He is the only X-Men character who has had a solo comic book since 1988, and he hasn’t missed a beat. With so many stories to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. The best Wolverine stories of all time have been compiled by me. I’ll be your gruff mentor with a heart of gold as you navigate the rough waters of Wolverine because I’ve chosen the 10 best stories of all time.
Now, you won’t agree with every pick, but you can trust the master. Here, there are some classics, some newer ones, and some stories where Wolverine fights a cocaine-wielding pile of cocaine. This is done on purpose. When Wolverine is shown in a different way, you can get a better sense of him. This is why you need to know all about him in order to truly love him, even if you don’t like him.
1. WOLVERINE #1-4 (1982)
BY CHRIS CLAREMONT & FRANK MILLER
By 1982, Chris Claremont was at the top of his game. He had written “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past” in Uncanny X-Men almost right next to each other. It was near the end of Frank Miller’s game-changing run on Daredevil. He had just passed the art responsibilities on to a new artist. Those people were the most important people in comics, and they were going to make Wolverine the most important character in the business, too.
There is a sense in which Wolverine is a miniseries that is a perfect match for its creators. Claremont has a lot of heart and likes soap opera drama. Miller has a good sense of action and likes to draw ninjas. As Wolverine fights to not only save the woman he loves from an abusive marriage but show that he is more than just a mindless animal. Logan has to find honor, inner peace, and a way for his life to move forward before he can be a good person.
A lot of Ninjas are also going to have to be fought off by him as well.
If you think Miller’s best work is The Dark Knight Returns, don’t even ask. Miller does a great job setting up action scenes in this movie. Claremont spends a lot of time writing long, thought-provoking monologues, but he also knows when to step back and let his artist take the lead. This is how he does it:
For good reason, every Wolverine story is in the shadow of this one, and that’s a good thing It’s two of the best creators in the business, at their best, writing a tight story that explains the most important character in comics since the Silver Age in the best way. It’s so good.
In Uncanny X-Men #172-173, the direct follow-up to this story, the rest of Marvel’s mutants are added in for a heartbreaking ending.
2. WEAPON X (MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #72-84)
BY BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH
Even though Wolverine has been the focus of almost every X-Men movie since 1991, his past was unknown until then. Barry Windsor-Smith, an artist for Marvel Comics, wrote a gripping story about how Wolverine got his claws in a series called Marvel Comics Presents. In three different movies, you’ve seen the same beats. They are making the ultimate living weapon, with adamantium being injected into a man’s body. A beast runs away and leaves a trail of blood in its wake. To find out what happens in this comic, you don’t even need to read it.
Is what might surprise you about this story is that it takes a long time to get through. Windsor-main Smith’s goal in this comic is to set a mood. This is what he does best. He knows how to make the reader feel, like a slasher movie. People who are fighting with each other and treating Logan like an experiment or a toy are going to have a bad time because they treat him like that, not like a real person. You don’t know when everything will fall apart.
Wolverine is shown as a monster in this picture. As Wolverine stalks the halls of the Weapon X facility, he is unstoppable as he runs through bullets, blood, and body parts. What they did to him is what he was made of. This is what they unleashed, and this is what Logan is always trying to keep under control.
It was never important for us to know more about the history of Wolverine than this. When he was killed, he turned into a deadly weapon. He was a tough man who didn’t have a plan. Now, he wants to improve. To see how far he has come, we only needed to know how bad he could be.
If you like it: Uncanny X-Men #205 is another Wolverine story by Barry Windsor-Smith. In this one, he just kills some robots in the snow with his claws. You can draw a straight line from the images in that issue to Weapon X, which is what that issue is about.
3. OLD MAN LOGAN
BY MARK MILLAR & STEVE MCNIVEN
If you only read the first two entries, you might think that Wolverine is all about dark, violent, stories about the human condition. That’s not true. It’s very important to know that Wolverine is a character who is all about having six knives on him at all times, and that’s pretty dumb. It’s about two people who belong to the AARP taking a road trip across a Marvel Universe that went wrong.
A long time ago, the bad guys won. The heroes were killed, and Logan went to live on a farm and said he would never use his claws again. He ends up going with a blind Hawkeye to go east and down, delivering a secret package. There are hillbilly Hulks, Venom T-Rexs, and a child with an Ant-Man helmet on the way. You don’t want to mess with any of these people. People will be moved by this story, but they won’t forget its pulpy roots.
