Monday, May 3, 2010

Uncanny Uniforms: First Appearance Wolverine

Here's a new thing for the blog, hopefully i don't get tired of doing this and continue until I finish the entire list. I plan on featuring every single one of Wolverine's different uniforms/costumes/looks on this site. As an added bonus, I'll feature some of my collections at the end of the post. Here we go..Enjoy!

The perfect way to start is to begin where it all began. Way way back to October 1974, the last page of The Incredible Hulk #180, where this little man wearing yellow and blue pops up at the last page of a comic book to join a fight between two huge beasts, the Hulk and Wendigo.

THE first appearance of THE Wolverine.

There's been A LOT of changes to Wolverine from when he was first conceptualized. The first artist assigned to create him thought that a wolverine is a female wolf, the claws weren't supposed to be a part of him, he was supposed to be a teenager. If you have read his first fight with the Hulk, it is almost as if he's a different character, he talks a lot and makes jokes kind of like how Spidey fights, and since his bones weren't bonded with adamantium, the Hulk breaks his ribs here. Oh, and poison gas knocks him out here too. Not the Wolverine we all know now. All those were changed throughout the years to create and maybe even perfect the character which is either famous or over-exposed (depends on your point-of-view).

Let me clear this up for you, Wolverine's very first appearance in comic books is actually in Incredible Hulk #180, #181 is where he is part of the cover and appears almost the entiriety of the book. This uniform has been used in very few comic books; if it is ever featured, it is usually just in flashback scenes. With good reason too, the mask on this thing doesn't really scream scary. But it's still a very important look since this is where it all started. As you can see in the picture his claws weren't in the right position, this is because they were not intended to be a part of him but instead it was supposed to be part of the gloves.The writers just changed it afterwards and made it a part of him in order to make him more unique and irreplaceable. Which is the right move, almost everyone associates claws on the hands to wolverine. When I was a kid, i used to bread knives between my fingers and pretend to be Wolverine right after watching the X-Men animated series. That wouldn't have happened if the claws were part of the gloves. This wasn't as bad as some other first appearance looks for other heroes such as Luke Cage but it also isn't as good as the real iconic ones such as Superman's and Spider-Man's. It should also be noted that for me, this isn't the worst Wolverine look ever created. There weren't a lot of things changed when they created the next Wolverine look, the changes weren't even intentional. They were a mistake made by the interior artist of Giant Sized X-Men #1. One more thing i almost forgot to note is that this is the look that was used in the Hulk Vs. Wolverine animated movie, which I think is one of the better DVD animated movies released by either Marvel or DC. It's a real nice treat, real action packed though they could have done it without other characters that popped up (Sabretooth, Deadpool, etc.) though I did enjoy Deadpool's appearance. I think it would have been better if the movie included the Wendigo instead of them.

As far as merchandise go, i don't really have a lot of first appearance Wolverines, i don't think a lot of them has been produced already since this looked appeared and disappeared before action figures and other stuff like that. As of this writing, I still haven't gotten the Marvel Select First Appearance variant from my local comic shop, though I already reserved one. All i have as of now is the Bowen Mini-bust, and the two Marvel Legends First Appearance from the Face-off line. On a side-note, i think this is the worst variant ever made by Toybiz, they just opened his mouth and called it a variant! Though it's still better than Hasbro's repaint variants.

I don't have enogh money to own either Incredible Hulk 180 or 181 so i settled for the next best thing, i bought a reprint of it. It was published October 1986, 4 years and 2 months before i was born.

Next-up: Tigerstripe.

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