Greetings from the Odinson,
He has been gone for several years, but now he is back, and the Odinson celebrates his triumphant return with a look back at my favorite stories starring the ole Canucklehead.
Be sure to check out Part 1 HERE where we saw Logan’s rematch with the Hulk! We saw him suffer his greatest defeat at the hands of Magneto! We witnessed one of his greatest triumphs against the alien Horde! We saw him turned against his allies by the evil Hand! And, we witnessed his greatest loss, the death of Lady Mariko.
This week, the Odinson finishes his list of All-Time favorite Wolverine tales with some truly Must Read stories.
The Odinson’s Top 10 Favorite Wolverine Stories: Part 2 of 2
Written by Chris Claremont. Art by John Byrne and Terry Austin.
Yes, this is actually an X-Men story, and more specifically, a tale about Jean Grey and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, this Mighty Marvel Classic also features a super cool character arc for Logan and is arguably the moment in history when Wolverine took over the franchise.
The Hellfire Club, a secret cabal of aristocratic mutant villains, have utterly defeated the X-Men. With the heroes completely at their mercy only one man remains standing. Thought dead by his attackers, Logan emerges from the sewer waters below and says, “Okay, suckers, you’ve taken yer best shot! Now it’s my turn!”
With one absolutely gorgeous panel rendered by the great John Byrne and Terry Austin, Logan became a rock star!
Wolverine proceeds to ninja and hack and slash his way through a small army of Hellfire Club mercenaries until he finally fights his way to the inner sanctum of the villains and provides enough of a distraction for the X-Men to rally. During the final showdown, Wolverine takes Donald Pierce’s robotic arm off and makes an enemy of the cyborg for life. Also, all those mercenaries Logan hacks to ribbons in Uncanny X-Men #133 are put back together in Uncanny X-Men #205 and later become part of the Reavers, a gang of cyborgs that become perennial foes of the X-Men, especially Wolverine.
Logan, like all the X-Men, struggle to deal with the sudden dark transformation that comes over Jean Grey when she gives into the power of the Phoenix Force. Logan is in love with Jean and it is this love that causes him to hesitate and not take the killing blow when he has the chance. It is a failure that nearly caused the destruction of the world.
Written by Jim Owsley. Art by Mark Bright.
At a time when Spider-Man was the established face of Marvel Comics and Wolverine was a character on a meteoric rise to stardom, these two fan favorites embarked on a cloak and dagger adventure that would have major ramifications on Peter Parker’s life. Not only do fans get to witness an amazing back and forth between the two heroes, but the gold that was mined here paid dividends for years to come.
Fresh off the harrowing events of the Gang War storyline, Peter Parker and reporter Ned Leeds are sent on assignment to Germany. Logan also happens to be in Germany looking for an ex-KGB operative with whom he has ties. In a complex tale with many moving parts, Ned Leeds is murdered, Spider-Man and Wolverine team-up to track down Logan’s contact who is on the run from spies and assassins, and Spider-Man’s heroic morals are challenged when faced with real consequences.
In the aftermath of Spider-Man’s showdown with Wolverine:
- In Amazing Spider-Man #289, Peter learns that his colleague Ned Leeds was actually Spider-Man’s arch foe, the Hobgoblin. Though later this was retconned in Hobgoblin Lives to be subterfuge by the true villain.
- In Amazing Spider-Man #290, Peter proposes to Mary Jane which leads to their wedding in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.
- In Web of Spider-Man #29, realizing the young man just got a huge dose of harsh reality, Logan pays a visit to Peter to give him the pep talk and closure he needs in order to move on from the incident in Germany.
Written by Larry. Art by Marc Silvestri.
A murderer flees across the Canadian tundra, pursued by the law. Wolverine enters the fray. And, they are all set upon by a creature straight out of a nightmare. With elements of folklore and supernatural horror, this tale reminds the Odinson of classic bone-chilling stories that I used to see on The Twilight Zone and The X-Files.
2 – Old Man Logan
Written by Mark Millar. Art by Steve McNiven.
In a post-Apocalyptic world where the super villains won and all the heroes are dead, Logan, who has sworn to never pop his claws again, lives out his twilight years with his family on a struggling farm. The land is constantly besieged by the Hulk Gang, a family of inbred, Gamma-powered hillbillies that seek tribute. When Logan is out of money and out of options, a familiar face from the past, an old blind Hawkeye, shows up on his doorstep for one last ride.
This instant classic evokes all the best elements of Marvel What If-style storytelling and Clint Eastwood’s seminal film Unforgiven. As the story unfolds we learn what a world ruled by evil becomes and the tragic details behind why Logan has sworn to never pop his claws again. We witness Logan’s personal and devastating journey from broken down old man back to becoming the Wolverine, the most feared hero in the entire world.
Written by Chris Claremont. Art by Frank Miller.
In his very first solo adventure, Logan travels to Japan to aid his beloved Mariko. There he gets swept up in the machinations of her evil crime boss father, a ninja death cult, and the twisted influence of a devilish thief. Filled with iconic imagery and expertly paced storytelling, this story is truly a Marvel Masterwork. This is the moment in Comics History when Wolverine became a bonafide A-Lister.
I would expect nothing less when two legends of the industry like Claremont and Miller team up.
Those are the Odinson’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Wolverine stories. I cannot recommend these tales enough. If you have never read these stories before or it’s been a while (it’s been a while) since thou hast revisited them, do yourself a favor, pick them up now and make a weekend of it.
Make it a SNIKT! kind of weekend.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my book – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook.