Wolverine, Loner / Conformist

Always a fan favorite, Wolverine is a character that is in no fear of falling out of the public eye. It seems like every time a team book is pitched or a major event hatched by Marvel, Wolverine is attached in some way.While there are obvious qualities that make a character like Wolverine so popular: misunderstood, violent, intelligent, charismatic, and tough, there is a more maligned quality to Wolverine that could be argued is his most attractive: the loner’s want for a family/home. There were more than a few sites/forums that mocked the promotion of Wolverine to headmaster at the new Jean Grey school formed at the old X-Men estate in Westchester. There would be no Cyclops, Storm or other ex-leader of the X-Men above him. Purely him, kind of alone, leading the way of a group of younger X-men.

In his much jumbled history, Wolverine has been many things: triple agent, assassin, Samurai, ninja, father, husband, team mate, student. But, one thing that stays constant is Logan’s (I do not call him James, no thanks) constant search for family and home.

Do not be mistaken though, he is still a misanthrope through and through. In the past, Wolverine was always a character that was warm, but isolated. Back in the Claremont Logan would randomly pop his claws around people as if he were flexing a muscle. I am sure it would be enough to make anyone a little bit nervous around him. But, like the misunderstood teenager, Logan is simply expressing himself in a way that would show to others: “I don’t want or need you”  But, if only he were this nihilistic.

For every pop of the claw that pushes people away, Wolverine is always the most dependable to help rescue anyone in need of help. This was one of the bits of Age of X that was a bit predictable. In that reality, Wolverine was half alive due to his powers being stripped. He was so far gone that if he were to pop his claws and fight, he would almost certainly die shortly there after. At the end though, Logan decided to fight with the strangers. This is a philosophy that has carried Logan through his history. He will sacrifice himself to save others, because while a loner, Logan is a tender character looking for a home. I doubt it too far of a stretch to imagine we can’t all empathize with that a little bit.

Perhaps his constant search, and defense, of home has lead him to facilitate several fatherly, innocent friendships with younger people. Unlike Cyclops who has pretty much always been a responsibly adult, Wolverine is a petulant teenager that gets being ostracized or ousted from society.His relationship with Kitty Pryde was really the start of giving Logan a more human edge. Often feeling like nothing more than a killing machine, it was his friendship with Kitty in the 70′s and 80′s that lead to Logan not losing it and destroying everyone.  But, this relationship, while important was only the start.

It was not until the 90′s did Wolverine really develop a more round humanity to his character. But, it was one relationship in particular that helped anchor him more and develop his family and home.

Jubilee, like her mentor, is a fan favorite as well. There seems to be a deep enjoyment from her character in the comics community. This is why it is not shock that Wolverine’s relationship to Logan is perhaps one, if not the, strongest bond in the Marvel universe. While they have certainly had their bumps (The forgivable attempt to make Jubilee a vampire and thus further ostracize her) in their bond, they have still stuck out damn near everything (both dying or near dying several times.)  But even at their worst, Jubilee still looked towards Wolverine for guidance and friendship.

It is the same sort of qualities that make Wolverine a well suited headmaster for his new school. With the X-Event Schism thankfully done, it appears Wolverine will be taking over as headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

This is not a half cocked idea as many of the major comic events have seemed as late. This is perhaps the most reasonable and correct repercussions to come out of them. Even as of late he had taken on the same fatherly role with Hisako/Armor.

This type of fatherliness is just an extension of his search for a home. In fact, it is a result of the loneliness he feels as an self-isolated figure. For Wolverine to make the leap from loner to headmaster is just indicative of the history and a wild, yet good-natured loner like Logan.  A man searching for family and home. A want I think we could all understand.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


Kevin Thurman is a writer based in Chicago. He blogs about comics, life, and music at errantghost.tumblr.com.

See more, including free online content, on .

Also by Kevin Thurman:

Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews


Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization


Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan


The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil


a feature-length documentary film on celebrated comics writer Warren Ellis

creative consultant

Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide


Leave a Reply