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Comic Book: Wolverine

"I'm the best there is at what I do. And what I do isn't very nice."

Wolverine (also known as Logan, James Howlett, and Weapon X) is a Marvel Comics superhero, known for his association with the X-Men; sharp, indestructible claws; berserker rages; managing to be in many places at once; having quite a few tropes named after him; and for being very, very popular. At times he's been the most popular Marvel Super Hero, which led to his tendency to... um... show up everywhere.

He first appeared in Incredible Hulk #180 (October, 1974), making his true debut in the next issue as an adversary until the two teamed up to fight the Wendigo. Both issues were written by Len Wein and drawn by Herb Trimpe, though John Romita, Sr. is credited with the original design of the character. Wolverine would go on to join the X-Men the following year, with his true origins remaining ambiguously buried in a mishmash of false and real memories for decades, as his popularity skyrocketed. He would gain his own miniseries, and then his own title, and then his own cartoon, and then... well, then he was kind of everywhere... and still is. Even here on TV Tropes.

Wolverine's comics:

  • X-Men.
  • The Avengers.
  • The self-titled Wolverine written by Chris Claremont and pencilled by Frank Miller along with its many other volumes (currently at volume 6).
  • The Savage Wolverine, which feature's Logan's adventures in the Savage Land with Shanna the She-Devil.
  • Wolverine MAX and Wolverine - The Best There Is for mature audiences.
  • First volume of Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Comics: Wolverine.
  • X-Force and the first volume of Uncanny X-Force where he commanded the missions of his ultra-secret killing squad.
  • The miniseries Kitty Pryde and Wolverine.
    • Wolverine First Class a series about Kitty Pryde and her teacher Wolverine.
  • Origin, detailing his youth.
    • Origin II, the sequel to Origin.
  • Wolverine: Origins, which spun out of House of M and explores Wolverine's past.
  • Wolverine: Weapon X.
  • Old Man Logan
  • And many, many, many, many, many, many, many cameos, and gratuitous appearances across comicland. Even after his death his presence continues to be felt everywhere, with not only the Death of Wolverine miniseries, but several one-shots of the aftermath, two miniseries tie-ins (the 5-part Weapon X and the 7-part Logan Legacy), and a weekly ongoing follow-up scheduled to begin in 2015 titled Wolverines.

Also see: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolverine and the X-Men, The Wolverine and Wolverine for tropes associated with the 2011 anime.

Hey bub, ya prolly wanna check out the self-demonstratin' version of my page.

Wolverine provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Those pointy things sticking out of his hands.
  • Abusive Parents
    • Logan's mother, Elizabeth Howlett was for the most part neglectful (though she did spend time in an asylum after her first born son, John Howlett III's mutation occurred which lead to her scarring) until the night when John Howlett was killed. Thomas Logan was killed by his biological son James whose mutant powers recently emerged after witnessing the death of his step father. Elizabeth's reaction was to call her distraught son an "animal" while hitting him across the face with Thomas' shotgun, making him and his caretaker Rose, flee the mansion. Afraid of history repeating itself and seeing her lover's body on the floor she committed suicide.
    • Thomas Logan was absolutely horrible to his son and Logan's half-brother Dog Logan, often yelling and hitting him as well as introducing him to drink at a young age and encouraging the boy's psychotic behaviour. In Hell, he was actually proud of Logan's massive death count, and it's hinted that the Logan bloodline followed similar mental instability as Thomas did.
  • The Ace: He would like to remind you that he's the best at what he does, and what he does isn't very nice.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Well, sort of. During the Dark Reign, Logan's bisexual, half-Japanese son Daken took on the Wolverine mantle as a member of the Dark Avengers. However, they both used the Wolverine name at the same time, and the situation with Daken was always intended to be temporary.
    • Due to be played much straighter with the upcoming Wolverines, with Daken, X-23, Lady Deathstrike, Mystique, and Sabretooth all set to take up Logan's mantel to varying degrees.
  • The Alcoholic: Subverted; he definitely fits the "drinks a lot" part, but due to his healing factor, he can't actually get wasted or develop addiction or dependence, although Depending on the Writer, Wolverine has gotten drunk; he just needs a lot of alcohol to do so.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Wolverine has enough similarities to Batman that one could make this argument. When Marvel and DC collaborated to produce "Amalgam Comics", combining their characters for fun, Wolverine and Batman fused to become "Dark Claw".
    • Another DC wildman prior to Logan was LSH member Timber Wolf, who has gotten more feral and growl-ly since Wolverine's popularity.
  • Amusing Injuries: Wolverine's ability to heal from virtually anything has led to him often being the target of some quite slapstick-style humor that would be fatal for most anyone else. Such as a giant Iceman squishing him like a bug or Cyclops blasting him out a window for annoying him. Even compared with other characters with the same healing factor: In World War Hulk, Hulk putting X-23 through a wall for taking his eye is portrayed as shocking, while Hulk making Wolverine a human paddle ball for doing the same is played for humor.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Logan and real wolverines have a lot in common: they're both small in comparison to others, solitary, extremely aggressive for their size, have very keen senses of smell, and pack powerful claws.
  • Anime Hair/Hot-Blooded Sideburns:
    • Logan's standard look since his introduction has been a swept-back mane-like hairstyle that comes to prominent points on the sides of his head, combined with muttonchop sideburns. During Adam Kubert's run as artist of the self-titled comic in The Nineties, the combination was so long that he almost did have an actual mane; in newer works his hair tends to be a more realistic length while keeping the same style.
    • Living Between Wednesdays actually did an analysis of the various aspects of Wolverine's hair.
