Logan, Patch, Death, Weapon-X, James Howlett. Loner, protector, spy, mutant, Avenger, X-Man, assassin, berserker, samurai. All these names and titles describe Marvel Comics’ most popular character best known as Wolverine.

Making his debut in the pages of THE INCREDIBLE HULK #181 in 1974 as a throwaway villain, Wolverine has now spent decades as one of the forefront characters for Marvel Comics. A character who writers beg to write and artists get in line to draw. Wolverine is one of those rare characters that can be dropped into any situation or any story and have it make sense, no matter the setting.

Fictionally, Wolverine was born in the late 19th Century as James Howlett to a wealthy family in Alberta, Canada. He spent the last 100+ years traveling the world, visiting space, time traveling, and saving the world as a member of the mutant team the Uncanny X-Men and more recently as a full-fledged member of the Avengers.

Without further ado, here is a list of the greatest Wolverine stories ever told and also the stories that tell us the ins and outs of what makes him tick. The origins, the endings, the future, and all the rest! Here he is, the best there is at what he does — the Wolverine!!!

ORIGIN

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Writers: Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, and Paul Jenkins. Artist: Andy Kubert

Part of Wolverine’s endearing legacy is the fact that his past is shrouded in mystery. Besides a few small blurbs here and there over the years, the answers to Wolverine’s (and the readers’) questions would go unanswered for decades. Telling the Wolverine origin story was long thought to be too taboo of a story to ever tell. In what may be the first time a Marvel movie directly influenced the comics division, Marvel’s top creators called a conference to discuss telling the story of Logan’s beginnings. After many back and forth debates, we decided that the comics had to tell the story before the movies did. Especially in light of the success of the movie X-MEN.

The book takes us back to Logan as a young child living on a wealthy estate in Canada. Within the first issue alone, they happen to answer many long-standing questions, while still being able to leave in bits of mystery. It includes a particularly good subplot about James Howlett’s mother and how her personal life affects everyone around her, particularly the Logan family’s son, Dog. We follow Logan and his first true love, a girl named Rose, as they escape from a traumatizing incident and roam across Canada seeking asylum from their past. They manage to find work at a lumber stockade where they try their best to fit in. But as we have discovered over the years, trouble always seems to come looking for Wolverine, and in its truest and earliest fashion, it comes crashing in viciously — literally.

ORIGIN has Deep Roots

Filled with many subtle hints and symbolism, a lot of this miniseries leaves interpretation up to the reader. You must have a keen eye to be able to catch all the Easter Eggs planted throughout the six issues. It also contains what may be one of the biggest twists in comics history at the end of issue 2 and the beginning of issue 3.

We get a fulfilling story, but the door is left open for future creators to contribute as just as many questions were left unanswered as answered.  Marvel took a big gamble on telling this story, and it paid off big time. A story of family, of love, of heartbreak, of betrayal, and of murder. This origin story to one of comics’ greatest characters is truly one of the greatest ever told.

ORIGIN II

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Writer: Kieron Gillen. Artist: Adam Kubert (2013)

ORIGIN II is the spiritual follow-up to the classic ORIGIN that revealed to us Logan’s earliest history. This tale helps fill in the blanks of Logan’s lost years after the ending of ORIGIN where he seemed to wander aimlessly. The art is phenomenal from veteran WOLVERINE artist Adam Kubert, who finds ways to keep Logan’s appearance fresh and appealing while capturing his animalistic within. Not only do we get a new look at Logan but also a very early look at Victor Creed, a.k.a. Sabretooth, and his previously unknown sister. Gillen surprises us big on this one with a great twist ending that also pays homage to a particular twist in the previous volume of ORIGIN.

WOLVERINE VOL. 2 #10

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Writer: Chris Claremont. Artist: John Buscema (1989)

In this standalone issue, there are two stories interwoven with each other. One that takes place in the current time and one that takes place years ago, before Logan became Wolverine.

The story to focus on here is the flashback sequences. In the present storyline, Logan is visiting Madripoor’s Princess Bar in his alias as Patch. A fight breaks out between two men that gives Logan flashbacks. He recalls part of his first fight with Victor Creed, the man who would become Sabretooth.

