10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Wolverine & Hulk's Rivalry – Screen Rant

Hulk and Wolverine have entertained Marvel Comics fans for generations with their rampaging, scene-stealing hostility towards each other.
Two of the most popular Marvel characters have had a bitter rivalry since their first meeting all the way back in 1974. With a constant, decade-spanning battle, the Incredible Hulk and Wolverine have entertained audiences for generations with their rampaging, scene-stealing hostility towards each other.
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With a rivalry that has only been adapted for television once, it comes as no surprise that fans of the MCU are relatively unaware of the disdain these two heroes share for each other and why introducing Weapon X to Bruce Banner is never a good idea.
As strange as it sounds, there was a time when Wolverine was just another villain-of-the-month for the Hulk to battle. Before Logan, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Claremont, Wolverine debuted in a very minor way in issued #180 of The Incredible Hulk and then as a full-fledged character in issued #181 in one of the best issues of the Hulk in the 1970s.
With a costume designed by John Romita Sr. and a concept written by Roy Thomas and Len Wein, Wolverine was developed by Thomas as a Canadian hero due to the large Canadian readership of Marvel Comics. Drastically different from the modern incarnation of the character, the artists designed him to be a young man, and his claws originated from his gloves (as opposed to being a part of his skeleton). From his first appearance, the short-tempered hero comes out swinging at Bruce Banner’s alter ego.
Although relatively unknown to casual readers or fans of Marvel, Len Wein was an acclaimed comics writer who worked with both Marvel Comics and its constant rival, DC, throughout the seventies. Together with famed illustrators such as Dick Dillin, Jim Aparo, and John Romita Sr. Wein created some of the most beloved characters in the industry and was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008.
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With Wolverine’s continuing popularity in both film and comics, it comes as no surprise that Wein is primarily known for the Canadian mutant with adamantium claws. However, Wein also brought to life a staple of horror/science fiction comics with the publication of The House of Secrets #92 which introduced Swamp Thing (who would go on to star in his own series written by comics titan Alan Moore). Additionally, Wein served as editor-in-chief for Marvel Comics after fellow writer Roy Thomas left the position.
James Mangold’s darkly realistic comic book movie, Logan, was a farewell to the character of Wolverine for actor Hugh Jackman. Taking inspiration from classic westerns such as Shane and Hondo, the film mainly had its roots in the alternate-universe storyline Old Man Logan that began in the third volume of Marvel Comics’ Wolverine series.
On a desolate Earth, the United States has been divided amongst supervillains, and only a smattering of heroes remain, albeit severely wounded or officially retired from the hero business. One such hero is Wolverine who, like a classic Western hero, goes in for one last job in order to save his family from a ruthless gang. The gang is led by none other than Bruce Banner, and it is made up of his large incestuous family started with cousin She-Hulk. The story became a favorite among readers and eventually spawned its own series. It seems the Hulk-Wolverine rivalry is so popular that it spans universes and timelines.
In the universe of Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, the Hulk has become public enemy #1. After surviving multiple execution attempts, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, sends his old friend Wolverine to find the green giant and finish him for good. Betty Brant, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Bruce Banner’s lover, takes extreme measures to stop Logan and ingests a serum that gives her the strength and appearance of the Hulk while retaining her intellect.
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After breaking out of prison thanks to fellow mutant hero Forge, Wolverine goes head-to-head with Betty Brant, and the fight that ensues is brutal. Using a collar that resists any gamma transformation, Wolverine defeats the Ultimate She-Hulk by violently impaling her and forcing her to turn into her human self. Ultimate Wolverine is a vicious and unflinching character, and not the grizzled Avenger most fans know so well.
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk has become a favorite among fans, but few new readers are aware of the miniseries’ complicated and, at times, frustrating history of publication. Written by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and illustrated by artist Leinil Francis Yu (who has worked for both Marvel and DC Comics), the six-issue story was a gritty, violent showdown between the two rivals.
The miniseries was originally slated to be published bi-monthly, but after the second issue was released, there was doubt about when the next issues would be published. After being pushed ahead several times, it was announced that the remaining issues would be delayed until the next scripts were written. Fans had to then wait until March of 2009 to continue the story, having waited two years by the time of its release.
Over the years, Wolverine co-creator Len Wein has been interviewed several times concerning the creation of everyone’s favorite X-Men team member. Several times, Wein has been quoted as saying that he originally had the idea for Wolverine to be a genetically altered wolverine cub created by the High Evolutionary, an already established Marvel character.
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However, Wein adamantly denies this rumor, stating that the idea would have been ridiculous and that he “writes stories about humans, not evolved animals.” Wein has suggested that Logan’s animal origin came from one of the other writers or artists that came to Wolverine’s story after his departure.
Recently announced during the Playstation Showcase, comic and film fans alike were thrilled to see that Insomniac Games (developer of the 2018 hit Marvel’s Spider-Man) is currently in development on a brand new video game surrounding the curmudgeonly mutant. Simply called Wolverine, developers have already confirmed it will have a mature rating and promises to be one of the best Wolverine video games.
With a short cinematic not even a minute long, Insomniac packed in several easter eggs for comic fans. Two easter eggs have fans hoping for an appearance from Bruce Banner and his angry self. Firstly, a license plate that reads HLK 181″ can be seen hanging from a wall, referencing Wolverine’s first appearance in issue #181 of The Incredible Hulk. Secondly, the price on a cash register reads as $19.74, which is the year in which issue #181 was published. Although purely speculation, there seems to be a good chance that the Hulk will at least have a cameo.
Published in 2019, the miniseries Hulkverines brought the two rivals together for a common cause. The Weapon X program responsible for Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton has attempted to recreate the greatest hunters in the known universe. Through trial and error, they have created Weapon H, a combination of adamantium claws and radiation. Written by Greg Pak (longtime Marvel and DC contributor) and illustrated by Ario Anindito (a well-known artist known for penciling a variety of Marvel heroes), the miniseries is a purposely over-the-top concept and its execution is fast-paced and energetic.
Rumors have been spreading about a possible future for Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Hugh Jackman’s retirement from the character in 2017. Fans have speculated that the character, and mutants in general, will be introduced to the MCU in a similar fashion to how readers met Logan in the seventies, having him come face-to-face with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, but currently, there are no explicit plans for the MCU to bring the mutant alongside the Avengers. That being said, Marvel is no stranger to keeping secrets, and with the reveal of Insomniac Games’ Wolverine video game recently, there is a good chance the character’s popularity will push the MCU towards a brand new X-Men.
Featuring the talents of actors Matthew Wolf, Fred Tatasciore, Grey Griffin, and Nolan North, Hulk Vs. is a two-part film that tells two separate stories about the epic battles between the Hulk and Wolverine and the God of Thunder himself, Thor. Whereas the “Hulk vs. Thor” segment draws inspiration from the comics as well as the 1988 TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns, “Hulk vs. Wolverine” is an adaptation/homage of Wolverine’s first appearance. Fans of the original issue #181 and modern Marvel alike will enjoy this short showdown between the two titans.
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Noah LaPointe is a freelance fantasy and horror writer currently residing outside of Boston, MA. A graduate of Champlain College in Vermont, Noah has had several short stories published in independent magazines and comics. Noah spends most of his time reading, ranting about Star Wars and watching too much television.


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