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Top 10 Worst Things to Happen to Wolverine

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor
He’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does looks painful. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things to Happen to Wolverine. For this list, we’re looking at the worst injuries or life events that the stab-happy X-Man has ever endured, both in the main Marvel continuity and beyond.
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He’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does looks painful. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things to Happen to Wolverine.

For this list, we’re looking at the worst injuries or life events that the stab-happy X-Man has ever endured, both in the main Marvel continuity and beyond.

#10: The Weapon X Program


Wolverine just wouldn’t be Wolverine if he hadn’t been put through the wringer by this sinister government procedure, but the comic book fame, cool claws, and indestructible skeleton might not have been worth the trauma. Logan’s healing factor and overall toughness allowed him to survive the procedure. His bones were coated with a nigh-unbreakable metal, but the physical and emotional trauma of the event left him with his memories fractured or gone altogether. After escaping from the secret facility in a blind rage, Logan’s traumatized mind was even sublimated by his feral instincts, leaving him in an animalistic state he wouldn’t emerge from for some time.

#9: He Was Brainwashed by The Alliance


Logan is, among other things, very good at killing people, and while his skills are usually used for good, they’ve been used for evil a number of times. Perhaps the most notable of these instances is when Wolverine was brainwashed by the Alliance, an evil group consisting of HYDRA, The Hand, and a mutant group known as the Dawn of the White Light. The Alliance managed to turn Wolverine into a deadly assassin and unleashed him upon many of his comrades, attacking Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and even the X-Men. Before he was captured and de-programmed, he even took the life of longtime X-Man Northstar, who was then resurrected and brainwashed himself.

#8: He was Crucified by the Reavers


Australia is generally a nice place to visit, with a friendly and welcoming population and some fantastic beaches. But unfortunately for Wolverine and the X-Men, their time down under wasn’t as fun as it could have been. During a brief period when they were based in the Australian outback, The X-Men fought of a group of cyborg mercenaries known as The Reavers. In retaliation for an earlier defeat, the Reavers at one point captured Wolverine and crucified him on a giant wooden X, leaving him to hallucinate while his battered body was ravaged by the elements. If it’s any consolation, Wolverine, it did make for a pretty striking cover.

#7: He was Torn in Half by The Hulk


The Hulk and Wolverine seem like they’d get along, given that they both have some serious anger issues to work through. But unfortunately for Logan, there was no commiseration or sympathy to be found when the two butted heads in the pages of a comic series set in Marvel’s Ultimate universe. After being dispatched to kill the Hulk once and for all, Logan seemingly met his match when the Jade Giant tore him in two, severing Logan’s spine and forcing him to crawl for miles just to retrieve his lower half.

#6: The Punisher Ran Him Over with a Steamroller


Wolverine’s cameo appearance in the pages of this particular “Punisher” comic wasn’t one of his better moments. After running afoul of the murderous vigilante, and running his mouth the whole time, Logan got a shotgun blast to the face, a baseball bat to the groin, and much more for his troubles. When the dust finally settled, Castle had left his clawed compatriot with a final parting gift: a deep tissue massage from a steamroller. Naturally, Wolverine wasn’t too happy about any of this, but when you have a twenty-ton piece of construction equipment parked on top of you, there’s much you can do to vent your frustrations.

#5: He Had All the Flesh Burned Off his Skeleton


Wolverine is no stranger to being reduced to a charred cinder. After all, this is the same guy who narrowly avoided being hurled into the sun. But when fighting a supervillain named Nitro, Logan went well past a few third-degree burns. After Nitro’s explosive powers left a school in ruins and countless children dead, Wolverine took it upon himself to hunt the villain down. Finding his quarry was no big deal, but after catching up with Nitro, Wolverine had every bit of flesh and tissue burned off his body when Nitro demonstrated his ability: the power to explode in a massive fireball.

#4: His Tragic Love Life


Not all of the worst things to happen to Wolverine involve grievous bodily harm. After all, when you’re a centuries-old mutant with a bad attitude and a whole lot of blood on your hands, your dating options are limited. Logan has had to bid farewell to numerous lady loves, including his fellow X-Man Jean Grey, as well as Mariko Yashida, Silver Fox and numerous others if you count alternate timelines. Like many comic book heroes, his love interests have a tendency to die or turn evil, when they aren’t already evil to begin with. You’d think that he’d swear off romance all together but the heart wants what it wants apparently.

#3: All of the Events of "Old Man Logan"


This critically acclaimed story about an older Wolverine in a dark future timeline is basically one horrendous thing happening to Wolverine after another. Before the story has even begun, Logan was tricked into brutally killing all of his fellow X-Men, an event that drove him to attempt suicide. Years later, an aging Logan went on a cross-country adventure with a similarly aging Hawkeye. When Logan finally got back home, he found his wife and children dead at the hands of The Hulk, who devours poor Logan when confronted. But rather than let it end, Logan clawed his way out of his former ally’s stomach. Isn’t retirement supposed to be restful?

#2: The Emergence of his Powers


Even as a child, Logan’s life was never been easy. Growing up weak and sickly in 1800s Alberta, James Howlett’s future as a one-man killing machine arrived when his mutant powers first manifested. The incident took place when his family’s groundskeeper, having been recently fired, murdered the future Wolverine’s father. This trauma triggered the emergence of young James’s powers, and he then used his new bone claws to murder the groundskeeper. He didn’t know it at the time, but that groundskeeper was actually James’s biological father. The trauma of the whole episode then prompted his mother to take her own life. And you thought your childhood was traumatic.

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

He was Attacked by a Cannibal

He Was Blown Up From the Inside

He Was Reduced to a Single Cell

#1: Having His Adamantium Removed by Magneto


Wolverine has endured some pretty horrible things over the years, but few events rattled the character to his core the way this one did. During a battle, the X-Men’s arch-enemy Magneto decided to deal with Wolverine once and for all and used his magnetic abilities to rob Logan of his trademark adamantium skeleton by leeching the metal from his body. Obviously, this event threw Logan for a bit of a loop, leaving him with a weakened healing factor and in a more feral state. Many years later, Wolverine had a similarly bad time with the opposite problem when he was encased head to toe in adamantium, seemingly killing him.
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