Wolverine

The Wolverine

Wolverine is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease, or toxin at an accelerated rate. The healing factor also slows down his aging process, enabling him to live beyond a normal human lifespan.

His powerful healing factor enabled him to survive having the near-indestructible metal alloy adamantium bonded to his skeleton. He is most often depicted as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, or later the Avengers.

The character first appeared in 1974 on the last panel of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ #180, with his first full appearance in #181. He was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr., who designed the character, and was first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe. Wolverine then joined a revamped version of the superhero team the X-Men, where eventually writer Chris Claremont and artist-writer John Byrne would play significant roles in the character’s development. Artist Frank Miller collaborated with Claremont and helped to revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982 in which Wolverine’s catchphrase, ‘I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice,’ debuted.

Wolverine was typical of the many tough, anti-authority, antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War; his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book anti-heroes by the end of the 1980s. As a result, the character became a fan favorite of the increasingly popular ‘X-Men’ franchise. Wolverine has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988 and has been a central character in most ‘X-Men’ adaptations, including animated television series, video games, and the live-action 20th Century Fox ‘X-Men’ film series, in which he is portrayed by Hugh Jackman.

It was Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas that asked writer Len Wein to devise a character specifically named Wolverine, who is Canadian and of small stature and with a wolverine’s fierce temper. John Romita, Sr. designed the first Wolverine costume, and believes he introduced the retractable claws, saying, ‘When I make a design, I want it to be practical and functional. I thought, ‘If a man has claws like that, how does he scratch his nose or tie his shoelaces?” Wolverine first appeared in the final ‘teaser’ panel of an issue of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ written by Wein and penciled by Herb Trimpe. The character then appeared in a number of advertisements in various Marvel Comics publications before making his first major appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181 again by Wein and Trimpe, who said he ‘distinctly remembers’ Romita’s sketch and that, “The way I see it, [Romita and writer Len Wein] sewed the monster together and I shocked it to life! … It was just one of those secondary or tertiary characters, actually, that we were using in that particular book with no particular notion of it going anywhere. We did characters in The [Incredible] Hulk all the time that were in [particular] issues and that was the end of them.’ Though often credited as co-creator, Trimpe adamantly denies having had any role in Wolverine’s creation.

The character’s introduction was ambiguous, revealing little beyond his being a superhuman agent of the Canadian government. In these appearances, he does not retract his claws, although Wein stated they had always been envisioned as retractable. Wolverine’s next appearance was in 1975’s Giant-Size ‘X-Men’ #1, written by Wein and penciled by Dave Cockrum, in which Wolverine is recruited for a new squad. Gil Kane illustrated the cover artwork but incorrectly drew Wolverine’s mask with larger headpieces. Dave Cockrum liked Kane’s accidental alteration (believing it to be similar to Batman’s mask) and incorporated it into his own artwork for the actual story. Cockrum was also the first artist to draw Wolverine without his mask, and the distinctive hairstyle became a trademark of the character.

A revival of ‘X-Men’ followed, beginning with ‘X-Men’ #94 (1975), drawn by Cockrum and written by Chris Claremont. In ‘X-Men’ and ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ Wolverine is initially overshadowed by the other characters, although he does create tension in the team as he is attracted to Cyclops’ girlfriend, Jean Grey. As the series progressed, Claremont and Cockrum (who preferred Nightcrawler) considered dropping Wolverine from the series; Cockrum’s successor, artist John Byrne, championed the character, later explaining, as a Canadian himself, he did not want to see a Canadian character dropped. Byrne created ‘Alpha Flight,’ a group of Canadian superheroes who try to recapture Wolverine due to the expense their government incurred training him. Later stories gradually establish Wolverine’s murky past and unstable nature, which he battles to keep in check. Byrne also designed a new brown-and-tan costume for Wolverine, but retained the distinctive Cockrum cowl.

Following Byrne’s departure, Wolverine remained in X-Men. The character’s growing popularity led to a solo, four-issue, ‘Wolverine’ (1982), by Claremont and Frank Miller, followed by the six-issue ‘Kitty Pryde and Wolverine’ by Claremont and Al Milgrom (1984). Marvel launched an ongoing solo book written by Claremont with art by John Buscema in 1988. It ran for 189 issues. Larry Hama later took over the series and had an extensive run. During the 1990s, the character was revealed to have bone claws, after his adamantium is ripped out by Magneto in ‘X-Men’ #25, which was inspired by a passing joke of Peter David’s.

