(James Howlett, aka Logan)
Created by writer Len Wein and artists John Romita, Sr. and Herb Trimpe.
Wolverine is one of the most prominent bad ass, hard edged heroes in all of comics, and he's Canadian! The label of 'anti-hero' might almost apply if it were not for his sense of honor and genuine heroic mentality. However, he is not a glossy hero as his signature line of "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice" would suggest. He is violent, but not without purpose. Wolverine is a mutant, and a regular member of the X-Men. He has enhanced senses and a powerful healing ability that has allowed for him to live for more than a century with his physiology constantly being rejuvenated and healed from the wear down of age. He is able to heal severe injuries at an accellerated rate far beyond that of a normal human being. Through this ability, he has enhanced agility and strength allowing him to push his body beyond normal limits. His mutant healing factor allowed for the Weapon X Project to bond the virtually indestructible metal adamantium to his bones. Magneto, the X-Men villain and master of magnetism, once ripped the adamantium from Wolverine's bones and out of his body in X-Men #25 (which I own) during the "Fatal Attractions" storyline. This event revealed to fans that his retractable claws were bone underneath, a natural part of his body, and were not a result of the Weapon X augmentation. Wolverine would later have the metal alloy re-bonded to his skeleton thanks to the villain Apocalypse. For someone usually viewed as a loner, Logan has been a willing member of the X-Men, X-Force, New Avengers, Alpha Flight, the Secret Defenders, and the New Fantastic Four. It shows that Wolverine can be fiercely loyal to those he holds in high regard, and respect is not easily earned from him.
At heart, I have always been a DC Comics fan, and so, it's hard to pin down many favorite characters from Marvel Comics. From my 1990s collection of comics, I have only vast amounts of Spider-Man and X-Men related books from Marvel. Not a single Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, or Fantastic Four comic have I ever bought. This probably stems from the fact that I grew up in the 90s watching the Saturday morning Spider-Man and X-Men animated series. All of the films produced by Marvel Studios have been great, but the ones not directly handled by Marvel, such as the Spider-Man and X-Men films (among others) have been a real mixed bag of quality. I've objected to the poor handling of the source material in the X-Men films from the beginning pointing out the lack of depth in the characters, and the blatant absence of even a hinted history between Wolverine and his archenemy Sabretooth. These issues continued to surface in the sequels as Lady Deathstrike is supposed to be a scorned lover of Logan's, but again, they appear to be complete strangers to one another in X2: X-Men United . Many more characters are screwed up along the way, too (why is Pyro an X-Men and not Australian?). So, you can grasp that I've been a little disappointed that the X-Men films haven't really gotten it right. Despite the filmmakers getting it wrong, Hugh Jackman has done a fine job as Logan / Wolverine, and I hope that the next film really gets the gritty details right. There is so much one can explore with this character that it kind of pains me that we keep getting so many lightweight stories surrounding him. Yes, why people love him is due to his 'take no crap' attitude, loner mentality, and willingness to throw down with the baddest of the bad without a tinge of fear or hesitation. He's all action, but there's so much depth in the source material that can make a wide audience see he's more than just a rugged action hero. Still, no one can slay a band of ninjas like Wolverine, and with the new movie being set in Japan, maybe we'll get treated to such a scene. The Japan-set story could also allow for an audience to see the more Samurai-like side of the character with his sense of honor. As the comics have demonstrated, adding more depth to Wolverine can only make him more appealing to an audience.
While the blue and yellow costume is the original and the one most regularly associated with the character, I have always felt that the orange and brown outfit is more his style. It feels more down n' dirty, more animalistic, less flash, more business. The Earth tones suit his Canadian wilderness roots as well. The blue and yellow has a lot of visual appeal, and works when he is in the team dynamic. However, when he's solo, I like him sporting this look.
Wolverine appears in books published by Marvel Comics
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