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YMMV / Wolverine

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  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Fans of X-Men and The Avengers books have been known to resent his... tendency towards ubiquitousness. His recent characterization has also not helped matters, as he is often portrayed as a really nasty, self-righteous Hypocrite. Then there is off course his overexposure in non-comic medias...
    • The Ultimate version is this even more so. Ultimate Wolverine was initially characterised as totally lacking all of 616 Wolverine's redeeming traits, being depicted as a shameless, selfish, amoral and frankly creepy Jerkass, culminating in his attempted cold blooded murder of Cyclops. Some fans believed the later Character Development which brought him closer in line with his mainstream portrayal made for an effective redemptive arc and that he had become a true hero by the time he was killed in Ultimatum; others believed that the character was unsalvageable and impossible to see as anything but a villain.
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  • Bizarro Episode: In 2003, Marvel released Snikt!, a five-issue miniseries by Tsutomu Nihei in which Wolverine is teleported into a hellish future overrun by monsters whose sole weakness is Adamantium. The events of this miniseries were never mentioned again.
  • Cant Unhear It: Fans of Marvel works can try to not hear Steve Blum as Wolverine. We'll wait. Or, for those who grew up in the 90's, Cal Dodd. And of course, there's Hugh Jackman for X-Men film fans.
  • Complete Monster: Besides Omega Red, Donald Pierce, and especially his Arch-Enemy and Evil Counterpart Sabretooth, Wolverine has his own Rogues Gallery. Please refer to X-Men.
    • From the anime: Hideki Kurohagi is the main antagonist alongside Shingen. Having murdered his crime lord father to take his position, Kurohagi runs his criminal empire from the island of Madripoor, allowing crime to run rampant. Engaged to Shingen's daughter, Mariko, Kurohagi regularly abuses her, implicitly planning to rape her once they are married. When Logan tries to save Mariko, Kurohagi tries to kill him several times, even unleashing a giant robot without regard for the collateral damage it causes. Capturing Logan's partner, Yuki, and nearly strangling her to death while she is paralyzed, he later executes one of his own henchmen with a painful neurotoxin. When the rebels try to end his tyranny, Kurohagi gives orders to kill them, including an unarmed teenage girl, and when confronted by Logan, Kurohagi holds Mariko at gunpoint and blows up an entire building full of dozens of people in an attempt to kill him.
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    • From the podcast: In the second season, The Lost Trail, two villains stand out as particularly heinous, even in this dark setting:
      • Jason Wyngarde, aka Mastermind, is a mutant kidnapped by Weapon X so that they can make him into a weapon for the government. He is imprisoned with a mutant named Maureen, as well as Logan himself. Maureen designs a helmet to increase Wyngarde's powers, allowing the trio to escape, but Wyngarde uses his powers to incapacitate Logan, believing him too beastly to be allowed to roam free, allowing Weapon X to recapture him. Years later, Wyngarde is using his powers to kidnap people around New Orleans—at least dozens, possibly hundreds of them—turning them into mind-controlled "zombies" and taking them to a community he is creating, Green Haven. At Green Haven, Wyngarde runs this community like a fiefdom, with humans acting like serfs for the mutants. When Weapon X sends an army of sentinels to capture him and Wolverine, Wyngarde has no intention of giving up his fiefdom, intending to have his mind-controlled "zombies" fight the Sentinels to the death, not caring if they die in the process. Wyngarde also exposes Wolverine to horrific illusions to break him and make him his pawn.
      • Master Mold is the AI that controls the Sentinels for Weapon X and the true architect of Wolverine's misfortunes. Master Mold is using the Sentinels to kidnap mutants so that Weapon X can make them into weapons for the government. Master Mold is also stoking anti-mutant violence in America, by providing funds and support to anti-mutant groups like a biker gang known as the Cold Blooded. After Wolverine escapes Weapon X, Master Mold is dead set on recapturing him. Master Mold hires the Cold Blooded to capture Wolverine but has her Sentinel army wipe them out when they prove too chaotic to control. Master Mold sends her Sentinel army to Green Haven, ordering them to kill everything in their path until Wolverine is captured. After capturing Wolverine, Master Mold not only intends to make Wolverine her weapon, but also plans to use Wyngarde's mind control tech against the people who run Weapon X, desiring to give orders, rather than follow them.