The fight took place many years before the current story. At a time when Logan was living in the Canadian wilderness with his lover, a Native American woman, Silverfox.

Watching Logan and Victor battling it out across the frozen wilderness, you can almost feel the fear that Logan is experiencing. The fight isn’t a classic, colorful costume battle with other X-Men there to help. It is a vicious and bloody fight to the death between two bitter enemies — one that Logan cannot win. Creed brutally beats Logan into submission with little effort. Broken and defeated, Logan accepts defeat.

What Do We Learn About Wolverine?

We learned a few new things about Wolverine in this issue. Not just another piece of his mysterious past but something that we may not want to have known. We learned that our hero can fail, that the “good guy” doesn’t always “get the girl” and live happily ever after. This early battle would set the tone for every fight they had in the future, with Wolverine never quite sure of himself and occasionally doubting his abilities. Which, in my opinion, is the way it should be between two bitter enemies.

LISTEN: X-Men writer, Chris Claremont, talks X-Men in this podcast!

WEAPON-X

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Writer and Artist: Barry Windsor-Smith

Originally presented in the pages of MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS as a 13-part epic, this was the first story that gave us a glimpse of Logan before his days as Wolverine. It tells the story of how Logan became Weapon-X and had the adamantium placed over his bones and claws. Windsor-Smith pulls double duty on this spectacularly created story.

The story begins with us finding Logan, a broken man. There are hints of his past as a CIA operative and how an incident at a gun range got Logan his release from the agency. With nowhere else to turn to he once again becomes a lonely drifter, trying to drown his suffering in an endless amount of booze and painkillers. This scene offers us a rare glimpse at Logan as he is at his lowest point. A lost and lonely man overcome with suffering who turns to substance abuse to numb the pain. A character who we often see as superhuman all of a sudden seems very mortal.

What Makes Weapon X Unique

What makes this story unique is that Logan’s perspective is solely depicted at the opening and climax. The three doctors in charge of transforming Logan into Weapon-X and making him into the perfect super soldier dominate the point of view for the rest of the story. We see two of them in particular, not as evil villains out to destroy our hero but humanized as customary people, discussing life’s ordinary events throughout the story.

This story would eventually let loose the flood dams and set the groundwork for all future Wolverine origin stories. It is the preferred story over the previous entry, ORIGIN, for many fans and with good reason. A twist ending to the story hammers home the struggle Logan endured, a timeless tale that is as good today as it was 25 years ago.

WOLVERINE: NOT DEAD YET

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Writer: Warren Ellis. Artist Leinil Francis Yu (1998)

Ellis gives us an action-packed story that begins with an explosion and doesn’t stop until the last frame. A young Leinil Yu takes on art duties and elevates himself to one of the best Wolverine artists in the business. The way he draws Logan’s claws is my personal favorite rendition.

Not many people can boast about having a kill count as high as Logan’s. McLeish, the White Ghost, is one of them. Flashback sequences throughout the story tell us that McLeish and Logan are old drinking buddies from Logan’s time as a spy and operating out of Asia. The White Ghost is as nasty as they come, but he and Logan share a respectful bond as each recognizes the other’s talents. This story is a great reminder to us that Logan isn’t always a morally good person like his contemporaries in the AVENGERS and X-MEN.

Logan Does What He Does, Deal with It!

This book is truly Logan doing what he does best and not doing it nicely. He is all alone and trying to track down a shadowy murderer, slicing through any bad guy dumb enough to get in his way. All the while trying to figure out how his long-dead drinking buddy, McLeish, is connected to it.

Besides being one of the best action stories Ellis has ever done, the book gives us a mystery that we try just as hard to solve as Logan does. Each step closer to the truth Logan gets, he seems to drift further away from reality. Not knowing who he is who or where he is going or what he will find when he gets there.

A fabulous story on all marks from beginning to end.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #181

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Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Herb Trimpe

” And now….The Wolverine!” Little did anyone know at the time what those four words would mean over the next 40+ years. This is Wolverine’s first full appearance, making a brief cameo at the end of THE INCREDIBLE HULK #180.

