bone claws" era Wolverine from the later "Feral Wolverine" which was just absolutely terrible; Hama should have had Wolverine get the metal back in #100, instead of faking us out (and giving us Noseless Wolverine); 25 issues would have been the perfect length to let the story run its course before restoring the usual status quo (it's about the same amount of time as Tony Stark wasn't Iron Man or Captain America was the Captain; Storm was powerless a bit longer, but she was also sharing time with other characters in a team book).
Posted by: Austin Gorton | February 1, 2017 9:57 AM
@Michael - But at this point Wolverine is not invulerable - though granted future retcons ridiculously demonstrate him having that ability.
@Walter - Good point about Sabretooth's claws, though unlike Wolverine, he has demonstrated super strength (e.g. bending a dumbell that Psylocke tossed at him in UXM#213) - so it's safe to assume that his claws are stronger than normal as well.
I guess I just need to let it go about the bone claws. I just feel like it was a wasted opportunity to tell some interesting stories - Wolverine having effectively useless claws. But like Austin notes, it was quickly forgotten that these bone claws were not as strong as the Adamantium ones, once we get past the Cyber incident that Fnord will be covering soon.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | February 1, 2017 12:24 PM
What's with all the imperceptible technnical jargon about the plane getting damaged?
Posted by: Bibs | April 11, 2018 2:17 AM
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