In addition to the Wolverine series and appearances in the various X-Men series, two other storylines expand upon the character’s past: ‘Weapon X,’ by writer-artist Barry Windsor-Smith, serialized in ‘Marvel Comics Presents’ #72-84 (1991); and ‘Origin,’ a six-issue limited series by co-writers Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins, and Bill Jemas and artist Andy Kubert (2001). A second solo series, ‘Wolverine: Origins,’ written by Daniel Way with art by Steve Dillon, spun off of, and runs concurrently with, the second Wolverine solo series.

Despite suggestions that co-creator Len Wein originally intended for Logan to be a mutated wolverine cub, evolved to humanoid form by an already established Marvel geneticist, the High Evolutionary, Wein denies this: ‘While I readily admit that my original idea was for Wolvie’s claws to extend from the backs of his gloves … I absolutely did not ever intend to make Logan a mutated wolverine. I write stories about human beings, not evolved animals (with apologies for any story I may have written that involved the High Evolutionary). The mutated wolverine thing came about long after I was no longer involved with the book. I’m not certain if the idea was first suggested by Chris Claremont, the late, much-missed Dave Cockrum, or John Byrne when he came aboard as artist, but it most certainly did not start with me.’

In an article about the evolution of Wolverine included in a 1986 reprint of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ #180-181, titled ‘Incredible Hulk and Wolverine,’ Cockrum said he considered having the High Evolutionary play a vital role in making Wolverine a human. Writer Wein wanted Wolverine to be the age of a young adult, with superhuman strength and agility similar to Spider-Man. This changed when Wein saw Cockrum’s drawing of the unmasked Wolverine as a hairy 40-year-old. Wein originally intended the claws to be retractable and part of Wolverine’s gloves, and both gloves and claws would be made of adamantium. Chris Claremont eventually revealed that they were an integrated part of Wolverine’s anatomy in ‘X-Men’ #98 (1976).

John Byrne said in interviews and on his website that he drew a possible face for Wolverine, but then learned that Dave Cockrum had already drawn him unmasked in ‘X-Men’ #98 (1976), long before Byrne’s run on the series. Later, Byrne used the drawing for the face of Sabretooth, an enemy of the martial artist superhero Iron Fist, whose stories Chris Claremont was writing. Byrne then had the idea of Sabretooth being Wolverine’s father. Together, Byrne and Claremont came up with Wolverine being approximately 60 years old and having served in World War II after escaping from Sabretooth, who was approximately 120 years old. The plan had been for Wolverine to have been almost crushed in an accident; he would discover, when attempting to stand for the first time after recovering, that his healing factor does not work on bones, and his legs immediately break. He then spends over a decade in a hospital bed, almost going mad, when the Canadian government approaches him with the idea of replacing his skeleton one bone at a time with adamantium, the claws being a surprise. This origin, too, was never used.

The character’s official origin story was told in the 2001–2002 miniseries ‘Origin.’ Wolverine was born as James Howlett in Alberta, Canada, in the late 1880s, to rich farm owners John and Elizabeth Howlett. The miniseries insinuates and the ‘Wolverine Goes to Hell’ story later fully reveals, however, that he is actually the illegitimate son of the Howlett’s groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. After being thrown off the Howlett’s property for violent actions perpetrated by his other son, named simply Dog, Thomas returns to the Howlett manor and kills John Howlett. In retaliation, young James kills Thomas with bone claws that emerge from the back of his hands as his mutation manifests (a traumatic event in one’s youth is often the trigger for mutant powers). James is cast out by his mother (who then kills herself).

He flees with his childhood companion, Rose (who closely resembles Jean Grey) and grows into manhood on a mining colony in the Yukon Territory, adopting the name ‘Logan.’ After accidentally killing Rose with his claws, Logan leaves the colony and lives for a time in the wilderness among wolves, until returning to civilization, residing with the Blackfoot Indians. Following the death of his Blackfoot lover, Silver Fox, at the hands of Sabretooth, he is ushered into the Canadian military during World War I. Logan then spends some time in Madripoor, before settling in Japan, where he marries Itsu and has a son, Daken.

