Although he didn’t join the group until more than 10 years after it was created, the Canadian hero called both “Wolverine” and "Logan" is the most widely known member of the X-Men. Born a mutant, he was gifted with heightened senses, bone claws, and a healing factor that slowed his aging and made him tough to kill. Logan was eventually subjected to an experiment called "Weapon X" that laced his skeleton with adamantium, a metal alloy that made him nearly indestructible. The same experiment apparently wiped out his memories, leaving him haunted by his unknown past.
While comic book readers have been able to piece together the popular character's past over the years, Logan only managed to regain his memories a few years ago. Now, movie audiences will get their own crash course on Wolverine's beginnings in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which hits theaters this week.
For anyone who enjoys Wolverine stories and wants do some reading before (or after) the film premieres this week, we've compiled a list of must-read stories starring the mutant who's “the best he is at what he does” -- and as you'll learn from the stories below, what he does is provide some great reading!
WOLVERINE: ROAD OF BONES: Some stories are best told in prose. This novel by David Mack (the best-selling author of "Star Trek: A Time to Heal") involves Wolverine mourning the death of his wife Mariko before embarking on a world-spanning quest to track down a miracle cure that could also spell danger for the human race.
If you’ve never read a Wolverine comic in your life or you’re not really interested in superhero stories, this novel offers a crash course on Marvel’s most famous mutant while also delivering a layered thriller.
WOLVERINE: RETURN OF THE NATIVE: Written by Greg Rucka ("Whiteout") and drawn by Darick Robertson, "Return of the Native" involves a mysterious woman who may be another escapee of the Weapon X Project. As he tries to figure out the truth behind this woman and what connection they may share, Logan is also once again hunted by his arch-enemy Victor Creed.
An emotional, tragic story that involves one of the most vicious battles between Wolverine and Sabretooth ever depicted, "Return of the Native" matches up the two characters who will be facing off in the movie, so check it out.
MARVEL PREMIERE CLASSIC: WOLVERINE: The original mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller ("Sin City"). This story was the first to establish Logan’s strong connection to Japan and showed us that he is, at heart, a would-be samurai who longs for peace and discipline and who lives by his own moral code.
WEAPON X: Written and drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith, this story was the first time readers were given details on just how Logan’s skeleton became unbreakable and what other sick things were done to him in the Weapon X process.
This is a haunting story where the villains aren’t super-powered mutants but callous scientists who look on Logan solely as a weapon to manipulate. It's also a major influence for the film.
ORIGIN: THE TRUE STORY OF WOLVERINE: Written by Paul Jenkins with art by Andy Kubert, this was the story that shocked readers and gave us the first full account of Logan’s childhood, where he came from and how he was raised.
Judging by the various "Wolverine" movie trailers and clips we've seen thus far, the movie is basing a lot of its story on this volume, so be sure to pick it up.
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" hits theaters May 1.
What did we miss? Any must-read "Wolverine" stories you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comment section!