Wolverine is the best at what he does. That’s his role as one of Marvel’s most popular characters for years. After its debut in The Incredible Hulk #181, Wolverine’s rise has been meteoric, quickly becoming the most talked about character in strange x-men, the greatest book in the comics industry at the time. From there, he would star in a miniseries, his own ongoing team books, multiple team books, and guest appearances in hundreds of comic books.
As his popularity grew, Wolverine honed himself into a much better character. Decades of development and change have made this possible, and he’s more than the snarling berserker he once was.
ten His role as the leader of X-Force was his start on the path to character development.
For years, Wolverine was one of the original X-Men, but he didn’t seem like the leader type. He’s become a great team player over the years, and the Utopia era finally gave him a chance to shine. Cyclops rejoined X-Force as the secret arm of the X-Men and put Wolverine in charge. He was perfect for this role which portends great things for him.
Wolverine showed the world that he was more than just a battlefield puncher as the leader of X-Force. Seeing him this way changed many fans’ opinion of him and set him on a path that would lead him to even greater leadership opportunities.
9 Giving him his own series allowed him to flesh out like never before
Marvel couldn’t help but notice that Wolverine was the most popular X-Men, so they decided to shed more light on him. His first four-issue miniseries, from writer Chris Claremont and artist Frank Miller, was a huge hit and led to an ongoing series, from Claremont and artist John Buscema.
Over the years, talents like Larry Hama, Marc Silvestri, Adam Kubert, Ed Rucka, Darick Robertson, Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., Benjamin Percy and many more would flesh out the old canucklehead, with Hama’s multi-year run redefining the character forever. Finally, Wolverine was the first X-Man to get his own book, and it paid off, making him a more complete character than ever.
8 His friendships with his fellow X-Men proved he was more than anyone thought.
When Wolverine first joined the X-Men, he was the surly troublemaker, likely to stalk Cyclops and run off to do his own thing following orders in battle. He was the team’s resident bad boy, but like any soldier, he grew close to the people he fought alongside. His relationships with Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, and Kitty Pryde have become legendary and are a cornerstone of the X-Men.
Wolverine’s friendships with his fellow X-Men revealed the man beneath the animal, who cared deeply for everyone around him. It allowed readers to see a softer side of him, which paid off in years to come.
seven Old Man Logan Gave Readers the Best Wolverine Alternate Universe
Wolverine and the alternate universes go very well together, multiple issues of What if… at The age of apocalypse. However, it won’t be until writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven Old Man Logan that fans would get the ultimate Wolverine alternate universe. Take a page from the movie unforgivenit featured a pacifist Wolverine doing one last job to save his family from the Hulk Gang.
The story not only built a fantasy alternate universe for Marvel creators, but also a fan-favorite alternate Wolverine. It’s also one of the saddest Wolverine comics and would lead to an ongoing series that would tell some of the best Wolverine stories of the 21st century.
6 He must lead the X-Men
The Utopia era of the X-Men brought many changes to the team, especially after the book Schism, by writer Jason Aaron and artists Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Daniel Acuña, Alan Davis and Adam Kubert. After an ideological disagreement between Cyclops and Wolverine turns violent, he leaves the island with about half of the remaining mutants and rebuilds the X-Mansion, starting the Jean Gray School.
Wolverine has always been one of the most important X-Men, but he’s proven he has what it takes to not only lead the team, but also lead the school. It was the next step in his growth as a hero and one that was long overdue.
5 Giving him saber teeth like a nemesis took him to the next level
An important step for any character to stardom is having their own nemesis. It’s the difference between a solo star and a character who will always be part of a team. Wolverine was already the big star of the X-Men, so the next step was to give him a nemesis, and Sabretooth was fine. The two have had brutal battles over the years, cementing their feud.
Sabretooth and Wolverine have become an iconic rivalry, up there with Captain America and Red Skull and Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Of course, Wolverine would still have been popular without Sabretooth, but his feud with his savage mutant sidekick took him to the next level.
4 Making Him Friends With Spider-Man Made An Amazing, Weird Pairing
Wolverine has plenty of allies outside of the X-Men. He’s worked with just about every major hero in the Marvel Universe, though many of those relationships have been quite adversarial. His stint in the Avengers brought him closer to heroes he rarely socialized with, including Spider-Man. He and Spider-Man were complete opposites as heroes, even fighting at times.
However, working together saw the two become friends. Wolverine and Spider-Man have made for a great odd couple, as entertaining as they come. It also showed that he had grown as a character, becoming a less antagonistic hero.
3 Making Laura Kinney Wolverine Showed Readers a Different Kind of Wolverine
Logan’s death was not Wolverine’s death, whatever the name of the book that killed him was. Several candidates succeeded him, and his daughter Laura emerged victorious. She starred as Wolverine for several years, proving she deserved the title to all naysayers. Laura would lose the role upon Logan’s return, but has since taken it over, with her and her father sharing the name.
Marvel took a chance on creating Laura Wolverine; she was popular, but there were more popular choices than her. Nonetheless, his time as Wolverine showed readers a Wolverine they had never seen before, and it’s a special moment in Wolverine history.
2 Wolverine’s Bone Claw Era Showed He Could Be A Hero Without Being Invincible
Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton and healing factor made him invincible, but that all changed with x-men #25, by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Andy Kubert. Magneto ripped the adamantium from him, and it was revealed in Wolverine #75, by writer Larry Hama and artist Adam Kubert, that his claws had been bony the entire time. This started a new era of Wolverine.
The character’s Bone Claw era is full of great stories, as Wolverine must deal with weakness and vulnerability for the first time in years. Marvel took a huge chance to nerf him like this, but he remained one of the publisher’s most popular characters regardless, going half a decade without the vaunted metal.
1 Putting him on the Avengers dropped him in the middle of the team’s most successful era
Wolverine has been on every major team in the Marvel Universe, but it took over thirty years from his debut to join the Avengers. He was easily more popular than any Avenger for years at this point, and was already a Marvel A-lister. However, joining the Avengers is always the next level for any Marvel hero, so putting him there showed just how big he was.
The Avengers books in the mid-2000s when he joined the team were the most important Marvel books published, putting him right in the middle of the event books of the time. It also helped cement his place as the most essential mutant in the Marvel Universe and put him in front of fans who wouldn’t otherwise read the X-Men books.