With the critically-acclaimed Logan arriving this week on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital, let’s all take a moment to appreciate how truly remarkable Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine really was. For 17 years, the actor imbued the character with heart, humor, and pathos. He made us cheer for the ol’ Canucklehead, root for him, cry for him and mourn his death. In short, Jackman did the truly impossible: He made Wolverine a hero.
Oh, what’s that? You’re saying Wolverine was always a hero?
You sure about that?
James “Logan” Howlett has always been a short, furry, hot-tempered a-hole. Add in a mutant healing factor, an extended lifetime of trauma, and some Weapon X experimenting, and it’s really no surprise he became a short, furry, unstoppable, immortal, homicidal a-hole. Sure, he’s done some good things, and he’s constantly struggling to combat his inner demons, his killer instinct, but that doesn’t change the fact that his past is absolutely littered with corpses and twisted logic and questionable motives.
To paraphrase Wolverine himself, he may be the best there is at what he does, but what he does is reprehensible. Brace yourselves, because here are the 15 Most Evil Things Wolverine Has Ever Done.
15. Wolverine Betrayed the X-Men
During the “Avengers vs. X-Men” story, Wolverine was forced to pick a side: either follow his current team, the ragtag Avengers; or join up with the X-Men, his mutant brethren, the friends and family that gave him a home and honed him into the hero he claimed to be.
Wolverine chose the Avengers.
And, OK, sure, the X-Men were currently following the lead of the mutant separatist Cyclops and ended up heading down a wildly wrong path, but Logan didn’t know that. The Phoenix Five actually solved all of the world’s problems for a little while, before Wolverine and the Avengers started picking fights with them. So, really, when you think about it, Cyclops going full Dark Phoenix and burning down the world is all Wolverine’s fault.
14. He Got Colossus Drunk and Made Him Fight the Juggernaut
Shortly after the original “Secret Wars,” in Uncanny X-Men #183, Colossus broke up with his girlfriend Kitty Pryde because he’d been brainwashed into falling in love with the magic alien woman that saved his life while he was on Battleworld. Kitty was less than pleased with this outcome.
Despite Logan being tight with both of them, he had an extra soft spot for Shadowcat, and, understandably, took her side in the break-up. Less understandably, he tricked Colossus into getting hammered and sicced the Juggernaut on his “friend.”
On a good day – back in the ‘80s, anyway – Colossus and Juggernaut were pretty evenly matched. Ten beers deep and unable to stand, though, poor little Petey got his rear handed to him. Juggernaut actually clobbered him with the bar twice – first, the long wooden bar top, then the entire building the bar was in.
Instead of helping, like, at all, Wolverine giggled in the corner while he watched Colossus nearly get murdered, then told the Russian that he hoped he learned his lesson – which, surely, was that Wolverine was a great friend to have on your side, unless he liked someone else slightly more than you.
13. He Cold-Cocked Storm and Let Her Get Kidnapped
Hey, speaking of Wolverine being a tool to those closest to him: One time he punched Storm in the face and let her get dragged away to be hunted for sport.
In Uncanny X-Men #215, Storm and Wolverine are out taking a stroll through the woods, trying to figure out who burned down Jean Grey’s sister’s house. Using his mutant super-sniffing abilities, Logan realizes that, even though she was supposed to be dead, Jean was at the house too! Despite the fact that the X-Men are currently fleeing from the Marauders, and he and Storm have a job to do, Wolverine decides this is a perfect time to run off on a wild ghost chase. Ororo rightfully objects, Logan decks her, and she wakes up in a cabin where three supervillains are going to hunt her down like wild game.
Oh, also, after Wolvie knocks out Storm and runs away, he slashes a young couple’s tires for no reason, stranding them in a forest, and then sits in the woods and watches them get shot to death.
12. He Killed Ant-Man and Broke Time
During the “Age of Ultron,” Wolverine finds himself holed up in the Savage Land with a bunch of other heroes, trying to figure out how to stop the sentient murder-bot Ultron. Nick Fury and most of the others decide to go into the future to, somehow, stop Ultron from wrecking up the present, but Wolverine and the Invisible Woman decide it would make more sense to go into the past and kill Hank Pym before he can create the robot in the first place.
