Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wolverine's Best Battles


He's the best at what he does, and what he does is very bloody. James Howlett has appeared in thousands of comics, and in the pages of those books, we've been treated to countless impressive fights involving the X-Man. Wolverine's decades of dedicated training under some of the best combatants has turned him into one of the most dangerous street level characters in the 616 universe. Having claws that can cut through almost everything and a virtually unbreakable skeleton doesn't hurt his odds, either. His rogues gallery (Sabretooth, Cyber, Lady Deathstrike, etc.) consists of plenty of characters that can give ole' James a fight worth watching, but Logan's A-list status means the Canadian also gets to go toe-to-toe with dozens of familiar faces in the Marvel Universe. Wolverine has been in hundreds of throw downs, but here's a collection of my favorite one-on-one battles with Logan.  Did your favorite not make the list? Be sure to share the issue and why it's your favorite.


VS Crossbones, Fear Itself: The Fearless #7

It doesn't matter if you're one of Captain's greatest villains or just a random thug, bullets will never cut it against the runt. The heartless mercenary Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) took on Wolverine and the outcome left a major mess for the janitor to clean up. Crossbones is known for being a tough SOB, so the villain pumps plenty of rounds into Wolverine before even recognizing that his tummy has been sliced open by Wolverine's foot long claws. Instead of making a run for it, Crossbones arrogantly blasts a few more bullets into Logan, but Wolverine's healing factor and adamantium is too much for the thug to overcome. James slices Crossbones's gun apart and then, without any remorse for his human enemy, thrusts all six claws through the baddie's chest. Luckily for Brock, Hellstorm conveniently shows up and burns Wolverine. A small dose of magic later and Crossbones is back to full health, but the emotional scar of getting his ass handed to him by Logan has to hurt. 

VS Silver Samurai, Uncanny X-Men #273
Wolverine and Kenuichio Harada go way back. Despite slashing and stabbing each other apart, they hold a mutual level of respect for each other. Harada's power lets his blade cut through virtually anything, but luckily for Wolverine, that katana isn't putting a dent on his adamantium and even when Harada lands a killing blow or two, Logan's healing factor gives him quite the unfair advantage. This 3 page fight in Uncanny simply rocks. Both land plenty of brutal strikes before Wolverine breaks Harada's arm and has him at his mercy.

VS Omega Red, X-Men #5
There's no shame in losing to Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich). The guy's death spores can kill a person in mere moments and his carbonadium armor and coils make him an absolute pain. But Wolverine spits in the face of impossible odds. Despite being outclassed by Arkady, Logan makes it a fight worth remembering. The Canadian dukes it out nonstop with the Russian super soldier for nearly 18 hours before finally going down for the count. James eventually gets his revenge, though. A few years ago the runt baseball tossed the m-blade (a sword that negates healing factors) right into Omega Red's heart, allegedly killing the '90s villain.

VS Hulk, The Incredible Hulk #340
Hulk and Wolverine have a long and blood soaked history, but one battle stands out from the rest. Believe it or not, Wolverine actually tried to avoid this legendary battle at first. Hulk kept egging him on and one thunderclap later, it was time for the warrior's waltz. Todd McFarlane's work makes this classic battle in the woods a gritty visual delight. Wolverine draws first blood on the grey brute and even takes him down with a horrific stab clean into Hulk's chest. But Logan's not the only one with a healing factor and the two rush back into their dance of death. Wolverine's internal thoughts in the captions add a nice layer of depth (dealing with man vs beast, the pain in his body and all that jazz) to this must read Hulk vs Wolverine battle.

VS Sabretooth,  Uncanny X-Men #213
If I could only read one Sabretooth (Victor Creed) and Wolverine fight, this brutal mesh of claws and stabs at the X-Mansion would be my pick. Victor humiliates Rogue and Psylocke before making his way to the main event: Wolverine. What happens next is one of the most epic stalemates in comic history. The two go blow for blow as they duke it out across the rooftops, plummet into the pool, and continue their absurdly violent bout to the cliff-side. Both bruised and bloodied, Sabretooth tries to escape the X-Men by diving off the ledge, but Wolverine quickly follows and grapples him before the two crash into the waves below.  In true villain fashion, Sabretooth manages to escape.

