The latest issue of Wolverine: Black, White, and Blood reveals that not all of his body heals at the same rate, and a specific part heals slowest.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers from “32 Warriors and a Broken Heart” in Wolverine: Black, White, and Blood #3 by John Ridley, Jorge Fornes, and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
An examination of Wolverine’s life is bound to drudge up some unpleasant truths. The man has killed a large number of people over the course of his long life. But oddly enough, none of those deaths can compare to the heartbreak of realizing that he failed to raise his own child because he was busy with the X-Men, especially in light of said child running a sword through him in retribution for his perceived abandonment.
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While they did reconcile after Wolverine’s healing factor once again protecting him from death, Wolverine revealed that the blade nicked his heart, which he said was his slowest organ to heal. Although it might seem like a poetic remark, it’s also a telling truth about Wolverine and the limits of his ability to get back up.
In the past, Wolverine has come back from injuries that would kill pretty much anyone else. But this short story added some specifics to the capabilities of his healing factor. As Logan put it, he is only “nearly immortal,” meaning that there are things that can kill him. And the fact that it is his heart that needs the most time to heal out of any organ he possesses is rather telling, in both a literal and metaphorical sense.
If his heart is the slowest organ to heal of all then that actually raises some questions about how his healing factor works. If the key to Wolverine’s healing factor is the blood that flows throughout his body, then it stands to reason that the heart is the organ most responsible for helping his healing factor do its work. So logically, any injury to the heart, so long as it isn’t total, would mean the organ takes more time to heal itself.
And this might also affect the rest of his ability to heal. If the heart is effectively responsible for pumping his healing factor throughout the body, any injury to it could disrupt the rest of Logan’s ability to heal. Temporarily, but still, this is a valuable piece of information for many of Wolverine’s enemies. Is it possible that completely destroying his heart would prevent him from coming back? Wolverine isn’t a vampire but it seems like an effective way to end his life.
And then there is the metaphorical implication to consider. Wolverine said his daughter had nicked his heart. Now, he could have meant this literally, considering that she did run a sword through him. But prior to this, her words of recrimination had already hurt Logan, largely because they were true. So the damage to his heart could have been emotional as opposed to physical. The time he needed may just have been to make up for lost time with his daughter. But in all likelihood, it’s probably both a physical and emotional wound that needs time to heal.
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