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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #32

Each day in June you got an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the features this month! Check ‘em out!

We finish off the month with one of the most requested spotlights – a whole bunch of Wolverine firsts!


First time Wolverine said “bub”

1975’s X-Men #94 (pretty quickly, huh?)


First time Wolverine went into berserker rage

Early in 1975’s X-Men #96…

and then even more so later on in the issue…


First time we learned Wolverine’s claws are part of his body (plus earlier in the issue is the first time we saw his face without the mask)

1976’s X-Men #98….


First time Wolverine called Jean Grey “red”

Later in that same issue…


First time we learn that Wolverine’s name is Logan

1977’s X-Men #103, from an unlikely source…


First time we learn that Wolverine has a healing power

Before 1978’s X-Men #116, we had an IDEA, but this was the first time it was spelled out…


First time Wolverine says “I’m the best there is at what I do”

The first page of 1982’s Wolverine mini-series says it all…


Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts! While not a monthly thing, the feature likely will return on SOME basis in the future! Send your ideas to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


I’d wondered when Wolverine’s healing power was first mentioned. Particularly before it was revealed that his claws weren’t just a part of his costume, it was strange to see him referred to as a mutant when the only power he seemed to exhibit was an enhanced sense of smell.

Travis Pelkie

July 1, 2011 at 4:41 am

Pretty cool. I would’ve guessed that he said Bub in the Hulk issues, but I guess not. I oughta find the Essential volumes again, and read the early XMen/Claremont/etc stuff.

A question for those who read this run:

I’m reading these issues right now, and I have a question. Erik the Red kindaps Havok and Polaris, and they’re gone for issues, yet no one seems to care. No one asks about them, is concerned, nothing, they all return back to life as usual and don’t hunt him down. Then it seems he sets Havok and Polaris up to be killed by Firelord and then they disappear from the book for a while. I’m up to the Shi’ar saga and it looks like this situation is not going to be resolved in my trade paperback from what I can see from flipping ahead.

Does anyone know when the X-Men finally get around to addressing the fact that two of their members, including Cyclops brother, are missing and possibly dead? I’m going to get the 3rd Masterworks today, hoping the resolution appears there.

resolved c107/8 iirc.

how about when he first stopped referring to himself as The Wolverine.

Anyone know when they first confirmed Wolverine’s claws were adamantium?

@T: Havok and Polaris were left behind on Muir Island after their attack on Firelord. They reappear during the time when Jean believed the other X-Men were dead between #114-129, co-starring in the Mutant X Saga in #125-128.

The whole resolution with Havok and Polaris gets shoved entirely off-panel, with Moira belatedly explaining that Professor X freed them from Erik the Red’s “mindlock” in Uncanny #109, and that the two are recuperating on Miur Island.

They also turn up in a Marvel Team-Up story by Byrne and Claremont set a few days after X-Men #109 or so, where Havok is ambushed on Muir Island and imprisoned by the Living Monolith’s henchmen. Polaris, left for dead, contacts the Avengers for help since the X-Men are busy being kidnapped by Mesmero in Uncanny #111 that same month. Havok is later freed by Spider-Man while Thor battles the Monolith, and he returns to Muir Island by hitching a ride with Thor. That’s from MTU #69-70.

Thanks guys. Overall I’m loving this run, but the one nagging annoyance I’m having is that no one seems to care in the least that Cyclops brother and Polaris are mind-controlled and kidnapped by Erik the Red. They’re just having a grand old time with hardly even a throwaway line to express concern over their lost comrades

Sounds like Claremont forgot about them, then remembered/was reminded.

knew about when he was first called logan have the issue. though surprised to find out out that the reveal of always having his claws is the same one where he gives jean the nick name red. plus did not know the other x-men had not yet learned about Woverine’s healing factor.

Some more Wolverine firsts I’d like to see:

First time it’s revealed his bones are laced with adamantium

First time it’s revealed he doesn’t remember his past

First time it’s revealed that his age is completely unknown

Great moments, all. Loved these comics, gathering them several years after the fact.

I remember reading that catchphrase on the first page of Wolverine #1 and getting very excited. I was already excited just to see Wolverine in his own mag but that opening line really convinced me this was going to be good.

