How do you beat a man who can instantly heal himself? How could anyone possibly get the upper hand on someone with such immense power? These are questions that many writers have had to tackle when dealing with the X-Men character Wolverine.
After all, he's one of Marvel's most indestructible characters. Not only does his accelerated healing powers make him formidable, but his adamantium skeleton and claws offer further protection.
These qualities make Wolverine, AKA Logan, a challenging character to write. Audiences need to relate to him and fear for his health whenever he comes across a foe. In James Mangold's film The Wolverine, he had Viper put a life-sucking bug inside of Logan that slowed down his healing. Then in his brilliant follow-up film, Logan, he managed to eliminate Logan's powers due to being slowly poisoned by the adamantium skeleton inside of him.
Mangold found these two ways of weakening Logan very helpful for story purposes, but they aren't the only ways Wolverine can be overpowered by his enemies. There are some characters who could easily take him down. However, Wolverine still has a step up on many of Marvel's most powerful characters.
This list takes many elements from the comics, TV shows, and films into consideration, but it should be noted that the entries on this list are based on who would probably win or lose the most fights against Wolverine, not a one-time deal where either character could get lucky and come out as the victor.
Without further ado, here are 10 Characters Stronger Than Wolverine (And 10 Weaker).
20 Stronger: Scarlet Witch
The argument over if Scarlet Witch could beat Wolverine entirely depends on how much Wanda is willing to put into the fight, as well as which version of the character it is.
The MCU version of Scarlet Witch may not fare as well as she'd hope against Wolverine, but the character in the comics almost certainly could.
Wolverine may be a better physical fighter and have accelerated healing abilities, but Wanda is one of Marvel's most powerful beings.
As demonstrated in the storyline The House of M, Scarlet Witch is capable of changing the very fabric of reality. She could destroy Wolverine's mind before he could ever get his claws out.
19 Weaker: Deadpool
At first glance, Wolverine and Deadpool seem so well matched for one another that either could win in a fight.
After all, both Deadpool and Wolverine have incredible regenerative healing powers that stop them from perishing from the worst injuties. If you've seen either of the Deadpool movies, you'd know exactly the type of violence he tends to face.
Wolverine gets the edge in a battle between them for two different reasons.
Firstly, in the comics, Deadpool's healing power comes from Wolverine. It's not original, therefore it's easier to believe that Wolverine's is better.
Secondly, Wolverine has the adamantium skeleton, so even if Deadpool's swords can get past the claws, he has to contend with so much more.
18 Stronger: The Hulk
This question has been explored through in a couple of scenarios in the comics. Wolverine has actually been able to beat Hulk before, most famously by getting inside of him and exploding out of Hulk's body.
This argument is perhaps the most complex on this list due to the forgettable fact that Hulk has even better healing abilities than Wolverine. The only difference is that Bruce Banner doesn't have these qualities when he's not The Hulk.
Hulk is said to be stronger because he's beaten Wolverine far more times than Wolverine has beaten him.
Either way, these two are well-matched opponents.
17 Weaker: Captain America
One thing that some fans don't know about Wolverine's nearly indestructible adamantium claws is that they can't cut through other adamantium or vibranium.
Captain America's iconic shield is actually made out of vibranium, making it an excellent weapon and defensive tool against Wolverine's most harmful devices.
At the end of the day, Wolverine could defeat Captain America if they were pitted against one another on multiple occasions. Sure, Cap has the will to keep going even when at the end of his rope, but so does Logan. Both are outrageously stubborn and forceful.
In the comics, Captain America was also taken out by a bullet, something that Wolverine chews up and spits out on multiple occasions. Cap doesn't have Logan's healing ability.
16 Stronger: Xavier
Professor Charles Xavier is often concerned the world's most powerful telepath. Sure, he may be wheelchair-bound and therefore unable to physically fight Wolverine, but that doesn't matter.
As Xavier says to Logan on multiple occasions, including in the original X-Men movie, he can get into his mind and make him believe that he's actually an eight-year-old child.
Not only can Xavier change Wolverine's perception of reality, but he could get into Wolverine's mind and completely subdue him.
Logan's adamantium skeleton doesn't stop telepaths from getting into his head.
Additionally, Xavier could get into the mind of another far superior character and convince them to destroy Wolverine.
At the end of the day, Xavier is just unbelievably powerful and few are even close to his level, let alone above it.
15 Weaker: Falcon
This one is kind of a no-brainer. After all, Falcon doesn't rank up that high on the list of the most powerful Avengers. However, his suit does him the ability to fly and that's a power Logan doesn't have.
