Wolverine wasn’t built to be nice. At best, he’s a militant human being with extremely animalistic tendencies. At worst, he’s a savage mutant with a penchant for berserker rages that often leave death trails in its wake. He’s not well known for his massacres, but he’s about to be. Throughout his vicious career, Wolverine has sliced through the entire Marvel Universe, killing almost every hero and villain in his rampage. Whether through bone claws, adamantium assistance, or his bare hands, he has killed his father, his children, his lovers, and his friends.
That’s not to say Wolverine is a bad guy, because he’s isn’t. He’s just so impulsive that his rushes to judgment often lead to genocide. As we prepare for the dawn of Logan, Wolverine’s first R-rated big screen adventure, it’s time we review his most shocking, devastating, and vicious executions.
Here are Wolverine's 15 Most WTF Kills Of All Time.
15 All of the X-Men
The Hulk claims he’s not too likable when he’s angry, but it’s Wolverine who can be the most unstable. In Old Man Logan, Mysterio ceases fighting with his longtime nemesis, Spider-Man, and instead targets Wolverine. With the X-Mansion overrun by countless supervillains, Logan storms into the academy and thrashes his way through scores of enemies, desperate to protect his teammates young and old. The scene is pure chaos, a bloodbath in the holy of X-Men holies. Bodies are missing limbs, corpses are rammed through wooden planks, and viscera covers the walls.
After butchering the villainous horde, however, Logan gains clarity on the situation and realizes the truth: Mysterio had warped his mind so that he would believe the people around him were his enemies, when they were actually the entire team of X-Men. It was only an illusion, and in his berserker rage, Wolverine had lost his bearings and slaughtered his most beloved allies. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Logan attempted suicide by walking in the path of a freight train.
14 The Nameless Mutant Mass Murderer
Puberty is hard enough, but add untapped mutant abilities into the equation, and you’re in for a world of hurt. In Ultimate X-Men #41, we meet a nameless lad who has the frightening ability of incinerating everyone around him with some sort of flammable secretion. He burns part of a school down, turns his girlfriend into ash, and ultimately kills 265 people without blinking an eye. In the aftermath of the murder, no-name mutant boy flees the scene and winds up in a cave, where Wolverine eventually tracks him down.
Though he’s got a six-pack in hand and a warm fire at their feet, this Logan is the Grim Reaper incarnate. He’s here to kill the boy, who stands as a major liability to both humans and mutants alike. When Wolverine tells him to “finish your beer,” he’s telling the boy to take the edge off before he mercy kills him with popped claws. Indeed, the boy admits “I can’t live with this,” and it comes as no surprise when Logan leaves the cave alone.
13 His Illegitimate Children
James Howlett is a man’s man. He smokes stogies, drinks hard, and loves the company of women. As a result, he can’t keep up with all of his romantic conquests, and his past occasionally comes back to haunt him. In the case of The Mongrels, they are quite literally the seeds Logan sowed that return to make his life pure misery.
Led by Gunhawk, The Mongrels roll five deep and consist of Saw Fist, Shadowstalker, Fire Knives and Cannon Foot. As a unit, they set their sights on Wolverine and make him increasingly agitated in battle. Entering his berserker rage, Wolverine cuts them all down one by one and stands triumphant over their slain corpses. His victory was short-lived, however, as each of The Mongrels were actually Wolverine’s own bastard children. Though he didn’t have the facts before the battle and simply acted out of self-defense, Wolverine dials his self-loathing up to 11 and buries the corpses of his children alongside their respective mothers.
12 Killing and Drowning His Son, Daken
Though he killed The Mongrels without knowing they were his progeny, Wolverine’s final stand against his son, Daken, was no accident. Raised by Romulus and abandoned by Wolverine, Daken grew up with all of the physical strengths of his father and none of the moral code. He even impersonates his father on Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers team, calling himself "the Wolverine" to remember his roots.
Ashamed of the reckless man his son has become, Logan is faced with a final chance to obliterate Daken and spare the world from his cruel reign. While unleashing the full strengths of his powers against his son, Wolverine imagines a different reality with Daken. While slashing him across the face, he pictures his young son tying his shoes. As he slams Daken’s face into a shallow puddle, he pictures his small family roasting marshmallows over a campfire. When he drowns Daken in the water, he dreams of his son going to prom with a pretty date. When his son’s body gives in to the asphyxiation and collapses, Wolverine cradles him for the last time.
11 Beheading Sabretooth
In Wolverine #55, Logan goes to great lengths to end a twisted annual tradition. Each year, Sabretooth sadistically visited his feral counterpart on his birthday, offering up a gift in the form of slashing claws. Eventually, Wolverine had enough of the theatrics and decided to preemptively hunt down his archenemy. Though an adamantium vs adamantium battle is almost always a wash, Logan brought a little something extra during his trek through the Canadian tundra.
