iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #119 – Wolverine

Show Notes

When Wolverine first showed up in the pages of The Incredible Hulk #180 way back in 1974, no one could have known that Len Wein and Herb Trimpe had introduced the most enduring comic book character since Spider-Man. When he joined the X-Men, and Chris Claremont and Frank Miller proclaimed him “the best he is at what he does,” he took off in popularity, and hasn’t let up since. A favorite guest star as well as a series regular in more than a handful of monthly comics, people can’t seem to get enough of Wolverine. Josh, Ron, and Conor take a good look at some of the better stories involving the mean runt from Canada like his first mini-series, and Weapon X.

Hugh Jackman’s performance in the X-Men films was a standout, and he brought Wolverine to life in a way that fans fell in love with. On May 1, we’ll see the premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in theaters, as the movies attempt to delve into Wolverine’s secret and hidden past. This episode will let you know everything you need to know about everyone’s favorite mutant.


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  1. Woot! It’s not even Wednesday!

  2. The one good short superhero we had, they cast as fucking Hugh Jackman.  And whats even worse is that he’s perfect.  Wolverine should be short and funny looking.  And now to most people he is Hugh Jackman.  Maybe I’ll grow sideburns.

  3. Ive always wondered where that hairstyle came from.  There was Wolvie, Starfox, and someone else i thought.  Still not as bad as the Gabit head-sock thing or whatever it that was.  

  4. Wow…..what a convoluted character 🙂

  5. I’ve always heard that Wolverine’s hair was an artist/writer communication mistake. The original designer hadn’t designed him under the mask and when they unmasked him in Giant Size X-men the current artist had nothing to go off of and just assumed his hair fit the mask style. Trying to remember where I heard that.

  6. I don’t chime in often, that that was one of the best intros you guys have ever had. Awesome.

  7. Great show, as always.

    I’ve always enjoyed the stories with Wolverine and Spider-Man.  Both clearly good guys but with very, very different ways of getting things done.  He acts, or at least sees himself as a mentor toward Spidey.  There is that outer shell just covering his true feelings. He pushes him, even gives him shit but when the claws pop and web fluid starts flying they are a great team. He’s been through some awful things, and he knows Spidey has too, even if he won’t admit it. I don’t know if he sees some of himself in Spidey or maybe a ‘better’ version of himself but he certainly carries a deep respect for Spider-Man that is still being shown in New Avengers.

  8. Hi IFanboys, thanks for another great episode.

    Question: in the comics are Wolverine and Sabertooth brothers (as in the movie)?

  9. Nice chat about Wolverine, I do disagree that Uncanny 133 was where he really started to develop, I think the run from 115 to 121 is where he started to show different facets.  He showed grief in the Savage Land, that he could read and speak Japananese, that he was willing to put hostilities aside and end a fight for the betterment of his teammates while they were in Canada.  I think that run really laid the groundwork for the Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix character development.  But who really can say.

  10. You guys left out X-Force. So that’s 10 books he’s appearing in.

    Also, Nobody but 13 year-olds with self-esteem issues want to Wolverine:p

    It would be so cool if I had claws"


    Great Show.

  11. @JamesH – a flock of seagulls?

    @Anson17 – helmet hair? That explains everything. 

  12. As much as I love to say I hate this character and how much I dreded to watch this episode, you guys showed me that Wolverine is more than just that watered down 90s anti-hero, and more than that horrid TV show character. Wolverine is at his core a great character.

    I’m still not buying any of his books though.

  13. Also. What do you guys think of Sergeant Slaughter?

  14. Wow, this has been Ron month.  Wolverine, Ron’s gifts, and the Ron and Gordon con show.  He’s taking over.

  15. @muddi900 We didn’t leave out X-Force. That’s in there.  There’s a cover for it in that part.

  16. @josh

    But you didn’t count it.

  17. Greatest Wolverine arc in X-men was the brood planet, hands down. It was the first time we saw what he was really willing to do for his teammates, and how truly badass he was when they weren’t around. Also the origin of the "Best there is" line, which has been taken out of context generally. It wasn’t originally meant as a boast, or a badass one liner, he was saying that he was glad that his friends couldn’t see him, because while he may be the best there is at what he does, what he does is not very nice.

