Wolverine Turns 35

“There is a war coming. You sure you’re on the right side?”

He’s the best at what he does, but what he does ain’t pretty. Since clawing his way into Marvel Comics in 1974, Wolverine has become a breakout character of the X-Men, and over three decades later, he continues to slice his way as a fan favorite of the mutant superhero team protecting a world that fears them.

Wolverine’s popularity reached his peak in the acclaimed 1992 FOX animated series entitled X-Men, but it was when Hugh Jackman took on the character in all three successful X-Men films from 2000 to 2006, and the Australian heartthrob will reprise the character in the prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine, coming out later this spring. The film features Liev Schreiber as Sabertooth, Wolverine’s longtime enemy — equal yet opposite. Unlike Wolverine, Sabertooth relishes in releasing the inner beast and always taunt Wolverine on going “soft” and siding with Professor Charles Xavier and the X-Men. Wolverine even took on the Incredible Hulk in the recent straight-to-DVD Hulk Vs (the battle concluded in “Wolverine vs. Hulk” from Wolverine and the X-Men).

He now takes center stage once more with Wolverine and the X-Men, in which he is now leader of the mutant superhero group fighting to protect that continues fears and hates them in order to save the future. The show’s first season can now be seen on Nicktoons, which has received its higher ratings ever with a half of million viewers. Wolverine and the X-Men have already been renewed for another season of 26 episodes, now in preproduction.

His past shrouded in mystery, Logan/Wolverine has always been an enigma and one of the most complex characters in the X-Men Universe. He has the characteristics of the anti-hero: a brooding loner, a tragic figure, an outsider, a conflicted man battling the animal within him as well as the world, violently anti-authority, a bad boy with a heart of gold. Despite his tough exterior, Wolverine has grown close to the X-Men — becoming a mentor to future members such as Rogue, a romantic rival against Scott Summers/Cyclops over the affections of Jean Grey, and proven himself to be a worthy leader. Though justifying in taking lives for the greater good, Wolverine still maintains a code of duty, honor, loyalty, and morality:

“I’m an X-Men. […] With them, killing is a last resort. With me, its 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.”

– Wolverine, V.2 #1