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Wolverine (born James Howlett commonly known as Logan and sometimes as Weapon X) is a fictional character appearing in American comic bookspublished by Marvel Comics, mostly associated with the X-Men. Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and six retractable bone claws in his hands. He has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers.
The character first appeared in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk #180, with his first full appearance in #181 (cover-dated Nov. 1974). He was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr., who designed the character, and was first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe. Wolverine then joined a revamped version of the superhero team the X-Men, where eventually writer Chris Claremont and artist-writer John Byrne would play significant roles in the character's development. Artist Frank Miller collaborated with Claremont and helped to revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982 in which Wolverine's catchphrase, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice", debuted.
Wolverine is typical of the many tough antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War; his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book antiheroes by the end of the 1980s. As a result, the character became a fan favoriteof the increasingly popular X-Men franchise, and has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988.
He has appeared in most X-Men adaptations, including animated television series, video games, and the live-action 20th Century Fox X-Men film series, in which he is portrayed by Hugh Jackman in nine of the ten films. The character is highly rated in many comics best-of lists, ranked #1 in Wizard magazine's 2008 Top 200 Comic Book Characters; 4th in Empire's 2008 Greatest Comic Characters; and 4th on IGN's 2011 Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.
Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas asked writer Len Wein to devise a character specifically named Wolverine, who is Canadian and of small stature and with a wolverine's fierce temper. John Romita, Sr.designed the first Wolverine costume, and believes he introduced the retractable claws, saying, "When I make a design, I want it to be practical and functional. I thought, 'If a man has claws like that, how does he scratch his nose or tie his shoelaces?'" Wolverine first appeared in the final "teaser" panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 (cover-dated Oct. 1974) written by Wein and penciled by Herb Trimpe. The character then appeared in a number of advertisements in various Marvel Comics publications before making his first major appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov. 1974) again by the Wein–Trimpe team. In 2009, Trimpe said he "distinctly remembers" Romita's sketch and that, "The way I see it, [Romita and writer Len Wein] sewed the monster together and I shocked it to life!... It was just one of those secondary or tertiary characters, actually, that we were using in that particular book with no particular notion of it going anywhere. We did characters in The [Incredible] Hulk all the time that were in [particular] issues and that was the end of them." Though often credited as co-creator, Trimpe adamantly denies having had any role in Wolverine's creation.
The character's introduction was ambiguous, revealing little beyond his being a superhuman agent of the Canadian government. In these appearances, he does not retract his claws, although Wein stated they had always been envisioned as retractable. He appears briefly in the finale to this story in The Incredible Hulk #182.
Wolverine's next appearance was in 1975's Giant-Size X-Men #1, written by Wein and penciled by Dave Cockrum, in which Wolverine is recruited for a new squad. Gil Kane illustrated the cover artwork but incorrectly drew Wolverine's mask with larger headpieces. Dave Cockrum liked Kane's accidental alteration (believing it to be similar to Batman's mask) and incorporated it into his own artwork for the actual story. Cockrum was also the first artist to draw Wolverine without his mask, and the distinctive hairstyle became a trademark of the character.
A revival of X-Men followed, beginning with X-Men #94 (August 1975), drawn by Cockrum and written by Chris Claremont. In X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine is initially overshadowed by the other characters, although he does create tension in the team as he is attracted to Cyclops' girlfriend, Jean Grey. As the series progressed, Claremont and Cockrum (who preferred Nightcrawler) considered dropping Wolverine from the series; Cockrum's successor, artist John Byrne, championed the character, later explaining, as a Canadian himself, he did not want to see a Canadian character dropped. Byrne modeled his rendition of Wolverine on actor Paul D’Amato, who played Dr. Hook in the 1977 sports film Slap Shot. Byrne also created Alpha Flight, a group of Canadian superheroes who try to recapture Wolverine due to the expense their government incurred training him. Later stories gradually establish Wolverine's murky past and unstable nature, which he battles to keep in check. Byrne also designed a new brown-and-tan costume for Wolverine, but retained the distinctive Cockrum cowl.
