Can We Please Finally Have A Real Wolverine In The MCU’s X-Men Reboot?

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is fantastic, but with his departure comes an opportunity for Marvel to depict a more accurate version in the X-Men reboot.

Split image of Wolverine from the comics and Wolverine from Logan both growling with claws unsheathed

An X-Men reboot is likely to be en route to the MCU, and it could stand to finally introduce the real Wolverine. The MCU’s Multiverse Saga is set to culminate in Avengers: Secret Wars, after which a soft reboot for the MCU is rumored to occur. This fits with the Secret Wars narrative from the comic book run of the same name, as a new universe will likely materialize in the wake of Avengers: Secret Wars, where a new lineup of characters will join returning ones with new actors cast in their roles.

The MCU’s version of the X-Men is likely to be foremost among these, taking center stage in a brand-new iteration of the iconic team. Since Disney acquired Fox in 2019, the MCU has drip-fed audiences with appearances from Fox’s X-Men throughout the franchise. This is set to crescendo with the explosive reappearance of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine. A record-breaking trailer for the movie hints at the hype surrounding his return, which could be his final Marvel appearance. This will finally open the door to do even greater justice to the Marvel Comics icon.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Was Great, But It Was Never Accurate

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine with his claws drawn in X-Men Days of Future Past

Hugh Jackman is one of the most prolific actors in Marvel’s movie history, and his rendition of Wolverine has become synonymous with the character. Compared to the likes of Spider-Man and Batman, Wolverine’s live-action career is inexorably linked to Jackman, whose ability to convey the gruff and indestructible mutant is practically unassailable at this point. This led Jackman’s Wolverine to become the de facto protagonist of Fox’s X-Men franchise as he appeared in 9 of its 13 movies, hammered home by Deadpool in the latest trailer as he refers to Jackman’s Wolverine as “the X-Man.

The issue is that Wolverine is not supposed to be the central X-Man, nor should there be any “main” X-Men member. As a leading man, Jackman’s tall stature and rugged good looks detract significantly from what defines the character he plays. While plenty of similarities remain, this has resulted in a version of Wolverine that looks decidedly different – especially physically – from the one from Marvel Comics, even if Jackman’s legacy will live on as one of the greatest in the genre.

What Wolverine Should Really Be Like

Wolverine and Cyclops attacking Magneto in Marvel Comics

One of the most glaring physical discrepancies between Hugh Jackman and Marvel Comics’ Wolverine is their height. At 6’3″, Jackman towers over Wolverine by an entire foot, with the stocky character from the comics standing at 5’3″. While it may seem inconsequential, Wolverine’s squat stature is an important part of his characterization when compared to the lumbering forms of such rivals as Sabertooth and Hulk. His comparatively small size juxtaposed with his wanton aggression is what warrants his moniker, after all.

Personality-wise, Jackman’s Wolverine was also positioned as a leader, as seen in X2 where he facilitates the evacuation of the X-Mansion’s students and supplanted the role of Cyclops in the process. While Marvel’s Wolverine isn’t incapable of similar acts of heroism and often imparts his century-spanning wisdom to younger X-Men, he is far from the level-headed leader that Jackman’s Wolverine is painted as. His rivalry with Cyclops, meanwhile, is supposed to constitute a balance of contrary forces, whereas Jackman’s Wolverine is infinitely more likable than the X-Men’s fleeting leader in the movie franchise.

The MCU Needs To Avoid Repeating Jackman’s Take On Wolverine

Hugh Jackman gets ready to fight as Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine

Distancing the MCU’s Wolverine from Jackman’s iteration is important mainly to ensure that he doesn’t feel re-hashed after more than two decades of big-screen appearances. Given the discrepancies between Jackman’s Wolverine and the Wolverine of Marvel Comics, Marvel can fully capitalize on its proven ability to adapt comic-accurate depictions of its characters; a skill that debuted with Iron Man. It also allows the franchise to have other X-Men, like Cyclops, take a more central role, doing greater justice to the character than Fox achieved.

Incidentally, Marvel has started on the right foot by making Jackman’s reprisal of the role in Deadpool & Wolverine the most comic-accurate rendition of his character yet.

Additionally, matching up with Hugh Jackman’s iconic take on the character is a bar that does not need beating. The fact that Jackman has left a significant gulf in his depiction and the comic-accurate Wolverine leaves plenty of room for Marvel to adapt a shorter, more short-tempered, and less pivotal rendition of the character. Then again, Fox’s version of the character has left such an indelible mark that Marvel will be hard-pressed to adapt a version that strikes a chord with audiences the same way.

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