Will the real Wolverine, please stand up?
The real Wolverine has returned, but he won’t be the only ‘runt’ in town when he finally graces the pages of Uncanny X-Men next month. Even before his untimely death, Marvel had been making one Wolverine copy, after another. After his death, the practice didn’t slow a bit. From the whimsical, to the on-the-nose replicas- there has been a Wolverine for every part of the spectrum. It’s almost as if Marvel didn’t trust that a book would sell without an extension of Logan present. Here are the top 8 Wolverine stand-ins that could still be running around the 616 come this February!
8. Wolvie // 1st appearance Exiles #2 (2018) // Created by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez
Based on the classic X-Babies that hail from the Mojoverse, this version of Wolverine, dubbed simply ‘Wolvie’, was introduced as part of Blink’s team of Exiles. There isn’t much to the character. His alternate reality resembles something more from a Playschool property than anything from Marvel. His mansion, or perhaps his world, is named Xavier’s Playtime Fun School For Gifted Youngsters. Wolvie is a lite-hearted fun-loving character with an appearance that is intentionally cartoony. Have no idea how this concept would ever really be able to function within the Marvel Universe, but que sera sera, and all that…
7. Raze Darkholme // 1st appearance X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 // Created by Brian M. Bendis and Stuart Immonen
Raze is the mutant son of Wolverine and the shapeshifting spy/assassin/terrorist/saboteur, Mystique from a future timeline. There, he had killed his mother and took over management of the Brotherhood of Mutants alongside his brother Charles Xavier II. To win the trust of the X-Men of the present and convince them to send the Original 5 X-Men back, he impersonated the future version of Kitty Pryde. Ultimately, the deception was discovered and the Future Brotherhood were defeated and sent back to their time. The whereabouts of Raze, who was not with them, are currently unknown. His powers appear to be a perfect combination of his parents. Raze has his father’s claws, senses, and healing factor, as well as shapeshifting abilities that surpass those of his mother.
6. Honey Badger // 1st appearance All-New Wolverine #2 // Created by Tom Taylor, David Lopez, and David Navarrot
Gabrielle “Gabby” Kinney is one of many clones of X-23, Laura Kinney. She is the result of experiments conducted by Alchemax. Seeking to again create living weapon’s based upon the Wolverine template, Gabby was designed to resist pain. Like X-23 before her, she is a capable covert operative, trained in assassination and espionage, though her extremely sunny disposition wouldn’t let that on. Gabby’s relationship with X-23 resembles that of a big sister, though genetically the connection is closer to that of a mother and daughter. This is made more evident due to Gabby referring to Old Man Logan as her ‘alternate reality-grandpa’. Gabby doesn’t possess any adamantium in her body, but she does have a single bone claw on each hand and, of course, a healing factor. She was given the codename ‘Honey Badger’ by her big half-brother/uncle Daken because she’s ‘sweet and has claws’… Yeah, I’m not much a fan of the name either.
5. Howlett // 1st appearance Astonishing X-Men #45 (2012) // Created by Greg Pak and Mike McKone
Although Governor-General James Howlett hasn’t been seen since the end of X-Treme X-Men where he and an alternate universe version of Cyclops set off on their own to explore the main universe- technically, he’s still around. On his earth, he was an adventurer alongside his professional and romantic partner, Hercules. Instead of possessing an adamantium bonded skeleton, his bones were coated with Adamantine, the mythically-strong “Metal of the Gods.” Obviously gifted to him by his lover, Hercules. It’s possibly the same substance Thor’s new golden-hammer and arm is constructed of. The addition came in handy as the two fought their way through Tartarus for four years before eventually joining Dazzler’s team of X-Treme X-Men.
4. Jimmy Hudson Jr. // 1st appearance Ultimate X #1 // Created by Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams
Jimmy Hudson is one of the few that made the transition from their native universe to the main Marvel 616 universe following the end Secret Wars. He originates from the very messy and brutal Ultimate universe. He’s the son of that reality’s Wolverine, raised by an old military friend of his in Florida. He possesses the healing factor Wolverines are known for, but his metal is part of his mutant ability. He can coat his claws in an organic metal with a process similar to that of the X-Man, Colossus. Upon arriving in the main universe, Jimmy was feral, and completely out of control. He was found in the wilderness by the Original 5 X-Men. The young group of X-Men helped restore his good nature and Jimmy joined them for a time. He even helped them battle his half-sibling, Daken, who had been sent by Magneto (who was mentoring the Original 5 at the time) to kill him, had the team of X-Men failed to do it themselves. He’s since taken a leave of absence from superheroing to find himself. How’s our Wolverine going to react to this kinder, gentler version of the brutal Daken?
