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Wolverine (birth name: James Howlett; colloquial: Logan, Weapon X) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, mostly in association with the X-Men. He is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and three retractable claws in each hand. Wolverine has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers.
The character appeared in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 before having a larger role in #181 (cover-dated Nov. 1974). He was created by Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, writer Len Wein, and Marvel art director John Romita Sr. Romita designed the character, although it 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 revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982, which debuted Wolverine's catchphrase, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice."
Wolverine is typical of the many tough antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War;:265 his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book antiheroes by the end of the 1980s.:277 As a result, the character became a fan favorite of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise,:263, 265 and has been featured in his own solo comic book series since 1988.
He has appeared 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 was portrayed by Hugh Jackman in nine of the twelve films. Troye Sivan portrayed a younger version in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The character is highly rated in many comics best-of lists, ranked #1 in Wizard magazine's 2008 Top 200 Comic Book Characters; 4th in Empire's 2008 Greatest Comic Characters; and 4th on IGN's 2011 Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.
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.
Wein said on the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Blu-ray special features that he has read "Ten things you did not know about Wolverine", which says the character was originally intended to be a mutated wolverine cub, and that this rekindled Wein's frustration. He again stated that he had "always known that Wolverine was a mutant."
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 (April 1976). Writer Jeph Loeb used a similar origin for Wolverine in the Marvel continuity, having feral mutants be an evolved lifeform.
In 2018, Marvel announced the upcoming five-issue Return of Wolverine miniseries, which is set to end the trilogy started in Death of Wolverine and Hunt for Wolverine. Writer Charles Soule said that, having returned from the dead, Wolverine will have more abilities, including the ability to heat his claws.
His primary mutant power is an accelerated healing process, typically referred to as his mutant healing factor, that regenerates damaged or destroyed tissues of his body far beyond the capabilities of an ordinary human. 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 ingesting 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.
His healing factor is facilitated by artificial improvements he was subjected to under the Weapon X program (in later comics called the Weapon Plus program), in which his skeleton was reinforced with the virtually indestructible metal adamantium. While the adamantium in his body stops or reduces many injuries, his healing factor must also work constantly to prevent metal poisoning from killing him. when his healing powers were rendered inactive, Beast synthesized a drug to counteract the adamantium poisoning.
His healing factor also dramatically affects his aging process, allowing him to live far beyond the normal lifespan of a human. Despite being born in the late 19th century, he has the appearance, conditioning, health, and vitality of a man in his physical prime. While seemingly ageless, it is unknown exactly how greatly his healing factor extends his life expectancy.
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 his feral nature. 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.
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