Wolverine first made his appearance in The Incredible Hulk #180 in November 1974. He would soon join the X-Men, the team he would call home for decades. Wolverine quickly grew in popularity over the years. While the X-Men teams had their fair share of internal issues, Wolverine never stopped his adventures, either on Earth, in Space, or even the underworld.
Wolverine often has solo adventures but is also included on the roster of other teams, including the Avengers. Wolverine has made an appearance in various cartoons and video games over the years. He would then make his live-action debut in the X-Men film series by Fox. Hugh Jackman portrayed the famous Canadian warrior for years.
Wolverine appeals to many fans because he's not your typical hero. He's had a rough life, which has caused him to be untrusting of many. Even his fellow X-Men have turned against him in the past. The Canadian anti-hero isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Fans are drawn to his rude mannerisms and willingness to go all out in battle.
With a character who has existed for over 40 years, there are some facts about Wolverine that many fans still don't know. Some of our facts contain massive spoilers for Wolverine's past. If you're ready to know more about our favorite claw-wielding mutant, keep reading.
20 A Change Of Accent Would Have Altered His Past
In the Fox series of X-Men films, actor Hugh Jackman portrayed Wolverine. Jackman may be an Australian actor, but he holds back his accent to represent the Canadian on-screen. If the live-action film was released in 1989, Jackman could have maintained his original accent.
X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men was one of the earliest cartoons based off of the popular cartoon series. It was meant to serve as a pilot for a tv series but ended up going straight to video. The 30-minute-cartoon told the tale of how Kitty Pryde, also known as Shadowcat, first became a member of the X-Men. She causes mayhem for the small team, including being fearful of Nightcrawler, which makes Wolverine state that she doesn't belong with the X-Men.
Fans were surprised when they heard Wolverine speak for the first time. It's well-known that he is from Canada, but in this cartoon, his voice actor, Patrick Pinney, gave him Australian accent. According to the book X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe, Rick Holberg states that they wanted to make Wolverine an ex-patriot of Australia since the country had recently become popular in American media. Thankfully, this change was never made official in the comic series.
19 He’d Make The Perfect Travelling Companion
Wolverine may appear to be prone to anger and a bar hopper, but he spends a large amount of time traveling around the globe. Thanks to his travels, Wolverine has become a polyglot. He has become fluent in several different languages. Besides from English, Wolverine can have a perfect conversation in Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. Wolverine has also become fluent in Lakota, which is one of the most well known Native American dialects in the northern states of the U.S.A. He has also picked up the endangered Cheyenne language.
Endangered languages don't have to worry about becoming extinct as long as Wolverine is safe.
Wolverine has also picked up some knowledge of other languages throughout the world. He knows some Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Hindi, and Persian.
His teammate Forge was so impressed by his knowledge that in Wolverine Volume 2, Issue #51, he states that Wolverine is the "equivalent of an Olympic-level gymnast performing a gold medal routine while simultaneously beating four chess computers in his head."
Wolverine is one character that proves you should never judge a mutant by the size of his claws.
18 Grooming Was A Requirement
Wolverine has many unique physical traits that make him stand out from his teammates. For years, he wore a bright yellow and blue uniform. His hair stood out from his face like butterfly wings. His arms were often bare, showing off a large amount of body hair. With the number of aliens and evil villains threatening the Earth, Wolverine has more on his mind than shaving.
Wolverine hasn't always had the freedom to let his hair grow. When Wolverine was first created in the mid-1975s, he was still a work-in-progress. On the cover of the first issue of Giant-Size X-Men, Wolverine's arms were hair-free. When artist Dave Cockrum drew Wolverine out of costume, he was covered in body hair. It was only when Wolverine was in costume was he hairless. It was an unusual rule created by Marvel that lasted for years.
Eventually, artists like George Perez began pushing the limits. Perez drew Wolverine with some arm hair peeking out of his gloves on an X-Men cover. John Byrne would later begin drawing a hairier Wolverine in the interior art as well. The rule was eventually thrown disregarded, and Wolverine was free to be his true, hairy, self.
17 It’s All In The Genes
Wolverine has been a popular character since his original debut in the mid-1970s. If you search for the character now, you may find a different young woman has taken up his code name. One of the X Chromosomes leftover from the original Weapon X program. When it was bonded with mutant geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney's Y chromosome, it created Laura, or X-23. Unlike Wolverine, she has two adamantium-coated claws in her hands and one in both of her feet. Laura has to come to terms with her intended use as a living weapon, while also learning to become human.
