Wolverine is one of the most notable mutants in the Marvel Universe. While the majority of mutants can brave themselves by being powerful telekinetics, elementals, or merely having various energy-manipulating or reality-altering powers, Wolverine’s transformation goes beyond what’s bone-deep and affects his psyche as well. Wolverine tends to succumb to what is known as Berserker Rage or Fury, under which influence he completely loses touch with everything that makes him human. Let’s see what exactly Berserker Rage is and how powerful it is.
Wolverine’s Berserker Fury manifested at the same time as his other powers and abilities
We know that Wolverine was born as James Howlett and came from a decent and rich family if it weren’t for the fact that he was a product of an affair between his mother and Howlett groundskeeper Logan.
While John Howlett Wolverine’s stepfather was a respectable man, Logan was anything but, and he tortured his other son, called merely “Dog,” to no end. But, as the two boys grew up side by side, they became fast friends and spent most of their days together. The duo was joined by Rose, an Irish girl who was hired to be James’ companion at that time.
While James grew up to be somewhat of a decent young man, Dog was eventually ruined by his father’s abuse and started taking on the characteristics of his father. He eventually made an unwanted advance toward young Rose, which James reported to his father. And, long story short, this act led to the deaths of James’ immediate family.
Logan killed James’ puppy in revenge, along with his son, and ran from the estate, but he returned in a drunken stupor one night, killing John Howlett with a shotgun.
At that very same moment, James walked into the room, and seeing his “father” killed triggered something inside him. The deep trauma unlocked his mutant powers. Bone claws protruded from his hands, and James was overcome with extreme fury that was totally out of character for him.
He killed Logan and attacked Dog, leaving him with three bone marks across his cheek. It is only later that Wolverine figures out that this uncharacteristic fury is actually a manifestation of something far worse.
What is Berserker Rage?
To put it in simple terms, Berserker Rage is Wolverine’s tendency to turn into a complete animal. It is a state of heightened feral aggression and primal instincts that he is sometimes able to enter during intense battles. While under the influence of Berserker Fury, Wolverine loses himself completely to that rage, becomes more reckless and brutal, and relents in combat. His senses and physical abilities are pushed to the extreme, and he can fight stronger, longer, faster, and more ferocious. The Berserker Rage is often shown as Wolverine’s last resort in battles, and it’s usually triggered by extreme stress, pain, fear, grief, or threats.
Wolverine is, more often than not, unable to control his “transformation,” and often, he enters this state of aggression and fury accidentally and unwillingly. It’s simply a manifestation of Wolverine’s animalistic side that manifests itself in such a way.
How strong is Wolverine while being affected by Berserker Rage?
We’ve already mentioned that Berserker Fury is a state in which Wolverine’s powers and abilities are enhanced, and this is true. In his normal state, Wolverine can access enhanced senses, somewhat enhanced strength, speed, healing factor, etc., as there are a lot of aspects of his character and abilities that can be perceived as animalistic, but Berserker Fury brings that to another level.
While under the influence of rage, Wolverine is almost completely animal; in fact, one of the first times Wolverine loses control over himself, he lives in the woods with packs of animals and hunts for food like an animal. The elements don’t affect him, and he is able to endure even the most extreme of conditions.
Notable, while enraged, Wolverine’s strength increases significantly; it goes from low-level superhuman to extreme, as he can lift at least 2 tons. After Wolverine’s resurrection, he gained a new ability called “Hot Claws.” This ability allows his Adamantium-tipped claws to heat up to several thousand degrees rapidly in seconds. The extent and source of the heat is unclear, but it is associated with Wolverine’s Berserker Rage. The heat generated is devastating enough to ignite gasoline upon contact with his claws.
Wolverine is under the influence of fury, able to single-handedly fight off numerous humans and superhumans at the same time.
Wolverine, over the years, tried to control Berserker Fury
Wolverine is not as clear-cut as most superheroes because he did many horrific things over the course of history. The first notable victim of his Berserker Fury was his own father, Logan, but the second notable victim was his first love interest, Rose, who he accidentally killed during his fight against Dog. Later, he kills his second love interest, Clara, who helped introduce him back to civilization, and the rest is history.
Wolverine, over time, had episodes of Berserker Rage, would withdraw into animals completely only to regain his humanity and to fall into the same trap once again when he becomes close to someone. But, in recent years, Wolverine’s special fury is rarely used, writers don’t really care about it, and there are some good in-universe explanations for it, such as Mutant Resurrection Protocols that seemingly allowed Wolverine to get rid of some of his undesirable qualities.
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