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CSBG Archive

Week of Cool Wolverine Comic Book Moments – Who Is Wolverine?

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 fascinating look into what Wolverine ticks with a simple but difficult question…who IS Wolverine? Asking the question are Jason Aaron and Goran Sudzuka in the pages of 2011’s Wolverine #16…

We pick up at one of the lowest points in Wolverine’s life. The Wolverine Revenge Squad (also known as the Red Right Hand) have tried to get their revenge on Wolverine through a truly twisted plan that involved recruiting various illegitimate children that Wolverine has had over the years and sending them against him, knowing that either they succeed and kill him or they fail and he kills THEM, which, as it turns out, is even more painful for Wolverine (after all, he is very difficult to kill).

In Wolverine #15 (the previous issue, natch), Wolverine has a break down and essentially tries to give up on humanity, choosing instead to travel with a pack of wolves in the wilderness. But not even as the ALPHA wolf…

Throughout the issue, Wolverine’s reporter girlfriend is trying to track him down. While she is looking for him, she talks about him with his fellow superheroes, and their answers are fascinating insights into Wolverine (and really impressive work by Sudzuka in making literally talking heads still seem engaging)…

This being a superhero comic, though, Wolverine finds himself caught up in the plot of a bunch of psychos who were capturing wild wolves and then having them fight against some humans that they had captured. Sick stuff.

Wolverine saves them all and it makes him wonder some more about his place in life…


Great moment. The reveal of all of the people who care about him? And his retort of basically, “Okay, enough of this nonsense, let’s get back to work.” Just perfect.

Finally, Aaron has Wolverine try to answer the question (and I think he does so nicely)…

Well put, Wolverine (and Jason Aaron)!

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).


A terribly over-exposed character with little appeal, written in wildly narcisistic and inconsistent ways.

Sorry, but that is how he always looked to me.

Luis Dantes – you read this article and that’s still the way you feel?

i definitely think that wolverine would have smelled all those people standing there, and coming for him. i think the writer missed a good opportunity to show the logan knew they were coming, but he didnt run from them, he let them find him.

Haters gonna hate

You could say that about almost all of the major comic book superhero characters, Luis, but I disagree about the little appeal comment. There’s lots of meat on them bones when it comes to James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine.

Oh my, that was quite lovely.

I agree that he can be written inconsistently, but Jason Aaron has done the best work with Wolverine I’ve seen in years (to be fair, I think he’s been writing the character in a starring role for how many years?). Claremont, sure, undeniably the guy that made Wolverine who he is. But Aaron has brought a lot of original stories to the character–struggling with faith (Aaron being an atheist I appreciate him not going the Ennis route), murdering his bastards without knowing it, having a girlfriend that wasn’t Women-In-Refrigerator’d (which happened almost, what, every 2 years?), Dr. Rot getting him to question just how ridiculous his life has been and getting Logan to believe he’s legitimately crazy, the whole building a school from scratch and being Headmaster, actually trying to tackle WHY Wolverine is on fifty million teams (him sharing that guilt to Spider Man was another great moment, Wolv. 74). It’s more than just “Shikt Shikt Make with the Stabbity.”

I have to give Rucka credit for his take on Wolverine too. Actually writing 2 years of story without any internal narration hasn’t been done before/since (to my recollection). “Tough guys don’t sell that they’re tough. Logan shouldn’t have to.” (At least that’s what Rucka told me when I was fanboying like a schoolgirl.) Mark Millar wrote that Mr. Eisner recommended writing a story about Wolverine without any dialogue from the character, period. While not entirely comparable (1 issue vice 23), it was a neat take.

Hell, if I hadn’t read Larry Hama’s stuff growing up, I never woulda thought to call my girlfriends “Darlin” and I probably would still be a virgin. Whattyagonnado.

Maybe it’s just me, but that “talking heads” segment just reeks of Mary Sueism: various characters going on and on about how great Wolverine is, but with the actual stories not backup up those opinions. (Especially that panel of Kitty. Ugh. It’s one thing for her to look up to Wolverine, but… that statement is just ridiculous.)

A terribly over-exposed character with little appeal, written in wildly narcisistic and inconsistent ways.

Sorry, but that is how he always looked to me.

Yeah, but isn’t that most hugely popular superhero characters?

For example I think your description is even more apt for Superman and Batman.

Maybe it’s just me, but that “talking heads” segment just reeks of Mary Sueism: various characters going on and on about how great Wolverine is, but with the actual stories not backup up those opinions. (Especially that panel of Kitty. Ugh. It’s one thing for her to look up to Wolverine, but… that statement is just ridiculous.)

