This miniseries secured Wolverine’s place as one of Marvel’s top assets. It is also the loose basis for “The Wolverine” movie coming to theaters this week. Wolverine was the favorite character in “X-Men,” the best-selling comic book in the world back in the late 1970s and throughout the ’80s. Wolverine’s popularity rivaled that of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Hulk, and any other character. He appeared in guest spots in more comics, more mini-series and graphic novels, and by the late ’80s had his own monthly title in addition to everything else.
Even with all of this over-exposure, the mystery behind Wolverine’s past continued. Every potential revelation raised more questions. For example, he had a connection with his feral arch-enemy Sabretooth: Did this connection mean that Sabretooth was Wolverine’s father? Brother? Fellow operative?
Or Logan met Captain America in World War II. If Wolverine was an adult in World War II, then just how old is he? Was he older than that?
X-Men arch-nemesis Magneto sapped the metal from Wolverine’s bones. It had always been assumed that the claws were additions to Logan’s arsenal when he received the steel skeleton. But with the metal gone, readers learned Wolverine had bone claws that popped out of his hands.
Comics legend Barry Windsor Smith presented “Weapon X,” the story of scientists lacing Logan’s bones with adamantium, but that story raised the questions of whether Wolverine volunteered for the process or was captured and forced into it?
The mysteries were a compelling component to Wolverine’s character, and these questions continued until the first “X-Men” movie.
With the first movie a success, and part of its storyline being Wolverine having no memories of his past, Marvel knew Hollywood would contrive an origin for Wolverine. Instead of allowing that to happen, Marvel decided it would present Wolverine’s origins. Unlike most characters, one origin story wouldn’t do it. Not even one miniseries. For Wolverine, Marvel created a series of origin story arcs which have slowly answered the questions raised through the decades.