Wolverine! One of the flagship heroes of the Marvel Universe and the definitive '90s Anti-Hero. His immense Popularity Power ended up laying the groundwork for many superhero tropes, with some works going further and basing whole characters off him.
Here are some of the common features of a Wolverine Wannabe:
- They possess Wolverine Claws, Absurdly Sharp Claws, or some other variant of Blade Below the Shoulder. If these are all absent than they are likely to use some form of bladed melee weapon.
- They possess a Healing Factor which may or may not reach From a Single Cell levels. Often makes them a victim of Good Thing You Can Heal.
- In terms of morality, they tend to be an Anti-Hero, typically being Good is Not Nice and embodying the '90s Anti-Hero. Though at times they can easily be an outright villain.
- They are savage, bestial, have enhanced senses, and often have an Animal Motif which is typically a wolf, a big cat, or similar creature.
- They are a participant in some form of Super Soldier or Living Weapon program, where they were given a degree of artificial enhancement. Bonus points if it was bonding the target with Indestructium.
- They likely display behavior reminiscent of The Berserker or at the very least possess a Berserk Mode.
- More blatant examples will even give them Wolverine's hairstyle of chops, sideburns, and/or Wolverine's mask with irisless eyes and pointed ear-like appendages.
- Often part of a Super Team of mutants, misfits or Single Power Superheroes.
- In addition, on said teams they may be the "Veronica" in a Love Triangle, especially with another more straight-laced hero. This dynamic may extend to the character acting as The Lancer and fighting with The Leader for the attentions of The Heart.
- Female versions sometimes may instead take traits from X-23, Wolverine's Opposite-Sex Clone.
See also Superman Substitute, Batman Parody, The Fantastic Faux, Spider-Man Send-Up, HULK MASH!-Up, Wonder Woman Wannabe and Captain Patriotic for other superhero expies. For actual wolverines, see Wicked Weasel and Bad Ol' Badger.
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Anime & Manga
- My Hero Academia: Vigilantes: Jube Namimaru is quite an obvious Captain Ersatz of Wolverine, not only physically resembling him with his chops but also possessing retractable wooden blades in his forearms. Bonus points for hanging out with a Cyclops expy.
- Zombieman from One-Punch Man is a fairly close Wolverine analog. He is an Artificial Zombie originating from the House of Evolution where experimentation granted him an unbelievable Healing Factor that puts Wolvey's to shame and gives him near Complete Immortality (though not quite to From a Single Cell). In fact, he gets subjected to Good Thing You Can Heal more often than the X-Man himself, often defeating his enemies not by overpowering them but by outlasting them. When he becomes fixated on hunting something down, he's essentially an Implacable Man. While he lacks Wolverine Claws, he does favor machetes or an ax in combat.
- Believe it or not, the eponymous character of Inuyasha fits this trope like a glove. He's long-lived, difficult to kill, prone to berserker rages, and has Super Senses including a strong sense of smell. In battle, he mostly uses a sword, and he also has razor-sharp claws. Inuyasha had a love interest that was killed by a hated archenemy, and he even has an antagonistic older brother, much like Wolverine's Rival Turned Evil Dog Logan. Thankfully unlike Dog, Sesshoumaru more or less mellowed out.
- Inuyasha's daughter Moroha from Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is basically what X-23 would've been if Logan had her naturally and have almost none of the emotional baggage.
- Despite not looking like it at first glance, Denji from Chainsaw Man fits several criteria. For one he features a canine motif both in terms of behavior as well as his Devil Pochita whose contract and merging of Denji parallels Logan's adamantinum surgery. Said contract provides Denji not only with retractable Chainsaw arms but also an insane healing factor that makes him functionally unkillable as long as he drinks a single drop of blood. He also fights in a wild, savage style and is paired with a straight-laced rival (Aki) who like him pines for their red-headed boss Makima. Finally Denji shares Logan's rotten luck with women such as the aforementioned Makima who turns out to be the Control Devil as well as Reze who turns out the be the a Bomb-hybrid assassin and dies ironically at Makima's hands.
- The Authority: While he has some similarities to Batman, Midnighter arguably has much more in common with Wolverine. He has enhanced strength, speed, agility and a Healing Factor. He also wears spiked gloves, has an insatiable appetite for violence and has a background in black ops.
- The Marvel Universe is very fond of doing In-Universe Wolverine expies.