In fact, Falcon could probably move far quicker around and above Wolverine, but this would just drive him nuts and cause him to want to take Sam down even more.
All Wolverine would need to do is get his claws into Falcon's mechanical suit and it would be over.
However, Falcon does have an incredible aim, and if he got his hands on an adamantium bullet, he may last far longer against Wolverine. But that's a very specific, as well as highly unlikely, scenario. Even then, Logan could probably find a way to dodge it.
14 Stronger: Phoenix
The Phoenix Force is one of the most frightening elements in the entire Marvel Universe. It's something that has possessed multiple entities, but Jean Grey is its most famous host.
Even without the Phoenix force, it's arguable that Jean could destroy Wolverine.
After all, much like Xavier, she can enter his mind and manipulate it in such a way that he could go insane.
On top of it, she has telekinetic powers which could completely rip Wolverine to shreds, as they nearly did in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Though Wolverine does destroy Jean's Dark Phoenix, she did ask him to do it, so it was probably Jean fighting the force inside of her in order for Logan to get close enough to end her. On any other day, Wolverine doesn't stand a chance.
13 Weaker: Cyclops
In the comics, Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, is far stronger than he has been portrayed in the films. Even still, it's unlikely that he could defeat Wolverine in battle.
Cyclops could almost definitely shred most of Wolverine's body away if he were to use the full power of his optic blast on him, but it's highly unlikely that Wolverine wouldn't regenerate. If he got close enough, Wolverine could take Cyclops out with one well-placed swipe of his claws. There's no way that Cyclops could recover from that.
The fact that Wolverine is stronger than Cyclops probably is a sore spot for him since they have always been competing for the love of the same woman, Jean Grey.
12 Stronger: The Silver Surfer
Much like Wolverine, the Silver Surfer is highly durable and nearly indestructible. His metallic shell is so strong that it would be very difficult for even Wolverine's adamantium to cut through. If he got a good enough shot, he could pierce the armor, but probably not deep enough to cause a mortal wound.
It's hard to tell for sure which of these characters would win in a battle because they've never faced each other in the main continuity of the Marvel comics, only in a special series.
Silver Surfer is also endowed with a cosmic power that allows him to survive in space, as well as fly, absorb and project energy. He's a total force to be reckoned with.
11 Weaker: Sabretooth
Sabretooth is essentially the more animalistic version of Wolverine. That's a bold thing to say as Wolverine is pretty animalistic himself, but Sabretooth takes it to a whole new level.
Sabretooth is a lot like Wolverine-- except without the adamantium skeleton.
Both characters have incredible agility, as well as animal senses like heightened smell, strength, and hearing abilities. They both also have the regenerative healing abilities that allow them to live for a long time and survive incredible scenarios.
While an argument could be made that either character could win in a fight, Wolverine has the edge due to his adamantium skeleton, claws, and the fact that he's so much smarter than Sabretooth.
10 Stronger: Apocalypse
En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse, is widely considered the first mutant on Earth, as well as one of the most powerful. He controls himself at a molecular level, which means he can change his size as well as manipulate his body in insane ways.
Additionally, Apocalypse can manipulate energy, has telekinetic powers, regenerative healing powers, can shapeshift, fly, and has super strength and agility, not to mention that he's a telepath nearly on par with Xavier.
Apocalypse is just far too powerful for Wolverine-- unless he were to get very lucky.
Although Wolverine could get a good head-shot if he were to attack Apocalypse at the right time, there's just no way that he could take out this living God on his own.
9 Weaker: Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is incredibly strong, she wouldn't stand a chance against Wolverine. She may be far stronger than him physically, but even her agility level wouldn't match up to Wolverine's.
What Jessica does have going for her is her intellect. Though Wolverine is far smarter than some of his Saturday morning cartoon depictions, he just doesn't stack up to the brainpower of Jessica Jones.
This means that she could probably find a way to out-maneuver him until he inevitably caught up to her. Once face-to-face, Wolverine's adamantium claws and healing abilities give him a definitive edge.
On the plus side, if Jessica got away with only a couple wounds she could use Carrie-Anne Moss' Jeri Hogarth to sue him.
8 Stronger: Mister Sinister
Nathaniel Essex, AKA Mister Sinister, has an array of powers that would give him the edge in a battle with Wolverine. This Darwinist has many of the same abilities as Apocalypse, including teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis, superhuman strength, and being able to manipulate his body at the molecular level. He can also project energy.
Wolverine has never beaten Mister Sinister in a one-on-one fight in the comic books, though he's taken him down with the X-Men.