Helped a lot that he had never used that line before. My enthusiasm for it was gone by the third or fourth time (which, to be fair, was over the next few years, it’s not like he opened every scene with it).

It was annoying when the books first came out, too. Of course the series was still bi-monthly (and continued to be for a while), and a lot of things got lost back then in the bi-monthlies.


July 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

1976?s X-Men #98 is the first time we learn that Wolverine’s claws are part of his body, but I don’t think we learn that the claws themselves are made of bone (under the adamantium) until 1993’s Wolverine (vol. 2) #75. (The whole “bone-claw-as-part-of-the-mutation” thing was then re-affirmed during 2001 “Wolverine: Origin” mini-series, which of course is the first time we learns that his birth name is James Howlett.)

So from 1976 to 1993, did everyone just assume that the claws were 100% adamantium and that they were implanted in him during the Weapon X program?


So from 1976 to 1993, did everyone just assume that the claws were 100% adamantium and that they were implanted in him during the Weapon X program?

I don’t know if it’s so much “assume” as that’s what we were told. That’s what the story was until somebody decided differently–just like the claws were a mechanical attachment to that metal skeleton until somebody decided otherwise.

I first noticed that catchphrase in an issue of What The-? (it might have been the first one). He kept saying it over and over, and it seemed strange to me because I had no memory of ever seeing it before, and I’d read almost every issue of X-Men during the mid-80s.

‘I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do is….. Wear Women’s Underwear!’

Michael Howey

July 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Wolverine’s healing factor was mentioned but the idea of heling from a severe wound in seconds wasn’t. In faxt, his healing didn#t really kick in till Claremont left.

One of the early Wolverine solo stories (either in his own book or MCP) has a scene where he’s beaten up and tied up with chains. He notes that even though he has virtually no energy left, he can still cut the chains by extending his claws, specifically because the claws are mechanical and not connected to his muscles. And then he collapses from his injuries and doesn’t wake up for hours.

comicbookreader, Yes the story was that the claws were completely artificial and his bones were “laced” with adamantium. These enhancements were possible because of Wolverine’s healing factor.

I thought that Dr. Cornelius (?) made an off-hand comment in Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X storyline that Logan had claws, even if he’d never used them…?

Not true, Michael Howey. His healing factor killed a Brood egg twice during Claremont’s run.

It’s not that his healing factor didn’t come into play during the initial Claremont run–it was that it was a much slower and more subtle thing than what subsequent writers made of it.

And I realize I just used “subtle” and “Claremont” in the same sentence, which says a lot about how over-the-top Wolvergod has become in the last couple of decades.

I remember most of these. When Wolverine was first introduced, he was a much more limited character, at least in terms of his powers. Indeed, he was little more than a normal human being with claws. The healing factor was there but, as noted, it was generally more subtle. The notion that it could cure practically anything was not a factor. Indeed, I remember in X-Men #132, when Wolverine is trying to invade the Hellfire Club by himself (I actually think that it was this storyline that really launched Wolverine as “fan-favourite”) he spins to avoid being shot up by a machine gun because he is concerned that the bullets could cut him in half. As time has gone on, the character and his healing factor have been elevated to ridiculous extremes.

I would argue that the first appearance of Wolverine’s healing factor is actually Uncanny 142. In retrospect knowing what Wolverine powers turned out to be, someone could look back at X-Men 116 and could understandable come to the conclusion that this was the first time his healing factor was shown… but I honestly think that is a stretch. It is pretty much a generic tough guy through away one liner… I’m sure Batman, Daredevil and Punisher have all said “I heal fast” at one point or another in their career as well. 142 however is the first time Wolverine’s mutant power is definitively stated to have a healing ability and he is shown / stated using it. I have a hard time excepting that that line 117 was meant as anything more than a one liner because at no point between 117 and 142 is Wolverine ever depicted with a healing factor nor is it even acknowledged. It might have been the impetus of Claremont’s train of thought to give Wolverine a healing factor, but I don’t think it is anything more than that.

