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The strange loves of Wolverine

Contributed by
Jan 18, 2018

Logan. Weapon X. The Wolverine. Hugh Jackman. In any of his incarnations, one thing can be universally agreed upon: this guy is really bad at boyfriending. Like, REALLY bad at it. Besides his half-a-dozen standing affairs with super villains that regularly try to murder him, most of Logan's girlfriends over the years, of which there are too many to list in a single article, have been fridged quickly and without a fair trial.

Because I tend to have a very strong affection for one-off female characters that get zero characterization and die tragic deaths to teach the man a lesson (which by the way, he does not learn), I've compiled a little list here of some of the stranger love affairs of everyone's favorite mutant with mutton chops.

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Itsu

Ah, Itsu. Itsu was created solely to be killed tragically, so they didn't spend too much time giving her a personality beyond "loving wife, or whatever." Her appearances were told completely via flashback, and her job was basically to be the mother of Wolverine's incredibly annoying child, Daken - who comes back in later to try to murder his dad a lot. (In all fairness, if your dad was Wolverine you would probably try to kill him, too.) We find out that Daken's anger is actually rooted in the machinations of the villain Romulus, whose motivations for killing Itsu were blah blah blah who cares vengeance whatever. This basically results in Itsu dying and Wolverine being really sad. It would be easier to like Itsu if her sole legacy hadn't been to give us the wildly inconsistently written Daken, but then again she kind of got the short end of the stick, so I won't belabor the point.

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Silver Fox

Silver Fox is a weird character. She barely appeared in the comic, showing up as one of Logan's many murdered ex-wives - supposedly killed at the hands of Sabretooth. When Wolverine's memories of her are triggered, though, it's by a woman that looks exactly like her, also going by the name Silver Fox, who blames Wolverine for her death. Fair enough, but then we discover that the woman blaming Wolverine for Silver Fox's death isn't really Silver Fox. I'd love to give you a conclusion here, but there just isn't one. Her character hasn't been explored in depth, but it really should be. Not only is she just one big question mark, but she's one of the few indigenous characters ever introduced in comics. It's a real shame that her sole purpose was to get murdered to make Wolverine hate Sabretooth even more than he already did. It seems kind of pointless. Nevertheless, I stan for her.

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Mariko Yashida

If I had to pick which of Wolverine's many partners I like the best, I would say, hands down, it's Mariko Yashida. Mariko, for one, is one of the few characters in all of comics with a convoluted past very nearly on par with Logan's. Trapped in her family's criminal past, she and Wolverine were both dark, honor-bound souls that developed an immediate attraction to each other. They very nearly ended up getting married. So, why do I like their relationship so much? To be honest, it's because it's just actually really cute. You don't see bashful Logan too much, I'm just saying. Also, her commitment to honor and tradition is beyond admirable, and throughout their relationship, Mariko forced Logan to be a better man just by being so awesome herself. She did end up ultimately and unfortunately fridged, but she resisted it for quite some time. Mariko stands apart in Wolverine's list of "dead exes" just by having a well-thought-out personality that shone as brightly as his.

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Hercules

In X-Treme X-Men, a comic collecting a ragtag group of X-characters from alternate realities, we are introduced to Governor General James Howlett of Earth 12025, who often paired with the Greek God Hercules to... do... hero stuff. And, other stuff. Like kissing. With their mouths. Because these characters were both from an alternate reality, their relationship isn't technically to be considered canon, but they are really incredibly cute together - and it's my list. Governor General Howlett is one of my very favorite incarnations of Wolverine, and he and Hercules deserve a space on this list if only because they're really one of the more endearing LGBTQIA relationships to ever appear in a Marvel comic.

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Storm

While they'd had an ongoing flirtation dating back to their early days in the X-Men, it was only recently, after her divorce from Black Panther and directly before The Death of Wolverine, that Wolverine and Storm began seeing each other. I actually enjoyed how this played out over the years, and it really clicked for me that the relationship was such a slow burn. Besides Mariko, Storm is, for me, the partner that makes the most sense for Logan - particularly Logan towards the end of his life, when he's settling down and taking a more active role in running the Jean Grey Institute. Ororo surprises Logan, while Logan has a surprisingly grounding effect on her. Plus they're just kind of cute together. I like these two.

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Charlamagne

Appearing for the first and last time in Spider-Man vs. Wolverine in 1987, "Charlie" was one of those characters that kind of shows up out of nowhere, with Wolverine going, "Oh, right, Charlie. My long-time friend and lover. Most important person in my life. Remember her? Sure ya do." Spider-Man vs. Wolverine was a really strange story, in which Spider-Man kind of inexplicably follows Wolverine and Charlamagne around, tentatively "for a story." It doesn't make a lot of sense, but then again, if not making sense was a dealbreaker for me we wouldn't be here today talking about a guy with the proportionate strength of a spider. Charlie is on the run from *insert shady government agency here* and she ultimately meets Logan in a cemetery, asking him to kill her so she doesn't get tortured by Russia. Like, the country of Russia. Instead of utilizing any number of resources and options to avoid killing his sometimes-lover, Wolverine remembers how much he likes stabbing his girlfriends with his claws, and just goes for it. Unfortunately, he chickens out and botches it, leaving Charlie bleeding to death in a graveyard. Spider-Man shows up and misunderstands the situation, although it really is as bad as it looks if you think about it, and he and Wolverine slug it out. In the middle of their fight, Charlie jumps in the way of Spider-Man's fist. Basically, she shows up once ever and dies by Spider-Man punching her to death. It's... pretty messed up.

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Jean Grey

Despite how hard I stan for Jean I didn't really want to include her on this list, because, in my mind, there was never really an actual romance between her and Logan. Ah, but I'm of course forgetting things like X3, and the fact that late in the game X-Men writers retconned an extramarital relationship between the two. Fine. I'll talk about it. The first real hint that Logan and Jean might have an attraction between them was in a back-up story in the Classic X-Men reprint series, in which Jean leaves the X-Men partially because she's a little worried that she might make out with a very pushy Logan. He had a long-standing crush on her that lasted many years, but became popularized more by the X-Men Animated Series than it really had been in the comic up to that point. By the time the movies came out, it had been generally agreed upon that part of the reason behind the rivalry between Scott and Logan was Jean. Personally, I think there's a rivalry between those two because their personalities obviously clash, but what do I know?

Jean's attraction to Logan has been fairly spotty and inconsistent, and his attraction to her is mostly rooted in her unattainability. It's heralded as one of the great unrequited love stories of comics, but honestly, Jean and Logan are best left unfulfilled.

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Typhoid Mary

I have a weird place in my heart for the, uh... "love" affair between Logan and Typhoid Mary. While most of Logan's girlfriends end up fridged by the end of the story, Typhoid Mary is unique in that she actually almost fridged Logan. Created by Ann Nocenti in her incredible and often highly underrated run on Daredevil, Typhoid Mary pops into Logan's life suffering from dissociative identity disorder. One of Mary's personalities is a misandrist that goes by the name Bloody Mary. She brutalizes the abusive boyfriends and husbands of women she meets at a local shelter, and Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Wolverine have to stop her. But for why? I guess the world may never know.

Anyway, that should about wrap it up! Except for Captain Marvel, Lady Deathstrike, Black Widow, Tyger Tyger, Viper, "Rose," Heather Hudson... you know, we'd better just call it a day.