Wolverine is one of the most known Marvel characters of all time. Ever since he made his debut in comic books in 1974., he became one of the most popular members of the X-Men, and Hugh Jackman’s performance as the character on the big screen only increased the popularity of the character among Marvel fans who aren’t reading the source material.
The Wolverine is known by many names. It’s always been known that The Wolverine is his superhero name, and his birth name is James ‘Jimmy’ Howlett. But, Wolverine is also known as Logan, not only among fans, but among all the characters that have met him in comic books, movies, and other media. So, where does that name Logan come from?
How did James Howlett become Logan?
The Wolverine was born in the 19th century near Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada as James Howlett. Although he was raised by the rich farm owners John and Elizabeth Howlett, he was actually the son of Thomas Logan, who was the Howletts’ groundkeeper.
After Thomas Logan was thrown off the property, he killed John Howlett. At that moment, James’ mutation manifested and he killed Thomas with his claws in retaliation. After that, James fled the property, starting a new life by adopting the name Logan, which stuck with him all the way to the 21st century.
And how did Logan become Wolverine?
Logan officially became the Wolverine after Weapon X, which was the secret US government program intended to induce superpowers for military purposes. Logan was imprisoned there under the codename Wolverine, and as a part of the program, adamantium was injected into his skeleton. Wolverine was one of the first Canadian superheroes, and later Professor Xavier recruited him into X-Men. The rest is history.
Even if you’ve never read the comic books, you’re probably familiar with Wolverine’s origin story thanks to Fox’s X-Men movie franchise. The origin was Wolverine was shown and explained in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and in other movies, we could’ve seen how everyone who knows his real name usually calls him Logan.
In 2017’s Logan, we could’ve seen how Logan’s limo is licensed under his birth name, James Howlett, which means that he didn’t legally change his name, but still, Logan feels like his real name because his friends and allies know him as Logan.
The character of Wolverine was created by Roy Thomas, Len Wei, and John Romita Sr. The character made his first cameo appearance in The Incredible Hulk #180 in October 1974, and he had his first full appearance in the next issue of the same comic book in November 1974. Since then, Logan was known by many names, aliases, and nicknames, including Wolverman, Wolvie, Weapon X, Cannibal, Canucklehead, Chupacabra, The Animal Man, etc.
Hugh Jackman debuted as the on-screen Wolverine in the 2000’s X-Men movie. Jackman played the role nine times until 2017’s Logan, in which the character was ultimately killed off. However, in September 2022, Ryan Reynolds announced that Jackman will return to play the character for the tenth time in Deadpool 3, which will introduce both Deadpool and Wolverine to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Directed by Shawn Levy, and starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, Deadpool 3 is set to be released on September 6, 2024.