  • Annoying Arrows: Logan, once needing to get a small child to safety through a bunch of archers, chose to block them with his body and keep going. It worked, though he wasn't in very good shape at the end.
  • Anti-Hero: A Trope Codifier for superhero comics. Not as extreme as he used to be (see Friend to All Children) and currently a Pragmatic Hero. Claremont remarked that he disliked the attempts to make Wolverine darker.
    • From the first issue of his self-titled series, in the middle of a huge battle with cutthroat slavers who have butchered the crew and passengers of a captured boat:
      Logan: (internal dialogue) I'm an X-Man. [...] With them, killing is a last resort. With me, it's second nature. I take the world as it is, and give better than I get. Come at me with a sword. I'll meet you with a sword. You want mercy. Show a little first. [...] Some of those folks died fighting... some praying... some accepted their fate... some cursed it... some begged for their lives... most were terrified. Details don't matter. What's important is that they died. And those scales have to be balanced. In kind.
    • Although his place has varied between Pragmatic Hero, Unscrupulous Hero, and Nominal Hero in the comics, the cartoons and movies consistently portray him as a Pragmatic Hero, except for The Superhero Squad Show, where he is a pure hero.
  • Anti-Villain: Every once in a while, circumstances make him this, usually a Type II or III.
  • Arch-Enemy: Sabretooth, who is essentially a larger version of Wolverine but without a shred of moral decency and who personifies the darker aspects of Wolverine's nature and personality.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Sabretooth was originally planned to be his father, but that idea was scrapped. Then there was some ambiguity of him being his half-brother, but it didn't turn out that way either, so ultimately there is no blood relation between them. They're simply two guys from the same province who have similar powers and hate each other's guts.
  • Art Evolution
    • From Logan's first appearance through the 90s, the following were pretty consistent:
      • He was short, homely, and very hirsute.
      • His claws came out of the backs of his hands behind his knuckles (see the page pic).
      • The claws were either thin blades (especially in Frank Miller and Jim Lee's art) or roughly cylindrical and tapering to really sharp tips, more like true animal claws, especially in the '80s and sans adamantium.
    • Ever since the X-Men movies, the following have been pretty consistent:
      • He's more handsome, less hairy and generally more of an average height.
      • The claws come out directly between his knuckles and have the heavier knife-shaped appearance.
  • Artistic License – Biology
    • Aside from the issues with lacing Logan's bones with the adamantium, some depictions of his skeleton (especially in the Weapon X miniseries) have long adamantium sprues sticking off his bones from the injection ports, which would play havoc with his muscles as he moves.
    • Most artists make Wolverine's claws so long that, even when fully retracted, at least part of the claw tips would be inside his hands, meaning he either wouldn't be able to flex his wrists or would shred his hands from the inside if he could.
    • If Wolverine was really 5'3" and 195 pounds (and that's without the adamantium), he would be more than fifty pounds overweight; his being very muscular may be the reason behind this.
    • The X-ray of Logan's arm in X-Men shows the claw implants pushing his forearm bones far enough apart to dislocate them from his wrists.
    • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just after Logan receives the adamantium, the X-ray graphic of the claws extending shows them rearranging his wrist bones as they slide through the joint.
  • Ascended Extra
    • Logan was originally supposed to be a one-off Hulk villain. It didn't quite turn out that way.
    • His archnemesis Sabretooth used to be a minor Iron Fist villain.
  • The Atoner: One of the reasons given for Wolverine appearing in so many titles is that after regaining his memories, he felt so guilty over all the nasty stuff he did in his past, and the fact that his son is basically just as bad a person in the present as he used to be, that Logan feels compelled to try and do as much good as physically possible, though he feels he can't ultimately make amends. Of course, this doesn't really account for all his appearances before he got his memories back and learned he had a son....
  • Audible Sharpness: SNIKT! (with the adamantium) and SCHLIKT! (without)
  • Backstab Backfire: In the final issue of the "Kitty Pryde & Wolverine" limited series, Logan had defeated Ogun and brought him to his knees. He spared Ogun's life and began to walk away alongside Kitty. Ogun produced a knife and rushed at the two of them from behind. Wolverine noticed it in time to tell Kitty to use her phasing power, causing the knife to pass harmlessly through her. He then stabbed Ogun with his claws, killing the villain.
  • Badass: Widely accepted as the baddest-assed mutant of all. He's on the very short list of people who'll jump into battle with an enraged Hulk without hesitation — and did just that in his first full appearance. During his "no adamantium" days, he even stood up to Juggernaut without hesitation.
  • Badass and Child Duo: So much it's a Running Gag. "Child" is sometimes overstating it, but all of his well-known sidekicks are adolescent girls who he can both trade snark with and act violently protective of. If it ain't broke...
  • Badass Beard: If it goes beyond his usual Perma Stubble, it's likely to become this.
  • Badass Biker: Logan is this in general. It becomes a plot point in one issue of the first self-titled series when a paranoid, drugged-up murderer stops by Logan at a traffic signal. He starts eyeballing Logan, and freaks out because he can see that Logan isn't one to be messed with.
  • Badass Gay: Not the mainstream version, but the version in X-Treme X-Men volume 2. He was originally intended to be, and is sometimes hinted at, being bisexual, however. Daken too, though he's not so much as bisexual as an asexual sociopath who uses sex as a weapon.
  • Badass Grandpa
    • He was born in the late 19th century.
    • His enemies Sabretooth and Cyber (when the latter was in his original body), are less sympathetic examples of this trope, being even older than him.
    • Even Logan's own deceased son Daken could be considered this, being in his mid-60's at the time of his death.