Enter the Murasma Blade, the one weapon capable of neutralizing healing powers. Like Superman with Kryptonite, Wolverine had the sword fashioned as a failsafe against himself, should the famed berserker rage mode become his new default. Within minutes of their meeting, Wolverine lops off Sabretooth’s right arm, then moves in for the grand finale. After Logan explains why Victor Creed’s arm will never again be reattached, Sabretooth sheds a tear and says, “Grrrr…do…it.” Without hesitation, Wolverine swipes the sword through his foe’s neck and sends Sabretooth’s heading flying like a punted football.
10 The Entire Marvel Universe
When we say Wolverine killed all of the Marvel superhero universe, that’s not an exaggeration. Simply turn to What If? Enemy of the State, the story that saw Logan getting brainwashed by HYDRA and the Hand, becoming a full-on slasher that killed all of your favorite superheroes back-to-back. He butchered the Fantastic Four, used both claws to stab Magneto through the back, assassinated Spider-Man, killed Iron Fist and Luke Cage, then amputated Steve Rogers’ leg. This effectively sent Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. into a state of panic that saw them deploy every one of their resources to keep the Wolverine contained.
Though they eventually succeed in subduing the beast, Wolverine becomes one of the biggest mass murderers in Marvel history, and this What If? comic pays homage to each of the casualties with a massive panel of the deceased, including The Punisher, Iron Man, Daredevil, Black Panther and countless others.
9 His Dad
Even as a child, young James Howlett kills first and asks questions later. In the limited series, The Origin, we learn where Wolverine racked up his first kill. Unsurprisingly, he kept it all in the family. Growing up in Alberta, Canada towards the back half of the 19th Century, James grows up as the enfeebled son of the wealthy John and Elizabeth Howlett. The frail boy spends the majority of his time in bed with an unknown illness, oblivious to the deeper truths that run throughout his household.
His mother, Elizabeth, has long been embroiled in an affair with the Howlett’s groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. When the secret is brought to light, Thomas and his son, Dog, are banished from the Howlett household. Though Thomas begs Elizabeth to join them in a new life, her husband shows up on the scene and takes a slug to the chest from Thomas’ double-barrel shotgun. Young James witnesses the shooting of his presumed father and breaks into a berserker rage for the first time, his bone claws bursting through his knuckles as he charges at Thomas and stabs him to death. It’s patricide of the first order, Wolverine style.
On Earth-61112, New York City is under attack, and Ultron is raining hellfire upon the citizens of the Big Apple. Though Iron Man kept Wolverine and other heroes safe from the Sentinels, they needed a drastic plan to save the day and destroy the maniacal android once and for all. Through using Doctor Doom’s Time Platforms, Black Widow, Moon Knight and other heroes shot forward into the future, while Wolverine intended on going back in time. Setting his sights on Hank Pym, the granddaddy of Ultron, Wolverine traveled in retrograde. Though he succeeded with his initial plan, he returned to the main timeline to find that altering the past had created even greater atrocities in the present.
This new dystopian world has no Avengers, no order, and next to no hope. Jumping back into the time-continuum, Wolverine arrives in Earth-616, tracks down Pym, prevents another Wolverine from killing the scientist, and convinces Pym to build a fatal flaw in Ultron. His mission finally accomplished, Wolverine recalls the brutality of the future he has already seen. Rather than live in that hell, he orders Wolverine #2 to end his life. How’s that for a story?
7 Rose O’Hara
When young James Howlett fled the scene of his father’s death, he escaped with his friend and future romantic interest, Rose O’Hara. Though Jean Grey may be his soul mate, Rose was James’ first love, the girl who embraced him for his myriad idiosyncrasies and mercurial temperament.
With the bloodbath at the Logan manor in their rearview mirror, James and Rose take shelter in an industrial camp far away from the civilized world. Upon reaching adulthood, Rose moves on from Wolverine and falls in love with another man. While in the throes of rejection, James is confronted by a ghost from his past: Dog Logan, who seeks revenge for the death of his father. Though Thomas Logan’s son puts up a good fight, James keeps him at bay and prepares to execute him when Rose O’Hara springs between the two men and accidentally skewers herself on Wolverine’s bone claws. The ivory barbs pierce clean through her chest and kill her in an instant, driving James to the brink of madness.
6 Everyone At Weapon X
Wolverine is always one step away from a berserker rage. In playing the role of James Logan, Hugh Jackman admitted to starting each day of filming under the blast of an ice-cold shower. He did this to capture a hint of the full-body frustration Wolverine feels on a daily basis. Considering his feral state, it’s a wonder that Wolverine writers haven’t let him cut loose more frequently. Author Barry Winsdor-Smith went for the jugular in his Weapon X arc, where he shut the sentience out of Wolverine’s brain and turned him into a killing machine without compunction.
In this slasher-story, we watch the members of the Weapon X program slowly get picked off by a phantom-like mass murderer. It’s Predator inside a laboratory. As the engineers bond him with more adamantium than his skeletal structure can handle, the man-who-would-be-Wolverine pops claws, becomes unhinged, and proceeds to kill all but one soldier in the Weapon X facility. The results are filled with guts, decapitation, and the deaths of scores of men, all at Logan's hand.