Making his debut as a kind of throwaway antagonist for the Hulk in his book, Wolverine sure did make an impression right out of the gate. No one would think (least of all Hulk or Wendigo) that a short, little man could be any threat. They find out real quick just how wrong they are.

Rabbit or Wolverine?

Jumping around like “a rabbit” as the Hulk puts it, Wolverine slashes and stabs at both Wendigo and Hulk. However, he decides that the best way to beat Hulk and complete his mission is to team up with him to take out Wendigo. After they team up, Wolverine turns on Hulk, and the battle begins! Wolverine can’t seem to be able to pierce Hulk’s hide, and Hulk can’t get a grip on Wolverine due to his speed and agility. Hulk eventually found a way to subdue Wolverine, with the help of his friends. But the damage was done. Hulk knew he had just barely won this encounter and it would only be a matter of time before we saw these two powerhouses collide again.

Even though this takes place in Hulk’s book, you seem to get the sense that everyone was rooting for Wolverine to win. He was a kind of hero we had not seen previously. With his claws and brash attitude, Wolverine would start making us root for the underdog. A trend which has continued these past four decades.

HEAR: ComicsVerse delves into the meaning and the effect on the world itself after the release of GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1!

GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1

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Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Dave Cockrum

GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 is the comic that would usher in an international brand of X-Men and kickstart a whole new area for a whole new generation. Professor X travels around the world and gathers new mutants to join him. Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Sunfire, Colossus, and Thunderbird are all recruited into the X-Men. Cyclops explains to them the original X-Men’s mission to the island Krakoa where they were all captured with only Cyclops escaping. This would set in motion the first adventure of Wolverine with the X-Men.

Although Wolverine made his debut a half year earlier in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK, this would be the book that would open him up to the masses. Still just as brash and with as much attitude as he had when fighting Hulk. Len Wein may have even made him a little bit brasher here albeit toning down the antagonistic nature he had in INCREDIBLE HULK.

Wolverine at the Beginning

When you look at Wolverine in this book and take into perspective the era it was written in, you can see the kind of jump MARVEL was going for in Wolverine’s status as a “hero.” Before Wolverine, we didn’t have a character quite like him. He had no problem talking back to authority, threatening to maim or kill, and had no problem hitting on Jean Grey openly. Of course, over the years and as readership changed, Wolverine would be tempered down and honed into what he is today. But back in 1975, Wolverine was a big trendsetter for other characters in the coming years.

THE UNCANNY X-MEN #133

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Writer: Chris Claremont. Artist: John Byrne

“Wolverine Alone!”

Ever since his debut in INCREDIBLE HULK and subsequently joining the X-Men, we’ve always known Wolverine was a berserker. But what we had yet to see was when he would let loose. This issue takes place right in the middle of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” when the Hellfire Club manipulated Jean Grey to turn against the X-Men, an essential story to read on any list!

Wolverine breaks loose from the primary battle and takes it upon himself to rescue the X-Men alone. After being left for dead, Wolverine recovers and stalks the Hellfire Club through the shadows. He manages to find a group of Hellfire soldiers in the basement of the club where we get to see him go berserk for the first time. He slashes, stabs, maims, and kills. And for a time when all heroes were thought to be non-killers and uphold a particular creed, watching Wolverine cut loose was surprising and so very exciting!

WOLVERINE VOL.1 LIMITED SERIES

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Writer: Chris Claremont. Artist: Frank Miller

Claremont and Miller deliver Wolverine’s first real solo adventure. Wolverine’s popularity grew as the years went on and the logical thing to do was give him a shot at holding down his book. Everything that you would ever want in a Wolverine book is in this. Love, betrayal, revenge, and of course Ninjas!!

During his time with the X-Men, Wolverine met and fell in love with a Japanese woman named Mariko. After a brief solo mission into Canada, Wolverine returns to the X-Mansion to find that all his letters to Mariko were returned to him and every attempt to call her was thwarted. Wolverine journeys to Japan to figure out what has happened and learns that Mariko has married an abusive gangster on some honor debt created by her father, Lord Shingen. Apparently, Wolverine does not take this news well and sneaks into Shingen’s compound only to find Mariko beaten and bruised. He challenges Lord Shingen to an honor fight and loses in a devastating way. He spends the remainder of the book recovering and planning his revenge with the help of Yukio, a carefree assassin.

