Wolverine Origins #33
This early Dark Reign tie-in attempts to connect many dots in Wolverine’s history but leaves readers with more questions than answers. Most of the issue is flashbacks and exposition while the usually trustworthy Nick Fury and Logan share a couple of drinks at a bar and discuss the Weapon X program, Romulus and the Hudson family. Yes, the entire Hudson family, including James MacDonald Hudson and Heather Hudson, who appear in one panel. Alpha Flight also appears in flashback in one panel and Wild Child appears later as well.
Nick Fury asks Logan about the name “Hudson”, setting off a series of mental flashbacks, one of which is to the “honeymoon in the woods” scene from Alpha Flight #33 where James and Heather Hudson rescue Wolverine.
Another flashback is the original six member Alpha Flight team of Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Northstar and Aurora, as Logan remembers, “One o’ my first missions for Alpha Flight was to take down the Hulk…”, a reference to his debut in Incredible Hulk #180-182. It’s not clear that Alpha Flight was a fully formed team named “Alpha Flight” at that time, but it’s possible that Logan’s chronically scrambled memory is jumbling things up a bit. It’s a nice Alpha Flight appearance nevertheless, reminiscent of a very similar panel also by Doug Braithwaite in Paradise X #4, in a very similar context, where the original team is shown in flashback to the early days when Wolverine was associated with Dept H.
The biggest revelation in this story is Wolverine’s family tree, as told by Nick Fury: Logan’s mother, Elizabeth Hudson, had two brothers, Elias and Frederick. Frederick Hudson was the guy running the paramilitary camp in Wolverine Origins #15, shown again in issue #27 callously abandoning his pregnant secretary, Caitlin MacDonald. Caitlin and Frederick’s son, Frederick Hudson II is James MacDonald Hudson’s dad, making Logan and Mac first cousins, once removed. Well, that’s nice, so Logan and Mac worked together for years and formed a close friendship, never knew they were distantly related, then Mac died, not knowing of the relationship. Oh, and Fury’s point? “I believe the Hudsons have been the pawns of Romulus for over a century–he uses them like puppets so he doesn’t have to expose himself. But as soon as one of them serves his or her purpose, they’re taken off the board.”
This revelation is problematic because, according to what we know from Wolverine Origins #27, Mac’s father, Frederick Hudson II was born in 1960. It’s a rather difficult scenario: he would have to grow up and have a kid (Mac) who would himself grow up, get a job at Am-Can, spend 5 years creating Dept H and the E-M suit, form Alpha Flight and have it disbanded by Trudeau, who served from 1980 to 1984. Comic book time sure gets silly sometimes but really, that’s just inexplicable.
Note: Mac’s own memories of his parents as shown in X-Men Unlimited #45 indicates that he was named after his grandfather on his mother’s side. Feel free to speculate exactly where the “MacDonald” comes from, unless it’s just a coincidence that his paternal grandmother and his maternal grandfather both were named MacDonald.
If the entire Romulus retcon wasn’t straining credibility enough for readers of this series, the Hudson family tree revelation really jumps the shark. Especially troubling is the assertion by Fury that Romulus is a shady controller of James MacDonald Hudson’s entire life, leading to his untimely death. This would imply that Romulus was behind the formation of the Collective, which was the result of the depowerment on M-Day and therefore Romulus was behind the Scarlet Witch’s insanity… I can’t even finish this train of thought, it just can’t be possible.
Nick Fury also reveals more information about Romulus, mentioning that anything that came after the Weapon X program “was an unsuccessful attempt to create the next-generation Wolverine”, along with an illustration showing Daken, Sabretooth, Deadpool and Wild Child. Assuming that the illustration goes along with Nick Fury’s speech, not just what’s popping into Wolverine’s head as he hears the words, it would imply that Romulus re-powered Wild Child after M-Day, a notion consistent with other Wild Child appearances around that time and up until his death in issue #39 of this series.