How much do you know about Wolverine? He’s arguably the most famous character of all the X-Men, and one of the most recognizable superheroes in the world. But I guarantee you, there’s some insane stuff about this feral mutant that you definitely don’t know about. Did you know he was originally Australian? What about the fact that he lost his nose thanks to Magneto? And then there’s the part where he broke the space-time continuum. Yeah, that actually happened.
Wolverine has been through some crazy sh*t thanks to the fact that he barely ages and is virtually indestructible. He has been around long enough to play ball with heroes and villains across many different eras in Marvel’s illustrious history, and has lived longer than most of his brethren ever could. Tormented, ferocious, and in a constant state of internal conflict, the man known as Logan has battled inner and outer demons for as long as he can remember. A weapon in every sense of the word, he has been manipulated into action by those who want to abuse his powers, and guided into being a soldier with purpose by those who are his true friends and allies.
Here are 15 insane things about Wolverine that you may not have known about, and I can almost guarantee that at least one of these things will take you by surprise!
15. He Was Supposed To Debut As A Teenager
Let’s start things off with the first time everyone’s favorite Adamantium-boned mutant graced the pages of a comic book. The year was 1974 and the comic in particular was The Incredible Hulk. A new character was revealed to the fold to take on the big green behemoth, but most of his identity was kept a mystery. Plus, he was in full costume, so no one could really see his face. Here’s the kicker… the original plan, and this was long before the version fans know and love was cemented into comic lore, was for Wolverine to be a teenager! Gasp! Seriously, can you imagine if the creators of the character followed through on that plan?
While there were no plans for the mysterious mutant to have Adamantium claws that early on in his history, the part about having enhanced senses and an animalistic rage was always there. It’s hard to picture Wolverine as anything other than a middle-aged man because we’ve always identified the character with being grizzled with maturity, but had the creators gone ahead with making him a teenager, it would have led to an extremely different dynamic with the X-Men on a whole. Who even knows if the character would be this popular today.
14. He Was Almost The Badger
This list isn’t called “15 Insane Facts About Wolverine” for nothing. Almost being a teenager may sound strange, but not as strange as the other plans creator Len Wein had previously considered for our feral hero. One plan that almost came to fruition was for Wolverine to literally be an animal that had mutated into a humanoid creature, much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Meaning, Wolverine would have looked like Beast, but with darker fur. And if you think he would have been a wolverine-turned-humanoid… think again. Wolverine was almost not a wolverine at all, but instead, Len Wein was this close to calling him “Badger”. That’s right, in an attempt to increase comic book sales in Canada, Len was given two choices; Wolverine and Badger. In the end, I think we can all agree that Len Wein and Marvel made the right choice. Phew!
That’s not all. Wolverine’s claws were also originally part of his gloves instead of weapons that protruded from his knuckles. Because of Wolverine’s shrouded past kept a secret until the mid-90s, there was no reason to make the claws a part of the mutant’s body… and they almost became nothing more than weapons that were attached to his gloves.
13. Clint Eastwood Connection
The Wolverine character had picked up popularity after its first appearance, and Marvel had quickly solidified his demeanor and personality before making him a permanent name in their comic book universe. Plans for Wolverine to be a teenager, a badger, or a clawless mutant were scrapped for good and everyone decided that it was best for him to be a more mature character with some sarcasm and gruff added to his personality for good measure. However, the character continued to evolve over the years and took on a darker personality as time went by. Wolverine really hit his mark when Frank Miller started to take a hold of him. Miller constantly drew inspiration from none other than Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, and even coined the phrase, “I’m the best in the world at what I do, but what I do isn’t very nice.”
What’s interesting is that the only actor to have ever played Wolverine on the big screen, Hugh Jackman, bears a striking resemblance to a much younger Clint Eastwood. Jackman himself has admitted this, and even has an embarrassing story to tell about how he brought up the subject to Clint, only to find out the veteran actor probably had no idea who Hugh was. Can someone say “cringe”!
12. Wolverine Has A Son – The Dark Wolverine
Okay, this one’s pretty messed up. After the divisive House Of M mega-event in the Marvel comics, Wolverine’s character was given an extra layer of depth when the amnesiac mutant’s memories prior to the Weapon X procedure were restored. Now equipped with a full memory, Wolverine would soon recall that the son he thought was killed in the womb by The Winter Soldier in the 40’s was in fact, very much alive! That’s right… Wolverine learned that he had a son, and that son’s name was Daken! And like all great father-son stories, Daken was raised to hate his father.
