The X-Men are in a tournament with everything at stake, and a grudge-holding Saturnyne is ensuring that Wolverine’s actions do more harm than good.
Warning: contains spoilers for Marauders #15 and Wolverine #7!
Wolverine may prove to be the X-Men’s downfall in their battle to save the Earth. Marvel’s X of Swords storyline is in full swing, pitting a handful of X-Men against the champions of Arakko in a grand tournament devised by the powerful Opal Luna Saturnyne. With the end of the world at stake, Krakoa’s mutants are doing whatever it takes to win, but thus far, the contest is not what any of them expected. Each match is different from the last, and it seems as though Saturnyne is just making the whole thing up as she goes. Despite initially looking like Krakoa’s fiercest contender, the strange rules of this competition are causing Wolverine to help his enemies more than his allies.
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Given Wolverine’s massive popularity, it’s not surprising to see him take such a prevalent role in the X-Men’s current storyline. Ever since his first appearance in 1974, Wolverine has sliced and diced his way through the Marvel Universe. While the hero may be aggressive and cocky at times, he also shows a great deal of compassion for his friends. With so much on the line in X of Swords, he will certainly do whatever it takes to save the day. Unfortunately, his best efforts are proving to do more harm than good.
Marauders #15 by Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli opens on the aftermath of Wolverine’s first attempt to save his fellow mutants. The prior issue shows him trying to end the tournament before it begins by fatally stabbing Saturnyne through the chest. The latest issue, however, shows that before Wolverine even had the chance to do this, Saturnyne showed him a vision of the destruction that would follow if he went through with his plan. Upon this realization, the hero begrudgingly accepts that he will have to take part in the tournament. The confrontation also seems to leave Saturnyne looking for some revenge.
In Wolverine #7 by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara, the tournament has already begun and Wolverine is having trouble adjusting to Saturnyne’s rules. Fighting in the Blightspoke, a “realm of collapsed realities,” Wolverine gets the upper hand on his opponent, Summoner, and strikes him down. He tells Saturnyne that he has won and he wants to leave, but she responds, “I said it was a fight to the death. Summoner fought to the death.” She then awards the point to Arakko. Later in the issue, Solem, another one of Arakko’s contestants, decides to cash in a favor Wolverine owes him, making the mutant fight one of his battles. Substituting for Solem, Wolverine fights against War and wins by cutting off her hand. Sadly, since Wolverine is fighting for Solem, the point is given to Arrako.
Due to his attempt on Saturnyne’s life, Wolverine may prove to be more of a liability to his teammates than anything else. During Wolverine’s fight against War, Saturnyne says, “there is a cost to trying to kill me.” Obviously, she isn’t kidding, as she continually sabotages the hero throughout the comic. By the end of the issue, Logan has racked up two points for the enemy, bringing Arakko to a 5-2 lead over Krakoa. Wolverine may claim to be the best at what he does, but X of Swords may prove him wrong.
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