Wolverine is a big fan of drinking a cold, alcoholic beverage in Marvel Comics, but the explanation behind how the longtime Canadian mutant can get drunk has changed over the years. Now, a new Midnighter-starring story from DC Comics might have offered a reasonable explanation regarding Wolverine's ever-changing abilities to process alcohol: it could all just be the placebo effect making Logan believe he's drunk.
Marvel has offered multiple explanations behind Wolverine's ability to get drunk over the years. In Wolverine #900, Logan himself revealed his healing factor can process alcohol nearly just as quickly as he can drink it. In the same anthology, Logan meets up with a mutant, Chet Murray, whose powers allow him to suppress other mutant abilities, allowing Wolverine to get quite drunk. It seems Wolverine is capable of getting drunk, but only for an extremely short amount of time. But a new story starring Midnighter in last week's Action Comics #1030, another hero with a healing factor offers a new reason that could offer more insight into Wolverine's own drinking issues.
In "The Passengers" backup story in Action Comics #1030 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Michael Avon Deming, Taki Soma, and Dave Sharpe, Midnighter is watching a Tred Talks from Andrej Trojan, when he's comforted by Apollo, who notes his partner had been doing some serious drinking. Midnighter notes that he's incapable of getting drunk, as his own healing factor prevents him from doing so, as he drank beer as a placebo.
The panel might not play a huge part in this Midnighter story, besides providing an emotional moment between him and Apollo, but it could explain why Wolverine gets drunk despite his healing factor immediately countering the alcohol. Perhaps, like Midnighter, when Wolverine gets drunk, he just experiences the placebo effect - which tricks him into believing he's drunk despite his body automatically rejecting the alcohol. It might be the only way Wolverine truly experiences drunkenness.
If Wolverine has the same experience drinking due to his healing factor as Midnighter, his drunkenness (without the power of a mutant dampener) could be due to the placebo effect. That doesn't mean Wolverine is faking being drunk, but that he's inadvertently tricked his body into believing he's capable of getting drunk over time - even if it's only for a small amount of time. His body's reaction to the 'poison' he puts in his body may make it impossible for Wolverine to get scientifically drunk, but it seems he's found an alternative that works for him.
The Hellfire Gala event is the next step in the evolution of the X-Men and Earth’s mutant population in general. It began with the establishment of Krakoa, an island paradise that would serve as a homeland for all mutants, with the slogan “all are welcome, all is forgiven.” As a result, many mutants have been able to make a fresh start on Krakoa and a new, mutant cultural identity is slowly starting to form, and to celebrate the rise of Krakoa, the mutants are holding an exclusive Hellfire Gala. As part of the celebration, the X-Men will dress up in elaborate costumes, and now Marvel has provided readers with a look at four variant covers featuring many of these stunning outfits.
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