- Sabretooth, Wolverine's Arch-Enemy and original Evil Counterpart is a very deliberate example. He represents what Wolverine could become if he lets his savage instincts consume him. Power-wise they are virtually identical, with the exception of Sabretooth's claws extending from his fingers rather than his wrists.
- X-23, who is Wolverine's Opposite-Sex Clone, and eventually served as a Legacy Character to her father. She has more extreme versions of Wolverine's powers, possessing two blades from the wrists and one from each of her feet, while her Healing Factor operates even faster since it's not slowed by an adamantium skeleton. Her senses are implied to also be sharper
- Daken, Wolverine's son, who inherited many of his father's powers. He also has emotion-controlling pheromone powers, and his healing factor functions voluntarily rather than passively.
- Lady Deathstrike, who was probably the closest thing to Wolverine's Distaff Counterpart before the creation of X-23. She too underwent the procedure to fuse her skeleton with adamantium, while her variant of Wolverine Claws has each of her entire fingers surgically replaced with adamantium blades.
- Deadpool to a degree, given that his Healing Factor powers were derived from Wolverine In-Universe due to both of them being part of the Weapon-X program, and while he doesn't have Wolverine Claws he is fond of fighting with a pair of swords. The two are often paired as rivals or uneasy teammates depending on the story. One important contrast however is their personalities, with Deadpool's silly Cloudcuckoolander nature contrasting Wolverine's savage and aggressive personality.
- Jimmy Hudson is Wolverine's son in Ultimate Marvel, who was specifically created as a Generation Xerox to replace the dead Wolverine in the Ultimate franchise. The major distinctions between the two are Jimmy's blonde hair and comparatively less hair. Later, he also gained his own version of a symbiote similar to Venom.
- Weapon H has the abilities of not only various characters associated with Weapon X — most prominently Wolverine — but also gamma-radiated characters like the Hulk, thus making him an example of a HULK MASH!-Up as well.
- Wolfsbane is a mutant with the power to shift into a werewolf form. However, she possesses a transitional state which is half-human half-wolf, whereby she possesses Absurdly Sharp Claws and bestial strength.
- Wildchild was written to be a literal replacement for Wolverine. How savage he is actually varies, but he spends a lot of time barely able to speak.
- Marrow is a less straight example, where instead of Wolverine Claws she's able to grow bone protrusions out of anywhere from her body, which she can then break off and use as handheld blades. Though much like Wolverine, she possesses a Healing Factor that seals wounds made from breaking of her bones off.
- Fang of the S'hiar Imperial Guard, although since they're a team of Legion expies, he's actually an expy of Timber Wolf, below. The similarity is lampshaded when Wolverine fights Fang, and claims his costume as a trophy. A simplified version of this became Wolvie's standard costume for a while.
- The DCU:
- Lobo was created as a parody of Wolverine being a '90s Anti-Hero with a ridiculous Healing Factor taken to From a Single Cell levels. The Marvel Versus DC Crossover event even pairs him and Wolverine against each other where... Wolverine somehow ends up winning note
- Speaking of the crossover, Dark Claw was created from the Amalgam universe, as a combination of Batman and Wolverine.
- Timberwolf of the Legion Of Superheroes. It should be noted that while Wolverine is the more famous example, Timberwolf actually predates Wolverine and may have been the one Wolverine ripped off. He bears a strong physical resemblance to Wolverine and having near-identical powers.
- Rosabelle Mendez/ Pantha, a member of the Titans, also counts. Gold and blue costume: check; feral behavior: check; pointy mask: check; had a mysterious past for a long time: check; underwent a shady scientific experiment: check; has sharp claws (in her case, fingernails): check; got an X-themed nickname from the shady lab: check (Wolverine was Weapon-X, Pantha was X-24).
- Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol had a one-shot titled Doom Force, one giant parody of X-Force and other '90s Anti-Hero comics, which featured the mysterious Scratch™, real name Morgan Morgan™, who had various Swiss-army knife tools strapped to his knuckles.
He may not be the best there is at what he does ... but, fortunately, nobody else does it!
- Tracer, a member of the Extremists of Angor (an alien planet that bore a striking resemblance to Marvel Earth) in Justice League International, is a Sabretooth clone, with the claws, the animal senses (hence the name) and the love of violence. He wears a costume similar to Creed's, but open at the front to show his Carpet of Virility. His post-52 counterpart on Earth 8 is introduced in Lord Havok and the Extremists, which gives him a version of Wolverine's origin as a brainwashed victim of super soldier experiments.