Following Byrne's departure, Wolverine remained in X-Men. The character's growing popularity led to a solo, four-issue, Wolverine (September–December 1982), by Claremont and Frank Miller, followed by the six-issue Kitty Pryde and Wolverine by Claremont and Al Milgrom (Nov. 1984 – April 1985). Marvel launched an ongoing solo book written by Claremont with art by John Buscema in November 1988. It ran for 189 issues. Larry Hama later took over the series and had an extensive run. Other writers who wrote for the two Wolverine ongoing series include Peter David, Archie Goodwin, Erik Larsen, Frank Tieri, Greg Rucka, Mark Millar, and Gregg Hurwitz. Many artists have also worked on the series, including John Byrne, Gene Colan, Marc Silvestri, Mark Texeira, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Rob Liefeld, Sean Chen, Darick Robertson, John Romita, Jr., and Humberto Ramos. During the 1990s, the character was revealed to have bone claws, after his adamantium is ripped out by Magneto in X-Men #25, which was inspired by a passing joke of Peter David's.
In addition to the Wolverine series and appearances in the various X-Men series, two other storylines expand upon the character's past: "Weapon X", by writer-artist Barry Windsor-Smith, serialized inMarvel Comics Presents #72–84 (1991); and Origin, a six-issue limited series by co-writers Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins, and Bill Jemas and artist Andy Kubert (Nov. 2001 – July 2002). A second solo series, Wolverine: Origins, written by Daniel Way with art by Steve Dillon, spun off of, and runs concurrently with, the second Wolverine solo series.
Wolverine appeared as a regular character throughout both the 2010–2013 Avengers series and the 2010–2013 New Avengers series.
Despite suggestions that co-creator Len Wein originally intended for Logan to be a mutated wolverine cub, evolved to humanoid form by an already established Marvel geneticist, the High Evolutionary,Wein denies this:
While I readily admit that my original idea was for Wolvie's claws to extend from the backs of his gloves ... I absolutely did not ever intend to make Logan a mutated wolverine. I write stories about human beings, not evolved animals (with apologies for any story I may have written that involved the High Evolutionary). The mutated wolverine thing came about long after I was no longer involved with the book. I'm not certain if the idea was first suggested by Chris Claremont, the late, much-missed Dave Cockrum, or John Byrne when he came aboard as artist, but it most certainlydid not start with me.
Wein said on the X-Men Origins: Wolverine blu-ray special features that he has read "Ten things you did not know about Wolverine", which states the character was originally intended to be a mutated wolverine cub, and that this rekindled Wein's frustration. He again stated that he had "always known that Wolverine was a mutant."
In an article about the evolution of Wolverine included in a 1986 reprint of The Incredible Hulk #180–181, titled Incredible Hulk and Wolverine, Cockrum said he considered having the High Evolutionary play a vital role in making Wolverine a human. Writer Wein wanted Wolverine to be the age of a young adult, with superhuman strength and agility similar to Spider-Man. This changed when Wein saw Cockrum's drawing of the unmasked Wolverine as a hairy 40-year-old. Wein originally intended the claws to be retractable and part of Wolverine's gloves, and both gloves and claws would be made of adamantium. Chris Claremont eventually revealed that they were an integrated part of Wolverine's anatomy in X-Men #98 (April 1976). Writer Jeph Loeb used a similar origin for Wolverine in the Marvel continuity, having feral mutants be an evolved lifeform.
John Byrne stated, in both interviews and his website, that he drew a possible face for Wolverine, but then learned that Dave Cockrum had already drawn him unmasked in X-Men #98 (April 1976), long before Byrne's run on the series. Later, Byrne used the drawing for the face of Sabretooth, an enemy of the martial artist superhero Iron Fist, whose stories Chris Claremont was writing. Byrne then conceived of the idea of Sabretooth being Wolverine's father. Together, Byrne and Claremont came up with Wolverine being approximately 60 years old and having served in World War II after escaping from Sabretooth, who was approximately 120 years old.
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Wolverine was born James Howlett in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, during the late 1880s, purportedly to rich farm owners John and Elizabeth Howlett though he is actually the illegitimate son of the Howletts' groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. After Thomas is thrown off the Howletts' property for an attempted rape perpetrated by his other son, named simply Dog, he returns to the Howlett manor and kills John Howlett. In retaliation, young James kills Thomas with bone claws that emerge from the back of his hands, as his mutation manifests. He flees with his childhood companion, Rose, and grows into manhood on a mining colony in the Yukon, adopting the name "Logan". When Logan accidentally kills Rose with his claws, he flees the colony and lives in the wilderness among wolves, until he is captured and placed in a circus. Saul Creed, brother of Victor Creed, frees Logan, but after he betrays Logan and Clara Creed to Nathaniel Essex, Logan drowns Creed in Essex's potion.Logan returns to civilization, residing with the Blackfoot people. Following the death of his Blackfoot lover, Silver Fox, at the hands of Victor Creed, now known asSabretooth, he is ushered into the Canadian military during World War I. Logan spends time in Madripoor before settling in Japan, where he marries Itsu and has a son,Daken. Logan is unaware of his son for many years.
