Read Between the Lines: Crisis on Infinite Wolverines

ageofultron9a

where the trouble startsAge of Ultron ends not with a bang, but with complete nonsense.

Once again the double standard of Marvel fan rage compared to DC fan rage has left me flumoxed. Marvel has essentially done Flashpoint, integrating the Ultimate Universe and Angela into the Marvel Universe and no one seems to have noticed.

Age of Ultron is a 10-issue shaggy dog story, a wandering tale that goes on and on and ultimately fails to provide any conclusion that justifies the journey. Aside from that. I was left with the need to reread the 10th issue over and over trying to sort out a nagging question –

Aren’t there still 2 Wolverines and 2 Sue Storms?

What I’m about to do is a painful reminder of why I hate time travel stories. Let’s check the scorecard first.

  • Logan 1 – The one we start off with in Age of Ultron #1, who we follow for the series and is killed in Age of Ultron #9
  • Logan 2 – The one who was in the Defenders in Age of Ultron #7
  • Logan 3 – The one who Logan 1 stopped from killing Hank Pym. He accompanies Logan 1 to the revised present, then kills him
  • Logan 4 – The one who lives in the revised timeline shown in Age of Ultron #10

Logan 1 and 2All four Logans experience the battle with Ultron. Logan 1 loses the fight and the world is destroyed. He then travels back in time, kills Hank Pym and enters the timeline where Morgan Le Fey is at war with the Defenders. Here he meets and beats up Logan 2.

Having accepted that his plan failed, Logan 1 again travels back to Ultron’s creation and talks his past self, Logan 3, out of killing Pym. After sorting out a new plan, both Logan 1 and 3 time travel to the revised present.

Logan 1, for reasons that will become even less clear, decides that only one of them can live. Since the X-universe is full of alternate dimensional versions and paradoxical characters (Rachael Summers, Bishop, X-Man, Blink, Age of Apocalypse Beast, etc), it is completely lost to me why this has to happen at all. Other than the author had an excess of Wolverines and was trying to tidy things up in the most exploitive way possible.

Logan 1 says “we don’t want to live with” what he saw in the magic war – despite them both having lived through the much more disturbing Age of Ultron. Logan 3 kills Logan 1 and sets off with Sue (I’m not even getting into the 3 Sue Storms) to find out if the plan worked.

too many wolverines

Meanwhile we have Logan 4 who has lived his whole life up to and including the battle with Ultron. The plan works and Logan 4 and the Avengers defeat Ultron.

Logan 3 and Sue return to New York and Sue heads off in the flying car to see her children. Forgetting of course that they will be terrified by the second version of their mother who just turned up.

Then things go all shaky as a time quake causes an advertising feature on up-coming storylines to replace any sensible ending.

logan 4Some read this moment as eliminating Logan 3 (and presumably the superfluous Sue Storm) but he is shown on the following two pages.

And if those shakey panels were supposed to indicate that the remaining two Logans and two Sues were merging somehow (though how I have no idea), what was the purpose of killing the 3rd Logan in #9? Cheap shock value?

If he killed him because they thought they would merge and have all of the memories (this is a reach), why bother sending Sue off to see her kids? She would be disappearing in a moment anyway.

Please for the love of gods, tell me I’m wrong in the comments and offer an alternate reading. None of which should be about taking it too seriously or “it’s comics!” because Bendis has never been put forward as a writer of mindless fluff.

Keith is the co-host of the We Talk Comics podcast and is currently working on his pitch for “Nick Fury and the Adamantium Skeleton He Found Laying Outside His Hideout That Has Made Him A Bazillionaire.”

 

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  • http://www.thekliqnation.com Timdogg

    My head hurts trying to understand all this. And I’ve read all the parts of the series. I’d give it more thought, but that would give AoU too much justice.

  • Galford3427

    You guys are like the 5th people to use the term Crisis of Infinite Wolverines for this lol.

    • Keith Callbeck

      Great minds and all that : )

  • Ethan

    Wow. you left me confused for a minute and a half. Allow me to explain everything.

