Wolverine: 10 Best Comic Issues of the 2000s | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

From Old Man Logan to a manga, the adamantium-clawed mutant Wolverine went through many changes in the 2000s.
For decades, Wolverine has been fascinating comic book readers with his violent traits and unmatchable powers. The 2000s was a major era for Wolverine as Hugh Jackman started playing him in the X-Men franchise. Around this time, the character also went through major reinterpretations in the pages of Marvel Comics.
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Apart from the long-running series, some specials and limited runs dwelled more on Wolverine’s past. This was also the era that introduced Old Man Logan, a Wolverine avatar with a long-lasting impact on Marvel comics. If all of this was not enough, he even ended up getting his own manga with Wolverine: Snikt.
Set within an alternate timeline, Old Man Logan highlighted Mark Millar’s dark and edgy take on the character in an all-new avatar. Facing old age and a degenerating healing factor, Wolverine leads a lonely life in a dystopian wasteland. After Hulk’s family kills Logan’s family, he sets out on a hyperviolent revenge crusade.
The series is a mellow look at Wolverine’s grim future. No matter what he does, he is destined to lead a solitary existence with a perpetual cycle of violence. Even though this alternate version of the X-Man went on to appear in future storylines, it is this particular run that established Old Man Logan as a noteworthy character on his own.
Origin answers many questions regarding Wolverine’s past including his years as teenaged James Howlett in the 1800s and the acceptance of his bone-clawed abilities. The comic also introduces a father figure called Logan with whom James shares a strained relationship. Such is Logan’s impact on his life that James ends up taking his name for the rest of his life.
When comics talk about Wolverine’s origin, they tend to focus on his Weapon X days. Origin stays true to its name and goes back right to where his life started. Before Wolverine donned his comic costumes and joined the X-Men, he was a frightened boy, and this chapter is what Origin explores.
The Weapon X program not only changed Wolverine’s physiology but also used his powers to make other enhanced mutants with a healing factor, accelerated stamina, and so on. Years after his transformation, Wolverine confronts another corporation that attempts to follow the same procedures as Weapon X.
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The Adamantium Men yet again finds Wolverine revisiting his Weapon X days. In a desperate attempt to stop such activities, he engages in corporate espionage to take down this new organization. The comic shows that times might change, but others’ fascination with Wolverine’s powers would never stop.
Wolverine has fought many powerful characters in comics, Hulk being a constant adversary. In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, Wolverine is tasked with killing the Hulk, who has turned into a rogue, monk-like figure in Tibet.
What follows is one of Wolverine’s most violent battles. Bodies are torn apart and regenerated in the most surreal ways imaginable. Even during the battle scenes, a dash of dark humor is present that perfectly sums up Hulk and Wolverine’s love-hate relationship.
When Logan’s young neighbor is killed in her sleep, he steps back into the shoes of Wolverine and embarks on a bloodstained quest for revenge. The storyline marks a new creative direction for the character with writer Greg Rucka inaugurating Wolverine vol. 3.
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The revenge-driven plot is true to the character’s personality. Even though Logan might not be very open with his emotions, he does show empathy toward innocent children. So when the teenager Lucy Braddock is killed by a cult, he takes her death to heart. His visceral rage can then be contrasted with his warmth.
Being one of the most powerful Marvel characters, Wolverine can be used as a pawn in the hands of evil forces. In Enemy of the State, the ninjas of the Hand similarly brainwash the mutant and steer him for their own dirty work. After he ends up killing an X-Man, Wolverine has vengeance on his mind.
This comic is a perfect testament to prove that Wolverine is a killing machine. No matter how much he strives for leading a peaceful life, he’s always drawn back into violence. In this case, that violence also goes against his free will.
“Coyote Crossing” immediately follows “The Brotherhood.” Wolverine’s pursuit of the murderous cult in the previous issue leads him to a gang that finances its operations. Wolverine then delivers his unique brand of vigilante justice, brutally killing all those who get in his way.
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The standout parts in the storyline are brief moments of introspection when Wolverine ponders whether he’s still a man or just a savage animal. A good example is a conversation with Nightcrawler in the first issue. Both mutants discuss their past relationships and how their duties as X-Men have affected those bonds.
Toward the end of the movie X2: X-Men United, Charles Xavier gives some clues to Wolverine to explore more of his past with the Weapon X program. This exclusive one-shot is set in the same universe as the film and adds more context to Logan’s troubled history.
Fans of Hugh Jackman and the X-Men film franchise should pick up this movie tie-in. Its story might be familiar for die-hard comic book fans, but the cinematic nature of the issue makes it a great collector’s item.
Wolverine: The End is a part of The End series of individual storylines, each of which imagines the death of its major characters. In the case of Wolverine, he’s depicted as an aging mutant who has outlived his fellow mutants and X-Men team members. In a final attempt to piece his past together, he travels to Japan and finds a long-lost, villainous older brother.
This version of Wolverine feels like a reiteration of Old Man Logan, but unlike the latter, this Logan exists in a more current future than a dystopian one. One can feel age taking its toll on him even from minor details. For instance, his claws’ iconic “snikt” sound effect is replaced by a rusty “sklitch.”
Authored by Japanese legend Tsutomu Nihei, Wolverine: Snikt is a five-issue manga take on the titular character. The story is set in a robotic future where humans have gone extinct and regenerating biobots run the surface.
More than its plot, it’s Nihei’s bizarre art that is noteworthy. Wolverine appears as an agile and vigorous hero. The character designs are kept intentionally rough and grim, perfectly complementing the bleak landscapes. The action scenes between the mutant and the robots also make for some aesthetic panels.
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Shaurya Thapa is an Indian freelance journalist who mostly dabbles in writings on cinema, music, and human interest features. When it comes to Screen Rant, he writes lists on a wide array of subjects ranging from international films to mainstream Netflix series and comic book trivia. He also hosts a podcast called ‘BhindiWire’, an Indian parody of IndieWire.


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