Laura is a clone of Wolverine, but he has also fathered a son named Daken. Wolverine was once married to a woman named Itsu. After she was taken out by the Winter Soldier, Daken was removed from her womb for a new chance at life. A mutant with a healing ability and claws like his father, he was treated as an outcast for most of his life.
While Wolverine was on the side of good, Daken was a villain. In his final moments, Daken had trouble forgiving him but wondered what their life would have been like as a family.
16 Camera Angles Emphasized A Defining Feature
Wolverine is a capable fighter, has a healing factor, and a tough attitude. Most enemies fear him because they know he will fight until the end. Others may at first glance at Wolverine and doubt his abilities. According to the official Marvel website, he is only 5'3" and often the shortest member of the team.
In the live action films, his actor, Hugh Jackman, is almost an entire foot taller at 6'2". Many fans disapproved of the taller actor, as Wolverine's short stature is one of his defining traits.
Fans weren't sure if the filmmakers were making the right choice by casting Hugh Jackman.
According to an interview with Michael Fleming, Jackman said that the camera crew had to film him at unusual angles or only from the waist up. The actors around him would wear platform shoes to appear taller. These camera tricks made the viewers think Jackman was shorter than he was. Jackman also devoted himself to building more muscle mass for the role so that he would look more like his comic book counterpart. He went from 190 lbs to 210 lbs while eating 6,000 calories a day and training daily.
Luckily for X-Men fans, Jackman was devoted to being the best live-action Wolverine in nine films.
15 Healing Factor Can’t Stop All Problems
Wolverine can use his sharp claws to slice and dice anything standing in his way. He doesn't rely on them for every battle. Wolverine is an expert in fighting with most weapons, including bladed weapons and firearms.
Wolverine is so powerful that is often the first to jump into battle. His healing power and muscular form mean that it takes many hard hits to take him out. When a virus threatens to shut down his healing abilities for good, Wolverine quickly learns that he can't depend on his mutations for everything.
In Wolverine #17, he heads to China where he trains with Master Po. Wolverine has long relied on his healing factor to get him out of trouble. When his healing factor temporarily failed him, he was forced to cope without it. Master Po taught Wolverine the basics all over again by not "treating your body like a rented car."
Wolverine quickly found that old habits are hard to break. While watching Wolverine jump into a firearm fight, Po states "I trained him [Wolverine] in the finer points of eighteen different styles of Kung Fu, and yet he still charges headlong into a hail of bullets."
After the brutal training, Wolverine learns how to handle himself in battle without depending on his healing factor to back him up.
14 Wolverine, I May Or May Not Be Your Father
Whether if you discovered Wolverine as a faithful comic reader or didn't know about him until Fox Kids X-Men the Animated Series, fans know that his biggest rival is Sabretooth.
Sabretooth was first introduced in the Iron Fist comic series. His face was drawn to resemble Wolverine, whose face had not yet been revealed. Chris Claremont and John Byrne eventually added him to the X-Men universe. The team planned to reveal Sabretooth as Wolverine's father. Sabretooth has been bullying Wolverine for most of his life. Wolverine is finally pushed too far and can defeat him in one final battle. The plotline is eventually abandoned.
One year later, Claremont worked with Frank Miller and revitalized the familial plot line. Wolverine stated that he knew the identity of his father, but didn't go into detail. In Wolverine #41, Sabretooth reveals he is Wolverine's father. This shocking information leads to many mixed emotions as both men fight in a flooded tunnel. At the end of the issue, the plotline is dropped for good. S.H.I.E.L.D. saves Wolverine from the underwater battle. Wolverine is still shaken up about the reveal, but Nick Fury puts the facts straight. Sabertooth was playing mind games and lying to Wolverine to make him an easier target.
13 Prefers His Battles On Land
Wolverine's healing factor has saved him from decades of trouble. He can survive battles on his own without needing a doctor afterward. Wolverine may feel an intense amount of pain, but once his body has healed, he will live to fight another day. He's survived many dangerous situations over the years. Though self-healing has made Wolverine a more difficult opponent in battle, it doesn't make him immortal.
One of the most dangerous situations Wolverine can face is a deep sea underwater battle.
Wolverine weighs 300 lbs, mostly due to the weight of his adamantium skeleton. Being in the water for too long poses to many threats for the fighter. If forced to stay underwater too long, his healing factor only makes matters worse. His brain will continue to heal itself while the rest of his body suffers.