During World War II, Logan teams up with Captain America and continues a career as a soldier-of-fortune and adventurer. He then serves with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion during D-Day, and the CIA, before being recruited by Team X, a black ops unit. As a member of Team X, Logan is given false memory implants. He continues on the team, until he is able to break free of the mental control and joins the Canadian Defense Ministry. Logan is subsequently kidnapped by the Weapon X program, where he remains captive and experimented on, until he escapes, as shown in Barry Windsor-Smith’s ‘Weapon X’ storyline which ran in ‘Marvel Comics Presents.’ It is during his imprisonment by Weapon X that he has unbreakable adamantium forcibly fused onto his bones.

Logan is eventually discovered by James and Heather Hudson, who help him recover his humanity. Following his recovery, Logan, this time under the supervision of Department H (a branch of the Canadian Department of National Defence), once again works as an intelligence operative for the Canadian government. Logan becomes Wolverine, one of Canada’s first superheroes. In his first mission, he is dispatched to stop the destruction caused by a brawl between the Hulk and the Wendigo. Later on, Professor Charles Xavier recruits Wolverine to a new team of X-Men. Disillusioned with his Canadian intelligence work and intrigued by Xavier’s offer, Logan resigns from Department H. It was later revealed, however, that Professor X had wiped Logan’s memories and forced him to join the X-Men after Wolverine was sent to assassinate Xavier.

In ‘X-Men’ #25 (1993), at the culmination of the ‘Fatal Attractions’ crossover, the supervillain Magneto forcibly removes the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton. This massive trauma causes his healing factor to burn out and also leads to the discovery that his claws are actually bone. Wolverine leaves the X-Men for a time, embarking on a series of adventures during which his healing factor returns, greatly increased in speed and efficiency (due to the fact that the adamantium in his bones used a considerable amount of his healing factor on a constant basis). It is also revealed at this time that Wolverine constantly mutates (unlike other mutants) and that the adamantium slowed his mutation to a halt. His natural abilities such as healing factor and animalistic senses increase slowly over time. Feral by nature, Wolverine’s mutation process will eventually cause him to degenerate physically into a more primitive, bestial state.

After his return to the X-Men, Cable’s son Genesis kidnaps Wolverine and attempts to re-bond adamantium to his skeleton. This is unsuccessful and causes Wolverine’s mutation to accelerate out of control. He is temporarily changed into a semi-sentient beast-like form in which he gains greater physical power than ever before, at the price of part of his humanity. Eventually, the villain Apocalypse captures Wolverine, brainwashes him into becoming the Horseman Death, and successfully re-bonds adamantium to his skeleton. Wolverine overcomes Apocalypse’s programming and returns to the X-Men.

In 2005, author Brian Michael Bendis had Wolverine join the Avengers. After the miniseries ‘House of M,’ Wolverine regains his memories and prepares to seek out and enact vengeance on those who wronged him. In ‘Wolverine: Origins,’ the character’s second solo series, Wolverine discovers that he has a son named Daken, who has been brainwashed and made a living weapon by the villain Romulus, the man behind Wolverine’s own brainwashing. Wolverine then makes it his mission to rescue Daken and stop Romulus from manipulating or harming anyone again.

‘The Red Right Hand’ is a group of people who have been wronged by Wolverine and have sworn revenge on him. They trick him into trying to save his recent girlfriend Melita Garner (who was Mystique in disguise) and then trap him in a mystical circle to send him straight to Hell. While he is in Hell, a group of demons possess Wolverine’s body. The demons then attack Wraith while he is at church, then they attack Colossus. The Red Right Hand then start to kill off people that Wolverine knows, like the Silver Samurai. While in Hell, Wolverine finally confronts his biological father, Thomas Logan. He is reunited as well with various people he has either killed or died because of him, both foes (led by Sabretooth) and friends. Wolverine manages to escape from Hell with the help of Melita, Daimon Hellstrom, and the Ghost Rider. However, his body is still possessed by the demons. The X-Men find out that Wolverine is possessed and decide that he should die to protect humankind, believing Wolverine would prefer to die rather than kill innocents. Wolverine is attacked on all sides by fighting the demons that still possess him and the X-Men that want him killed.

