An internal battle has always raged within Wolverine’s soul over whether he is a man or a savage beast, but this question was settled when Logan was literally forced to fight himself. When an evil entity split the X-Man into a regular human and a vicious animal, the ensuing battle forced Wolverine to confront his greatest fear.

Logan’s struggle against himself takes place in the 1985 comic Heroes for Hope: Starring the X-Men. This one-shot comic was created by dozens of writers and artists to raise money for the American Friends Service Committee to fight famine in Africa. In addition to established comic writers like Chris Claremont, Stan Lee and Louise Simonson, the book also had contributions from others like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin. As the X-Men battle a psychic entity that feeds on human suffering, they all come face to face with their greatest fears. For Wolverine, that means he must confront the question of whether he is truly human or just an animal.

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Wolverine’s Two Halves Must Battle It Out

Wolverine Human Beast

Wolverine vs Logan

The Wolverine segment of the story is written by author Harlan Ellison, drawn by Frank Miller, inked by Bill Sienkiewicz, lettered by John Workman and colored by Christie Scheele. As Logan hunts through the woods, seeking out the enemy who has been psychically plaguing his teammates, he suddenly finds himself transformed in a normal man. Without his claws, uniform and signature hairstyle, Logan is at first confused and fascinated before seeing his animalistic half standing before him in his X-Men uniform. This Wolverine entity tells him that this is how he was “before your skeleton was laced with adamantium. This is what you were when you couldn’t heal yourself…when you were merely human.” The entity promises to fill Logan in on all the secrets of his missing memories if he can beat him in a fight.

Logan Is Even Stronger Without His Powers

Logan Defeats Wolverine

At first Logan is terrified as the Wolverine lunges at him with his claws unsheathed. Believing that his regular human self “hasn’t got the chance of a snail in a bucket of salt,” Logan desperately manages to trick the Wolverine into stabbing his claws into the trunk of a tree, trapping himself. He grabs the Wolverine’s other free hand and is about to finish him off with his own claws, but then decides not to. “No, not this time!” he exclaims. “I’m not an animal, I’m a man! I’m not losing that!” After a moment, his other self fades away and Logan finds himself whole once again: “Spent. But a little more human.

Ever since he was a young man, Logan has struggled to see himself as truly human. At various times throughout his long life, he has been kept caged up and only freed when he’s unleashed like an attack dog. In the midst of battle, his propensity for violence can often take over, sending Logan into berserker rages where he loses himself to his animalistic side. However, despite how others may see him and how he perceives himself, Wolverine proved that deep down he truly is a human being and that his more savage nature will never win.

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