Earlier this year, Hugh Jackman was given a Guinness World Record alongside Patrick Stewart for having the longest career as a live-action superhero. From X-Men to Logan, he held the role of Wolverine for a remarkable 16 years and 228 days and appeared in eight films as the iconic character.
It's hard to believe at this point that there's anything we don't know about Wolverine, but 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise has left out a surprising number of details about the animalistic mutant. Since it'll likely be several years before Disney uses their recently-acquired rights to the X-Men to work the team into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and provide us with a new live-action take on Logan, fans have to turn to the comics to learn more about him.
Ever since he made his first full debut in Nov. 1974's The Incredible Hulk #181, Wolverine has been one of the most interesting characters in all of comics. He's "the best there is" at what he does, and thanks to his incredibly unique powers and abilities, he can certainly do a lot. Here are 20 Unusual Details Behind Wolverine's Anatomy.
20 WOLVERINE POSSESSES ANIMAL-KEEN SENSES
Logan didn't just choose the superhero name Wolverine because of his claws—he also has enhanced senses that rival those of his namesake. His senses of sight, smell and hearing are all exceptionally acute, and offer him some impressive advantages in his heroics.
Wolverine can hear sounds ordinary humans cannot, and his sense of smell grants him unparalleled tracking abilities. So when he tries to hunt someone down, he almost always finds his target.
19 HE'S MEANT TO BE A FOOT SHORTER THAN HUGH JACKMAN
While he hasn't quite received the level of praise Robert Downey Jr. has for his flawless portrayal of Tony Stark, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Hugh Jackman portraying Wolverine over the past two decades. His take on the character's savagery, morality and occasional sensitivity was fantastic, and his facial hair and musculature were definitely on point.
Unfortunately, he stood an entire foot taller than the comic book character he brought to life. Jackman stands at 6'3, while Logan is only 5'3 in the comics. What he lacks in height, however, Wolverine certainly makes up for in strength and ferocity.
18 LOGAN WAS BORN IN THE LATE 1880s
Fans were devastated when Wolverine's healing factor started fading away in Logan and resulted in the termination of the beloved mutant, but they should take comfort in the knowledge that he lived a very, very long life.
While Logan only appeared to be in his fifties in the film, he was actually approximately 140 years old. The film took place in 2029, and in the comics, Logan was born sometime in the late 1880's.
17 HE DOESN'T HAVE MARVEL'S STRONGEST HEALING FACTOR
When Marvel fans hear the phrase "healing factor," most instantly think about Wolverine. In X-Men 3, he was able to fight off the Dark Phoenix's destructive psychic blasts which instantly eliminated all other nearby mutants. He outlived several of his younger friends in Days of Future Past and Logan. No matter what obstacles were thrown his way, he seemed capable of quickly recovering and jumping back into the fight.
Believe it or not, however, he doesn't have Marvel's strongest healing factor. Characters like Mister Sinister, Slapstick, Ghost Rider, Deadpool and Silver Surfer have all been seen in the comics healing from injuries at a faster rate than Wolverine would have been capable of.
16 HE WAS ACTUALLY BORN WITH DENSE BONE CLAWS
Fans and critics alike will agree that X-Men Origins: Wolverine did a lot of things very poorly, but Logan's first solo adventure did get one major detail about his origin story right. The film revealed that he was born with claws made of actual bone, not the adamantium claws he's typically known for wielding.
These bone claws weren't nearly as durable or sharp as the claws he acquired later in his life, but they were dangerous enough to help young Wolverine instantly eliminate his birth father Thomas Logan in Origins and definitely shouldn't be underestimated.
15 WEAPON X GAVE HIM HIS ADAMANTIUM CLAWS
While working with the Weapon X program, Wolverine was put through a variety of painful and traumatizing experiments and forced to do unspeakable things which violated his moral code.
The experience did yield one positive result, though—Weapon X provided him with the adamantium claws and skeleton which proved to be instrumental in his life as a superhero years later.
14 UNSHEATHING HIS CLAWS ACTUALLY BRINGS HIM SIGNIFICANT PAIN
Wolverine's enemies over the decades have all grown to fear the "snikt" sound the hero's claws make whenever he unsheathes them. Sadly, Logan himself likely dreads that sound as well, because it brings with it a great deal of personal agony.
Logan's refusal to even flinch when he pops his claws out makes fans assume that doing so is completely painless, but despite his healing factor, he suffers from as much pain as anyone else would experience whenever his metal claws break through his flesh.
13 HIS SENSE OF SMELL CAN HELP HIM IDENTIFY SHAPE-SHIFTERS
X-Men villain Mystique may not have the offensive capabilities of super-powered mutant antagonists like Magneto, Apocalypse or Pyro, but her shape-shifting abilities still make her incredibly dangerous. She can turn teammates against each other, take on the appearance of people in seats of power, and create all sorts of chaos and destruction without ever throwing a punch.
Unless, of course, Wolverine is nearby. The mutant's enhanced sense of smell lets him recognize shape-shifters even when they've taken on a different form.
12 THE ADAMANTIUM ON HIS BONES INCREASES HIS STRENGTH
When Weapon X coated Wolverine's bones in adamantium, the addition of the nearly-unbreakable metal added approximately 100 pounds to the mutant's weight. This surely made it difficult for Logan to move around without significant discomfort at first, but as time went on, the added weight caused his muscles to strengthen and his body adapted to the change in his skeletal makeup.
Wolverine is definitely known for his claws, but the metal in his fists lets him win some fights without even popping those claws out. He can throw power behind his punches that would shatter the average human's knuckles if the attempted to replicate his strikes.