5 The Hulk
The trials and tribulations in Old Man Logan only get weirder as they go on. After committing his genocide against the X-Men, Wolverine finds himself between a rock and a Hulk. After the Green Giant had converted California into “Hulkland,” Logan rented some property from Ol’ Jade Jaws and found himself short of cash. Though he was merciful to start, Bruce Banner sent his Hulk children (sired with his dear cousin, She-Hulk) to collect the money. In order to make end's meet, old man Logan was on the road working as Hawkeye’s personal security. Unable to find his tenant, Banner got furious and ordered the immediate massacre of Wolverine’s entire family.
When Logan returned home, he found the decimated corpses of his children strewn across the land. With claws at the ready, Logan becomes Wolverine for the first time since the X-Genocide, slaughtering the majority of the Hulk’s offspring. In his final fight with the big boss, however, Wolverine gets killed and becomes the Hulk’s victory dinner. While resting in the expansive gut of the Green Giant, Wolverine steadily recuperates, regains his strength, and uses his claws to burst out of the Hulk and return to life as usual.
4 Omega Red
The Murasma Blade is too effective to only use once. While Sabretooth may be the sword’s most famous victim, Wolverine’s enduring enemy, Arkady Rossovich, is also a lifetime member of the Murasma Club. Though he’s already dangerous in human form, Rossovich becomes the villain Omega Red after enduring a particularly grisly super soldier program. The result is like an oversized, tentacle-ridden Dracula who feeds on the energy of his victims. Instead of using his teeth to power up, Omega Red lets his tentacles do the work. Where does Wolverine factor into all of this madness? In order to survive, Omega needs something called the “Carbonadium Synthesizer,” a tool that Wolverine allegedly stole. Enter Omega Red’s enduring hunt to capture Logan and regain the device, the key to his survival.
Though they have battled countless times, Wolverine finally bested him during a mano-a-mano fight that ended with the Murasma blade saying “hello” to Omega’s heart. Wolverine plunged the sword of death through his aorta and made Omega more red then ever, literally sending him straight to Hell (where the pair would fight again later).
3 Jean Grey
Though the death of Rose O’Hara forever scarred Wolverine, it represented but a fraction of the pain he endured from having to kill Jean Grey. The fatal moment was dramatized in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, but the original story in the comics is even more harrowing and graphic.
Towards the end of the miniseries, X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong, Jean Grey finds herself ravaged by the Phoenix Force and unable to rid herself of its violent influence. She has committed numerous atrocities while under its powerful control, and rather than succumb to the Dark Phoenix again, Jean asks for mercy from her longtime admirer, Wolverine. Knowing the power of the Phoenix Force, Logan rams his claws clean through her back and kills her. Not long after, however, the Phoenix brings her back to life, forcing Wolverine to kill her yet again. And again. And again. In total, he would end her life six times before fully completing the task.
2 Red Skull
This one ranks among Wolverine’s most satisfying kills, and like the others, we find it in the pages of Old Man Logan. Weeks before he tracked down the Banner clan and killed them one by one, James laid waste to Red Skull, the sitting President of the United States. This dystopian America sees violence around every corner, Red Skull’s ugly mug carved into Mount Rushmore, and New York City converted into a metropolis called New Babylon. In order to pay his rent to the Hulk, James continues to moonlight as Clint Barton’s bodyguard. Though you’d think Wolverine would be the best man for the job, he fails to protect Hawkeye from getting killed in a firefight with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Both Logan and Clint get gunned down, and in the aftermath, their bullet-ridden bodies are taken straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the home of Red Skull.
Though Hawkeye is dead, Logan regenerates and charges at the crimson supervillain. Without popping his claws, Logan thrashes the White House, grabs Captain America’s vibranium shield, and rams it clean through Red Skull’s neck, decapitating the Nazi overlord in an instant. Steve Rogers would be proud.
1 Every Villain in the Marvel Universe
So extreme were Wolverine’s actions in Horseman of War that he became Public Enemy No. 1 and was forced to live in hiding. He joined a monastery and became the quiet monk known as Brother Xavier. So, what exactly did he do?
To be fair to Logan, the chaos that ensued wasn’t entirely his fault. In this What If? scenario, Apocalypse captured him, transformed him into the Horseman of War, then got hoisted by his own petard when Wolverine turned right back around and killed his maker. With his bloodlust at a fever pitch, Wolverine set out on a killing spree and massacred almost every criminal and villain in the known universe. Among the dead were Sabretooth, Mystique, Mister Sinister, Arcade, Juggernaut, and even Magneto. His actions were so pervasive that they united the world’s many military branches around a common purpose: to bring Wolverine down. Little did they know that their global search was in vain, and that the Horseman War was now hiding undercover as the peaceful monk, Brother Xavier.
What other crazy kills has Wolverine commited over the years? Let us know in the comments!