Turns out, that was the wrong move, and Logan and Sue return to a decimated New York City, where a cyborg Tony Stark says that Wolverine “broke the world.” So Wolverine and the Invisible Woman go back in time again, don’t kill Hank, and instead convince him to build a self-destructing failsafe into Ultron. Then they all go back to the present with another alternate-future Wolverine, who the real Wolverine kills.
Everyone feels good about themselves for maybe a minute, before time explodes and all of the multiverses come pouring into Manhattan. Meanwhile, Hank Pym starts mining Logan’s memories for data and is driven to the brink of insanity, because Wolverine’s mind is that screwed up.
11. Wolverine’s Led a Team of Assassins
Wolverine has not once, but twice, let a team of mercenaries on black ops murder quests – and only the second team was made up of people who actually had any right being there.
Shortly after Bishop shot Professor X in the head and Cable jumped into the future with Hope Summers, Cyclops convinced Wolverine to create a new X-Force, to do the wetwork that the X-Men weren’t able to. Among the new recruits were Warpath, X-23, and Wolfsbane, all notable for not being kill-happy mercenaries.
After some time travel and a couple of assassinations, Wolverine let the young’uns go, as the constant murder wasn’t sitting well with them – or with Beast, who quit the X-Men specifically because of the new, more violent X-Force. Cyclops also eventually relented, and X-Force was broken up.
Just kidding! Wolverine wasn’t about to not kill people, so he recruited actual sociopaths Archangel, Deadpool, Fantomex, and Psylocke to become an even more covert black ops squad in the pages of Uncanny X-Force, where they could murder in peace, without any of those pesky morals getting in the way.
10. He’s Repeatedly Been a Ganglord
For a “hero,” Logan sure has led an awful lot of criminal empires.
Fifty years ago, after beheading the original Black Dragon and stabbing a bunch of his lackeys, Logan instilled his then-girlfriend as the new crime boss. When Wolverine returns to San Francisco decades later, he discovers that she – the leader of the criminal underworld – has grown corrupt and angry and old. Go figure. Logan decides the best course of action is to defeat his former lover and take her place as the head of all the Chinatown “tongs.” Because that’s reasonable.
But, hey, maybe Wolverine just missed being a criminal kingpin. You see, years earlier, he was “forced” into marrying Viper in Madripoor, so that she could rule over that city’s shady underworld. He divorced her, eventually – but that didn’t stop him from ruling side-by-side with her in the meantime.
And, oh, in the “Get Mystique” storyline, it’s revealed that Mystique and Logan ran a Bonnie and Clyde-style gang in Mexico in the 1930s.
9. He Became A Vampire, Then Tried to Kill Everyone
Back in What If? #24, Wolverine was turned into a vampire, killed Dracula, and then tried to murder the rest of the world.
To be fair, this was all Storm’s fault. She was the first one turned by Dracula, then led him to directly to the X-Men, where he chowed down on the team and put them all under his thrall. All except Wolverine, that is. Logan’s healing factor allowed him to resist the vampire’s mind-control. So, instead of following the Lord of the Vampires, he took the title for himself, biting through Dracula’s neck.
The X-Vamps went on to murder or turn most of New York City, draining the blood of dozens of superheroes, including Doctor Strange. Seeing no other option, the astral Strange possessed the Punisher to hunt down and destroy the demons. Which he was fairly successful at, up until Wolverine killed him.
Before he died, though, the Punisher managed to behead the vampiric Kitty Pryde, and her rolling dome caused Logan to rethink the whole “suck the world dry” thing. Instead, he read from the Darkhold and killed all the vampires, including himself. Because when Logan decides to kill everyone, he’s nothing if not thorough.
