In the Ultimate X-Men comics, Wolverine reveals his healing factor actually does allow him to get tattoos - but it does come with a catch.l
When it comes to tattoos, countless people have gotten for a various amount of reasons such as remembering a loved one, showing your appreciation for a favorite character or commemorating a special moment or holiday. But for X-Man Wolverine it would appear that although he's been inked more than once over the years, his advanced mutant healing factor leaves him a hairy blank canvas.
In Ultimate X-Men #48, taking place in an alternate Marvel universe, the re-imagined teenage X-Men are still dealing with the death of their team member Beast as well as investigating the murder of four mutants at the hands of a fellow mutant. In this story arc written by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Brandon Petersen, the Ultimate version of long-time X-Men villain Mr. Sinister is introduced as Nathaniel Essex, a muscular tattooed former scientist whose experiments on himself resulted in hallucinations of a "Lord Apocalypse" which commanded him to kill ten mutants. With the Xavier Institute on edge due to the targeting of mutants, Charles Xavier confines his younger X-Men to the school grounds and reluctantly allows the older members, including the ever-grumpy Wolverine, to go to the city to try and find this mutant killer. Once in the city the team splits up into three separate teams to cover more ground, with Wolverine and Storm, still mourning the death of her ex-boyfriend Beast, covering the downtown streets.
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While other members of the team deal with their own individual challenges during their assignments, Logan and Orroro find themselves in the the iconic St. Marks Place in the East Village. While Wolverine waxes the philosophy of the disillusioned and frustrated individuals as a metaphor for Storm's frustration and current outlook due to Beast's death, they come across a tattoo studio where Logan remembers an important detail from Sinister's mental mugshot. When Storm inquires on when the long-lived Wolverine became such an expert on tattoos, Logan reveals that he's gotten quite a few dozen over the years but that his mutant healing factor treats them like scars so they eventually fade within a few hours.
This hilarious moment reveals more about Wolverine and his thought process than one may expect. First, the fact that he has gotten dozens over the years proves that Logan doesn't care about the money nor pain of getting a tattoo, to him it must be akin to the itchiness of a healing wound. Second, his body with its mutant healing factor treats any sort of unnatural change like its an antibody attacking a foreign entity. It destroys the "threat" and then heals its host. This version of Wolverine does have an interesting interpretation of his iconic healing factor as we've seen him heal from brutal or debilitating injuries in all manner of ways, some different than his mainstream inspiration. Third, this proves the lengths that Logan will go to sleep with a woman. His brief affair with that universe's Marvel Girl/Jean Grey was a constant source of friction between him, her and her boyfriend Scott Summers and considering his mainstream's counterparts past with female paramours, we wouldn't put it past Logan to endure a little pain and ink just to get into someone's bedroom.
In the end, their interrogation of the studios' manager leads to an interrogation that shows off how impressive Storm's powers really are regardless of what universe she's from and the teams investigation uncovers that Sinister is targeting the School as his next target. Logan's inability tokeep a tattoo definitely goes down as one of his stranger superpowers and it is amusing that it was only after losing his healing factor, the mainstream version of Logan was able to get and keep a tattoo until his death and eventual resurrection. Although it could be seen as excessive or wasteful regarding time and money, this loss doesn't seem to bother Wolverinefrom any universe too much. When you're that too cool for school, its better to just go with the flow, bub.
NEXT:Wolverine: 15 Things You Didn't Know About The Healing Factor
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Drew is a reader, writer, artist, and creative professional based in Westchester, New York. He dabbles into cosplay, movie references, comics, and some anime while also being a Ghostbuster. He has a Bachelors in History, a Masters in Publishing and is excited to be working with Screen Rant. Previously his articles have been featured on Comic Book Resources and Iron Age Comics and he's excited to see what happens next!
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