Real Name: James “Logan” Howlett
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk # 180 Cameo (October, 1974), Incredible Hulk # 181 (November, 1974) First full appearance
Powers: Healing Factor, Nearly Indestructible, Slowed Aging, Exceptional Tracker, 6 Retractable Claws
Affiliation: X-Men, Avengers, Alpha Flight, Weapon X
Love Interests: See below
Enemies: Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Magneto, Silver Samurai, Hulk, and Deadpool
Did You Know: Wolverine is actually short in the comics. This makes Hugh Jackman far too tall to be portraying him correctly on the big screen.
A Little History
Widely considered one of the most popular characters in comics, Wolverine first appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181.
Born into a wealthy family to John and Elizabeth Howlett, young James was a frail boy. James had two companions that lived on the estate with him; a girl named Rose and a boy nicknamed ‘Dog’. Unfortunately for Dog, he found himself at the constant torment of his father, Thomas.
The three children became best friends. As much fun as the three had together, the fun was conditional of James. James couldn’t be out in the sun for too long and water made his skin spotty. No matter how much fun they had, at the end of the day, James and Rose went back to the estate, leaving Dog to return to his less than average life.
While the three were out, James fell into a pond leaving Dog to jump in to save him. Upon returning home, the two boys told their parents what had happened. James’ father simply said that it was ok, and was happy no one was hurt. Dog’s father, on the other hand, was convinced that James is punished for his action. John wouldn’t have it.
That night Dog received a brutal punishment. The idea was that the punishment be a lesson to him that his kind doesn’t mix well with James’ kind.
That year Christmas came and Dog was caught peering into the Howlett mansion. Rather than punish Dog, John gave him one of James’ gifts. That night when Dog returned home with the news of the free gift, Thomas decided that he needed to be punished for his actions.
Years past and Dog started on to make unwanted advances towards Rose. James, seeing Rose go through this, reported it to his Dad, which caused a large retaliation from Dog. He retaliated so by killing James’ dog.
John was furious that Dog had killed James’ dog. Rather than giving the two another chance, he had them thrown off the property and fired. Upset by the events, Thomas vowed that John didn’t deserve his wife and wanted to do something about it.
Thomas and Dog arrived back at the Howlett mansion, took Rose hostage and made her take them to James’ mother’s room. John barged into the room to find out what the commotion was about and just as he did so Thomas shot and killed him. While this was happening young James had awoken and made his way to the room. He watched as Thomas killed his father.
Dog looked to stop James from screaming by shooting him. Just as he took aim, Rose pushed him and James got up and hit Dog across the face. He then ran over to Thomas exclaiming that he had killed his father. He proceeded to punch him in the stomach…or so he thought.
Thomas looked down and noticed he was bleeding from the abdomen. The room shuffled their attention to James and looked on as he sat screaming with bone claws coming from his hands. His mother then walked over screaming “not again” at him. James ran in fear while she grabbed the rifle and committed suicide.
Rose and James ran to British Columbia, Canada where the two lives a peaceful life. During this time, he took on the name ‘Logan’ to hide his identity as more of his powers emerged. Along with his retractable claws, he became strong, voracious and able to withstand the elements. He also received the name Wolverine, developed a healing ability and as a by-product of it, ages very slowly.