Wolverine's Secret DC Cameo Exposed the Gross Limit of His Healing Factor

The mutant brawler known as Wolverine may be 'the best he is at what he does,' but a brief visit to a DC Comics property proved even his vaunted healing factor has a limit - one that Marvel later confirmed in its own canon.

Top 10 is a comic series from Alan Moore, Gene Ha, and Zander Cannon, taking place in Neopolis - a city where every single citizen has some kind of superpower. The series - published under America's Best Comics and later DC's adult-oriented Vertigo imprint - follows Robyn "Toybox" Slinger as she joins the city's police force, partnering up with fantasy-themed powerhouse Jeff Smax. Top 10 is a typically ambitious project from Moore, and is packed to bursting with background gags and references based on comic history, from Marvel, DC, and Star Trek to Popeye and Archie.


Related: Wolverine Perfected His Healing Factor by Totally Sacrificing His Dignity

After Robyn is injured, Smax visits her to check on her condition in Top 10 #11. As he goes to leave, fans get a glimpse of two very clearly dead figures being carried inside. However, on closer inspection, these aren't two figures, but rather two parts of a character clearly intended to be Wolverine, with Logan's metallic skeleton, claws, and signature hairstyle. Wolverine's adamantium skeleton and empty skin have clearly been separated, killing him despite his extreme healing.

While Wolverine has healed from some extreme situations in the past, Marvel recently confirmed that reducing him down to his skeleton is indeed an effective way to kill him - something the advanced Sentinel known as Nimrod has done several times (a callback to his iconic death in the famous 'Days of Future Past.') Wolverine has likewise been killed by being dropped into the sun, showing that once his musculature is fully stripped or incinerated from his skeleton, his injuries become permanent - albeit with the exception of his infamous fight against Nitro, which created some major misconceptions about his healing potential.

Top 10's references are particularly brazen, often recreating iconic characters with just a palette swap to maintain deniability, but even so it's notable to take such an obvious swipe at an iconic character without really changing anything about his design. Alan Moore's enmity with Marvel Comics is well known, and his writing for the publisher's characters therefore unfortunately rare, but fans of the House of Ideas can spot plenty of seemingly playful references in the pages of Top Ten, as well as a guest appearance from reality-hopping characters Captain Albion and Captain England which implies Top 10 takes place in the same multiverse as Marvel Comics.

Despite being known for his healing factor, Wolverine seemingly faced a challenge he couldn't meet in the universe of Top 10, showing that while he may be the top dog in the Marvel Universe, DC Comics is way less welcoming to the Ol' Canucklehead.