  18. I read all three of the origin reprints from a couple of months ago. All of them are definitely a must buy.

    Wolverine by Claremont/Miller

    Wolverine: Weapon X by Barry Windsor Smith

    Wolverine Origins by Jema/Jenkins/Kubert

    The guys on the podcast talked about it but I whole heartilly recommend getting these 3 trades.

  19. La Bamba!!! i love that movie

  20. I loved Wolverine’s hair back in the day.  Somone should bring it back, even if for just a panel when he wakes up in the morning.  I would buy 25 copies of that

  21. @muddi900 Go back and watch it, either Ron or Conor says and counts X-Force. The cover shows up exactly when he says it.

  22. He’s also in Fantastic Force as The Hooded Man… @Josh – Ron says it at about 19:00 minutes into the video show.

  23. Also, Ultimate X-Men only just recently ended.  And he’s in Marvel Adventures Avengers, I do believe.

  24. Not to mention they are doing Uncanny X-Men: First Class.  And the series of one-shots and minis that he gets through out the year

  25. Plus for the film, Marvel is doing a ‘Wolverine varient cover’ for almost all of the titles this week.

    I’ve seen some of them on another website and it looks like they are parodying famous works of art….So…he’s technically in every book this week.

  26. As bad as Wolverine’s hair may be now, it’s probably best that not many people remember the late 80s miniseries he had with Havok, "Meltdown":


    What must it take to gel up such a thing?

    I never read Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X (I was out of the game by then, I think) but I can confirm that Marvel Comics Presents came out every two weeks. That fascinated me at the time, before I realized getting twice as much loses something when you’re getting twice as much 8-page Man-Thing.

  27. I loved Wolverine when I was a kid, but as you guys mentioned, he pretty much has TONS of comics and has been over saturared. I wish there were less stories about his origins. But I have to say I was excited about the Jemas/Quesada/Jenkins origins when it came out …

  28. I agree.  I was excited when it started but it was a love that did not last.

  29. I just finished the episode and noticed that you pronounced Remy LeBeau’s codename as Jambit instead of Gambit.  Not a big deal but I was wondering if that was just a slip of the tongue or is that really how you pronounce his codename?  A few episodes ago you pronounced Archangel as Arch-Angel instead of Ark-Angel.  All of these years of being an X-Men fan and you don’t know how to properly pronounce their names?

    Okay, let me help:

    Professor X – Pro-Fess-Er-Ecks 

    Cyclops – Sy-Klops

    Phoenix – Fee-Nix

    Marvel Girl – Mar-Vel-Gu-Earl 

    Iceman – Eye-S-Man

    Beast – Beest

    Angel – An-Jel

    If you need any further help, just let me know, lol.

  30. You know what bothers me about Wolverine? His real name. I do not like the name James Howlett. It’s a dumb nit-pickey thing to get stuck in your craw, but it’s never set well with me… it just seems a bit on the nose.  


  31. I like his nick name "Lucky Jim" =p.

    Seriously though… Logan’s been… everywhere hasn’t he? Is there a team in the marvel universe he HASN’T joined yet? Ya know… aside from Guardians of the Galaxy?

  32. I so very badly, now want a Rocket Racoon, Wolverine team-up. I don’t care what lame duck conceit must be pulled out of whatever orifice, I will buy that book.  

  33. Was there ever a Howard the Duck with Wolverine arc?

  34. I’m looking forward to the movie. Unfortunately because of the swine flu i will not be stepping inside a cinema for at least 3 months.

  35. @edward: Hey, you’ll see two things dying in the same building.

    Hugh Jackman career and the audience 🙂

  36. Shocked that there was no reference to Ron’s sideburns.

  37. @TNC: There’s no way that this movie isn’t huge. It might suck as bad as X3 (or be even worse) but it’ll make big money. And if Van Helsing didn’t kill Jackman’s career then nothing will.

    @Gabe: I think Ron’s sideburns have a cameo in the Wolverine movie. Can’t wait for that commentary track.

    My fave Wolverine story is a tie between The Hellfire club arc if the Dark Phoenix Saga and the Enemy of The State arc. Millar’s Old Man Logan Run will probably be a contender when it finishes up.

  38. xmen origins: wolverine is the most amazing marvel cinema experience to date! what an epic tribute to one of marvels number one characters!