During World War II, Logan teams up with Captain America and continues a career as a soldier of fortune. He serves with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion duringD-Day, and later with the CIA before being recruited by Team X, a black ops unit.
As a member of Team X, Logan is given false memory implants. Eventually breaking free of this mental control, he joins the Canadian Defence Ministry. Logan is subsequently kidnapped by the Weapon X program, where he remains captive and experimented on, until he escapes. It is during his imprisonment by Weapon X that he has adamantium forcibly fused onto his bones. James and Heather Hudson help him recover his humanity, and Logan begins work as an intelligence operative for the Canadian government's Department H. He becomes Wolverine, one of Canada's first superheroes. In his first mission, he is dispatched to stop the destruction caused by a brawl between the Hulk and the Wendigo.
Later, Professor Charles Xavier recruits Wolverine to a new iteration of his superhero-mutant team, the X-Men. It was later revealed that Wolverine had been sent to assassinate Xavier, who wiped Logan's memories and forced him to join the X-Men.
In X-Men #25 (1993), at the culmination of the "Fatal Attractions" crossover, the supervillain Magneto forcibly removes the adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton. This massive trauma causes his healing factor to burn out and also leads to the discovery that his claws are actually bone. Wolverine leaves the X-Men for a time, embarking on a series of adventures during which his healing factor returns. Feral by nature, Wolverine's mutation process will eventually cause him to degenerate physically into a more primitive, bestial state.
After his return to the X-Men, Cable's son Genesis kidnaps Wolverine and attempts to re-bond adamantium to his skeleton. This is unsuccessful and causes Wolverine's mutation to accelerate out of control. He is temporarily changed into a semi-sentient beast-like form. Eventually, the villain Apocalypse captures Wolverine, brainwashes him into becoming the Horseman Death, and successfully re-bonds adamantium to his skeleton. Wolverine overcomes Apocalypse's programming and returns to the X-Men.
In 2004, Mark Millar took on Wolverine with the "Enemy of the State" story arc. Wolverine travels to Japan to search for Mariko's missing nephew, but it was a trap by the Hand to brainwash Wolverine.HYDRA is revealed to be allied with the cults the Dawn of the White Light and the Hand in order to kill superheroes and brainwash them into soldiers. Wolverine kills The Hornet, so Elektra and S.H.I.E.L.D. decide to come after him. Wolverine also attacks the Fantastic Four in the Baxter Building. He is not able to injure the team, but hacks their computer and steals Reed's anti-Galactusweapons before teleporting out. They believe that the next attack will be against Daredevil, but it was a trap to capture Elektra and brainwash her. He also attacks the X-Mansion. He threatensRachel Summers with a bomb that will kill the students unless she uses Cerebro to kill the president. Instead she figures out how to disarm the bomb. Right before he is subdued, Wolverine strikes at Kitty Pryde, who phases, so his blades kill Northstar. Wolverine is captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and submitted to VR reprogramming. Hydra then strike's the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier with all their brainwashed villains. Wolverine is unleashed on them and manages to save Nick Fury from Elektra. Wolverine then tracks down Northstar and the Dawn of the White Hand with three reprogrammed sentinels. He then attacks the Hand's secret base with the last Sentinel and faces Elektra, who is now the Queen of the Hand. It turns out she can't be brainwashed since she's been resurrected so many times. They finish off the Hand leaders, then track down The Gorgon, whom Wolverine kills by showing him a reflection of himself on his adamantium claws. Wolverine is finally able to track down the grave of missing boy.
In Wolverine (vol. 3) #32, Mark Millar drafts a tale of Wolverine in a concentration camp, who is constantly executed and burned in a furnace, then resurrected, which mentally tortures the camp warden. He does not speak a word in the issue, which suggested to Millar by Will Eisner, to resolve Millar's perception that Wolverine's normal manner of speech would not be an appropriate fit for the story's setting.
In 2005, author Brian Michael Bendis had Wolverine join the Avengers. During the miniseries House of M, Wolverine is able to recall that his previous memories and uses mutant Layla Miller, to deconstruct the world Scarlet Witch created. Wolverine is one of the few characters who can remember the House of M world and seeks out to enact vengeance on those who wronged him. In Wolverine: Origins, the character's second solo series, Wolverine discovers that he has a son named Daken, who has been brainwashed and made a living weapon by the villain Romulus, the man behind Wolverine's own brainwashing. Wolverine then makes it his mission to rescue Daken and stop Romulus from manipulating or harming anyone again.
