As leader of X-Force, Beast is taking the team down a dark path, prompting Wolverine to admit that Krakoa’s brainwashing of innocent people is wrong.
Warning: contains spoilers for Wolverine #13 and X-Force #20!
While X-Force was given the responsibility of security at the X-Men’s Hellfire Gala, team leader Beast had his own ideas about how to keep mutants safe, involving Wolverine in the kind of disgusting scheme that has so often ruined his own life. Beast used telefloronic technology to brainwash attending ambassadors, with all hell breaking loose when his dark intentions inevitably went wrong.
It’s no secret that Logan has had his free will stripped on numerous occasions. He’s been brainwashed, mind-controlled, and memory-wiped more often than any other hero. From the Weapon X program, to his body being possessed by demons, to Apocalypse turning him into the horseman Death, Logan knows a thing or two about how it feels to lose agency and self-control. It’s no surprise that once he found out why the Terra Verde’s ambassadors were suddenly acting out at the gala, he sought a peaceful solution.
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It’s hard enough for creators to keep up continuity for one event taking place across twelve Marvel titles, but to write in subtle emotional moments for their characters on top of that is even more impressive. The team behind Wolverine #13 – Benjamin Percy, Scot Eaton, Oren Junior, Matthew Wilson, and VC’s Cory Petit – are able to do just that, understanding the gravity of Wolverine working with a man who is taking away people’s agency. Beast tapping into the Terra Verdean telefloronic programming in order to benefit Krakoa’s (and his own) ambitions is not only wrong, but marks a direct parallel to the brainwashing Wolverine has undergone time and time again. And when Beast’s programming falters and the ambassadors start to act out at the gala, it doesn’t take Logan long to realize why they are so angry, later explaining he has experience with “somebody else staking a claim to my mind and body.”
Once one of the ambassadors reveals what’s been done to him and his people, it’s obvious that Logan is upset by the game he’s played a part in. After all, their circumstances provide a direct mirror to his own. This means that Beast unwillingly made Wolverine into the thing he hates most. Not only is that something which undoubtedly upsets Logan on a personal and moral level, but it will also most likely be a source of conflict between the two mutants.
It’s not often that readers catch Wolverine apologizing, but in this case, he did so without hesitation – in his own way, of course. At the end of Wolverine #13, as the Hellfire Gala winds down, he and his X-Force teammates, along with party crasher Deadpool and a Terra Verdean ambassador, all grab a drink. While Beast is forced to initiate a cover-up that allows Terra Verde to act as direct competitors’ to Krakoa’s biological technology, Logan is more forthright, and although he doesn’t say it directly, he acknowledges that what happened wasn’t right. Beast’s unconscionable use of X-Force has only grown more and more deplorable as time has gone on, and hopefully this particular misadventure will make Wolverine – like Jean Grey before him – think twice about his membership.
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