BY MATT TUCK
Is Hugh Jackman pondering an X-Men return? The Wolverine rumor mill kept the gossip churning this week. Let’s take a look at the best news, rumors, and theories in Week in Review.
WOLVERINE RUMORS GALORE
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier really opened the proverbial can of worms with its Wolverine Easter egg. Since then, the rumors have been coming left and right, and the latest claims Hugh Jackman has had discussions with Marvel about reprising his role
Take it for what it is worth, but Geekosity is reporting that Kevin Feige has approached Jackman about wearing the claws one more time. The site claims that while the actor has said he does not want to continue as Wolverine, he has requested to see the script before making a final decision. This is, of course, completely unsubstantiated and seems unlikely, but it is nonetheless interesting.
The rumors don’t stop there. Another round of gossip has it that Marvel Studios plans to introduce Wolverine to the MCU by way of a Disney+ series. As the unconfirmed report goes, the show would focus on Logan’s long life story, with each season featuring a new chapter of his biography. The first season could focus on his time with the Weapon X program, which could allow Marvel an easy track for introducing plenty of Weapon X’s other experiments to the cinematic universe.
Something is definitely in the air with all the Wolverine talk. The Princess Bar and Madripoor in FATWS. “The Mutants.” A Weapon X Disney+ series. Hugh Jackman. Is it all a coincidence or could there be a Wolverine announcement on the horizon?
Who would have known that the Contessa Valentina Allegro de Fontaine’s MCU debut would cause such ripples in the collecting pool? As soon as famed actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced herself as the Contessa, collectors were scanning the auction sites for her first appearance in Strange Tales #159. Only a year ago, this was an overlooked key that, even at a 9.8, it averaged less than $2k. Now the roof has been blown off, and this has quickly ascended the ranks of collectible comics.
The big question is what will be her role going forward? She was obviously recruiting John Walker for something much bigger. One of the hot rumors is that the Contessa will assemble the Dark Avengers and herald a new era in the MCU that could follow the course of Dark Reign. She also could be forming the Thunderbolts. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even see Captain Hydra.
U.S. AGENT KEY ISSUES
Speaking of John Walker, it appears we are on the cusp of seeing him finally don the black and red U.S. Agent costume.
From the moment his character was announced for FATWS, we all predicted that he would follow his comic roots, and he has done that so far. First, he was enlisted as the replacement for Steve Rogers, but he could not live up to that role. Instead, he turned violent and obsessive, and he was stripped of the title as he did in the comics. In the latest episode of FATWS, he seems to be preparing to become his own breed of superhero, the U.S. Agent.
This will undoubtedly have a large impact on those John Walker keys, at least short-term. Whether or not he will survive past Episode Six remains to be seen, but if we do see him in the red and black Cap suit, it will give a boost to everything from his first appearance in Captain America #323, which was already hot, to his debut as U.S. Agent in Captain America #354. If his character is still alive and kicking after FATWS, then expect these issues to be even harder to get.
In the wake of Jonathan Hickman’s epic X-Men run that saw him rewrite the history of the franchise and put them on a new course for the future, the flagship X-Men series is getting a revamp. This time around, Cyclops will lead a group consisting of Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, X23 Wolverine, Synch, Rogue, and Sunfire. Polaris will also join the team after winning a fan vote.
What does this mean for the rest of the X-franchise? Will this be the center of Krakoa going forward? The jury is still out on that one, but changing the lineup is nothing new. Over the decades, and with as many mutants as there are in the Marvel Universe, it is only natural to spotlight underappreciated characters by adding them to the main roster from time to time. The bigger picture, however, is whether or not this will help shape the MCU’s version of the X-Men.
Mads Mikkelsen is putting together a science-fiction resume that could challenge Karl Urban for reigning geek-cred champion.
This week, Mikkelsen was announced as part of the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie, the first film in the series that will fall under the Disney banner. While the actor’s role has not been made official, it is hard to imagine him playing anything but the lead villain in the film. That means that the Danish actor will have tormented James Bond, Doctor Strange, Indiana Jones, and he is invading the wizarding world of Harry Potter in the third Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We could even toss Darth Vader onto the list, although Mikkelsen played a hero in Rogue One. All we need now is for Mikkelsen and Urban to square off in a DC movie to complete the journey.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.