Wolverine goes into detail about his wariness towards water in Wolverine: Weapon X #5. He considers drowning to be a slow, terrible fate. Luckily, he is normally able to pull himself out of any danger before the worst damage is done.
Drowning is also brought up in Uncanny X-Force #34. Wolverine and his son, Daken, are immersed in an intense battle. The younger Daken has the upper-hand against his father. Wolverine turns the situation around by drowning him. He was aware of his weakness and use it to defeat his enemy at the time.
12 Replicating This Ability Isn’t So Easy
Wolverine is not only named after an animal; he acts like one at times. His enhanced sense of smell has aided him several times throughout the series. He can track down criminals trying to hide in the wilderness. At the same time, Wolverine can also use his powers to help others in need. If someone is in trouble and needs his help, he doesn't have psychic powers to guide him. He uses his enhanced smell to follow their tracks and rescue those in danger.
Wolverine's enhanced smell has helped him against other mutants. There are several shapeshifters in the Marvel universe. Not all of them are working to help others. The most well-known blue-skin, red-headed shapeshifter Mystique has often tried to infiltrate the X-Men mansion. Wolverine can always tell her scent versus the person she is replicating. A shapeshifter may be able to easily replicate someone's physical features, their voice, and their clothing but copying the smell has yet to be tackled.
Wolverine shares his enhanced ability with his rival Sabretooth and his son, Daken. Wolverine's clone, X-23, may have an even stronger sense of smell. She can smell if someone is lying.
11 When One Becomes Two
The Ultimate Universe is an alternate world where heroes aren't afraid to turn to violence. In the miniseries, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, two of the toughest Marvel fighters, are forced to face each other in battle.
Hulk is now on the run after an explosive incident. Wolverine is tasked with tracking him down in Tibet. When Wolverine first finds Hulk, they chat over cocoa. Wolverine, as he's prone to do, took the conversation to fay by mentioning Hulk's former flame, Betty.
Hulk gives Wolverine plenty of warning to back off, but his attempts fail. Wolverine mentions he's going to ask Betty out for a date. Hulk doesn't hold back at that point. The two men engage in a brutal fight within the Tibetan mountains, where Hulk does the unthinkable. Hulk takes Wolverine and turns the smaller man into two Wolverines.
When Wolverine wakes up, he sees that he's now in two different parts. Luckily, he can work through the pain and can sniff out his missing parts. In a rage, Hulk threw the remaining parts of Wolverine on top of a mountain. After dragging himself forward, he was able to join both pieces together again.
10 Let’s Hope His Enemies Never See These Protocols
The X-Men work to unite mutants and humans. Not all humans accept mutants, and mutants aren't so accepting of humans after decades of discrimination. Throughout the series, mutants also have turned against each other.
Former students of the Xavier Institute have turned on those they once considered friends. That's when Charles Xavier developed a set of "Xavier Protocols" in Excalibur #100.
The Xavier Protocols were plans on how to defeat some of the most powerful mutants in the world, which includes Wolverine.
He planned to use them to beat Onslaught and were never meant to be seen by the X-Men's enemies.
Protocol Number 0-2-1 states that Wolverine can be defeated by losing his head. Both parts of his body have to be separated far away from each other to avoid any regeneration of tissue. Wolverine may still be able to smell it out the parts that are missing, but his head alone won't be able to reach his legs. Both sets of separated parts won't regrow what has been lost. Since Wolverine's healing factor doesn't include any anesthesia, he would be in grueling pain until both parts are reconnected. After some time has passed, Wolverine will be taken out for good.
9 Nothing Will Blast Him Away
Wolverine has lived for several decades. He's had to fight off evil mutants, aliens, more. Wolverine has gone through several life-threatening injuries in his battles. Though he might get injured, he often lives to see another day. If he doesn't survive, writers always find a way to bring him back.
One of Wolverine's many enemies includes Venom. Venom found him to be a viable host because of his healing factor. The two faced off against each other in the second comic series of the Venom comic. Venom desperately tried to merge with Logan, only to be rejected in the end.
While Venom tries to escape those who want to capture him, Wolverine is trying to make it on his own. That's when Wolverine finds himself in the pathway of a nuclear weapon. He doesn't have time to escape before it lands. Wolverine somehow survives the blast. He still has some remains on his skeleton, which was enough to regenerate his missing parts.
