Retcons, Reboots And Resurrections #45: Logan, You Are The Father!

by Scott Redmond

They’re the best at what they do, and often what they do isn’t very nice!

Welcome to a new month of Retcons, Reboots, and Resurrections. We’ve followed the Marvel star-spangled Avenger and company as well as the big blue boy scout at DC and his family, now it’s time for some SNIKT SNIKT as we dive into the Wolverine family! Plenty of retcons, reboots, and resurrections between them to fill more than a month. But we’ll contain ourselves to the month format!

As usual for this column: Retcons are elements retroactively added to a character’s history, reboots can either be revivals of a character/their title or extensive changes to canon, and resurrections are characters clawing their way back from the afterlife. Each week we’ll explore the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to Retcons, Reboots, and Resurrections!

When a character has been alive for well over a century, probably getting closer to two at this point, it’s not that odd that they likely would have had a number of children along the way. Especially when they are like Logan who is not a person that shies away from romantic situations. 

Having a character start off as a lone wolf mysterious type means that such things as kids were not really planned to come up, at least not for some time. In fact, we went a good few decades before any rumblings came about of children that the Wolverine had out there. Since that door was opened though, it’s been left open for a whole lot of folks to poke their head in. For some of them, they walked through the door and stayed, others were just popping in for a quick mostly forgotten visit. 

Just how many retconned in children does Logan have within the main Marvel 616/Marvel Prime universe (alternate reality kids are plentiful but aren’t really retcons)? Well, we’re going to dive into some of them here, and honestly, we might even forget some of them. 

The Backstory:

When he was introduced through Incredible Hulk #181 and then re-introduced in Giant-Size X-Men #1, as stated before Logan was a lone wolf gruff type of mystery character. HIs past was mostly a blank, outside of him working for the Canadian government (later his connection to the Hudsons was revealed). Where he came from, how old he was, and whether he had a family or not were all things that were swirling in the foggy recesses of his mind. 

Eventually, we started to learn some things over the years, with the early 2000s finally bringing us his full-on origins in the aptly named Origins miniseries. Love interests aplenty were found in those revelations, but children were not so much. There were alternate reality kids that popped up in various stories but nothing really in the main universe. Within the main universe though we did witness a parental side to him, as he took young characters like Kate Pryde or Jubilee or Armor under his wing. 

Now to be fair Logan did gain an actual child along the way through in story reasons. Amiko Kobayashi and her mother were caught in the middle of a dragon fight in Japan within Uncanny X-Men #181, which Logan and the other X-Men were present for. Amiko’s mother shielded her daughter from fallen rubble, and died in Logan’s arms but not before he promised to look after Amiko. He adopted her and left her with his girlfriend Mariko Yashida, and was a not-so-great distant father as he ran off with the X-Men over the years. 

Surrogate fatherhood and his sometimes checking in on Amiko were the extent of things for Logan through the 80s and 90s. With the new century came a whole bunch of retcons and changes for him, like the aforementioned origin story, and through actual live birth, cloning, and other means children began to pop up left and right. 

The Nitty Gritty:

The best and most well-known of Logan’s children is no doubt Laura Kinney/X-23/Wolverine, who actually made her character debut outside of comics. Craig Kyle and Chris Yost created the character in 2003 for the third season of the cartoon series X-Men: Evolution, which was a version that saw most of the X-Men in their teenage years attending a regular high school with Logan as one of their teachers/teammates. She made her leap over to the comics in 2004 within the pages of NYX #3 and in 2005 got her first miniseries X-23 that dove into her origins. 

Over time those origins have been slightly altered some, but Laura was created using DNA that Logan left behind when he escaped Weapon X. She was the 23rd attempt to clone Wolverine, once they realized the Y chromosome wasn’t viable and used the X chromosomes, thus X-23 was her given name by the cruel scientists. Sarah Kinney was one of the scientists in the project and she was at first said to be a surrogate that carried Laura to term and was a mother to her in that & other ways, but over time more retcons have changed it so that Laura is biologically the daughter of Logan and Sarah. 

Laura and Logan’s relationship started off rocky and has gotten better over time as he fully accepted her as a daughter. She’s had a place amongst the X-teams pretty much since 2005 when she crossed their path during Chris Claremont’s third time on the main X-books. From the ranks of the young New X-Men to the brutal X-Force, multiple of her own solo series, being elected as a Krakoan X-Men member, and even a stint as Captain Universe, Laura has done much since her debut. That includes appearing in other media from video games to being played by Dafne Keen in 2017’s Logan

When Logan was killed in 2014, Laura was his natural chosen successor and she took on the Wolverine name and continued to carry the name even after his return because he’s proud of her and has no problem sharing the name. 

