“Mutation. It is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.”
Welcome to the X-Men.
The world of the X-Men is more or less like our own, with one important difference: the existence of mutants. But these are not the normal, minor genetic mutations that allow species to change and evolve: these mutations are much more apparent, causing significant and sometimes fantastical changes to those blessed – or cursed – with them.
Mutations normally manifest at puberty, and can manifest in any person, in any form. While some mutant abilities force their bearers into hiding, living a life as freaks or outcasts, others can be described as nothing less than superpowers. They range from mental abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis, to physical abilities like super strength, to energy-based abilities, and more. Some mutants look no different than normal humans; others are not so lucky.
Unsurprisingly, many of those humans without mutant abilities are none too pleased to see the next stage of human evolution spring up before their eyes. There are some who regard mutants as a threat, a danger, something to be locked up – or at least kept tabs on and controlled. Others take a different view, seeing mutants as subjects to be exploited and experimented upon, to be made into weapons - used rather than feared. And there are those among the mutant community who are just as firmly convinced that war between humans and mutants is inevitable – such as Erik Lensherr, aka Magneto, a mutant leader who is wholly convinced that mutants must either exterminate humans, or be exterminated themselves.
Despite plenty of fear and hostility on both sides, however, there are those who still have hope that humanity and mutantkind can learn to coexist peacefully. The mutant Charles Xavier, aka ‘Professor X,’ has dedicated his life’s work to the integration of mutant and human societies, while also recognizing that for mutants, safe haven and control of their powers are paramount. His School for Gifted Youngsters, in addition of providing a training ground for young mutants, is also home to his 'X-Men.’ The X-Men are a team of mutants, many of whom have trained with Xavier since their own youths. They are dedicated to protecting both humans and mutants from all sorts of threats, including attacks from mutants with less charitable agendas. Xavier's hope is that by working selflessly to protect a world that fears and hates them, the X-Men can prove to humanity that not all mutants are a threat, and in time, inspire an attitude of peace, tolerance, and acceptance.
On the other side of the equation are people like Colonel William Stryker, head of the defunct Weapon X project, a secretive military project co-run by the Canadian and American governments. The purpose of Weapon X was to turn people into living weapons, mainly by experimenting on mutants, enhancing their mutant abilities by whatever means available.
One of Weapon X’s more memorable experiments was carried out on a Canadian mutant of uncertain name and origin, commonly known as Logan. His primary mutation, an accelerated healing factor that allowed him to quickly recover from almost any injury, made him uniquely suited to Stryker’s experiments. He was cut open, and his entire skeleton was covered with the indestructible (and fictional) metal adamantium. This skeleton also included two sets of three bone ‘claws’ that pop out of his hands and retract back into his forearms.
The idea behind reinforcing Logan’s claws and skeleton with adamantium was to create a perfect weapon – one that Stryker would control, using to carry out his own and Weapon X's agendas. Unfortunately for him, it backfired. Logan awoke after the procedure and, horrified at what he had become and having no memory of the fact that he had actually agreed to the surgery, escaped from the facility and the Weapon X program, striking out on his own.
Not much is known about Logan’s past. He remembers little of his life before the procedure that gave him his adamantium; memories of the surgery itself come to him only in flashes, usually while dreaming.
The surgery had two major consequences. The first, of course, was physical. Whereas earlier, Logan’s healing ability allowed him to fight without fear of most injuries and his bone claws provided an unexpected weapon, now his bones are unbreakable and he has the equivalent of knives literally at his fingertips at all times.
This near-invulnerability has allowed him to survive completely independently, depending on himself, his own strength, and his knowledge that he can take care of himself and fight his way through any obstacle – at least, any physical obstacle.
Logan was never meant to remember the Weapon X procedure. Whether his memory was meant to be entirely wiped was less clear, but it happened, nonetheless. Apart from brief flashes of memory such as his dreams of the Weapon X surgery, and scattered tidbits of knowledge without background or explanation – such as the fact that he goes by the name ‘Logan’ – his past is a mystery. He remembers neither his given name nor anything about his family or origins. The only physical object he has that links him to his past is a set of dogtags with the codename ‘Wolverine.’
