Warning: contains spoilers for X-Force #22!
The man called Wolverine has a longstanding reputation as the X-Men’s resident loner, but the latest issue of X-Force proves that the vicious brawler has finally learned that putting down roots isn’t so bad. Logan isn’t the easiest person to get along with, and he’s had his fair share of conflict with his fellow X-Men. But at the end of the day, Wolverine is a part of the team, and he knows just how much it’s helped him.
Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill’s X-Force #22 finds the Krakoan black ops team helping out their new friend, Man-Slaughter – a weaponized Man-Thing created by the Weapon Plus (formerly Weapon X) program. Man-Slaughter isn’t the first victim of Weapon Plus’ machinations, and he probably won’t be the last. But his fellow Weapon Plus alum, Wolverine, has some advice for the botanical bioweapon about not repeating his mistakes.
After Man-Slaughter takes down the scientist who mutated him – the villainous Dr. Bloodroot – all that’s left is for the newly created monster to disappear from human society. But before he can go live out the plant version of Logan’s endless roaming, Wolverine takes the chance to give him some friendly advice. As Man-Slaughter walks into the trees, Logan tells him, “You know… I’ve gone off the grid myself. Running away from what I done. Running away from what others want me to do.” Things seem solemn, but Logan continues, telling his new ally that there is a way back – and that it was a plant called Krakoa that taught him that.
This interaction shows a tremendous amount of growth for Wolverine. He’s typically been portrayed as a gruff loner, despite his penchant for taking on younger proteges. Even when he was leading the Jean Grey School or when Logan was with the Avengers, he never seemed to fully feel comfortable in those roles. But as he says, Krakoa has given the mutant race a new chance at life, and he’s dedicated that chance not to running away, but to standing with his people.
Standing together is just what people like Wolverine and Man-Slaughter need to do, especially in the face of entities like the Weapon Plus program. There’s always going to be some version of the inhumane organization experimenting on innocents. And now, Wolverine realizes that he can counter these crimes not just by putting an end to them with violence, but by using his experiences to make sure that none of their other victims suffer alone.
Logan isn’t necessarily the easiest guy to get along with, but when the chips are down, he’ll always have the backs of his teammates in the X-Men and X-Force. And now, he’s ready to back up fellow Weapon Plus victims like Man-Slaughter as well. Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, but now, he knows he doesn’t have to do it alone.