11 HE HAS SUPERHUMAN STAMINA
While Wolverine's healing factor is an exceptionally useful defensive mutant ability, it also gives him some valuable offensive advantages. He's able to do things in combat that regular humans would never attempt in fear of damaging their own bodies, and he can last longer in a fight than anyone else.
Logan's ability to instantly heal from exhaustion or muscle strain drastically heightens his stamina, allowing him to exert himself for numerous hours without needing to stop and recover.
10 WOLVERINE WAS CLONED TO CREATE X-23
For decades, Logan was truly one-of-a-kind in the Marvel Comics. That all changed when a young female assassin working for an organization called the Facility crossed paths with the X-Men and revealed herself to be a clone of Wolverine.
X-23 was created from a genetic sample of Wolverine's DNA. She shared Wolverine's regenerative healing factor and enhanced senses, speed and reflexes, and her creators also coated her natural bone claws in adamantium. Unlike Logan, however, she only has two claws in each hand and has one which can pop out of each foot.
9 HIS MIND CAN FALL INTO A FERAL "BERSERKER RAGE"
Wolverine may have earned a reputation for being willing to end his enemy's lives, but he actually tries to follow a strict moral code and doesn't enjoy delivering fatal strikes. His morality can occasionally disappear, however, when he lapses into a "berserker rage" while in close combat.
In this "berserker" mode, Logan's mind becomes incredibly feral. Wolverine loathes entering into this sort of rage, but since it makes his mind too wild for psychics to control, it has saved his life on several occasions in the comics.
8 LOGAN HAS THE VITAL SIGNS OF AN OLYMPIC ATHLETE
Hugh Jackman had to endure extremely difficult training routines to accurately portray Logan on the big screen for over 16 years, because the iconic mutant is meant to be in peak shape at all times.
While monitoring Wolverine's vital signs during a Danger Room training session, Forge noted that his teammate's physical and mental state are "equivalent of an Olympic-level gymnast performing a gold medal routine while simultaneously beating four chess computers in his head."
7 DEADPOOL'S HEALING FACTOR CAME FROM WOLVERINE
X-Men Origins: Wolverine's take on Deadpool's origin story was an absolute aberration from Wade Wilson's comic book beginning, and some fans will understandably never get over how it ended with the Merc with a Mouth's mouth glued shut and his body supplemented with the powers of teleportation and Cyclops' optic blasts.
Weapon X never "pools" together the abilities of numerous other mutants to gift them to Wade in the comics, but the film was actually right in revealing that Deadpool's healing factor came from Logan. Program scientist Dr. Emrys Killebrew gave the former Special Forces member an artificial healing factor based directly on Wolverine's.
6 HIS YEARS OF TRAVEL AND TRAINING HAVE MADE HIM HIGHLY INTELLIGENT
Wolverine is primarily known for his brutish nature, but he's actually far more knowledgeable than some fans realize. Thanks to his incredibly long lifespan, Logan has traveled around the world and amassed extensive knowledge of several languages and cultures.
The X-Men films never showed this off, but Logan is fluent in English, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Cheyenne, Spanish, Arabic, and Lakota, and he also has some knowledge of French, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Korean, Hindi, Telugu, Persian, German, and Portuguese.
5 LOGAN HAS TO POP HIS CLAWS OUT DAILY TO KEEP HIS BODY FROM HEALING
Everyone with pierced ears knows that if you go too long without wearing earrings, your ears can close up and putting earrings back in can become incredibly painful. Just as you're supposed to wear earrings for at least a few minutes every couple of days to prevent your ears from healing, Wolverine has to unsheath his claws to keep the holes in his fists from completely healing.
Logan's healing factor tries to heal his hands whenever he retracts his claws, so to minimize the pain he experiences whenever he pops them out, he unsheaths his claws several times a day.
4 HE OCCASIONALLY FEELS PHANTOM PAINS FROM OLD HEALED INJURIES
In both the comics and the X-Men films, Wolverine makes it seem like his regenerative healing factor keeps him from experiencing pain. That's merely because he has a phenomenal poker face, and doesn't want his enemies or friends to realize how much pain he does actually feel.
Even after his body heals, he can feel the aches and pains he endures in combat. Wolverine has admitted to feeling phantom pains for weeks or months after healing from some injuries.
3 PROFESSOR X BELIEVED HE COULD ONLY PERISH BY REMOVING HIS HEAD
In a series of profiles he named the Xavier Protocols, X-Men founder Charles Xavier listed the strengths and weaknesses of all of his mutant teammates and students. Wolverine's list of weakness was definitely the shortest of all of the X-Men, as Professor X believed there was only one way to eliminate him.
According to the Xavier Protocols, Wolverine can only truly be stopped by decapitating him and removing his head from the vicinity of his body.
2 CARBONADIUM SLOWS HIS HEALING POWERS
While decapitation may be the only permanent way to eliminate Wolverine, there are a few ways to stop him for a significant period of time. It's possible to suppress the efficiency of his healing powers, by shooting or inserting an object made of carbonadium into his body and ensuring it remains lodged within it.
Carbonadium is highly radioactive, and objects composed of it have proven to slow accelerated healing factors. That's likely why Deadpool chooses to wield katanas made of the dangerous metal.
1 HIS ABILITIES ALLOW HIM TO BECOME A HUMAN LIE DETECTOR
With exceptionally powerful psychics like Jean Grey and Professor X on the X-Men, the mutant super-team doesn't necessarily need someone with the powers of a human lie detector. However, Logan's ability to tell whether or not people are telling him the truth is still incredibly useful when he's fighting alongside the Avengers or out on his own.
Wolverine can use his enhanced senses of smell and hearing to detect faint changes in a person's heartbeat and scent due to perspiration when they're lying.