The Earth X Wolverine found out the hard way why he and Jean Gray shouldn’t be together, and the reason is more tragic than anyone could have guessed.
Across the history of the X-Men franchise, one of the most enduring pieces of romantic tension stems from the love triangle between Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine. The three would go back and forth over the years, causing plenty of drama — at least until the Krakoa Era quietly resolved it with a suggested open relationship between the trio.
But one particularly grim timeline revealed one of the ways the romance could have ended — and how it could have seriously derailed the heroes in question. The marriage between the Earth X Wolverine and Jean Gray twisted a potentially happy ending into something far more tragic.
Jean Gray and Wolverine Got Married in Earth X
Earth X (by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, John Paul Leon, Bill Reinhold, and Todd Klein) introduced the grim Earth-9997, a timeline set years in the future from the present day. Many of the heroes of the modern generation had either died in the line of duty or retired from their heroic mantles. This includes Wolverine and Jean Grey, who left behind the X-Men after Jean lost her powers. They were married and became civilians in a world increasingly dominated by superpowered beings. Whereas Cyclops continued to work with the mutant team (eventually becoming a Charles Xavier-like figure to a new generation of mutants as Professor S), Logan and Jean adjusted to domestic life — poorly.
When the Skull attacked New York at the conclusion of Earth X, Wolverine refused the chance to redeem himself alongside other retired heroes — resulting in Jean leaving Logan and even declaring she was really Madelyne Pryor, simply to disturb him. The pair wouldn’t be reunited until the wedding of Medusa and King Britain in Paradise X. Although the two made peace with their failed relationship, they remained separated — ensuring the end of their marriage.
Earth X Gift Wolverine Exactly What He Wanted
This discovery would eventually play a part in the continued deterioration of Earth X’s Wolverine. In this timeline, he wasn’t even technically a mutant. In reality, this Wolverine was descended from the ancient Tribe of the Moon, a band of early humans who avoided the genetic influence of the Celestial Seed planted within the Earth. Remaining in the wild and away from society, an infant Logan was discovered by the Howlett family and adopted to replace their deceased son. Discovering this truth from his Days of Future Past variant, the Earth X Wolverine could do little else but laugh at the circumstances of his life. Stripping away his clothing, Logan jumped into the ocean and swam back into the wild, never to be heard from again.
The fate of the Earth X Logan is quietly one of the most tragic versions of the character. In theory, he got everything he ever wanted — he found a life free of the violence that had typically defined him but was left bloated and dull as a result. He gained the love of Jean Grey, only to see it become embittered and cruel. His “happy” ending involved turning his back on humanity and embracing his animalistic side, something Logan had struggled with and overcame as a heroic member of the X-Men. The Earth X Logan highlights how Wolverine getting a “happy” ending comes with a cost, and coincides with the character’s acceptance of violence as a necessity of his life in the modern era all the more fitting and bittersweet.