Wolverine is a fictional character, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities 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. His powerful healing factor enabled the supersoldier program Weapon X to bond the near-indestructible metal alloy adamantium to his skeleton without killing him. He is most often depicted as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, or later the Avengers.
With The Wolverine movie, we’re all eagerly awaiting a fresh look on one of the most popular superheroes of all time, especially given the fact that X-Men Origins: Wolverine one was pretty much a travesty in every way.
Taking a more old school approach The Wolverine is set in Japan (a la the 1982 Frank Miller and Chris Claremont mini-series), which if you know your comics, means a lot for our hero and is brings him back to his roots. With that being said, there are so many incarnations of Wolverine that film makers are pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to having to pick a storyline appropriate enough for a movie.
In fact if we’re being completely honest, there are so many versions of the character of Wolverine that it’s a real task trying to keep up with all of it, so much so in fact that there are probably a tonne of versions that you would never know existed (in excess of 30 main ones in fact). So to save you some time in trawling through a butt load of comics to try and keep in touch with the rapidly expanding Wolverine mythology, here are a bunch of the coolest versions of the man himself that you may not have known existed, but will definitely want to check out:
9. Old Man Logan
Old Man Logan (2008)
Written by the great Mark Millar, this story takes place in the not too distant future, where Logan is, you guessed it, an old ass man.
After being tricked years previous by Mysterio ****spoiler alert**** to kill his team mates in the X-Men during a mass super-villain take over that sees America fall to the villains, Logan, who is understandably pretty upset, ups and leaves to become a simple farmer and get away from everything.
That is until old his pal Hawkeye shows up and offers him a job. Almost like a character Clint Eastwood would play, this version of Wolverine is a pretty cool spin on Logan’s character, and one that’s handled excellently by Millar. It’s also Millars ode to Eastwood in what is unmistakably his superhero take on Unforgiven.
8. Weapon X
Age of Apocalypse (1995)
This was one of the most popular stories of all of the X-Events; taking place in the future after Legion had time traveled to kill Charles Xavier in the past, and thus with no resistance mutant dictator and celestial appointee Apocalypse had pretty much took over the entire U.S. with plans to invade Europe. Humans were hunted in what was essentially a human holocaust, Mutants were the evil super-race and Chucks death turned out to be the result of a lot of messed up sh*t to put it bluntly.
In this story Logan is referred to as Weapon X as opposed to Wolverine. Like the Wolverine we all know and love, he is still a bit of a loner and kind of awkward to deal with. Unlike the Wolverine we all know and love though, homie is missing a hand after having it cut off by Cyclops who is now a mostly evil dick (It’s OK though, Weapon X ripped out his eye. Tit for tat.)
And even more notably, Logan and Jean Grey are together in this reality. Like ‘together’ together. And that’s beautiful to me. What’s not so beautiful though is when (In David Lapham’s 2012 follow up) the Celestial’s come to Earth and rewrite Apocalypse’s genetic code to form a new body in the form of a child which Weapon X effectively kills. With the death of the child, the power of Apocalypse entered him, corrupting and turning him into Weapon Omega, the Overlord and a mental bastard. Still though, one of the most badass versions of Logan ever.
7. Wolverine MAX
Wolverine MAX (2013)
This incarnation of Wolverine isn’t drastically different in any real physical way really (Although he has metals claws and no adimantium skeleton), he’s more of a grittier and violent take on the character of Wolverine.
Basically it’s just a way to give people more of an adult version of Wolverine, and that makes complete sense because, as lets be honest, he’s a pretty adult character. Filled with all sorts of blood, guts and swear words, Wolverine MAX takes place after Logan is involved in a plane crash in Japan, wakes up with amnesia (followed by a shark eating his legs) and once he is fully revived he tries to piece it all together. With a bunch of secret identities, flashbacks from over a hundred years ago, and a feud with Victor Creed (aka Sabertooh aka one of the baddest mothers in all of Marvel comics) it’s a refreshingly violent and intense take on Wolverine.