10 Comics That Redefined Wolverine (And How)


Wolverine is the best at what he does. What he does is up to interpretation, of course, as he’s done just about everything the Marvel Universe has to offer since his debut in 1974. Wolverine has had a storied history, which has him seen rise from obscurity to the heights of the comic book industry, becoming one of the most popular and well-known comic book characters on the planet.

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One of the great things about Wolverine is that he was allowed to change a lot more than almost any other big-name comic book character. Over the years, many great Wolverine stories have come out that have redefined the character, making the best out there even better.

ten Giant-Size X-Men #1 Put Him On The Road To Stardom

It can be argued that Giant Size X-Men #1, by writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum, is the most significant Marvel comic of all time. He introduced the incarnation of the X-Men who would soon rule the comics industry and save the team from obscurity. It also set Wolverine on the path to mega-stardom.

Wolverine’s role in the X-Men has become synonymous with the character. Even when he’s a member of other teams, which he often is, he remains an X-Man in his heart. His maiden outing with the team is a pivotal moment in his life.

9 New Avengers #5 finally saw him join the Avengers

Wolverine Dave Finch

Wolverine has always been the most connected member of the X-Men, but his relationships with some of Marvel’s biggest heroes weren’t always the best. His penchant for violence and gruff nature made many heroes unwilling to associate closely with him and no one would have ever thought he would join the Avengers. Until New Avengers #5, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch, came.

In the Savage Land to investigate strange happenings there along with the Avengers, Wolverine is captured along with the team and helps them escape. Later, Iron Man asks Cap to invite Wolverine onto the team in order to take care of things in a way the Avengers traditionally wouldn’t. Wolverine would serve with the Avengers for years to come, further cementing his place at the center of the Marvel Universe.

8 Wolverine #1 (2019) introduced readers to a happy Wolverine

Characteristic Wolverine Kubert

The Krakoa era of X-Men titles saw many changes, and Wolverine himself went through a profound one. Mutants had a home, power, and security like they had never had before. Wolverine was finally happy for the first time in years and that’s where readers found him in Wolverine #1 (2019), by writer Benjamin Percy and artists Adam Kubert and Victor Bogdanovic.

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Instead of fighting for an ideal, Wolverine was finally fighting for something material and his people, after years of tribulation, finally had what they had always needed. After years of anxiety about what seemed like the impending death of mutantkind, Wolverine could stop worrying and fight for a tangible future.

7 Wolverine and the X-Men #1 saw him take on more responsibility than ever

Wolverine was the ultimate loner. Although that changed over the years, it was hard to see him as the type of leader, but that too would change over the years. In the Utopia era of the X-Men, he took control of X-Force and excelled as the leader of the black ops group. Eventually, he and Cyclops had a violent falling out, and he left Mutant Island to form his own school.

Wolverine and the X-Men #1, by writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo, cast Wolverine as a leader, as he was not only headmaster of his own mutant school, but also the leader of the X-Men. He was always one of the most important members of the team, but becoming a leader took him to the next level.

6 Wolverine Origins #10 Introducing Daken

Wolverine Origins 10 Cropped

Wolverine lived a long life and fans always assumed he had children somewhere. However, they never thought they would be presented to one the way they were in Wolverine: Origins #10, by writer Daniel Way and artist Steve Dillon. It was the first appearance of Akihiro, the man known as Daken, who showed up to slit his trapped father’s throat.

Akihiro became an important part of his father’s life, taking his place among Wolverine’s fiercest enemies. Their fierce battles changed both men forever, with Wolverine eventually drowning his son. Daken has since come back to life and they have reconciled.

5 Uncanny X-Men #212 Started Wolverine’s Rivalry With Sabretooth For Good

Uncanny X-Men 212 Cropped

Wolverine’s most iconic rivalry is with Sabretooth. They have had many bloody confrontations over the years and their history together is long, complex and painful. It all started with Weird X-Men #212, by writer Chris Claremont and artist Rick Leonardi. It was the first time the two had fought and fans loved it, leading to the historic conflict between the two.

It’s safe to say that Wolverine wasn’t really Wolverine until that first battle with Sabretooth. He went from a character who fought the enemies of the X-Men to someone with his own enemies. It helped take him to the next level and led to years of stories featuring the two.

4 Wolverine #100 turned him into an animal

Wolverine has gone through many changes over the years, but one of the biggest has arrived. Wolverine #100, by writer Larry Hama and artist Adam Kubert. In the lead up to the issue, it was revealed that Wolverine’s recently removed adamantium had retained his mutation and he was becoming more feral. This issue saw him make this transition, as he resisted an attempt by Genesis to have his adamantium restored at the cost of his free will.

This issue introduced the beastly, noseless Wolverine. It went on for a few years, but Marvel never really seemed to want to commit to the long-term storyline, so it ended before it really started.

3 Wolverine #75 kicked off the Bone Claw years

Wolverine 75

The loss of Wolverine’s adamantium in X-Men #25 It was a huge change, but the best was yet to come. Wolverine #75, by writer Larry Hama and artist Adam Kubert, saw the aftermath of this event and revealed that Wolverine’s claws were bones and part of his mutation, not given to him by Weapon X.

RELATED: The 10 Best Wolverine Comics, Ranked

This kicked off the Bone Claw years of Wolverine, an interesting time in character development. His healing factor was weakened and his claws couldn’t cut anything anymore. He had to relearn how to fight and his stories actually got better as a result.

2 Origin has finally told the story of Wolverine’s early years

Original Wolverine cover.

Everyone knew Wolverine was one of the most dangerous mutants on the planet, but no one knew where he came from. His origin has been obscured in many ways over the years, with revelations explained as memory implants or various mind manipulations. This would all change with Origin, by writer Paul Jenkins and artist Andy Kubert.

Origin finally told readers the truth, introducing them to the sickly James Howlett, his nurse Rose, and Dog, the son of the Howlett family gardener. What followed was a tragic story that would give readers clues to the facets of Wolverine they had always wondered about.

1 Weapon X Told Wolverine’s Adamantium Story

Cover of Wolverine's Weapon X.

Wolverine’s adamantium is his most iconic feature and for years fans wondered how he got it. This was answered in Weapon X, by writer/artist Barry Windsor-Smith. For years, this was the clearest glimpse into Wolverine’s origin and it’s still a high point in the character’s publication history, one that all fans should read.

This opened up huge story potential, introducing the organization that would play a huge role in Wolverine’s future. He has an indelible place in Wolverine history and forever changed the way fans looked at him.

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