He subsequently tracks down the Red Right Hand and kills their team of killers, the Mongrels. Wolverine fights his way through them only to find that the Red Right Hand’s members have all committed suicide, while a pre-recorded message reveals that the Mongrels were all his illegitimate children. Unable to seek vengeance, Logan drags his children to the graves of their mothers before abandoning the world altogether. Broken and depressed, Wolverine secludes himself in the frozen wilderness and travels with a pack of wolves, eating little scraps of what’s left of their kills. Poachers find the pack and capture any wolves that are young enough to fight. Wolverine goes to find his pack and kills the poachers. As he debates going back to the wild and hiding in deeper seclusion, he finds injured children who the poachers were using to fight wolves for sport. Wolverine returns the children to their families only to be found by Melita and his allies who convince him to come back to civilization. Sometime afterwards, the events of ‘Fear Itself’ and before ‘Schism’ take place.

At the beginning of the events of ‘Schism,’ Cyclops thanks Wolverine for always being there for him as they seem to finally have come to a mutually spoken and understood respect for each other after years of fighting and rivalry. While at a conference for weapon control, Kid Omega (Quentin Quire) launches a psychic terrorist attack on the ambassadors present. In response, Sentinels are deployed at the conference and are disposed of by Cyclops and Wolverine. Due to growing fears of mutant threat, countries around the world begin to mobilize their Sentinel forces. As Cyclops begins to deploy X-Men around the globe to deal with the threat, Wolverine returns to Utopia to find Hope Summers and the Lights waiting for their combat training lesson. After insulting Hope’s team and realizing that Idie is losing her childhood, Wolverine asks Kitty Pryde to make him a doll to give to Idie. Wolverine gives the doll to Idie and eats ice cream with her while news reports of Sentinel activity play and tensions build around Utopia.

Sometime after, Kid Omega shows up on Utopia. Wolverine tries to attack Kid Omega when Cyclops stops him. While Cyclops sends a team of some of his most powerful X-Men, as well as some of the island students, to a local mutant museum exhibit as a ‘show of force,’ Wolverine goes to a local bar to sulk over his aggravation with the current situation. The new Hellfire Club attacks the exhibit and incapacitate all senior X-Men present. As Wolverine rushes to the museum to help from the bar and Cyclops flies in from Utopia, Idie asks if she should kill the Hellfire Club to help. While Wolverine protests against it profusely, Cyclops tells Idie to do what she feels is right. Idie kills almost every Hellfire Club member left to save her friends and mentors. Wolverine pops his claws at Cyclops in anger that he used a child to save the day, but restrains himself.

From the wreckage of the museum, a sentinel begins to form. While Wolverine tries to stop the sentinel from maturing, he is thrown into the ocean. Shortly after, Wolverine swims on to Utopia and tells the mutant children that they need to leave. Cyclops tells the students to fight together and that they can beat the sentinel, but Wolverine objects. Cyclops doesn’t listen and begins to prepare the students for combat. Shortly after, Wolverine returns with a detonator to blow up Utopia and orders all remaining people on the island to evacuate. Cyclops and Wolverine’s frustration with each other come to a head when Cyclops brings up Jean Grey saying that she never loved Wolverine and always feared him. Wolverine replies ‘And if she were here right now, who do you think she would be more frightened of?’

The two fight each other in a rage while being attacked by the sentinel and as Wolverine claws into Cyclops visor, the students reappear on the battlefield to help them fight the sentinel. In the morning, Cyclops and Wolverine stand victorious with the students all living, but Wolverine cannot continue watching Cyclops use children as soldiers to fight these battles. Wolverine announces his departure from Utopia and indicates he will take any mutant on the island who wants to leave with him. While Wolverine does not leave as an enemy of Cyclops and his X-Men, he makes clear he wants both sides to stay out of the others business. Wolverine returns to Westchester, New York to open a new school, the ‘Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.’

