While Wolverine is more than capable of tearing Tony Stark apart with his adamantium claws, in this case, he didn’t need to, as the feral X-Men hero was able to do so with one debilitating insult.
James “Logan” Howlett aka Wolverine is a mutant, born with a number of superhuman abilities including heightened, animalistic senses, a healing factor that repairs most injuries while also slows his aging, and six retractable claws that extend from his knuckles. While Wolverine was given some unwanted enhancements in the form of adamantium grafted to his skeleton (including his claws), every one of his powers were completely natural. Tony Stark, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of Wolverine–and every natural-born superhuman, for that matter. Stark doesn’t have any powers aside from his inherent brilliance, and instead relies on the high-tech suits he creates to fight evil as the superhero Iron Man. While these two usually fight on the same side–and even sometimes side-by-side as both are members of the Avengers–there exists a reality where Wolverine is disdainful of humans who deliberately give themselves enhancements.
Wolverine Hates Non-Mutant Superheroes in the Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse tie-in comic, Weapon X #3 by Larry Hama and Adam Kubert, Wolverine is on a mission to find a mutant who may be the last hope for humanity’s salvation in this war-torn, post-apocalyptic hellscape. While traversing through already dangerous terrain, Wolverine comes across some of Apocalypse’s minions. These followers of En Sabah Nur were once humans who allowed their bodies to be mutilated and twisted in a way that technically gave them heightened abilities, like super strength, speed, and agility, but also stripped them of their humanity. While fighting them, Wolverine comments on how disgusting he thinks they are and how insulting he finds their existence as a mutant, saying, “I’m a mutant. I was born different… and I sure didn’t ask for the so-called “enhancements” I got saddled with as a result o’ the Weapon X project! A fella’s gotta hate himself somethin’ fierce to get the whole-hog altered human treatment”.
While the context in this issue indicates that Wolverine is specifically talking about the type of person who would sell their soul to Apocalypse for some physical upgrades, the language he uses here is a bit wider than that. According to Wolverine, it seems that mutants are the only people who should be able to have superpowers, and any human who alters their body to become superhuman is an abomination who ‘hates himself’–and one of the most famous ‘altered humans’ in the Marvel Universe is Iron Man, and in more ways than one. Not only does Tony Stark regularly use his self-made Iron Man suits, but he also gave himself heightened abilities when Iron Man altered his body with Extremis. Essentially, Iron Man is guilty of the same things Wolverine is criticizing here in this issue. Sure, Tony Stark isn’t working for Apocalypse, but upon reading Wolverine’s quote, that isn’t the biggest problem he had with these people.
Wolverine specifically says that humans who alter their bodies to become superhumans must hate themselves, and that it was better to just put them out of their misery and end their lives since, according to him, they were basically already doing that to themselves already. Even if he wasn’t talking about Tony Stark specifically, Wolverine is absolutely tearing apart everything that allows Iron Man to be the hero he is today. Based on those words alone, one can gather that Wolverine thinks Tony Stark is trash, and he proves it with this absolutely brutal insult.
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