The X-Men’s Wolverine is a mutant that has been appearing in Marvel Comics for decades, and although Logan thinks his longevity in life means he has a responsibility to watch over history, he’s not entirely correct about his role; at least not at the current moment. Touched on in X Deaths of Wolverine #5, by Benjamin Percy and Federico Vicentini, this final issue in the recent X Deaths of Wolverine/X Lives of Wolverine event sees Wolverine finally taking down the corrupted Phalanx version of his future self after the baddie threatens to upend the budding mutant society of Krakoa. Revolving around the idea that Wolverine has lived, died, and resurrected more times than he can count, this series is clear about Wolverine having a unique perspective on life compared to others. Seen on an all-text page after Wolverine saves the day, this particular excerpt talks about a time when Wolverine was visiting the Coba ruins and overhears a conversation about the place between a young child and his parents. Hearing the child ask why they can’t “knock it down” and replace them with “something new,” Logan comes to the conclusion that “history meant nothing” to this kid because the idea of centuries or even millennia passing is “unimaginable” to a child that has only been walking the Earth for a handful of years. The text then ends with the sentiment that since Logan is as old as he is, he needs to take “the long view” of history and “keep watch” so things don’t repeat themselves in any particularly bad way.
It’s worth mentioning that in the grand scheme of things, Wolverine isn’t that old as compared to other mutants like Apocalypse he’s a drop in the metaphorical age bucket. But what is interesting about Wolverine’s train of thought is that he’s not entirely wrong about him being a protector of history and his role in watching it — he’s just a few decades removed from making this perspective fact.
Considering that Marvel has already established Logan was born sometime in the 1800s, their shifting continuity timeline — which allows characters to always stay relevant and appropriately aged in “present-day” — will continue to make Wolverine older and older as he snikts his way across the Marvel Universe for years to come. So by that logic, Wolverine will see more and more of history and will take “the long view” because Marvel will purposely retcon him to grow old without him actually doing so in the normal sense of the word. To be more succinct, Wolverine will always have been born in the 1800s, and will always be alive and well in whatever real-life year passes as “present-day” at the time. For example, in 2022, Logan is 130-ish years old, in 2050 he’ll be 160 (without seeming like he’s “aging”), and so on, while a character like Spider-Man will always be in his late twenties to early thirties regardless of what real-time year his stories are being created in. So although it’s true that Wolverine will eventually become some kind of guardian of history like he claims to already be here, he simply hasn’t experienced enough at this point in his life to self-aggrandize himself as being some all-knowing watcher with the perfect perspective on history and its effect on the future. Wolverine is assuredly in it for the long haul as he’s the “best at what he does”, but he needs a couple more decades under his belt before this real “Old Man Logan” claim can become true.