As the Wendigo, Cartier was several feet taller than the average human and vastly more muscular. He was covered with snowy white fur, had a long tail, razor sharp teeth, and claws on his hands and feet.
The Wendigo is unable to change back until the curse is lifted from its host.
The Wendigo is the result of an ancient curse laid down by Elder Gods of Canadian folklore that transforms any person who eats the flesh of another human being in the Canadian wilderness into a massive, fur-covered humanoid beast. Wendigo is an indestructible force of nature, having been made by the gods.
In the first modern documented case of the Wendigo, three Canadians, Paul Cartier, Georges Baptiste and Henri Cluzot, were hunting in the Canadian North Woods when wolves attacked them. Cluzot was mortally wounded, and his friends took him inside a cave for shelter. As the man began to starve, Cluzot died. Cartier, on the verge of insanity, resorted to eating the dead man's flesh. In doing so, he fell victim to the curse that transformed him into the Wendigo. Ultimately, Baptiste and Cartier's sister Marie attempted to transfer the curse to the Hulk, with whom Cartier had clashed several times as the Wendigo. Marie tranquilized the Hulk, then summoned the Wendigo. But before she could begin the necessary ritual, the Hulk awoke and attacked the Wendigo. In midst of their battle, they were confronted by Wolverine, who had been sent by the Canadian government to subdue the Hulk.
Wolverine and the Hulk together took down Wendigo, but fought each other as Marie prepared the Wendigo for the transferal process. She then gassed the two combatants, reverting the Hulk to his human form of Dr. Bruce Banner. Seeing Banner, Baptiste lost all resolve to help Marie transfer the curse to the Hulk. Marie tried to move Banner away, but he reverted back to the Hulk and renewed his fight with Wolverine. Unseen, Baptiste snuck into the cave in which the Wendigo lay and completed the ritual, which transferred the curse from Cartier to himself, transforming him into the Wendigo.
Paul Cartier himself had no superhuman abilities. However, the curse that transformed him imbued his Wendigo form with various superhuman attributes.
Superhumanly Acute Senses: As the Wendigo, Cartier's senses of sight, smell and hearing were enhanced to superhuman levels. He could see objects, with perfect clarity, at much greater distances than normal humans. He retained this same clarity at night, enabling him to see perfectly in near-total darkness. His hearing was similarly enhanced, allowing him to detect sounds beyond the capability of normal humans to hear. His sense of smell was highly developed and he could track a target by a scent for many miles.
Superhuman Strength: As the Wendigo, Cartier possessed great superhuman strength. At his peak, he possessed sufficient strength to lift at least 75 tons.
Superhuman Speed: In spite of his great size as the Wendigo, Cartier could run and move at speeds beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Stamina: As the Wendigo, Cartier's musculature was vastly more efficient than that of a normal human. His muscles produced considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than normal human muscles. At his peak, he could exert himself for several days before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood impaired him.
Superhuman Durability: While transformed, Cartier's bodily tissues were much more resistant to physical injury than those of a normal human. He could withstand high caliber bullets, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and tremendous impact forces, such as being repeatedly struck by the Hulk, without injury. He has also been known to take the strongest blows from Thor's hammer and managed to remain standing.
Regenerative Healing Factor: If he sustained injury as the Wendigo, Cartier's body possessed extensive healing capabilities that allowed him to repair damaged or destroyed tissue much faster and more extensively than a normal human. Injuries that resulted in great blood loss and tissue damage, such as being repeatedly slashed by Wolverine's Adamantium claws, fully healed within a matter of seconds. His healing powers were developed to the point that he could regenerate severed limbs or missing organs.
Immortality: As the Wendigo, Cartier was functionally immortal. He was immune to aging and all known Earthly diseases. The only way to actually kill a Wendigo was by releasing the curse set down on the carrier.
Claws & Fangs: As the Wendigo, Cartier possessed strong, razor sharp claws. Coupled with his natural strength, the claws could rend most types of materials. Cartier could use his fangs as effective weapons in extremely close quarters combat.