In the latest issue of Marvel, Cyclops and Professor X reveal that the true source of Wolverine’s power is similar to that of the Hulk.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Wolverine” from Marvel #5 by Mark Waid, Lucio Parrillo & Ariana Maher, on sale now.
The anthology series Marvel focuses on superheroes from the point-of-view of the people around them. In its issue, the story “Wolverine” examines the motives of the mutant hero from the viewpoint of two of his closest teammates.
Wolverine was sent into battle against Hulk while Professor Charles Xavier and Cyclops discussed his strategy. The story started with Xavier asking if anyone had engaged Hulk yet as he headed toward a military base in Ontario. Cyclops said that Wolverine had, and he seemed disappointed in the actions of his X-Men teammate.
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The story was not so much about Hulk vs. Wolverine, but rather about what Logan’s strengths are in a fight. Cyclops has never liked Wolverine’s methods and told Xavier he had redirected the rest of the team to help Wolverine. Professor X had the confidence that Wolverine could have defended the base without help, but Cyclops had no faith in him. According to Scott, Wolverine knows nothing about strategy because, according to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the “unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior” wins. In contrast, Cyclops felt that Wolverine would win more fights if he stayed calm and remain in his head. He felt Wolverine needed to analyze and process his fights.
Wolverine can track Hulk, and he knows when Hulk is ready to strike. However, every time that Hulk and Wolverine fight, Logan gives in to his rage and goes into his berserk, feral mode. As Professor X pointed out, that is what makes Wolverine strong. He said Wolverine is not like any other member of the X-Men because he reaches the peak of his power when he gives in to his rage, and that is always his strategy when fighting Hulk. This makes Wolverine’s method of fighting very similar to that of the Hulk.
Wolverine first appeared in Incredible Hulk #180 by Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Jack Able, Christie Scheele & Artie Simek. Wolverine and Hulk battled, and it pushed Wolverine into the public eye, where he eventually found his place with the X-Men. Part of his appeal is his brutal fighting and his willingness to slip into his rage mode. This made his first opponent a perfect match. While Wolverine reaches his peak fighting skills in rage mode, Hulk has no limit to his power levels, thanks to his rage.
There was a point where Hulk became Joe Fixit, and his rage was gone, and this version of the character was never as strong as green Hulk. Joe Fixit was smarter and more cunning. He fought in exactly the same manner Cyclops felt Wolverine should, and that only made him weaker. There is the thought that Professor Hulk, with all the brainpower of Bruce Banner, is nowhere near as powerful as Hulk. However, Worldbreaker Hulk was someone who didn’t care and would continue to grow further and further out of control, getting stronger and stronger as he lost himself in his rage.
While both Wolverine and the Hulk are among Marvel’s greatest heroes, neither of them is at their best unless they fully give in to their darkest impulses.
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