Forgotten but Great Wolverine Comic Arcs, Ranked

Wolverine has been around for nearly fifty years. Starting in 1982, Wolverine began to get his own stories independent of Uncanny X-Men. Since then, Wolverine has starred in hundreds of story arcs, each one revealing something about the character or bringing up more questions to be answered in the future. Wolverine is brilliant to read about, a multi-faceted hero who has grown and changed for decades.



The reprint policies of the Big Two, combined with the relative scarcity of comic stores, means that many great story arcs are sometimes forgotten. Wolverine has plenty of stories that fall into this category, and following are 10 of the best.

10 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #91-100

by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Duncan Roleau, Chris Alexander, Ramon Bernado, Dan Green, Al Milgrom, Mark Morales, Nick Napolitano, Matt Ryan, Mike Sellers Joe Rubenstein, Marie Javins, Joe Rosas, Violent Hues, Digital Chameleon, Pat Brosseau, Richard Starkings, and Comicraft

The full potential of Wolverine’s mutant power was explored in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #91-100. This story arc revealed that removing the mutant’s adamantium caused his mutation to begin transforming him into an animal. These ten issues follow Wolverine as he tries to get help with his condition, and deals with the near-inevitability of losing himself to the beast within.

These issues spotlight Wolverine at his best, fighting against the world and doing everything in his power to remain in control of himself. Larry Hama is an amazing Wolverine writer, and these stories highlight just how much he understands the character. All in all, this is a great slice of Wolverine goodness from a wrongly maligned period of his history.

9 Havok And Wolverine: Meltdown

by Walter Simonson, Louise Simonson, Jon J. Muth, Kent Williams, Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh, and Bill Oakley

Havok And Wolverine: Meltdown is a four issue miniseries from Marvel’s Epic line. It was published in 1989 and takes place at the end of the Soviet Union. This means that despite it playing out of events in the mainline X-Men books, it’s almost certainly not canon thanks to grounding itself in one particular period of time. However, that doesn’t make it any less of an amazing story.

While on vacation together, Wolverine and Havok are attacked in a bar and infected with a strain of the Bubonic Plague. This is done by Meltdown and Neutron, who want to use Havok to create a nuclear reaction that will give Meltdown the power to conquer the Soviet Union. It’s an excellent story, full of twists and turns, buoyed by its amazing writing and beautiful painted art.

8 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #1-3

by Chris Claremont, John Buscema, Al Williamson, Glynis Oliver, and Tom Orzechowski

Wolverine’s first ongoing kicked off with a story that many modern fans haven’t even read, but would become extremely important to the character and his history. After the X-Men faked their deaths, Wolverine started operating in Madripoor under the alias of Patch. He is eventually inducted into the hunt for a special sword called the Murasama blade and battles enemies like Silver Samurai and the Cult of the Black Blade.

The Muramasa blade would become a huge part of Wolverine’s legacy in coming years, as it’s the only weapon that can hurt the mutant, negating his healing factor. Chris Claremont is responsible for much of Wolverine’s foundation, and John Buscema is an amazing action penciler, which fits this story perfectly.

7 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #76-90

by Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Tomm Coker, Ian Churchill, Bob McLeod, John Nadeau, Ron Wagner, Yancy Labat, Ron Garney, Fabio Laguna, Al Vey, Joe Kubert, Bud Larosa, Tim Townsend, Bill Reinhold, Younger, Tom Palmer, Matt Banning, Keith Champagne, Al Milgrom, Mark Farmer, Mike Sellers, Mark Pennington, Lovern Kindzierski, Joe Andreani, Digital Chameleon, Steve Buccellato Ken Somers, Marie Javins, and Pat Brosseau

Wolverine’s bone claw years kicked off with this story arc. Over these fifteen issues, Wolverine traveled the world, revisiting his old stomping grounds and battling classic enemies. The loss of his adamantium changed the way Wolverine looked at himself, and these issues were all about him figuring out how to continue operating without what had become a core part of his existence.

Featuring battles with Lady Deathstrike, Cyber, and Bloodscream, Hama exceled at telling violent stories featuring the most feral member of the X-Men. The travelogue style storytelling really dug into who Wolverine was at this point in his life, and this is a must-read for fans of the veteran mutant hero.

6 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #60-68

by Larry Hama, Dave Hoover, Mark Texiera, Mark Pacella, Dan Panosian, Steve Biasi, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hanna, Keith Williams, Steve Buccellato, Marie Javins, Kevin Tinsley, and Pat Brosseau

Weapon X gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton, but that’s not all they did. The nefarious government agency was also responsible for tampering with his brain, as revealed in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #50. Issues #60-68 picks up this plot thread, as Wolverine reluctantly teams up with the survivors of Weapon X – Sabretooth, Maverick, and John Wraith – as well as a woman he thought long dead: Silver Fox.

Hama loved digging into Wolverine’s past, which is exactly what he does in these nine intrigue-filled issues that take the mutant all over the world. The art of Mark Texiera is amazing, and makes these issues into something even more special.