I have to agree with this. It all seemed rather amateurish and fanfictionish. It felt so much like a Didio-era DC comic, except no one was gratuitously maimed or raped.

The art is great tho. That guy is gifted with facial expressions.

I loved these two issues, just voted for them in the X-Family stories. I agree with Rob that not only has Aaron done wonderful work with the character, but he’s also tried to take Logan to new ground that other writers haven’t tread on. And while so many writers lazily fall back on what makes Logan cool to young readers, Aaron concentrates on what makes him interesting to adult readers.

It’s been nice to reminisce about when Wolverine was actually cool. The last couple of years or so have not done wonders for his character. Get him out of the Avengers, end the ridiculousness of him being headmaster of a school, and just generally avoid writing him as a hypocrite. Wolverine shouldn’t be the Man. It kills the appeal of the character, at least for me.

Lovers gonna love

where’s Kitty in those talking head panels?

I love the talking heads. The Iron Man/ Beast contrast makes sense based on their relationships with the character. The talking heads is an example of what makes him a great character. He is a man full of contradictions and contrasting opinions and styles.

Apparently the ones who make the comments about Kitty have never read the miniseries the two characters had together. That, and later events, has led to a bond between the characters. And, while Kitty has shown a thing for older men before, Logan’s a bit too old and too much the surrogate father for her. So, in a way, she’s following the old trope that guys she’s interested in would have to be measured against the yardstick that is her father figure on the team (as Charles was more of a creepy grandfather type).

Dear Marvel: Please keep the full beard and a loincloth as Wolverine’s costume. My boner will appreciate it.

Every time Logan’s depicted running with wolves, I do wonder how many writers are aware of the fact that wolverines and wolves are totally unrelated species.

Great art by Sudzuka… except for the Thing’s face.

Did Aaron give any credit to Xaime Hernandez? The headshot technique–characters directly facing the reader, giving frequently contradictory descriptions of the lead–seems enormously indebted to “Tear it up, Terry Downe” in Love and Rockets.

I know Aaron similarly borrowed a narrative trick from Watchmen for the first page of WATXM 13, but that was just for a single page, and it was a thematic inversion as well as a formal mimic, and it referenced a work no doubt more familiar to X-Men readers, so there was no real question of its source. This seems more like simple theft.

Beautiful art from Goran Sudžuka.

It’s frustrating that Aaron can write stuff like this that’s really poignant, as well as excellent series like The Other Side and Scalped, but his Wolverine and the X-Men stuff rarely goes beyond the wacky antics of evil children.

And I thought the Brady Bunch was sappy…

I don’t mind Wolverine (and love the drinking game associated with every time he tells someone how he’s the best at what he does etc, etc) but this is one of the sappiest comics I’ve seen in a LONG while.

I preferred it when Captain America didn’t think much of Wolverine though. The fact a mass murderer is in the Avengers borders on the ridiculous.

@Neil Kapit
I think Wolverine and The X-Men is designed to be pure fun. It also doubles as a young hero book. All comics can’t have the same type of tone. Although some issues in the series do get really poignant: the Warbird issue comes to mind. Which managed to happen right in the middle of the AvX crossover.

nice for loved how jason and goran dared to try and figured out what made wolverine tick. for loved the hulk saying he is a ablank plus also doctor strange saying wolverine is more scary then the devil. not to mention wolverine seeing all who care about him get all mocho and says enough lets get back to work.

So everyone shows up, and Bobby’s gonna be sitting on the ground, like standing is too much work?
Given that they’re in -snow-, how much funnier would it have been if Iceman had made himself an ice chair to sprawl in, instead?

Wow. There’s a lot of people with a really bizarrely personal-seeming hatred of a fictional character. Like any character (especially a long-running popular comic-book character), he is going to be a product of the dozens (hundreds?) of writers who’ve written him, like Batman, Superman, etc. Assigning anything past an “ehh, never been my cup of tea” seems not only a little odd, but also seems like a good way to close yourself off from a lot of stories you might otherwise enjoy.

Also, Carl, I would say that the “characters talking directly to the viewer, giving conflicted opinions of the another character” thing is more of a trope than you might think. I’ve personally seen it in at least a handful of comics, a few TV shows, and plenty of movies. Off the top of my head, it happens in “Scott Pilgrim” (both the film and the comic) when people are describing Ramona Flowers. I’m sure if you gave Brian an hour, he could find you five examples in comics alone (then again, that’s his specialty).

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