Originally posted by Bill the Cat in the thread Favorite SuperHero on 08-29-2003
Wolverine... He's the coolest and IMO has the best powers...
Real Name: James Howlett (birth name), currently known as Logan
Group Affiliation: X-Men
Base of Operations: Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Westchester County, New York
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #180 (1974)
Weight: 195 lbs.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Powers: Wolverine is blessed with animal-keen senses that enable him to track people and objects with an impressive degree of success. In addition, his accelerated healing factor allows him to survive wounds that would prove fatal to most humans and mutants.
Weapons: Wolverine's skeleton has been bonded with the indestructible metal Adamantium. Also, he possesses Adamantium-laced, retractable claws housed in his forearms. At will, he can release them through the skin on the back of each hand.
James Howlett, the mutant now known as Wolverine, was born into privilege in Alberta, Canada, during the late 19th century, the second son of John and Elizabeth Howlett. Young James' mother was distant and remote due to the untimely death of her first son. Growing up, the sickly James was close friends with the red-headed Rose, his companion and tutor, and "Dog," the son of the Howlett’s cruel groundskeeper Thomas Logan.
Dog’s growing obsession with Rose finally prompted him to attack her -- forcing James’ father to fire Thomas, and evict him and Dog from their home on the Howlett estate. The groundskeeper and his son stole into the mansion the next night and attempted to convince Mrs. Howlett to leave with them. Apparently, Thomas and Elizabeth Howlett had been engaged in an ongoing affair. When John Howlett interrupted their discussion, Thomas shot and killed his former employer. At the shock of seeing his father murdered, James manifested his latent mutant abilities, and bone claws jutted from the back of each hand. The beast within the boy unleashed at last, James attacked and killed Thomas, and slashed Dog’s face. Completely unhinged by the violence, Elizabeth took her own life.
James suffered a severe breakdown; his mutant abilities "healed" his mind as well as his body, blocking all memories of his last months at the Howlett estate. Because Rose and James were blamed for the deaths at the mansion, she spirited him away to a British Columbia mining colony. Rose gave James the name "Logan," so that his real identity would remain unknown.
The frail "Logan" grew into a strapping young man at the mine and became known for his strength and ferocity. He spent a great deal of time among the wolves in the nearby wilderness, discovering he had more in common with the wild beasts than his fellow man. Bullied incessantly, Logan acquired the nickname "Wolverine" thanks to his tenacity and refusal to back down from a challenge.
Logan’s happiness at the camp came to an end when Dog tracked him down. Finally remembering the night of his father’s death, Logan fought Dog savagely. During the struggle, Logan accidentally impaled Rose on his claws, killing her. Wracked by grief over the death of the woman he truly loved, he fled into the woods. Logan was not seen again for many years, but the legend of the man called Wolverine had begun.
The rest of Logan’s life is shrouded in mystery, peppered with half-truths and anecdotal reports of unconfirmed sightings. His healing factor seems to act against the effects of aging -- which would explain why, as a man of more than 120 years, he appears to be in his mid-30s.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the Canadian government subjected Logan to a bizarre battery of experiments intended to forge the ultimate killing machine. Weapon X scientists grafted the indestructible metal adamantium to Logan's skeleton and bone claws, and introduced memory implants that shaped his past to suit their ends. Combined with the earlier effects of his healing factor, these false memories have made it impossible for Logan to discern fact from fiction when recalling his former life. He now knows little of his past, save that it was fraught with pain and loss.
Wolverine was working as an operative for the Canadian government when he accepted Professor X’s offer to join the X-Men. Logan chose to stay on partly due to his belief in Xavier’s vision for the co-existence of humans and mutants, and partly because of his attraction to Jean Grey. During his time with the X-Men, Logan has worked to regain his lost memories, but virtually every answer leads him to even more new questions.
Although he would rarely admit it, Logan remains with the X-Men because he feels the team is the closest thing he has to a family in the world. Serving with the X-Men has given Logan what he had been missing for so long: a cause worth fighting for. Still somewhat uncontrollable and unpredictable in battle, and prone to an occasional berserker rage, Wolverine has proven to be a tremendous asset to the team; he continues to make his home in Xavier’s mansion. Beneath his brutish exterior, Wolverine will always be the scared, insecure boy who lashed out at the world all those years ago, doomed never to make peace with his troubled past. Haunted by half-forgotten demons, he fights for those who can't fight for themselves -- kindred spirits, victims all.