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Wolverine a Reader's Perspective Part 3

By: NLogan

Marvel in-house ad art by Dave Cockrum

Chronological Wolverine facts as revealed to the reader part III

Continuing our journey to know and understand the Wolverine character as was revealed issue to issue, month to month through his publication history. So from a reader's point of view here is Wolverine's history, and who he was, and how and when we learned it! Beginning with his new team affiliation in...


With sales declining on the original X-Men comics marvel ran reprints of earlier issues for 27 issues from X-Men 67 to issue 93. After Giant-Size X-Men 1 the new team debuted in issue 94.

Aug 1975
Writer: Chris Claremont, Len Wein
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

It seems like every line from the surly Wolverine new to the team is either braggadocio or bluster. We learn that Wolverine's home base, a secluded military instillation in Quebec, Canada* is called Alpha Base.

*Established in Wolverine a Reader's Perspective II in Giant-Size X-Men 1 -NLogan

The original X-Men want to leave and Wolverine continues to be a jerk telling Jean to, "spare us the soap opera". Wolverine is ready to challenge friend or foe. That bub... is the first time Wolverine calls someone "Bub" in comics and this was the first time I called you the reader bub.

Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men have seized control of Valhalla Base, NORAD (North American Air Defense Command Center). You might know it from from the 1983 movie Wargames as the strategic center of operations for the intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile launch control. We learn that Wolverine knows people who he considers friends in Valhalla from his experience with the Canadian military/intelligence. During this time in comic books it was very rare for a superhero to kill someone. He shocks Banshee with a threat of what he will do if his friends are hurt showing his violent nature.

Oct 1975
Writer: Chris Claremont, Len Wein
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

Count Nefaria has blasted the X-Men's jet out of the sky. Our heroes are falling to their deaths. Storm ends up rescuing Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Banshee rescues Thunderbird and then comes back for Cyclops. Colossus elects to power dive into the ground so that the X-Men who can fly can save the rest. They think he is sacrificing himself.

Wolverine apparently understands Russian, knowing that Colossus called him that "crazy man". Colossus of course survives... you looked worried for a second.

Wolverine begins to be a team player during the battle.

Dec 1975
Writer: Chris Claremont, Bill Mantlo
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

Wolverine is still threatening his teammates. That is the first Snickt sound that I know of. Perhaps it was a slow motion extending of his claws giving the extra c and extra emphasis to his threat instead of the regular snikt. Wolverine is demonstrated as a very "tender and sensitive" individual that cannot tolerate being laughed at. He takes his threat to the next level attacking Nightcrawler who just teleports to safety in time. Wolverine's still a hot-headed jerk.

Looks like the Wolverine was a little startled. Startled enough for his first "blazes" and a "Holy Hannah" exclamation. I doubt that makes him Catholic however, even if he did just invoke Jesus' grandmother according to the apocryphal Protoevangelium of  James. Interestingly she is a patron saint of the indigenous Catholic practicing Mi'kmaq first nations people of the Canadian province Quebec where Wolverine was stationed before joining the X-Men.

This is the Wolverine's first full on berserker rage shown in comics. It is also the first time he mentions any of the X-Men as his friends. He calls Nightcrawler his buddy. Normally Wolverine only referred to them by their superhero names unless he was using a derogatory "Boss-man" or the last name "Summers" to Cyclops, calling Colossus a "baby", "Irish" to Banshee, saying a "Broad" or "Skirt" to the women he encounters like Storm or Marvel Girl, a diminutive "Prof" instead of Professor to Charles Xavier, and "Elf" to Nightcrawler at a time when the X-Men are already comfortable calling each other by their first names Sean, Peter, Kurt, Ororo, Jean, and Scott. Of course in the little jerk's defense they have been calling him midget, runt, shorty, etc. since the beginning.

We also learn he has been through ten years of psycho-training, hypnotism, drug therapy, and praying possibly through his conditioning as a special agent with the Canadian military/intelligence. I don't think the praying thing is religious although anything is possible at this point from what we know so far about Wolverine. It comes off as more synonymous with wishing or hoping that things were changing for himself. That he had learned how to control his berserker rages.

