Wolverine: 10 Best Comic Issues of the 1980s | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

From the X-Men to his solo title, what are the best Wolverine comic book issues of the 1980s?
The 1980s were a key decade for Wolverine. It’s when the popular X-Men character broke out on his own and arguably became the most popular member of the mutant team. His mysterious backstory began to drive many of his stories, and his solo adventures took him into new places and times in Marvel Comics.
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While Wolverine was part of some of the best X-Men issues of all time in this period, he was also the focus of a number of mini-series, and for the first time in his history, a solo title. With the likes of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and others guiding his story, this was a fantastic decade for Logan.
The 1984 mini-series Kitty Pryde And Wolverine is significant for a number of reasons, including being the story in which one of the best relationships in X-Men comics truly begins to take shape.
Issue #3 is where the tables really turn in the story. Wolverine tracks Kitty to Japan, where she’s gone in search of her father. The series is full of great ninja battles and sword fights and ends with Kitty revealing herself to be a ninja. She stabs Logan with a samurai sword, leaving the reader with enormous questions that would end up having enormous consequences.
In 1988, Wolverine was more popular than ever. He got his first solo ongoing comic book series, written by X-Men legend Chris Claremont and drawn by John Buscema. This story featured a lot of dark action, as Wolverine had become known for, and an exploration of his ‘Patch’ alter ego outside of the larger X-Men world.
Readers got to learn more about the fictional Marvel country of Madripoor, which is now a locale in the MCU. The issue features great art and an iconic cover by Buscema.
One of the most overlooked but visually striking Wolverine comics of the 80s is Havok And Wolverine Meltdown #1. Featuring fully painted art by John J. Muth, this unusual series puts Wolverine and Havok together on the trail of a potentially radioactive disaster.
The story by Louise and Walt Simonson, responsible for some of the best X-Factor comic book issues, is a little pulpy at times, but the art is truly amazing. Muth provides one of the most unique takes on Wolverine ever, with scraggly hair that trails off his head behind him.
Wolverine was at the center of the majority of the X-Men’s biggest stories in the 70s and 80s. One of the best to focus squarely on him was Uncanny X-Men #205, which pitted him against Lady Deathstrike. Written by Claremont and with amazingly detailed art by Barry Windsor-Smith, the issue throws some wrinkles into his backstory.
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At the time, Logan’s origin was a complete mystery, and so it was as confusing for him as it was for the audience to have Lady Deathstrike come after him for stealing the process of bonding adamantium to a human skeleton. At this point, Wolverine had no idea how it happened to him.
Uncanny X-Men #213 is a significant issue in X-Men lore for a number of reasons, including being the issue where Psylocke joins the team. It’s also one of the first big fights between two bitter enemies – Wolverine and Sabretooth.
Written by Claremont and drawn by Alan Davis, who would join Claremont on Excalibur, the issue features an iconic cover of the two locked in battle. They also tear up the mansion within the story, clawing each other to pieces after Wolverine discovers Sabretooth has infiltrated his home in the X-Men’s absence.
Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure is one of the most unique stories featuring the character to come out of this period. Featuring the distinctive art of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the story takes Wolverine to the prehistoric Savage Land where he eventually crosses paths with Apocalypse.
The story features some flashbacks to Wolverine’s past and possible allusions to his figure, with Apocalypse in possession of an adamantium skeleton in his lair in the Savage Land. It’s a great read for fans of Wolverine and Mignola alike.
Uncanny X-Men #133 is a major issue in many ways. It’s a part of The Dark Phoenix Saga, one of the best X-Men story arcs ever, and it’s the issue where Wolverine finally goes truly ‘berserk.’
In this issue, Wolverine faces off against a numerical superior Hellfire Club squad, but things don’t go the way they planned. The feral, uncompromising Wolverine that would become the standard through the 80s and beyond begins right here, as artist John Byrne has Wolverine savagely cut through the squad to save his friends.
Wolverine first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #181 and one of his best issues in the 80s is another round with the green giant. Except in this iteration, the Hulk was gray. Featuring an all-time iconic cover by artist Todd McFarlane, this issue pitted Wolverine against the Hulk in Texas in an epic all-out brawl.
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It takes place during the events leading up to The Fall Of The Mutants storyline, a critical crossover in X-Men lore in which the entire team appears to sacrifice their lives to save the world.
The backstory of Logan gets a major addition in the outstanding “Weapon X” storyline that ran between Marvel Comics Presents #72-91. With outstanding art by Barry Windsor-Smith, issue #72 kicks off the disorienting mystery of the Weapon X program.
It also provides some of the most iconic images of Wolverine in the comics, with a mostly naked Logan wandering around in the snow while wearing a cumbersome metal helmet. This story has had an enormous impact on Logan as well as the rest of the Marvel Universe, with Weapon X being connected to many other characters.
Wolverine #1 is the first issue of the character’s first solo mini-series and a great introduction to the character for new readers. It features one of the most iconic X-Men covers ever, with Wolverine coaxing unseen enemies into fighting.
The art by The Dark Knight Returns artist Frank Miller is outstanding, and the story by Chris Claremont delves into Logan’s deep connections to Japan. It’s also the first cameo appearance of Yukio, who would go on to become a prominent member of Logan’s stories not just in Japan but elsewhere.
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DARBY HARN is the author of the novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and A Country Of Eternal Light. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, and other venues.


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