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Top Five Most Iconic Wolverine Covers

Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Wolverine (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Wolverine, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.


First off, while I’m exempting first appearance covers from the countdown, it’s only fair, I suppose, to share them here before the countdown begins, so here is the first cover appearance of Wolverine from his first full appearance, Incredible Hulk #181…

Artist: Herb Trimpe


I was a bit unsure of whether to count Giant-Size X-Men #1 as “featuring” Wolverine. I think it probably does, but not enough so that I wouldn’t have it ranked higher, so #5 was a perfect spot for it. But then I thought that, hey, it’s close, so why not let the people choose between that choice and the covers that just barely missed the #5 spot?

And that choice was…

Artist: Terry Austin

Future Wolverine is killed…

4. Artists: John Romita, Jr. and Dan Green

Do any of these covers really need explanation?

I say thee nay!

3. Artists: Todd McFarlane and Bob Wiacek

2. Artists: John Byrne and Terry Austin

1. Artists: Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein


Wow, it’s hard to choose just one from the ten.

Hal Jordan’s first appearance in Hulk #181? That’s gonna be even MORE of a collector’s item now :P

I’ll take #173. First time I read either character. Sadly, also probably the best story for either I remember.

Hal Jordan’s first appearance in Hulk #181? That’s gonna be even MORE of a collector’s item now :P

Hal also made a cameo appearance in the previous issue. ;)

X-Men 251 was the issue I was looking for to be on this list, and it got my vote.

Was a tossup between 142 & 251, both of which should have been higher in the top 5 I reckon.
I also think your missing some notable others, like Marvel Comics Presents 77 (part of the Weapon X story, with Wolverine in he snow) and Origin 2.
My personal favourite though is Wolverine 8, with the waiter uniforms.

I think Giant Sized #1, Uncanny 133, 142, 212, 251, and all the “Wolverine” title covers are more iconic than the JRJR #4. What’s iconic about Uncanny 207? What about Uncanny 213? I fell like I see that cover all the time. Not that these are complaints, mind you. Hard to go wrong with any of these.

Nah, you gotta have that JRJR cover on there. My younger self at the time had that “Oh wow, he’s RIPPING THE COVER!” reaction.

I think this deserves as shot (or at least something from the run).


This may possibly deserve a shot.


Forget the noseless, bone-claw Wolverine it led to, and remember how shocking it was when it happened.

Where is Cap Annual #8 ? Captain America and Wolverine by Zeck !

I think the #2 cover is good, but I’d have preferred to see either UX 205 or 251 higher.

X-Men #251 is an image that always sticks out in my mind…

Yeah, Cap Annual #8 deserves a chance, too! I’ll add it in!

Actually, looking at the list again, I kinda wish you’d skipped Wolverine or gone with a top 10. There are just so many good ones that this is a really hard list to quantify, but I actually enjoyed the lesser known characters more. How about Illyana Rasputin or Bronze Tiger next?

What? Absolutely no love for this iconic Zeck cover?


Damn. Tough one. I go with 212…

Amazed you managed to narrow it down so much to be honest…

Ignore previous post. Seems the issue has already been addressed…

The top three for Wolverine are actually pretty simple (and I think Uncanny #207 is a pretty simple one, too). It’s that fifth choice that is hard.

That Incredible Hulk McFarlane cover always looked wrong to me somehow. Something about the angle of the claws or the position of Wolverine’s fist makes my eyes cross, like I’m looking at an optical illusion.

What about Uncanny X-men #195? Wolverine threatening the cute little girl from Power Pack!


i liked sam keith’s marvel comics presents covers featuring wolverine. i guess one dosen’t really stick out above all othes but they’re the first thing that came to mind.

Uncanny 234 by Silvestri should be in the running for that fifth spot too!

There are a few in the running for 5 that stand out more to me than 207. It’s weird that I didn’t think of that at all and you have it in there as such a no brainer. Maybe it’s because I never tracked down that issue as a kid or something. Has it been used a lot in homages?

For the first time in a while, I really have no problem with these selections. I think the first three selections were nailed and I’m fine with the fourth one. To me, the fifth spot only has a few that are really an option. I definitely do not agree with Giant Size X-Men. I voted for UXM #133. Such a cool moment for him and the cover is awesome. I would also be fine with the Captain American Annual #8. That was also made into a very popular poster at the time.

I love the cover of Uncanny 195. So many reasons why Quesada would never let that get published now.

“Uncanny 234 by Silvestri should be in the running for that fifth spot too!”

Beat me to it!

I voted for 251, but Hulk 181, the Uncanny 142 and the 1st issue of his first ongoing are all a good deal more iconic than Uncanny 207, I’d say.

To be honest, I would have thought that either issues of Uncanny X-men # 205 or # 212 would have been
# 1 spot.

Barry Windsor-Smith is a far, far better artist than Frank Miller.

But that’s just me.

Uncanny #212 for the #5. And I’d drop the #141 for the MCP #1 cover too.

There’s plenty to choose from here, as in the modern age Wolvie’s on a TON of covers. For example the recent Adam Kubert cover of the Weapon X wolvie on Weapon X was MONEY!