Where It Starts

This story was written at a point where Wolverine’s healing factor had yet to be fully explored. The “I see bullets as a pizza topping” healing that he would later acquire was not yet created. When we see Wolverine fight Shingen and take a beating, there is an acute sense of dread that Wolverine will not make it out alive.

This is a true classic from some of the industry’s best creators. Claremont had been writing Wolverine for years in UNCANNY X-MEN and he has a grip on him here.

WATCH: X-Men writer, Chris Claremont, interviewed at Flame Con 2!

KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE

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Writer: Chris Claremont. Artist: Al Milgrom

Following her breakup with Colossus, Kitty Pryde heads home to Chicago to heal her broken heart. She needs some TLC from her parents. Settling into a routine life relatively quickly, Kitty begins to remember her life before she joined the X-Men. Before long, trouble strikes as she discovers her father laundering money for the Yakuza. He winds up trying to back out and gets kidnapped. Kitty Pryde stows away on an airplane to go to Japan to rescue him, and that’s when her trouble begins. She calls on Wolverine to help her. He shows up and finds out that the mastermind behind all this is Logan’s former mentor, the demon samurai, Ogun.

More Wolverine, More Japan

Just as in our previous entry, the bulk of this story takes place in Japan and prominently features Yukio and Mariko, Logan’s two lovers. The Japanese stories tend to be some of Wolverine’s best stories, especially with Chris Claremont at the helm again. We get to see yet another new side of Wolverine as he takes the time to recover from his beating at the hands of Ogun early on in the series. This story hammers home the father-daughter relationship that he and Kitty have. Kitty also gets a significant amount of page time as she goes from a bookish teenager to the full on martial arts master due to her mind being manipulated by Ogun.

It’s not just the action moments in this book that make it stand out. It’s the characterization and development given to our titular characters in the quiet moments. Logan pushes Kitty hard during their training, and despite feeling sorry for her as readers, we know that it’s ultimately what she needs to overcome Ogun’s hold on her. A great story from the first to the last page that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

WOLVERINE VOL.2 #1 (Ongoing Series)

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Writer: Chris Claremont. Artist: John Buscema

“Welcome to Madripoor.”

At last! Wolverine in his very first ongoing solo series! This was the beginning of what would become one of MARVEL’S longest running ongoing series, beginning in 1988 and running to 2003.

Chris Claremont himself described this as more of a high adventure story rather than a superhero story. He was most certainly correct. This Wolverine is truly the one we have wanted to see ever since his debut with the X-Men. He is savage and visceral, but at the same time, also witty and even a bit funny. In addition, this fits his character well — he’s not all torment and suffering!

WOLVERINE Vol. 2 #57

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Writer: Larry Hama. Artist: Marc Silvestri

It’s up for debate who is Logan’s greatest love. His and Mariko’s relationship had been in a constant state of flux at this point. Mariko was trying to do her family honor by going legitimate but still struggling with her desire and love for Logan. Once she had severed her ties to the criminal underworld, she would be free to pursue a life with Logan. But as we all know, Logan’s love life tends to be short.

A War Between Two Worlds?

A war between different tribes of the Japanese underworld brought Wolverine into the fray to help Mariko’s family. Thinking that if he helped eliminate rivals, they would be free of their duty bonds and finally be together. However, as fate would have it, Matsu’o Tsurayaba, a rival crime lord, poisoned Mariko. As Mariko laid dying in Wolverine’s arms, she begged him to end her suffering and use his claws to end her misery. Finally, with tears in his eyes, Wolverine had no choice but to oblige.

This instance of Wolverine using his claws as an “honor” or “mercy” kill would be heavily repeated over the years but rarely has it ever been this effective or heartbreaking. Silvestri captures the torment and pain perfectly on Logan’s face, and it’s hard as a reader not to be a little upset over it. Rarely do we see Logan outwardly displaying any emotion, let alone grief. Larry Hama started to hit his stride with this issue.

X-MEN Vol. #25

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Writer: Fabian Nicieza. Artist: Andy Kubert

“Fatal Attractions.”