- While Tracer is the more prominent character, a visit to Angor in Justice League Quarterly #3 features a brief appearance by an unnamed character in a version of Wolverine's costume with Mickey Mouse ears, and with much more curved claws. An unnamed figure with sideburns, a bandana mask and a green Wolverine costume has also appeared in Lord Havok and the Extremists and Flash Forward as one of Earth 8's "Zen Men".
- Power Company has Manhunter aka Kirk DePaul, a clone of the original human Manhunter Paul Kirk. He has a healing factor, fights with a katar-like weapon and has a rather unpleasant personality.
- Bloodshot fits most of the criteria. Being a Super Soldier who had Nanites injected into his bloodstream that gives him enhanced physical abilities including a Healing Factor. Bonus points in that just like Wolverine he is given Fake Memories. One notable distinction between Wolverine is that Bloodshot uses guns for combat rather than blades.
- Bloodstrike: Deadlock was one of the most shameless Wolverine knock-offs ever, with his original costume being essentially Wolvie's classic costume but with a different color scheme, clawed fingers instead of the claws on the back of the hand, and just enough other cosmetic changes to avoid lawsuits.
- The Boys:
- Popclaw appears to be a Gender Flipped version of Wolverine or rather X-23, which is even more prominent in the TV series. She possesses a single retractable claw on each arm.
- Groundhawk. He was deliberately designed to serve as an expy of Wolverine, complete with looking very similar to him (while also wearing a mask similar to the one worn by Hawkman), but having literal hammers for hands in lieu of the famous claws. And, naturally, as a result of how Wolverine is Garth Ennis's absolute least favorite superhero of all time, Groundhawk is a blithering moron.
- Cyberforce: Ripclaw was intended as the Wolverine figure given the whole team is an X-Men parody. Ripclaws possesses the fingered versions of Wolverine Claws, Healing Factor, animalistic physiology, and was subjected to cybernetic enhancements.
- Bigby Wolf from Fables checks a lot of the boxes on top of an uncanny physical resemblance. He’s an animalistic Really 700 Years Old cigar chomping, hard-boiled, hairy Jerk with a Heart of Gold with claws and a dark past whom is in love with an intelligent leader woman (who is beautiful and well-groomed compared to him) and can go on quite the berserker rage when pissed off. Like Wolverine, Bigby has a ridiculous Healing Factor, Super Senses and is borderline immortal.
- The protagonist of Faust is strongly based on Wolverine in design, with Wolverine Claws, a Berserker personality, stocky build, and even a similar face mask.
- Finder: Jaeger Ayres, the protagonist of many of the individual story arcs, is an example. He doesn't have any claws, but he is a short, hairy, macho wanderer with a Healing Factor and occasional fits of berserk violence (because he has to get seriously injured every so often, or his Healing Factor goes haywire with nothing to do and gives him auto-immune diseases) and a tendency to befriend young women in a non-predatory way. It's also hinted that he and his father may have been augmented by some kind of black-ops operation.
- The original Men in Black comic featured "Agent X" a rogue MIB agent turned vigilante, calling himself "Wolf". He doesn't seem to have any superpowers, but seems able to control a wolf he keeps as a sidekick, and has a appearance and costume clearly based on Wolverine's, including the mask and distinctive hairstyle.
- Warblade, a Half-Human Hybrid of human and Kherubin who has the ability of growing metal claws from his hands at will, making him more as a Gender Bender version of Marvel's Lady Deathstrike. Warblade also is one of the more savage members of the team when fighting, also having previous knowledge of martial arts before the discovery of his powers.
- Grifter is another rip-off but without the claws, apart of that has many of the traits of Logan: he was a former military in Team 7 and part of the unwilling experiment of radiation to becoming a Human Weapon. Like most of his partners of the Team 7, he rebelled against their bosses and deserted to get a career as a superhero by his own, joining to the WildCATS. He has an advanced Healing Factor, in one time he was the "Betty" in the Love Triangle between the amazon Zealot and The Hero Spartan, and has the Wolverine Publicity for the WildStorm publisher.
- Youngblood: Bartholomew J. Troll is one of the most obvious and blatant Wolverine expies, being a short, hairy man with wild spiky hair with animalistic agility and combat skills. In personality, however, he's a Comic Relief character and much more of a... well... troll, as opposed to Wolverine's somber attitude.
