Comparing Movie Wolverine’s Iconic (Shifting) Hair to His Comic Counterpart’s Expertly Coifed Locks
It isn’t always easy to translate a comic book character perfectly to the big screen in a live-action adaption. We have seen plenty of failures when it comes to actors and their comic book counterparts. But sometimes, deviations are actually for the better, like when the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) decided to tone down Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) costume a bit from his bright purple suit in the comics. Other times, these deviations are not so good—like making Deadpool a mouthless, suitless guy in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In most cases, though, the actors embody the spirit of the character well enough to make audiences overlook the fact that their appearance isn’t identical to the comics. For example, Marisa Tomei makes a great Aunt May in the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy, even though she is at least several decades younger than the Aunt May portrayed in the comics. Similarly, most agree that Hugh Jackman is absolutely iconic as Wolverine and few could imagine anyone else in the role. With that being said, though, he really doesn’t look like Wolverine.
Sadly, Jackman never donned Wolverine’s iconic yellow and blue suit and cowl helmet from the comics. In the comics, Wolverine is rarely seen outside his signature armor. In the films, though, Jackman never wore the suit, nor did the creators ever even create a suit for him. Their reasoning was that a flashy yellow suit just didn’t fit well with Jackman’s iteration of Wolverine, who was a loner who didn’t want to be part of the X-Men or draw attention to himself. However, Jackman did boast a variation of Wolverine’s iconic hair at times.
Wolverine’s hair in the comics
In the comics, whenever Wolverine wasn’t wearing his masked helmet, his hair was very… wolfish, in appearance. He has a small widow’s peak and two spikes on either side of his head that resemble wolf ears, as well as sideburns. His hair can vary mildly from comic book to comic book, sometimes appearing longer or messier. However, at its best, it is jet black, slick, and impeccably styled.
However, Wolverine has actually ditched his signature hairstyle altogether in the comics. For example, in the Old Man Logan storyline, an aged version of Wolverine from an alternate timeline debuted an entirely different style. He still has a bit of the widow’s peak, but his hair is very short and grey, and he added a beard to his look.
Wolverine’s hair in the film
Initially, Jackman’s hair in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films did resemble Wolverine’s hair from the comics. The 2000 film, X-Men, saw him get closest to the iconic hairstyle. While he didn’t quite nab the widow’s peak, he does have the signature points and sideburns.
In the X-Men sequel, X2: X-Men United, Jackman is still boasting a haircut close to the comic book version, though the “ears” aren’t as defined and his sideburns got a trimming.
But then, by the time X-Men Origins: Wolverine, released in 2009, Jackman, for the most part, has just a regular hairstyle. I guess the studio could relax a bit, at this point, because, regardless of how pointy his hair was, Jackman had already been wholly and completely accepted as Wolverine. Plus, it isn’t likely that his hairstyle was viable for the action-packed nature of the movies, anyways. We can imagine a lot of work and hairspray went into his hair (or wig).
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wolverine gets a shorter haircut that is a bit too short to fully mold into his iconic hairstyle. But it…reminiscent of it.
By the time Jackman’s final performance as Wolverine came in Logan in 2017, he ditched his comic book hairstyle completely, which is in line with the Old Man Logan comic book storyline. His hair is close to that in Days of Future Past but is a bit subtler and also grayer. He also, for the first time, boasts a full beard and mustache.
Which Wolverine style is your favorite? And are you inspired to head to the salon to recreate it? Hey! Some people like hair that looks vaguely like ears!
(featured image: 20th Century Fox)
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