  • Dork Age:
    • The "bone claws" arc, but the "feral subhuman" arc (after Genesis' failed attempt to restore his Adamantium) is probably closer to the trope.
    • Jeph Loeb's run. When it was announced that there would be an animated movie based on his run, the reaction was a) Nobody wants this and b) The animation sucks.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: His first appearance was in the Incredible Hulk, where he was introduced as an enemy for the titular character, but positive fan reception led to him becoming one of Marvel's most iconic characters.
  • Escapist Character: He fits the bill. A de facto Immortal and nearly Invincible Hero, who is also a Chick Magnet with countless love interests, plays by his own rules and regularly gets away with murder.
  • Foe Yay:
    • He got it on with Mystique at one point. She was disguised as someone else, but after it was over, he informed her that he knew all along.
    • He was briefly married to Lady Viper.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The fact that Hugh Jackman and Scott McNeil were cast as Wolverine when about two decades before the very first animated version of Wolverine had an Aussie accent.
  • It Was His Sled: Back when the "Origin" mini-series detailing Wolverine's early life was first released, the sickly James Howlett being the future Wolverine instead of his distinctly more Wolverine-esque friend/ half-brother "Dog" Logan was presented as a shocking twist in the second issue. Nowadays, Wolverine's birth name being "James Howlett" is fairly common knowledge among comic fans, making the twist come off as a Captain Obvious Reveal.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Tied with Gambit and Iceman for the title of Fandom Slut amongst X-Men fans. Given the quantity of Wolverine Publicity, he's potentially the undisputed Launcher for the whole Marvel fandom. Is there any character of either sex that hasn't been paired up with Logan in a burn-your-face-off erotic Fan Fic?
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Given the Death Is Cheap nature of the Marvel universe, this is a lot of fans' reactions to Marvel announcing that they are going to have Wolverine Killed Off for Real. Keep in mind that part of this skepticism comes from the fact that this has been done before with another prolific Marvel character, which of course, did not stick. nor did Logan's.
  • Memetic Badass: Well, yeah...
  • Memetic Mutation: This image of Wolverine staring into a photo frame longingly is a popular target for edits. note 
  • Misaimed Fandom: A lot of his fans, particularly those who were children watching the 90s cartoon, love his balking at authority and renegade nature. Except this is usually presented as a bad thing, with the animated series showing his recklessness getting Morph killed and his angry outbursts being framed as misdirected. But lots of kids see his shitting on Cyclops as cool rebellion against stuffy adults and not the misplaced anger that it is, and like him because of it. The comic version has similar issues with appealing to those who just like a badass loner type without really caring when he's doing it or why.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sabretooth crossed this long, long ago, but (for Logan) it was when he beat, mauled, raped and killed Silver Fox, then left her body in her and Logan's cabin for Logan to find. What really puts Sabretooth over the top is that Logan immediately ran off for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Which, once he found him, he didn't win... The incident turned out to be a faked memory that was implanted in Logan, Sabretooth, and Silver Fox by the Weapon X program... and then Sabretooth ended up killing Silver Fox anyway.
    • The big one for Sabretooth was when Tieri wrote him raiding a daycare center and casually eating the terrified children as snack food.
    • Creed now has yet another truly heinous act under his belt in the form of feigning affection towards Daken and playing the role of the father he never had so he could slowly groom him for a fatal confrontation with Wolverine which did indeed come to fruition, forcing him to kill his own son. Also, he obviously never actually meant any of the kindness he showed to Daken and would have killed him himself if the plan didn't take. Why did Creed do this? Simple. He just wanted to hurt Logan on a level far deeper than he could ever manage on his own, and he succeeded.