Before being unexpectedly thrown into the X-Men’s lives, Logan was a loner. When we first meet him, he is earning money as a cage fighter in one of what is likely a string of dive bars in Canada. He lived on the road, and when he discovered the young mutant Rogue hiding in the back of his trailer, his first reaction was to tell her to get out. He didn’t like to make waves, preferring to live his life and drink his beer in what peace he could find.
That all changed, however, when Rogue stowed away in the back of his trailer. Suddenly, for the first time in perhaps years, Logan was drawn into the lives and concerns of other people – whether he liked it or not. Because unbeknownst to either of them, Rogue’s movements were being tracked: Magneto had sent Sabretooth to capture her for plans of his own, and when Sabretooth attacked, Logan was injured and knocked unconscious.
He and Rogue were rescued by Cyclops and Storm, two of the X-Men. Logan woke up in Xavier's mansion, and suddenly he was no longer alone. He was surrounded by people just as lost and outcast as he was – and there were people, like the Professor, willing to help him, as well as people like Rogue and the X-Man Jean Grey who he would come to care about despite himself. Though Logan is originally dismissive of Xavier's whole operation, he's perceptive enough to realize that the Professor's benevolence and desire to help his fellow mutants is something too rare to turn down wholesale, and he slowly comes to accept the idea of being part of a team. By the end of the first movie, Logan's working to take down Magneto alongside Cyclops, with whom he’d developed an immediate rivalry. In the second, he’s recruited to babysit as soon as he returns to the mansion, and he does so without complaint.
Understandably, Logan harbors some curiosity about his past, enough to agree to remain at the Xavier Institute in the first film in exchange for Xavier attempting to help him discover what had happened to him. This has changed by the end of the second movie, however. While Logan’s curiosity about his past is not gone, he chooses to leave with the X-Men rather than take the opportunity to remain with Stryker and learn about his origins. He's realized that learning more about who he used to be is not as important as he'd once thought - especially if doing so means going back to work with someone like Stryker.
Given his less than cushy lifestyle and the past that still haunts him, Logan’s attitude is surprisingly upbeat. While he certainly has his moments of angst, and can be gruff and somewhat intimidating, he has a healthy sense of humor and isn’t afraid to make it known when he cares about someone. He works off instinct and is a fierce protector of those he sees as his own – he has no problem killing those threatening him or his, though he takes no pleasure in killing and only resorts to doing so when necessary. He falls in love easily, and is quietly empathetic toward loners like himself, prone to 'adopting' young, troubled mutants such as Rogue.
However, Logan’s years of fending for himself – fifteen years between Weapon X and meeting Xavier – have left their mark. Logan’s focus is on survival, first of all: his first reaction when he wakes in the X-Mansion is to grab the person leaning over him and put his claws to her throat. Only after he’s determined that he’s in no danger does he ask about his surroundings, and about Rogue. While he obviously cares for Rogue and the others, he’s far from demonstrative of his feelings. He’s still a loner at heart, and even after he accepts the X-Men as his own people, he values his privacy and still has a tendency to go off by himself, often without warning.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
Aside from allowing him to recover quickly from all but the most instantaneously fatal wound, Logan’s healing factor also protects him from illness or disease, as well as granting him enhanced senses and physical endurance due to his constant cellular regeneration. He can see in the darkness as well as he can in the daylight, hear beyond the abilities of normal humans, and track by even the faintest scent.
In addition to his natural abilities, the ‘improvements’ granted him by the Weapon X project make him uniquely suited to close combat, as well as advancing him from quick-healing to nearly invulnerable (he is shot in the head in X2, but the bullet cannot pass through his adamantium-covered skull and he survives.)
Logan is an excellent fighter with plenty of experience. Occasionally, he will lapse into a kind of ‘berserker rage,’ becoming extremely aggressive and effective, driven completely by instinct. These are rare, and seem to be triggered by very extreme circumstances, when Logan is feeling especially threatened, or when those he has an interest in protecting are in great danger. These rages end once the threat is neutralized and do not seem to have any lingering effects.
Of course, his healing abilities are not instantaneous, and there are a lot of people on the station with abilities against which he’s never been tested. I have no idea how he’d do against a Spartan, but he is five and a half feet tall. So there’s that.
He’s also incredibly vulnerable to any hypothetical station residents who happen to be able to control metal.