Half of all the mutants on Utopia accompany Wolverine to Westchester to be a part of the new school. He appoints himself as the headmaster, Kitty Pryde as the co-headmistress, Hank McCoy as the vice-principal, and various other characters such as Rogue, Cannonball, Iceman, Rachel Grey, and Gambit are appointed as the school’s staff. Toad is appointed as a janitor. The first issue focuses on the state education board visiting to approve of their school application. As Logan and Kitty give the delegation a tour, Kade Kilgore shows up and tells Logan that he is the one who caused the Schism and he will destroy all that Logan has worked to build up. On the school’s first day it was attacked by the new Hellfire Club, whom had been a major force in causing the Schism of the X-Men. Wolverine made it clear that he didn’t want to lose any of the kids and fought as hard as he could against the Frankenstein Monsters whom Iceman defeated by making Ice clones of himself. They were then attacked by a spawn of the original Krakoa (a living island, an intelligent ecosystem able to command all the living things native to its island body).

Kid Omega, who wanted to prove himself to Broo, Idie and Kid Gladiator (who told him they never heard of him), reasoned with Krakoa who then joined Wolverine’s X-Men. Wolverine, with everyone in the school, confronted the Hellfire Club and demanded they stay from his school. As the Hellfire Club members were leaving, Krakoa almost attacked them but Logan stopped him as he had a better idea on how to deal with them. The next day Matt Murdock told Kade Kilgore that he was being sued by Wolverine for the sum of 879 million dollars for the damage he had done to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and if he didn’t pay they would take control of his company. As the school was being rebuilt, Logan was informed that Krakoa was glad they allowed him to stay and Logan found it good to have a school ground that could fight back.

When the Phoenix Force returned to Earth, Wolverine sided with the Avengers and went with them to Utopia to take Hope Summers into custody (as they suspected her of being the Phoenix Force’s intended host). Wolverine found this particularly difficult to do as he was forced to fight those he once thought of as family. Cyclops arrived at the Jean Grey School in order to try and convince Wolverine to switch sides and become part of the X-Men once more. Wolverine was infuriated, saying Cyclops didn’t get to decide who was and wasn’t part of the X-Men and that Cyclops had betrayed everything the X-Men stood for.

After Hope’s escape, Wolverine accompanies her to the Blue Area of the Moon. She promises to let Wolverine kill her if she is unable to control the Phoenix Force; her only request is that she gets the chance. However, Wolverine betrays her by summoning the Avengers. The Phoenix Force begins to bond with Hope, at which point she admits that she cannot contain it. She asks Wolverine to kill her, but he is prevented from doing so by Cyclops. Eventually, the Phoenix Force possesses the X-Men present on the moon, who then return to Earth, leaving Wolverine and the Avengers injured.

After ‘Avengers vs X-Men,’ Wolverine gives a eulogy at the funeral of Professor X, where he admits that he wanted to kill Cyclops. Later he becomes a member of the ‘Avengers Unity Squad,’ a team created by Captain America to improve human/mutant relations by having X-Men and Avengers working together. The team’s first mission pits them against a clone of the Red Skull who had grafted Professor X’s brain onto his own.

Depictions of the speed and extent of injury to which Wolverine can heal vary. Originally, this was portrayed as accelerated healing of minor wounds, but writers have steadily increased this ability over the years. After several years, Wolverine’s healing factor was depicted as healing severe wounds within a matter of days or hours. Other writers went on to increase Wolverine’s healing factor to the point that it could fully regenerate nearly any damaged or destroyed bodily tissues within seconds. Among the more extreme depictions of Wolverine’s healing factor include fully healing after being caught near the center of an atomic explosion, and the total regeneration of his soft body tissue within a matter of minutes, after having it incinerated from his skeleton. An explanation is given in a recent mini-series starring Wolverine for the increase of his healing powers. In the series, Wolverine is referred to as an ‘adaptive self-healer’ after undergoing numerous traumatic injuries to test the efficiency of his healing factor. Wolverine has endured so much trauma, and so frequently, that his healing factor has adapted, becoming faster and more efficient to cope with increasing levels of trauma.

