Have you ever wished a certain superhero was on hand to help with a very specific task that they were perfectly suited for, only to have that hero be unavailable? Well, you’re in luck! Welcome to the first installment of HIRE THIS HERO, where we here at WWAC scour superhero employment records to find you a suitable alternate until your top pick is back in the game.
Look, sometimes your Wolverine dies. Sometimes your Wolverine is off planet, or in another reality, or sometimes, inexplicably, your Wolverine is too busy appearing in six titles one month to have room for a seventh. You still need a Wolverine, though, right? I mean, imagine a superhero team without one. Go on, you can’t. Luckily, we here at WWAC’s Superhero Temp Agency have come through with a list of suitable alternatives to make use of in a pinch!
If you need a stand-in, why not the original? Timber Wolf of the Legion of Super-Heroes is bonafide. Brin Londo possess tracking senses, a healing factor, retractable claws, and the signature facial fur. As a bonus, he’s been doing the job longer, having first appeared in Adventure Comics #327 , which came out a full ten years before the issue of Incredible Hulk that brought us our favorite angry Canadian. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about people confusing a wolverine for a wolf, since Brin got first crack at the more widely recognizable animal for his hero theme. If all of that’s not enough, he’s got one extra advantage: a Legion flight ring!
In fact, it’s highly likely that if you need it, he’ll bring the entire Legion along with him, which will definitely help you win the numbers game, at the very least.
Deadlock is the perfect replacement choice if you need someone who’s close…
A former super-villain who died and then was resurrected to work for a clandestine government organization, Deadlock has exactly the sort of barely-civilized attitude you need. He may not have claws, but he never lets that stop him— he just claws people with his fingers, counting on the strength boost he gets from being a vampire to do the trick. As a bonus, his training as a government operative plus his questionable morals means he’s not afraid to do the dirty work for you. He’s also a great stand-in for when you need a vampire Wolverine, specifically!
You know how Wolverine likes to occasionally appropriate other cultures and do the whole white savior thing? It’s a sort of skeevy undertone to some of his adventures from the 80s and 90s. If you want to sidestep that and get some actual representation in your comics, may we suggest Ripclaw?
A Native American mutant with the ability to assume animal-like abilities, who was later captured by a sinister organization and made into a cyborg, Ripclaw is like if DC’s Vixen and Marvel’s Lady Deathstrike were fused together, power-wise. Like Wolverine, he also takes young girls under his wing for mentoring! Of course, in Ripclaw’s case he ended up dating one of them, which doesn’t really help if you’re trying to avoid skeevy undertones. Additionally, the whole “Native American with mystical animal abilities written by a white person” thing is a little questionable in its own right, so if you want to take a pass, we don’t blame you.
Reno Bryce was just a long-haired artist plying his trade when he was kidnapped by the same organization that experimented on Ripclaw. That experimentation gave him the ability to control his body at a molecular level and to turn those molecules to organic steel. Between that and the artist career, he’s like a shapeshifting Colossus, but he mostly just uses that power to make claws. Who can blame him? It’s a tried and true, proven-effective tactic. Either way, if you’re looking for a moody artist type, Reno’s your man.
If those choices aren’t doing the trick, maybe what you need here aren’t Wolverine’s exact qualifications. Maybe you just need someone to look the part!
D-Man, or Demolition Man, was born Dennis Dunphy. Dennis was a wrestler who got strength augmentations from a bad guy named the Power Broker. From there, he decided to become a superhero, and has worked for various second-string teams along the years. Dunphy’s maybe not as flashy as some of the other folks on this list, but if you need someone to look passably like Wolverine (or a young Daredevil, from the neck down), he’s a perfect choice.
Of course, if you need someone to look the part, it’s hard to go wrong with a robot designed to look identical to the real thing. Albert is just that!
Albert was created by mutant hating cyberneticist Donald Pierce to kill Wolverine, but instead he and his friend Elsie Dee decided to become Wolverine’s allies. He may not possess the mutant’s special abilities, but he still has claws, and as a bonus, he’s incredibly smart and can interface directly with machines of all sorts!
Shiv (Bloody Choices GN)
Your third choice in the lookalike department is Shiv. Shiv’s an enforcer who looks like Wolverine and packs retractable blades hidden under his sleeves. He calls people ‘Bro’ and works for a pedophile. Maybe don’t hire Shiv.
Maybe you’re really on a thin budget? If that’s the case we have a guy who…kinda looks like Wolverine? And who…has powers? Seahawk and his brother Coldsnap got powers on an underwater expedition. They also lost their father, either during that expedition, or before, or later. He was rich, so they inherited a lot of money, which was used to fund the superteam Brigade.
Seahawk isn’t really much of a Wolverine, but there is a football team with the same name! Maybe he should get into mascot work.
Stocky, hairy Arkkis Chummuck is the Green Lantern of sector 3014, but I’m sure he’ll be willing to pay a visit to 2814 (the sector that includes Earth) in a pinch. Arkkis comes from a warlike people and earned his Lantern ring by defeating the prior Lantern of his sector in honorable combat. He then proceeded to eat that Lantern’s remains, which apparently is also a sign of honor among his culture. Look, the ring gives him a lot of flexibility as a power set, just…be careful, okay? We worry about you.
Special Mention: Pitt
Marvel may have had Wolverine tussle with Hulk plenty throughout the years, but they didn’t get around to providing us with a Wolverine who is also a Hulk until 2017. Fortunately, Image Comics saw a role that needed filling and brought us Pitt.
Pitt is a human-alien hybrid. Specifically, that alien race is known as the Creed, which does the double duty of sounding like Marvel aliens the Kree and also being the last name of famous Wolverine rival Sabretooth. Pitt is bigger than the Hulk’s standard size, has razor sharp claws, can leap ten kilometers, did the no-nose thing before Wolverine, uses pain as a stimulant (the madder Hulk gets, the stronger, etc), and borrowed his clothes from Lobo’s wardrobe after Lobo himself was revamped to be a bit of a Wolverine send-up. He even did the giant, grey, genetically-engineered killing machine thing before Doomsday! Pitt’s a great choice for when you absolutely must ensure that everything in a several-mile radius is reduced to rubble.
Here at WWAC, we believe in providing a wide breadth of options for your Wolverine-related needs. Hopefully someone among this list will do the trick! If not, well, I’m sure we haven’t seen the real deal’s backside for long.