Wolverine is the best at what he does, which now includes coming back from the dead! In 2014, Marvel killed off Wolverine by turning him into an adamantium statue. In the September issue of Marvel Legacy #1, we saw the return of Logan. The specifics of him coming back from the dead have yet to be laid out, but we are certainly glad to see him return! In the past three years we’ve had the new Wolverine (in the form of his female clone X-23) and Old Man Logan, a version of him from an alternate future. Now we have the real deal, and it looks like his claws haven’t dulled at all, bub!
In November 2001, Marvel launched Origin, a limited series that told audiences the true origin of the mutant named Wolverine. After the miniseries House of M, Wolverine himself regains all of the memories that have been kept from him for so many years. However, there are still many secrets we bet that you don’t know about him. To celebrate the return of Wolverine, CBR presents 15 things even hardcore fans never knew about Marvel’s most savage mutant.
15. HIS CLAWS WERE GOING TO COME OUT OF WHERE?
Wolverine is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Wolverine Origins #4 came out in July 2006 and Logan found himself in a fight with Captain America. Wolvie incapacitates Cap by giving him a “massive hematoma from a femoral artery pseudo-aneurysm.” What that means is that Logan, besides having a mastery of a variety of martial arts, also has a strong knowledge of biology as a means of efficiently hurting people.
What makes Logan really deadly are the six claws that pop out from his forearms at over 100 miles per hour. In the comics and films, their look has evolved over time, ranging from being straight, to looking curved the way an animal’s claws should look. However, it was originally intended to have Wolverine’s claws pop out of his gloves, not his body. They were not a part of his mutation, but rather his costume.
14. LOGAN ISN’T HIS REAL NAME
For years, Logan was a man of mystery, and people would refer to him only as Logan, not knowing if that was his first or last name. Logan’s shadowy past was always filled with half-truths and flat out lies, but all of that was cleared up in the 2001 limited series Origin. We’re introduced to the Logan family and from the very beginning we see that the father, Thomas, bears a striking resemblance to the future X-Men member.
Thomas gets drunk and kills his boss, John Howlett. His son, James, retaliates by revealing his mutation: he unsheathes his bone claws and kills Thomas. His mother, Elizabeth, calls him a freak and yells at him to leave the estate. To prevent from being found, James Howlett takes on the name of his father’s murderer: Logan.
13. HE’S OBESE
Whoa! Before you yell at us for body shaming your favorite superhero, hear us out. In 1991, the anthology series Marvel Comics Presents had a story arc called Weapon X, written and beautifully illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, that depicts the medical process in which adamantium was surgically grafted onto his skeletal structure. That event was referenced in the 2003 film X2: X-Men United, as well as 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse.
Let’s keep in mind that metal is being grafted onto his bones, and metal can be as heavy as it is strong! It’s estimated that Wolverine has enough metal in his body to make him weigh close to 300 lbs! Although Hugh Jackman is 6’2″ in the comics, Wolverine is almost a foot shorter at 5’3″. That puts his Body Mass Index at 53.1, making him morbidly obese. That’s an actual medical term!
12. IT HURTS EVERY TIME
The first X-Men movies came out in 2000 and we were introduced to Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. While driving with Anna Paquin’s Rogue, she asks if it hurts when his claws come out, and his response is every time. It’s true. Every time Wolverine’s claws pop out, they cut holes in his knuckles, but due to his healing factor, they heal almost instantly.
In the comics, Wolverine has lost his healing factor on numerous occasions. When he does and he tries to use his claws, he cuts gashes into the backs of his hands and risks losing a considerable amount of blood. Although he can control the speed that his claws come out (as well as the number; he doesn’t have to use all six at once) an ultra-sharp adamantium blade is going to hurt coming out of your knuckles, no matter what you do.
11. MICKEY MOUSE SAID NO SMOKING
There are many iconic things about Wolverine. For example, the shape of his unruly hair in its pointy, animalistic quiff. He’s also known for losing control when he goes into a berserker rage. In X-Men, X2, X3: The Last Stand, as well as X-Men: First Class, we’re presented with a cigar-smoking Wolverine. And just like Nightcrawler, that habit vanished!
In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion. As a Disney company, Marvel had to now follow some of the House of Mouse’s rules, one of them being that as of 2015, Disney has banned smoking in all of its films, including Marvel, LucasFilms and Pixar movies. There is one loophole though: due to movie rights, Wolverine is technically a 20th Century Fox property, so we may see the man chomp on a cigar after all!
10. THE REAL X-MEN ORIGINS
Where there is risk there is reward. The higher the risk, the more there is to gain as well as to lose. For example, Tim Burton took a big risk casting Michael Keaton as the lead role in the 1989 film Batman. People initially laughed when early stills of Quicksilver came out for X-Men: Days of Future Past, but the scene where he runs in the kitchen to stop all of the guards is one of the stand out moments of the film.
When writer Chris Claremont was asked in the late ’80s who would play Storm and Wolverine in a movie, his response was Angela Bassett and Bob Hoskins (who starred in Hook and Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Claremont saw Hoskins’ performance in the 1984 film Lassiter and thought Hoskins had the meanness, the acting intensity, and at 5’6″ was about the right size to play him. Definitely not our first choice… but would the risk have paid off?
9. HUGH JACKMAN OWES A DEBT TO TOM CRUISE
X-Men launched the career of Hugh Jackman in 2000. Before the movie, he was doing theatre, and in 1998 played Curly in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Oklahoma! in London. Since then he’s starred in such films as The Prestige, Prisoners and The Greatest Showman. However, he was not Bryan Singer’s first choice to play Wolverine.
Dougray Scott was originally cast as Wolverine. However, due to the shooting schedule of the 2000 sequel Mission: Impossible II, he was unable to participate in the filming of X-Men. Thanks to Tom Cruise’s movie, Hugh Jackman was able to get the part! Dougray Scott missed out on an amazing opportunity, but has since then starred in Fear the Walking Dead as Thomas Abigail, Hemlock Grove as Dr. Norman Godfrey, as well as many other films and TV shows. Looks like they’re both doing just fine in their careers!
8. ADAMANTIUM NINE
Adamantium is one of the most durable substances in the Marvel Universe. There are few things stronger than it, one of them is dargonite but you may have to wait until the 31st century before you can find any. You can’t go to the corner store to buy adamantium, but if you could, would you know what kind to get? Did you know that technically there are 13 different forms of adamantium?
Serafina was a member of the Children of the Vault, which made their first appearance in X-Men #188. When she encounters Wolverine, she claims that the adamantium that reinforces Wolverine’s skeleton is considered to be adamantium nine. At one point a type of metal called True Adamantium was used to reinforce Wolverine’s bones. There’s also Secondary Adamantium, and Adamantium Beta.
7. WOLVERINE IS AUSTRALIAN?
Wolverine was played by Hugh Jackman, who was born in Sydney, New South Wales, in October of 1968. Jackman and his four older siblings were raised in Australia, but Wolverine was born in the 1880s in Alberta, Canada. The two places couldn’t be any closer! Was it Jackman’s influence that made Wolverine sound Australian in several of his animated incarnations?
In the 1989 animated television pilot Pryde of the X-Men, the audience follows Kitty Pryde as she arrives at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. In the Danger Room she is introduced to the X-Men, one of them being Wolverine, who is oddly enough speaking with an Australian accent. Since Pryde of the X-Men aired 11 years before the X-Men movie, Jackman clearly had nothing to do with it. Wolverine also had an Australian accent when he appeared in an episode of the 1981 animated series Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends. What gives, mate?
6. WHAT IS WOLVERINE REALLY NAMED AFTER?
In the limited series Origin we find out that Wolverine’s real name is James Howlett, but he takes on the name of his father’s murderer, Logan, and uses that name as his own for over 100 years. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we learn that the Wolverine code name that he uses was taken from the myth that his former lover Kayla Silverfox used to tell him before she died.
