Marvel Hints Wolverine's Healing Factor Extends to His Soul

Spoilers ahead for New Fantastic Four #2!

Marvel has hinted at a new layer to Wolverine’s healing factor — it extends beyond the physical all the way to his soul. Logan's healing factor has made him an indispensable member of the X-Men, capable of recovering from almost any kind of physical damage, but in New Fantastic Four #2 that changes. After vanquishing a demonic opponent who drives its victims mad, Wolverine shrugs off the psychic damage – much to Spider-Man’s surprise. The issue is on sale now in print and digital.


Thanks to a combination of his healing factor and claws, Wolverine has become one of the most formidable mutants on Earth; this healing factor was the only thing that saved Wolverine when the adamanitum was bonded to his body during his tenure at Weapon X. It has not only allowed him to take large amounts of physical damage but to live for more than a hundred years as well. Wolverine’s healing factor is iconic, an intrinsic part of the character and in time Marvel has introduced other mutants with similar powers, such as Sabertooth. Since Wolverine’s first appearance nearly 50 years ago, the healing factor has been only for physical injuries, but now Marvel hints there may be more to it in New Fantastic Four #2. The issue is written by Peter David, illustrated by Alan Robinson, colored by Mike Spicer and lettered by Joe Caramagna.

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The “new Fantastic Four” consists of Wolverine, the Hulk (in his Mister Fixit persona), Spider-Man and Ghost Rider, who have reassembled to stop a demonic invasion. The team is joined by the Human Torch, who quickly comes under possession by the demon. Wolverine attacks the demonic Torch, unsheathing his claws and planting one in the Torch’s neck; Wolverine’s plan backfires, and he becomes trapped. The Human Torch then subjects Wolverine to the “Soul Flame,” which burns the soul away and drives the victim mad. However, Wolverine resists the attack and overpowers Torch, which ultimately drives the demon out. An incredulous Spider-Man asks how Wolverine’s soul was able to resist, he simply replies: “healing factor.”

Wolverine Healing Factor Soul

While the comment may seem flippant and an excellent demonstration of Wolverine’s gruffness, the fact remains he is still able to resist a potent psychic attack, dismissing it as effortlessly as he would a bullet or a laser beam. Over the years, Wolverine has taken some serious beatings, but has bounced back from every single one thanks to the healing factor. While this may be the first direct mention of this extending to his soul, there are precedents. Once, Wolverine’s memories were choppy and bare, thanks to decades of memory implants, but House of M changed all of that. The Scarlet Witch restored Wolverine’s memories and instead of gradually returning, they came back all at once. This overwhelmed Wolverine, rendering him nearly catatonic, and his healing factor may have saved him there; likewise, his healing factor may have helped his brain heal after the damage wrought by the memory implants.

Wolverine’s healing factor has helped define him since his debut in Incredible Hulk #180 and now Marvel has hinted at a deeper, more metaphysical layer to it: it extends to his soul, allowing him to repair psychic damage.