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Wolverine’s Origin: 10 Facts You Should Know

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ hits theaters this weekend, and this that in mind, I have prepared ten facts about Wolverine for anyone who might not be up on the history of the X-Men’s resident fighting machine. These might not be the facts you NEED to know, but they’re the facts I think you’ll enjoy:

1. He‘s got history with the Hulk.
Wolverine first appeared in an Incredible Hulk comic in 1974 as a Canadian mutant called “The Wolverine.” More recently, Wolverine and Hulk matched up again in the (non-canonical) miniseries Ultimate Hulk Versus Wolverine, written by Lost creator Damon Lindelof, where Hulk literally rips Wolverine into two parts, and Wolverine spends most of the book dragging his upper torso around a Tibetan mountain, looking for his legs. I’m serious.

2. His real name (it’s not Logan)
For most of the character’s history, he was simply known as Logan – no last name, in true celebrity style. In his 2001 origin miniseries called, uh, Origin, Marvel finally revealed his true name: James Howlett. Aroooo!

See reasons three through seven after the jump.
3. The Passion of the Minimate
“Origin” was the first tale to delve into Wolverine’s early life, including the first time his claws burst out of his hands, marking him as a mutant. Marvel recently decided to capture the agony and terror of that fateful and defining moment – by making it into an adorable Minimate toy with bleeding hands?

4. His bizarre original origin
A very different origin was once considered for the character: Logan was actually a giant, mutated wolverine, not a human. Wisely, this was ignored.

5. He’s really old
Although his healing factor keeps him looking young, Wolverine was born in Canada during the 1800s, which makes him more than 100 years old. This gave him time to become fluent in at least 7 languages, train as a samurai in Japan, and even punch Nazis in World War II with Captain America before he settled down at the X-Mansion.

6. He’s full of it. It = adamantium
The metal on his claws is called adamantium, a (fictional) alloy that is virtually indestructible and can cut through any known substance. The metal was bonded to his bones as part of a supersoldier program called Weapon X (which also produced his nemesis Sabretooth and the mercenary Deadpool), a story that will play an important role in the X-Men Origins movie.

7. He’s obese (kind of)
Despite being only 5’2″, his metal skeleton makes him weigh in at 300 pounds, which would give him a BMI of 55 (“extreme obesity”). See, you can’t trust those charts at all.

8. His claws are actually made of bone
Wolverine’s claws were thought to be completely metal until the mid-1990s, when the supervillain Magneto used his powers to yank all of the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body, revealing the bone underneath (all because Peter David made a joke about it at a writer’s retreat that everyone took seriously). Wolverine went on stabbing things with bone claws for five years afterwards, until the adamantium was rebonded to his skeleton during a plot where– honestly, it doesn’t matter. He just got the adamantium back, ok?

9. Deus X-Machina
He was once killed by aliens in an X-Men annual by Chris Claremont, but then regenerated his entire body and an adamantium-coated! skeleton from a single drop of blood, which is both ridiculous and makes no sense because (see #8) he was born with bones made out of bone just like everyone else.

10. Don’t do this at home
While having knives pop out of your hands is undeniably cool, it’s possible to take your appreciation of Wolverine too far. Which means, of course, that someone has.

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