Friday, June 27, 2008

All-New, All-Different, X-Men X-tra: Wolverine

Here’s the last of the X-Men X-tra’s and talk about revolutionizing an industry ……

Wolverine was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita Sr., who originally designed the character, but he was first drawn for publication by artist Herb Trimpe in a cameo appearance on the last page of Incredible Hulk #180 (October 1974) and then his first "full" appearance in Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974). X-Men writer Chris Claremont played a significant role in the character's subsequent development as did artist/writer John Byrne, who insisted on making the character older than the other X-Men.

As a mutant, Wolverine possesses keen, animal-like senses, enhanced physical capabilities, and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound. This healing ability enabled the scientists of the Weapon X program to bond the near indestructible metal-alloy adamantium to his skeletal system. Due to his extensive worldwide travels, Wolverine is also a master of hand-to-hand combat and most martial arts.

Wolverine was recruited into the X-Men's "All New, All Different" roster in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975) by Professor Xavier to assist in the rescue of the original team, who were imprisoned by Krakoa, the Living Island (“Second Genesis”). The character quickly emerged as the clear favorite for fans of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise and his trend-setting willingness to use deadly force along with his brooding nature became standard characteristics for industry anti-heroes by the end of the 1980’s.

Wolverine (or Logan; as he was also known) was originally intended to simply be a mutated wolverine cub brought into existence by the High Evolutionary, but this idea was nixed. Another possible origin tied Wolverine’s parentage to the villain Sabretooth and also utilized the two characters mutant healing abilities to explain their extended natural age. Some elements of this theme were incorporated into a later ret-conned origin which revealed his true name to be James Howlett.

Wolverine has made such an incredible impact over the last three decades that he has become one of Marvel Comics flagship heroes and he currently serves as a member of the Avengers franchise, while also maintaining his marquee status as a leading X-Man.

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