Where did the name Logan really come from? Logan was chosen by writer Chris Claremont, who named the comic book character after Mount Logan. The irony of this? Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada. Yes, this was done on purpose to provide yet another opportunity to tease the mutant for being such a short 5’3″ in height.
5. WOLVERINE’S MOST EMBARASSING LOSS
Wolverine possibly has the record for the most number of fights by a Marvel character due to the fact that he’s fought both heroes and villains and that he’s been around since the late 1800s. He’s beaten a lot of impressive foes, but also lost to some embarrassing people. Yes, losing to Squirrel Girl was definitely not his proudest moment, but he’s got another loss that’s even more shameful than that.
Believe it or not, in 1996, Marvel produced a comic called Star Trek/X-Men that had the mutant team working with Captain Kirk and his crew. One of the fights in the comic pits Wolverine against none other than Spock, and the fight is cut short when the Enterprise Science Officer puts Wolverine down with a Vulcan nerve pinch! We could be wrong, but we think he lasted longer against Squirrel Girl!
4. HOW HOCKEY INFLUENCED WOLVERINE
In order to prepare for his audition for Wolverine, Hugh Jackman watched several of the movies in the Dirty Harry series starring Clint Eastwood as well as Mel Gibson in The Road Warrior. In these films the protagonists had very little dialogue, and were the strong, violent types. Jackman also studied the fights of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Wolverine was all of those things and his research paid off.
Frank Miller also looked at Clint Eastwood for visual inspiration when he drew Wolverine in 1982. Artist/writer John Byrne took a much different approach. Strangely enough, Byrne turned to actor Paul D’Amato, who plays Tim “Dr. Hook” McCracken in the hockey film Slap Shot. D’Amato is no Eastwood, and Slap Shot is no Dirty Harry, but Byrne said that he had “crazy eyes” and had the look. Hey, whatever works!
3. WOLVERINE WAS NOT A MUTANT
When is a mutant not a mutant? The Externals, for example, was a subspecies of mutants that were immortal. There were also U-Men, regular humans that gained mutant powers through the implanting of organs from actual mutants. Even such characters as Beast and Emma Frost have gone through secondary mutations. There is another version of mutation that was controversially introduced.
With the introduction of the character Romulus, we learned about Lupus Sapiens, humans that evolved not from primates but from canines. This is told to Wolverine by Remus, the sister of Romulus, and this retcon of Wolverine’s origin was not well-received. Eventually it was stated that the lupine origin was one of many lies told by Romulus, but we don’t necessarily disagree at the idea that Wolverine is more canine than human. Also, when it comes to comic books, weirder things have happened!
2. WOLVERINE WAS NOT A HUMAN!
As far as comic origins go, Marvel waited a long time before it revealed most (not all) of the mysteries of Wolverine’s past. Before that, writers made lots of hints, such as Sabretooth possibly being his father. Although that was an idea they were going to use, it was eventually shot down. Another idea that was dismissed was that Wolverine wasn’t even a human being!
The High Evolutionary is considered one of the leading geneticists in the Marvel Universe. He created a placed called Counter-Earth where he populated the planet with New Men, the genetic fusion of humans and animals. One possible origin of Wolverine was that he was going to be not a mutant, but a wolverine that had been genetically modified to be human-like! The idea was abandoned and rumor has it that the idea was shot down by Stan Lee himself.
1. HE IS A TERRIBLE FATHER
Wolverine has been many things over the years: hero, villain, victim, killer… the list goes on. In Logan, we saw Wolverine as a potential father figure, having to take care of his younger female clone, X-23. We saw Logan being parental in X2 when he had to protect the students at the school against Stryker’s forces, but in Logan his role is a bit more literal. In the comics, his role as a parent is questionable to say the least.
With the exception of one kid, Wolverine has killed all of his children. He fought and killed members of a group called the Red Right Hand, only to find out from a recorded message that they were in fact his children (they were adults; they weren’t actual kids). He also killed his son, Daken, by drowning him. He has a son named Erista, living in the Savage Land. Let’s hope they don’t meet anytime soon.
What is your favorite Wolverine fact? Post your comments below!
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