Wolverine is the most popular mutants in the world of Marvel. He’s grown in popularity since he was first introduced, and he went from being a C-grade Hulk antagonist to a rising star in the X-Men comics. His popularity eventually spawned a successful solo series, and when the X-Men movies began, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal as the character made him more popular than ever before.
There’s a lot to like about Wolverine. He’s got a fascinating set of mutant abilities, a charmingly irate personality, and the kind of brutal metal claws that you used to draw in your notebook when you were bored. There’s a lot to love about this character, which is why we probably look past all of the nonsense.
Many things about Wolverine make pretty much no sense. Some of these have to do with his fantastic healing abilities, while others have to do with his relationship with his foes. Several have to do with the different relationships that have formed his characterization.
Fortunately, you don’t have to time-travel to the 1970s to see what we’re talking about. You don’t even have to fire up Cerebro. Just keep scrolling to check out 15 Things That Make No Sense About Wolverine!
15 He can get through metal detectors
The elephant in the room about Wolverine is always his metal skeleton. It’s tough to imagine how he gets anything done with that heavy thing inside his body. However, an issue of Ultimate X-Men pushes our incredulity to the limit by showing Wolverine making it through a metal detector!
It doesn’t just seem insane; it seems completely impossible.
How, exactly, does the guy with an entirely metal-coated skeleton not set off the metal detector? One of Magneto’s flunkies asks this question, and Wolverine simply replies “I’m a professional.”
That’s a pretty good answer for a moody mystery man, but it doesn’t change the fact that him making it through airport security makes no sense at all, but there’s plenty more that’s crazy about this mutant.
14 His costume preferences
One of the things that makes little sense about Wolverine is his taste in outfits. Now, we can’t knock the man for enjoying his flamboyant costumes - that's part of what makes him fit in with the X-Men. However, different Wolverine writers can’t make up their minds about his actual costume tastes!
For instance, Wolverine is happy in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men to be getting the kind of realistic black leather costumes he sports in the live-action X-Men movies. In Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, he grumbles about getting back into the bright colors.
Here’s the thing: the bright colors are what he originally wore, seemingly by choice.
Wolverine can’t even figure out what he likes to wear. Maybe he can blame it on the memory implants!
13 His healing ability
You don’t have to read comics very long to figure out that characters get stronger or weaker under different writers. When the characters have mutant abilities, those abilities can sometimes change from comic to comic. However, there are few abilities that are more inconsistent than Wolverine’s healing factor.
In some comics, he is able to shrug off hundreds of bullets from a small army of goons and come out swinging. In other comics (and the second X-Men movie), a single bullet is enough to knock him out. Speaking of which, X-Men Origins: Wolverine shows that all an Adamantium bullet can do is give Wolverine memory loss. Then, in Logan, it’s enough to blow part of his head off!
It seems like the strength of his body and healing factor varies wildly from appearance to appearance.
12 His memories
Wolverine is a really mysterious character. In fact, he’s often portrayed as a mystery even to himself! The reason for this is because he is deeply uncertain about his past and his memories. While this is milked by the writers as a plot point, it doesn’t actually make much sense.
The explanation we are given is that Wolverine has had fake memories implanted in him over the years by Weapon X and other organizations. This means that anything that he remembers from the past is potentially suspect because it may be a memory implant.
It helps make him seem more like a tortured hero, but it’s also immensely frustrating to realize the writers can dismiss old memories and stories by simply saying they were fake all along.
11 His relationship with Jean Grey
A lot has been written about Wolverine’s relationship with Jean Grey. The typical assumption is that there was a kind of love triangle between Wolverine, Jean Grey, and her husband, Cyclops.
The truth is that this “relationship” is inconsistent and nonsensical.
The roots of this relationship are mostly Wolverine being an overbearing creep to Jean when they first meet. This got romanticized as a star-crossed romance after Jean died, and this element of an unspoken thing between them was further propped up by the Animated Series and the early movies.
However, we never see anything more than light flirtation at best. Any interest Jean seems to show looks more like a function of her confusion than her having any deep feelings for Logan.
10 The weight of his skeleton
We alluded to this earlier, but the weight of Wolverine’s skeleton is rather insane. We see in various comics and movies that he is able to move with deadly speed and accuracy. However, his Adamantium skeleton should make this impossible!
Old Marvel Universe trading cards claimed that each of Wolverine’s claws was twenty pounds. This means he’s packing an extra 120 pounds on his hands alone, and the rest of his skeleton will be even heavier. Early comics at least pointed out that he was unable to swim due to the weight. Later comics clarified that drowning is one of the only ways he can die.
Realistically, Wolverine should be one of the slowest fighters on the team, and it seems like a single fight near the ocean could easily kill him.
9 His height
Some of the items on this list are going to be nitpickier than others, and this is one of them. Thanks to the popularity of Hugh Jackman, Wolverine’s height is something that is wildly inconsistent and generally makes no sense.
This problem doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.
In the comics, Wolverine is one of the shortest superheroes, and he clocks in at only 5'3". This is one of the reasons that Sabertooth is always referring to him as “runt,” and most heroes and villains tower over him. Hugh Jackman, meanwhile, is a full foot taller, and he often seems to be towering over his costars. Throw in certain artists drawing the character more like Jackman, and you get a Wolverine whose height is all over the place!