5 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #125-128

by Chris Claremont, Leinil Yu, Carlos Pacheco, Jeff Matsuda, Cary Nord, Mel Rubi, Mike Miller, Stephen Platt, Angel Unzueta, Edgar Tadeo, Gerry Alanguilan, Jason Wright, John Holdredge, Marlo Alquiza, Matt Banning, Harry Candelario, Rob Hunter, Gary Martin, Gregory Wright, Tom Smith, Wayne Robinson, Richard Starkings, Comicraft, Emerson Miranda, and EM

Wolverine’s marriage to Viper was shocking, and it took place in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #125-128. Issue #125 starts with Wolverine waking up and under attack from the various women in his life, including Jean Grey and Yukio, with only Kitty Pryde on his side. Eventually, Viper calls in her marker to get Wolverine to marry her. Then Sabretooth shows up at the wedding and this spirals into the events of the next few issues.

This story arc saw Wolverine architect Chris Claremont return to the character. Claremont packed these issues with action, emotion, and intrigue, working alongside a variety of artists. Additionally, issue #126 features a Wolverine/Sabretooth battle that is arguably one of the best fights in comics.

4 Wolverine (Vol. 5) #1-13 And Wolverine (Vol. 6) #1-12

by Paul Cornell, Alan Davis, Mirco Pierfederici, Ryan Stegman, David Baldeon, Gerardo Sandoval, Pete Woods, Salvador Larocca, Kris Anka, Mark Farmer, Karl Kesel, Zach Fisher, Mark Morales, John Livesay, Tom Palmer, Scott Hanna, Matt Hollingsworth, Lee Loughridge, David Curiel, Andres Mosas, and Cory Petit

Wolverine: Hunting Season is extremely underrated, and kicked off writer Paul Cornell’s excellent run on the title. Cornell wrote twenty-five issues of Wolverine split over two volumes. These two Wolverine series deal with Wolverine losing his healing factor and having to change everything about his life. Wolverine fights against a Microverse invasion, encounters and battles Black Panther, has to deal with Sabretooth twice, infiltrates a group of villains, and even has a conversation with Death.

Cornell’s time on Wolverine is nearly perfect. He understands the character and what makes him tick, and these two volumes of the seriesare arguably some of the best. These issues feature amazing art as well, particularly from Davis and Pierfederici.

3 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #107-109

by Larry Hama, Anthony Winn, Dan Green, Vince Russell, Joe Rosas, Gloria Vasquez, Richard Starkings, and Comicraft

Larry Hama’s mid-90s run on Wolverine is full of forgotten gems. Chris Claremont helped make the mutant hero popular, but Hama is largely responsible for perfecting the character. After losing his adamantium and becoming feral, Wolverine had a few adventures with Elektra before venturing to Japan in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #107-109. Here the veteran X-Man gets into his expected shenanigans, all while trying to keep control of the animal hidden just beneath the surface.

While Wolverine’s Japan stories are always entertaining, this one is very different. Wolverine hadn’t been this out of control in Japan in decades, and it is almost heartbreaking to see him agonizing over his circumstances. This is a very short story arc, but these three issues are definitely worth reading.

2 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #133-138

by Erik Larsen, Jeff Matsuda, Jonathan Sibal, Jason Wright, Mark Bernado, Oscar Gongorra, Emerson Miranda, and Comicraft

Wolverine is tough as nails. He’s faced all kinds of battles in his days, but the foe he faces in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #133-138 is one that many never expected him to face: Galactus. The story begins with Wolverine and Ms. Marvel battling Powerhouse, before the mutant is possessed by an alien. After running him through a gauntlet of B-list heroes, the alien reveals it needs Wolverine’s help and whisks him away to space.

This begins a cosmic odyssey, as Wolverine reunites with his old friends the Starjammers, clashes with the Collector, and finally is confronted by the ultimate enemy, Galactus. This was Erik Larsen’s first story of his Wolverine run, and it’s very impressive. The artwork of Matsuda and Sibal make this is another can’t miss story.

1 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #115-118

by Larry Hama, Leinil Yu, Edgar Tadeo, Joe Rosas, Starfire, Jason Wright, Chris Sotomayor, Richard Starking, Comicraft, and Emerson Miranda

While Operation: Zero Tolerance is essentially an X-Men story, its best chapters come in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #115-118. Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, and Cyclops are captured by Operation: Zero Tolerance, and the villains make the terrible mistake of believing that Wolverine has been killed. The mutant ends up being very much alive, and he helps the X-Men escape to a nearby trailer park, where they make a terrifying discovery.

This is Hama’s last story arc on Wolverine, and it features plenty of the action, adventure, and pathos that have become hallmarks of Hama’s style. Yu was only a few issues into his first run on the title at this time, but he still manages to do an amazing job. This is a top-notch story, made all the better by the fact that it came during a crossover.

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