Time to delve into our favorite Canuck Mutant’s best brawls. He’s had a ton, and more often than not they are all entertaining. Because the thing is Wolverine is not a terribly skilled fighter. Sure, he can hold his own with the best of them but he doesn’t have the training or skill set of an Iron Fist or Daredevil.
His healing factor gives him a huge advantage because he can take just about any abuse thrown his way. I mean, the guy survived having Adamantium ripped out of his body. ( Thanks to Magneto in the Fatal attraction series.) Small in stature but huge in heart, he keeps coming back for more no matter the odds or the pain. Without further ado, let’s begin!
5. Wolverine vs Shingen Yoshida: The Wolverine by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller.
By now every Wolverine fan has either read or has heard of ” The Wolverine” mini series by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller. There’s even a movie “loosely” based on it. It’s a great story , and one that affects Wolverine himself in a personal nature. He returns to Japan after many years and desires to reconnect with his old flame, Mariko. There’s just one problem that stands in the way of their love. her crime boss father Shingen Yoshida.
It doesn’t help matters that Shingin is a master swordsman and martial artist. They fought twice in this mini series but the last fight sequence is beautifully rendered by Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein. Wolverine is thoroughly outclassed throughout most of the fight but as mentioned before, he just doesn’t quit. One thing is for certain at the end of it all. Sometimes honor must be compromised for the greater good.
4. Wolverine vs Hulk: The Incredible Hulk #340 by Peter David & Todd McFarlane
Undoubtedly one of the best rivalries in comics. While Wolvierine and Hulk have been uneasy allies at times, they mostly don’t like each other. Wolverine was introduced to the world via a Hulk comic and it wasn’t a peaceful encounter & in this particular issue of the Incredible Hulk the stakes go up quite a bit.
Firstly you have Todd McFarlane on art duties. Known more for his Spider-man run he did draw Hulk first as he developed his style. The cover alone is legendary and impossible not to want to pick up and read.
The fight is a bloody affair and it leads to one of the more interesting developments in Hulk lore. Like Wolverine, Hulk also has a healing factor. Let’s just say the Hulk gets revenge for his questionable defeat.
3. Wolverine vs The Hellfire Club: Uncanny X-men # 133 by Chris Claremont & John Byrne
This one is always a fan favorite and for good reason. it’s just such a cool comeback story and you want to root for Wolverine all the way. You get to see him do what he does best and in our cases, it’s very nice.
Certanly the highlight of the X-men’s battle with the evil Hellfire Club. John Byrne drew the hell out of this sequence and the last part of the fight is written brilliantly by Chris Claremont.
A special treat for me was to see this issue get the animated series treatment back in 1992. Not as good as the original but satisfying nonetheless. I particularly love the image here!
2. Wolverine vs Cyclops: Schism: by Jason Arron & Various artists
This was the fight everyone wanted to see. It’s been boiling for years and it finally came to fruition during X-men: Schism.
The funny thing is that in this story Wolverine was the more level headed one. Cyclops has become more of a ruthless tactician and you knew that eventually they were not going to be seeing eye to eye. Or eye to visor in Cyclops’s case.
This particular issue was drawn and inked by Alan Davis. A marvel veteran and comic legend.
It’s surprisingly brutal. You get to see both combatants use their powers all out. They’re playing for keeps in this one. The anger is raw and you can see it in the fight. It’s a long battle but it still manages to get cut short by those annoying Sentinels!
1.Wolverine vs Sabretooth: Wolverine # 90 by Larry Hama & Adam Kubert
You knew that Wolverine vs Sabretooth had to show up on this list at some point. This is personally in my top 3 comic rivalries of all time. It’s a fight that never gets old.
They had an epic battle during the Mutant Massacre storyline but this vicious affair takes the cake. It was the fight to end all fights…sort of. It’s pretty much a full issue of action. There’s even a two page fold out during the main battle. That’s right, the fight was so intense that normal pages could not hold it.
The end of the fight is just so appropriate and totally bad ass. If you’ve never seen Wolverine threaten with two claws before (see below)
Then you know what happens to Sabretooth at the end. I remember taking my sweet time to read this one because I wanted to take in every nuance of the battle. It’s still fairly easy to find I think. I urge you to seek it out and enjoy the visual spectacle for yourselves.
Stay tuned for our next installment of great Comic Book Battles and don’t forget to read our first installment which featured Superman!
Next time I’ll feature Captain America!