While Laura’s relationship with Logan was rocky but got better quickly, the second (though technically first) child of Logan that arrived via retcon can’t say the same. Within the pages of Wolverine: Origins #10 from Daniel Way and Steve Dillon in 2007 we are introduced to Akihiro who spent most of his existence being called Daken, a slur aimed at his mixed heritage (Canadian and Japanese). Akihiro is the son of Logan and his wife Itsu, who were happy together in post-war Japan until the Winter Soldier was sent to kill her and a villain known as Romulus (that’s a whole other retconny bag of worms) stole Akihiro right out of her dead body. He was born with the same healing factor as his father, as well as retractable claws (though he has two on top of his hand & one that comes from underneath) but also a pheromone power of his own that he can use to manipulate emotions. Father and son fought many times, with Akihiro becoming intent on destroying his father’s legacy which saw him join Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers, try to run a criminal empire in Madripoor, and go on a rampage that saw him die, only to come back and create a new Brotherhood of Mutants to go after his father again. At the end of Uncanny X-Force #34, Logan fought Daken again and drowned him so that he was killed off once again. 

Eventually, he returned as a Horseman of Death before returning to normal and eventually crossing paths with Laura and her clone sister Gabby. With Logan gone he seemed to change some, as he had numerous adventures with his sisters, before being killed again during his father’s return. Resurrected thanks to Krakoa and the Five, he’s been on the island with the rest of his family and has had stints on X-Factor and most recently Marauders where he even has a relationship with former Alpha Flight member Aurora. 

Not all of Logan’s children end up getting a chance to end up having a better life through. One of the darkest chapters for children of Logan came in 2010 within the pages of the current volume of his solo Wolverine series. In the series first issue by Jason Aaron and Renato Guedes we were introduced to the Mongrels – Fire Knives, Cannon Foot, Saw Fist, Shadowstalker, and leader Gunhawk. They were ninja-trained assassins, who were gathered up by Daken and employed by a group known as the Red Right Hand seemingly to go after and try and kill Logan. 

Over time they attacked him and those around him until Logan tracked down the organization and killed each of the Mongrels one by one when they refused to surrender. Within Wolverine #14 it was revealed that the Red Right Hand were made up of people who lost loved ones that Logan had directly or inadvertently killed over the years and they revealed to him that the Mongrels were all his children from various relationships over the years that he didn’t know about. Their plan was never for the Mongrels to kill Logan, but instead, it was to have him kill his own children so that he might know at least a bit of the pain they had all endured. 

A devastated Logan traveled around to bury each of the children near their mothers. It was never made clear if the children knew that he was their father, making the whole incident even more dark and tragic in the end. 

As mentioned above, Gabby, otherwise known as Honey Badger and Scout, is the cloned sister of Laura and therefore is also a daughter of Logan. She was first introduced within the pages of All-New Wolverine #2 in 2015 (by Tom Taylor, David Navarrot, and David López), which was Laura’s solo title at the time when she first took up the Wolverine name. There were numerous sisters that had been created from Laura’s genetic material but Gabby was the only one that had manifested the healing factor and bone claws of Laura and Logan. One difference though is that thanks to Alchemax’s genetic manipulations Gabby also has an inability to feel pain unlike her family who still feel all the pain even with a healing factor. 

A hopeful beam of sunshine most of the time, Gabby has been a great addition to the family and to the X-Line of characters. She and Laura took on the actual wolverine known as Jonathan, she formed a friendship with Deadpool and even served on the X-Men alongside Laura for a time. She took on the codename Honey Badger for a while before it was changed to Scout, and currently is one of the New Mutants on Krakoa and has a mostly great relationship with her clawed family members on the island of Krakoa. 

The Verdict:

With the exception of the short-lived Mongrels, the children of Wolverine have carved their own pretty wide spaces within the Marvel Universe just like their father. Despite all having the same powerset, mostly, as their father, they have their own unique personalities and backstories, and issues that make them stand out a whole lot. 

Truly the best types of retcons are those that are additive not only for the character(s) in question but the given universe as a whole. In this case, the additive power of these retconned in children has been felt far and wide, easily making up for any lesser stories or moments that they might have been part of over the years. 

Turning the lone wolf mystery character into a paternal one made perfect sense when he was a surrogate father and makes even more sense in the long run with him as a biological father. 


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