8 His aging
Logan was a powerful and often heartbreaking movie. One of the reasons for this was that it showed us what Wolverine was like when he was weak and vulnerable. You could tell this at a glance: the mutant was finally showing his age.
This serves as a reminder that Wolverine’s aging never really makes much sense.
Canonically, the character was born no later than 1885. He’s pushing a century old when he meets the X-Men. His healing factor is the reason for why an old mutant still looks young. However, in the Old Man Logan comic that Logan is based on, the character appears old and withered but still has a healing factor intact.
In the Logan movie, the healing factor has simply stopped working efficiently and made Wolverine show his age. This was just a creative decision by the director. Basically, Wolverine's aging remains nonsensical!
7 His mentorship
It wasn’t until Logan that we got an onscreen version of something that’s been a comic staple for years: Wolverine’s bond with younger girls. No, we’re not alluding to anything weird, but the character has historically served as a mentor to many young women. This includes Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, and X-23.
He typically helps them discover who they are as both mutants and fighters.
However, the reason Wolverine bonds so easily with these women is never fully explained. The Wolverine Origins comic shows that he once knew a young redhead named Rose and accidentally killed her. However, this serves more as the explanation for his later fascination with Jean Grey than it does his mentorship of young women.
Maybe Wolverine just likes to hang out with people who aren’t taller than him?
6 His affinity for Japan
Wolverine is often presented as a man on the edge. That is why he is known for his trademark berserker rage and the loss of control that comes with it. This is fitting for a character who has been a fighter for his entire life. However, it makes his fascination with Japan very difficult to understand.
During his travels, Wolverine spends a lot of time in Japan.
He learns to speak the language and even falls in love with a Japanese woman. He seems drawn to the peace and serenity offered by Japan, but even Wolverine seems unable to reconcile that peace and serenity with the out-of-control warrior nature that dwells inside him. Ultimately, it makes for a cool paradox, but that doesn’t explain it.
5 His love for Mariko Yashida
Over the years, Wolverine has had many lovers. These have ranged from Silver Fox to Domino to Squirrel Girl. Despite all the lovers, though, he’s had only one true love: Mariko Yashida. These two had a somewhat star-crossed romance that was cut short when she was poisoned and begged Wolverine to give her a quick and honorable death.
As awesome as she was, their relationship makes no sense.
Most of Wolverine’s romantic partners have had a lot in common with them. They are fellow superheroes, or fellow mutants, or simply fellow warriors. However, Mariko and Wolverine could not be more different if they tried. His love of her is as mysterious and unexplained as his love for Japan. Even Wolverine cannot explain his feelings for this woman.
4 His loner status
On paper, Wolverine is supposed to be a grumpy loner. If you somehow manage to forget this, don’t worry: every other piece of dialogue and thought bubble will help remind you that he is a grim loner who prefers to work solo. However, we all know this is a lie.
First, there’s the X-Men. Wolverine keeps coming back to the team despite having many opportunities to go and live life on his own terms. Second, there are his close friendships.
Wolverine has made a lot of friends and allies in his long life, making it clear he’s not really a loner.
Then there’s the fact that he is a member of so many teams. This is so absurd that even various Marvel writers have poked fun at it over the years.
3 His team-ups and team memberships
If we ask you to name what team Wolverine is on, chances are that you’d say the X-Men. And you’d be right. However, many fans forget how many other teams Wolverine has carried cards for.
Wolverine has been part of the Defenders, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight Member, X-Force, and more.
This makes no sense for several reasons. First, this continues to go against the grain of Wolverine as a loner. Why is the guy who likes to be alone joining so many teams?
It also makes no logistical sense. How is Wolverine finding the time to have adventures in multiple X-Men and Avengers comics, have countless team-ups, and still go on solo missions? We know he’s popular, but sometimes he seems more like Multiple Man than Wolverine.
2 His relationship with Sabertooth
It’s a popular trope in comics for our heroes to fight dark reflections of themselves. We see this when Spider-Man takes on Venom, for example, or when Captain America fights Red Skull. For Wolverine, his dark reflection is Sabertooth, who has made a viciously compelling villain over the years. However, his relationship to Wolverine continues to make no sense.
Part of this is because different creators have taken things in different directions. Early on, X-scribe Chris Claremont dropped some heavy hints that Sabertooth (someone with Wolverine’s exact temperament and healing abilities) was Wolverine’s father. Claremont soon scrapped the idea, but later media (like X-Men Origins: Wolverine) would run with the idea that Wolverine and Sabertooth were brothers.
This contradicted the comics, but to be fair, we still don’t know what the exact deal is between these two.
1 His time as headmaster
If you haven’t been reading X-Men comics in recent years, things have gotten pretty weird for our favorite mutants. This arguably started during the Schism event, when Cyclops and Wolverine fought over the direction of mutantkind. Cyclops believes the mutants must fight threats to their kind while Wolverine believes they need to get back to their roots of protecting young mutants.
This leads to Wolverine becoming the new headmaster of Xavier’s school, or as it’s now called, the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. It was a fun new direction for the character, but if we’re being honest, it never made much sense.
Wolverine does not have the patience or temperament to be a good teacher, let alone a headmaster over a bunch of emerging X-babies!
Fortunately, the Wolverine and the X-Men comic leaned into the absurdity and brought us many funny Wolverine moments.
What else doesn't make sense about X-Men's Wolverine? Let us know in the comments!
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