  • Badass Teacher: Became this lately, especially as of the Wolverine and the X-Men title, wherein he himself rebuilt the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters into the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, with himself as the headmaster.
  • Bash Brothers: With Colossus originally, but putting him on a team together with any bruiser in the Marvel Universe results in this.
  • Battle Couple: His alternate self is this with Hercules in X-Treme X-Men volume 2.
  • The Bear: A heterosexual example in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Played straight (or not) in X-Treme X-Men volume 2.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one after he is tricked into killing his children.
  • Berserk Button: And not a hard one to press, either. Just getting him wound up seems to suffice, although he has some specific triggers:
    • Hurting people that he cares about.
    • Hitting a woman in front of Logan, even if he does not know her or care about her. He made this very clear to Steven Lang in one of the early issues when he belted Jean Grey:
      "Oh that TEARS it Bub!! You may beat into me all you want, but if you hit the lady you're gonna have to answer to THE WOLVERINE!!" (rips free of his restraints and goes to clawing)
    • Harming a little girl when he's around.
  • The Berserker: His default fighting style is wading into battle, hacking and slashing with his claws. The more straight application is when he gets angered enough to slip into a "berserker rage", where he lapses into an animalistic mental state and will lash out at anyone nearby with aggression far beyond what he's normally capable of. He hates the latter, but has acknowledged that it's saved his life more than once.
  • Betty and Veronica: Logan was the Veronica to Scott's Betty in relation to Jean. Originally this was just to give fans a reason to care about the then-new character, who'd yet to achieve his now-legendary popularity. It's since taken a life of its own, and some fans act like it's the defining aspect of both Scott and Logan's characters, and in the films, it is. Oddly enough, the whole Jean/Scott/Wolverine triangle pretty much started as a retcon. It was at most hinted at back in the day, but in the late '80s it was retconned up in a big way.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, and now X-23 and Armor.
  • The Big Guy: Defied. Despite having all the characteristics, being muscle-bound, hairy, Badass and everything, he is actually shorter than most of his friends and foes, the latter (especially Sabretooth) often calling him "runt" to insult him.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Wolverine being very short at 5-foot-3 and Sabretooth begin very tall at 6-foot-6 serves to make even more contrast between them.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Hoo boy, where to even start. One legitimate son is a manipulative sociopath who enjoys toying with others for his own amusement, while another he hasn't seen since he was a baby. His "daughter" is a depressed and likely suicidal ex-child soldier and prostitute struggling to turn her life around. He has who knows how many illegitimate children, many of whom were sent to kill him and he was forced to kill first, only later discovering who they really were, and his father wasn't actually his biological father. And we still haven't even touched on his half brothers (John Howlett III, and Dog Logan) and adopted daughter.
  • Bi the Way: In the X-Treme verse at the very least. Chris Claremont says that he also wrote Wolverine as bisexual during his run but never got the chance to acknowledge it on-panel.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Not only Logan, but his Opposite-Sex Clone X23 (two claws in each arm, one in each foot) and son Daken (three claws in each arm, arranged differently than Logan's)
  • Blessed with Suck: His powers come with a number of drawbacks.
    • His claws don't have natural sheaths to move through, and thus they cut through his arms and hands every time he uses them (also thanks to the Healing Factor). Depending on the depiction, this can be anywhere from just poking through the skin to slicing through muscle and tendons; in X-Men Origins they even rearrange his wrist bones as they move. This is quite painful in any case, but fortunately, the healing factor means the pain is brief, and he has a very high pain tolerance.
      • One issue of X-Force graphically highlighted this fact, with Wolverine repeatedly popping and retracting one claw while stewing over something... and a small spurt of blood with each SNIKT!
      • In the Weapon X standalone story, the metal chutes his claws extend through are surgically implanted in his hands because of the damage the claws did the first time he extended them.
      • In Wolverine #75, his first time popping his claws after Magneto pulled out the adamantium was a gory mess, and was excruciatingly painful. Afterwards, he had to keep his hands constantly bandaged to deal with bleeding from the holes made by the claws, and the pain, while not as bad as that first time, was still a lot worse because the Healing Factor wasn't working (see its entry below). He still kept it up, though...
      (Logan pops his right claws while he and Jubilee are talking)
      Logan: I pop 'em out a few times a day. Keeps the channels open... like pierced ears.
      Jubilee: Did it stop hurting?
      Logan: Nope.
      • Also, from the first movie:
      Rogue: When they come out... does it hurt?
      Logan: Every time.
    • The adamantium may keep his bones from breaking and make his claws that much more dangerous, but it actually slows down his healing factor; X-23 grouses to him at one point that he heals too slowly. The reason for this was Ret Conned, but it still applies. Then again, the healing factor is depicted so inconsistently that this might as well not apply anyway. In one story which featured the X-Men fighting the Brotherhood on Muir Island, Mystique threatens him with a weapon that will deactivate his healing powers and explains that his adamantium bones will poison and kill him quickly if she uses it.
    • His enhanced senses may seem like a cool thing to have, but most people would probably crack up from having to process that level of constant sensory input 24/7.
  • Body Horror
    • Logan's spiky, freakishly distorted body in the fever dream-like memories of his handling by the Weapon X program, as depicted in Weapon X and his self-titled series.
    • The depiction of Magneto ripping the adamantium out of his body in X-Men #25.
  • Cain and Abel: While not siblings, he and Sabretooth share a closely connected past, were previously friends (to an extent) and were both "reborn" in the Weapon X program. He also has this with his actual half-brother Dog. Ironically, in the Origin story, Dog was strongly implied to be a young Sabretooth, but they are later shown to not be the same person. Dog is still alive and well after almost 133 years and really knows how to hold a grudge. Another version is this with his other half-brother John Howlett III.