The speed of Wolverine’s healing factor was shown in Fall of the Mutants, when Forge’s lasers cut him to shreds. He took months to completely recover from the damage. The same goes for when the Reavers crucified him and he was running around with Jubilee afterward.

Nowadays, writers make Wolverine heal in seconds and write him as if he’s invulnerable. Like Civil War when Nitro nuked him and nothing but a skeleton was left. Wolverine regenerated on the spot.

Yeah, I remember when the Reavers crucified/tortured hm, He limped around for months, coughing and hacking — as a kid, I was genuinely concerned about him…worried he had been ‘broken’, or even that (hahahaha) he might be AGING. Around that time Marvel Comics Presents (still miss it) had told a couple stories suggesting that Wolverine had been around for a looooong time…

Now, his healing factor kicks in instantly, he often appears tall and hairless, his history puts him in touch with just about EVERY character in the Marvel U, and his once-intriguing mysterious past is so mired in conflict that no one really cares anymore..

I miss that early-90’s Wolverine. He kicked a lot of ass.

Did he quit smoking..?

The story line was originally that Wolverine’s adamantium bones were keeping his healing factor suppressed as it had to work overtime to keep him alive. Once he recovered from Magneto forcible removing the adamantium, his healing factor kicked into high gear, to the point of near immortality. I’m not sure if it was dealt with, but I assume Apocalypse did some tweaking when he made Logan into Death, which may explain while his healing is so powerful now.

Also, in regards to the claws, during Weapon X, it is left ambiguous to whether the claws were natural or not, with the Professor quickly coming up with a dismissive statement to allay Cornellius’s concerns (though it does lean towards them being part of his mutation). They did implant the metal conduits in his hand so he did not damage himself when popping his claws.

I’d like to know the first appearance of Sabertooth and Wolverine as arch enemies. I believe Sabertooth was a prominent Iron Fist villain before, though I’m not entirely sure.

“Anyone know when they first confirmed Wolverine’s claws were adamantium?”

That goes back to his original Hulk appearances.

“I’d like to know the first appearance of Sabertooth and Wolverine as arch enemies.”

I think the first hinting of this is in Uncanny X-Men #212, where it’s clear they’ve known each other for a while. And in the next issue, Psylocke looks into their minds as they battle and sees that they’ve fought before.

And, yes, Sabretooth was originally an Iron Fist villain.


The whole ramping up of the healing factor is what was addressed in the first 6 issues of the new Wolvie series; “Best There Is” (even though the series is written horribly, IMHO).
But they truly run him through the wringer and explain that his healing factor started off as something that tok time to work and his body labored to heal itself (with the known outcome that it WOULD heal – that WAS his mutation).
But as it got overused and overtaxed it just amplified itself to the level it is today where he can regenerate from a single cell (not really… or can he?).

Also, one o fthe unwritten mysteries of Wolvie was that originally he wasn’t even supposed to be HUMAN.
In # 98 is was on panel where a tech is looking at the X-Men’s vitals and asks if WOlvie is even a mutant, because his levels are nothing like the others.

In the X-Men Companion book set (a 2-issue magazine sized paperback set from the early 1980’s) interviews with Claremont had told that Wolvie was originally thought to be a mutated Wolverine!
That he WAS a wolverine and mutated to human level.

Weird, huh?

But, that was tossed out and his elevated “animal senses” and healing factor became the basis for his mutation.


Ah man, reading all these posts I’ve forgotten how Wolverine has been changed over the years….for the worst. He’s so indestructible now its a farce…

My first real introduction to Wolverine was in a comic shop in Spokane. It was Frank Miller’s Wolverine cover (I believe). It was a picture of it up on the wall with his claws. Awesome. That shop is sadly no more.

I notice there’s no mention of the ‘origin’ up there. Thank god. :)

I remeber the Guardians of the galaxy issues when Dr Doom brain was put is Wolerines body. The artist made the skeleton blades look very mechanical. Logans great great grand daughter had one of the Blades (broken off by Gladiator) and they were razor thin not oval. funny how things can change afterwards. (and yes I know alt future)

Also I do remember his blades being drawn flat and thin a lot not oval. His claws were always drawn too long by some artists. Once rectracted he would never be able to bend his arm.