One of Daken’s most psychotic plots, however, was to form a cult of Wolverine’s children or clones or whatever they were and sic them against their own father. Unaware of this fact, Wolverine would make short change of the cult, only to later learn that they were all his own! Yeah, I told you this was messed up. Fearing that Daken would not stop in his path of vengeance, the leader of the X-Force was forced to drown the mad mutant because apparently drowning is the only way to stop someone with a rapid healing factor, including Wolverine. Take note, House of M and the entire arc following it is considered highly controversial so some fans may not even see this as canon, although Marvel pretty much insists it is.
11. He Also Has A Daughter
Well okay, maybe “daughter” isn’t exactly an appropriate term. Before the big reveal came about Daken being Wolverine’s son, we were treated to the bombshell of Wolverine’s female clone, X-23! The genetically engineered mutant was born and raised in a lab similar to the Weapon X facility, using a small portion of Wolverine’s DNA that was left behind during the initial Weapon X projects. More like his female genetic twin, X-23 was bred to be the perfect weapon. She had two claws protruding from her wrists, and one from each foot. To make matters worse for everyone, X-23 was given a sort of “trigger scent”, something that would send her into a berserker rage when detected, much like Wolverine himself before he took control of his animalistic side.
Raised as the perfect assassin, X-23 would later realize all the abuse she endured at the hands of her makers and find redemption by joining the X-Men. Her bond with her father would also improve dramatically over the years, and she would spin-off into being her own persona in multiple arcs that didn’t involve Wolverine at all.
10. He’s a World War II Veteran
In case you didn’t already know… Wolverine is old. Very old. In fact, before he was altered by the Weapon X procedure, the man known as Logan fought alongside Captain America in World War II. Because of his rapid healing factor, Wolverine hardly ages, and therefore has lived for an unidentified number of years. Some say he’s close to being 90 years old, while others believe he’s way more than a centenarian. In any case, Logan had many adventures back in the days of war, fighting alongside those like Captain America against assassins like The Winter Soldier. He even traveled across the world and was present in Japan post-Pearl Harbor. One of his retro adventures took him to Russia, where a young Black Widow was brought into the fold. His body’s ability to patch up wounds in a frighteningly short amount of time means that Wolverine has pretty much participated in some of the biggest events in history and managed to walk out of them alive. As we saw in the prologue to the movie The Wolverine, he even endured the blast from the Hiroshima explosion and was able to come back from that, practically good as new!
9. His Name Is James Howlett
The story of Wolverine, like that of all great heroes, is actually quite a tragic one. He was born James Howlett, the youngest child of rich plantation owners, but was very sickly most of the time. His brother, who apparently also had bone claws, died under mysterious circumstances. His only companions were a young orphan girl named Rose and Dog, an unruly kid who happened to be the groundskeeper’s son. Young James was constantly plagued by allergies and his health was in a constant state of fragility. His mother, a depressed and tormented woman, hid secrets from the entire family, while his father seemed to be shrouded yet loving in most cases. Like all good dramas, it appeared as though Howlett’s mother was romantically involved with Dog’s father prior to marrying into wealth, yet the tensions never seemed to subside.
One night, under intense provocation and stress, Howlett’s mutation would rear its beastly head, and the bone claws finally made their debut. He would kill the groundskeeper for killing his father, and would then flee out of panic, rage, and regret. That was the end of fragile James Howlett, and the birth of the indestructible animal known as Logan aka Wolverine.
8. James Cameron Wanted A Wolverine Movie
We can all thank Bryan Singer for effectively bringing the X-Men to the big screen and kick-starting the age of superhero movies on the big screen. If it hadn’t been for the success of early comic book movies like X-Men and Spider-Man, we wouldn’t have the massive fleet of superhero movies that have taken place since and are yet to happen. Nevertheless, Bryan Singer wasn’t the first one to think of turning the X-Men into live-action movies. Years before the first X-Men was ever made, director James Cameron of Titanic and Avatar fame was working hard at bringing Wolverine to life. Cameron had meetings with both Stan Lee and famous Marvel writer Chris Claremont on how he could properly bring Wolverine and the X-Men to the big screen. Things went as far as coming up with sketches and concept art for the characters!
