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Wolverine’s Strongest Power Is Even More Impressive Than It Seems

Wolverine lept through outer space with no apparent problem in X-Men Unlimited, which isn’t the first time his healing factor worked in space.

Wolverine’s healing factor is one of the most impressive powers that any mutant could have. Quickly allowing him to bounce back from almost any injury, it’s the reason he has been able to live for over a century and how he was able to survive the process that bonded adamantium to his skeleton. It’s easily his most enduring quality, giving him the ability to shrug off what should have been lethal wounds to anyone else.

In fact, Wolverine’s healing factor is so impressive that it allows him to more or less ignore the inhospitable dangers of space on his mission in the digital-exclusive X-Men Unlimited #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Declan Shalvey and Joe Sabino, featuring Logan casually falling through space.

X-Men Unlimited #1 opens on the Peak, the space-base of operations for Krakoa. The massive structure is designed as the core of the mutant space program — and as such contains a whole host of impressive and powerful technology and resources. That’s what makes the arrival of an AIM Extraction Team all the more concerning. As the Extraction Team tries to leave with three mutants in tow, Wolverine arrives on the Peak thanks to a Krakoa Gate, and quickly exits the station via one of the airlocks. He then throws himself through the upper atmosphere directly at the escaping AIM ship, lands aboard, and cuts his way through the walls of the ship with his claws. The vacuum quickly sucks up the AIM soldiers, while Logan casually floats inside and finds out about MODOK’s involvement in the plan before being blown away.

This isn’t the first time Wolverine has been flung into outer space, either. On multiple occasions, Logan has been shown adjusting easily to the cold and the vacuum of space, likely due to his healing factor providing him natural properties to contend with the hazardous conditions. In X-Men #108 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne (the conclusion of the original Phoenix Saga storyline), the X-Men encounter Jahf. The Guardian of the M’Kraan Crystal, Logan initially thinks the alien will be easy to defeat. Instead, Jahf hits Wolverine with enough force to send him into escape velocity and literally knock him into space. However, he survived with little sign of permanent injury. Years later in New X-Men #145 by Grant Morrison and Chris Bachalo, Wolverine survives the destruction of a satellite and falling back to Earth.

Even in House of X by Hickman and Pepe Larraz, Wolverine died helping stop Orchis and their attempts to create a new Master Mold by attacking it in the vastness of space, he wasn’t actually killed by the conditions around him. While Nightcrawler died instantly in the moment from teleporting into the vacuum, Wolverine was able to keep fighting, clawing and hacking away at the machine until they both came loose and sent them both falling into the Sun, where the heat was intense enough to finally kill Wolverine. It’s especially impressive because, all things considered, being lost in space without any oxygen should be one of the few ways to genuinely stop Wolverine.

Over the years, it’s been frequently suggested that if someone were to find a way to prevent oxygen from reaching Wolverine’s brain, then they could technically stop his healing factor from kicking in and easily reviving him. In Heroes Reborn: Weapon X & Alpha Flight by Ed Brisson and Roland Boschi, the only way to truly stop Wolverine was for Doctor Spectrum to leave him on a remote moon with no oxygen to sustain him, condemning him to a hellish experience of either dying from the lack of oxygen or reviving just in time to suffocate again. Drowning is considered one of the only ways to really put down someone with a healing factor, such as what Wolverine did to Daken in Uncanny X-Force #34 by Rick Remender and Phil Noto.

In theory, Wolverine being without oxygen in the vacuum of space should kill him, given enough time. But thanks to his healing factor allowing him to essentially walk off the other debilitating effects of being in space, that’s actually a tricker goal to accomplish than one would expect.

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