- In the Soft Reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sally's Ring-blades made her a Furry version of Wolverine.
- There's an in-universe X-Men parody sometimes mentioned in The Simpsons called The Z-Men that has a hero called Weaselrine.
- In Sonic the Comic there is a parody of the X-Men called The Zed Monkeys, one of the members is a chimp version of Wolverine called Chimpoline, that has corks on his claws.
- Vampirella's friend and ally Pantha (not to be confused with the Pantha of Teen Titans) was reimagined as this in the 90s. Now she was a priestess from Ancient Egypt who was trying to atone for a brutal massacre she'd committed which claimed the life of her son among others. She had long sharp claws, was an Animal-Themed Superbeing with the ability to shapeshift into a black panther and had a feral, aggressive personality.
- In the first issue of IDW's Samurai Jack comic, Jack's quest for a path to the past leads him into a gladiatorial arena. One of his opponents is a diminutive warrior named Headclaw, who has a familiar looking mask and three claws sticking straight up out of his head. His first move is an attempt to jump headfirst into Jack, boasting he's the best there is.
- Raphael in almost every adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fits this trope as well. Easily angered, butts heads with his brother Leonardo and even his choice of weapons are an analog to Wolverine's claws.
- In the 90's, Malibu Comics tried to get in on the action, but rather than simply making up their own hero, they went to the trouble of acquiring the Golden Age hero The Ferret (who'd been a poorly-disguised Batman expy) and completely redesigning him into something that resembled a younger, skinnier version of Wolverine's nemesis Sabretooth.
- Wild Cards: Carnifex has many similarities to Logan, including possessing an healing factor, being a tough guy anti-hero that loves danger and mayhem, and working for a government agency. The writers lampshade this in a flashback story that shows one of his first missions, by the end of which he is about to receive a proper superhero name, and the first choice is "Wolverine", before another hero suggests Carnifex. He does lack Wolverine Claws, though, and unlike Logan he stays a government agent for most of his career.
Films — Live-Action
- X-Men Film Series:
- Lady Deathstrike in X2: X-Men United, like her comic counterpart is built up as a female Wolverine for Logan to fight. Stryker explicitly lampshades as such by telling Logan he is not one of a kind.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Weapon XI takes more after Wolverine than his namesake of Deadpool, having a Healing Factor, retractable swords in his forearms, and serves as an obedient Living Weapon.
- X-24, a clone of Wolverine perfected as a Living Weapon without any traces of humanity. He ultimately is the one who kills Wolverine himself.
- Like her comics incarnation, Laura possesses all of Logan's powers: Including his healing factor, claws, (though in a different arrangement) and (implied) enhanced senses and strength. Unlike her comics counterpart, she may be even more feral than Logan himself, as she responds violently to even perceived threats, including a hapless store clerk who simply tried to keep her from shoplifting food.
- The Boys:
- The Female possesses a Healing Factor and had a Dark and Troubled Past involving being experimented on to give her powers and become a Living Weapon. She pretty much has everything but the Wolverine Claws.
- Popclaw, just like her comics version possesses a single retractable claw in her forearms.
- Power Rangers RPM: Dillon is the brooding bad boy of The Team, having metallic implants, a wolf motif, and frequently butting heads with The Leader, Scott.
- In Freedom City: Atlas of Earth-Prime, Canada is home to the Devil's Own, who was possibly born Andrew McBain in the 16th century, but who has spent so long having his memories messed with by the demon-sponsored Canadian super-soldier program Project Inferno as they repeatedly kidnapped and experimented on him that he no longer recalls this, instead going by the single name Ellis. Unusually for the trope, he has Playing with Fire powers (specifically hellfire), although in practice this manifests as a healing factor that "burns away" injuries, and the ability to superheat his fingertips for a claw-like attack. He's also prone to demonic rages in which he's even been known to attack his allies.
- From Borderlands 2, we have Salvador. Short, angry, and the ability to shrug off most damage while under his Gunzerker phase and duel-wielding guns while in under said state.
- Divekick has Redacted, who's a giant skunk bear that's a parody of Wolverine as he shows up in the Marvel vs. Capcom games.
- Mega Man (Classic):
- Slash Man from Mega Man 7. Has the claws and the look, and his stage is jungle-themed.
- Pluto from Mega Man V, who served as the basis for Slash Man in-universe and out. Has a more feline look and shorter claws compared to his successor, but otherwise checks off most of the same boxes. Though designed for jungle combat, Pluto's appearance seems geared more towards cold environments (despite his dislike of the cold) while his stage is industrial in nature, talking place within a mine.