  • My Real Daddy: Len Wein may have created him originally, but Claremont (and partially John Byrne also) made Wolverine the man we know today. Even after Byrne left though, Claremont kept adding to the character, specifically a deep love and appreciation of Japanese culture, as well as many other things. (Such as Madripoor.)
    • Wolverine actually has several candidate Daddies.
      • Back in 1974, original creator Len Wein established that Wolverine's powers were his "natural-born speed, strength, and savagery."
      • In 1976, Chris Claremont revealed that his claws were part of his body, rather than his uniform as previously thought, and introduced his Super Senses. In 1977, Claremont created the first civilian identity for Wolvie when a random character calls him "Logan". Claremont and John Byrne first hinted that Wolvie has "unbreakable bones in 1978, and revealed in 1979 that his entire skeleton is laced with adamantium. The original idea for the name "Logan" was that only a select few people knew about it and the X-Men were not among them. In 1980, Claremont and Byrne had Nightcrawler become the first X-Man to find out and soon enough the rest of the team started using it for their teammate. Also in 1980, the two of them introduced the backstory that James and Heather Hudson found Wolverine in a feral state and managed to help him recover his humanity. In 1981, Claremont and Byrne introduced Wolvie's Healing Factor.
      • In 1983, Dennis O'Neil created the notion that the adamantium-lacing process was created by Japanese mastermind Lord Darkwind, and also introduced Darkwind's daughter Yuriko. As Lady Deathstryke, Yuriko would become an essential addition to Wolverine's Rogues Gallery.
      • In 1986, Bill Mantlo established the mystery about who or what gave Wolvie his adamantium, and also introduced the notion that Wolvie is Older than he Looks. Specifically, Mantlo established Wolverine as a World War II veteran. In 1990, both Claremont and Larry Hama picked up on the reference and fleshed out his World War II background in two separate stories. Also in 1990, Jo Duffy created an origin story for Wolvie which has him cast out by humans and managing to survive on his own in the wilderness of Canada. While later contradicted by other origins, this basic element has stayed with the character through Broad Strokes adaptations.
      • In 1991, Larry Hama introduced the concept of Wolverine's memory implants and essentially gave him a Multiple-Choice Past. Also in 1991, Barry Windsor-Smith published a 12-part origin story about the mysterious project which gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton and turned him into a Living Weapon. The story was called "Weapon X" because that was the codename for the test subject, Wolverine. The name "Weapon X Program" was established by Larry Hama in 1992.
      • The origin by Barry Windsor-Smith hinted that Wolverine had bone claws prior to his encounter with the Program. Once Wolverine lost the adamantium in 1993, it was Larry Hama who fleshed out the concept and established that the claws were part of the original mutation. He also worked out what these less-durable claws could and could not do.
      • Finally the definite origin story for Wolverine, the real name "James Howlett", and his family background were all established by Paul Jenkins in 2001.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In The '70s, fans asked for him to be killed off. When The '80s came around, he was the most popular member of the X-Men. The defining moment that led to the change in perception to the character came during The Dark Phoenix Saga, when he tore through the Hellfire Club's defenses on his own to save his teammates from captivity.
  • The Scrappy: Romulus. A character who Jeph Loeb keeps using, even though fans hate him. Hell, on CBR's review of the final confrontation between the two, it actually says "and let's never speak of him again". The character is not liked.
  • Squick: Some of what happens to Wolverine, as well as stuff he's done to himself, is just stomach-turning.
    • Getting the adamantium yanked out of him was one of the most gruesome moments of the 90s, especially so since when it happened, Magneto didn't completely extract the metal, leaving Logan looking like a cross between a pincushion and a melted candle.
    • Any time he uses his claws to cut up and serve food to other people, given that his claws are kept inside his arm.
    • Not seen, but mentioned by him: while trapped under a glacier for six months, he survived by slicing off and eating pieces of his arm.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • If you have read Origins you know that Logan’s life has not been the easiest since he was a boy. His step father who raised him and loved him as his own is murdered by his biological father who he kills in retaltion, his mother disowns him and then commits suicide and the one girl who actually cared and loved him even after discovering his mutation he accidentally murders. Logan’s life has not been a happy one.
