Wolverine, Punisher & Ghost Rider: Official Index to the Marvel Universe #7
Note: Despite being clearly printed on the cover, “Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Wolverine & Punisher” is not the actual title of this series. The indicia reveals it reversed as above. Oddly, the Ghost Rider indexing ended as of last issue and is dropped from the cover, but the indicia remains unchanged.
The Official Index to the Marvel Universe, or OITTMU, continues in its third incarnation by covering various Wolverine and Punisher series. The first two incarnations covered Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, and Captain America. The index contains detailed synopses of individual comics, including all of the relevant data pertaining to the comic as well as a thumbnail of the cover art, 2 issues per page (roughly). Northstar appears in this issue in reprinted art from the cover of Wolverine #28 (Dec 2004).
The section on Wolverine titles starts from Wolverine #21 (the third series, a.k.a. the one that started in 2003) and ends at Wolverine Chop Shop (Jan 2009). Alpha Flight members appear in issues #25-28, #30-31, #53-56, and the index fully notes their appearances. Out of those issues, there’s only one cover appearance for Alpha Flight.
Northstar had been resurrected sometime off-panel in Wolverine #26, so this cover wasn’t such a surprise when it was finally published. The solicits for this issue were made available around the same time issue #26 came out. So as not to spoil Northstar’s return, the solicited cover image for Wolverine #28 censored his identity in silhouette and the solicited text read, “With friends like these… who needs enemies? Hydra hits close to home in more ways than one, leaving a rehabilitated Wolverine to face off against a brainwashed, evil former X-Man.”
Wolverine #53 introduced the notion that Sasquatch is of lupine descent. This is a known error by Jeph Loeb – and the index accurately states:
“… also shows a picture of Sasquatch while listing Lupine-like mutations, but Sasquatch’s powers are magical and derive from the Great Beast Tanaraq.”
So for the Alpha Flight fans who have been understandably frustrated by this error, the index firmly corrects this notion.
Another Jeph Loeb error is World War II-era Wild Child. In Wolverine #54, he appeared as a Nazi officer in a dream sequence that took place during the war, much to the chagrin of Alpha Flight fans. The index again accurately states:
“Wolverine dreams here about encountering Wild Child during WWII. However, XFac#142, ’98 fb showed Wild Child’s teenage years, establishing that he is not old enough to have been alive in WWII. W #55, ’07 reveals that Wolverine’s dreams in W #50-54, ’07 were caused by Romulus; while the others seem to have been Romulus’ memories, this one may be a false scenario implanted by Romulus for unknown reasons.”
The index then speculates:
“However, it is also possible that Wild Child truly was present at the battle; he may have time-traveled there … or XFac #142, ’98’s flashbacks may have been partly incorrect.”
I’m skeptical about the time-traveling scenario and the possibility that the origin story in X-Factor #142 might be incorrect, but apparently the index authors felt compelled to offer an explanation.