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Wolverine

Wolverine in his iconic yellow and blue costume, art by Frank Cho

Wolverine is a fictional hero created by Marvel’s editor-in-chief, Roy Thomas, and writer Len Wein, along with John Romita Sr, the art director who designed the character.

Wolverine is one of the fiercest heroes in the Marvel universe. He is a hero with an unstoppable healing ability and adamantium metal claws. He first appeared in The Incredible Hulk issue #180 before he eventually played a more significant role in issue #181.

Wolverine’s First Comic Appearance

Wolverine’s debut in The Incredible Hulk issue #181, art by Herb Trimpe

Wolverine’s comic series published by Marvel Comics, has about 323 issues and 11 annuals as of April 2013. The first volume of Wolverine’s comic was a limited edition four series written by Chris Claremont, penciled by Frank Miller. The series was published by Marvel Comics that runs from September to December 1982.

Wolverine made its first appearance in the final teaser panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 dated back in October 1974, written by Wein and penciled by Herb Trimpe. The character appeared in a number of ads in various Marvel Comics magazines until he made his first major debut in The Incredible Hulk # 181 in November 1974.

Wolverine’s introduction was vague and revealed nothing more except that he was a Canadian government’s superhuman agent. Wolverine does not retract his claws in these appearances, although Wein has stated that they were always seen as retractable. Subsequently, Wolverine appeared in The Incredible Hulk issue #182 briefly in the finale. In 1975, Wolverine’s next appearance was in Giant-Size X-Men issue #1. It was written by Wein and penciled by Dave Cockrum.

Wolverine’s Origin

James Howlett, the alter ego of Wolverine, was born in Alberta, Canada, in the last years of the 19th century. James was the son of the wealthy farm owners, John and Elizabeth Howlett. As a boy, his overactive mutant immune system left him frail and weak. In 1897, James was abandoned by her mother. Subsequently, James’s mutant abilities were triggered after his father was shot by the Howlett’s groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. As a result, James killed Thomas and slashed the face of Thomas’ son. However, unbeknownst to James, Thomas Logan was his real father. Following the brutal killings, James left their place along with her childhood friend named Rose O’Hara.

James’s healing skills led to trauma, which cause him to be partially amnesiac. After fleeing away from Alberta, Canada, James, and Rose found a refuge from the rock quarry in British Columbia. It was there where Rose claimed that James was her cousin, and renamed him “Logan.” As months passed by, because of the environment around him, Logan’s powers were heightened. Logan became healthier, but also more violent. He partook in various cage fights where he earned his combatting skills as well as his name, “Wolverine.” Logan then retreated into the woods after losing all his memories and after he accidentally killed Rose with his claws.

Later in the series, he once again re-enters society after living as a feral beast in the forest. He also traveled the world, participating as a soldier, a criminal, and a mercenary in every major 20th-century war, including World War I, World War II, Spanish Civil War, and the Vietnam War. During his escape from the law, he was kidnapped by the Canadian super-soldier program, the Weapon X. It was a program in which he was the prime candidate for the iteration of Weapon X due to his incredible healing factor and endurance. This allowed Dr. Cornelius and his team to combine adamantium to Logan’s skeleton. The experiment has been successful and gave Logan more control over his violent nature. However, the process had washed out the residual memories in his head.

Subsequently, Logan was mobilized against the green gargantuan, named Hulk, who blundered his way into Canadian territories. In addition, during a field test, Logan was used to kill the whole population of a small town. Nevertheless, he eventually broke loose, killing almost every people in the facilities of the Weapon X. Despite Logan’s escape, they still had his DNA, which they have used to create new mutants like Avery Connor and the clawing clone, X-23.

Superhuman Powers and Abilities

Wolverine’s fast regenerative abilities allow him to heal any injury. However, each injury requires time to heal, depending on the seriousness of the injury. His body is also resistant to most poisons and diseases. Wolverine also has enhanced agility, senses, and reflexes. He can see and hear things at a great distance far beyond an ordinary people can see or hear. His sense of smell is further enhanced and can identify persons and objects by fragrance alone, making him one of the world’s most essential trackers.

Wolverine’s most iconic weapons are his six retractable, slightly curved, bone claws. These retractable claws appear three in each arm. If he wills, he can release these claws through the skin under his knuckles. These claws are inherently sharper and harder than regular human teeth, allowing them to penetrate most forms of flesh and natural materials.

He also has additional protection that came from the Weapon X system, where his skeleton was covered with a near-indestructible steel alloy known as adamantium. However, immediately after this procedure, his healing factor was slowed down. It took him weeks to recover from multiple wounds, but subsequently, the factor returned to full strength and speed. The process also provides an extra 105 pounds or 47.6 kilograms to Logan’s metric scale.  In addition, Wolverine is also trained in hand-to-hand combat, as well as in handling computer systems and weapons.

Wolverine in Films

The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine film poster, 2013

The 2013 superhero film, Wolverine, features the superhero with the same name that was published under the Marvel Comics. James Mangold directed this film, from the script written by Scott Frank and Mark Bomback, based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s 1982 limited series, “Wolverine.” This film casts Hugh Jackman as Logan and Wolverine, along with Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Famke Janssen, and Will Yun Lee.

Logan(2017)

Logan, 2017 film poster

Logan (2017) is the Wolverine series’s final installment, following The Wolverine film released in 2013. This film was inspired from ‘Old Man Logan,’ by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, an alternate bleak future that follows the story of an aged Wolverine. Directed by James Mangold, ‘Logan’ was once again portrayed by Hugh Jackman, along with Patrick Stewart, Richard Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen.

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