In the live-action film, The Wolverine, Logan is being held captive in a prisoner of war camp. He resides near Nagasaki, which was one of the targets during World War II. He survives the bombing, only to help those who formerly held him prisoner.
8 A Rodent And Half-Vulcan Defeated Him
Wolverine is a master of martial arts, firearms, and bladed weapons. There aren't many that can take him down. Wolverine's adamantium skeleton and healing factor make him appear immortal at times. Wolverine can still be defeated in battle.
In 1996, Star Trek/X-Men was released. It was a single issue crossover comic write by Scott Lobdell. The X-Men end up aboard the Enterprise. While the wounded are treated in the sick bay, Spock confronts Wolverine. The Enterprise crew isn't sure if the mutant team are friends or foes, but aren't willing to take any chances. Though Spock appears weaker than the X-Man, he was able to subdue him quickly with the Vulcan nerve pinch.
This wasn't the only time that Wolverine prejudged someone's physical appearance. He has also used his fists to fight Squirrel Girl. Doreen was hired by the Avengers to be the nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' baby, Danielle. During a sparring session, Wolverine challenged Doreen to a fight. In a short fighting scene, she defeated Wolverine before he could land one hit. As she turned her back, Wolverine tried to attack her from behind. When Doreen called for her squirrel army to attack, he backed down.
7 Reasonable Portions, Please
When Wolverine isn't helping one of the teams he's a part of, he is in a bar, drinking his bad dreams away. Alcohol doesn't affect him, no matter how much he drinks. His healing factor can neutralize the toxins. He may be able to taste the foreign substance; it doesn't impair him.
Wolverine can still be harmed if he ingests too many toxic substances.
If he drinks too much, too quickly, then his body won't have a chance to detoxify. He will suffer from the negative effects until his healing factor catches up.
This healing factor effect may seem bad, but it has helped save his life. He is resistant to most poison and diseases. His healing factor also works hard to make sure he doesn't suffer from adamantium poisoning. When his healing factor was disabled in Wolverine Volume 5, # 7, Beast helped to develop an antidote to keep the metal poisoning at bay.
There aren't many things that can harm Wolverine. He can take direct hits with bombs and firearms, but he always heals in the end. But like most non-superpowered creatures, it's when he takes in too much of a bad thing that he feels painful after effects.
6 Has Participated In Battle For Over A Decade
Wolverine, also known as James Howlett or Logan, appears to be an older, rugged man. Many fans may be shocked to discover that Wolverine is much older than he appears. In Wolverine: Origins, it is revealed that he was born in the late 1880s in Alberta, Canada to a pair of farm owners.
The fighter has had decades to prepare himself for battle. During his flashbacks, he is seen serving with the Devil's Brigade during both World War I and II. During World War II, Logan first met Captain America. According to Wolverine, Volume 2, # 34, he represented his birth country of Canada by serving in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. With a mutant equipped with claws and a healing factor, the battalion was confident they could take on their enemies. Logan's wartime service didn't end there. During the Cold War, Logan served as an agent with Team X.
The live-action film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he is seen taking part in the American Civil War. The war ended two decades before his comic book birth, which may make his live-action adaptation even older.
How does Wolverine stay so young and fit? His healing factor causes his body to age much slower than those around him.
5 Healing Is A Blessing And A Curse
Enemies may find Wolverine difficult to take down, thanks to his healing factor. Unless he's immersed in water or is in pieces, his body will always find a way to heal himself. Wolverine's foes have to work hard to take out his healing abilities first.
Carbonadium is a radioactive metal that is almost impossible to break. Many prefer it due to its flexibility and cheaper price point. One of the enemies who use this metal to his advantage is Omega Red. If Wolverine has this metal lodged in his body, it can drastically slow down his healing factor.
Wolverine isn't the only mutant who is affected by Carbonadium. Bucky Barnes once used firearm material to take down Daken. X-23, who is a clone of Wolverine, could also have her healing factor drastically reduced by the metal.
Carbonadium isn't the only metal that can harm Wolverine. In Wolverine Volume 3, Issue #37 we learn that after Wolverine's wife Itsu was destroyed, he asked Muramasa to craft him a sword. Muramasa agreed to craft him a blade so powerful that it could even harm Wolverine. The red version of the Muramasa Blade can put a stop to his healing factor.
In Wolverine: Origins, he gave the blade to Cyclops to keep safe, because he knew his old friend could be trusted to take him down. When Cyclops questions the decision, Logan stated, "This is the only thing in the world that can put me down for good."
