I Have Issues (20)

Top Ten Wolverine Fights
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
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Logan is by far the toughest Canadian ever! (Although when he had bone claws it would have been close between him and GSP.) Second only to the Hulk is Wolverines willingness to accept a fight anytime anywhere and with his healing factor he can pretty much just leap in and take all the punishment his opponent can dish out and wake up fresh the next morning. Writers have fleshed his character to encompass that of a wild-man, samurai warrior, secret agent and superhero.  Logan has had fights being portrayed as all of those characters.
Disclaimer: Wolverine has appeared in so many comics that I am not sure anyone could have read them all and as such I am sure that I am missing some hidden gems. Feel free to shout out in the comments section my glaring oversights. (Not that anyone on the internet needs pushing to give opinions.) My selection is based on the following criteria.
  • Accompanying words, (seems like an obvious but sometimes the writer raises the bar for the fight)
  • Opponent (How much do you want to see the fight.)
  • Personal opinion (I can’t stop this.)
  • Epicness (What the French call jea ne se qua)   
So throw on the old school Metallica because this s--- is on!
Honorable Mentions (Not good enough to make the list but not to be forgotten.)



Versus Marrow
X-Men #72

(W) Joe Kelly (A) Carlos Pacheco (one of my favorite artists)
Marrow was a short time X-women that used to be a Morlock (underground ugly mutant community because they all can’t look like Psylocke.) She had a chip on her shoulder (literally she had bones coming out of everywhere and could pull them to use as weapons!) and had to be shown some manners by Wolverine. They were having a sparring session in the danger room as Logan is telling her how the world works. After a good beating Marrow gives in and as Wolverine gives her his hand to help her back to her feet, Marrow shoves a bone into Logan’s neck! Forgetting who he is, Wolvie goes into berserker rage and throws the young upstart onto the ground and is just about to shove his claws through Marrows face when Cannonball grabs him from behind and slams him into a wall to knock him out to stop the slaughter. Marrow didn’t know who she was f------ with, but she knows now.



Versus Omega Red

X-Men 5

(W) Jim Lee, John Byrne (A) Jim Lee
Omega Red was another of Logan’s former enemies from his Weapon X days. Essentially he is the Russian version of a super soldier. Red has a death factor that negates Wolverines healing factor and he also has tendrils made of carbonadium (less durable then adamantium but still pretty f------ indestructible!) Wolverine is kidnapped and let loose just so Omega Red can beat the s--- out of him, which he does. The fight is extremely short but has amazing art thanks to Lee and Omega Red is a great design.
Versus The Hellfire Club

Uncanny X-Men 132-133
(W) Chris Claremont (A) John Byrne
This is the equivalent to Stone Cold at King of the Ring ’96 as Wolverine became Wolverine! After the X-Men are handily defeated by the Hellfire Club and Wolverine is flushed down the sewers, they are all standing around congratulating each other. Last panel of issue 132 and Wolverine is ragged looking but supremely pissed. The X-Men are done at this point if Wolverine is not on the team. Wolverine claws his way back from defeat and kicks every guard’s ass on the way to helping his teammates out. He even scares a guard so much that they drop their rifle. This issue sparked popularity for the character that has never stopped. It’s a great moment but not the greatest fight and so it did not make the list. 
Versus Silver Samurai

Uncanny X-Men 173
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Paul Smith
Rogue has just joined the X-Men after having been a villain and to prove herself to Wolverine she joins him to take care of some personal business in Japan. Wolverine comes face to face with a warrior that has every bit the skill of himself (as well as an energy sword) The battle is filled with graceful moves where Samurai has his armor cut into by Logan’s claws and Samurai shoves his sword into Wolverines mid-section. Wolverine proves to be just more skilled and is about to kill the villain but is stopped by Mariko (Wolverines girlfriend who is Samurais half-sister) 

Versus Magneto
X-Men 25

(W) Fabien Nicieza  (A) Andy Kubert (My favorite artist)
Less a great fight then a great moment which is why it did not make the list. Magneto is ready to do some serious damage as he is not f------ around this time. Wolverine decides to show him what a badass truly is as he nearly guts Magneto. Then Magneto does something that every fan had wondered “why doesn’t he just…” he pulls the adamantium out of Logan’s body, leaving Wolverine with just bone claws for years to come.

