James Howlett, better known to you as Logan/Wolverine, has never struggled when it comes to picking up women. Throughout nearly 40 years of comic book existence, Wolverine has notched up more than his fair share of romances. These range from the raunchy one night stand, the tragic star-crossed love, all the way to the downright bizarre (Squirrel Girl, anyone?).
Of course, the recent series of X-Men movies hasn’t quite had the time to delve into the entirety of our hairy anti-hero’s past – doing so would probably require its own entire franchise. Instead we’ve witnessed a fair few snapshot moments…
With Jean Grey as the female lead in the X-Men trilogy, Wolverine was slightly left out in the cold. The films began with Jean and fellow mutant teacher, Scott Summers, already established as a happy couple. Despite his best efforts, this left little room for Logan and, as in the original comics, the films explored his (mostly) unrequited love for the woman who would become Dark Phoenix.
There were several rays of hope for any Jean/Wolverine shippers out there – constant flirtation built up to a hastily interrupted kiss in the second movie, topped only by Wolverine’s late night tent visitor… who sadly turns out to be none other than a transformed Mystique (who also goes on to appear as Stryker: a passion killing move if ever there was one).
The final film, say of it what you will, did ramp up the tension between the pair. Cyclops’ tragic (annoying, ridiculous, etc.) death left the stage clear for Wolverine to swoop in, and Dark Phoenix was certainly amenable to such gestures. Of course it couldn’t end well:
Overall a pretty sad affair. As Jean herself said, “Girls flirt with the dangerous guy, they don’t bring him home; they marry the good guy” – crazy lady!
Straying somewhat from comic book gospel was the revamped tale of Wolverine and Kayla Silverfox; an American Indian mutant who lived with Logan in Canada.
The comic incarnation of Silver Fox first appeared in Wolverine vol. 2 #10, set at the dawn of the 20th century. The pair’s relationship lasted until Sabretooth killed her on Wolverine’s birthday. It was not until the modern era that Silver Fox was revealed to be alive and in charge of a section of HYDRA. Silver Fox continues to make appearances until Sabretooth actually does kill her while under the influence of Aldo Ferro, who had originally given the members of Team X their false memories.
The film version, styled as Silverfox, appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and had a much shorter life span as well as alternative powers (tactile mental influence as opposed to advanced healing). After ‘dying’ at the hands of Sabretooth, Silverfox is reunited with Wolverine on Three Mile Island. Despite the sham relationship, Kayla reveals that her feelings for Wolverine were real and defects to his side after Stryker betrays her. Unfortunately Silverfox barely makes it out of the door before her death becomes a reality. An adamantium bullet leaves Wolverine in the dark as to who the deceased girl is when he and Gambit stumble upon her.
With Kayla out of the picture, attention has turned to the female star of the upcoming The Wolverine which will cover Wolverine’s time in Japan. Tao Okamoto has been announced as Mariko Yashida, a woman claimed by some to be Wolverine’s ultimate romance. Yashida first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #118, the daughter of crime boss Shingen Yashida. She met Wolverine when the X-Men were called in to defend Japan from the threat of terrorist Moses Magnum.
Mariko and Wolverine developed a strong attachment, despite disapproval from her family. After a lengthy and dramatic storyline including arranged marriage, duels to the death and Mariko’s inheritance of her father’s empire, the pair finally became engaged. Unfortunately their happiness was short-lived, with many more issues worth of pain and turmoil for the unlucky couple.
Mariko’s character will definitely be one to watch – spirited, strong and with high ideas of honour she has long been more than a match for our ferocious Wolverine.
It’s currently uncertain how much, if any, of the original story will appear in the film. As with previous X-Men films, some of the most fantastical elements may well be skipped over – especially if this is the gritty, dark tale that some have hinted at. What does seem guaranteed, however, is that Wolverine will once more be in for a bit of a bumpy ride…