Fatal Attractions was an entire X-MEN brand crossover. Tensions with Magneto had been slowly brewing since the beginning of this series, and now they had come to a head. Xavier put together a handpicked team to confront Magneto at his Asteroid M base, knowing full well that one of them would not be coming back after.

The X-Men assaulted Magneto’s base, and a vicious battle broke out. Wolverine took it upon himself to try and end Magneto permanently. Being prepared for this, Magneto (somewhat sadly) used his powers to rip all the adamantium off Wolverine’s bones and left him for dead. Jean Grey and Xavier were able to bring Wolverine back from the brink (quite literally, at “the light”) and save him.

A Fatal Attraction: Wolverine Style

The Fatal Attractions crossover might just be the most important to Wolverine as a character. At the beginning, he is somewhat a little more bloodthirsty than usual. In fact, at the very beginning of the series, he tried to kill Magneto by stabbing and slashing him in the torso. By the time we get to this issue, he is all set to end Magneto permanently.

The end of this crossover (in the epilogue issue of WOLVERINE #75) could have been one of the most shocking reveals ever as we find out that Wolverine had bone claws which were only covered by adamantium.

In conclusion, not only did we get a good crossover but the story also set up Wolverine stories for the next two years. Wolverine would leave the X-Mansion and set out on his own to find his place in the world. The loss of his adamantium would also kickstart his healing factor to new heights as it didn’t have to compensate for the metal on his bones anymore. Read WOLVERINE #76-99 for Logan’s journey after his loss of the adamantium and WOLVERINE #145 for the return of his adamantium to his bones.

WOLVERINE: LAW OF THE JUNGLE

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Writer: Frank Tieir. Artist: Sean Chen

This is an excellent collection of stories by Frank Tieri and Sean Chen. However, we see more Logan than we do the Wolverine. As a result, it plays to the fact a writer can put Logan into any story and it makes sense. This dark and seedy side of the MARVEL universe doesn’t get much attention. It’s a gritty and violent collection and seems to suit Logan perfectly.

A Little Drinking on the Job

Logan goes to a bar and overhears a story about a loan shark kidnapping a little girl whose father owes him a debt. Bored and wanting to kill time, Logan investigates further. He submerges himself into the Mafia underworld and goes to war with two different sides of a turf war. In the conclusion, Logan serves justice the only way Logan knows how. We are left with one heck of a story.

The epilogue story to this collection sees Logan taking on the Punisher, one on one. Punisher didn’t care for the way Logan handled the Mafia war and decided to teach him a lesson in dealing with criminals. Although, it just doesn’t quite go Punisher’s way.

A great collection filled with various pop culture references and easter eggs. A must-have for anyone that likes the darker side of comics and not the costumed heroics all the time.

WOLVERINE: THE BROTHERHOOD

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Writer: Greg Rucka. Artist: Darrick Robertson

Sticking with the same vein as the previous entry, Greg Rucka writes the kind of story that he does best. This time Logan just happens to be his titular character. Robertson draws Logan how he originally meant to look: short, hairy, and not particularly handsome.

Once again, set away from heroics and costumes, Logan ventures away from the X-Men to find seclusion and peace. That seclusion, however, is short-lived.

When Lucy Braddock, the waitress at Logan’s favorite cafe and his neighbor, is murdered after asking for Logan’s protection, he sets out on a mission and will not rest until he finds her killers. Tracking down the culprits with no more information than what kind of gun he was shot with, Logan proceeds to prove he is still the best there is at what he does, and what he does is quite violent.

Read WOLVERINE: COYOTE CROSSING for Rucka’s follow-up to this collection.

HOUSE OF M

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Artist: Olivier Copiel

This universe-spanning and universe-altering crossover affected nearly every hero and villain in the entire Marvel Universe. Perhaps none more so affected than Wolverine. First, the story begins with a bright light and a new reality taking the place of the old reality. In addition, every hero had their heart’s desire granted in the new world. For Wolverine that apparently meant running black ops with Mystique for SHIELD.

