Note: I am ONLY interested in the main Earth-616 comic continuity. No movies, cartoons or alternate universes.

As I understand it, Wolverine worked with Team X sometime after, or at the tail end of World War 2.

Wikipedia explains that after leaving Team X, he is kidnapped by the Weapon X program, where he is experimented upon, and given his adamantium skeleton and claws. After escaping from Weapon X, Wolverine is rescued by members of what would later become Alpha Flight.

When did the kidnapping and experimentation occur?

Even Marvel's website only tells us that it happened after World War 2:

Sometime after World War II, Logan was taken by a group of scientists led by Dr. Cornelius as part of the Weapon X program.

2 Answers 2


TL;DR: Late 60's/Early 70's

As you stated, an exact time-frame is never given. However, we can narrow it down a bit. We know that it was after WWII and before 1975 (which is when Wolverine left Department H and joined the X-Men). We also know that Logan escaped Weapon X several years before that event, having wandered the woods for at least several months before the Hudsons found him. They then spent several months nursing him back to health (and sanity) before convincing him to join Department H, and THEN he spent at least a year working for Department H as "The Wolverine".

So, let's say that it was two years from the time he escaped to the time Professor X recruited him, which is probably a conservative estimate. That means he escaped at least by 1973. On the other side of things, we know that Team X - which came first - began in the mid-to-late 1960's, via this entry in the Marvel wiki:

The first Weapon X project took place in the US in the 1960s, sponsored by the CIA. They recruited skilled intelligence operatives, who became Team X, made up of Logan (Wolverine), Silver Fox, Victor Creed (Sabretooth), Christoph Nord (Maverick), John Wraith (Kestrel), and Mastodon. Although successful at first, the team was disbanded after a mission involving Omega Red.

Based on the assumption that Team X started in 1961 and then lasted a few years before disbanding, we can safely narrow down the Weapon X project (or least Logan's time with it) to somewhere between 1965-1973. This also corresponds with the clothing & equipment seen in the "Weapon X" storyline by Barry Windsor-Smith, all of which has a late 60's/early 70's feel to it. We also know from various flashbacks that Logan participated in The Vietnam Conflict at some point, so he was free for at least SOME of this time prior to his kidnapping. Factoring that in, we could probably narrow Weapon X down even further to just the time around 1970-1973. Unfortunately, flashbacks by themselves are unreliable in Logan's case, so we'll leave that part to speculation.

ADDENDUM: Note that if reliable, his time in Vietnam could have conceivably taken place as solo missions while he was with Team X. The CIA had operatives in Vietnam as early as 1964, and probably even before that, so the timing does line up fairly well to support that idea.

UPDATE: I did some further digging and found this on the Marvel Wikia. Emphasis is mine:

In the 1970s the Weapon X project expanded into Canada, where it was run by Department K but still funded by the CIA. The goal this time was to enhance the abilities of agents already working for Department H, including Ajax, Deadpool, Garrison Kane, Sluggo, and Slayback. Their test subjects did not fare as well as Team X, however, and many of them were permanently disabled. Even worse, these "dropouts" wound up at the Hospice, where Dr. Killebrew and Ajax performed unspeakable (and unauthorized) experiments on them. After Deadpool led an escape from the Hospice and exposed Killebrew, the entire Weapon X project in Canada was dismantled. Dr. Horatio Huxley revived the project briefly.[3]

The American project, meanwhile, was dusted off and revitalized. The staff included "Professor" Andre Thorton and John Sublime (both veterans of the Weapon Plus program), as well as Dr. Carol Hines, Dr. Abraham Cornelius, and Dr. Dale Rice. Thorton located Wolverine and, in a secret lab (near Roanoke, Alberta province, Canada), augmented his skeleton with adamantium. Temporarily insane from pain, Wolverine massacred most of the lab personnel and escaped. Thanks to this setback, Thorton's Weapon X project lost the support of the Weapon Plus program, but Thorton continued his work.[4]

So, it seems that "In the 1970s" is probably the best answer we'll get.

  • 1
    Not to sound like a 'naysayer' but you can't even be sure it's 1975. Because if that were true than Iceman would be in his 50's, as he left the X-Men to go to college when Logan joined the X-Men. Time, in comics, is relative. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 3:31
  • My only real issue here is that Weapon VII (Project Homegrown) is always described as taking place during Vietnam. While it's possible that four programs started and effectively ended within the span of the Vietnam War, it seems a bit of a stretch.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 10:56
  • Giant-Sized X-Men #1 - which is when the 2nd (technically, 3rd) X-Men team were recruited - took place in 1975. Unlike DC, Marvel has never reset its 616 continuity, instead relying on suspension of disbelief and/or in-continuity reasons for non-aging characters.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 13:23
  • 1
    @ Omegacron: I'm not sure you understand the concept of a floating timeline. Giant-Sized X-Men #1 was printed in 1975 but if you look at the Marvel Timeline those events actually only happened about 7 years ago. Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 3:38
  • My answer is based on the original continuity, and the 616 universe has always used real-time - characters age, society evolves, real-life events & trends are reflected within the comic world. This "floating timeline" nonsense was introduced fairly recently. However, feel free to add your own answer citing that instead.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:17

In the Marvel Universe, ever since Fantastic Four #1, the stories are almost always set in the present year that the comics are printed. For the first several years of publication, time passed in the Marvel Universe just as fast as in the real world: Peter Parker was a sophomore in high school when he gained his powers in 1962, and then graduated as a senior within three years in 1965.[1]

The problem with characters aging in real time is that superheroes would start becoming old, and some of Marvel's initial crop of heroes weren't exactly young to start with (Reed Richards is likely in his early 40s in FF#1). Starting in 1967 (and simultaneous with a change in ownership of Marvel), Marvel began to slow the rate at which time passed. Thus, relative to real life, the characters age very slowly. Using the above example, Peter Parker started as a freshman in college in Amazing Spider-Man #31, 1965, and his "four years" until graduation to grad school ran until Amazing Spider-Man #185, 1978.

The time events are being compressed towards. Marvel time compresses towards the present. That the Marvel present is also the real present means this point is "sliding" in time, hence Marvel Time is both a sliding timescale and a compressed timescale. The time before which events are not compressed. While there is no definitive statement on when exactly this is, we know everything starting from FF#1 is compressed, so the last fixed date is no later than 1961 (pre-FF#1). The rate of compression tells us how densely events are packed. Unfortunately, the rate is unknown, and from what we do know, almost certainly not linear. Marvel has made multiple statements about how much total time has passed over the years (Roy Thomas, real time 1970s, Marvel Time 10 years since FF#1; Unknown EiC, real time early 1990s, Marvel Time 11 years since FF#1; Comic references in 2010, Marvel Time 13 years since FF#1), which makes it clear that much more time passed in the early years of publication than passes today per unit of real time.

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