Steve McNiven is a master at art, and Mark Millar shows people how good he is at writing comics that are full of explosions and popcorn. In this comic, Wolverine kills President Red Skull with Captain America’s shield, then steals Iron Man armor and flees to California in it. Not everything in the book has aged well, but if you’re looking for a comic that is both dangerously silly and cathartic, you could do a lot worse than this one.
If you like the Wolverine: Infinity Watch comic book by Gerry Duggan and Andy MacDonald, you should read it. It takes the idea of Wolverine on a Marvel road trip and makes it bigger than ever. It shouldn’t work, but somehow they make it work.
4. WOLVERINE #17-23 (COCAINE)
BY ARCHIE GOODWIN & JOHN BYRNE
He thought comic book nonsense was fun to play with. The Wolverine ongoing series ground that nonsense into fine powder and made noises in the bathroom when it was done. If you want to read a specific story by Archie Goodwin and John Byrne, it’s in a book called Wolverine Classic, Vol. 4. I think that’s an interesting title for a comic book where Wolverine has to fight a Nazi ghost cyborg and sentient cocaine.
But, really? This comic is great. That weird time when Wolverine disguised himself with an eyepatch and no one knew who he was. Wolverine spends time on the island nation of Madripoor before he gets into a fight with Nazi-backed drug cartels, which he can’t avoid. To do this, he goes into the small Central American country of Tierre Verde and helps overthrow their fascist drug-running president and his friend from the Nazi party. It’s a beautiful book with a story that moves along thanks to its own boldness. :::::::::::::::::::::
There’s also Spore.
Spore is a bio-weapon that was made to kill the Eternals. The Eternals are a group of immortals who live on Earth. When Spore was made, he was smashed into dirt, had plants grow on him, and had those plants turned into cocaine that makes people cocaine monsters. Not even the fact that he was killed by a mutant nun is interesting enough to make it into the top ten.
As someone who won Top Chef Masters, Chris Cosentino, wrote a fanfiction about solving meat-related crimes with Wolverine. Wolverine: In The Flesh is a real comic that is written by Cosentino.
5. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE II
BY TOM TAYLOR, NIK VIRELLA & DJIBRIL MORISSETTE-PHAN
A lot of people think Laura Kinney isn’t the best Wolverine, and they need to stew in the fact that they are wrong. Writer Tom Taylor did something special with All-New Wolverine. He took the character who used to be called X-23 and made her more than just a dark killer. He gave her a family, made her move on from her past, and planned out a real future for her.
Taylor, with the help of artists Nik Virella and Djibril Morissette-Phan, brought out all the skeletons in Laura’s closet in Enemy of the State II. They made her face the horrors she saw in her first appearances. Because of what she did in her past as an assassin, like Logan, Laura can’t get rid of the guilt that comes with being one. Seeing her sadistic handler, Kimura, again makes Laura want to push everyone away. The threat of losing control makes Laura want to do this.
But she’s not alone. She’s never with me. A group of people from all over the 616 come to get her back.
This is a fun story that puts a new twist on Wolverine’s favorite things, like Madripoor, losing control, and SHIELD fights. It ends with one of the most powerful comic book catharsis scenes ever drawn. One chapter of Laura’s life comes to an end with Enemy of the State II. It makes her the real Wolverine.
If you like it, you should check out the whole All-New Wolverine run by Tom Taylor. Especially the first arc, “The Four Sisters,” which introduces Gabby, the most talked about character of 2016.
6. Wolverine (1988) #48-50 Pitted Wolverine Against Weapon X’s Newest Weapon
When Wolverine (1988) #48-50 came out, he was back at the place where it all started: Weapon X. It was written by Larry Hama and drawn by Marc Silvestri. To find out more about Wolverine’s past, Wolverine and Jubilee search for clues. They find a secret facility that leads to a fight with Shiva, the failsafe for Weapon X.
Hama’s run on Wolverine changed the character into what he is today. This is one of the high points of his early work on the book. Love the art, but the story didn’t answer as many questions as it did. On top of all that, it’s just a well-written story with a lot of great action in it.
7. Ultimate X-Men #41 Had Wolverine Perform A Mission Only He Could
The Ultimate Universe didn’t have a lot of great Wolverine stories, but one stands out as one of the best Wolverine stories of all time. It was written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by David Finch. Wolverine was sent on a terrible mission: to kill a mutant teenager who killed everyone around him.
It’s such a beautiful and heartfelt subject. Wolverine’s healing ability lets him get through the teen’s acid aura. They drink beers together as the young man talks about how short his life has been. Bendis and Finch write a great story about Wolverine that isn’t like any other Wolverine story that people had seen before.