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Wolverine was Created because Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, Roy Thomas, Wanted a Canadian Hero to Boost Sales North of the Border.

Wolverine is a fictional character who appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, especially in association with the X-Men. He is a mutant with animal-like senses, heightened physical powers, a tremendous regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and three retractable claws in each hand. Wolverine has been portrayed as a member of the X-Men, X-Force, Alpha Flight, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. But did you know why Wolverine’s character was created?

Wolverine was created because Marvel’s then editor-in-chief, Roy Thomas, wanted a Canadian hero to help improve sales north of the US border.

Who is Roy Thomas?

American comic book writer and editor Roy William Thomas Jr., better known by his pen name Roy Thomas, has won numerous accolades. He has created intimidating characters like Wolverine, Vision, and Carol Danvers’s alias Ms. Marvel. He has worked with both Marvel and DC. He has significantly contributed to the growth and development of stories based on superhero teams such as the Justice Society of America, the All-Star Squadron of DC, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and The Avengers of Marvel. As the editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, he is the first successor of legendary comic-book writer and editor Stan Lee.

Thomas was born in the American city of Jackson, Missouri. He was an avid comic book reader when he was younger, and in elementary school, he wrote and illustrated the comics that he gave to his friends and family. He remembers that the first of these was All-Giant Comics, which had characters like Elephant Giant. He attended St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson and attended a private Lutheran school. Thomas has been referred to as a lapsed Lutheran and is not religious as an adult. He majored in history and social science and received a BS in Education from Southeast Missouri State University in 1961.

Thomas was an early and active member of the Silver Age comic book fandom when it formed in the early 1960s, especially around Jerry Bails. Their enthusiasm for the rebirth of superhero comics at the time led Bails to launch the fanzine Alter Ego, an early focal point of fandom. When Bails left to pursue other interests, Thomas, a high school English teacher at the time, took over as editor. (Source: The Famous People)

The Origin Story of Wolverine

Roy Thomas, the editor-in-chief of Marvel at the time, created the character of Wolverine. Being the direct heir to Stan Lee as the company’s head honcho editor left some pretty huge shoes to fill. Even so, Roy was well-versed in the intricacies of the comic-book industry. He had been a fan since childhood, so the work was precise for him: create gripping and intriguing stories to sell many comic books. (Source: CBR)

Wolverine, a Canadian Superhero

Roy realized in 1974 that roughly 5% of Marvel’s fans were from Canada. Therefore it seemed long past due for a Canadian superhero to appear in a Marvel comic.

Roy also briefly contemplated calling himself The Badger, but the meaning included bugging and being annoying. A wolverine was not simply a vicious small animal with a reputation for attacking creatures much more prominent than itself. Still, it was also a solitary animal with a reputation for fury. Naturally, each component would become an essential part of the persona. (Source: CBR)

Image from Cnet

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