Wolverine has been on a lot of teams, from the X-Men to the Avengers to the Fantastic Four. Even he forgot that he was once on the Defenders.
Warning! Mild spoilers for Giant Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 ahead!
As one of Marvel’s most popular characters, Wolverine is on so many superhero teams that it’s tough for even him to keep track of them all. It’s been a running joke since the ‘90s that whenever a new X-Men team is introduced, Wolverine will inevitably be on its roster. He’s branched out to other teams and has been a member of the Avengers since the early 2000s. Logan is famous for having an unreliable memory, and a recent crossover with Spider-Man shows that this extends to misremembering which teams he’s been a member of in the past.
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For someone who claims to be a loner, Logan finds himself teaming up with an awful lot of people. He has maintained a constant presence on the X-Men for more than 40 years. In fact, recent news that the X-Men’s newest team would include a Wolverine other than Logan came as a shock to many. But beyond the X-Men, he has been a part of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Weapon X, X-Force and the Defenders. That last one was news even to him.
In Giant Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 by Nick Spencer, Rogê Antonio, Carlos Gomez and Zé Carlós, Wolverine is among a number of heroes that Spider-Man calls in to help him take down the Kingpin. The other assembled heroes include Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Spider-Woman and Iron Fist. Many of these heroes were part of the New Avengers roster first introduced by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch in 2005, a fact that Hawkeye directly references. He says he loves a New Avengers reunion, “or is it a Defenders reunion?” Wolverine says, “Can’t be the Defenders. I never did that.” After Hawkeye reminds him that yeah, Wolverine WAS on the Defenders, Logan responds, “Ah hell. You’re right.”
Logan can be forgiven for not remembering that he was once part of the Defenders back in the 1990s. At the time it was known as the Secret Defenders and was a team assembled by Doctor Strange with a rotating roster that included Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Hulk, Nomad, Darkhawk, Punisher and Captain America. The series only lasted 25 issues from 1993 to 1995, during the height of Wolverine’s popularity. At the time the X-Men had two teams: the Gold team led by Storm and appearing in Uncanny X-Men, and the Blue team led by Cyclops and appearing in X-Men. Though Wolverine was technically a member of the Blue team, he made frequent appearances in Uncanny X-Men in addition to starring in his own series. Ever since the ‘90s, when there has been more than one X-Men squad in operation it is common for many or all of them to include Wolverine. This is directly referenced in X-Men #157 when, after Cyclops reorganizes all the X-Men squads, Wolverine can be seen telling Scott, “Listen, Bub, I appreciate the faith in me. But I can’t be on ALL the teams.”
With the launch of the mutant nation of Krakoa, the X-Men line of comics is in a very different place than it was in the ‘90s, but Wolverine is still an incredibly prominent part of it. A look at the distant future in Powers of X showed that he is going to remain a constant presence on the X-Men. Logan makes frequent appearances in the current X-Men title and is a crucial member of X-Force. He also stars in his own solo title and the recently wrapped Wolverine: Black, White & Blood. And now he’s joining up with Spider-Man and the rest of the Defenders. The gates of Krakoa make it possible for mutants to walk from one end of the world to the other in a matter of seconds. Wolverine is going to need that if he’s going to keep joining so many superhero teams.
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