This seems to be an important crossover for Wolverine because he is truly the heart of the story. He knows that there is something wrong with the world and is the only one who can remember what life was like before the white light. He sets out on a mission to unite the heroes and take back the world. Eventually, he can convince Luke Cage and his band of underground warriors that the world is wrong.

Wolverine Versus Magneto, Again!

Finally, the heroes end up defeating Magneto and his family and restoring the world back to its normal state. Most everyone came back from the House of M world with a little PTSD, but Wolverine had the biggest shock of them all. When the world returned to normal Wolverine woke with all his lost memories back.

This, of course, would lead to a whole lot of new adventures for Logan as he set out to the right all the wrongs caused by his memories returning.

WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE

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Writer: Mark Millar. Artist: John Romita Jr.

Wolverine has always been an anti-hero type. Sure, he’s been brainwashed before and has always blurred the lines of good and bad. But here. Here is just straight-up evil.

A new enemy called The Gorgon killed and resurrected Wolverine. The Gorgon managed to combine the entire might of The Hand and Hydra, calling themselves The Dawn of the White Light. They brainwashed Logan into their personal killing machine and set him loose on the world. Fantastic Four, Daredevil, the X-Men, and many others tried to stop him before his old friend and lover Elektra managed to rein him in.

An epic story filled with all the dialogue and witticism that you would expect from Mark Millar. The great John Romita Jr. is stellar as always. Read WOLVERINE: AGENT OF SHIELD for the follow-up to this story as we see Wolverine get his revenge against The Gorgon.

HEAR: ComicsVerse does a two-part series on Rick Remender’s UNCANNY X-FORCE featuring Logan!

WOLVERINE: ORIGINS

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Writer: Daniel Way. Various artists

This ongoing series by Daniel Way follows Wolverine on his solo missions. It focused on him as he followed his newly regained memories. Running for a full 50 issues and an annual, Wolverine would finally get closure on his past and find out who was responsible for the tragedies that befell him.

We would learn that an immortal mutant named Romulus had manipulated Logan from early on in his life and had shaped Wolverine into everything that he was. When Charles Xavier recruited Wolverine into the X-Men, Romulus lost his hold over him. Instead of Logan, Romulus would turn to the unknown son of Logan’s….Daken, the mongrel.

Romulus shaped Daken into a ruthless, sociopathic killer, everything Wolverine could’ve ended up like had he not turned to the side of Xavier. From this point, the series follows Wolverine and Daken as father and son go on a collision course of revenge on Romulus.

A great series that takes us all around the Marvel Universe with a great myriad of guest appearances including Hulk, Skaar, Nick Fury, and the Dark Avengers.

WOLVERINE: WEAPON-X Ongoing

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Writer: Jason Aaron. Artist: Ron Garney

“Adamantium Men.”

Jason Aaron had been the unofficial architect of Wolverine for some time by this point. Outside of Chris Claremont, he seems to know Wolverine better than any other writer. This ongoing series was created in the wake of WOLVERINE: ORIGINS ending its run and to give Aaron his personal space to create any Wolverine story he wanted. Every arc in this series feels decidedly different than the last. Every story puts Wolverine in a different place and atmosphere. The opening arc, entitled “Adamantium Men,” would kick off this new series with a great opening salvo.

One of the Best Wolverine Comics

First, Wolverine finds himself up against a clandestine group of mercenaries called Strikeforce X. Each member has been modified with claws and a healing factor. Additionally, reporter Melita Garner, who would later become Logan’s girlfriend, was trying to uncover the agency and company responsible. The two end up coming to an agreement for an exchange of information and Logan sets out on his hunt. Finally, a great multi-page battle with Logan and the commander of Strikeforce X showcases Ron Garney’s art and Jason Aaron’s ability to make a great story without dialogue.

Again, Aaron gets Wolverine as a character, and it’s hard not to feel a little bit of Aaron himself in each story. But that’s a good thing! It probably makes it easier to put ourselves in Logan’s shoes and commit ourselves to the story. Most of all, this happens to be my personal favorite Jason Aaron Wolverine story.

LISTEN: Rick Remender talks Logan and more in this podcast interview!