  39. I agree with mutantediez in that the Wolverine alone vs. the Brood was the greatest early Wolverine story. Wolverine alone vs. the Hellfire Club was awesome, but I think that everything Byrne-illustrated tends to be a bit overrated–and if you don’t like the word "overrated", think of it in terms of the surrounding Cockrum-illustrated stuff as being "underappreciated". I think Claremont and Cockrum were doing a fine job of bringing out Wolverine’s persona before Byrne got on board. I particularly think that Wolverine’s pursuit of Jean in the earlier issues was pretty good. Byrne of course did contribute, but even after Byrne left there was still TONS left to do before the character became a fan-favorite. And, to state it again, I think the Brood issues circa 160 was really where the character started coming into his own. Obviously a lot of development was done after that, but the solo issue vs. the Brood was a watershed moment, at least as much as the Hellfire Club issue was. I think issue 205, illustrated by Windsor-Smith, was another, later watermark issue; it basically sowed the seeds of the Weapon X story that would be told half a decade later.

    Good show, by the way

  40. Origins is getting pretty solid reviews so far.  I haven’t caught all the critics opinions but CBR, USAToday and my local paper all gave solid reviews.

  41. Josh again points out that "Bendis didn’t get Wolverine" when he first wrote him in New Avengers.  Though I find this to be completely false.  I’d challenge anyone to read New Avengers again and give me at least 1 actual example of where Wolverine is not written well.  An actual example, not just "He doesn’t get him."

    Also, Wolverine didn’t even appear in the first 4 issues, so he didn’t get to appear as much early on.

  42. @KickAss: We talked about specific examples on the shows back when the book was coming out.

  43. I didn’t realize I was writing a term paper…

    The dialog was crappy on Wolverine right up through the teens.  No, I’m not going to go dig out examples, but he got it eventually.  I say this at the same time I’m acknowledging Bendis as one of my favorite writers.

  44. @chlop that’s pretty funny, they could get in a fight at a drug store over the last box of Nicoderm CQ.  Considering that both characters cigar chomping days are over (I’m assuming that Howard the Duck falls under the marvel smoking ban) 

     Did wolverine’s ‘no smoking’ policy ever get explained in the books, it seems pretty arbitrary, but still for so man years he was sucking on a stogie in the background. I wondered if they ever made an effort to explain why he wasn’t smoking anymore or if they just did away with it no questions asked? (when I read in Fables that Bigby, with his heightened feral senses smoked to put a buffer between him and sensory overload, I couldn’t help but think of Wolverine lighting up for the same reason) 

  45. @Adam – because everyone thought he was doing a Clint Eastwood impression, even though he was doing it way back when.

  46. A good example of Bendis not writing a good Wolverine is in the Secret War story (the one where Nick Fury puts together the team that goes to take out Latevria and it all goes wrong). He wrote Wolverine as this lecherous drunken pig of a man which did not gel with any other well written Wolverine story. I kinda got the impression that higher ups were telling Bendis to put Wolverine into his books because he’s popular and writing him poorly was Bendis’ way of getting a bit back at Marvel.

    I do not think that is the case anymore. He’s writing a fantastic Wolverine in New Avengers. Keep it up Bendis!

  47. Jason Aaron writes a pretty good Wolverine. I dont remember if that was expressed on the video show or on the comments.

    But his ‘Get Mystique!’ storyline really showed a great Wolverine. Had a nice balance of honor, sense of humor, and a good tactical side of Logan. I’m trade waiting on his Weapon X series out right now; but I have a good sense it’s pretty good.

  48. One thing I do loathe about how he is sometimes written is the way he fights. More often than not (and the movies do this too) he is just shown as a brawler without any real skill who lets his healing factor save the day. I wanna see samurai Wolverine, ninja Wolverine. The Chinatown Manifest Destiny series that Wolverine had kinda dealt with that but so far I haven’t seen much of it in any of the books he’s in. I’m holding out for an awesome fight to close off the Old Man Logan storyline.

  49. Hooo boy….just read a review of Wolverine by Roger Ebert….yeesh….


    He takes a swipe at Marvel; Hugh Jackman, and all X-Men fans.

