James Howlett/Logan (Wolverine)

And here’s your favorite clawed mutant! Wolverine is without a doubt one of Marvel Comics‘ most loved and popular characters ever, and even his career in the movies has made it clear: Hugh Jackman, who brilliantly portrays him in the film universe, is the only actor who has appeared in every single movie of the series (included a small but funny cameo in the latest X-Men: First Class). So, since we’ll see the character again next year in The Wolverine, sequel to the awful spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine, let’s talk a little bit about this fan-favorite mutie!

We waited from 1974, date of birth of the character on the pages of The Incredible Hulk, until 2001, when Joe Quesada wrote the mini-series Origin, to learn something about Wolverine’s past, but now we know almost everything about him (differently from the character himself, who keeps losing his memory). Despite being introduced with the name Logan, Wolverine’s real name is James Howlett, and he was born in the late 1880s in AlbertaCanada, son of rich farm owners. Little James was often sick and stayed in bed for days because of his frail health; his parents, John and Elizabeth, allowed him to play with Rose O’Hara, a red-haired girl who was James’ caretaker and soon became friend with him, and Dog Logan, the energic son of Thomas Logan, the house’s gardener. With years passing, Dog becomes more and more violent because of his father’s abuses on him, and when he, James and Rose went on a day out in the country, he tried to rape Rose, and later killed James’ pet dog. Because of this violent episodes, John Howlett was forced to chase away the Logans. The same night, Thomas Logan came back to Howlett’s manor and killed John; he then revealed to James his true origins: Elizabeth and the gardener had an affair, and James is Logan’s illegitimate son. Overwhelmed by a never felt before rage, James first displayed his mutant powers: bone claws came out of his hands, and he stabbed Logan to death, wounding Dog in the process, only to fall into some sort of catatonic state immediately after. Shocked by her son’s nature, Elizabeth committed suicide, and Rose, left alone among corpses, took James with her and fled. The two of them stopped in a mine town in Canadian wilderness, and, to cover their tracks (thanks to Dog, everyone believed that Rose and James killed the Howletts), Rose told everyone that James’ name was Logan. In the mine town, the two lived peacefully for some years: James got more healthy then ever, and became a hard worker, gaining the miners’ respect and the nickname “Wolverine”, because of his tenacity in digging. He also started to develop deep feelings towards Rose. Peace didn’t last long, anyway, as Dog managed to find them: in the following fight, Wolverine accidentally stabbed Rose with his claws, killing her. This episode forced James to leave the mine town and to start traveling the world, mourning his dead first love.

In the following decades, the man now called Logan travelled the world: in 1914 he joined the Canadian Army during World War I, becoming the diamond point of the suicide squad Devil’s Brigade; then he travelled to China, where Master Ogun taught him the Art of War, and in Japan, to learn the ways of the samurai; in here, he had a clash with the Yashida Clan because of his marriage with Mariko, the youngest daughter of Lord Yashida. As every woman Logan as ever loved, Mariko died, and Wolverine continued his nomadic life. During World War II, Logan teamed-up with Captain America and Bucky to rescue a young Russian girl, Natasha Romanova (later known as the Black Widow) and became a war hero. Finally, he entered the Weapon X program, a Canadian project which wanted to make use of mutants for military purposes. Wolverine was the perfect choice for the experiment the Director had in mind: thanks to the same healing factor that allowed him not to grow old during the decades, he was implanted with and indestructible adamantium skeleton (adamantium is a fictional metal in the Marvel Universe) that transformed him in a living weapon. Unfortunately, because of the trauma following the experiment he lost his memory, which he managed to recover only half a century later. Wolverine is a loner by nature, but in the years he has joined many teams: Team X and Alpha Flight among the others, but especially the second generation of X-Men. He has become very close to Charles Xavier‘s dream of peaceful cohabitation between mutants and humans, taking part in many line-ups of the team.

Wolverine is a tragic figure, a man doomed to lose everyone he loves (especially if they are red-haired beautiful girls he falls in love with), whose healing factor has proved to be more a curse than a gift, making him live longer than (almost) every person he ever met. With the years, he added to his mutant powers the gifts given to him by his centuries-old experience and a great talent in martial arts. Logan constantly struggles with a feral and violent instinct that dominates him when enranged, and always fights to be more a human than the animal his nature wants him to be.

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57 Comments

  1. […] Reavers were joined by Pierce, three of his soldiers from the Hellfire Club who had been maimed by Wolverine (Macon, Cole and Reese), and Yuriko Oyama, a Japanese woman with a vendetta against Wolverine. […]

  2. […] portrayed by Stephen Dunlevy. In the second trailer, he’s the bearded guy who holds Logan during what seems to be the mutant‘s first encounter with the cybernetic mercenaries (but […]

  3. […] of humanity, and the two won the battle thanks to the intervention of two other X-Men, Iceman and Wolverine; after that, Maverick helped the Bradleys to start a new life in Florida, with a false identity. […]

  4. […] of a role in the film, as he’s one of the unfortunate cyborgs who try to capture Laura in Logan‘s desert house, but get dismembered as a result. In the comics, of course, there’s much […]

  5. […] an unexpected surprise, and many read in his presence the seeds for a future X-Force movie. When Logan finally manages to bring Laura to the coordinates she’d given to him, he finds out […]

  6. […] a planet that hosted an elite of mutants, descendants of a colony founded by Magneto and Wolverine, ruling over enslaved humans; the Guardians helped the human resistance, but when its […]

  7. […] mutant superhero, Molly announced she would have grown up to join the X-Men and marry Wolverine, in the meanwhile planning all her future adventures…thus making clear it was all just a game […]


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