There’s cowboy Wolvie:


And the Spidey vs. Wolvie cover is killer too:


The beauty of Wolverine as a comic book character really is that he needs so little explanation. He is short, has a nasty temper, a soft spot for women in trouble and KNIVES SHOOT OUT OF HIS #@%*ing HANDS! You did a great a great job covering that.

I voted for UXM #142, since the story was so pivotal in terms of how I saw the X-Men as a kid and the cover really does a great job showing what is going on.

Wow Really tough choice. For me it’s between Uncanny 205 and 212 and Wolverine 17 (it wasn’t just a poster it was a T-shirt and used on all kinds of promotional merchandise and ads from Marvel.) Considering this character has been on EVERY cover from Marvel in the past 25 years, maybe a top ten would’ve been a good idea.

Oh I meant to say IMO Giant Size #1 and Uncanny #142 are iconic X-MEN covers not so much Wolverine.

I’m not much on that JRJR cover that I’ve never seen before. Blech! I would pick several of the other covers to replace that one. But most of the covers in general were the ones that came to mind.

Yep, I think you nailed the top 4 in order. I also think that the Wolverine character (and Daredevil) lends itself to artists *trying* to make most covers iconic, or posters, or iron-ons or something. Don’t know if that’s good or bad, I’m just sayin’.

Cap Annual #8 gets my vote, for sure. I think it’s not only an iconic cover but it was also my first exposure to Wolverine, and at the time he seemed like the coolest character ever. So I’m a bit biased towards it.

X-Men #173 should be exempted because it’s not an iconic cover, but rather the Wolvie figure was pulled from it for the most iconic Wolverine poster.

Captain America Annual #8 gets my vote, and is the first thing I think of when someone asks for an iconic Wolverine cover.

Also, it certainly is weird seeing all the cigars since the “no smoking” ban went into effect.

That Uncanny X-Men 251 cover is just awesome, definitely my favorite.


I would maybe…MAYBE…switch the positions of #3 and #4 but that’s the only gripe I can come up with, and it’s not even really a gripe. This is a great list.

#5 has gotta be Wolverine #1 (Ongoing).

Hmmm. By having iconic covers, I guess you have to choose something that boringly represents his character. I must confess that I’ve never been that keen on the Miller cover at no1 here. I love Uncanny X-Men 173 but moreso for the combo of Wolvie and Rogue and not Logan alone. It’s a bit leftfield but I’m incredibly fond of Astonishing X-Men 17 for a rather different take on our adamantium clawed friend.


What about X-Men 234? That is a pretty damn iconic cover.

I voted 133. For years I had it as a poster on my wall courtesy of a UK X-Men Winter Special.

141 should be #1. Best comic cover ever.

#4 shouldn’t be on the list at all.

Good set of choices. I’m not feeling any of the readers’ suggestions. If you took the top two covers from the poll and put them in the #4-5 spots, I think you’d have the most iconic five.

Uncanny 251 was the one I was hoping for, so I am happy it is in contention. It is literally iconic, with the X-crucifix obviously recalling Jesus’, as the X-Men have suffered for and been persecuted to save others. It’s such a strong visual, and much better than a generic “Wolverine is a bad ass” cover (although they do also represent the character well, they’re just not as interesting).

I voted for Uncanny X-Men #173 but I’m guessing one of the Byrne covers will win.

Not surprised at the Miller cover winning for iconic status. Wolvie has had far cooler covers in his first 25 years than really good stories in the last two decades.

great choices on 1-4!

As far as I know, Uncanny X-Men 133 was the first Wolverine solo cover. It gets my vote just for that. Additionally, it’s a picture of Wolverine attacking a bunch of people, something he would do over and over in his stories. My favorite cover is the Cap Annual- it’s so visceral, and well-drawn. I don’t think “Cap vs. Wolverine” represents the character, but it’s a favorite.

#173, far and away, at least for a 30-something (mostly ex-) comic geek like myself. This was the one that got me trying to learn how to draw Wolverine, probably the most iconic cover that Paul Smith did during his underrated X-Men run, the one that brought a thousand kids into the comics shop and made me want to work there. I always thought that Art Adams and all the subsequent mutant artists I followed in the late 80s had absorbed this cover into their bloodstream. And the silent battle inside between Wolverine and the Silver Samurai defined the conflict between violence and honor that for me was the definitive Logan.

Hmmm tough choice… Didn’t really know what to pick, really, but the Cap cover finally got my vote… I like something about the way the whole “impact on Cap’s shield” thing is drawn.

I voted for Uncanny 251 although I would have prefered Marvel Comic Presents 72. Really Wolverine has had so many iconic covers its so hard to choose or sometimes even just only think of five.

Although if you do a rouge cover one 173 would be the number one cover.

nice to see at least one part of days of future past on the list for an aged wolverine with shadow cat by the poster of all the x-men who paid a price to the sentials is creepy and chilling. and also love number one wolverines hair was so nuts

What never occurred to me was exactly when I should “call” the match. We’ve had almost 600 votes and the margin is extremely tight between the top two choices, so when should I call it one way or the other? I guess I can give it a couple of days.

