Wolverine is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Born James Howlett1 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 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 was typical of the many tough, anti-authority, antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War;2 his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book anti-heroes by the end of the 1980s.3 As a result, the character became a fan favorite of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise.4 Wolverine has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988 and has been a main 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 in all seven films,5 although Troye Sivan plays the young James Howlett in the 2009 film. In May 2008, Wolverine was ranked #1 out of Wizard magazine’s Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time6 and was ranked as the 4th Greatest Comic Book Character by Empire magazine in July 2008.7 On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Wolverine at #21.8 In May 2011, Wolverine was ranked 4th on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.9