Best Wolverine Stories of All Time


Wolverine is probably one of the most published superheroes in modern times.  In addition to his numerous solo series, he is a prominent member on multiple X-Men teams as well as more recently the Avengers.

With so many stories out there, we’ve decided to put together a definitive list of the best of the best.  This list, like our other top 25 comics such as our popular X-Men and Batman lists, is based off of numerous lists out there, giving a weighting to each selection of the best Wolverine stories.  The lists used are either featured on popular sites, found within a forum or included in a collected edition, such as the recent Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection
.

The Top 25 Wolverine Stories

Reputable Stories

These stories don’t have universal appeal, but their significance in Wolverine’s publication history offer them a spot on this list.

25. Wolverine in Madripoor

Year: 1990
Creators: Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri

These issues begin one of the most acclaimed runs in Wolverine’s solo series as Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri take Logan back to Madripoor.

Issues:
Wolverine 1st Series #31 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #32 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #33 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #34 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #35 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #36 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #37 BUY

Collected in:
Wolverine by Larry Hama & Marc Silvestri – Volume 1

24. Blood Debt

Year: 2000
Creators: Steve Skroce (Art & Story)

As part of the Revolution revamp of X-Men titles which new creative teams tackle stories that skipped ahead 6 months. Here we see Wolverine in his “Samurai” role, dealing with demons from his past.

Issues:
Wolverine 1st Series #150 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #151 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #152 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #153 BUY

23. Classic Wolverine

Year: 1988
Creators: Chris Claremont,John Buscema, Klause Janson

Yet another Madripoor tale, this is the one that began it all. It features the first appearance of Wolverine under his “Patch” alias, and introduces an interesting supporting cast such as Archie and the once and future Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. While there are better Madripoor stories out there, this one gets points for setting the scene.

Issues:
Wolverine 1st Series #1 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #2 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #3 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #4 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #5 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #6 BUY

22. World War II Wolverine

Year: 2005
Creators: Mark Millar, Kaare Andrews

In this spectacular stand-alone issue, superstar scribe Mark Millar is joined with superstar artist Kaare Andrews to bring you a glimpse of Wolverine from the past (World War II in particular). This story is bound to rise the charts as time moves on and more readers become aware of this future classic.

Issues:
Wolverine 2nd Series #32 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection

21. Planet X

Year: 2004
Creators: Grant Morrison, Phil Jimenez

And now we look at a different aspect to Wolverine: his role as an X-Man. This is a Wolverine/X-Men story that was meant to be told, and surprisingly was only done in the last decade. Here we have Wolverine and Jean Grey’s affection for each other culminate into one final event that up stakes with no other than the Phoenix Force.

Issues:
New X-Men #146 BUY
New X-Men #147 BUY
New X-Men #148 BUY
New X-Men #149 BUY
New X-Men #150 BUY

Collected In:
New X-Men, Vol. 3
New X-Men Omnibus

20. Alpha Flight

Year: 1979
Creators: Chris Claremont, John Byrne

The first appearance of Alpha Flight (though we had scene Guardian a few issues before) is one of the first glimpses into Wolverine’s past fans had gotten. I think part of what propulsed Wolverine into popularity is just how layered the character was early on, and it probably helped that John Byrne, a Canadian himself, was able to infuse some national authenticity into the character. None is more apparent than in these issues.

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #120 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #121 BUY

Collected In:
Essential X-Men, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 2)
The Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 3 (Marvel Masterworks)
The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Volume 1 (New Printing)

19. The Brotherhood

Year: 2003
Creators: Greg Rucka, Darick Robertson

Greg Rucka does what he does best by giving Wolverine a great detective story that fits right in with Wolverine’s occasional “loner” persona.

Issues:
Wolverine 2nd Series #1 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #2 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #3 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #4 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #5 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine Vol. 1: The Brotherhood

18. Fatal Attractions

Year: 1993
Creators: Fabian Nicieza, Larry Hama, John Romita Jr, Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert

This X-Title crossover does not have a cohesive narrative throughout, other than the return of Magneto. What puts this story among the best is mostly its consequences – Magneto tears the Adamantium right out of Wolverine. That splash page alone is worth the price of admission.

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #304 BUY
X-Men #25 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #75 BUY

Collected In:
X-Men: Fatal Attractions

Cult Favorites

17. Ultimate New Mutants

Year: 2004
Creators: Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch

This story comes right out of left field (or the Ultimate Universe, specifically!). In the midst of a story arc, we get a chapter focusing on Wolverine, which delivers on all accounts giving us one of the best single that is pure Logan, 616 or otherwise.

