“I’m the best at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice.” – Wolverine
One of the most popular characters in comic book history, Wolverine is an antihero for the ages, with his brooding nature and a willingness to use deadly force to accomplish his goals. He is one of the few X-Men characters to appear in every media adaptation of the franchise including film, television, computer, and video games.
Hugh Jackman will be reprising the role for (he claims) the last time in the third Wolverine-centric film: “Logan.” So in preparation, get your claws out for these hair-raising facts about Wolverine.
33. Hulk Introduce!
Wolverine made his first appearance in a 1974 issue of The Incredible Hulk as a villain. In that issue, the Hulk wanders into Canada and the Royal Canadian Air Force sends Wolverine out to fight him.
32. Tougher Than Rasputin
Wolverine is well known for his healing powers, which have kept him from going towards the light on a number of occasions. He’s survived an atomic blast, getting run over by a steamroller, and even being ripped in half by The Incredible Hulk.
31. Tights Budget
Wolverine was supposed to have a cameo in 2012’s Spider-Man but did not appear because they lost his costume and, with a paltry budget of only $140M, they couldn’t afford to make another.
30. Not a Cheap Date
Due to his healing superpower, Wolverine is actually resistant to most poisons and drugs, including alcohol. It is nearly impossible for him to get drunk so, of the many things you shouldn’t compete against Wolverine in, beer pong is up there.
29. Wolverine: Corporate Shill
In 1993, Marvel sent their annual report out to corporate shareholders in the form of a comic, and in one of Wolverine’s more mortifying moments, he espouses the virtues of Gerber baby products.
28. Oh Canada!
In his first full appearance, Wolverine was touted as the world’s first and greatest Canadian superhero. Take that, Sir John a. Macdonald!
27. Badgers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badgers
An alternate name proposed for Wolverine was Badger. Luckily, they went with Wolverine because Badger would have been waaaaay meaner and would have cared waaaay less.
26. Who’s My Daddy?
For a time, Marvel had planned for Wolverine’s nemesis Sabertooth to be his father, but a DNA test proved that there was no relationship between the two. For the record, that would have been an incredible episode of The Maury Povich Show.
25. What’s My Name?
Although he goes by Logan, Wolverine’s real name is James Howlett. James took his name from his actual father Logan, who shot and killed the man James thought was his father.
24. Worst Loner Ever
Although he is most famous for being one of the X-Men, Wolverine has also been a part of thirty-five different Marvel teams including The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fantastic Four, and Alpha Flight – Canada’s premiere superhero team, which is presumably comprised of a plate of sentient poutine and Justin Trudeau.
23. That’s a Long Catchphrase
His famous catchphrase – “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn’t very nice” first appeared in the 1982 miniseries Wolverine. It is widely considered to be a much more fitting catchphrase for the character than “Did I do that?” or “Bazinga!”
22. Daddy Issues
Wolverine has a son named Daken who shares his mutant abilities and was brainwashed by The Winter Soldier to hate his father. Daken once infiltrated a SHIELD facility and eviscerated his father, bringing him to the brink of death. He is soooooo grounded.
21. The ‘Ol Spidey Switcheroo
To teach him a lesson, Jean Grey swapped Wolverine’s mind with that of a teenage Spider-Man’s, which was pretty hilarious until Wolverine went all Rob Lowe and tried to seduce 15-year-old Mary Jane Watson. What actually happened between Wolverine and Mary Jane is never fully revealed in the comics. Probably for legal reasons.
20. Oh Captain My Captain
Because of his long history and lack of memories, it was easy for writers to put Wolverine everywhere, Forrest Gump style. One of the better storylines, however, involves Wolverine fighting alongside Captain America in World War II. Wolverine was punching Nazis before punching Nazis was cool.
19. Whatever Happened to Using a Rib?
Logan has a female clone named X-23 who was created from a damaged sample of Wolverine’s DNA. Although she was trained to kill Wolverine, she joined the X-Force instead and is now his ally.
18. He Should Probably Cut Down on Beer
In the comics, Wolverine is 5’3” and with his adamantium skeleton, weighs 300 lbs. That puts his BMI at 55 and classifies him as extremely obese. But don’t call him fat to his face.
