Wolverine is a fictional character who appears in comic book published by Marvel Comics. Born as James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant, possessing animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, three retracting bone claws on each hand and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate. The healing factor also slows down his aging process, enabling him to live beyond a normal human lifespan. This healing factor, along with his retractable bone claws, enhanced physical abilities and senses, made him a valuable weapon. His powerful healing factor enabled the supersoldier program Weapon X to bond the near indestructible metal alloy adamantium to his skeleton and claws without killing him. He is most often depicted as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, or later the Avengers.
The character first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974) and was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr., who designed the character, and was first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe. Wolverine later joined the X-Men's "All New, All Different" roster in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975). X-Men writer Chris Claremont played a significant role in the character's subsequent development as well as artist/writer John Byrne, who insisted on making the character older than the other X-Men. Artist Frank Miller collaborated with Claremont and helped to revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982 in which Wolverine's catch phrase, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice," debuted.
Wolverine was typical of the many tough anti-authority anti-hero that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War; his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book anti-heroes by the end of the 1980s. As a result, the character became the clear favorite for fans of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise. Wolverine has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988 and has been a central character in every X-Men adaptation, including animated television series, video game, and the live action 20th Century Fox X-Men film series, in which he is portrayed by Hugh Jackman. In May 2008, Wolverine was ranked #1 out of "Wizard Magazine's Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time" and was ranked #4 of "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters" by Empire Magazine in July 2008. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Wolverine at #21.
Wolverine first appeared in the final "teaser" panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 (cover date October 1974) written by Len Wein and penciled by Herb Trimpe. The character then appeared in a number of advertisements in various Marvel Comics publications before making his first major appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181 (cover date November 1974) again by Wein and Trimpe. John Romita, Sr., designed Wolverine's yellow-and-blue costume. The character's introduction was ambiguous, revealing little beyond his being a superhuman agent of the Canadian government. In these appearances, he does not retract his claws, although Len Wein stated they had always been envisaged as retractable. He appears briefly in the finale to this story in The Incredible Hulk #182.
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