  • Canada Bub
  • Carpet of Virility: And he sports it so well!!
  • Cartwright Curse: One of the most egregious illustrations of the saying "Being paired up with a Badass never ends well for a woman". Wives, fiances, girlfriends, girlfriends he hadn't been dating for years but happened to hook up with again. Dating Logan 9 times out of 10 will result in your horrible death... except for Yukio and she's now a paraplegic.
  • Catch Phrase
    • "Yer choice, bub. Yer funeral."
    • And of course who can forget: "I'm the best there is at what I do. And what I do isn't very nice."
  • Cigar Chomper: Until smoking became unbelievably uncool around the '90s, Wolverine was rarely without a cigar. Even now he still flouts one in the movies.
  • Cock Fight: Logan has a special place in his heart for Jean Grey. Cyclops knows it, and does NOT approve. Just like Logan doesn't approve of Jean with Scott but bears with it for the sake of Jean. Not that it ever stopped them from squabbling and sometimes physically fighting about it because, in Logan's words, "Cyke doesn't deserve a woman like Jean!"
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: These days, you can pretty much tell what team he's working with at the moment by the color of his uniform. Blue and yellow means he's acting heroic and working with the X-Men and/or the Avengers. Dull gray and black means that he's doing X-Force work (and you should probably get out of the way).
  • Conspicuous Gloves: In his early appearances, Wolverine had his claws attached to his gloves. Once they were said to come out of his hand, his gloves had slits to accommodate their extension.
  • Cool Old Guy: Arguably one of the coolest (and oldest) guys around, but "cool" doesn't necessarily mean "nice"...
  • The Cowl: Subverted. Wolverine has been called "Batman, sans the subtlety".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: And how.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death Is Cheap: He's been killed a few times but keeps coming back.
  • Depending on the Writer: The absurdity of Logan's Healing Factor seems to rest on who happens to be writing him at the moment.
  • Determinator: Logan is one stubborn son of a bitch. Even when badly hurt, he'll shrug it off and just keep coming at you until one of you drops. Unfortunately for whoever he's fighting, this will inevitably give Logan the time he needs to heal.
  • Disappeared Dad: All over the place. His biological father killed the man who raised him, and in turn he killed his biological father. Then on his end, he didn't even know Daken existed until Daken was over 60. On top of that the "Wolverine Goes to Hell" arc confirmed he has sired many, many more children during his lifetime whose lives he has been completely absent from; "I see the faces of the children I was never there for. Daken and others I don't even recognize". Among them were The Mongrels, whom were pitted against him by The Red Right Hand, were killed by him, and then he found out they were his offspring. Wow.
  • Distaff Counterpart: His current sidekick X-23, who's literally his female clone made from an incomplete DNA sample (the Y chromosome was damaged, so they doubled up on the X).
  • Dragon Lady: Lady Deathstrike; Tyger Tiger
  • Dub Name Change
    • He's known as "Lobezno" ("Wolf Cub") in Spain and "Pantera" ("Panther") in some places in Latin America. justified in that the Spanish name for the wolverine is "Glotón", which means "Big Eater" and might cause people to think his mutant power is eating stuff.
    • French translators were faced with the same problem: French for "Wolverine" is "Glouton", which has the same meaning as its Spanish transparent counterpart, so for a very long time (until Panini got Marvel's right from Lug), he was known as "Serval" (a big African cat with a great sense of smell), then they simply stopped translating his name. Another publisher (Arédit) did call him "Le Glouton", though.
    • The same problem in Italian has been solved by... not translating his name.
    • The Hungarian translators also faced a problem with his name as the Hungarian word for "Wolverine" is" "Rozsomák" or "Torkosborz", neither of which is very flattering, and said animal is not even indigenous in Hungary. "Rozsomák" sound like it's in plural form (also "rozs" means rye and "mák" means "poppy" in Hungarian. The other word "Torkosborz" means "gluttonous badger" facing the same problem as the Spanish and French translators. They've settled on "Farkas" meaning "Wolf", ironic considering these two are natural enemies.
    • In other parts of Latin America he is known as "Guepardo", which is Spanish for cheetah, but since "chita" is also Spanish for cheetah few make the connection, avoiding the idea that his powers might be about speed.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • In Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #4, Lady Deathstrike assaults a Yakuza hideout to recover the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida, so it could be laid to rest in his memory, in a cemetery Logan had created in Japan for both friend and foe alike.
    • In Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #5, Daken attacks an auction selling parts of Logan's remains to recover them, slaughtering everyone except Viper, Mystique, and a former lover of his, and uses them to hold a proper funeral for his father. Mystique tells him she had attended for the same purpose, minus the bloodshed.
    • Many characters have also been shown honoring Wolverine after his death:
      • X-23 dyes locks of her hair blue and gold (the color of Wolverine's most iconic costume) in his memory.
      • Cyclops reflects on their complex relationship, and gets in a bar fight as the best means he knows of honoring him.
      • Colossus and Nightcrawler take up Logan's annual pilgrimage to Mariko Yashida's grave. And pick a fight with a bunch of ninjas.
      • Armor picked a simulated fight with several of Logan's biggest foes in the Danger Room, and stole a beer from his stash intending to drink it. Hellion saved her from being too badly hurt in the former, and talked her out of the latter.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sabretooth — pretty much the same power palette as Wolverine but one of the most viciously evil characters in the Marvel universe.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Romulus, a werewolf-like mutant from the days of the Roman Empire with powers eerily similar to Logan's, who claims he, Logan, Sabertooth, and a number of mutants are members of the Lupine, a subspecies of mutant descended from canines rather than primates. Although his sister Remus says he made it up. Bonus points for Romulus manipulating Logan's bloodline for centuries and being the mastermind behind Weapon X.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Wolverine's Healing Factor means his age is hard to pin down. The films of the 2010s have placed his childhood in 1845, and the Wolverine: Origins comic also put his early years in the 19th century, though 35 years later, in 1880. Both spend time exploring his earlier life, firmly placing the character in a time period at least 120 years earlier than the one he currently lives in.