During the events of the "Messiah Complex" storyline, Cyclops orders Wolverine to reform X-Force.[volume & issue needed] Since then, Wolverine and the team (initially consisting of X-23, Warpath, andWolfsbane) have starred in a new monthly title. The team was also featured in the "Messiah War" storyline, a sequel to "Messiah Complex". After the events of Second Coming, Cyclops ends the X-Force program,[volume & issue needed] but Wolverine continues a new Uncanny X-Force team in secrecy with Angel/Archangel, Psylocke, Deadpool and Fantomex.[volume & issue needed]
In 2008, writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven explored a possible future for Wolverine in an eight-issue story arc entitled "Old Man Logan" that debuted with Wolverine #66. Millar, the writer for the story, said, "It's The Dark Knight Returns for Wolverine, essentially. The big, wide, show-stopping series that plays around with the most popular Marvel character of the last forty years, a dystopian vision of the Marvel Universe and a unique look at their futures. The heroes have gone, the villains have won and we're two generations away from the Marvel we know."
In X-Men #5, it is revealed that in order for Wolverine to fully infiltrate the ranks of the vampires that were attacking Utopia at the behest of Dracula's son (when Wolverine thought the vampire virus had simply bested his healing factor), Cyclops has to infect him with nanites that are capable of shutting off Wolverine's healing factor. Cyclops can activate them by merely clicking a button on a remote control device he carries with him at all times.
"The Red Right Hand" is a group of people who have been wronged by Wolverine and have sworn revenge on him. They trick him into trying to save his recent girlfriend Melita Garner (who was Mystique in disguise) and then trap him in a mystical circle to send him straight to Hell. While he is in Hell, a group of demons possess Wolverine's body. The demons then attack Wraith while he is at church, then they attack Colossus. The Red Right Hand then start to kill off people that Wolverine knows, like the Silver Samurai. While in Hell, Wolverine confronts Thomas Logan. Thomas was the groundskeeper of Wolverine's legal father, but is revealed to be the hero's biological father. Wolverine is also reunited with various people he has either killed or died because of him, both foes (led by Sabretooth) and friends. Wolverine manages to escape from Hell with the help of Melita, Daimon Hellstrom, and the Ghost Rider. However, his body is still possessed by the demons. The X-Men find out that Wolverine is possessed and decide that he should die to protect humankind, believing Wolverine would prefer to die rather than kill innocents. Wolverine is attacked on all sides by fighting the demons that still possess him and the X-Men that want him killed. He subsequently tracks down the Red Right Hand and kills their team of killers, the Mongrels. Wolverine fights his way through them only to find that the Red Right Hand's members have all committed suicide, while a pre-recorded message reveals that the Mongrels were all his illegitimate children. Unable to seek vengeance, Logan drags his children to the graves of their mothers before abandoning the world altogether. Broken and depressed, Wolverine secludes himself in the frozen wilderness and travels with a pack of wolves, eating little scraps of what's left of their kills. Poachers find the pack and capture any wolves that are young enough to fight. Wolverine goes to find his pack and kills the poachers. As he debates going back to the wild and hiding in deeper seclusion, he finds injured children whom the poachers were using to fight wolves for sport. Wolverine returns the children to their families only to be found by Melita and his allies who convince him to come back to civilization. Sometime afterwards, the events of Fear Itself and before Schism take place.
At the beginning of the events of Schism, Cyclops thanks Wolverine for always being there for him as they seem to finally have come to a mutually spoken and understood respect for each other after years of fighting and rivalry. While at a conference for weapon control, Kid Omega (Quentin Quire) launches a psychic terrorist attack on the ambassadors present. In response, Sentinels are deployed at the conference and are disposed of by Cyclops and Wolverine. Due to growing fears of mutant threat, countries around the world begin to mobilize their Sentinel forces. As Cyclops begins to deploy X-Men around the globe to deal with the threat, Wolverine returns to Utopia to find Hope Summers and the Lights waiting for their combat training lesson. After insulting Hope's team and realizing that Idie is losing her childhood, Wolverine asks Kitty Pryde to make him a doll to give to Idie. Wolverine gives the doll to Idie and eats ice cream with her while news reports of Sentinel activity play and tensions build around Utopia. Sometime after, Kid Omega shows up on Utopia. Wolverine tries to attack Kid Omega when Cyclops stops him. While Cyclops sends a team of some of his most powerful X-Men, as well as some of the island students, to a local mutant museum exhibit as a "show of force", Wolverine goes to a local bar to sulk in his aggravation with the current situation. The new Hellfire Club attacks the exhibit and incapacitates all senior X-Men present. As Wolverine rushes to the museum to help from the bar and Cyclops flies in from Utopia, Idie asks if she should kill the Hellfire Club to help. While Wolverine protests against it profusely, Cyclops tells Idie to do what she feels is right. Idie kills almost every Hellfire Club member left to save her friends and mentors. Wolverine pops his claws at Cyclops in anger that he used a child to save the day, but restrains himself when he realizes what he is doing.
