The Marvel hero Wolverine is one of the comic company’s most popular characters ever. To celebrate his return to mainstream comics later this month in the Hunt for Wolverine series, here are ten essential fun facts every X-Men fan should know!
Hulk vs. Wolverine
Though best known for his X-Men and Avenger affiliations, the clawed hero’s first appearance was as a Hulk villain. Part of a team of Canadian government-sponsored superhumans, Wolverine and his teammates attacked the Hulk in the belief that he was responsible for murders really perpetuated by the cannibalistic Wendigo. The two actually manage to fight to a standstill before taking on the cannibal. Wolverine and the Hulk (and occasionally Bruce Banner) have had an on-and-off, antagonistic friendship of sorts ever since.
Shorter in Person
Thanks to the movies and Hugh Jackman’s lanky 6’3 frame most people don’t think there’s anything special about Wolverine’s height. In the comics, however, he’s known for being much shorter: a whopping 5’3, a whole foot shorter than Jackman. This makes the mutant shorter than virtually all adult superheroes except for Howard the Duck and Rocket Racoon.
Another famous Wolverine-ism that didn’t quite translate into the cinematic universe is his role as a father figure and guardian of children and teens. His best known and closest wards are Kitty Pryde and Jubilee, though the list includes his clone Laura, over half a dozen students at Xavier’s school, and even at one point a young Natasha Romanoff.
Wolverine has fought in many of the wars that plagued the 19th and 20th centuries. He initially met many of his future acquaintances and teammates this way, their numbers including Nick Fury, Captain America and Bucky, Ben Grimm, and Carol Danvers.
Wolverine’s best-known fighting style usually doesn’t include anything more sophisticated than stabbing or cutting his enemies and taking attacks to protect his more vulnerable teammates, but those are far from his only options. Over the past century the mutant has become a master in virtually every known form of hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, in addition to being an expert marksman and swordsman.
Magneto once ripped out his adamantium
Magneto and a metal-encased skeleton don’t mix well in either movies or comics. At one point in the 90’s it escalated to the breaking point: an enraged Magneto used his powers to painfully rip WOlverine’s adamantium from his body, a process he barely survived even with his healing factor. Nothing this dramatic or permanent ever happened in the movies, though the scene in Days of Future Past with Magneto pinning metal into Wolverine’s body is believed to be a homage.
The Bone Claws Retcon
Thanks to the loss of his adamantium Wolverine soon found out that his claws, previously believed to have been implanted by Weapon X to make him a better fighter, were a part of his natural mutation. He wasn’t the only one who had believed this, however. Up until this plotline Wolverine’s claws had been entirely metal and grafted into his body; the bone claws were a major retcon that shocked characters and fans alike.
Aside from healing and supersenses, Wolverine possesses the ability to empathetically and non-verbally communicate with many kinds of animals. While this is best seen in the comics, where he has lived on and off with wolf packs and befriends deer as a calming exercise, the movies have shown Wolverine communicating with a wolf (X2) and bear (The Wolverine).
The Winter Soldier Strikes
Though Wolverine first met Bucky Barnes as they fought together in WW2, their next interaction would be far from friendly. Now the brainwashed Soviet assassin the Winter Soldier, Bucky tracked down Wolverine to Japan and murdered his pregnant wife. The baby, the true focus of Bucky’s mission, would survive and be raised as a weapon to use against his father.
Hunt For Wolverine #1 arrives April 25, 2018.