DEATH OF WOLVERINE Mini Series

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Writer: Charles Soule. Artist: Steve McNiven

Well, the title says it all, doesn’t it? This mini-series, following Paul Cornell’s great 24-issue run on the main Wolverine book, gives us Logan’s last battle. Many twists and turns lie ahead, as well as plenty of heartbreak.

Wolverine lost his healing factor. Now all his enemies seem out to get him for good when a mysterious enemy put an enormous bounty over his head. This story features a plethora of Logan’s enemies, both new and old. Each one, in turn, comes after him and tries to cash in on the bounty. Logan manages to survive each encounter relying on more than berserker rage. He, then, tracks down the mystery villain behind the bounty.

For a lifetime of fights and tragedies, it all comes down to this for Wolverine. He fought the good fight for over a century, saved countless people and killed just as many others, was looked up to and admired, yet still looked down on as a mutant. In the end, his untiring desire to do the right thing led him down a path that he couldn’t come back from with his healing factor gone. After reading this story, it will be hard to not have a little sadness knowing Wolverine is dead this time. But you will also savor every page of this great comic.

Honorable Mentions

WOLVERINE: KILLING MADE SIMPLE

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Writer: Christopher Yost. Artist: Koi Turnbull (2008)

This one-shot issue is a hidden gem of a story. It doesn’t do a whole lot to add to Wolverine’s mythos. However, it has a great extended scene where Logan describes all the ways he can get killed. Featuring classic X-Villains, Nanny, and the Orphanmaker, Wolverine gets captured along with X-Man in training, Hope Abbott, a.k.a. Trance. She wonders how the great, unbeatable Wolverine ends up helpless against Nanny’s de-aging powers and how he can’t find a way out of their predicament. Wolverine describes to Trance all the various ways that he could die and why he is not immortal. Most of the death scenarios feel brutal and open up the reader as to how our favorite Canucklehead can die. Once thought as someone who can heal from anything, Logan suddenly seems very vulnerable. Most of all, it’s a great standalone issue with a breakout performance by Trance.

WOLVERINE: WEAPON-X #10

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Writer: Jason Aaron. Artist: C.P. Smith (2010)

This Jason Aaron ongoing solo Wolverine run is one of the best. He understands Wolverine’s character and always seems able to peel back layer after layer of Logan’s psyche. This standalone issue finds Wolverine in the more quiet moments of his life as he is taking some rest after back-to-back harrowing adventures. Anything you would ever want to know about Wolverine’s love and sex life reveal themselves in this issue. Featuring just about every woman in Logan’s life, this issue takes us to an area of his personal relationships never touched on before. Featuring a great and funny post-coital scene with Logan and Melita Garner as they decide to take their relationship to the next level.

LOGAN: SHADOW SOCIETY

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Writer: Howard Mackie. Artist: Tomm Coker (1997)

This great story, courtesy of Howard Mackie (a very underrated writer, who has had some good Wolverine-centric stories), takes us back to the days before Logan became Wolverine. Logan works as a freelance CIA operative. He teams up with a young Carol Danvers. The story seems to hint at a relationship between the two.

No heroics, no costumes, no saving the world. Just a down-and-dirty gritty story with backstabbing and betrayals and murder. This one is for those who like their comics edgy.

X-FORCE: SEX AND VIOLENCE

sexandviolence

Writers: Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. Artist: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

For mature readers only!! You get exactly what the title reads: sex and violence from the duo of Wolverine and Domino, the mutant luck charm. No hidden reveals, no twist endings, no bright colors! This is a fast-paced story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats from the first issue to the last. Wolverine and Domino indulge in a little side work, amongst other things, and take on the Assassins Guild as well as whos-who of B-list Marvel villains. The blood, guts, and clothes fly in this beautifully painted story.

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The End of Wolverine

In conclusion, many great Wolverine stories span a 40+ year publishing career. As a result, it’s hard to narrow down the most essential or best Wolverine stories. The list compiled here should be a jumping-off point to seek out and find even more great Wolverine stories. From Avenger to X-Man, assassin to samurai, secret agent to cowboy, and everything in between, Wolverine is truly a rare character that fits in anywhere. We hope you enjoyed this list and found yourself wanting to read more. Happy snikts, Bub!

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