Feb 1976
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

Wolverine is briefly visible in Professor X's dream but other than that he is not present in the entire comic including the battle except at the very end in the last few panels when he gets knocked on his posterior. At this point the writer and artist were seriously considering dropping Wolverine from the X-Men line up because they didn't like him. But we as readers didn't know that.

Wolverine backs down to Storm. Her immediate taking charge of the situation foreshadows her taking over leadership of the X-Men and shows Wolverine's grudging respect of her.

Apr 1976
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

This is the first time Wolverine is shown without his mask with his now distinctive hairdo and lamb chop sideburns. Also in this picture are cameos of Matt Murdock the Daredevil (with earmuffs), Nick Fury director of S.H.E.I.L.D. and agent La Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, the writer of the book Chris Claremont (bearded guy with the dark hat and coat), and for the eagle eyed Doctor Victor Von Doom apparently enjoys ice skating.

Here is a better look at his hair, quite the widow's peak. This is also the first cigarette he is shown smoking. As the rest of the X-Men are about to go off socializing Wolverine tells them he doesn't celebrate Christmas.

The X-Men are captured by Sentinels and taken to Dr. Steven Lang's laboratory. Wolverine is identified as a mutant by the Sentinels even though his readings are not like the other mutants. This is also the first time Wolverine is drawn as hirsute, with his hairy chest and arms.

Dr. Lang then turns his attention to Jean Grey and smacks her after she insults him, infuriating Wolverine into breaking loose revealing for the first time that his claws are a part of him not just in his gloves. It also demonstrates his strength as he was able to burst chromalloy shackles with his wrists alone then pop his claws as shown by the dual action bubbles. The way he was fettered his claws would not have reached his wrists anyways.

We also see that he has somewhat of a sense of humor.

June 1976
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

No new information really. Wolverine, Banshee, and Jean Grey are rescued from the vacuum of space by the Sentinels. Back inside the space station a battle is brewing between the old and new X-Men.

Aug 1976
X-MEN 100
Writer: Chris Claremont, Len Wein
Penciller: Dave Cockrum

Looks like all that training "six hours a day, five days a week, week in, week out"* in the danger room has payed off. We get our very first Fastball Special!

*Danger room training schedule from X-Men 94 - NLogan

During the battle between the old and new X-Men Marvel Girl attacks Wolverine with a psi-blast. Reminding Wolverine that all is not as it appears.

This is the first time Wolverine's heightened senses are compared to the level of animals. That he had heightened senses was already established earlier.* Now they are further defined as being able to know a person's scent, voice, and overall feelings about them.

*Established in Wolverine a Reader's Perspective 1 and 2 i.e. knowing that appearances aside the Wendigo was not dead, plus helping him avoid the Hulk's blow from behind in Incredible Hulk 181, and being sensitive to Banshee's sonic screams in Giant-Sized X-Men 1 - NLogan

Wolverine quickly establishes that they are not fighting the original X-Men instead they are robot replicas!

Wolverine's next appearance is a guest appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man written by Len Wein who wrote the first story arc with Wolverine in Incredible Hulk 180-182.

Oct 1976
Writer: Len Wein
Penciller: Ross Andru

Wolverine plays a dangerous and mean-spirited joke on Nightcrawler that the fuzzy elf doesn't find funny in the slightest.

Again Wolverine is a jerk and threatens his teammates. Kurt having noticed in the paper that his personal friend was murdered by a sniper's bullet meant for Spider-Man leaves to investigate and gets into a classic misunderstanding battle with the web-crawler.

In these first appearances as part of the new team of X-Men we have learned quite a few things about Wolverine aside from him being a temperamental jerk.

Wolverine understands Russian.
Wolverine has berserker rages and has tried to learn to control them.
Wolverine appears to be in his forties approximately and has pointy hair and lamb chop sideburns as well as being hirsute over his body.
Wolverine's claws are a part of him.
Wolverine has superhuman strength being able to burst chromalloy steel that is considerably harder than standard 1020 steel.
Wolverine's senses are amazingly acute, comparable to an animal's he can detect individual scents, hear differences in voices, and know a person he is familiar with just by being in their presence and conversely know when it is not the real person in front of him.

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