    Logan #2 ceased to exist when logan #1 stopped Logan #3 from killing hank pym, stopping the timeline Logan #2 existed in from panning out. Logan #1 and Logan #3 Ceased to exist when Hank Pym defeated ultron in one of the battles we read in an earlier avengers assemble. (the part where it showed tony and hank defeating ultron was from an earlier avengers assemble) Meaning no age of ultron, and Logan #1 didn’t have to travel back in time in the first place. Which means Logan #4 is our Logan. The New Logan technically, but really he’s the same one we had before age of ultron. Everything I’m saying makes sense considering normal comics have been running at the same time as age of ultron and we haven’t seen more than one logan and he doesn’t seem to know anything about age of ultron.

    The same rules apply to any previous incarnations of sue storm. The sue storm from the same timeline as Logan #4 is the only one who still exists. One of the previous Sue Storms was the one who sent the message to her kids, and when the timeline was repaired, the kids remembered it only as a dream (as seen in the latest issues of fantastic four) This makes sense as an alternate reed richards explained this is what would happen in one of the latest issues of dark avengers.

    Now going back to why two logans couldn’t exist simultaneously. With a damaged man like logan, any actions that Logan #3 made could have resulted in Logan #1 changing. It is quite possible that actions from Logan #3 could have stopped Logan #1 from stopping him from killing hank pym, Meaning we’d be right back in the shit again. By only one of the logans still surviving, Neither of their actions still affects their counterpart- just the actions that they set in motion. (not actions in realtime) We may be confused by this considering the time-displaced original x-men have been running around for like a month now, but they’ve said quite a few times as soon as they are restored to their own time, xavier will wipe their minds and it will be almost as if it never happened.

    Finally, Age of ultron was written before flashpoint was released, and it achieved the purpose of the writer. Bendis said he wanted a story which evolved completely into another story. Which he did brilliantly. And I have enough respect for bendis to enjoy this story. we got to see our main universes invincible characters all die horribly. that doesn’t happen a lot. Plus it brought angela and sent galactus to earth 1610. And because the timestream broke, they can use it as an excuse to keep the original time-displaced x-men simultaneously, or do who knows what else. It also works as an excuse to make hank pym a main character again (which i am rather excited about) and they’ll be needing him to be a main character because his movie is being released soon.

    • Keith Callbeck

      1 – Logan 3 and Sue are shown *after* Ultron is defeated so they don’t cease to exist.
      2 – If they were to blink away after their timeline was closed, Logan 1 would have gone as soon as they returned to the “present” because his timeline was already redundant, but he didn’t
      3 – even if they did go away on their own, it still leaves why Logan 1 had to be murdered when your argument is that he would just blink out of existence anyway.

    • Keith Callbeck

      And not to be pedantic (far too late I know), but Rachel Summers is proof that time “doesn’t work that way” in the Marvel U. The creation of a paradox doesn’t make the person vanish.

  • daningotham

    Damn, how is reading this story/trying to figure it out relaxing after a hard day’s work? LOL

  • http://www.hijos-del-atomo.com/ Christian Orellana

    I guess Wolverine is not as smart as Dr. Emmet Brown and Marty McFly. At least in Back to the Future they made sure to not stop themselves from traveling to the past every time they make it to the future, so they avoid having two versions of themselves coexisting. I am just perplexed that Sue didn’t think of the fact that there may be another version of herself in the “present”, since she is supposed to be smart. Maybe she thought the other Sue would be out in space, or wherever it is the current Fantastic Four is taking place?

    I guess the time exploding thing will take care of those irregularities. I see it as a fail safe, since we don’t really know what is happening on those panels. If the Age of Ultron is completely removed from the memories of Logan and Sue, I guess we can assume the versions of them that experienced that timeline were erased from continuity.

    I, for one, am waiting to see all the What If? that Marvel will surely publish about this. Then the alternate realities are going to become more perplexing.

    • Keith Callbeck

      I think that your reading is likely the one that sticks and they just blinked away during the preview pages at the end. This does leave the nagging “why did they have to kill the other Logan in #9 then?”

      • http://www.hijos-del-atomo.com/ Christian Orellana

        I think there are two answers to that questions, both probably unsatisfying, and both you mention in your article: shock value (that is why Bendis killed the extra Logan, since Bendis knew he would just blink away the extra copies) and simple stupidity: Logan 3 didn’t know Logan 1 would disappear later, and he couldn’t bear to live with an extra copy of himself in spite of being several time displaced characters in the Marvel U. So he had to kill himself. I guess that is what he does.

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