Wolverine is one of the toughest and most durable heroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s stared down some of the biggest threats across the world and not been slowed down at all. However, in the pages of Wolverine: The End, a reality was introduced where Logan found himself confronted by his greatest enemy of all: His brother.
Wolverine’s long-lost brother, John Howlett, Jr, finally defeated Wolverine once and for all.
John Howlet,t Jr. was the first son of John and Elizabeth Howlett and was born in the late 19th century. John’s childhood was happy enough, with the boy forging a close relationship with his younger brother James.
Things began to unravel when he saw his mother kissing the local gardener, Tom Logan. John confronted his mother and his mutant powers manifested for the first time in his rage — extending a pair of bone claws from his hands, with which he accidentally slashed her. John was sent to an asylum by his father to avoid a scandal breaking out over this revelation and his family faked his death.
He spent years in the asylum, waiting to be freed by his family. Unfortunately, they never came — John was completely unaware that his family had actually all died not long after he was sent away in the chaos of his brother also developing his own powers. John was taken in by a group of researchers — the beginnings of Weapon X — who explored his powers and their origins. Eventually developing a secondary mutation and the ability to become intangible, John broke free of his captors and escaped into the real world, observing his brother from afar and setting up his plans for the world. He was able to set up a number of facilities under his command, even taking the remaining technology from the now-defunct Weapon X.
By the time John confronted his brother, it had been over a century since they last met. Growing old, Logan had spent years in isolation in the Canadian wilderness, arranging a deal with the locals to provide animal pelts in exchange for supplies. The older Wolverine got, the more he lost his edge. Logan came out of hiding to attend the funeral of his long-time nemesis, Sabertooth. Following Wolverine and observing him from afar, John was able to lure Logan to Japan. There, he confronted his brother. John offered him a position by his side, but Wolverine refused — instead attacking him and throwing him off the side of a mountain.
Wolverine followed after him, eventually fighting John in Nevada. Wolverine was forced to try and prevent John from activating a nuclear bomb set to cause a chain reaction that could bring down the US economy and allow John and his allies to take control of the nation. Wolverine successfully preventing the bomb and the two battled one last time.
In the scuffle, Logan was able to catch John before he could become intangible again and accidentally stabbed him through the chest. John died in his brother’s arms, hinting at the sort of things he would have told Wolverine about if he’d only had the chance. The story ends with Wolverine, heart-broken by his latest kill, doing nothing as he’s surrounded by armed men who have orders to kill Wolverine on sight.
Truly, this version of Wolverine loses everything. After losing contact with his allies and becoming almost completely isolated, John was the potential key to a world of information and family. But now, not even by Wolverine’s intent, his questions about his past will go forever unrevealed. More than anything, the battle against John Howlett, Jr. broke Wolverine’s spirit and took the fire out of the brawler. That’s the ultimate “end” for Wolverine: When he just doesn’t care enough to fight anymore.
Who was Wolverine's long lost brother in Wolverine: The End, and how did he help set up Wolverine's final defeat?