They say that each character should have their own distinctive silhouette. So why is it that so many of them have the same pointy hairdo? Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Supers With Wolverine Hair!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and the design sense of Dave Cockrum, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN SUPERS WITH WOLVERINE HAIR!
10) THE BEAST
During the 1990s, I heard lots of stupid questions about why they thought it was a good idea for two X-Men to have the same haircut. The answer is actually simple: Beast had it first (as of March 1972, whereas Wolverine didn’t appear without his mask until 1976) and when Wolverine debuted, he wasn’t even an X-Man! Still, as redesigned by Gil Kane and/or Tom Sutton, the bouncing blue Beast wore this particular ‘do well for many years and I still blame the visual dichotomy of their shared tonsorial tendencies for Hank McCoy’s consistently mutating form in modern stories.
In the strictest sense, Christopher Martin’s super-form doesn’t actually have hair at all, but a configuration of feathers thanks to his being mystically merged with his pet hawk, Lightning. A member of the Honor Guard of Astro City, Stormhawk gave his life to defeat an alien conqueror called Krigari the Ironhanded, earning his place in the pantheon on pointy head-foliage.
An ancient kobold who started out as a pretty blatant amalgamation of Marvel heroes Wolverine and Puck, Bartlemew is also known as Bartholomew J. Troll, and evolved into something much weirder. When the whole truth of his history
is retconned comes out, he is revealed to be a furry blue troll-thing who shaves his entire body and wears full-coverage makeup to pass for human.
He’s still not particularly interesting, but at least he’s dull in a different way now.
Say what you will about 70s Atlas Comics, they weren’t afraid to use incredibly dull and cliché codenames. Case in point: The Destructor, whose name is not only super-bland, but not actually a word at all. Lobo here, in concert with the equally forgettably named Huntress, captures and hunts Destructor in a ‘Most Dangerous Game’ homage, with his take on Wolverine hair falling in between our man Logan’s first appearance as a Hulk villain and his becoming the X-Men’s breakout star.
That said, I don’t know what’s up with that beard.
6) CAPTAIN POLLUTION
Created by the wicked Dr. Blight using the powers of five evil rings (channeling the powers of Radiation, Deforestation, Smog, Toxic Waste and Hatred), he is the dark mirror of Captain Planet, albeit with a more nauseating color palette and some wild hair, if it is actually hair at all. (It may be Bondo.) Given that the good Captain Planet has a 90s style high-top mullet, it’s the rare example of the villainous version rocking the superior haircut…
These days Wally Wood is remembered for two things: His ’22 Panels That Always Work’ montage and for giving Power Girl the large chest that has come to be her trademark. To be honest, neither of those is an entirely bad legacy, but Wally was also an AMAZING illustrator, as seen in the adventures of his feral hero, Animan. Captured from his remote home and dragged to civilization against his will, this Tarzan-esque hero broke free to wander the city. Wally’s use of the feathered ‘do predates both Wolverine and our next entry…
4) TIMBER WOLF
Initially debuting as another of John Forte’s handsome, angular clean-cut heroes, Brin Londo spent forty issues or so as a Lone Wolf before joining the Legion. Not long after, he popped up with a new, feral look, including inhuman eyes, killer Mike Nesmith sideburns and upswept points in his hair. In this case, there’s a direct line from Wolf to Wolverine, as creator Dave Cockrum, who debuted T-Wolf’s new look, also drew the first appearance of the X-Man without his mask.
3) WAR EAGLE
Another feathered variant on today’s theme, Theresa Shane was introduced as part of the Mighty Crusaders team when those heroes were licensed to DC Comics after Final Crisis. With the Crusaders’ return to Archie Comics, it is unclear whether she’ll ever appear again. (A Golden Age War Eagle does exist, though he was a one-shot hero from Lev Gleason comics, not Archie/MLJ.)
Initially slated to have her own ongoing series in the mid-70s, Mari Jiwe McCabe fell victim to the DC Implosion, a line-wide contraction of DC titles that canceled her comic before it ever saw print. When she reappeared in the Justice League in the early 80s, she had an AMAZING haircut, combining the Wolverine up-swoop with beaded braids and a couple of wispy bits over each eye to give her that extra fear factor. It was, however, a very Eighties look and has been mostly abandoned, though some artists still give her points even with her shorter modern hair.
1) THE OWL
I have made many, MANY jokes about how Brin Londo needs to sue Wolverine for stealing his look, but Daredevil’s foe Leland Owsley has an even more meaningful claim. Not only does he have the classic “caught in a wind tunnel” styling, Leland has been known to wear triple-clawed gauntlets, all the better to mimic order Strigiformes. The difficult part comes in establishing a timeline: Leland didn’t seem to have the claws in his first appearance circa 1964, but I can’t find where they first appeared, either. Maybe its better to just chalk it up to coincidence and enjoy being Daredevil’s fourth most-interesting foe and being played by the warden from ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’
This week’s topic, Ten Supers With Wolverine Hair, was all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest your own Ten Things topics! If you’re worried we’ve done it before, check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, because the history of comics is pretty much a history of swiping things that looked cool the first time. Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!