The Marvel Cinematic Universe is due to introduce, reintroduce, (and in one case re-re-introduce) a whole phase of new characters to its roster in the coming years. Many of these new arrivals are fan favorites prompting rampant casting debates, storyline possibilities, and overall ire.
Among the most hotly debated are the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and one bad-tempered, adamantium-clawed mutant, in particular, Wolverine. The character was played to near perfection on the Fox side of Marvel for 17 years by Hugh Jackman, culminating in the best Wolverine outing, 2017’s Logan.
Now that the rights for the Fox properties have finally been wrangled back to the MCU, news of the first appearance of Wolverine is anxiously awaited. We got one drip and/or drab of info in a recent She-Hulk episode, where extremely astute fans caught a sub-headline in a news flash scene of the show detailing a man with metal claws caught in a bar brawl.
A nice teaser for Logan’s entrance to the MCU, but what about the real thing? How will Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel brain trust officially grace us with Wolverine’s appearance? Here are some of the best ways the Marvel Cinematic Universe can introduce us to their new Wolverine.
Facing Off Against the Hulk
Comic fans first met Wolverine in 1974, appearing as an antagonist in the pages of Incredible Hulk #181. Wolverine is seen roaming the wilderness in search of the berserker green beast and fights with both the Hulk and the creature Wendigo.
This would be a purist first appearance for Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since we already have a great Hulk in place with Mark Ruffalo. The story would have to stretch the comic’s premise to two hours, which would be a pretty thin and underwhelming movie. Bigger themes would have to be mixed in, like Wolverine’s indoctrination to the Weapon X program and his date with the adamantium pumps. His training into the mind-wiped world of Weapon X would also make for a great plot device, which could then introduce the likes of nemesis Sabretooth, allies like Maverick, and wild cards like Deadpool.
The story could also break away from the comics and have Wolverine and Hulk become full-on allies against a greater evil. It wouldn’t be total blasphemy as it could be a nod to their brief truce in the pages of #181. This plot worked out to excellent results in the animated feature Hulk Vs., as that story had both Banner and Hulk, it would be cool to see what Bruce was up to in the pre-Smart Hulk blip days. We’d see him wandering the woods looking for purpose and a reason to go on in the wake of so much death and chaos at the hand(s) of Thanos, only to encounter a clawed lethal little man.
Appearing as an X-Men Out of the Gate
In Wolverine’s Fox journey, we first saw him as a loner drifter, living out of a crude camper with a propane heater and his drawers hanging from a cord. A short but vicious brawl with Sabretooth later, he’s at Xavier’s mansion getting the grounds tour and the elevator speech of Chuck’s mutant/human harmony dream. Something similar to this, but tweaked, would be a great induction to Logan; he’s just already on the X-Men.
A gutsy and unexpected take on Spider-Man employed by the MCU and Sony was just dropping Peter Parker into the mix, post-spider bite and ready to go. Why not the same for Wolverine? We meet the X-Men in their fresh from the merger reboot, and Logan is already part of the team. That would certainly be the path of least resistance, but ultimately a little on the lazy side, but an introduction to the post-Jackman Wolverine will be a welcome one.
A Solo Wolverine Movie
The best way to introduce Wolverine would be the same as his preferred status; on his own. A Wolverine solo movie would be the perfect way to indoctrinate mutants into the MCU. It would also be a nice easing into this world, with only a few characters to deal with instead of the entire ranks of Xavier’s school.
We could see the loner Wolverine trudging his way through life, trying to piece together his past. We already saw this via the Fox X-Menverse, but it was intermixed with an entire ensemble of mutants and their respective stories. A 100 percent, pure focus on Logan and his story would be the ideal way to meet the character and the world of mutants at large. It could be a borderline street-level movie, with a Weapon X-based plot instead of the usual world hanging in the balance story we get from Marvel. Just Wolverine and his worst enemies going at it for the personal win, not the universal one.
However, as we’re introduced to Wolverine, Marvel knows that this is a big one they need to get just right. Whether he’s taking swings at the Hulk, fighting for mankind with the X-Men, or just minding his business until he’s crossed, we can’t wait to meet the MCU Wolverine.