  50. @TNC: Oh my god. Roger Ebert did not like this film. I’m gonna be terribly elitist and just say that he didn’t get it.

  51. @reg5000: Well he has seen a shitload of comic book films in the last decade. I think he should have an idea what is a good superhero film and what is a bad one. That should go for most critics now a days. I mean it’s not a taboo anymore, comic book films are like it’s own genre now.

  52. @TNC: True. I was just going for the cheap laugh in my post. I’ll reserve my judgement on Ebert until after I see the movie.

  53. @reg: Sorry, I tend to confuse sarcasm a lot….which is ironic….and gets me in a lot of trouble sometimes ^^;

  54. @TNC: that’s fine, I’ve pretty much stopped crying anyway.

  55. I like weapon X the most out of the ones you talked about. Good stuff all around though

  56. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    @gwiz – I wish the sadism and color palette of Weapon X had influenced the film more. The comic’s real horrorshow.

    Ifanboys – Who got Romita to sign there Spiderman – Wolverine Teamup? I don’t remember him drawing that. But I’d have to read "Spider-Man – Perceptions" again to be sure. DYK, Is the series’ first tale, "Torment," with the Lizard and Calypso, collected in any anthologies? And did Norman Osborn ever show up in the series? I remember a six-part Sinister Six story that had Mysterio enchanting a Spider-Man ally, just like he did in Old Man Logan. Man, I can’t wait for that freak to bring crazy back to Ultimate Spider-Man. 

  57. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    How’d "Patch" lose the eye?

  58. @PymSlap: He didn’t. He just wore the patch.

  59. Jason Aaron has just finished writing an issue of Wolverine (that is coming out in a few months) that try to provide an explanation and/or reason why Wolverine is in so many teams and solo adventures.

    Looking forward to that.

  60. He has too much rage for one team? Is that it?

  61. Great episode, this is the 1st time I’ve heard of it. Couple things to point out though, Storm actually really IS African-American, not just African. Her mother was princess of a tribe in Kenya, and her father was American, she was born in New York (Harlem), but her family moved to Egypt were her parents were killed and she grew up in Cairo. Also Wolverine can die, if he was incinerated to the point where there isn’t any DNA left for him to heal back from then he’s gone. It happened in an early Uncanny X-MEN annual, which he only came back because a drop of his blood hit some magical device and reformed him using his DNA, he was also incinerated in the classic Days of Future Past storyline.

  62. So he can just keep dna samples of himself in deep freeze and his team mates can take them out and microwave them and he’s back? Without adamantium I imagine.

  63. Did you guys do a podcast when X2 came out?

  64. @Gabe:

    X2 – 2003

    iFanboy’s first podcast – 2005

  65. Ah X2. Wasn’t that just a brilliant movie?

    I miss Bryan Singer. Damn his love of Superman.

    (just to note, I really like Superman Returns but I would easily trade that for a Bryan Singer helmed X3)

  66. @ chlop

    It happened in Uncanny X-MEN Annual # 11, a drop of his blood hit the Crystal of Ultimate Vision and was completely brought back from that. I don’t think freezing and microwaving the blood’s gonna do it..lol. The story was written in the 80’s by Chris Claremont, now when he came back it should have been w/o the adamantium, but the crystal was magical in origin too, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with it. But, if you want to check out the front cover here’s the link –


    And the Synopsis of the issue: Horde captures the X-Men and forces them to try and steal the Crystal of Ultimate Vision, but they are tempted by their fondest dreams and wishes along the way; Wolverine’s healing factor and the crystal completely restore him from a single drop of blood.

  67. great episode guys explained alot about the great wolverine the origins has always confused me i prefer knowing that there is still mystery behind hes origins instead of revealing all his history sometimes its better not to know ignorance is bliss kinda

    thanks for this

  68. Wow. I was enjoying myself until the Deadpool swords thing. Ew. Dumbest. Thing. Ever.

  69. John Wraith was the team teleporter on Team X… the lamely-named-but-kick-ass Weapon X unit Logan belonged to with Victor Creed, Maverick, and Silverfox in mainstream comic continuity. In the Ultimate Universe, he’s the Colonel in charge of the Weapon X program, I think. Apologies for the nitpicky factoid.

  70. video #1 of my sick day marathon. i’m going to try to watch every vid.

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