In some cases, Sinister has shown himself to be impervious to both Cyclops' optic blasts and Wolverine's adamantium claws. This makes it almost impossible for Wolverine to make a significant enough dent in this outrageously powerful mutant.
7 Weaker: Rogue
In the very first X-Men movie, there is a scene where Rogue tries to wake Logan up from a nightmare and gets herself stabbed in the process. The only way that she survives this is by absorbing some of Logan's healing powers.
Theoretically, Rogue could beat almost every single mutant out there if she were able to touch them skin-to-skin for long enough. This is true even of Wolverine. The problem is, chances are she wouldn't be able to hang on to him, or any other powerful characters, for that long.
Wolverine would simply take her out with his claws if he absolutely needed to before she could touch him long enough to absorb enough of his energy to survive it.
6 Stronger: Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange may not be a mutant, but he commands the powers and energies far beyond many of them. If Wolverine got close enough to Doctor Strange or surprised him, he could inflict a devastating wound that could end Strange's life. However, even without the addition of the Time Stone, Strange could find a way of getting himself out of such a predicament.
Doctor Strange's powers are somewhat unlimited-- or at least, the extent of them is somewhat undefined. He is always capable of learning more and growing more as a magic user.
He could completely warp the fabric of space and time and destroy Wolverine in some pretty creative ways.
This is somewhat similar to how Xavier, Scarlet Witch, or Jean Grey could defeat him.
5 Weaker: Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler is easily one of the coolest and most beloved X-Men characters. Much like Mystique, he embodies some of the greatest metaphors of the entire franchise. He's also very likable as a character.
Even with his incredible teleportation skills, he wouldn't stand a chance against the animalistic nature of Wolverine.
Sure, he could tire Wolverine out by constantly teleporting around him, if not evading the fight altogether, but eventually, Wolverine would catch up to him and take him out.
In the comics, Nightcrawler spends a lot of time fighting with a sword, but even if that sword was made out of adamantium, Nightcrawler's body isn't impervious to Wolverine's claws. With one clean shot at Nightcrawler, Wolverine could destroy him.
4 Stronger: (Some) Sentinels
While Wolverine could stand a fighting chance against some of the earliest models of the Sentinels, he doesn't stand a chance against the ones of the future. In the comics, particularly in the famous Days of Future Past, the Sentinels actually destroy Wolverine.
Their energy blasts are strong enough to melt away almost anything. The future Sentinels from the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past can adapt to any scenario and regenerate their bodies, even once decapitated. These things aren't meant to be messed with.
Even Magneto and Xavier don't stand a chance against these robotic creatures. This is precisely why it was so important for the mutants to go back in time and stop their creation in the first place.
3 Weaker: Omega Red
While Marvel fans who just know the movies may not know this character all that well, comic book fans almost certainly do.
Omega Red is one of the X-Men's most formidable foes. Not only does he have Wolverine's accelerated healing ability, but he also has giant, retractable carbonadium tentacles. Match that with his agility and power to secret poisonous pheromones, and you have one very tough opponent.
Wolverine has really struggled with beating this character so an argument could be made that Omega Red could come out on top, but the same could be said in the opposite direction.
At the end of the day, all Wolverine really need to do is get past those tentacles and take Omega's head off with his claws in order to win.
2 Stronger: Magneto
Magneto may not be impervious to harm like Wolverine, but he has an obvious advantage over him; Magneto can control and manipulate all metals even if there's only a small trace of them.
On many occasions, in both the comics and the films, Magneto has used his powers to beat Wolverine.
In one particularly violent encounter, Magneto ripped Logan's entire skeleton out of his body.
However, Logan has beaten Magneto in a number of occasions, mostly with the help of other characters. It's certainly possible for him to get the upper hand on the Master of Magnetism, but most of the time, Wolverine doesn't stand a chance against Magneto and all of his incredible power.
1 Weaker: Iron Man
Iron Man and Wolverine share many similarities aside from the fact that they are two of the most beloved characters that Marvel has ever created. These similarities make them both formidable forces, but if they were ever pitted against one another in a real battle, Wolverine would come out on top.
Tony Stark may have every gadget and weapon at his disposal, but he is ultimately just a very talented and intelligent man. Wolverine has healing powers.
Once Wolverine broke through Tony's Iron Man suit, he'd be able to filet him.
Stark would give Wolverine a run for his money. After all, he's far more intelligent than Wolverine and could find a way to hurt him gravely. At the end of the day, Wolverine is far stronger.
Who else is stronger than Wolverine? Let us know in the comments!