It has been stated in the Xavier Protocols, a series of profiles created by Xavier that lists the strengths and weaknesses of the X-Men, that Wolverine’s healing factor is increased to ‘incredible levels’ and theorizes that the only way to stop him is to decapitate him and remove his head from the vicinity of his body. It’s possible for the efficiency of his healing powers to be suppressed. For example, if an object composed of carbonadium is inserted and remains lodged within his body, his healing powers are slowed dramatically though they are not fully suppressed. His healing factor can also be greatly suppressed by the Muramasa blade, a katana of mystic origins that can inflict wounds that nullify superhuman healing factors.

Though he now has all of his memories, his healing abilities can provide increased recovery from psychological trauma by suppressing memories in which he experiences profound distress. In addition to accelerated healing of physical traumas, Wolverine’s healing factor makes him extraordinarily resistant to diseases, drugs, and toxins. However, he can still suffer the immediate effects of such substances in massive quantities; he has been shown to become intoxicated after significant amounts of alcohol, and has been incapacitated on several occasions with large amounts of powerful drugs and poisons; S.H.I.E.L.D. once managed to keep Wolverine anesthetized by constantly pumping eighty milliliters of anesthetic a minute into his system.

It has been suggested that Wolverine can be killed by drowning. He has stated that he is not particularly fond of being in water, due partially to the additional weight of his adamantium laced skeleton, and that he can die if held under water long enough with his healing factor only prolonging the agony. The two part story arc, ‘Drowning Logan’ finds Wolverine trapped under water for an extensive period of time. The second part of the story arc hints that this time underwater gravely affects his healing factor with significant consequences to his health going forward. Following the events of ‘Drowning Logan,’ Beast reveals that an ‘intelligent virus’ originating from the Microverse has shut off his healing factor, though not before his healing factor was able to purge his body of the virus itself. As a result, Beast states that he’s now as susceptible to injury as any ordinary human and ages at a normal rate.

Although his body heals, the healing factor does not suppress the pain he endures while injured. Wolverine also admits to feeling phantom pains for weeks or months after healing from his injuries. He does not enjoy being hurt and sometimes has to work himself up for situations where extreme pain is certain. Wolverine, on occasion, has deliberately injured himself or allowed himself to be injured for varying reasons, including freeing himself from capture, intimidation, strategy, or simply indulging in his feral nature.

Wolverine’s mutation also consists of animal-like adaptations of his body, including pronounced, and sharp fang-like canines and three retractable claws housed within each forearm. While originally depicted as bionic implants created by the Weapon X program, the claws are later revealed to be a natural part of his body. The claws are not made of keratin, as claws tend to be in the animal kingdom, but extremely dense bone. Wolverine’s hands do not have openings for the claws to move through: they cut through his flesh every time he extrudes them, with occasional references implying that he feels a brief moment of slight pain in his hands when he unsheathes them.

On more than one occasion, Wolverine’s entire skeleton, including his claws, has been molecularly infused with adamantium. Due to their coating, his claws can cut almost any known solid material, including most metals, wood, and some varieties of stone. The only known exceptions are adamantium itself and Captain America’s shield, which is made out of an iron-vibranium alloy. Vibranium alone is not comparable in terms of durability with adamantium, seeing as Colossus has broken it. Wolverine’s ability to slice completely through a substance depends upon both the amount of force he can exert and the thickness of the substance. His claws can also be used to block attacks or projectiles, as well as dig into surfaces allowing Wolverine to climb structures. The adamantium also weights his blows, increasing the effectiveness of his offensive capabilities. However, this also makes him exceptionally susceptible to magnetic based attacks. Also, while the adamantium is in his body his healing factor must work constantly to prevent the metal poisoning from killing him, with the result that his ability to heal is slightly lessened compared to what he would be capable of normally. As his healing powers are currently inactive, Beast has synthesized a drug to counteract the adamantium poisoning.

Wolverine’s healing factor also affects a number of his physical attributes by increasing them to superhuman levels. His stamina is sufficiently heightened to the point he can exert himself for numerous hours, even after exposure to powerful tranquilizers. Wolverine’s agility and reflexes are also enhanced to levels that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete. Due to his healing factor’s constant regenerative qualities, he can push his muscles beyond the limits of the human body without injury. This, coupled by the constant demand placed on his muscles by over one hundred pounds of adamantium, grants him some degree of superhuman strength. Since the presence of the adamantium negates the natural structural limits of his bones, he can lift or move weight that would otherwise damage a human skeleton.