Ybrik Metaknight

July 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

A favorite of mine: The first real Wolverine solo story (to my knowledge) was 1980’s Uncanny X-Men (still called just X-Men at the time) #133. Story was titled “Wolverine: Alone” and featured Logan, left for dead by the Inner Circle, fighting his way up through the Hellfire Club to where the other X-Men are being held. It often gets lost in the middle of the very excellent Dark Phoenix Saga, but for my money the only better issue of that storyline is the finale. 133 may not stand by itself all that well, but I’m pretty sure it’s the first time we see Wolverine operating solo (OK, I guess his first appearance may fit the bill, but somehow that feels different), and he really kicks ass here.


no one seems to care in the least that Cyclops brother and Polaris are mind-controlled and kidnapped by Erik the Red. They’re just having a grand old time with hardly even a throwaway line to express concern over their lost comrades

At the risk of sounding like a Claremont apologist (which wouldn’t be the first time…), I think the only time the X-Men not caring about Havok and Polaris is really egregious is when Professor X sends the new X-Men on vacation in issue #101 (as opposed to sending them out to find Havok and Polaris).

The X-Men are seen celebrating Christmas in the opening pages of #98, but there is a throwaway line there from Cyclops, and it’s made clear via that line that the X-Men aren’t even sure that Eric the Red has brainwashed Havok and Polaris (Cyclops wonders what could have caused his brother’s heel turn). After that, the X-Men are caught up in Lang’s attack and the aftermath of Jean’s transformation into Phoenix until the end of issue #101, when the new X-Men go on vacation (but at that point, they’re still not sure that Havok and Polaris were brainwashed).

After that, they go from battling Black Tom and Juggernaut immediately into fighting Magneto, then straight to battling Eric the Red and Firelord before plunging into the stargate that takes them into space to meet the Imperial Guard, the Starjammers and to save the universe. So from issues 102-108, there’s simply no time for them to give much thought to Havok and Polaris, let alone do anything about it (even though those seven issues took over a year to come out, only a few days pass for the characters).

Then, as Mikhail and Omar said, in issue 109 we get the line from Moira that while the X-Men were in space, Xavier deprogrammed Havok and Polaris and sent them to Muir Island.

So yeah, it’s not a perfect situation, and it would have been nice if their brainwashing hadn’t been resolved off panel, between issues, but there’s really only one or two moments where their absence and the X-Men’s inaction in response to it seems overly egregious.

Like much of Claremont’s stuff, I think he was just juggling too many ideas and didn’t have enough room for everything.

well common sense didnt wolverine die and if the admantuim was a attachment and magneto ripped it out wouldnt he just have bone claws unless the molecules of admantuim the healing factor healed his metal claws he had no nose after the put the claw holders

So THAT’S why Jean isn’t wearing any pants when she gets resurrected all those years later.

Seriously, she goes an entire issue of “Fantastic Four” dressed like that. It kind of distracts from the story. You’d think Sue would’ve said something…

[…] While the hero does not go into one of his famed berserker rages, he is described as having “an almost feral fury” as he jumps claws first into the beastly fracas. Even after being chained from head to toe and lying on the ground, Wolverine continues to taunt Hulk as though he has the upper hand (think of the Black Knight scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”). Certainly Wolverine is doing this to anger Hulk into setting him free, but Hulk quickly ends the fight with a “Bwok!” to the face that lets readers know Wolverine’s part of the story has finished. He is saved from the massive impact of Hulk’s knuckle sandwich by his “astonishing stamina” as opposed to his healing factor (which isn’t revealed until “Uncanny X-Men” #116). […]

While Wolvernine’s healing factor was not explicitly described, there were a number of instances in early new X-Men tales where it’s obvious something was going on. For example, at one point during the Shiar encounter Wolverine gets tossed several hundred feet into the air by a guardian/defender of the Mkraan Crystal, I think. He survives the fall back to earth.

where can i find the ad for incredible hulk # 181? oct 1974 , what book is it in??

Wolverine goes into a berserker rage when he fights Wendigo in Hulk 181.