For better or worse, nothing truly materialized and Cameron parted ways with the project to pursue another superhero; Spider-Man. That didn’t turn out too well as well, and Sam Raimi ultimately brought the web-slinger to life. Here’s the insane part. James Cameron was keen on having Bob Hoskins step into the shoes of Wolverine. Yeah, that Bob Hoskins! I can’t even wrap my head around it, it’s such a bizarre idea.
7. He Lost His Nose
He may not have been Harry Potter’s arch-nemesis, but at some point in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine lost his nose. Yeah, his nose. In an iconic and equally divisive moment in comic book history, the villainous Magneto would go one step too far and rip the Adamantium right off Wolverine’s bones. Sounds cool, right? Well, that depends on if you like what happens next. Now free of the foreign metal that gives Wolverine his unbreakable bones, his body’s healing factor now goes into full effect, no longer having to constantly deal with keeping the Adamantium from killing him. Not only that, Wolverine’s mutation starts to evolve unlike ever before, giving him an even more rapid healing factor, senses heightened like never before, and he even turns more vicious and feral.
The side-effect of all this, for whatever reason, is the loss of his nose. I’m guessing because the bone was ripped out with the Adamantium? Wolverine would go on for numerous issues and arcs as a noseless, blue-bandana’d man-animal hybrid that ferociously disposed of his enemies with his jagged bone claws. You’re probably wondering how Wolverine got his nose, and his metal claws, back. Well, Apocalypse would bond the metal to his skeleton again in the aftermath of the “Fatal Attractions” saga.
6. He’s No Match For Spock. Yes, That Spock!
The 90’s were a crazy time for comic books. Before superheroes became massive cinematic franchises, Marvel and other comic book publishing houses were desperate to find new ways to create an impact with their brands. We had everything from Marvel finally taking on DC, which turned out to be pretty anticlimactic in the end. And we had Marvel merging with DC in the massive flop that was Alaglam Comics, in which we saw Wolverine and Batman merge to form a new character called Dark Claw. Yeah, it was bad.
One of these crazy crossovers involved the X-Men making it into deep space, only to be greeted by members of the Enterprise. Yes, that Enterprise. Wolverine, for whatever reason, felt it necessary to charge with full-on rage at Spock… only to be completely immobilized by Spock within seconds! Wolverine would regain consciousness and once again try his luck, and the deadpan Vulcan would once again serve the feral mutant with one of his famous neck pinches, rendering Wolverine embarrassed and completely unable to move a muscle. It was one of the most shocking defeats that someone as strong as Wolverine had endured, and one that fans didn’t know how to feel about. Fortunately, the X-Men and members of the Enterprise would team up in the end to take on a common foe.
5. Wolverine Killed Time… and Himself?!
As Deadpool once said, “This sh*t’s gonna have nuts in it!” In the Age Of Ultron arc, the entire Marvel Universe is faced with a supervillain named Ultron, a creation of Hank Pym gone rogue. Much like X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the future is bleak and almost everyone has been wiped out. Ultron rules supreme and Marvel’s only hope is for Wolverine to travel back in time and stop Hank from ever creating Ultron in the first place.
Except, Wolverine for whatever reason goes one step further and goes right to the source… and kills Hank Pym! Thinking this will guarantee Ultron is never created in any point in time, Wolverine returns to the future, except now everything is weird and witchcraft is abundant and in constant conflict with its technological counterpart. Don’t worry, I’m as confused as you are. So, in order to fix this, Wolverine goes back in time yet again… but this time to stop himself from killing Hank Pym. And you thought Inception was complicated. Wolverine succeeds at saving Hank Pym, but only by killing his younger self because apparently, there can only be room for one Wolverine in the loop. Uh, that doesn’t even make sense but whatever, I digress. So Wolverine kills Wolverine, Hank Pym is alive and well, and Ultron is never created. Unfortunately, all this time-tinkering creates a rift in the space-time continuum and everything is slightly f*cked from here on out. Wolverine has officially broken time.
