Ultimate Wolverine is furious when he learns that Banshee, the Ultimate version of Mutant Growth Hormone, was unknowingly created from his DNA!
It’s no surprise that Wolverine’s extensive genetic experimentation and the staggering possibilities of weaponizing his mutant powers made Logan the perfect assassin. The Ultimate universe took it one step further though. Unaware that his DNA was already used to create mutants, Wolverine is furious when he learns his genetic material was used to create Banshee, an addictive drug that temporarily gives its users superhuman abilities.
Banshee is the Ultimate version of Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH), a black market drug that uses mutant or superhuman hormones to give its users metahuman powers, giving ordinary people the ability to become extraordinary while also enhancing other users current superhuman abilities. Unfortunately, it is not only highly addictive but also elicits extreme aggression from those who use it, former users including Spider-Woman Mattie Franklin and the Young Avenger Eli Bradley. In the Ultimate universe, it is introduced during the X-Men’s fight with Alpha Flight who are able to defeat the multitude of X-Men present thanks to Banshee’s enhancement. When it is uncovered that Colossus has regularly used Banshee to maintain his powers, the X-Men screen its members to see if anyone else has been taking the drug. Wolverine is shocked to find that he’s tested positive despite his claims that he’s never tried the stuff.
In Ultimate X-Men: Absolute Power by Aaron Coleite, Brandon Peterson, and Mark Brooks, Wolverine goes to the only scientist he can trust to be discreet, Peter Parker. Having swapped bodies previously, Logan appreciates Peter’s genius and discretion he wouldn’t get with others like the Ultimates or the Fantastic Four. Peter’s analysis declares that he’s never used it because he is Banshee, the drug was composed using his genetic material as a blueprint. While a rogue division of X-Men takes Banshee to help Colossus rescue his boyfriend Northstar from Alpha Flight, Wolverine helps the X-Men deal with the renegades and then goes to Muir Island to confront the recently resurrected Charles Xavier about his role in creating Banshee.
Banshee shares many similarities to MGH while also being more dangerous by causing additional mental and emotional instability with its users with the addition of other addictive chemicals. In a flashback, its revealed that Banshee was created by Charles Xavier alongside his future enemy Magneto during their time together in the Savage Land, harvested from Wolverine himself whose mind was wiped so he would never remember the experience. This further complicates Xavier’s relationship with Wolverine whom he originally welcomed to the X-Men despite his orders to kill Charles and whom he tried to help uncover the truth about his hazy past and unreliable memories. On top of making Xavier a hypocrite, it also continues the theme of Wolverine’s genetic material being exploited for other purposes. While other versions of Wolverine have met clones of themselves, this version of Wolverine was Ultimate universes Mutant Zero as his DNA was used to create the mutant race overall and he never knew.
The betrayal only continued when Xavier admitted his role in creating Banshee but denied having anything to do with its current distribution. That culprit was his ex-wife Moira McTaggart who admitted to distributing the drug to help pay the exorbitant expenses of her facility. Despite Moira’s Banshee enhanced powers, Wolverine was successful in destroying the facility and thus halting the drug’s production. Although Moira appeared to survive, the Ultimate universe continued to take Wolverine down a dark path, clouding his heroic achievements with his merciless legacy of death and destruction. This would be encouraged by the years of manipulation and betrayal from those who saw only themselves instead of considering morality and the man whose humanity they were stealing.
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