From the wreckage of the museum, a sentinel begins to form. While Wolverine tries to stop the sentinel from maturing, he is thrown into the ocean. Shortly after, Wolverine swims on to Utopia and tells the mutant children that they need to leave. Cyclops tells the students to fight together and that they can beat the sentinel, but Wolverine objects to using children to fight battles. Cyclops doesn't listen and begins to prepare the students for combat. Shortly after Wolverine returns with a detonator to blow up Utopia and orders all remaining people on the island to evacuate. Cyclops and Wolverine's frustration with each other come to a head when Cyclops brings up Jean Grey saying that she never loved Wolverine and always feared him. Wolverine replies "And if she were here right now, who do you think she would be more frightened of?" The two fight each other in a rage while being attacked by the sentinel and as Wolverine claws into Cyclops visor, the students reappear on the battlefield to help them fight the sentinel. In the morning, Cyclops and Wolverine stand victorious with the students all living, but Wolverine cannot continue watching Cyclops use children as soldiers to fight these battles. Wolverine announces his departure from Utopia and indicates he will take any mutant on the island who wants to leave with him. While Wolverine does not leave as an enemy of Cyclops and his X-Men, he makes clear he wants both sides to stay out of the others business.
After the Schism, around half of all the mutants on Utopia accompany Wolverine to Westchester to be a part of the new school. He appoints himself as the headmaster, Kitty Pryde as the co-headmistress,Hank McCoy as the vice-principal, and various other characters such as Rogue, Cannonball, Iceman, Rachel Grey, and Gambit are appointed as the school's staff. Toad is appointed as a janitor. The first issue focuses on the state education board visiting to approve of their school application. As Logan and Kitty give the delegation a tour, Kade Kilgore shows up and tells Logan that he is the one who caused the Schism and he will destroy all that Logan has worked to build up. Wolverine founded the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, spending all the fortune that he had amassed over the years upon it. On its first day it was assaulted by the new Hellfire Club, who had been a major force in causing the Schism of the X-Men. Wolverine made it clear that he didn't want to lose any of the kids and fought as hard as he could against the Frankenstein Monsters whom Iceman defeated by making Ice clones of himself. Then, they were attacked by the Hellfire Club, who were in possession of a spawn of the original Krakoa.
Kid Omega, who wants to prove himself to Broo, Idie and Kid Gladiator, reasoned with Krakoa who then joined Wolverine's X-Men. Wolverine confronts the Hellfire Club tells them to stay away from his school, though he admonishes Krakoa not to attack them. Matt Murdock tells Kade Kilgore that he is being sued by Wolverine for the sum of $879 million for the damage he did to the school. As the school is rebuilt, Logan is informed that Krakoa was glad they allowed him to stay and Logan notes the advantage of school grounds that could defend itself.
When the Phoenix Force returned to Earth, Wolverine sided with the Avengers and went with them to Utopia to take Hope Summers into custody (as they suspected her of being the Phoenix Force's intended host). Wolverine found this particularly difficult to do as he was forced to fight those he once thought of as family.
Cyclops tries and convince Wolverine to switch sides and become part of the X-Men once more. Wolverine is infuriated, feeling Cyclops has betrayed what the X-Men stood for, and did not have the right to determine who was a part of them.[volume & issue needed]
After Hope's escape, Wolverine accompanies her to the Blue Area of the Moon. She promises to let Wolverine kill her if she is unable to control the Phoenix Force; her only request is that she gets the chance to control it. However, Wolverine betrays her by summoning the Avengers. The Phoenix Force begins to bond with Hope, at which point she admits that she cannot contain it. She asks Wolverine to kill her, but he is prevented from doing so by Cyclops. Eventually, the Phoenix Force
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