Top 10 Wolverine Comics You Should Read

Written by Craig Butler

What he does may not be very nice, but it’s always entertaining. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down the top 10 Wolverine comics you should read.

For this list, we’re looking at Wolverine comics that were important, influential or just awesome in that Logan-esque way. We’re looking at comics that are focused on Wolverine, so while you might see crossover stories or X-Men tales here, the story has to revolve around Wolverine in order to quality for this list.

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Top 10 Wolverine Comics You Should Read

What he does may not be very nice, but it’s always entertaining. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down the top 10 Wolverine comics you should read.

For this list, we’re looking at Wolverine comics that were important, influential or just awesome in that Logan-esque way. We’re looking at comics that are focused on Wolverine, so while you might see crossover stories or X-Men tales here, the story has to revolve around Wolverine in order to quality for this list.

#10: “Coyote Crossing” (2004)

Let’s be real, one of the reasons Wolverine appeals to his fans is that he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty – or bloody. Violence and vengeance are his traveling companions – and there’s plenty of both in this story of Logan tracking down human trafficking scum. Writer Greg Rucka knows just what action-oriented buttons to push, but he also knows that a really good Wolverine story takes time to look at what’s going on inside the character’s head as well. By creating a moral quandary, Rucka helps to define and develop Logan and makes the story richer. And Leandro Fernandez captures Wolverine’s physicality perfectly.

#9: “Get Mystique!” (2008)

Logan isn’t the only mutant who’s been around for a while. Mystique, the sometimes-I’m-good, sometimes-I’m-not shapeshifter, has been coming in and out of Logan’s life for decades. At the start of this story arc, she has once again betrayed the X-Men, and Logan is out to get her. Jason Aaron takes this present-day chase-and-hunt scenario and contrasts it with an earlier episode from the duo’s history, when they were doing the whole Bonnie-and-Clyde routine. The two parallel stories combine to add depth to the tale, while never forcing it to downgrade the fun and the action. Aaron’s dialogue is razor-sharp, but somehow Ron Garney’s art is even sharper.

#8: “Logan” (2008)

Another story that flashes back between the past and the present, “Logan” takes place at a very special time for Wolverine. For years, his memories prior to the acquisition of his adamantium skeleton had been erased. They have been restored, and Logan now remembers details about his past in Japan – and decides he needs to journey there to get a little payback. But old scores and payback are never as fulfilling as they seem, as Logan learns. A beautiful script from Brian K. Vaughan works in layers to create a moving tragedy and is matched precisely by the incredibly evocative art of Eduardo Risso.

#7: “Enemy of the State” (2004-05)

Hey, we’re lucky Logan is on our side, right? What with all that power and anger and super-healing stuff – not to mention those adamantium claws. In this story however, it seems that Logan has gotten himself brainwashed by both HYDRA and The Hand and now he’s on a mission to kill – well, kind of everybody. Sure, it’s a bit of a strange setup, but it bring the story from one awesome fight scene to the next. And with John Romita Jr. drawing those fights, we’re sure not going to complain. “Enemy of the State” isn’t the most insightful story, but it’s way big on the fun.

#6: “Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk” (2005-09)

Damon Lindelof, co-creator of “Lost,” wrote this action-packed encounter between two of the baddest of Marvel’s badasses. Delays made the short series drag out over the course of four years, which blunted its impact. But read all in one sitting, the piece is a jam-packed thrill ride. Set in The Ultimate Universe, Wolverine is sent by Nick Fury to track down and kill the Hulk. Mayhem ensues. When Hulk gets angry at someone, he smashes until that someone doesn’t move very much anymore, and in Wolverine’s case, it pushes his healing factor as far as it can go.

#5: “Origin” (2001-02)

Wolverine’s origin story was revealed bit by bit in the decades following his first appearance. So fans were thrilled when a mini-series finally told the whole story. Numerous details were revealed, including the fact that as a child Logan was the sickly son of a rich plantation owner. Also, his name wasn’t Logan, but that’s a complicated story. “Origin” laid the groundwork for Wolverine’s backstory, expertly filling in blanks while leaving many questions purposely unresolved. The creators are slick in their use of misdirection, giving unexpected twists that keep the reader guessing for most of the tale.

#4: “Kitty Pryde and Wolverine” (1984-85)

Considering how violent and hard he can be, it’s surprising that Wolverine can also easily slip into the “big brother” role. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his touching relationship with the young Kitty Pryde. Sure, Logan is as gruff as ever, but there’s so much genuine fondness and affection for his young friend that even the most cynical fan can’t help but be touched. The mini-series takes Logan and Kitty to Japan, where they help Kitty’s father out of a jam. Of course, Logan has a history in Japan, and that comes into play as well. Al Milgrom’s art is intentionally rough in places, which annoyed some fans but which gives the series a distinctive visual look.

#3: “Wolverine” (1982)

Possibly the most influential book on this list, this 1982 mini-series is what really launched Wolverine into the stratosphere. He had long been a favorite in the X-Men books, but as part of a team, there was only so much that Chris Claremont could do with him. Given four issues to let the character expand, Claremont did just that – with decidedly muscular help from Frank Miller’s powerful art. Fans got all the action that they wanted, but they also got to know more about how Logan ticked. Wolverine is animalistic almost by nature, but Logan knows he has to control his impulses – and that conflict has been the basis for countless stories ever since.

#2: “Weapon X” (1991)

So Wolverine has these adamantium claws. But how did he get them? That question was finally answered in this brilliant Barry Windsor-Smith epic. And the answer wasn’t pretty. Logan’s mutant powers had given him claws, but it was a suspicious government project that gave him an entire skeleton coated in adamantium. This was only possible because of Logan’s incredible regenerative powers – but that doesn’t mean it was easy. The process was almost unbearably painful – and conducted without his consent. Told from the point of view of his experimenters, “Weapon X” is haunting, brutal and literally cuts to the bone. The rage, grief and torture that Logan feels during this series is palpable.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“The Death of Wolverine” (2014)

“24 Hours” (1989)

“The Marriage of Wolverine” (1983)

#1: “Old Man Logan” (2008-09)

A character as awesome as Wolverine always wins, right? Not if we believe “Old Man Logan,” a story set in a future in which the United States has been divided up by supervillains and all the heroes are dead or in hiding. It’s a brutally nasty world, one that has beaten down even Logan. He agrees to accompany Hawkeye, now blind, on a dangerous journey – largely because Logan needs the money the job can bring. While the state in which Logan exists is shocking, readers know that underneath the old Wolverine still lurks, just waiting for the right moment to be released. “Old Man Logan” is tough and at times excruciating, but the payoff is all the more sweet for it.
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