Canadians are considered to be nice and friendly people, but the stereotypes usually forget to mention the country's outlying resident: the surly James "Logan" Howlett, aka Wolverine of Marvel's X-Men. Born in northern Alberta in the late 17th century, Wolverine is known for his self-healing powers, immortality, and, of course, retractable claws that were later coated in adamantium courtesy of the Weapon X program.
The character was actually created in the mid-1970s by three Americans, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr. After Logan's prominent place with the X-Men in the comics, animated TV show, video games, and films (where Hugh Jackman made him a cinematic icon), Canadian residents are now pushing for a statue of the cigar-chomping superhero.
First reported by Yahoo News, Alberta denizens want to erect a monument to the long-living mutant not in the province's capital city of Edmonton, but in the urban service area of Fort McMurray, where real-world Wolverines make their homes. The idea began in Edmonton when the city was considering a new arena for its hockey team, the National Hockey League Oilers. During this time, Brian LaBelle suggested that they build a Wolverine statue to revitalize the downtown area. His friend, Sameer Singh, loved the idea and started an Indiegogo page to raise money for a statue. So far, the campaign has only raised a little over $2,900 of its $85,000 goal.
Singh thought it would be a great way to give back to the Fort McMurray community after a 2016 wildifre (nicknamed "The Beast") forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate their homes. The costliest disaster in the area's history, the fire wiped out nearly 2,500 homes and buildings, affecting forests and the Athabasca oil sands crude oil deposits.
Not surprisingly, a local comics and collectibles shop is all for the plan.
"We are very excited at the prospect of a Wolverine statue in Alberta, especially because he was born here. After the Fort McMurray Beast fire in 2016, the idea of having a symbol of regeneration in our city is inspiring to say the least," Ashley Laurenson told SYFY WIRE over Facebook; she is the manager of Nerdvana Collectible, Comics and Hobby in Fort McMurray. "We definitely back the idea, as do our customers and we are encouraging people to support the campaign and we are spreading the word."
Even Canadian officials are weighing in.
"It's not surprising that Wolverine's hometown is Fort McMurray — they are both tough as nails. The people of the Wood Buffalo region have inspired us with the same indomitable spirit and almost superhuman ability to recover from adversity that they share with their alter ego," Ricardo Miranda, Alberta tourism minister, told Yahoo.
The idea of superhero statues erected in the hero's hometown is not a new idea. In honor of the character's 75th anniversary, a 13-foot bronze statue of Captain America came to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the birthplace of Steve Rogers. In addition, The Detroit News reported back in September that a RoboCop effigy will arrive in the Michigan city sometime next spring. If they do end up making a monument Wolverine, it needs to be forged out of Adamantium and that's non-negotiable. We know it's a fictional alloy, but make it happen, Alberta!