VS Deadpool, Cable & Deadpool #44
The merc with a mouth has had a handful of solid encounters with Logan, but their sword vs claws round at a HYDRA base is my pick. This 3 page fight is fairly short but it's damn sweet. It gives both characters proper credit as they display just how skilled they are with their respective weapons, but ultimately, those two blades can't compete with Wolverine's six adamantium claws and they end up skewering Wade to a wall. The comedic banter from a Fabian Nicieza written Deadpool (Wade Wilson) is always a joy, too. Oh, and then there's Bob, Agent of HYDRA and Weasel in the issue. Rejoice, Deadpool fans!

VS Captain America, Wolverine: Origins #4
Seeing the American super soldier and Weapon X project duke it out is a fanboy overload for many. Despite their popularity, these two fan favorites have only had a handful of fairly short fights, but their battle in Daniel Way's comic overshadows the other fights these two have had. Lasting multiple pages, the two A-listers inflict cringe worthy injuries on each other (Cap not letting Wolverine's claws properly retract, a potentially fatal injury on Cap's leg) and Cap even slashes Wolverine across the chest with the m-blade. A legless Nuke (shortened courtesy of Wolverine's claws) and the X-Men eventually interfere, but this melee is mandatory reading. 

VS Spider-Man, Spider-Man versus Wolverine #1
The wall crawler is faster and stronger than Wolverine, but that didn't matter much in this comic. Wolverine's confidence and flurry of claws made Spider-Man question his own abilities and even his own speed. However, the reason this throw down happens is the true gem of the comic. Wolverine is going to kill Charlie, a woman he cares deeply for. She's on the run from just about every government on Earth, and Logan was going to give her a painless end instead of torture from the KGB. But Spider-Man and his heart of gold step in and stop Wolverine before he can end Charlie's suffering. Spider-Man bashes Wolverine's face over and over into a tombstone, but he says the only thing the brutal strikes did was make Logan smile. They end in a draw, with Spider-Man's hands gripped around Logan's throat, ready to snap his neck, and Wolverine's fist under Spidey's chin, prepared to pop his claws. A helicopter shines a light on them, and in the confusion of the chaos Spider-Man throws a blind strike when he thinks Wolverine is behind him and ready for more. Yet it wasn't Wolverine, it was Charlie. Spider-Man ends up killing the very woman he just fought to save. Oh, irony.

VS Sabretooth, Wolverine #301
It looks like Sabretooth has returned from the dead just so he can get his ass kicked all over again... and I must say this is a jaw droppingly good ass kicking. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than this. I'll let the page speak for itself. Click that image and enjoy just how awesome this victory truly is.

***Who would you like to see next for the "best battles" segment- Spider-Man or Hulk? Vote here or on one of my social media pages***




9 comments:

  1. Nice read...The last image didnt load for me though...

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    1. That's a shame because it's a great image! It's from Wolverine 301. Here you go, I found it on a preview IGN once had for the issue:
      http://media.comics.ign.com/media/070/070813/img_8834890.html

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  2. I'd like to see Spider-man next.

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    1. Hey Seth,

      Thanks for reading! There was overwhelming support for Daredevil on another forum, so he's up next. But Spider-Man will be after him!

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  3. Hey Greg buddy, this is Dan "The MAN". Great list! One battle inparticular that I think should also be of mention is Wolverine #10 (Vol 2) where he battles Sabretooth in the woods after Sabretooth kills Silver Fox. Great story, and great inner dialogue by Wolverine. Creed gave him something to be scared of! Anyone interested should check it out! Nice going Greg!

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    1. Thank you! Wolverine 10 is an awesome issue and it's definitely one of their more memorable encounters. The only reason I didn't add it is because I wanted these fights to be favorable for Wolverine, and let's face it, he gets absolutely DEMOLISHED in that fight! Thanks again for reading!

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