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Week of Cool Wolverine Comic Book Moments – Wolverine Pulls a “Dirty Harry” on a Hellfire Club Guard

All week long we will feature brand-new Cool Wolverine Comic Book Moments in celebration of his recent film. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

We continue with a classic piece of intimidation by Wolverine in X-Men #133 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin…

After the events of X-Men #132, the X-Men are all captured by the Hellfire Club. All except for Wolverine, who is thought to be dead but at the end of the issue, he awesomely reveals himself to be alive and looking for revenge (click here to see our spotlight on THAT moment, one of the best moments in Marvel history).

So X-Men #133 opens with Wolverine making his way through the Hellfire Club’s home and dealing with their armed guards…

While we knew that Wolverine was a hard-edged killer before this point, this was still one of the rare occasions that we actually got to SEE Wolverine’s savagery in action.

This, then, leads to “the” moment, in an expertly drawn sequence by Byrne and Austin…

Totally Dirty Harry (in case you’re somehow unfamiliar with the scene in question, in the very first Dirty Harry film, Harry takes on a trio of robbers, killing two and wounding one. The wounded robber is close enough to his shotgun that he could theoretically grab it and take a shot at Harry. Harry, though, essentially talks him out of attempting to go for the shotgun by explaining to him:

I know what you’re thinking: “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, punk?

The punk did not and he surrendered, just like this Hellfire guard.

Good stuff.

Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com to suggest other cool Wolverine moments to me for the rest of the week! Make sure to check the archive, though, as a number of cool moments have already been featured starring Wolverine (including the aforementioned bit from X-Men #132).


This pages pretty much summarize why Wolverine should not be an Avenger: Despite being basically invulnerable, he takes the conscious decision to kill/maim mere guards.

One of the things I loved about Claremont’s run on X-Men was how he took seemingly throwaway characters like these and makes them much bigger players later on. In this case it was years later that he turned these three into cyborgs, which tied into Lady Deathstrike, and eventually into the Reavers. And stuff like that happened all the time. I’m currently re-reading the Mutant Massacre trade and I had forgotten how it’s revealed that Scalphunter is the mystery killer of some Morlocks that had happened almost a year and a half before MM.

This sequence is a perfect example of Claremont over-writing. “Angelo! He’s coming for you!”

We couldn’t get that from the art? There is literally nothing else that panel could be showing.

I do tend to believe that Byrne and Austin did such an amazing job that there was barely any need for captions or dialogue on much of these pages.

The thing is, if you were the guy in that spot, you’d probably say the same thing or similar.

Wolverine should’ve just exclusively started referring to himself in the third person after this sequence.

“Wolverine killed all those guards. Now, Wolverine is going to go have a beer.”
“Wolverine is the best he is at what he does, and what Wolverine does isn’t very nice.”
“Nobody touch the DVR. Wolverine is recording the ‘The Real housewives of New Jersey’ at 8.”

@JRC– Wolverine is pouncing from five feet away. At best, the dude would have had time to say, “Look ou-”

Claremont did it all the time. “Oh no! That laser beam is coming right at me! No time to dodge! If only I had time to turn into titanium the way I did on the farm that frightened my parents so, even though I only wanted to protect the humans that hated and feared me! If only I had better control of my mutant powers! I should have trained more! Must… leap… away! Too late! Arrrgh!”

Everyone spoke like that in comic book fights.

@The Mutt: Agreed. Claremont got so much better at cinematic storytelling later on. His older stuff is a little too wordy for me often times, and virtually all the stories have become overrated.

@The Mutt: Five metres, not five feet. Like all good Canadians, Wolverine threatens in metric.

“Like all good Canadians, Wolverine threatens in metric.”

Like everyone in the world not born in the USA, you mean…

nice was waiting for this moment to pop up for not only does it show that wolverine does not even need his claws to freak out his opponent just marely standing there and talking. proving wolverine is some one one would not want to cross in an alley

This was, for the longest time, one of my absolute favorite comic books. After all this time of Wolverine being described as a homicidal maniac, we actually got to see it.

Oh yeah, Wolvie’s personality was totally based on Dirty Harry movies in the pre-New Mutants days, and for a while after that. See the “new X-man Rogue and Wolvie in Japan” issues.

Also, notice the brevity of the actual Dirty Harry speech, versus about twice as many words in the Claremont version.

“One of the things I loved about Claremont’s run on X-Men was how he took seemingly throwaway characters like these and makes them much bigger players later on. In this case it was years later that he turned these three into cyborgs, which tied into Lady Deathstrike, and eventually into the Reavers.”

Actually, it was Jim Shooter who forced Claremont to bring the Hellfire Club guards back as cyborgs. He didn’t like the idea of super heroes being able to get away with killing people, which is also why he forced Claremont & Byrne into the position where they had to kill off Phoenix after she destroyed that planet of broccoli people.

I was looking at the others “cool moments” and while they’re all great they don’t look consistent to me. Over the years Claremont and others writers shifted the models for the character, from short-tempered and quasi-stupid lumberjack to noble and tortured cowboy to noble samurai, but those changes were not organic. In the end, Logan is always the bad-ass alpha male and all attempts to put depth to his character suffers from this limitation. He can’t be really tragic like some stoic ronin or cowboy because he is never really vulnerable, and he can’t really be a flawed-but-virtuous character because he is rarely portrayed as having any real flaw.

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