The Hulk 181 ad appears in Marvel Premiere 19, Daredevil 115, and Thor 229.

What is the first time we see Wolverine kill someone?
And if the comic doesn’t acknowledge it, what is the first time we see Wolverine kill someone and the comic does acknowledge it?

OK i know i am old but i remember avengers #136 (i think) being the first one i picked up as a kid and thinking the Beast was the greatest thing (later realized it was a reprint). it was when he first became blue and furry. he was shot multiple times and you could watch the bullet holes heal on his skin. he then went into a beserker rage and when iron man showed up he nearly beat him to death.

so having the claremont/byrne run be the first Xmen i read i loved Wolverine. i seem to remember something in the letters page about readers hating Wolverine until byrne came on and the character started to breath more. the Wolverine Alone story put him over the top. After the insanely good mini-series with Miller everything after was a let down – he decided he was not animal anymore and yet often seemed to be one afterwards when it was cool.

i also liked the Beast a lot but found him to be treated after a while like too much of a joke than a heavy hitter – the guy who almost killed iron man. and when Wolverine went from healing fast to regenerating instantaneously it occurred to me that they ripped off the Beast


The first Avengers issue I bought was 136 (i think – i was young).
It was a reprint from the beginning of the Beast’s blue and furry phase.
At some point he is riddled with bullets, and you can actually see
the bullet holes close. He then goes into a berserker rage and when
Iron Man shows up, he nearly beats him to death.

I started buying the Xmen right around the beginning of the Claremont/Byrne
run, and yeah, not a lot of closure with Eric the Red and the like.
I seem to remember a lot of people in the letters page thinking Wolverine was
a jerk and wanting him gone until Byrne wanted to work with him.
It was definitely the Wolverine Alone story that put him over the top.
(My friends and I were reading this and going nuts over this and the
whole Magda reveal that rewarded close reading of Avengers and all.)
Then seeing the phrase I am the best at what I do at the beginning of
the insanely good Claremont/Miller mini-series was drop dead great.

But the point of the mini-series is that he would not be an animal anymore,
and after that he became more of an animal with each passing issue.
I suppose everything Claremont did (like Led Zeppelin?) that is a cliche now
was a incredibly original revelation the first time. And in the mini-series,
it was remarked that cuts in the morning were scars by nighttime.
So it all wasn’t silly yet.

And as a Beast fan, I got to see him become more and more of a joke
in the Avengers instead of the guy who almost killed Iron Man. His ability
to heal, which was played up as horrific and unexpected (and easier to
swallow from a blueish hulk) never reappeared. But the Beast did all of this first.
(obviously i stopped reading a long time ago)

Has anyone else ever wondered if Wolverine is a Beast rip off?

The detail that Hank had a healing ability for 20 seconds or so is kind of interesting, but there’s really no connection between Beast and Wolverine beyond a vaguely similar hairstyle. Hank’s “bestial” behavior also didn’t last long, and could more or less be chalked up to shock at his transition. Certainly there’s never been any similarity in personality between them–nor in powers, besides the aforementioned oddity about that short-lived and soon forgotten healing incident.

Also, seeing Beast as becoming “a joke” in Avengers is kind of silly, because it was just him going back to his easygoing, fun-loving and big-word-loving personality that he’d always had from the beginning of the X-Men. That was just Hank being Hank.

argh. double posted by mistake. computer crashed the first time.
should have checked first. i suck. boo.

buttler – good points. It’s just that as a young’un i stepped into a time when the Beast did exactly that and then stopped and then Wolverine did those things. Even the hairstyle – Wolverine’s head was more badger like at first. And Beast joking was fine, but he seemed to be less powerful over time. He was played as a joke, not a threat. One might expect Iron Man to be a bit nervous around him, but their foes weren’t.

But as you imply, if you didn’t jump on the merry-go-round at the same moment at age 10 or so, you would not see it as i did, lacking the history. so at age 12, telling people Beast was super powerful and healed quick and i remember when Wolverine wasn’t cool had other people rolling their eyes…

WE first learned Logan’s name in #103, from leprechauns, but the X-Men (specifically Nightcrawler) first learned it in #139, from Heather Hudson.

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