24 April 2009

Spotlight on Wolverine

Wolverine first appeared in the pages of The Incredible Hulk #180 in October 1974 before joining the roster of the Uncanny X-Men in 1975. He has since proliferated into animation and live-action.

Wolverine, sporting an Aussie accent, made his onscreen debut in 1982 on the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "A Firestar Is Born."

Listen in here (ironically, the clip labels him as French Canadian):

Wolverine would next appear in the single episode of a failed X-Men series titled Pryde of the X-Men reprising his Aussie accent. Apparently, the mic up was due to the voice actor interpreting Wolverine's use of the word "dingo" as identifying Wolvy's nationality.

You may notice that although his color scheme changes from show to show, his overall look remains pretty consistent... Lamb chops, big mask, claws, etc.

Wolverine, along with the rest of the X-Men got his big break in 1992 on the X-Men Animated Series donning his classic yellow and blue look.

Wolverine got his fair share of screen time here, though he left the leadership role to the others.

This version of Wolverine also crossed over into two episodes of the '90s Spider-Man animated series episodes eloquently titled "Neogenic Nightmare, Chapter IV: The Mutant Agenda" and "Neogenic Nightmare, Chapter V: Mutants' Revenge." An aside, webbing is no match for adamantium.

From there, Wolverine would only get bigger as he stole the show as a primary character in the trilogy of X-Men live action films beginning in 2000. This version of the character opted for less flashy clothes, as the films even jabbed at the traditional "yellow spandex" uniforms.

He also got to showcase his trademark Fastball Special with Colossus in X3.

Wolverine would return to the small screen in 200 in the animated series X-Men: Evolution.

Being older than the mostly teen-aged team, this extra gruff version of the character took on the responsibility of a reluctant role model and leader. In Evolution, Wolverine traded yellow and blue for orange and brown.

Back in yellow and blue, the 2008 animated series Wolverine and the X-Men had Wolverine become the full-fledged leader of the X-Men. He was tasked with rebuilding the team after the disappearance of Professor X and Jean Grey.

Wolverine also got to don a "sneaky" black stealth suit which admittedly stands out a bit less than bright yellow.

Wolverine also got to perform in the reimagining of the original Hulk vs. Wolverine encounter in the bloody and brutal direct to video Hulk Vs. (Wolverine).

In 30 some short minutes, the movie does a pretty good job of unleashing Wolverine not only on the Hulk but on Deadpool, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike earning the film a deserved PG-13 rating.

Wolverine's crowning achievement, not only of 2009, but of his long career will occur on May 1 with the debut of his own sol feature film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Though the leaked work print of the film was allegedly downloaded 1 million times a month before the films debut, I am sure fans will still turn out to see on the big screen the Weapon X tale only hinted at in X1-3.

Whats next for our favorite mutant? Wolverine is set to star in a Japanese Anime series in 2010. Sounds interesting. As one of the most popular superheroes, up there with Spider-Man and Batman, I am sure there will be plenty more of Wolverine in the future.

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