Comics Creators

When did Wolverine "jump the shark" as a character?

Many would argue that Wolverine as a character was dead long before Marvel actually killed him off. But when was this? Was it when John Byrne left Uncanny X-Men? Was it when we first saw bone claws? Was it when the first Origin mini came out?

Share your thoughts on this.

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I think he’s like any big character where there’s a lot of crap and a lot of good stories with him in it. It certainly wasn’t when Byrne left Uncanny, though. That was just around the time people were starting to latch onto the character, and the Claremont/Miller mini came later during Paul Smith’s run.

I think his overexposure–being on just about every super team–in the 2000s/2010s didn’t help, but I like a lot of the material featuring him produced during that time: Morrison’s New X-Men, Jason Aaron’s long run on the character (including Wolverine and the X-Men), Charlie Huston & Juan Jose Ryp’s The Best There Is, Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force.

Best to ignore anything involving Romulus, though, aside from Daken.


While the early 00s overexposure was damaging, I think Origin may have been that point. The story did not live up to the hype or expectations. I don’t think any origin story was going to live up to what fans hoped for or wanted. It was never going to be truly satisfying. Bits and pieces here and there were enough to tantalize but not set the character down one specific path. Barry Windsor Smith’s Weapon X should have been the closest we ever got to an origin for Wolverine.

The Joker is a character that is approaching a point much like Wolverine. There really isn’t much more to be done with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 10 or so years, DC does the “definitive” origin of the Joker. It will sell well but be an ultimately unsatisfying experience.


Any character has life left in them given the right creative team. I don’t see Wolverine as different in that respect. If anything, my only real problem with him is his relative prominence given a lack of clear direction for the character, an issue I can also aim at Batman.

The thing is, both characters currently have a rather solid direction. I think Old Man Logan, an older version of Logan intent on not repeating his mistakes and the new Batman, a vigilante attempting to work as an officer of the law, are good takes on each.


I think the trouble with Origin and Wolverine subsequently remembering everything after House of M was that no one knew what to do with it. At first there was this sense that they were going to roll out Origin’s affect on current continuity but it never happened. We got a few things here and there with some people calling him James but that’s about it. Then, they did the odd Romulus thing which seemed to contradict Origin and this was wiped out itself. I think a plan on how it would affect modern Wolverine would have done them a world of good.


[quote=“Todd, post:3, topic:3235, full:true”]
Barry Windsor Smith’s Weapon X should have been the closest we ever got to an origin for Wolverine.[/quote]

Only problem with Weapon X is that it seemed to set up the bone claws.

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Nope, I think I’ll just ignore Daken as well.
I read every single issue of the Origins book by Daniel Way and it didn’t convince on Daken, Romulus or Way himself.

Is The Best There Is actually good? I’ve been curious about it for ages.

I never had a problem with the bone claws. As a concept, it worked for me.


I enjoyed it. The only real issue is that Marvel wimped out on showing blood on a book marked For Mature Readers. Around issue 2 or 3, the blood became green. It was so stupid. Other than that, it was a fun story.

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When he quit smoking.


When Bendis put him in the Avengers. That was the beginning of the end.

Daken was really cool in Remender’s X-Force and Marjorie Liu’s Dark Wolverine. But yeah, Origins was largely a waste and turned me off to Way, too.

The Best There Is is a surprisingly intelligent take on Wolverine (it was marketed as just being hyper-violent), that explores ways his healing factor effects his psychology that I hadn’t seen done before. The only negative is the stupid asterisks over the cursing. I don’t remember the blood turning green as Todd does. There were certainly some characters who had green blood, but most of them had normal blood and there was a lot of it through the whole series. Which made the asterisks-instead-of-curses extra stupid.

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In all seriousness it was probably when Claremont left, in a lot of ways. Under Claremont’s pen he was allowed to age and to be a character, and his role was that of the elder statesman with the mysterious past, the occasional killer with the sweet side, who was always nursing some nagging injury and fretting about being past his prime. Now he’s forever in his prime, the mysterious past is gone, the sweet side comes and goes, and his feats are ever-more outrageous. This is what happens when he shifts from being on a narrative path to being an eternal property, and it happens to all company-owned characters eventually.

At the same time I was not joking about the smoking thing—that really exemplified that he is no longer a character but more of a corporate mascot, which is a move that some characters survive (Batman, Spider-Man) while others do not (Superman, Hulk).

That was the beginning of the end of the whole Marvel comics line. There have been some very good books since but by and large, the line has been a turgid mess since that title debuted, often as a direct result of that title’s influence.


I personally preferred when they were implants in bionic housings.

Actually, now that I think of it, there is one definitive jump the shark moment in Wolverine’s history: when he regenerated from being burned to a skeleton by Nitro in Guggenheim/Ramos’s Civil War tie-in. The most jump-over-sharky moment of any superhero, I imagine.


I’m pretty sure he’s regenerated from just a drop of blood before. Being burned to a skeleton is merely a flesh wound.


Romulus and drop of blood regen.

Ie Jeph Loeb and Daniel Way

That’s what Guggenheim said at the time. The drop of blood thing happened in an old Claremont/Alan Davis issue and there was magic involved.

Off the top of my head, in Morrison’s run he also got burned to a crisp by the sun and survived, and in Whedon’s run he survived entering a planet’s atmosphere from space and only had to take ten minutes or so to catch his breath.

I’m surprised that an outrageous feat of healing would be that controversial. Isn’t that basically what he does? (And I hear he’s the best he is at what he does.)

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Are Marvel leaving Wolverine as we knew him as dead then? Not read much of him lately and was wondering if they were intending sticking with Old man logan.