Monday, October 17, 2016

Real Name: James "Logan" Howlett
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #181 (November, 1974)
Fight Club Ranking: #4

Featured Fights:
- vs DRACULA: X-Men Annual #6 (Nov 1982)
- vs DRACULA: What If...? #24 (Apr 1991)
- vs THE PROFESSOR: Marvel Comics Presents #83 (Aug 1991)
- vs CAPTAIN AMERICA: Captain America #405 (Aug 1992)
- vs MAGNETO: X-Men #25 (Oct 1993)
- vs KILLER CROC: Marvel versus DC #2 (Mar 1996)
- vs LOBO: Marvel versus DC #3 (Apr 1996)
- vs ONSLAUGHT: Onslaught: X-Men #1 (Aug 1996)
- vs SHI'AR IMPERIAL GUARD: New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
- vs XORN: New X-Men #150 (Feb 2004)
- vs THE HAND: Wolverine #20 (Dec 2004)
- vs FANTASTIC FOUR: Wolverine #22 (Jan 2005)
- vs SUB-MARINER: New Invaders #6 (Mar 2005)
- vs DAREDEVIL: Wolverine #24 (Mar 2005)
- vs X-MEN: Wolverine #25 (Apr 2005)
- vs SILVER SAMURAI: Wolverine #37 (Feb 2006)
- vs WINTER SOLDIER: Wolverine #39 (Apr 2006)
- vs BLADE: Blade #5 (Mar 2007)
- vs SABRETOOTH: Wolverine #50 (Mar 2007)
- vs THE HAND: New Avengers #27 (Apr 2007)
- vs AVENGERS: New Avengers #36 (Jan 2008)
- vs ARCHANGEL: X-Force #5 (Sep 2008)
- vs THE HOOD & DORMAMMU: New Avengers #54 (Aug 2009)
- vs DR. STRANGE & SON OF SATAN: New Avengers #2 (Sep 2010)

Most years you'd be counting down the days until Wolverine was the inevitable Hero of the Week. 2016 isn't most years, though. In fact, amidst an aggressive strategy to minimize the X-Men IP while it's licensed to FOX -- Marvel Comics did the unthinkable and killed their cash cow in 2014!

"Unthinkable" might be stretching it just a tad. In fact, Marvel has made a routine out of killing off at least one of their major icons every year. Over the past decade, we've seen characters go on the shelf for at least a few years before a triumphant returns. Whether Marvel decide to reinstate Wolverine or not, FOX will make sure the claws come out at least one more time in Logan!

The third solo Wolverine movie has only just started to tease its March release, so there are still many secrets to be discovered. Star Hugh Jackman has made a lot of noise about hanging up the claws after the film, which is long rumored to draw inspiration from Mark Millar's 2008 Old Man Logan.

In that story, Wolverine lives a quiet family life in a desolate, future version of the Marvel Universe. Most of the heroes are dead, or retired. Those that aren't are vastly outnumbered. A variety of villainous forces have carved up the United States of America. Logan and his family live in Hulkland, USA, paying what little money they have in taxes to a gang of the Hulk's hick children.

In this reality, Wolverine is a staunch pacifist - refusing to unsheathe his claws because of a traumatic event. When Hawkeye convinces him to journey across the country, Logan eventually reveals he was responsible for the slaughter of the X-Men when Mysterio deceived his sense into believing they were some of his deadliest enemies.

Many of Old Man Logan's most memorable moments are steeped in properties FOX Studios won't have access to. So, there's no point expecting an exact adaptation of the story in 2017 -- not that they've ever played their movies close to the comics.

We already know Professor X will be in tow, potentially taking a version of the travelling Hawkeye role. If Hugh Jackman will be mourning the loss of his X-Men, it will be interesting to see what his role in their demise will have been. FOX already established their answer to the Days of Future Past future with an aging Wolverine. Logan could tie into that vision, but it may be more likely that another villain, like Mr. Sinister or The Legacy Virus, eradicate the mutants in a contained storyline.

What ever the plan, this deviant vision will have a tough time fulfilling the long held desire to see one great Wolverine movie. 2013's The Wolverine will probably remain unchallenged as a flawed solo high point, while 2004's X-Men 2 will be the best film to feature Jackman's clawed Canuck.

If I could have just one wish? I'd love to see the brown costume in action just once! Logan is in theatres March 3, 2017. I'm sure if we survive that long, we'll be back to talk Wolverine a whole lot more. If we aren't - you can always check out the featured fights linked at the top, or dive into the Issue Index archive for more!

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