    • He's forced to kill Daken, his own son, during Uncanny X-Force, and while drowning him Logan has visions of what things could have been like had he not been an absentee father.
  • Unexpected Character: Wolverine's first monthly solo comic in 1989 included Jessica Drew as a supporting character. This was her first ever reappearance in comics in several years. But it would be several more years before she'd become an important and lead character again.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: He has drifted in and out of this over the years, what with his tendency to unilaterally take it upon himself to cross moral lines, but he got hit by it hard in the early 2010's. Wolverine's devolution from charming asshole and complex, self-doubting antihero into sanctimonious, spiteful, bullying hypocrite who was inexplicably presented as a wise and benevolent mentor figure is considered a major symptom of the franchise-wide Dork Age the X-Men were going through at the time.
    • Wolverine is not the only Marvel hero who kills, but he is the only one who kills regularly without consequence. Marvel know that a major reason why people buy Wolverine's comics is to watch him carve up people like a Thanksgiving turkey, but they also know that they can't show him wanting to kill or enjoying it because that would make him a psychopath. Therefore, they need to either justify his actions as self-defence or claim that he had no choice but to kill and show him angsting about how he hates killing and wishes that he could avoid it. The problem with that is that Wolverine's functional immortality gives him such an advantage over an average person that he is almost never in danger, that, plus his centuries of combat experience and when you consider how hard a man with metal bones in his fists can hit, means Logan could easily overpower most people he fights non-lethally. The simple fact is, while lethal force may be necessary or even arguably justified against the likes of Sabretooth or Omega Red, most of the time Wolverine doesn’t need to kill, he chooses to, and he could easily avoid most of the deaths he causes by simply not using his claws. Similarly, Wolverine's angst and supposed ambivalence about killing can come off as pretty disingenuous when in the very next story he'll be right back to "snikt, bub!". This, plus the fact he has on multiple occasions killed people explicitly for vengeance, means a lot of the time Wolverine can look like somebody who kills people as and when he pleases while paying lip service to the idea that it should be a last resort, relying on his immense social capital to get the benefit of the doubt and avoid consequences.
    Storm: You possess speed, strength. Your unbreakable adamantium skeleton makes you nearly invulnerable. You should not need your claws except in the most extreme of situations. Against the deadliest and most powerful of foes.
    • This is especially egregious since there are many Marvel heroes, even many X-Men, with far more inherently lethal or dangerous powers than Wolverine who manage to exercise the restraint necessary to not kill people, a standard Logan himself isn't held to in- or out of universe; and Marvel have proven with X-23's run with the mantle that it is entirely possible to write a Wolverine who refuses to kill.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Milo Ventimiglia was horribly miscast as Logan in the 2011 Wolverine anime, with a voice that sounded far too young and came off as a teenager trying to sound cool, add to that that it was Ventimiglia's first voice acting performance and he's acting alongside well known and experienced voice actors such as Vic Mignogna, JB Blanc and Kate Higgins, which made his rather stiff portrayal stick out like a sore thumb. Worsening it even more was that Steve Blum, experienced voice actor and considered by many to be the definitive animated Wolverine voice was part of the cast but voiced Wolverine's Canon Foreigner Rival Kikyo instead of Logan himself. Thankfully, after seeing the less than stellar reviews of Ventimiglia's performance, Blum was given back the role of Wolverine for the following X-Men anime series. Granted, that series appeared to be a separate continuity from the previous shows, as the Logan seen before reappears in Blade voiced by Ventimiglia once more.
  • The Woobie: It's clearly been established that the man's been traumatized beyond belief. Feeling sympathy for him is a common and understandable reaction.
  • Woolseyism: In Latin America and Spain, he's had many names, including, but not limited to Lobezno note , Leonardo, Guepardo, Glotón, Emilio Garra, and probably the narmiest of them all, La Aguja Dinámica note .


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