8. Wolverine Killed His Own Father (and His First Love)
So, here’s the scene: A well-to-do plantation in Alberta, Canada, sometime in the late 1880s. James Howlett, a young man, lives there along with his parents, John and Elizabeth; the groundskeeper, Thomas Logan, and Logan’s son, Dog; and Rose O’Hara, an orphan hired to look after James. Everything’s swell.
Except that James Howlett is actually Thomas Logan’s son, and Dog is not happy about that. Plus Thomas is an alcoholic that constantly beats Dog. Oh, and then Dog tries to rape Rose, James stops it, Dog kills James’ actual dog, and then John Howlett expels both the groundskeeper and his son. Thomas comes back that night, murders John in front of James, James grows claws and stabs Thomas to death, assaults Dog, and then runs away with Rose … who he eventually stabs through the chest. By accident. After she fell in love with someone else.
We’re told that witnessing his father’s murder is what triggered James’ mutation, right then, and that the young man was overcome with a berserker rage. But, come on, “rage” isn’t a mutation. If he hadn’t sprouted those bone claws, you know he would’ve just grabbed a knife.
7. He’s Tried to Kill the Hulk (A Lot)
Watching Wolverine and the Hulk trade punches is a fun time for most comics readers: two unstoppable, nigh-immortal heroes going toe-to-toe. But have you read the Hulk’s dialogue? Hulk just want little man to stop stabbing him so he can go and be alone somewhere, maybe take nap. Honestly, half the time they brawled, Hulk was just an innocent bystander.
And yet, somehow, that never seems to stop Wolverine from trying to brutally murder him.
Take Savage Wolverine #5, for example. Wolverine’s in the Savage Land, accidentally releasing an ancient evil alien into space, when he and his pals are attacked by a giant gorilla. The Hulk also shows up, totally coincidentally, and what does Wolverine do? He stabs the Hulk through the frigging skull. For no reason! Look, call us crazy, but it feels like having the Hulk on your side in a fight against a primordial gorilla monster would be the right call in that situation.
6. He Murdered a Kid Because He Was Afraid of Bad PR
If regular universe Wolverine is bad, then Ultimate Wolverine is the literal worst.
Worrying about mutantkind’s collective reputation, Ult-Logan decided it was in everyone’s best interests if he murdered a terrified teenager. You see, the unnamed kid had just manifested his mutant power: he set everyone near him on fire. Which is definitely on the crappier side of the superpower spectrum.
Anyway, after accidentally killing most of his town, the teenager fled and holed up in a cave, going through all of the emotions – from horrified to scared to feeling like total garbage. He doesn’t know what’s happening. Enter Wolverine.
They have a chat, Logan hands the kid a beer, and then he explains to the pubescent young man that he’s bad news for mutants. So Wolverine kills him, leaving his body in the cave. Instead of trying, maybe, literally anything else.
5. He Took Apocalypse’s Place (and Was Somehow Even More Evil)
After Apocalypse was defeated, ending the “Age of Apocalypse,” Weapon X, the alternate future Wolverine, retreated to Canada, as he didn’t want to work for Magneto, now a national hero and the new director of the Department of Mutant Affairs. Eventually, Logan was lured out of hiding by his daughter, Kirika, and the two killed Mister Sinister. Then a spaceship landed, Logan was sent to kill everyone inside, and then wasn’t seen again for ten years. Everyone assumed he was dead.
Only he wasn’t. No, Weapon X was now Weapon Omega, a Celestial-enhanced, genocidal warlord and the heir to Apocalypse. In short order, Weapon Omega destroyed almost all of the human race and most of the mutants that stood against him. With only a single human stronghold left, a universe-traversing X-Force showed up and stopped Weapon Omega, not just from destroying humanity, but also from turning Jean Grey into the Horsemen of Death. They were then hurled through a portal for their troubles. Jean ran and then, through convoluted comic book reasons, managed to free Logan from his Celestial enhancements. Then Logan hunted down and murdered all his former lackeys, because of course he did.
4. Wolverine’s Murdered (or Tried to Murder) All of the X-Men
So, hey, remember last entry? How Wolverine tried to straight-up murder a bunch of his teammates? Yeah, that’s not just the alternate reality talking.
