When X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits the big screen a few weeks down the line, viewers will realise that it features more than just Marvel’s most popular mutant – it also throws in a bunch of fan-favourite (and, er, not-so-favourite) characters designed to help bolster the appeal of the film. If the glimpses of Gambit and Deadpool in the trailer are any indication, there’s every probability that the page-to-screen translation of the characters will be stuffed up beyond all forgivability, so to help you determine whether or not that’s the case, let’s take a look at exactly who the co-stars of Wolverine really are. With each character, I’ll mark out what I think is the defining quality that the movie-makers have to bring to the screen in order to capture the essence of the character.
1. Sabretooth. Victor Creed is a violent sociopath who torments Wolverine for no other reason that it amuses him to do so. Originally intended to be Logan’s father, the plot never made it to the page and the two are considered unrelated these days. Logan and Creed have similar powers, and both spent time as members of Team X and Weapon X programs. Sabretooth is currently dead, having had his head cut off with the deadly Muramasa blade.Defining qualities: Irredeemably violent and amoral
2. Deadpool. An inductee of the Weapon X program, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson’s terminal cancer was stopped from killing him when he was given a replica of Wolverine’s healing factor – although the process left him disfigured and insane. An expert assassin, Deadpool has become a fan-favourite purely through his comic-relief dialogue, which frequently breaks the fourth wall and references pop-culture.Defining qualities: Hilarious and insane
3. Gambit. Remy LeBeau is one of the more successful X-Men characters created in the 90s, with his suave mystique and signature playing-card weapons giving him a gimmicky but undeniably iconic visual. A member of the Louisiana Thieves Guild, Gambit is quick to take morally ambivalent routes to problem-solving, a tendency that frequently comes back to haunt him.Defining qualities: Thief, playing card projectiles, Cajun accent
4. The Blob. Fred Dukes is an evil mutant whose powers make him incredibly overweight and, more usefully, immovable. Dukes has been a member of many mutant terrorist organisations in the past, including Mystique’s incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. After losing his powers in M-Day, Dukes became a weight-loss sensation and eventually a movie star.Defining qualities: “Nothing can move the Blob!”
5. Kestrel. John “the codename Wraith was taken” Wraith is a teleporting mutant, portrayed in the film by Will.I.Am. One of the lesser-known members of the original “Team X”, Kestrel kept his mutant powers hidden until an encounter with Omega Red forced him to reveal them. Kestrel and Sabretooth never got on, and he was eventually killed by Creed for failing to bring Maverick back into the Weapon X programme.Defining qualities: Reluctance to use powers, murdered by Sabretooth
6. Agent Zero. The character of David North is, according to IMDB, using his second codename, “Agent Zero” in the film. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a lamer codename than the original “Maverick” or not, but at least it doesn’t remind us of Top Gun. Maverick possesses the barely-defined ability to absorb kinetic energy in the comics, and wears a stupid yellow mask that doesn’t fully cover his face.Defining qualities: Ridiculously lame.
So, there you go – a crash course in the supporting cast of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Remember to come back here in a few weeks to see how well the movie matched up with the comics!
James writes Alternate Cover every Monday at Den Of Geek. His previous column can be found here.