  • Flanderization: His Healing Factor sometimes gets pushed up to ridiculous levels, like regenerating instantly from a single cell. Normally, it is indeed powerful enough to restore his health from such things as gunshots or stab wounds, but it can take a very long time, and it's nowhere near as good as those from Hulk, Deadpool or Lobo.
  • The Fog of Ages: Part of the reason why so much of his past is a mystery. It's indeterminate how much memory has been erased and how much he simply forgot.
  • Friend to All Children: Wolverine gets a new teenage sidekick about once every decade or so, like Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, and Hisako "Armor" Ichaki. They usually go on to be badasses. He also gets along famously with Katie Power for some reason, and once in a great while a writer remembers he has a foster daughter, Amiko. In fact, his big blowup with Cyclops in Schism came because he absolutely did not want the kid X-Men to lose their innocence by being soldiers for the mutant cause, even if said kids were willing to help with the fight. He went on to reopen Xavier's old school after the event in order to give them a safe haven. Occasionally subverted: he sometimes considers and actively tries to kill children if he's scared enough of them, like Hope, Wiccan, a Teenager Cyclops or a clone infant version of Apocalypse.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of Logan's biggest strengths is his mind. He's been around for well over a century and has spent quite a bit of that time taking in information.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Yes, he's more-or-less a heroic guy, but unless you're his daughter or some other kid he's taken under his wing, it's better he ignores you.
  • Good Parents: His father John Howlett, who never learned that he wasn't biologically Logan's father. Over 100 years later when Logan goes to Hell, he still only refers to Thomas Logan as his biological father, and biological only, and still refers to John Howlett as the only father he ever had.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: His adamantium helps mitigate the damage, but still....
  • Go-to Alias: Wolverine uses the identity of "Patch" (wearing an eyepatch), a mercenary, when he acts undercover in the Far East.
  • Groin Attack: In one issue of Ultimate X-Men, as Sabretooth tries to drown him, he counters by clawing Sabretooth in the groin.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, the Hulk rips Logan in two at the waist. Not only does Logan survive, he crawls up the mountain he's on to find his legs.
  • Healing Factor: Logan is arguably the Trope Codifier for the fictional type. It kept him alive in conjunction with his adamantium-laced skeleton.
    • Averted during the "no adamantium" arc; having the metal ripped out of his body overstressed the healing factor and killed it for a few months of story time. When it finally came back, without the adamantium to slow it down, it essentially overclocked, allowing Logan to at one point completely recover from being run over in a matter of seconds but slowly causing him to revert to a more bestial state. This was taken to an extreme when Cable's evil son Genesis tried to re-implant the adamantium. Logan's body explosively rejected the adamantium, and when he was fully healed he was a monstrous subhuman.
    • Chris Claremont, in particular, was very careful to avert, invert, subvert and otherwise keep this trope from giving Wolverine the effective immortality that he has had of late. In one issue, Wolverine is poisoned and badly stabbed by the Silver Samurai, and it's implied that he's risking his life to let Rogue absorb his healing powers because he is so badly hurt. In another issue, Mystique demonstrates that a slit throat will kill Wolverine before his healing factor has a chance to kick in it's being played with there, though, because it is one of Arcade's replicas being killed, and Arcade may not know the full extent of Wolverine's powers.
    • Arguably an Unbuilt Trope. His Healing Factor has several drawbacks (as stated above under Blessed with Suck), one of the most harrowing of which is the fact that anesthesia of any kind will not work on him except at ridiculously high dosages. Thus there is an element of deconstruction present before the trope was fully codified.
    • Wolverine's Healing Factor also can't prevent death by asphyxiation. This is alluded to in one issue of Ultimate X-Men when Sabretooth tries to drown him. Years later, it's proven when Wolverine kills his son Daken by drowning him.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: One of Logan's defining personality traits, first with Rose from Origin, then Heather Hudson, and especially Jean Grey.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nightcrawler and Colossus, of all people. For a time, had a mix of this and Like an Old Married Couple with Cyclops before tensions flared up again. Oddly enough, he is this less frequently with Gambit, the X-Man with whom has has the most in common with. A good example of how close he and Nightcrawler are is that that Kurt can crash in the notoriously anti-social Wolverine's apartment uninvited, and Logan will come home and not bat an eye. And of course there is Logan's emotional reaction to Kurt's death.
  • Hypocrite:
    • His character has taken this turn in certain comics. He thinks that he should be the only one allowed to do the dirty work, selectively chooses to forgive or scorn people who caused harm while being possessed (even though he was in this very situation himself) and claims that nobody should ever put children in danger, when he has done things like dumping his students in the Savage Land and even repeatedly tried to murder teenagers (Wiccan or Hope for example) when he saw it fitting.
    • In the original X-Men film released in the year 2000, the X-Men are wary of any of their allies who shows up from another room/location/etc., being that there is a flawless shapeshifter (Mystique) amongst them. When told to prove that he's himself and not Mystique in disguise, he deadpans to Cyclops: "You're a dick." Scott deadpans in return "Okay." It WAS a good tactic to prove his identity, but between the two of them, Logan is definitely more of "a dick." He has a short temper and is extremely antisocial in the film, and is arguably the reason that the feud between Cyclops and himself started to begin with.