I can’t wait for the Top Five Most Iconic Stilt-Man Covers!

If it’s really close, you could have #5 be a tie. Sure, it would be six covers, but that’s cool.

Either pick a cutoff time and date or wait until the comments stop trickling in.

Or you could take my suggestion and ditch UXM #207 for the two winners. ;-)

Any time you tackle a top 10 character like Wolverine, I suspect you’re going to get lots of comments and votes.

Lot of un-love for UXM #207, which surprises me because that is the first thing I thought of when I thought of Wolverine covers – that’s one of the criterion here, isn’t it? I then had to remind myself that that Frank Miller cover is more iconic, and sure enough, it’s right there at number one.

I’ve never thought of the Giant-Size #1 cover as a Wolverine cover – it’s an X-Men cover. And I’ve never thought of the Days of Future Past cover as a Wolverine cover – it’s the Days of Future Past cover. But when it comes to homages? Man, those two are hard to beat. Action Comics #1, FF #1, and that psychadelic Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD cover are all that immediately comes to mind for contenders against those two.

I tend to cut straight to the covers without reading the text at the top, and at first thought NO Wolverine covers I thought were iconic made it.

I voted for 133, but I disagree that it should be for #5.

I think it should be #2.

When I was a kid, I bought X-Men #207 and got home to find my copy had a rip in the cover right where Wolvie’s claw marks are. Normally, I would have been pissed about the damage, but in this case, I thought it was the coolest thing ever because it looked just like Wolvie had cut right through the cover…

Also, it was tough, but I voted for X-Men #251 as the #5 most iconic cover. Always loved that cover, especially Silvestri’s use of heavy black shading and the colorist’s use of eery green and purple ambient light sources. I enjoyed the “Outback X-Men” stories and that was one of the best single issues of that run, and one of the best X-Men covers ever…

Thankfully, no one’s going to see this since this note is just old enough so now I can safely mention Wolverine 50!



Hehe…it’s not THAT old, Matt! :)

I always had a soft spot or Wolvie #50. I met Marc Silvesrtri and he opened the front cover and signed it without much thought. When you closeed it his signature was perfectly aligned with the middle claw mark. I think he may have 1or 2 of those before.

$#!+ That should’ve said I think he’s signed 1 or 2 of those before.

Three Wolvie covers covers I’ve always loved that have not been mentioned yet (weirdly enough all three are from the same series and were first published a few months apart in 1990):

Mark Chiarello’s Wolverine v2 #29 cover

John Byrne’s Wolverine v2 #23 cover

and finally – Jim Lee deserves a mention here – his cover from #25 is very powerful and evocative

I am not challenging Brian’s choices – his selection of the most “iconic” Wolverine covers are pretty much indisputable – I just think these covers might deserve “honorable mentions”.

I’m with the “what do you mean 207 is #4 crowd” especially when I see #133 only has a chance at being #5. Oh well, to each his own.

I never liked the cover to Wolverine #1 when it came out, and I don’t like it now.

I started in on X-Men with issue 200, and bought all the back issues to 137. The Paul Smith issue of mine had trace marks where I’d copied it. But I voted for 141. I loved that cover. As a kid, it blew my mind. The most amazing character I knew was being killed, and in the issue, he actually was. I stared at that cover for a long time.

It’s a shame Art Adams didn’t do any Wolverine covers, because his pinups were amazing.

Okay, it’s time for the poll results…!

who has won. answer on monday maybe?

To deny the Windsor-Smith covers their place is to deny all that is good about comics.

Wolverine #27 is big in my mind, great iconic image, plus it was the cover to the Wolverine NES game back in the day!

Strangely enough, another Wolverine #27 is on my list, this time from the 2003 series, drawn by Joe Quesada:

I also think Astonishing X-Men #1 has an iconic cover. Simple, shows very little of the character but you instantly know who it is and what he does:

I miss The Uncanny X-Men #251 in this list, too!!

I own a copy of Hulk #181 thanks to my husband who feeds my obsession, but I still think Wolverine #1 is absolutely classic.

It’s got to be uncanny x-men#133, especially considering the awesome astonishing x-men kitty pryde homage.

X-Men #173
X-Men #213
X-Men #222
X-Men #234
X-Men #251
X-Men #276
Don’t know all of these were over-looked, but there are definitely some classic covers in this list.

No Wolverine #10????? “There’s a killer loose in the forest… and Sabretooth is his name!!”

(For clarification)
Uncanny X-Men #173
Uncanny X-Men #213
Uncanny X-Men #222
Uncanny X-Men #234
Uncanny X-Men #251
Uncanny X-Men #276
Don’t know how all of these were over-looked, but there are definitely some classic covers in this list.
Another to consider would be David Finch’s (Wizard World Texas 2004 Exclusive)-WOLVERINE: The End #1

I like the one with him crucified on the X or the one with him or Wolverine 10 with him and Sabretooth are good, you’d think that at least one Wolverine vs Sabretooth cover would make the list.

I like Uncanny 207, I think that is one that comes to mind first. But also Wolverine 23 is very nice. The reflection on his claws is nice, and imho, much better than McFarlane’s cover.

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