(I think five years later is enough to assume an article I wrote up won’t be published. This came from a previous project in which I would give a little bit of background on a popular comic book character and some books to get as investments. I liked what I wrote a lot and now it has a home all these years later.)
Out of thousands of super heroes there are only a few who are iconic. The very exclusive club of characters who are recognized by non comic book readers the world around. Most of them have been around near 50 years if not more. Superman, Spider-Man, Batman. The “youngest” on the block though has to be Wolverine. Three metal claws on each hand, a healing factor, and a bad attitude were enough to capture the love of boys around the world. Those boys grew up and carried this merry mutant to multiple movies, cartoons and score of merchandise. Lets take a look at some of Wolverine’s must have comics sure to make you the envy of comic book collectors the world over.
Like many other great comic book characters, Wolverine did not debut in a self titled comic. No, he was a quick and dirty original new threat for the Hulk. Back in the Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 Wolverine arrived in the Marvel Universe and stepped right in between the Hulk and the Wendigo. It wasn’t a greatly hyped debut in its time, but you’ll be hard pressed to find an unheralded copy of it for sale now. Be sure to inspect the inside pages of the comic as well. Many of the Marvel comics of the era had coupons and forms to send away for other merchandise kids love. Nothing could be more heart breaking for a collector than spending full price for an incomplete comic.
Wolverine started to get a bit of notice and fans wanted to know more about this character. He was thrust into the All New All Different X-Men and began to become the superstar of comics that he is today. This new team debuted in Giant Size X-Men #1 and this is a fairly affordable and much coveted comic. Save some of your comics allowance for a bit and a good copy of this issue could be a part of your collection. Wolverine was and is a part of the X-Men for decades now and a valued member of the team. However there have been a few issues that put him in the forefront and would be welcome additions to your adamantium showcase.
Part of Wolverine’s strength is seeing how far down he can be pushed yet still come back for more. Whether its being infected by the alien race the Brood (Uncanny X-Men #234) or getting pummeled through every story of a skyscraper (Uncanny X-Men #133) or even worse, crucified mutant style (Uncanny X-Men #251) the Canuklehead will never back down.
Such tenacity may be why many of the great artists of the past decades have been drawn to Wolverine. Whether in the X-Men comics or in solo books, Logan has been blessed with some iconic art. Whether its Todd McFarlane showing off his take on Hulk vs. Wolverine (Incredible Hulk #340) or Jim Lee reinventing the X-Men (Uncanny X-Men #248 and X-Men #1). The only covers that look better than this intriguing ball of rage known as the Wolverine is to pair him with a woman. Showcase just how beautiful comics can be with the Get Mystique storyline (Wolverine #62-65) or X-Force: Sex and Violence. Both stories pit Wolverine with and against two of the most wanted women in the entire Marvel Universe (Mystique and Domino respectively).
Wolverine has proved to be a versitile character that any good creator can pick up and put into any situation in the world without missing a beat. The artists mentioned previously showed this and a Who’s Who of comics greatest writers have done the same. From acclaimed writer/artist Frank Miller came the first Wolverine solo series (Wolverine #1-4 (1982)) came Logan’s foray to Japan. Barry Windsor Smith, well known for bringing Conan to comics, told Wolverine’s origin in the Weapon X program and crafted the rulebook for super hero anatomy in the process (Marvel Comics Presents #72-84). Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada and Andy Kubert et al went back even further and told the true history of the man we know as Wolverine in Origin. A six issue mini series that reveals Logan’s true name and more it became a new benchmark for the character. So much so that the only option was to go into the future. Old Man Logan (Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan) saw Mark Millar and Steve McNiven tell a story 50 years in the future in which all the heroes but Wolverine are dead and the Old Man Logan must go on one last adventure.
From the present to the past and back to the future, Wolverine’s tale has taken place over so many great comics that there are expensive and affordable options for any collector. All of the tales are so well known that any comic shop should have well kept and well displayed copies of worthy Wolverine comics.
Or do they?
The Mysterious New Comer.
Recently a forgotten Marvel comic fan magazine rose from the dead, spilling its secrets and causing chaos throughout the collector community. Foom #2 came out in 1973. Before Incredible Hulk #180. Foom features a fan created character, and winner of the previous issue’s contest, called The Wolverine. This Wolverine features a healing ability, a metal skeleton, and stripes on his costume. The jury is still out on whether or not this is the new true first appearance of Wolverine. However, it is an issue that will forever have an asteriks and must now be added to any true collection. Without it, no collector can call himself the best he is and what he does.