17. Huge Jackman
Hugh Jackman is 6”2 and 200 lbs (without his adamantium skeleton) so they filmed Jackman at different angles to make him look shorter. Bob Hoskins (of Roger Rabbit fame), who was cast to play Wolverine in James Cameron’s cancelled adaptation, would have been a much closer match to the comic book character.
16. Wolverine: Polyglot
Having travelled all over the world and lived for quite some time, Wolverine is fluent in many languages including English, Japanese, French, Russian, Chinese, Cheyenne, Lakota, and Spanish. He also knows some Thai and Vietnamese. About the only thing he doesn’t need a translator for is anger.
15. Yes, Every Single Time
Whenever Wolverine decides to extend his claws, they slice through the skin on his hands, causing him quite a bit of pain (his healing factor doesn’t come with anesthetic). This is why Wolverine typically only uses his claws as weapons for an impending battle rather than, say, as an improvised Slap Chop.
14. The Claw! The Claw!
While Wolverine typically extends all three claws on each hand at once, he’s actually capable of doing them one at a time to whatever length he chooses. This is particularly useful if he wants to give someone the middle claw. And given it hurts to extend a claw, you can bet the person on the receiving end probably deserves it.
13. Basic Facts
The wolverine is the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family and is referred to by Blackfeet Confederacy are “skunk bear.” Oh wait, that’s a wolverine fact, not a Wolverine fact. Our bad.
12. Live Long and Stay Down!
In an X-Men/Star Trek crossover special, Wolverine ended up fighting Spock and was immediately dropped by a Vulcan neck pinch. Wolverine healed rapidly, got up, and was immediately dropped again because Spock is a badass.
11. Smells Like Teen Spirit
When Wolverine was first introduced in 1974, the original plan was for him to have enhanced senses, animal rage, and to be a teenager. Yes. A teenager. Because that’s what Wolverine needed. More angst.
10. Work Fast!
As many fans know, Wolverine’s bones are coated with adamantium. The components of this alloy are kept in separate batches (typically in blocks of resin). To use it, the blocks are melted together, mixing the components and evaporating the resin. The alloy must then be cast within eight minutes. Otherwise, it will harden and be impossible to remold, destroy, or even fracture.
9. Press-On Claws
Before they came up with the idea for his claws to be a part of his body, they were originally attached to removable gloves which would have turned him into a less cool version of Freddy Krueger.
8. Be Like Clint
As he did with many other characters, Frank Miller defined Wolverine by taking inspiration from Clint Eastwood. Presumably the cool Dirty Harry version of Clint and not the crazy Gran Torino version where he lectures an empty chair.
7. A Time to Kill
In the critically reviled comic book version of Age of Ultron, Wolverine went back in time to kill the creator of the murderous Ultron robot. He ended up screwing everything up more, so he then went back in time again to kill himself, leading to… so… many… problems.
6. He Looks Good For His Age
Wolverine was born in 1880. Presumably in Canada. Presumably with attitude.
Wolverine’s claws are actually made of bone and are a part of his skeletal system. He didn’t realize they were there until after his real father killed his fake father. After witnessing the murder, the claws popped out, and he skewered his real father. It was almost like a weird episode of the Jerry Springer show.
In one of the comic book storylines, a team of bad guys attack the mansion and Wolverine kills them all. It is later revealed that it was just an illusion created by the villain Mysterio and all the people Wolverine killed were, in fact, the rest of the X-Men. This resulted in Wolverine moping for a while, because that’s what you do when you accidentally murder all your friends.
3. Good to the Last Drop
Wolverine has come back from the brink of death many times, but never more than the time he was annihilated by aliens and somehow managed to grow an entirely new Wolverine from a single drop of his blood.
2. It’s Just a Little Death
In a recent storyline, Wolverine lost his healing powers to a sentient virus, forcing him to face his own mortality and change the way he approaches battles. For the first time in his life, Wolverine is finally vulnerable, allowing fans to see a brand new facet of the beloved character.
1. Okay, It’s a Lot of Death
Without his healing powers, the adamantium in his bones started poisoning him and seeing that the end was near, he found one of the men responsible for his creation, killed him, and rescued other test subjects. However, the effort resulted in him being encased in a tomb of liquid adamantium, which left him very dead. For now.