  • I Have Many Names: James Howlett, Logan, Weapon X, Wolverine, Patch (a Paper-Thin Disguise if ever there was one)... He has used "Jim Logan" as an alias in the past, when working as a private detective. Ironically, that is his true name, unbeknownst to him at the time, James being his given name at birth, and Logan being his biological father's last name.
  • I Have No Son: His biological father tells him this when Logan refuses to be the ruler of Hell. Logan, who already hates the man, simply claws him in the face and says, "Damn right."
  • Iconic Item: The claws, especially in combination with the gloves that have the chutes the claws extend through.
  • Iconic Outfit: The distinctive brow extensions of his costumes' cowls; even in silhouette they're instantly recognizable.
  • Identical Grandson: Grows up to look exactly like his biological father Thomas Logan. This was used as a Red Herring in the Origin story, with readers initially being lead to believe that Thomas' other son Dog was the young Wolverine.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of Logan's signature moves, when he's not slicing you to ribbons. He's also on the receiving end occasionally.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Sabretooth. Very disturbingly so in Deadpool's Weapon X storyarc.
  • Immortals Fear Death: After apparently losing his Healing Factor for good in Wolverine #7, Logan is absolutely terrified of dying.
  • Immune to Bullets: Subverted; he can be hurt by getting shot, but the adamantium and healing factor make being killed by getting shot pretty much impossible.
  • Implacable Man: Together with his Healing Factor, sense of smell, and sheer determination, nothing short of Galactus is going to stop him from tracking someone... and even then only for a little while.
  • Informed Ability: His martial arts prowess. 9 times out of 10 we only see him wildly flailing his claws around, something which requires no skill. Wolverine can't seem to make it out of a fight unscathed and is very dependent on his healing factor.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Kavorka Man: He's a really short, hairy guy with cigar breath and weird hair. He's never without some hot woman or another after him. It's also been repeatedly stated or implied that he smells bad and rarely bathes. Easily explained by two words: Animal Magnetism.
  • Kick the Dog: Whenever (since he's done it a few times) he tries to kill a teenager, or anyone for that matter, under the excuse that its for the "greater good", tend to come off as this. Especially in All New X-Men when he decides to take out his anger and hatred of Cyclops and bullies the Past!Cyclops, vocally blames him for Xavier's recent death, and publicly humiliates him by threatening to kill him and encouraging someone to give him reason not to and, given how the X-Men still hate him for killing Xavier, no one steps up to stop him, at most looking on disapprovingly (making it a major KTD moment for all the X-Men too), so it continues until Kid!Cyclops tearfully calls him out until finally he's told off by Storm and Beast.
  • The Lancer: Usually takes this role in whatever team he happens to be on at the moment. Attempts to break him out of this into taking the role of The Leader full-on have been made in the last few years. See both Wolverine and the X-Men's TV show and comic book for example. Reception isn't stellar, to say the least.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Played straight for a long time. Up until Daken came around, it was only ever implied that Logan had any kids (specificallly, Gahck's baby sony Erista in the 1990 one-shot Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure, and Alpha Flight's Flex). The trope was finally averted in two story arcs:
    • In the "Wolverine Goes to Hell" arc, part of the emotional torture he undergoes is seeing all his shames and regrets paraded out in front of him, including the undisclosed multitude of children he sired and never cared for.
    • See Offing the Offspring below.
  • Legacy Character: Jimmy Hudson in the Ultimate Marvel universe.
  • Morality Pet: His younger sidekicks fall into this by default, although in X-23's case he was the one Defusing The Tykebomb.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Very much averted; his costumes (and more often than not, his street clothes) are constantly being destroyed.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: He has an extremely effective Healing Factor and a virtually indestructible skeleton that is laced with adamantium.
    • Previously he was far more easy to kill, and it almost seems his Healing Factor was powered directly by how popular he was at the time.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Well, he really came in the '70s, but went on to fit just fine in the '90s, and beyond.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Rogueish Male to Colossus, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler's Noble Males.
  • No Name Given: The only name he had for years was Logan. It was never specified whether this was a first or last name (his driver's license actually read Logan W. Logan). In an issue, he had an identity card which read "Jim Logan", which, if not a Foreshadowing (said issue, if memory serves, was about seven years before he remembered his past in House of M), was at least a hint. He also once used the name "Tom Logan" in the cartoon when infiltrating the Friends of Humanity... also ironic foreshadowing to Origins. His real name is James Howlett.
  • The Nose Knows: His sense of smell is especially enhanced, and gets the most use and mention. In one issue where he's strongly implied to have slept with Mystique, he knew it was her from the moment she walked up to him just by her smell. As he points out in X-Men: Evolution:
    Logan: She can mask herself, but not her smell.
  • Not So Different: With Sabretooth. Along with Sabretooth's constant torment of him, this is an important reason of Wolverine's own hatred of him. Sabretooth represents the person that Wolverine used to be, before years and years of working hard to become a better person, and the person he is working hard to not become (again).
  • Now It's My Turn: One of the most awesome moments in an already awesome career.
  • Odd Friendship
    • One of his best friends is Puck, a Canadian midget whose power is to throw himself at things.
    • He's also best friends with Nightcrawler, who is about as different from Wolverine as Superman is from Lobo, aside from their mutual love of beer.
      • To wit: Early in his tenure with the X-Men Nightcrawler was just about the only one of his teammates he admitted to actively liking and any time he was forced to pair off with someone on a mission he almost always requested him.
    • His relationship with Storm, back when it was platonic, has always been this.
    • Is slowly becoming this with both Hercules and Thor, due to all three's shared long life spans, love of battle and love of drinking. Amusingly, he really wishes it wasn't happening with Herc, who remains blithely convinced that it's inevitable.
