Just about everyone is familiar with Wolverine, aka Logan, the Canadian member of the X-Men with unbreakable metal claws.

But who created him?

Up until recently, most comic book experts would have said the character’s creation was a joint collaboration between writer Len Wein, artist Herb Trimpe, and then-Marvel art director John Romita Sr.

But now, 50 years after the character first saw print, another name has been added to the list, Roy Thomas.

Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Bobbie Chase broke the news on Facebook on March 30, saying that Wein’s widow, Christine Valada, had told her that Thomas would be listed as a co-creator for Wolverine in the upcoming “Wolverine and Deadpool” movie.

“I was standing in Christine’s kitchen this past Sunday as she told me about the phone call [from Marvel]. Of course, Christine is seriously concerned about Len’s legacy. Len was profoundly important to the comic book industry, and that legacy is being changed for the worse, six years after his death,” she wrote.

When the character first appeared in “The Incredible Hulk” No. 80 in 1974, Thomas was the editor-in-chief at Marvel, having taken over from Stan Lee.

At the time, he asked Wein to create a character called The Wolverine and asked that he be made Canadian, seeking to revamp the X-Men into becoming a more international team. Wein, Trimpe and Romita took it from there.

But while Thomas might have provided the impetus for the character, many people are questioning whether that alone is worth being listed as a co-creator, especially in an industry where due credit has not always been given (google the name “Bill Finger” if you want a good example).

“Does contributing a name and a country of origin mean he deserves a percentage of the creator equity, when he was on staff at the company?” Chase asked in her post.

Numerous comics professionals and fans took to social media to express their distaste over the news, especially since Wein, Trimpe and Romita have died.

“Scummy move by Roy Thomas claiming creator credit of Wolverine after all those involved have passed away,” one BlueSky user wrote.

“On the first day, God said let there be light. On the second day, Roy Thomas rushed in and created Wolverine,” a user on Twitter joked.

“This situation is unfortunate because I am only trying to finally get credit for something where the facts have been known for many years, and I’m being portrayed as a ghoul trying to rob the corpse of Len Wein for credit and money,” Thomas, 83, said to Forbes.

“First and foremost, this is not a financial issue. I’m not getting a penny, as far as I know, and it in no way takes away from whatever Len [Wein] and John [Romita]’s families may be getting, if anything,” Thomas continued. “I’m already getting money from my other contributions to Marvel; I don’t need Wolverine money, thank you very much.”

Thomas went on to say that he felt he made up the idea for the character and that, whether it was part of his job duties or not, meant he should be listed as a co-creator.

“I don’t think this dilutes Len Wein’s legacy, because he has always been recognized for writing those stories and for everything he brought to the character, including bringing Wolverine into the X-Men [in 1975],” he said. “I’m not trying to take anything away from anyone, I just want credit for what I did.”

Valada, who is an entertainment and copyright attorney in Los Angeles specializing in creator rights issues, feels otherwise.

“This is not about finances. This is about stolen valor. This frankly calls my husband a liar for his entire career,” she said to Forbes.

“It’s their sweat and blood that goes into the creation, while editors go home and collect their paychecks,” she said. “It’s simply not true that Roy was in any way shape or form a co-creator of the character. To me, co-creator means that he either contributed to writing the story or he contributed artwork, and he didn’t do either. He made suggestions, as an editor does.”

Wein, who also created DC’s Swamp Thing character with artist Bernie Wrightson, had a distinguished career as an editor. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2008.

“The list of characters created while Len was Editor-in-Chief at Marvel is several pages long,” Valada said. “He would never dream of taking co-creator status on anything he edited, no matter what he contributed to the process.”

“Seeing Roy Thomas’s name as a co-creator makes me sick to my stomach,” she said to Forbes. “The man should have stayed in his lane as the editor, taking his accolades for that, and not try to usurp credit that he’s not due and that he has not earned.”

 “This is not about finances. This is about stolen valor. This frankly calls my husband a liar for his entire career.”  Read More