This article contains spoilers for Wolverine #29.Marvel has finally set up the ultimate X-Men grudge match – Wolverine versus Beast. Hank McCoy may be a founding member of the X-Men, but he increasingly feels as though he’s lost his way. The X-Men unwisely placed Beast in charge of X-Force, the mutant version of the CIA, and Hank has spent far too much time staring deep into the abyss. His actions have been increasingly questionable, ranging from establishing secret prisons to covertly monitoring allies of the X-Men – in such a way he’d risk war if the recording devices were discovered.
But Beast’s most shocking act has been his betrayal of Wolverine. Beast actually killed Wolverine, and then interrupted the X-Men’s Resurrection Protocols to reduce him to a mindless husk. Beast transformed Wolverine into a living weapon again, one he could turn on those he deemed enemies of the mutant race, and he’s been willing to use Logan to neutralize high-value political targets – almost causing a geopolitical scandal. He may like to think he’s fighting on the side of the angels, but Beast’s actions towards Wolverine are a fundamental betrayal of trust.
The X-Men Are Finally Setting Up Wolverine Versus Beast
All this changes in Wolverine #29, however, by Benjamin Percy and Juan Jose Ryp. The issue sees Wolverine trapped in the Pit, an area of the mutant nation of Krakoa that is reserved for punishment and judgment. Wolverine’s old enemy Sabretooth was the first one consigned to the Pit, and he left a psychic imprint there. This imprint naturally revels in the opportunity to torture Wolverine, but inadvertently helps Logan’s mind heal, with his memories returning. Wolverine even remembers who has done this to him – meaning it’s time for payback.
Beast’s evil experiments mean he’s passed beyond the possibility of redemption. Fans have long been reading Percy’s X-Force and Wolverine books in the hope they’d get to see some justice on Krakoa at last, and that prospect at last seems imminent. So many others have tried to turn Logan into a weapon – from the Weapon X Project to the Hand, from Apocalypse to Charles Xavier himself – but the Krakoan era was supposed to be one where mutants were safe. Sadly, Wolverine now knows the real enemy was the one he once considered a friend.
It will be fascinating to see how the X-Men deal with Beast’s treachery. Several members of Krakoa’s ruling Quiet Council are already suspicious of Beast, but they’ve been reluctant to act openly against him; Jean Grey recently called him out on his conduct, warning he’d spent far too much time living in the shadows. Wolverine’s usual form of bloody and brutal justice won’t really work in the Krakoan era, when the dead are resurrected more easily than ever before. If the X-Men are to find justice for Wolverine, as well as punishment for Beast, they will need to think outside the box.