Issues:
Ultimate X-Men #41 BUY

Collected In:
Ultimate X-Men Vol. 8: New Mutants

16. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine

Year: 1985
Creators: Claremont, Al Milgrom

The second Wolverine mini-series shared the bill with Kitty Pryde, making her one of his first “literary foils” (subsequently replaced by others such as Jubilee, or even Armor during the Astonishing X-Men years). For reference, this is another “Samurai” type Wolverine story.

Issues:
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1 BUY
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2 BUY
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #3 BUY
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4 BUY
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #5 BUY
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #6 BUY

15. Astonishing X-Men

Year: 2004-2008
Creators: Joss Whedon, John Cassaday

Now a Marvel master, Joss Whedon had actually made his debut with the publisher not in movies, but in comics with the Astonishing X-Men. While the story doesn’t focus strictly on Wolverine, this is one the best examples of Wolverine in his element among the X-Men.

Issues:
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #1 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #2 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #3 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #4 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #5 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #6 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #13 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #14 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #15 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #16 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #17 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #18 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #19 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #20 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #21 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #22 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #23 BUY
Astonishing X-Men 3rd series #24 BUY
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 BUY

Collected In:
Astonishing X-Men By Joss Whedon & John Cassaday Ultimate Collection – Book 1
Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 4: Unstoppable

14. Not Dead Yet

Year: 1997
Creators: Warren Ellis, Leinil Francis Yu

Such a great start to the post-Hama era, Ellis’s “Not Dead Yet” has been included in the recent Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection. A ghost from the past takes Logan on the run.

Issues:
Wolverine 1st Series #119 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #120 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #121 BUY
Wolverine 1st Series #122 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection
Wolverine: Not Dead Yet

13. Old Man Logan

Year: 2008
Creators: Mark Millar, Steve McNiven

There are surprisingly few tales outside the present 616 universe on this list, considering how popular they are for X-Men comics. That said, Old Man Logan is probably the best alternate Wolverine tale, as we find Logan in his old age long after the mutants are gone. With Mark Millar and Steven McNiven, this tale was meant to be a classic, and just a few years after its publication, it already is.

Issues:
Wolverine 2nd Series #66 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #67 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #68 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #69 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #70 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #71 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #72 BUY
Wolverine Giant Sized Old Man Logan #1 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Old Man Logan

12. Get Mystique

Year: 2008
Creators: Jason Aaron, Ron Garney

These last two entries occurred back to back, showing that the 2nd Wolverine series had an incredible run of stories. The difference between this one and the former is that this one occurs in canon. It’s an epilogue to Messiah CompleX, though it is its very own thing, with Wolverine hunting down Mystique.

Issues:
Wolverine 2nd Series #62 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #63 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #64 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #65 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Get Mystique

Critically Acclaimed

These next stories go beyond what we expect, giving us deep stories along with the pure fun the others provide. Their impact go beyond the stories, even affecting the industry at large.

11. Days of Future Past

Year: 1981
Creators: Chris Claremont, John Byrne

The original “Future Wolverine” story, Days of Future Past is considered one of the best X-Men stories ever. While it is in essence a 616-Universe story, the portions of this regarding the dystopian future are what contain the truly great Wolverine moments.

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #141 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #142 BUY

Collected In:
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Essential X-Men, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 2)

10. Wounded Wolf

Year: 1986
Creators: Chris Claremont, Barry Windsor-Smith

This story has had a strong impact stylistically, both in terms of art and pacing. It also paved the way for the Wolverine origin story in Marvel Comics Presents Weapon X. In this one-and-done story, this issue of Uncanny X-Men focuses solely on Wolverine recuperating from an ongoing battle with the help of one of the Power Pack girls. The cover of this book speaks for itself!

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #205 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection
Essential X-Men, Vol. 6 (Marvel Essentials)

9. Logan

Year: 2008
Creators: Brian K. Vaughan, Eduardo Risso, Dean White

Master modern storyteller Brian K. Vaughan gives his take on Wolverine at an important moment in his life. This mini-series takes place after the events of House of M, of which one of the consequences was having Wolverine finally remember his whole life.

Issues:
Logan #1 BUY
Logan #2 BUY
Logan #3 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Logan

8. Vicious Circle

Year: 1988
Creators: Peter David,Todd McFarlane

Considered part of the Fall of the Mutants storyline, this is the grudge match of the century, as Wolverine returns, after becoming one of Marvel’s top heroes, to the pages where it all began – Incredible Hulk – to take on the titular hero in this blockbuster issue by heavyweights Peter David and Todd McFarlane.

