Before Hugh Jackman donned the world's most bad-ass sideburns way back at the turn of the millennium, nobody really knew who he was. But nowadays, Jackman couldn't find a city on earth where at least somebody passing by him on the street wouldn't recognize the famous mutant, and for good reason.
The actor to play the Wolverine in a record nine films (more than any other in the X-Men franchise) shot into superstardom for his spot-on portrayal of the vicious comic-book based character, and while cinematic fans were never blessed with the classic yellow spandex suit (we're still praying for a Deadpool cameo) Jackman's look as the character certainly changed throughout his 17 year run... and not all of them would make Roy Thomas proud.
10 Logan (x-24) - 2017
Now, this mutant clone wasn't technically Wolverine so it's easier to let slide how bad the costume was, but seriously? A buzz-cut, Hugh Jackman who looks like he does cross-fit and crystal-meth at the same time?
Other than the sideburns and the adamantium claws sticking out between his knuckles, absolutely nothing about this character looked like the Wolverine we've all come to know and love. He didn't even have the classic white beater and donned a plain, gray tank-top instead! He was supposed to be a clone, right? Hey, Patrick; I thought of something funnier than X-23.
9 X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 2009
He didn't have a buzz-cut and he was wearing the white beater, but other than that this Wolverine-look wasn't much better than the X-24 one, and the movie itself was as abysmal as this ranking. There hasn't been a Wolverine appearance yet where he didn't have the bushy sideburns, but for some reason his hair was barely stuck up at all in this one, giving Hugh Jackman more of a 'surfer-dude' look than that of a ravenous creature.
Not to mention that the CGI claws looked about as believable as a cardboard Halloween costume. Somebody sew our mouths shut before we keep going.
8 X-Men: Apocalypse - 2016
Was anybody else surprised to find out that there was a robot-version of Wolverine? While that may not be an official diagnosis, the clawed mutant certainly donned a much different look in this movie compared to the rest of them, and it wasn't exactly the best.
Not even officially called his X-Men alter-ego in the movie, "Weapon X" tears through countless soldiers, despite being riddled with bullets (yeah, he has healing powers but he's not bullet-proof) all the while wearing his contraption strapped to his head and body. This surprise cameo may have been a pleasant one for audiences, but it's too bad it wasn't more enjoyable to watch.
7 The Wolverine - 2013
Spiked up hair? Check. Side-burns? Check. So why does this version of Wolverine still feel so off? The claws aren't even a CGI mess like they were in the Origins movie and they gave Hugh Jackman a bad-ass blacked-out suit to wear too. But maybe that's the problem; while Jackman undoubtedly looks cool in this film, coolness isn't really what Wolverine is about.
He's savage and wild and everything about him is supposed to appear untamed and that doesn't come across at all in this version. He seems sleek and suave and half the time looks as though he should be walking around The Matrix. Close, but no cigar on this one and Wolverine needs his cigars.
6 X-Men: Days of Future Past - 2014
Finally, we got a glimpse of a Wolverine super-suit! While it might not have been the yellow spandex suit from the comics, it was something, and it was also the audience's first glimpse into what an 'Old-Man Logan' could've looked like in a film.
Not only that, this movie actually had two versions of Wolverine; one from the future set in 2023 (Marvel has a weird obsession with setting their future movies in 2023) and one from 1973 where he dons the traditional sideburns, spiky hair, and white beater. But as if that weren't enough, we have two words for you: bone claws!
5 X-Men: The Last Stand - 2006
The conclusion of the original X-Men trilogy wasn't nearly as bad as everyone seems to remember, and neither were any of the classic Wolverine looks that Hugh Jackman donned during it. Not only did this film keep the traditional X-Men super-suits going (you happy, Iceman?) but Wolverine still had all of his distinct descriptive features at some point or another throughout the whole movie. So why's this movie in the middle of our ranking?
Because Jackman himself doesn't quite physically look like Wolverine in this movie. The Aussie actor got super buff his third time around with the character and Wolverine is traditionally more scrappy-looking. He still plays a convincing Wolverine, despite the fact he looks like he should be playing Juggernaut.
4 X-Men: First Class - 2011
In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, it's easy to forget that Jackman was even in X-Men: First Class. In fact, if the Wolverine character hadn't sling-shot the man-from-down-under into international fame, it probably would've been easy to miss the short cameo. While this movie may be Wolverine's shortest on-screen performance in the X-Men franchise to date, it was ironically one of his most "in-character," imploring a much younger Professor Xavier and Magneto too, well... kindly exit.
He only has one line but Jackman delivers it perfectly, puffing on a cigar and drinking whiskey while he does so, truly encapsulating the "anti-hero" aspect that so many people love about Wolverine. If there were a time for the yellow spandex, it would've been here.
3 X-Men - 2000
The movie that nobody had any idea would begin a journey of one of the most iconic superheroes ever, and yet the costume still holds up. It's been nearly twenty years since we first saw Hugh Jackman take up the adamantium claws, and if it were up to the audience he would never put them down, but it's brutally honest that the Wolverine we all saw on screen for the first time was one that nobody was ready for.
He encapsulated the hero perfectly (albeit a little tall) and even snarled and growled like the actual animal he seemed to be. And even if everybody's favorite mutants decided to go with a team-outfit rather than the comics' traditional unique costumes, there's no denying that the original black-and-gold uniforms were Phoenix level hot.
2 X2: X-Men United - 2003
As close to the yellow spandex suit that fans could hope for, there wasn't a single frame of this movie where Wolverine didn't look, and feel, like a Wolverine. He was absolutely menacing, but that didn't stop him from being dry or curt whenever he wanted. The white beater was prominently visible for what felt like more than half the film and the super-suit kept up the awesomeness from the original.
The hair was spiky, yet not bushy and the sideburns were perfect. Seriously, what was stopping the director from just swapping the black-and-gold on Wolverine's suit to make it a little bit more like the comics?
1 Logan - 2017
That's right; somehow the bottom and also the top spot on our list, it was never even a competition. While X-24 may not have been the Wolverine comparison that anybody asked for, the "Old-Man Logan" that James Mangold gifted the world was one that couldn't have been better. Much like a real-life Hugh Jackman must have felt, the older version of Wolverine looked tired and worn out from his apparent immortality, yet still managed to carry a ferocious demeanor throughout the entirety of the film.
Does it look like a medium-sized wind could blow him over? Sure does. Does it look like he could tear you to shreds while he's falling? Sure does. The movie might have been titled, Logan, but this was the true Wolverine.