4 A Century Of Memories
The Weapon X research facility is one of the government's dirtiest secrets. They use their captives for experimentations. If the patient survives, they may come out stronger or as an abomination. Experiment X was used to bond adamantium to Wolverine's entire skeleton. His healing factor kept him alive during the brutal process.
Not only did the experiment affect the subject physically, but also mentally. In Wolverine issues 48-50 and X-Men the Animated Series, we learn that Logan's memories were altered. He was also brainwashed to become a living weapon for the facility. After escaping the program, Wolverine began remembering his past, little by little. He has flashbacks of painful events he wished he could forget, including losing his wife.
During the House of M story arc, Wolverine finally recovers all of his memories.
The Scarlet Witch used her reality-altering powers. With the statement "No more mutants," the entire mutant population was significantly reduced. Almost all of their abilities were gone in a blink of an eye.
The Scarlet Witch's statement had a different effect on Wolverine. When he woke up, he suddenly remembers everything that happened to him. He was no longer affected by the mind-altering implants from the Weapon X program.
3 They’re Not Attached To His Gloves
One of Wolverine's most memorable physical features are his claws. He wields three on each hand. The backstory of his claws has changed over the years. According to writer Len Wein, “The adamantium claws were [only] in the gloves when I first created the character. And the claws were retractable. They were telescoping, and they would fit back in the casing of the gloves.”
We first get a glance at Wolverine's internal structure in the early 1990s. During X-Men volume 2, we learn more about the physical nature of Wolverine's claws. During a heated battle with Magneto, he uses his powers to rip out the adamantium from Wolverine's body. He can still use his claws, but they're not as effective without the coating of metal. Wolverine wouldn't regain his adamantium coating until almost six years later, thanks to Apocalypse.
In the Wolverine: Origins story, we see that his claws were made of extremely dense bone. They made their first appearance when he gets revenge against the teen who destroyed the man who raised him, John Howlett. He would later learn a difficult lesson on how to control them when he accidentally sends his childhood friend, Rose, to the underworld.
It wasn't until Wolverine was taken captive by the Weapon X facility did he regain his metal core. Along with his skeleton, his claws were also coated with adamantium during the Weapon X project.
2 With Every “Snkt” Is An “Ouch”
Wolverine, his son Daken, and his clone X-23 all share a common trait: their accelerated healing factor. They can take a hit and keep getting up. Wolverine survived getting the adamantium separated from his body, while Laura regrew an arm. This ability has kept Logan alive for over a century. Many groups, including the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, have recruited him for being such a capable teammate.
Having a healing factor comes with a price. Wolverine's healing factor does not come with built-in anesthetic. Wolverine feels every single attack that strikes him, like any regular human. The only difference is that he can heal from those wounds.
Wolverine feels the side effects of his healing factor everytime he uses his claws. When his claws extend from inside his body, they move through the skin of his hands. They create fresh wounds that he feels during each use. Most comics or the kids' animated series don't show the gory effects of what his claws do to his skin.
Actor Hugh Jackman also has hurt himself from using his claws. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he not only injured himself but also other actors and stunt performers. Just like Wolverine, he had to get used to handling the sharp blades without hurting anyone.
1 He Wasn’t Ready To Quit
The creative staff at Marvel have specific guidelines they have to follow. Some rules are more extreme than others. In the mid-1975s, Wolverine couldn't appear in uniform with body hair. As time passed, these rules became much more relaxed. It wasn't shocking to see Wolverine stumbling out of a place after a long night of beverages or smoking like a chimney.
When Joe Quesada became Editor-in-Chief, he pushed a no-smoking ban for all of Marvel's heroes in the comics.
Quesada stated “[Wolverine] is a role model for some kids and he shouldn’t be smoking. Besides, the healing factor would keep him from getting addicted to nicotine anyway, so it doesn’t even make sense for him to smoke.”
The ban was put into place due to a personal tragedy in Quesada's life. He lost his grandfather to smoking and watched his father, who was also a smoker, suffer from the side effects. The ban only occurred in the main storylines of the Marvel comics, and not the MAX or Ultimate Universe, which were intended for grown-up audiences.
The ban not only affected future stories during Quesada's time as EIC, but any titles being re-published. Some trades that were being re-released edited out any smoking done by a Marvel hero. Disney also enforces the rule in the MCU, but not Fox. The live-action films are where Wolverine is free to indulge in any substance he chooses.