    • After working together for so long in the Avengers, Spider-man has become one with him. Peter Parker normally has nothing but contempt for anti-heroes who kill even mooks but he's come to see Logan as often not having a choice, meanwhile Logan for all his short-temper is surprisingly tolerant of Peter even when he's in one of his goofier moods.
  • Offing the Offspring
    • The Red Right Hand, a group of former victims or friends and families of some of Wolverine's Mook Horror Show battles, collected and trained a group of Wolverine's unknown offspring to be used as enforcers, then informed him of their lineage after he had already killed them.
    • In X-Force, Sabertooth manipulated Daken and Wolverine into a fight to the death which he knew Wolverine would win. He gleefully reveals this right after Wolverine drowned Daken.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the only sure-fire ways in-universe to kill Wolverine is to decapitate him in a way that separates his head and neck fast enough to keep the wound from healing. In the first issue of his first solo series, during the brawl with the slavers, one actually lands a neck cut, but his sword shatters on Wolverine's spine and he gets skewered promptly.
  • One-Man Army: He's always been this, but it was most pronounced in the 1990's cartoon and Wolverine and the X-Men.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: X-23, a.k.a. Laura Kinney.
  • Original Man: Wolverine is revealed to be one of the last living specimens in both Marville and Earth X
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Bloodscream isn't technically a vampire, but a guy who was cursed by a witch to live forever with a blood thirst. The only cure, of course, is Logan's blood.
  • Papa Wolf: Regarding Jubilee and Kitty Pride, most notably, but young girls in general bring this out in him. God help you if you do anything to harm them...
    • It's been suggested this is one of the reasons why Logan makes no effort to conceal his identity as Wolverine. Most heroes, like Peter Parker have close family they need to protect, so concealing their identity is necessary. Others, like Reed Richards have no need, because their loved ones are just as powerful. In Logan's case? Given his typical stance on killing, it's just not good for your health to try and harm his loved ones, so in his case, people knowing he's Wolverine is the best protection he can provide.
  • Parental Substitute: Has been a caring father figure to Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Armor, and other young X-Men. Ironically, he was a Disappeared Dad to every single one of his actual children.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His "Patch" alter ego; his disguise was basically just an eyepatch over one eye. In the '80s, Jessica Drew called him out on how blatant the Patch disguise was, and that no-one wanted to be the first to point it out lest they get stabbed in the face.
  • Perma Stubble
  • Pet the Dog: Logan gets this from Lady Deathstrike in one issue during the "no adamantium" arc, when she learns the metal's gone.
    (Logan retracts his claws, letting Deathstrike see him bleed from the holes in his hands)
    Deathstrike: But your healing factor—
    Logan: It's pretty much used up. As good as gone.
    (Deathstrike hesitantly brushes Logan's forehead with one finger)
    Logan: (internal) For the first time in years, she reaches out to touch me... and the touch is gentle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Logan's 5'3". This contrasts him more with his enemy Sabretooth who is 6"6".
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Psylocke. Formerly with Storm as well, before their Relationship Upgrade in 2013.
  • Popularity Power: Uh, well, he beat Lobo. LOBO. THE GUY WHO FIGHTS ON EVEN FOOTING WITH SUPERMAN. Yeah, it was later handwaved that Lobo took a bribe to lose, but still...
    • The IRL reason he lost is because the winners were determined by readers' votes, and Wolverine got more.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Subverted. Whilst he is indeed very manly by traditional definitions, and a killer, Logan himself has significant ethical reservations about killing per se and he strongly condemns the killing of innocents. Indeed, his Catch Phrase of "I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn't very nice" was originally meant to express his own self-doubt about the morality of his actions. In short, Logan rejects the trope even if he technically fulfills its requirements.
  • Really Gets Around: Logan has been around since the 19th Century, and by "been around" we mean "been around". The hirsute little berserker probably gets more tail than Tony Stark.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Wolverine's healing factor drastically slows his aging. He was born in the late 1800s.
  • Rebellious Spirit: In most continuities he's clearly an anti-authoritarian loner. Subverted in Wolverine and the X-Men owing to Logan and Scott's exchange of roles. Averted in X-Men: Evolution, where Logan's a Drill Sergeant Nasty combat instructor. Even in the mainstream canon these days, he's now school headmaster.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: During the aforementioned fight with the slavers, one opens up on him with an AK-47 in a crowded room, and Logan notes that the guy doesn't care a whit if he hits anyone else as long as he hits Logan (which he does).
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Storm following the annulment of her marriage to the Black Panther. Whether they're an Official Couple or just Friends with Benefits is still up in the air.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated:
    Nightcrawler: Where have you been, Logan?
    Wolverine: Dead. But I got better.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Invoked. Early on, the writers (correctly) realized that storing metal blades under your skin and having a metal-plated skeleton would require superhuman healing powers to prevent a slow, painful death from infection and/or blood poisoning... which is the only reason Wolvie got his metal claws and skeleton in the first place. As explained in his backstory, Weapon X's scientists decided to line Logan's skeleton with adamantium because they knew that, with his healing factor, he was one of the few people on Earth that could actually survive the process and put the add-ons to practical use.
  • Retcon: Wolverine's claws were originally bionic implants... until Magneto pulled the adamantium off his skeleton, revealing that he had been born with bone claws that were infused with adamantium like the rest of his skeleton. This led to part of the Art Shift above regarding the claws' appearance. The original Weapon X storyline hinted at this, noting during the adamantium lacing procedure that an unusual amount of the metal was being drawn into his hands and wrists.