It was recently revealed that, when Wolverine is injured so seriously that his body actually dies before his healing factor can repair the damage, he returns to life by fighting with Azrael, the Angel of Death, while trapped in Purgatory (because Wolverine defeated Azrael in combat in the real world during the First World War). However, after Wolverine’s soul was damaged following his resurrection and brainwashing by the Hand, he made a new deal with Azrael to repair the damage that had been done to his soul that negated their previous arrangement, with the result that, the next time Wolverine sustains death-inducing injuries, he will remain dead, and his healing factor has apparently been slightly weakened in the process.

Wolverine’s senses of sight, smell, and hearing are all superhumanly acute. He can see with perfect clarity at greater distances than an ordinary human, even in near-total darkness. His hearing is enhanced in a similar manner, allowing him to both hear sounds ordinary humans cannot and also hear to greater distances. Wolverine is able to use his sense of smell to track targets by scent, even if the scent has been eroded somewhat over time by natural factors. This sense also allows him to identify shapeshifting mutants despite other forms they may take. He is also able to use his senses of smell and hearing, through concentration, as a type of natural lie detector, such as detecting a faint change in a person’s heartbeat and scent due to perspiration when a lie is told.

Due to a combination of his healing factor and high level psionic shields implanted by Professor Xavier, Wolverine’s mind is highly resistant to telepathic assault and probing. Wolverine’s mind also possesses what he refers to as ‘mental scar tissue’ created by all of the traumatic events over the course of his life. It acts as a type of natural defense, even against a psychic as powerful as Emma Frost.

During his time in Japan and other countries, Wolverine becomes a master of virtually all forms of martial arts and is experienced in virtually every fighting style on Earth. He is proficient with most weaponry, including firearms, though he is partial to bladed weapons. He has demonstrated sufficient skills to defeat the likes of Shang-Chi and Captain America in single combat. He also has a wide knowledge of the body and pressure points. He is also an accomplished pilot and highly skilled in the field of espionage and covert operations.

Wolverine will sometimes lapse into a ‘berserker rage’ while in close combat. In this state he lashes out with the intensity and aggression of an enraged animal and is even more resistant to psionic attack. Though he loathes it, he acknowledges that it has saved his life many times (such as when he faced the telepathic ‘Mister X,’ whose ability to read minds and predict the next move in a fight was useless against an opponent in a berserker state, as not even Wolverine knows what he will do next when he is overcome by rage. Despite his apparent ease at taking lives, he does not enjoy killing or giving in to his berserker rages. Logan adheres to a firm code of personal honor and morality.

In contrast to his brutish nature, Wolverine is extremely knowledgeable. Due to his increased lifespan, he has traveled around the world and amassed extensive experience with foreign languages and cultures. He is fluent in English, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Cheyenne, Spanish, Arabic, and Lakota; he also has some knowledge of French, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, German, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, and Persian. When Forge monitors Wolverine’s vitals during a Danger Room training session, he calls Logan’s physical and mental state ‘equivalent of an Olympic-level gymnast performing a gold medal routine while simultaneously beating four chess computers in his head.’ Much to Professor Xavier’s disapproval, Wolverine is also a heavy drinker and smoker – his healing powers negate the long term effects of alcohol and tobacco and allow him to indulge in prolonged binges.

Wolverine is frequently depicted as a gruff loner, often taking leave from the X-Men to deal with personal issues or problems. He is often irreverent and rebellious towards authority figures, though he is a reliable ally and capable leader. He has been a mentor and father figure to several younger women, especially Jubilee, Kitty Pryde and X-23, and has had romantic relationships with numerous women (most notably Mariko Yashida), as well as a mutual, but unfulfilled attraction to Jean Grey, leading to jealous run-ins with her boyfriend (and later husband), Scott Summers. He also married Viper as part of a debt, and then later divorced her. It has also been implied that he and Squirrel Girl had a relationship at some point in the past.

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