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Wolverine Comic The Key Issues

Updated on September 13, 2016

James Howlett - Wolverine

Born James Howlett also known as Logan, Wolverine alongside Spider-man and Batman ranks as one of the most popular and well known comic book characters. Later this year will see another solo movie released, The Wolverine, which will only increase the characters profile even more.

With a skeleton and claws made of unbreakable Adamantium and an increased healing factor which slows down the aging process, Wolverine is virtually indestructible.

Below we will look at what comic books are important in the history of Wolverine and see the books and story lines which have helped make him such a beloved character today.

Incredible Hulk # 180

The idea for Wolverine first came from the creative minds of writer Len Wein and then MARVEL art director John Romita Snr. Wolverine drawn on this occasion by Herb Trimpe, Wolverine is sent to intervene in a battle between the Hulk and the Wendigo and only appears in a cameo role in the last frame of the book, arguments have raged between comic book fans for many years as which book should be classed as the most important, this book or the following issue #181 which features Wolverines first full appearance, in my humble opinion it should be this one, but fans seem to favor #181 and it is #181 that sells for big money.

Wolverine as seen in Hulk # 180 looking quite different to how we know him today.
Wolverine as seen in Hulk # 180 looking quite different to how we know him today.

Incredible Hulk # 181

Classed as the first full appearance of Wolverine, and very very sought afterthis issue can be incredibly expensive, to date the only comic book from the 1970s to sell for over $100,000 with a CGC graded 9.9 Mint copy selling for $150,000 in 2011. Amazing but i suppose this gives us some idea of just how popular Wolverine is with comic book fans.

Wolverine battles the not so jolly green giant.
Wolverine battles the not so jolly green giant.

Giant Size X-Men # 1

The book that revamps the X-Men series and features the new X-Men team including Wolverine for the first time. With Wolverine soon getting into arguments with the old X-Men team the new X-Men would soon be included in the X-Men ongoing comic from issue # 94.

Wolverine Limited Series # 1

Written by Chris Claremont and with artwork by the legendary Frank Miller, Wolverine got his own series with a limited run of just four issues in 1982.

Wolverine Ongoing Series # 1

Wolverine gets his own ongoing series in 1988 written by Chris Claremont. In these adventures Wolverine goes by the name of Patch and is based on the fictional island of Madripoor, these stories are a great fun read.

Uncanny X-Men # 141 / 142

Soon to made into an X-Men movie Wolverine features prominently in the Days of Future Past story line which is told over these two issues.The scene in X-Men Last Stand where fellow X-Man Colossus throws Wolverine at a Sentinel in a training exercise is also loosely based on a section of this story line.

Uncanny X-Men # 142, in this issue everybody dies, er no they don't.
Uncanny X-Men # 142, in this issue everybody dies, er no they don't.

Wolverine Ongoing Series # 10

Over the years Wolverine and his arch enemy have had many classic battles.This one makes a great cover in another battle with his nemesis Sabretooth!

Uncanny X-Men # 118

First appearance of Mariko Yashida who would go on to be the love of Wolverines life. Mariko will feature strongly in the new Wolverine movie set in Japan soon to be released, The Wolverine.

Wolverine Origin

Since Wolverine was first introduced in the 1970s his origins had been shrouded in mystery. This six issue story tells of James Howletts ( Wolverine) early life in 19th century Canada. A lovely well written and illustrated series that also has a nice twist to the tale.


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    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      I think the book will always rise steadily in value, the movie might cause a small spike in its price.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I am curretnly in possesion of 181 and would like to know if the new movie will help the price jump at all?

    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Oh yes might have to add that one!

    • Geekdom profile image


      5 years ago

      Another great list. I was surprised Weapon X did not make the list.

      I can't remember the issue but it was when Magneto ripped the admantium out of Wolverine and his healing powers had been completely taxed for a while.

      I am loving these hubs.

    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Wow! I wish i could just get to look at one of those things, i remember a guy paying $10,000 for a Detective # 27 in the 1980s and everyone thought he was mad!

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Ouch! Obviously that guy knew what he had!! Too bad he wouldn't give it up.

      In addition to having once held a Hulk #181 in my hands, I have also been in the presence of an Action Comics #1. I was at a comic convention in New York City many years ago and one of the dealers had it in the center of his booth in what looked like a bullet-proof glass case. I believe the price tag on it was $10,000 (which was an astronomical amount of money THEN, of course... but it's chicken feed compared to what it goes for today!).... my brother and I (who were about ten and eleven years old at the time) just stood there and basked in its glory for a couple of minutes like, "Duuuuuuuuude!" ... cuz we knew we were probably never going to see another one as long as we lived. Haha.

    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Ha great story, i sell a lot of comic books and i have never in all my life even seen a copy of Hulk # 181 which is surprising as it is only from the 70s, but i know the feeling of going HOLY @S#%!!! though, an old guy bought some comics round the pub to show me and in amongst all the rubbish was a decent copy of Showcase #4! No matter what i offered he wouldn't sell.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      I'm looking forward to the new Wolverine movie because it's based on the 1982 mini-series (Logan Vs. A Whole Lotta Ninjas!), which is my all time favorite Logan story.

      Every time I see Hulk #181, though, I cringe, because I could've snagged a copy of that comic for cheap back in the '80s. A guy I knew in college who knew nothing about comic books brought me a stack of oldies to see if I'd be interested in buying any of 'em, and while I was sorting through the pile of mostly-common stuff, suddenly there was a Hulk #181. (Mind you, this was the late 80s so it was only worth a couple of hundred bucks at that time, not the astronomical prices it goes for today...but it was still a very desirable book and too rich for my blood back then.) Unfortunately I gave myself away by going "HOLY @$#%!!!!"... so the cat was out of the bag, the guy knew he had a good one there. Haha. Since I couldn't keep my cool I missed out on a steal, but I did eventually hook the guy up with a dealer who gave him a decent amount of coin for it. Haha.

      Cool Hub, brought back some memories.


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