Marvel is ignoring the potential of Wolverine’s family, but Logan could be their Batman if they let him spend time with his kids.
If Wolverine didn’t consistently ignore his family members, he could easily become Marvel’s version of Batman – not just as a hero, but as a larger brand. Currently in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine has three pseudo-biological children as well as a handful of mutants he’s been a surrogate father to. However, he hasn’t really teamed up or spent time with any of them consistently. This is directly opposed to Batman, who has his large Bat-Family of vigilantes in Gotham comprised of those he’s adopted and/or taken under his “batwing” over the years. As a result, the Dark Knight has an army of allies he can call on at a moment’s notice, and characters like Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl have used the Dark Knight as a springboard to their own series. However, Marvel hasn’t put as much work into making Wolverine’s family feel as connected and familiar to readers, and so the company is missing out on the same benefits.
Within the current X-Men line of comics from Marvel, Wolverine and his family members are pretty much doing their own thing apart from one another. Logan’s clone daughter Laura Kinney was voted onto the latest iteration of the X-Men after the events of the Hellfire Gala. Meanwhile, his biological son Daken (also known as Akihiro) has joined X-Factor, while Laura’s cloned sister Gabby (aka Honey Badger) and her friends are currently being manipulated by the Shadow King in the pages of New Mutants. Furthermore, Wolverine himself has been dealing with the threat of vampires in his own solo series, while also starring in X-Force. But while Wolverine has taken the time to build out Wolverine’s feud with Dracula, it’s pretty much ignored how the X-Men’s new era has theoretically brought Logan’s family together like never before.
Essentially, all of these Wolverines are hardly interacting with one another. Serving as a prime example, Gabby’s friends just told off Daken for being a bad brother who’s never around in New Mutants #20, though the blame should really be on Logan for perpetuating the dysfunction. If only he’d make the effort to unify his family, the Wolverines could be a major force to be reckoned with, not unlike the Dark Knight’s Bat-Family comprised of his children, protegés, and allies he’s taken on over the years, all butting heads and working together. Wolverine actually has quite similar family connections (like being a surrogate father to Jubilee and Kitty Pryde, and an antagonistic mentor to Kid Omega), but Marvel rarely if ever depicts his web of contacts as a family.
Logan has had great scenes with his various children, and they’ve even had fun interactions with each other. Daken and Laura have developed a wary sibling rivalry in their sparing moments of connection, and Gabby was originally introduced as a sidekick who humanized Laura, even though the two haven’t spent much time together lately. With versatile powers and distinct origins and missions, Wolverine’s family could be a franchise to rival the Bat-Family, but the comics don’t show much interest in depicting their interactions.
Once, Daken hated his father, and Laura and Gabby were constantly in danger from the forces who created them, so it made sense to keep the family distant, but now that mutantkind has a nation and the Wolverine family are on better terms, it makes little sense that fans hardly see them together. While Logan is famously a loner, so is Batman, and yet his family have only added to his mythos, with different personalities showing different sides of the Dark Knight.
With the upcoming X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine event providing a major new story for Logan, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for him to bring his family together going forward in the Marvel Universe. It’s time for Wolverine to actually lead his family, and in so doing, unlock the potential of every character involved, just as Batman‘s Bat-Family has done for his supporting cast.
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