Wolverine has always been one of the most mysterious of the X-Men, so it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of mysterious facts about the character's costume. It's evolved over the years, sometimes existing as a simple t-shirt and pants while at other times appearing to contrast with every other outfit on the team, making him stand out in a way that clearly doesn't match his stealth capabilities. It's no wonder directors haven't embraced the mustard yellow.
Still, a character as compelling as Logan has had to have some iconic looks over the years, and even some of the most dedicated fans may have missed an interesting fact here and there about his costume.
10 It Was Once Merged With The Batsuit
Some fans might remember a time when DC and Marvel merged with some interesting results. There was a Marvel vs. DC crossover event in the mid-'90s that resulted in the Amalgam universe, where we saw heroes like Storm and Super Woman crossed into hybrids of themselves, which was weird, to say the least.
Wolverine was naturally crossed with Batman, giving him a darker appearance as the character "Dark Claw." Aside from the wince-worthy name that sounds like it should be the moniker of Dr. Claw's nephew on Inspector Gadget, the role came complete with an over-the-top cape, serrated claws that shone way too much in the moonlight, Wolvie's trademark yellow mask tipped with more exaggerated, darker features and an enormous utility belt.
9 Director James Mangold Found It Too Flashy
Fans are always wondering why movie-Wolverine never sports his trademark yellow costume from the pages of the Marvel comics. Logan director James Mangold told Screen Rant that it's because the costume is just too flashy for his character.
"I always feel a certain contingent of fans who are yearning for it. But the biggest block I’ve had - I’m willing to take the heat for it - is that, I can never get past, being a writer for these movies as well, that Logan is the least narcissistic of all the superheroes, any kind I can think of - Marvel, DC or anywhere else. What I mean by that is, who puts a special branded outfit on when they do good deeds? And why? The only reason you do it is so you can have some sort of trademarked claim and get credit for what you did. Nothing seems less Wolverine-like than the desire to put on a trademarked outfit , particularly canary yellow, and kind of prance about doing good deeds and have people go, “Oh my God! It’s The Wolverine!” At least the Wolverine, as I see him, that’s a real struggle for me and always has been. I somehow feel that if somehow we ever put Hugh [Jackman] into one of those outfits, people would not be happy. Essentially, it’s something that lives on the page and I’m not sure could live anywhere else."
8 He Used To Look More Like A Wolverine
The original Wolverine look was drastically different from the one we've come to know and love. It included not only much shorter ears, but whiskers and more wolverine-like face. This makes much more sense given the character's name, but it sure didn't look as fearsome as the evolved version of the character appears.
Fans who want to see the look can check out his first appearance ever in a comic book, The Incredible Hulk #180, but it didn't last long. By the time Wolverine joined the X-Men in Giant Size X-Men #1, he looked much more like himself, per artist Dave Cockrum's rendition.
7 He Once Looked Like An Extra From Cats
In the late 1970s, Wolverine's look took a turn toward the wild side. A cross between Black Panther and Rum Tum Tugger, it was way too complicated for the character on purpose. Artist Dave Cockrum thought it would be hilarious to give Wolverine a look that would be difficult for the next artist to draw after his last issue.
This "Fang" costume was dotted with dozens of small fangs that lined everything from Wolvie's gloves and boots to his belt. The detail work was so intricate that it would have been a terrible headache to draw every issue, so the new artist, John Byrne, switched it back, but traded the bright yellow and blue for a more muted yellow paired with maroon.
6 He Wore All-Black For A While
In the 1980s, Wolverine got not only his own series, but a new outfit. John Buscema drew a sleeveless top, matching pants and black boots that all matched Wolverine's stealthy abilities much more than his bright yellow duds ever did, but they just didn't look like him. Paired with black gloves and matching face paint, he could've been an extra on Rambo.
During the same time, he continued to wear his brown costume that Byrne had drawn first in 1980, eight years prior to the all-black getup. Like the "Fang" look, this version left his hair exposed, but it also kept his arms bare. He wore all black again in his 2008 X-Force look.
5 No-Nose Wolverine
When Magneto ripped the adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton in the 1990s, he had bone claws for a while before the adamantium was restored. When his body rejected the metal, Wolverine became a noseless creature whose look fans despised.
Artists attempted to make it more palatable, transforming Logan from a beast with bare feet and hairy arms to a more muted, masked look, but in the end it was so despised by readers that the whole story was scrapped months later. Both noseless versions of Wolverine wore his trademark yellow and blue colors, but there was really no reason to not have a nose except to attempt to add more drama and fewer powers for Logan to access.
4 He's Worn The Brown And Yellow Suit The Longest (Depending On How You're Counting)
Even though we tend to associate blue and yellow with classic Wolverine, if we divide up the times that he wore different blue and yellow designs, separating the classic yellow I and classic yellow II designs as well as the Astonishing X-Men design, he has worn the brown costume the longest, at 127 months.
That said, if we loop all of the yellow and blue designs together, he has obviously spent the most time in those classic colors. Some fans cite other costumes, like the dark X-Force design, as their favorites over the years, but the yellow and blue look is his most well-recognized.
3 He's Blended In With The Team
One of the weirdest things about Wolverine's costume is the fact that it usually stands out so much from the rest of his teammates, often to the point of not even working for his mission. As much as we love his yellow and blue look, it's not conducive to sneaking up on bad guys.
But Wolverine has had several looks that did blend in with the rest of his teammates during different stints with different teams. One of the most famous was the time he worked with Team X and everyone wore matching bodysuits with yellow accessories and shoulder pads. The outfits were supposed to be practical with plenty of gear, including earpieces, but all the belts and straps ended up being a bit too much.
2 His Most Famous Mask Was An Accident
That weird more wolverine-ish mask that Logan wore during that first issue? That look wasn't intentionally changed. Artist Gil Kane actually drew him differently completely by accident, referencing his first appearance and trying to match it for his first X-Men issue. The whiskers and shorter ears weren't supposed to be cut but the new look was so much better that Marvel stuck with it from then on.
The character was nearly written off in the 1970s by Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum before Canadian artist John Byrne sent him in a new direction that led to his current popularity. Wolverine might have had a totally different, even shorter, timeline had he been stuck with his more cutesy look.
1 It Worked Better Than Nair
During the 1970s there was a weird rule that artists had to follow regarding Wolverine's arm hair. He was only allowed to have it while outside his costume. Once the duds came on, bam, the arm hair vanished faster than you can say Gillette. Apparently, former editor-in-chief Mark Gruenwald enforced some rules that were never to be broken, including one that made showing Wolverine's hair taboo.
Obviously, this rule was broken years later, but it's a funny fact about the Canadian hero's costume that other superheroes who might enjoy hairlessness could very well have been jealous about. Who knew that spandex could chafe off body hair so quickly?