- Metal Gear: Raiden is an anti-heroic Living Weapon given cybernetic enhancements and uses an Absurdly Sharp Blade capable of cutting through anything. Like Wolverine, he also possesses Laser-Guided Amnesia and an innate Berserk Mode mindset that makes him even more dangerous. DEATH BATTLE! even chose to pit him and Wolverine against each other.
- Mortal Kombat: Baraka is a savage warrior with retractable blades housed in his forearms, has an acute sense of smell, and a Healing Factor that allows him to survive otherwise fatal injuries. Word of God was his arm blades were meant to be longer, but due to concerns this would create an unfair reach advantage, they ended up being shortened to more Wolverine-style claws.
- Homura from Senran Kagura is the leader of a crack team of elite shinobi from Hebijo Academy. Hot-headed and tough, she is a Blood Knight who only feels truly alive on the battlefield, and she wields six swords between her fingers in a manner very similar to Wolverine Claws. In the first game, Homura transforms into Crimson Homura and serves as the Pre-Final Boss, but in later games she and her teammates abandon their posts at Hebijo and become the more anti-heroic "Crimson Squad". While not involved in a Love Triangle per se, she also gets heavy Ship Tease with Asuka.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Knuckles the Echidna is a hot-tempered fighter with spikes on his fist. He tends to approach problems with brute force and has a Friendly Rivalry with a blue-colored hero.
- Kevin from Trials of Mana. He's the Half-Human Hybrid son of the Beast King and a human woman, and his father, a believer in Might Makes Right, doled out a lot of Tough Love when raising him in order to turn him into a worthy heir. As a result of his beastman lineage, Kevin has an affinity for wolves; he can shapeshift into a werewolf at nighttime, and his best friend Karl is a hand-reared wolf cub orphan. He fights with his bare hands and can equip magic gloves and Power Fists to increase his attack power, some of which have bestial claws incorporated into their design. Also, his hair is a large shaggy mane reminiscent of Wolverine's haircut.
- Toon Sandwich's parody of the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer featured "Knife-Knuckle Man" as a stand-in for Wolverine since he was "a lot cheaper than Hugh Jackman". He promptly gets gunned down by guards soon after, revealing he does not possess the same Healing Factor.
- SLVR has Lycan Arcadia, a wolf Faunus with Wolverine Claws and a Blood Knight attitude. "Lycan" even sounds like "Logan".
- Parodied in the Easter special of College University. After listening to the Easter Bunny's backstory of being an escaped lab experiment victim, Parks immediately thinks the Easter Bunny is Wolverine, much to the bunny's irritation. Though it turns out the Easter Bunny does have adamantium claws.
- Ben 10: Rath is from a tiger-like alien species of a Blood Knight Proud Warrior Race called Appoplexians, who possesses Wolverine Claws, are aggressive, and love trash talking.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: The episode "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y." features a team of elves based on the X-Men, including a gruff, ill-tempered elf with candy-cane hand blades called Wintergreen.
- The Fairly OddParents!: The episode "The Big Superhero Wish" has everyone gaining Superpowers for a Day. Vicky's supervillain alter ego is called The Baby Shredder who is a Wolverine homage complete with Wolverine Claws and his hairstyle.
- In one episode of The Mask, the hero turns into a Wolverine parody he calls "Toolverine".
- SheZow: One of Maz's Once per Episode sidekick disguises is Shaverine, a direct parody and Shout-Out to Wolverine.
- Subverted in Wild Kratts, where it's the actual wild creature of the same name that Chris and Martin are interested in modeling themselves after. They're no less interested in having claws and physical strength than some other examples of this trope, though.
- An episode of Big Hero 6: The Series has Momakase become one after purchasing upgrades from Liv Amara's clone. Rather than just wielding absurdly sharp blades, she sprouts them from her knuckles. The transformation also gives her animalistic eyes and even Logan's hairstyle.
- The psychotic duo in Gargoyles, Hyena and Jackal. The twin are from Canada, fight with claws, possess wild hair, and have a penchant for murder.
- In South Park, Cartman's superhero persona is "The Coon", a raccoon-themed hero with metal claws that he uses to scratch anyone who displeases him.
- The Random! Cartoons short "Hero Heights" features a minor character based on Wolverine named Razorclaw.