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Foggy Ruins of Time - John Byrne's Inspiration for Wolverine

This is the latest in a series giving you the cultural context behind certain comic book characters/behaviors. You know, the sort of then-topical references that have faded into the "foggy ruins of time." To wit, twenty years from now, a college senior watching episodes of Seinfeld will likely miss a lot of the then-topical pop culture humor (like the very specific references in "The Understudy" to the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal). Here is an archive of all the Foggy Ruins of Time installments so far.

Today, we take a look at the not-so-well-known actor who was the inspiration for John Byrne's take on Wolverine...

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In an interview in TwoMorrows' Back Issue #4 with Peter Sanderson, John Byrne revealed his inspiration for his depiction of Wolverine during his run on X-Men with Chris Claremont. Byrne explained:

My Wolverine is an actor whose name I don't even know, who's on camera for all of five minutes in a Paul Newman hockey movie called Slap Shot..

The actor in question was Paul D'Amato, who played "Dr. Hook" in the classic 1977 sports film.

Here he is in action...

And here are a couple of Byrne Wolverine scenes (with Terry Austin inks, from 1978's X-Men #114 and 1980's X-Men #133)...

Cool stuff.

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future edition of this column, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

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