Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas 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 The Incredible Hulk #180 (cover-dated October 1974) 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 (November 1974) again by the Wein–Trimpe team. In 2009, Trimpe 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. He appears briefly in the finale to this story in The Incredible Hulk #182.
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.
Wolverine's full debut in The Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974). Cover art by Herb Trimpe, with alterations by John Romita Sr.
A revival of X-Men followed, beginning with X-Men #94 (August 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 modeled his rendition of Wolverine on actor Paul D’Amato, who played Dr. Hook in the 1977 sports film Slap Shot. Byrne also 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 (September–December 1982), by Claremont and Frank Miller, followed by the six-issue Kitty Pryde and Wolverine by Claremont and Al Milgrom (November 1984 – April 1985). Marvel launched an ongoing solo book written by Claremont with art by John Buscema in November 1988. It ran for 189 issues. Larry Hama later took over the series and had an extensive run. Other writers who wrote for the two Wolverine ongoing series include Peter David, Archie Goodwin, Erik Larsen, Frank Tieri, Greg Rucka, Mark Millar, and Gregg Hurwitz. Many artists have also worked on the series, including John Byrne, Gene Colan, Marc Silvestri, Mark Texeira, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Rob Liefeld, Sean Chen, Darick Robertson, John Romita, Jr., and Humberto Ramos. 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 (November 2001 – July 2002). 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.
Wolverine appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010–2013 Avengers series, from issue #1 (July 2010) through its final issue #34 (January 2013). Wolverine appeared as a regular character throughout virtually all of the 2010–2013 New Avengers series.
Wolverine's first intended origin
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 states 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 X-Men #98 (April 1976), a biological analysis of Wolverine suggests that he was in some way different from the other X-Men, and in X-Men #103, Wolverine says he does not believe in leprechauns, to which the leprechaun replies, "Maybe leprechauns don't believe in talkin' wolverines, either."
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
Wolverine is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men. Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, and a healing factor. He has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers.
Wolverine first appeared in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk #180, with his first full appearance in #181 (cover-dated Nov. 1974). 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 is typical of the many tough 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 antiheroes 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.
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 is portrayed by Hugh Jackman in all seven films, although Troye Sivan plays the young James Howlett in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In May 2008, Wolverine was ranked #1 out of Wizard magazine's Top 200 Comic Book Characters. and was ranked as the 4th Greatest Comic Book Character by Empire magazine in July 2008. On its list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Wolverine #21. In May 2011, Wolverine was ranked 4th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes