Now that the Wolverine movie is out, it's time to visit one of my many sore spots over the current state of comic book characters. I haven't followed comics regularly in over ten years, so I was unaware until recently that they had established that Wolverine's claws weren't added in the Weapon X procedure. He was born with bone claws. Weapon X just put adamantium over them. This, to me, makes absolutely no sense. A lot of my arguments were articulated on the very well-written post on Your Mom's Basement, "I Hate Bone Claws." I'll just do a run-through.

  1. They've always established that you only get one mutant power. Wolverine's power was rapid healing. Bone claws have nothing to do with rapid healing, so that means he was born with two mutant powers.
  2. No animal in nature has claws made of bone. That means a completely weird and bizarre ability developed out of nowhere on Wolverine.
  3. The bone claws look stupid. The adamantium claws are sleek and sharp, the bone claws are bumpy and weird.
  4. The bone claws are obviously a retcon, added later to explain why he could have his adamantium ripped off and still be Wolverine. They could've had Logan go to Mr. Fantastic or somebody and get replacement claws surgically added. Adding the bone claws after decades of history is lazy writing.
In addition, the bone claws are a lame substitute for his metal claws. Because they're only sharp on the ends! He can't slice through anything, just stab stuff. Wolverine doesn't stab, he slices. And as we saw in the movie, bones can be broken. I think Wolverine's bone claws are a sign of how crappy and convoluted comics have become.

In a related story...Spider-Man had "stingers?!" I didn't see that, and I'm glad I didn't. What is wrong with these writers? Why can't they just leave well enough alone?! This is why I don't read comics faithfully anymore, besides the three dollar price tag per issue. When I pick up a comic, I want to see that superhero as I always liked him to be. I want to see Spider-Man, the Hulk, or Wolverine. I don't want Spider-Man in armor and with stingers. I don't want a talking Hulk who's also a secret agent. And I don't want Wolverine with no adamantium and bone claws.


Mauricem said...

The armor didn't bug me too much since Spider-man's main defensive power is retreat. Hulk talking is not a big deal since Hulk's pretty much done everything in every shade under the rainbow, but those bone claws and "stingers" are just retarded. It's just a lazy writers way of getting out of tough situations. Wouldn't it be more impressive to see Wolverine jumping into battle with nothing but a pocket-knife? Getting torn to shreds by bullets and blades but still going till there's nothing left for him to fight? I think that is infinitely cooler than just giving him lame bone claws. It would turn him into even more of a raging psychopath than he already is. Spider-man? Enh. He's gone 46 years without stingers, so I can't imagine what he gains with them.

ezpariah said...

okay you say you've been following the comics for ten years ???
okay then i guess you completely ignored the fact that during the 1990's in xmen issue 25 wolverine had his admantium ripped out of him by magneto and it was revealed that his claws were actually part of his mutation and the belief that his claws were artificial was part of his ignorance regarding his origins.
also in the mcp the weapon x series there were hints through out the story that wolverine sensed that the claws were there. they were something he had for some reason repressed.
two wolverine's healing factor has since day one been shown to not be his only special ability.
if you were a true "comic geek"
you would know that wolverine possesses heightened senses. His hearing ability, his olfactory sense, his taste, and his vision are all heightened to a superhuman level to the point that he can track anyone anywhere.
And sometime after the admantium was ripped out in wolverine's own series it was shown that the admantium had been actually retarding his mutation. That for some time it was shown that he without it he would continue to mutate into a beast.
long story short bub do your homework.
some of us are actually proud of the fact that they stuck with the comic history regarding this character.
granted the movie could be better but they did a good job as is since its clear the director didnt really go in depth in his research of wolverine

Mauricem said...

@ezpariah Thanks for your spirited response to our blog post. It's always nice to hear our reader's opinions. While you make a good point about the comic book, I can only point out that io9.com listed Wolverine's bone claws as one of their "15 Dumbest Superhero Retcons Of All Time". Here's a quote:
Wolverine's entire history is just one crappy retcon piled on top of another. How's this for a start? Wolverine was originally meant to be an actual wolverine, who had been turned into a human by the high evolutionary, and his claws were part of his gloves. Then the claws became implants created by Weapon X, and he was a mutant. Then he was meant to be Sabertooth's son. Then it turns out he'd had bone claws all along, and they were just covered up with metal."


I have to support my brother on this one. He's not talking about the comic book history, but rather the origin of the character as created by the writers.

Mickey Logan said...

Bone claws are only part of the problem. The entire origin story is asinine. Wolverine was much more interesting when his past was shrouded in mystery.

Barry said...

His super human senses, healing factor, and bone claws (which were first revealed in Windsor-Smith's Weapon X story) gives Logan three mutations.

Jardi said...

I agree. I liked ti better when Wolverine got his claws as a part of his new adamantium package. Hell the old fox cartoon shows him saying: "Hands...itchy!" then the claws come out and he winces in pain cause its a completely new thing to him. When I saw this bone claw thing I had thought that because of Logan's healing ability, the bone just started growing into the claws, or around them. when I found out they put the claws in as something he was born with, I face-palmed.

Paulo Pereira said...

Agreed. Upping his healing factor to Wile E. Coyote level is also a big problem. They basically have to find a way to suppress every time out to even attempt to make the character interesting, as in the latest movie (strangely, even though his HF was gone for much of that movie, bullets and stab wounds still prove utterly useless at killing him).

Paulo Pereira said...

Yup. Not only are the bone pokers utterly ridiculous, they also fly in the face of established continuity. They're a big "F--- You" previous writers because some lamebrain thought they were cool.

Kelvin said...

THANK YOU!!! When this movie came out I was so upset that they said he was born with claws. It was like everything I know about Wolverine as a child was wrong. I understood that his anger came from the experiment and that he hated everything and everyone because he couldn't walk around as a regular person anymore. I also thought that Sabertooth was Stryker's son and one of the first to be experimented on. Glad to see I am not the only one who was upset by this.

Tony Clements said...

He's had the bone claws since the Origin LS in Nov '01, It's not like it's a new development for the movies.

Anonymous said...

i am glad that i am not crazy.
i first saw wolvie with bone claws on the cover of 96 (i think) wizard mag.
i thought it looked cool but i didnt think it would actually stick around.
i grew up under the impression that his healing factor was his only ability, and because of that is why he was given the metal procedure and sum nazi type person gave him the claws...
the hightened smell stuff i attributed to his very old age...
when you live as long as him you are bound to learn how to exploit the human body better than others.
all these new comic book movies, marvel and dc lick bawls..
im so damn tired of the spider mans and batmans above all... and the wussy wolverine. if wolvy fights with his claws, as powerful they are, people should be loosing limbs; it should be a flipping blood bath.

Jim King said...

Yes, the bone claws are stupid, but of course his whole origin is stupid. Taking the mystery away doesn't exactly ruin the character but does, along with the bone claws, leech away a lot of his badass coolness.

Jim King said...

To those unfamiliar with the comics it is. I hadn't read a Wolverine comic since the early 90s so this was new to me. I don't like that they explained his origin, and I don't like the bone claws.

Tony Clements said...

I think the bone claws were seen as a natural item, as animals in nature would have them, and in a weird way it felt to me as a throwback to the false rumor that Logan was going to be a mutated, humanoid wolverine.

Jim King said...

The claws of those animals are made of the same stuff as our fingernails. If they hadn't made Wolverine's claws bone I might have been sort of okay with the idea. I suspect a wolverine's claws are non retractable, like a dog's.


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