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What Happened To Wolverine's 'Hot Claws'? The Rise & Fall Of Logan's Worst Power

Wolverine's claws are a defining feature of the character as his adamantium-coated bones give him some of the deadliest powers among the X-Men. But when Logan gets killed off and resurrected, he returns with hot claws that burn as he gets angrier. However, Marvel didn't stick with the new power very long, as it remains a bizarre footnote on the fan-favorite antihero's storied history.

In the "Return of Wolverine" miniseries (by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino), Wolverine is brought back to life after previously dying following the loss of his healing factor during "The Death of Wolverine" storyline. Persephone, leading the Soteira organization, reanimates Wolverine and uses him as her own assassin. Eventually, Wolverine's healing factor brings him back to life as he mysteriously returns with burning claws that heat up with his increased rage. Persephone suggests Wolverine's hot claws steal energy from his ability to heal, making them a powerful but potentially deadly new power. 

In 2019, Soule shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the hot claws represent the worst of Wolverine. "They represented all the bad things he was and could be – death, rage, loss of control," he wrote. "It was no accident that he doesn't heal from wounds taken while berserkering the same way he does normally. The #hotclaws are fueled by Logan's healing factor." 

Wolverine's claws did not last

While Wolverine getting a new power in his hot claws isn't fondly remembered by most readers, Charles Soule admitted on X that he intentionally set up the story for writers to continue using or dismiss the surprising ability. "The story's set up so they could come back again if other writers want to use them – but they also don't have to," he tweeted. "I will always love the #hotclaws – but Logan's story will go where it goes, as it always does."

Unfortunately for Soule, future X-Men stories quickly abandoned the idea of Wolverine's hot claws. In Jonathan Hickman's (with artists Pepe Larraz, R. B. Silva, and Marte Gracia) "House of X/Powers of X" miniseries relaunching Marvel's mutants, Wolverine appears without his super-heated claws. Even when he is brought back to life by the X-Men via their resurrection protocols, he doesn't come back with his new abilities as the extra power is entirely ignored. It will be fascinating to see what powers changes — if any — the X-Men get in the new relaunch coming later this year now the Krakoan Era has come to an end.

Considering how drastic of a power change Wolverine's hot claws were, it's not surprising the idea was immediately abandoned. Resetting his abilities back to the status quo was the right move, as his complicated time under Persephone's capture and control with heat claws probably won't be remembered as one of the best story decisions involving Logan. But while it's likely this won't be revisited any time soon, you have to respect Soule and the creative team's attempt to try something different with Wolverine's powers, even if it ended up being largely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.