Issues:
Incredible Hulk #340 BUY

Collected In:
X-Men: The Fall of the Mutants
X-Men: Fall of the Mutants – Volume 1

7. Dark Phoenix Saga

Year: 1980
Creators: Chris Claremont, John Byrne

one of the most iconic moments can be found in issue #131 of Uncanny X-Men, when Wolverine emerges from the water and says “Now it’s my turn”. The subsequent issue is all Wolverine taking on the Hellfire Club, showing for the first time how he can handle his own series. Regardless, this whole story is one of the most essential comic arcs ever. Read it!

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #129 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #130 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #131 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #132 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #133 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #134 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #135 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #136 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #137 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #138 BUY

Collected In:
Essential X-Men, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 2)
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga
Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men – Volume 5

Definitive Archetypal Stories

6. The Brood

Year: 1982
Creators: Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

We follow a classic X-Men issue featuring Wolverine solo with it’s successor! This issue (just #162, though the full arc is listed below) once again shows Logan as the last hope for our heroes, though in this book we see him take one the alien Brood. While not as reputable as the Dark Phoenix Saga, this is a side of Wolverine we don’t see as often: on an alien planet, with his body only half converted to the Brood, thanks to his healing factor, giving this story a sci-fi vibe.

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #162 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #163 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #164 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #165 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #166 BUY
Uncanny X-Men #167 BUY

Collected In:
Essential X-Men, Vol. 4 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 4)

5. Enemy Of The State

Year: 2005
Creators: Mark Millar, John Romita Jr

Millar’s second story on this list is yet another imagining of Wolverine taken to an extreme. Forget wondering what would happen if Wolverine went bad, this is it, and in canon. Hydra are the ones to set this in motion, brainwashing Logan into an unhinged killing machine.

Issues:
Wolverine 2nd Series #20 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #21 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #22 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #23 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #24 BUY
Wolverine 2nd Series #25 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Enemy of the State

4. Madripoor Knights

Year: 1990
Creators: Chris Claremont, Jim Lee

this issue was on the cusp of something big; as the 90’s rang in, Jim Lee had begun his trek to stardom with his run on Uncanny X-Men. Here we see a flashback issue that brings Wolverine back to his time in Madripoor, along with Black Widow and Captain America.

Issues:
Uncanny X-Men #268 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection
Essential X-Men – Volume 10

Universal Praise

You’d be hard pressed to find a Wolverine fan’s best-of list that omits these stories.

3. Origin

Year: 2002
Creators: Paul Jenkins, Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas, Andy Kubert

Here it is folks, the moment where all is revealed. After decades of mystery, Marvel decided to take the controversial path of revealing Wolverine’s true origin, eliminating the mystery that was part of his character. Wolverine only remembers this portion of his life in House of M, published years later, but readers were able to get the scoop earlier.

Issues:
Wolverine The Origin #1 BUY
Wolverine The Origin #2 BUY
Wolverine The Origin #3 BUY
Wolverine The Origin #4 BUY
Wolverine The Origin #5 BUY
Wolverine The Origin #6 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Origin
Wolverine: Origin
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection

2. Weapon X

Year: 1991
Creators: Barry Windsor-Smith

For a character whose allure comes from being shrouded in mystery, it seems that its the issues that reveal them, effectively removing the said mystery, that are the most popular. That means there is a lot to be said in regards to the quality of those revealing story arc, with each replacing the mystery with something as intriguing. Weapon X is one of the first looks back at Wolverine’s origin, notably in regards to his adamantium skeleton.

Issues:
Marvel Comics Presents #72 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #73 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #74 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #75 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #76 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #77 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #78 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #79 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #80 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #81 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #82 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #83 BUY
Marvel Comics Presents #84 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine: Weapon X
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection

1. Claremont and Miller’s Wolverine

Year: 1982
Creators: Chris Claremont, Frank Miller

For a character whose growth in the number of featured titles doesn’t seem to stop, its strange to see that most still regard his first solo outing as their favorite. With both Chris Claremont and Frank Miller teaming on the book, it was a near guaranteed hit. What is hard to see from this moment in time is how different it all was, showing Wolverine in the samurai setting, rather than the Canadian killing machine we had mostly seen previously.

Issues:
<Wolverine Limited Series #1 BUY
Wolverine Limited Series #2 BUY
Wolverine Limited Series #3 BUY
Wolverine Limited Series #4 BUY

Collected In:
Wolverine
Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection

A few interesting stats…

Chris Claremont is the reigning champion of creators with the most books on the list.  While top of the list is dominated by early stories, it is the first decade of the millenium (2000’s) that is the most popular period for Wolverine stories.

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