4. Wolverine Killed All The X-Men
Old Man Logan is a pretty controversial storyline arc. Basically, the world’s greatest supervillains have all decided that they’ve had enough with these pesky superheroes consistently thwarting their diabolical plans, and get together to finally do something about it. One of their biggest obstacles, however, is the indestructible Wolverine. So instead of attempting to break his body, these dastardly baddies set out to break the Wolverine’s mind. Ooh, how evil. Anyway, a horde of menacing goons attack the X-Men mansion and take on Wolverine, and the wild mutant takes them on in typical fashion, discarding of each and every one in record time. Unfortunately, there’s a heartbreaking twist to this story, and it is revealed the goons were actually an illusion created by Mysterio and Wolverine had instead killed… all the X-Men!
Holy f*ck. Now mentally fractured, Logan goes into isolation and lives the rest of his life as an aging, broken mutant. He hides his claws for decades and never takes on another mission. While Old Man Logan may be a pretty divisive arc to the fans, it’s a powerful reminder of what could happen if Wolverine ever lost control and went into full-blown berserker mode. It’s a frightening glimpse into the future, and one that we may be treated to in the upcoming third Wolverine solo film due in 2017.
3. Wolverine Isn’t A Loner
Everyone thinks Wolverine is a loner, right? Well, not exactly. While his demeanor and mannerisms are typically antisocial and the man does appreciate some alone time, Wolverine has been in more teams and factions than any other character under Marvel’s illustrious banner. That’s right, the Adamantium-laced mutie has been in over thirty teams! Three-zero! Some of his stints were brief, while others lasted a while, and some factions were even led by Wolverine himself. Take a secret division of the X-Force for instance, a group that was tasked with secretly carrying out underground operations so that the X-Men could keep their hands clean. These operations were, to put simply, too controversial to be done out in the open. Wolverine has also been involved with Alpha Flight, The Defenders, and Fantastic Four.
The biggest inclusion however, was when Wolverine joined The Avengers. He played a pivotal part in a number of major Avengers arcs and became a prominent figure in the all-star faction. It’s a shame that Marvel Studios doesn’t own the rights to Wolverine, because if they did we would have seen Logan team-up with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the rest of the gang on the big screen by now.
2. He Was Originally Australian
Before the original X-Men: The Animated Series became a real thing back in the early 90s, there was an animated X-Men pilot called “Pryde of the X-Men” back in 1989. It was Marvel’s attempt at creating an animated series that was darker and more serious in tone than the usual line-up of cartoons back in the late 80s. The pilot had significantly better animation than what we finally got in 1992, and the storyline revolved around Kitty Pryde joining Professor X’s school for the gifted aka the X-Mansion. The pilot that aired in 1989 was the first time Wolverine ever had a voice to his name, and the first time anyone had seen the character in motion. And the voice, much to everyone’s surprise, was Australian! That’s right, for some reason the cartoon decided to ignore Wolverine’s Canadian heritage that was alluded to so much in the comic books, and went for full-blown Australian instead.
When the altered animated series finally aired in 1992, Wolverine was made into a Canadian again, and all traces of being Australian was lost and contained to that one pilot back in 1989. What’s ironic is that nearly 10 years later, Bryan Singer would cast Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, an actor who is now synonymous with the role. And Hugh Jackman, as we all know, is very much Australian.
1. Wolverine Can’t Stay Drunk
We’ve seen Wolverine consume copious amounts of alcohol in the comics, right? The man drinks… either to remember certain events, or to forget them altogether. He’s a troubled character, and as such has his vices. But, did you know that alcohol does very little to Wolverine’s body? In fact, even the buzz he gets lasts for a ridiculously short amount of time. Because of his rapid healing factor, the alcohol he consumes doesn’t affect his liver. There’s practically no harm done. And for better or worse, Logan can’t even stay drunk long enough to make the alcohol worthwhile. Whatever buzz he gets is quickly snapped back into focus by his body’s healing mechanism. Any slight alteration to his blood is quickly flushed out and set back straight.
Hence, he’s really the perfect fighting machine… exactly as the Weapon X initiative intended for him to be. Alcohol aside, no kind of substance is enough to faze the ferocious Wolverine. It’s what makes him such a lethal threat to his enemies, and what makes him the most sought after living weapon there is. It’s a good thing that he’s one of the good guys, because if the roles were reversed, it’s doubtful if any of our favorite heroes would be left standing.