  • Retractable Weapon: His claws popping in and out of his hands.
  • Rival Turned Evil
    • Downplayed. With him and Sabretooth, it's a case of Rival Stayed Evil. They were partners in Team X and had a relationship akin to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, as even as a Heel, Logan was a Noble Demon while Creed was a monster. Once they went through the Weapon X program and Logan made a Heel-Face Turn, it was open season between them.
    • With Logan and his half-brother Dog, a more straightforward example of the trope is in action.
  • Rogues Gallery: Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Bloodscream, Cyber, Geist, Roughouse, Omega Red, and the Silver Samurai. Two of the rogues were killed by Wolvie's Anti-Healing Factor Vorpal Katana made from the the dark area of his soul while Cyber succumbed to carbonadium poisoning, which can be fatal to Logan as well. His son Daken took up Sabretooth's role for a time before Sabretooth resumed it. Now it seems the majority of his hatred is reserved for Cyclops. His half-brother Dog Logan recently jump through time to the present day to try and kill James as well.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his biological father for killing the man who he thought was his father. It was his first kill and happened right after his claws appeared for the first time.
  • Shoot the Dog: Subverted. In the issue mentioned under Badass Biker above, the killer's wacked-out behaviour causes Logan to associate him with a rabid dog, shown as flashbacks to him being unable to put down a rabid pet dog when he was young. After Logan retracts his claws, the killer is shot dead by a female police officer. In talking with her, Logan reveals at the end of the issue that Silver Fox took the gun from him and shot the dog herself.
  • Sidekick: Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, then Jubilee, then Armor, then finally X-23.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: With any and all of his love interests. The sheer amount of Belligerent Sexual Tension makes you wonder how he actually feels about Cyclops, Northstar and Gambit.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Prior to Joe Quesada vetoing it, Wolverine smoked cigars due to his healing factor preventing/undoing any physical harm it would cause (when he temporarily lost it, he had to quit). In Uncanny X-Men #196, where Logan and Kitty are sitting on some college steps, Kitty gets so sick of his second-hand cigar smoke blowing in her face that she grabs it out of Logan's mouth, takes several puffs... and promptly breaks down in a massive fit of coughing and wheezing.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Much more so in his post-Claremont 1990s->early 2000s appearances than today. The last few years he has turned much more sympathetic since joining the Avengers and caring for the well-being of his students.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Wolverine has become a signature example of the trope.
  • Super Senses: A side effect of the healing factor is that all of Logan's senses are superhumanly keen, although his sense of smell gets emphasized more than the others.
  • Tame His Anger
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sabretooth delivered one to him in the last part of Killable. Even fans agreed it was one of the best Take That-moments a writer ever did indirectly, because much (if not everything) of the statement was absolutely true.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Geist
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Subverted; his views are more along the lines of "Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Kill". Wolverine is against using lethal force in a situation where it's not necessary, but has no problem doing so if he has to. He tends to be a bit more loose with this rule in the comics than in the cartoons and movies.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Pretty much all his relationships involve this trope because he's so short.
  • Token Anti-Heroic Teammate: On the more traditionally-heroic Avengers, he serves this role.
  • Token Motivational Nemesis: His biological father Thomas, and his half-brother Dog.
  • Übermensch: He lives by his own morals and does not care what others think about his morality... which has no restraints against killing in certain situations. Thus he fits the trope's requirements of rigidly sticking to a morality that many others often consider at least debatable. See the quote under Anti-Hero above. On the other hand, he is loaded with self-doubt and plagued by intense guilt about his past, and if he wasn't effectively Immortal he might be suicidal. He sticks rigidly to his morality not because he believes it is the best or most ethical, but because its an anchor to his humanity, knowing that there are still lines he hasn't crossed yet and that he has some traces of goodness in him. He agrees with the people who question his morality; he follows it anyway because its a compromise between the man he is and the man he wants to be.
  • Uncle Pennybags: John Howlett, his legal father, a millionaire who was genuinely a kind-hearted Nice Guy, and didn't see any reason to treat poor folk any less compassionately or differently than anyone else, a point of contention between him and his even richer Jerkass father. He gave Rose a dress on Christmas just like her mother would, and when he caught Dog Logan at the window, gave him the toy train intended for young James, who didn't notice as he was playing with his new puppy. Ironically, John's kindess and acts of charity to poor folk made Thomas Logan hate him even more.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Wolverine's gone through several costume changes, although most of them have been based on the costume in the page pic or his iconic brown/tan costume from the '80s and '90s.
  • Unobtanium: The adamantium coating Wolverine's bones is a very rare commodity. When a villain wanted to give it back to him after he lost it the first time, the metal had to be stolen from another person using adamantium at the time... as his skin.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Whenever he goes into Berserker mode... which tends to happen a lot.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the flashbacks of Wolverine Origins.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Whenever he's not in costume (and sometimes when he is!), his clothes will be removed or destroyed in some fashion, nine times out of ten.
  • Wall Crawl: By poking his claws into surfaces and climbing.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Recurring character Elsie Dee is a little girl, who unbeknownst to Elsie, is actually a robot full of bombs.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has a fear of water, as it's very difficult for him to stay afloat due to his adamantium, and drowning can kill him.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: In one of the solo-series issues after the adamantium was removed, he goes after an alcoholic wife beater, who later runs him over.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Logan almost did this to Billy Kaplan in The Children's Crusade. Thankfully, Magneto stopped him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: While Wolvie isn't exactly the type to punch women in the face for no reason, whether or not an opponent has a vagina is of no concern to him. Lady Deathstrike, the Viper, Lady Mastermind, Mystique, and even Rachel Summers can attest to that.

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alternative title(s): Wolverine
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