11 Feb

Subject: Wolfsbane
Real Name: Rahne Sinclair
Height: 5’2″ Weight: 120 lbs.
Group Affiliation: X-Factor
First Appearance: New Mutants Graphic Novel 1982

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 3/7
  • Fighting Ability: 5/7
  • Intelligence: 2/7

When introduced in the New Mutants Graphic Novel in 1982, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, she played like a cross between Beast and Rogue (though technically Rogue had only been introduced a year prior, and was still very much a villain): a girl with an exotic accent (in this case, Scotch) whose powers severely altered her appearance (going from wolf-like humanoid to full on wolf), causing big self-esteem issues.

By the time the 90’s had rolled around her personality was largely boiled down to an unhealthy crush on her X-Factor leader Havok (as mentioned in her card’s X-Tra Fact), and was for the most part ineffective as part of the government-sanctioned team.

In fact, not only can I not remember why she was transferred to X-Factor at all from the New Mutants, but why for the love of god, did Rob Liefeld then replace her with essentially the SAME character (powers-wise), Feral, when he transformed the New Mutants into X-Force?

Well, the second part of the question is actually easy enough to answer: Wolfsbane wasn’t badass enough. And this would make sense in Liefeld-logic, except none of the other New Mutants were, either, really, and he just went ahead and screwed their personalities up to fit his needs. Whatever.

Artwise, Lee’s art at least doesn’t overly sexualize Rahne, but then again there isn’t much personality in the drawing at all. We don’t get the sense at all of her Wolf-changing powers. Looking at the card she seems no more than a female version of Beast, just like She-Hulk is simply the female version of the Hulk.

As far as Power Ratings go, her Strength and Fighting Ability ratings are both overestimated, I think, despite her feral (pardon the pseudo-pun) attributes. Wolfsbane was pretty consistently depicted as either inexperienced or impulsive, which speaks very badly for her effectiveness in combat.

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