For starters, Logan’s the one who kills a Dark Phoenix-possessed Jean Grey in the suckfest that was X-Men: The Last Stand. He’s also killed her in actual comics continuity: In New X-Men #148, after Wolverine and Jean are imprisoned on Asteroid M and sent hurtling toward the sun, he stabs her to death to keep her from burning to death. Then, later, in X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong, he’s forced to murder Jean Grey over and over and over again, so that Jean can escape from the Phoenix Force.
Let’s see, what else … In Uncanny X-Men #207, Wolverine kills Hope Summers a bunch of times after she pulls him into her dreams, then stabs her for reals, ironically to keep her from killing a bad guy that probably deserved it. Ultimate Wolvie lets Cyclops fall to his death in Ultimate X-Men #29; Age of Apocalypse’s Weapon X tried to murder Cyke and lost a hand in the process; and then there’s Old Man Logan, where Logan eviscerated his entire team because he thought they were supervillains.
3. Wolverine Tortured, Created Nuke
Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Frank Simpson. Frank had a crush on his babysitter, as many young boys do. His teenaged babysitter, meanwhile, had a crush on Frank’s dad, as many Lifetime movie characters do. So the babysitter tricked Frank into murdering his mom, and now we’re out of comparisons.
Because there isn’t a bad situation that Logan can’t make worse, he shows up and murders the babysitter, causing Frank’s dad to shoot himself in the head. Then the ol’ Canucklehead goes and kidnaps the newly-orphaned Frank, forcing the boy to enroll in the Weapon Plus program – the very same program that Logan’s spent his life hating and trying to destroy.
And that’s only the first half of this tragedy. The grown-up Frank is sent to Vietnam, imprisoned, and then tortured by Logan, again, though this time the mutant’s posing as a Russian agent. But Frank’s not just tortured: Wolverine carves the American flag into his face and then brainwashes him into murdering innocent civilians.
2. He Drowned His Own Son (and Killed a Bunch of His Other Kids)
Over the years, Wolverine’s had quite a few flings, and, as such, has fathered quite a few children. He’s murdered the vast majority of them.
Most famously, there’s Daken, Wolverine’s son with Itsu, who was abandoned and raised by Romulus to kill Logan. A member of the Dark Avengers and generally kind of a turd, Daken was basically the whiny, Kylo Ren-esque version of Wolverine, often clashing with his father and the rest of the real Avengers. As awful as he was, though, he deserved better than being drowned in a puddle by a weeping Wolverine.
But, hey, that’s not the only one of his own children that Logan’s murdered! After being wronged by Wolverine, the Red Right Hand formed with the sole intention of ruining Wolverine’s life. Somehow, they managed to send him to hell and drive him crazy, at which point he murders his way through their team of assassins, the Mongrels. Only it turns out the Mongrels were entirely composed of Wolverine’s bastard children. Whoops.
1. Wolverine’s A Sex Offender
Wolverine should be in jail. And that’s not hyperbole.
In Ultimate Spider-Man #66-67, Logan, a hundred-year-old man, switches places with the teenage Peter Parker, because comics. He then immediately sleeps with Peter’s girlfriend, the also-teenage Mary Jane Watson. According to the law books, that’s rape by deception and it’s a crime.
But that was the even more immoral Ultimate version, you’re saying. Fine. You want to hear about what the real Wolverine’s done to get himself on Law & Order: SVU? He pulled the same “lying about his identity” routine when he was working on The Offer’s squad, so he could sleep with Pinch. That’s rape by deception again, and it’s still illegal.
He’s spent the better part of a lifetime hitting on Jean Grey – even though she’s married and even after she says no. Even the animated show couldn’t figure out a way to make that not creepy. Probably because that’s obvious sexual harassment and definitely against X-policy.
And, finally, it’s been heavily implied that he had relations with an underage Squirrel Girl. Given that she was barely eighteen when they met the second time … Yup. That’s statutory rape, bub.
You want to be a real hero, Wolverine? Turn yourself in.
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