And now the list!

10. Wolverine versus Captain America
Avengers Vs. X-Men #3
(W) Ed Brubaker (A)John Romita Jr.
The Avengers and the X-Men are at odds as to how to handle the mutant Hope and the Phoenix force returning and Wolverine is right in the middle of it as a member of both teams. Eventually it all comes to a head as Captain America and Wolverine fight in a Quinjet. It’s pretty good back and forth but the outcome is left to wonder as Pym punches Logan in the back of the head and Cap follows up with a shield to his face.
9. Wolverine versus Sabretooth/Hulk

Wolverine #145
(W) Erik Larsen (A) Lenil Francis Yu
Apocalypse pits a de-metaled Wolverine against his arch nemesis Sebretooth who now has adamantium. Even though Sabretooth is much stronger and tougher, Wolverine defeats him and is deemed worthy by Apocalypse. Wolverine is brainwashed, given his adamantium back and made into the horseman “Death” and sent after Hulk. Wolverine with his metal back and a sword as well as enhanced death abilities, defeats the Hulk and stops just short of killing him. Hulk punches Logan and leaps away. 
8. Wolverine versus Deadpool

Wolverine #88
(W) Larry Hama (A) Adam Kubert
Wolverine and Deadpool have tangled a few times even once where Logan cut Deadpool’s head off! But their first encounter is still my favorite. The battle is fast and brutal as Wade uses guns swords and runs his mouth the whole time as they go at it. Wolverine does not have his adamantium at this point and Deadpool’s healing factor is way better then Wolverines! Deadpool manages to leave Logan laid out. Round one to Pool.
7. Wolverine versus Shingen

Wolverine #4
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Frank Miller
Shingen has no powers but is the best swordsman in Japan. He’s also the father of Mariko who’s family is full of f------ bad guys apparently. Frank Miller know a thing or two about fight scenes and the final battle is move for move some of the best choreography of any fight. In a battle where style is more important than savagery Wolverine kills the crime boss because he has to.
6. Wolverine versus The Reavers and Lady Deathstrike

Uncanny X-Men #205
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Barry Windsor-Smith
This is one of my favorite issues of any comic ever! The Reavers are a cybernetic terrorist group led by Donald Pierce the cyborg member of the Hellfire club. Three of the members of the Reavers were three of the guards that Wolverine sliced up back in Uncanny X-Men #133. Pierce made them cyborgs as well and loaded them up with the latest weaponry to get revenge on the canucklehead. With them is Lady Deathstrike the daughter of the scientist who bonded adamantium to Wolverine against his will. Wolverine killed him as he escaped and raged through the complex. Deathstrike gave herself over to Spiral to be made a Cyborg and now the four are set to get revenge on Wolverine. (Everybody follow all that?) The issue starts with Logan all f----- up and running away as he encounters Katie Power (from Power Pack, and if you don’t know who Power Pack is than count yourself lucky.) Wolverine has been so battered that he barely knows who anyone is as his brain is healing. Logan nearly kills the little girl who uses her powers to knock him down. Katie helps the X-Man who she knows is a hero and not himself and she gets him away from the approaching Reavers. Eventually Wolverine avoids them long enough to recover and going sneaky he trashes the Reavers to then come face to face with Deathstrike. The two slash the s--- out of eachother and Wolverine goes full berserker nearly tearing the Lady to pieces. Deathstrike tells Wolverine to kill her but Wolverine basically tells her that she hasn’t earned the right to die by his hand. (Man that’s cold.)


5. Wolverine versus The Gorgon

Wolverine (3rd) #30-31
(W) Mark Millar (A) John Romita Jr.
This issue is the last part of the Enemy of the State/Agent of Shield storyline that is chock full of awesome battles as Wolverine is brainwashed by Hydra and sent to kill the heroes of the Marvel universe. Eventually Logan breaks free of the control and goes after the Mutant enforcer Gorgon. The Gorgon not only is a an expert fighter and swordsman has enhanced fighting abilities and healing factor and  can read people’s minds to see their next move, he also has the ability to look at someone and turn them into stone. (Mark Millar just jammed a bunch of s--- into him didn’t he?) Wolverine and Elektra team up to take him down and Elektra is out out pretty quick in the fight. Wolverine and Gorgon engage in the second most brutal fight on this list as a they are both bleeding profusely by the end. Gorgon attempts to end it with a his granite stare and Wolverine flashes claws and the power ricochets back turning the villain to Stone where Wolverine chops him to pieces!
4. Wolverine versus Banner/Hulk

