Many fans will remember a time just a few years ago when Marvel was often accused of spreading Wolverine too thin, giving him multiple solo titles alongside placing him front and center in numerous team books - including multiple iterations of both the Avengers and X-Men. But in recent years, the publisher has taken a different approach to making sure everyone gets their fill of their particular brand of "the best there is at what he does" - franchising his legacy into numerous characters with a direct connection to the genuine article, each with either their solo title or a place in a team book (except that is, for the original Wolverine, curiously enough).
With the original Logan now back in action after a few years spent seemingly dead (though still mysteriously galavanting around the Marvel Universe in search of Infinity Stones), we thought it high time to run down all the Wolverines (there's more than a few) currently popping claws and punching jaws in Marvel Comics.
(And that's without even dredging up Albert and Elsie-Dee, the X-Treme X-Men James Howlett, or the still-unresolved Wolverine clone from Age of Ultron... are they still around, given Secret Wars?)
The original “best there is at what he does” is James Howlett (better known to most as Logan), a nigh-unkillable ultimate soldier with a pernicious healing factor and razor-sharp claws... but almost any comic book fan can tell you that.
A little less clear are Wolverine’s recent whereabouts. Since his apparent death in 2014, when he was encased in molten adamantium, his body was housed in a remote cabin in the Canadian wilderness. Despite this seemingly inescapable fate, Wolverine was spotted alive and well – and in the possession of an Infinity Stone, no less – in Marvel Legacy #1. He’s since been appearing in brief “post-credits” scenes in various Marvel titles.
Old Man Logan
Following 2015’s Secret Wars which rearranged parts of Marvel’s multiverse, the only Logan on tap in the Marvel Universe has been Old Man Logan, a transplant from an alternate timeline where Wolverine went crazy and killed the X-Men, and a conglomerate of villains nearly destroyed the Earth.
Always reluctant to acknowledge the Wolverine identity, Old Man Logan has largely co-existed alongside Laura Kinney, the current Wolverine, though Logan’s recent adventures have primarily led him to re-join the X-Men on a full-time basis. Old Man Logan appears every month in his own ongoing series, as a member of the X-Men in X-Men Gold, and frequent appearances in other books as well.
Laura Kinney (a.k.a.. X-23) is partial genetic clone of James Howlett, the original Wolverine who possesses the same healing factor, heightened senses, and adamantium claws as her predecessor. Though she was raised to be a merciless assassin, she became a reluctant hero after meeting Wolverine and joining the X-Men.
Since the original Wolverine’s death, Laura has taken up his mantle (and a version of his yellow and blue costume) as the star of All-New Wolverine. Now that the original is back, however, she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Aside from an upcoming story entitled “Old Woman Laura” that shows a possible future for the young hero, she’s joining the roster of the upcoming X-Men Red under the leadership of Jean Grey.
OK, so Honey Badgers and Wolverines aren’t the same thing – but this Honey Badger, better known as Gabby, is inspired directly by Wolverine the hero. The genetic duplicate of Laura Kinney, the current Wolverine, Gabby is something of Laura’s sidekick/younger sister, who possesses all the powers of her progenitor in the body of a young girl.
Gabby’s codename “Honey Badger” is a relatively recent development for the character, who appears regularly in All-New Wolverine, and who looks to be joining her “sister” in the line-up of X-Men Red.
Jonathan the Wolverine is unique among Marvel’s many Wolverine because, well… he’s an actual Wolverine.
Rescued by Squirrel Girl from a lab where he was the subject of genetic experiments, she brought him to Laura Kinney, the current Wolverine, under the mistaken impression that Laura could speak to wolverines.
Fortunately for Jonathan, Gabby (see above) took a liking to him, and he now acts as her pet and occasional protector.
Another alternate universe transplant, Jimmy Hudson is the son of Wolverine from the Ultimate Universe. Raised by James and Heather Hudson (better known as two of the members of Alpha Flight in the mainstream Marvel Universe), Jimmy nonetheless has powers akin to those of his father - including claws that he also has the power to coat in organic metal, not unlike Colossus’ skin.
Since arriving in the mainstream Marvel Universe following 2015’s Secret Wars (the same crossover that brought in Old Man Logan and destroyed the Ultimate Universe), Jimmy’s been palling around with the original X-Men in X-Men Blue - a relationship he’ll continue, alongside another of Wolverine’s kids…
Though he has other children operating in the mainstream Marvel Universe, Daken is unique among the current Wolverines in that he is the son of the original Wolverine from the core Marvel Universe. Like most of Wolverine’s genetic duplicates and children, he’s inherited his father’s healing powers, heightened senses, and claws.
Though he’s primarily operated a villain, Daken has also operated as a kind of anti-hero as the Wolverine of Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers leading up to 2010’s Siege. Discovering he was terminally ill, Daken set about a plan to kill the X-Men and then himself as a kind of twisted revenge on his father. Though his body was seemingly incinerated as a result of his plot, Daken has since returned – and been a bit more heroic – even apparently joining X-Men Blue alongside Jimmy Hudson – the son of the Ultimate Wolverine, who was raised in a different reality.
The original X-Babies, created by the villainous Mojo in his alternate world where TV ratings equal power, were infantilized versions of the X-Men who possess similar powers but have the mentality - or at least experience - of young children. Another batch of X-Babies, which our current lil' Logan hails from, were later created by one of Mojo's rivals.
Wolvie, the X-Babies resident bite-sized berserker, is about to venture out of his bubble into the multiverse as a member of the newly-reforming Exiles team – a mission that, according to writer Saladin Ahmed, will shake his innocent worldview.
Better known as H-Alpha (or Clayton to his friends), this Hulk/Wolverine genetic hybrid emerged as part of the "Weapons of Mutant Destruction" crossover in which Amadeus Cho and the former Weapon X squad teamed up to take on a group of evil geneticists bent on combining the DNA of the two old (and, at the time both deceased) rivals.
Fortunately for Cho and the mutants, while the plan actually succeeded, Clayton's heroic nature kept him from being the weapon his creators wanted. Unfortunately, they had a much more nasty back-up plan in H-Beta, Clayton's genetic successor, who Clayton was forced to kill to defeat.
Weapon H is now anchoring his own ongoing series as a hero with the strength of the Hulk and the claws and powers of Wolverine - an heir to two Marvel legacies.