3. Daken // 1st appearance Wolverine: Origins #5 // Created by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
Akihiro, better known as the antagonist, sometime anti-hero, Daken, is technically the first child of Wolverine. He’s also the only one that isn’t the result of cloning in the main timeline. For the most part, he has the same power set as his father, thus why he was born in 1946, Japan, yet still alive and appears to be firmly in his prime. While Daken was still in his mother’s womb, she was murdered, and he was taken from her body. He was put in the care of and raised by a wealthy Japanese couple. As he grows up Daken is teased over his obvious bi-racial features and develops a hard, uncaring personality as a result of it.
After accidentally causing the deaths of both his adopted parents during an argument he instigated, Daken is taken in and trained in the harshest of ways by the Wolverine villain, Romulus. After coming to blows with his father on several occasions, including a situation that left him with temporal amnesia, Daken joined Norman Osborn’s Dark X-Men and Avengers teams during the Dark Reign event. He takes on the mantle of Dark Wolverine.
After the Dark Reign concluded Daken bounced around the country getting involved with the Runaways and their parents ‘The Pride,’ becomes an actor, made an enemy of the Punisher, and even resurrects the Brotherhood of Mutants. Daken never really goes full dark or becomes a straight-up protagonist at any point in his career. Everything he does seems to be a reaction to his past, or a means to an end. However, his feats as a ‘bad guy’ are enough for Wolverine to make the decision to end his life by drowning his son in a puddle. He’s eventually revived by the Apocalypse Twins and made a ‘Horsemen of Death.’ Since breaking free of their control, Daken has since lived a more altruistic life during his father’s recent bout with death. He temporarily became an X-Man alongside his alternate reality half-brother Jimmy Hudson.
2. X-23 // 1st appearance NYX #3 // Created by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost
Unlike most characters not named Harley Quinn, X-23, Laura Kinney, didn’t get her start inside the pages of a comic book. Though she debuted in the NYX comic book, her first appearance came in the third season of the WB Kids show X-Men: Evolution in an episode aptly titled “X-23.” Basically, just like her origins in the books, Laura is the 23rd attempt at cloning Wolverine. In the show, Laura was created to be a living weapon in the same way as Wolverine. She eventually escaped, which lead to her interaction with the X-Men. In the books, however, it went a little differently…
In the books, X-23 is the killing machine they intended her to be in the show. X-23 had been successfully completing black op missions and assassinations since she was a small child. She’d been conditioned for years and was susceptible to triggers initiated via scent that would throw her into a killing frenzy. X-23 loses complete control of herself during these fits and during one, unfortunately, murdered her own ‘mother.’ After escaping her creators, an offshoot of the Weapon-X program called ‘the Facility,’ Laura traveled to New York City where she operated as a prostitute for a time.
Laura does break free of the lifestyle and follows in the footsteps of her genetic father, to the X-Men. Her heroic career started out among others her age like Hellion, Mercury, Dust, and Rockslide but her popularity would also carry her to the Avenger’s Academy and would become a full-fledged X-Man. When the original Wolverine died, Laura temporarily took on his name. Recently, she’s retaken the X-23 name but has stepped out of her progenitor’s shadow and carved out a spot in the greater X-Men mythos.
1. Old Man Logan // 1st appearance Fantastic Four #558 // Created by Mark Millar
This much older version of Logan originated from a world where the majority of America’s heroes were killed off after their villains came together for a unified attack. Among the dead were the X-Men, unintentionally killed by Logan himself when he came under the manipulations of Mysterio. His saga took place in another reality in the distant future and was isolated from the main 616 storylines. Old Man Logan, like several others from neighboring eliminated realities, found his way over at the conclusion of Secret Wars.
With the original Wolverine dead in the main universe, Old Man Logan joined Storm’s X-Men team. He aided in the aftermath surrounding the Terrigen Mist Clouds and the effects they had on the mutant population. By ‘effects’ I mean killing and sterilizing them. In between time, Old Man Logan also stalked and attempted to kill several of this world’s villains that were main components in creating the situation he left behind in his own.
Since then, he’s been a member of X-Men: Gold, and even allied himself with classic Wolvie supervillains, Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike in Weapon-X. Though he was limited physically due to his age and slower healing factor, Old Man Logan was every bit the man 616 Wolverine was. None of the world he found himself in belonged to him, but nonetheless, he fought just as hard to safeguard it from becoming the hellhole his world had become. In the real world, the movie Logan was based on his story. It was nominated for an Oscar and credited in revitalizing the superhero movie genre.
There you have it, every Wolverine that still exists on Earth. How do you think Logan will take the extra versions of him running around? Perhaps we’ll see a Wolverine corps in the near future?! Let us know!