Giant Size Wolverine #1
(W) Mark Millar (A) Steve McNiven
During the awesome future storyline of Old Man Logan, Logan is done fighting and is doing a favor for The Hulk gang (Hulks children) so they won’t hurt his family. After completing the mission Logan comes home to find his whole family murdered by the Hulk Gang. Logan then goes through the whole Hulk community and murders every single one of Hulks children until he comes in contact with the Old Bruce Banner who has figured out how to master his strength without changing. Banner reveals he has not had a good fight in long time and he was the one who told his kids to kill Logans family. The fight is the most brutal on the list as the two slaughter eachother and Wolverine gets the upper-hand as Banner changes into the Hulk and eats him! Hours later Hulk has a stomache ache and a fully healed Wolverine cuts himself out of the Hulk killing his green arch nemesis once and for all.
3. Wolverine versus Sabretooth final round

Wolverine (2nd) #90
(W) Larry Hama (A) Andy Kubert
In what was supposed to be the final battle between the two (because no one really dies in comics) Sabretooth is being held by the X-Men so that Xavier can rehabilitate him. Creed (Sabretooth) keeps charging the force field on his prison cell when only Wolverine is in the mansion until he doesn’t even feel the pain anymore and makes it through. Wolverine is ready for him and offers his nemesis the option to go back quietly but you knew that wasn’t going to happen. So the battle is on and Sabretooth keeps trying to get Wolverine to cut loose but he never does. Eventually Logan gets Creed pinned with the old trick of only popping two claws and threatening the middle one to go through his skull. Sabretooth warns Wolverine that his friends and teammates will be tortured and killed by him while also taunting Wolverine that he has never had the balls to do what he needs to. Finally after all the years of battles Wolverine is just like, “f--- this asshole!” and then pops his middle claw that kills the pyschopath. (It was eventually made out that Sabretooth was only lobotomized.) Wolverine would kill Sabretooth again in the 2007 issue of Wolverine #54. A death that the villain and sometimes hero would again return from.
Sabretooth’s second death


2. Wolverine versus Sabretooth Round 1

Uncanny X-Men # 212-213
(W) Chris Claremont (A)Rick Leonardi 212, Alan Davis 213
Hey look whose back already! During the Morlock Massacre where the Marauders (mutants working for Mr. Sinister who kill other mutants) go down to the sewers and clean house on the ugly mutants, Wolverine is counted on to do what he does best. Unfortunately he encounters a villain from his past who is every bit the badass as himself.  The first time they fight it is in the sewers where at this point in the comics we haven’t seen too many villains match Wolverine move for move. Logan elects to rescue a morlock and abandons the fight early. The second time, Sabretooth comes to the X-Mansion and beats on Rogue Psylocke and Storm until Wolverine appears and the two go at it! Wolverine and Sabretooth both go into full berserk mode where it is written that they are happy to try to murder eachother as the battle goes all over the grounds and to a cliff overlooking water where they fall in. Only Wolverine emerges.
1. Wolverine versus Grey Hulk

The Incredible Hulk #340
(W) Peter David (A) Todd McFarlane

Wolverine is the leader of the X-Men at this point and is constantly in battle with himself over wanting to go out and kick everyone’s ass and be a good leader and a civilized man. The Grey Hulk which is Bruce Banners slightly less strong but more cunning alter ego just knows he is going to get a good fight from the runt, but Logan apologizes for slicing him in a kneejerk reaction to Hulk surprising him. The Hulk calls him gutless and tries again and again to antagonize Logan into a fight, but the X-Man does not give in to his rage. Hulk thunderclaps with his hands and continues to punch and shout at Wolverine until finally the mutant loses it and leaps into the Hulk slicing into his chest and with the Grey behemoth down, Logan howls in berserker rage and knows he has lost the battle within himself. Logan walks away until the Hulk calls him back, he’s not down yet! Hulk and Wolverine attempt to kill one another (Peter David writes the battle so well you would think he could read Logans mind.) The fight is interrupted and Wolverine gets control of himself and realizes he has a long way to go to be a better man.

Until next week…