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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top 10 Best Wolverine Stories

THE WOLVERINE...He's "the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice". When he first appeared in the last panel of "The Incredible Hulk" #180 in 1974, who knew that this short, Canadian-born, berserker would become one of the most popular mutant superheroes today! Created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein and designed by John Romita, Jr., Wolverine had a fierce temper, a bad attitude, and claws to boot! Unlike any comic book hero before him, he had a mysterious origin to go along with his mutant powers. He also possessed an adamantium skeleton and claws which for the longest time, remained unexplainable. Later, appearing in "Giant Size X-Men" #1 in 1975, he became part of the new class of X-Men and soon rose to become a fan-favorite. Upon getting his own long-running comic book title in 1988, after a successful mini-series (1982) by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, his popularity grew even more!
Incredible Hulk #181
Having appeared in numerous comic books, cartoons, video games, even music videos, he finally achieved life on the big screen when Hugh Jackman appeared in the 2000 X-Men movie. Since then, his popularity has grown immensely, having his origin completely retold in the comics ("Origin"), getting the adamantium ripped out and put back in again, several lovers and marriages, learning he had a son (Daken), and not to mention dying and going to Hell! With the upcoming release of his fifth (sixth if you count his brief but hilarious cameo in X-Men: First Class (2011) movie appearance in The Wolverine (2013) and next year's release of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), I thought this would be a great time to look back at some of Wolverine's best stories over the years. Wolverine (a.k.a. "Ol' Canucklehead") has been one of my favorite comic book characters since I started collecting comics when I was about 10 years old. His attitude, ferocity and overall badass-ness is just a few of the reasons why he has endured for almost 40 years! CHERNOBOG'S BLOG PRESENTS: "Top 10 Best Wolverine Stories"! Enjoy, "bub"!

#10 Origin (2001-2002) Written by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada and Paul Jenkins, and illustrated by Andy Kubert - One of the most controversial Wolverine stories ever, this six-issue limited series presented readers with the "definitive" origin of Logan/Wolverine as it is revealed he was born James Howlett in Alberta, Canada in the 1880's. A moving and dramatic story, it was a successful story-arc with it's final issue breaking sales records. However, to most fans and readers it only did more damage to the already convoluted and confusing origin of Wolverine.

#9 "Just Don't Look In Its Eyes", Classic X-Men #25, (Sept.1988) - As an obsessive hunter tracks down a feral bear in the frozen north, what he ends up hunting is Logan. This short story appeared in the back of the reprinted issue of The Uncanny X-Men. It also appeared in the booklet for the deluxe edition of the heavy metal album Entombed, "Wolverine Blues" (1993).
 

 
#8 The Uncanny X-Men #s 139-140, (Nov.- Dec. 1980), "The Wendigo Arc", Written by Chris Claremont, art by John Byrne - Wolverine reveals more of his origin as he returns to his home in Canada where he reunites with his old team Alpha Flight and an old enemy: The Wendigo!

#7 The Uncanny X-Men #268, (Sept.1990), "Madripoor Knights", Written by Chris Claremont, Art by Jim Lee - While in Madripoor (Logan's old Casablanca-like turf) with Psylocke, Jubilee and Black Widow they take down the Hand Ninjas and Logan remembers a similar situation in 1941 when he teamed-up with Captain America to take on the Nazis!

#6 X-Men Vol.2, #25- Wolverine Vol.2, #75, (1993), "Fatal Attractions", Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, larry Hama, art by Adam and Andy Kubert - In one of the most epic crossovers in X-Men history, the final confrontation between the X-Men and Magneto! In a fit of rage after nearly being gutted by Wolverine, Magneto tears the adamantium out of Wolverine's skeleton. Professor X, enraged by Magneto's actions, mind-wipes Magneto. Remarkably, Wolverine recovers from his injuries and reveals that his claws had always been made out of bone. As a result, his mutant powers cause him to revert to a feral state until his adamantium is later replaced by the villain genesis (Wolverine Vol.2, #100, 1996)

#5 "Wolverine Vs. The Hulk", The Incredible Hulk #340, Feb. 1988, Written by Peter David, art by Todd McFarlane  - Regarded as "one of the most intense, visceral and shocking savage Wolverine stories ever!" As the Gray Hulk accidentally brings down a plane near DFW, Texas, Wolverine and the X-Men barely miss it. As Wolverine investigates the damage, what begins is a knock-down, drag-out fight between Wolverine and Hulk!

#4 Kitty Pryde & Wolverine Mini-Series, (1984-1985) - One of the best stories in Wolverine's saga came from an  unlikely team-up with a 6-issue limited series. Kitty Pryde, a.k.a. Shadowcat, was the X-Men's youngest member of the 1980's. Wolverine and Kitty Pryde struck up a deep kinship during that time and in the story while Kitty is trying to rescue her father from the yakuza but is captured by ninjas and the evil Ogun, Wolverine's former mentor, who brainwashes Kitty and sends her to kill Logan!

#3 The Uncanny X-Men #s 172-173, (Aug.-Sep. 1983), Written by Chris Claremont, art by Paul Smith - Logan invites the X-Men to Japan for his wedding to Mariko Yashida. When Markio is captured by Viper and Silver Samurai Wolverine and the X-Men must rescue her but soon after Mariko cancels the wedding telling Logan he is unworthy.

#2 "Weapon X" (1990) by Barry Windsor-Smith - Originally presented in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents (Issue #s 72-84), a long-running monthly anthology comic book, this tells the story of how Logan was turned into the ultimate human weapon in the "Weapon X" project under the direction of Dr. Cornelius. Subjected to experimentation and torture, Logan eventually fights his way out and escapes. An impressive "piece of work" (said writer Larry Hama), "Weapon X" is the most brutally violent, bloody and intense Wolverine story ever!

#1 "Wolverine" Mini-Series (1982) - Written by Chris Claremont and art by Frank Miller, Wolverine stars in his first solo-comic where he returns to Japan to find his one-time fiancée Mariko Yashida and winds up in a lot of trouble with Lord Shingen, her father. With the help of the assassin Yukio, Logan must challenge Shingen and win the hand of Markio.