Wolverine Blues1 of 12Wolverine may have died at his own hand in comic books with Death of Wolverine, but he's alive and well in both the upcoming Logan movie and his alt-future self in comic books' Old Man Logan - and that means, people are still coming out of the woodwork to kill him.
Especially these ten.
It’s interesting, in organizing this list of Wolverine's top villains, how much family pays a big part in his adversaries. From his blood family, one-time mentors and lovers, and on to grieving family who blame Logan for their own heartache. Everyone has a family, but for Wolverine it cuts both ways – literally, at times.
Some of those listed are X-Men villains who made things personal for Logan, while others came into the comic book world bearing a grudge for Wolverine and no one else. Either way, these are Wolverine’s ten deadliest (and best) adversaries.
Oh, and no, we're not going to say he's his own worst enemy, because that's a cop out. We're also, with respect, not including Hulk or Magneto, his first on-page fight or the guy who ripped the adamantium from him, as they've both become more allies than foes in subsequent stories/years.
Dog Logan2 of 12The “Logan” name is Dog’s by birthright, but the man we know as Wolverine happened to take that from him. First appearing in the landmark 2001 series Origin, Dog Logan was once a childhood friend of Wolverine but his upbringing twisted him into a sadistic and vindictive soul.
Brandishing scars on his face from Wolverine’s first emergence of his claws, Dog Logan re-emerged in modern times continuing his pursuit of his one-time childhood friend. He’s traveled through time to take down Wolverine, most recently coming up upon him shortly after the emergence of the Jean Grey School. At one point Dog even met a future version of himself that only encouraged him more to hunt down Wolverine.
Lady Deathstrike3 of 12Lady Deathstrike wasn’t born as you see her today – she’s been damaged, scarred, forged and honed to be the killer she’s become.
Yuriko Oyama was born in the family of Lord Dark Wind, a Japanese crime lord and scientist created the process by which people like Wolverine can have their skeletons bonded with adamantium. After the death of her father, Oyama embarked on a misguided quest to restore the honor of her father by tracking down those who she feel appropriated, stole or used her father’s invention. After her first encounter with Wolverine proved disastrous, she turned to Mojo and Spiral’s Body Shoppe and underwent extensive cybernetic modifications to become the adamantium-fused, clawed woman you see today. In her second attempt, alongside the Reavers, Lady Deathstrike routed the X-Men from their Australian base and gave Wolverine a new measure of torture, eventually crucifying him.
Daken4 of 12Like father, like son? Daken shares much in common with his father, from his powers to his drive and viciousness, but his foster upbringing and the dark tutelage of Romulus turned the half-Japanese/half-Caucasian boy on a collision course – and a bloody family reunion – with his father.
Created by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon in 2007’s Wolverine Origins #10, Daken has fought alongside his father as much as he’s fought against him, but ultimately Daken’s more foe than friend. Despite being seemingly killed in a bomb explosion, Daken has shown a reluctance for death similar to his father and returned to continue his quest to kill Logan on several occasions.
Donald Pierce & The Reavers5 of 12How can a group of simple un-powered humans be a major threat to Wolverine? Revenge, guns and cybernetics. This rag-tag group of Mad Max style mercenaries are bonded over a shared experience – being cut into by Wolverine. It only helped them to have one-time Hellfire Club leader Donald Pierce guiding them.
A mix of Australian ravagers and disgruntled ex-Hellfire Club henchmen, the Reavers were kicked out of their Australian hideaway by the X-Men and returned – with Pierce and Lady Deathstrike – to claim vengeance. They return finding only Wolverine, but put him through the beating of a life-time: beatings, torture and crucifixion. The Reavers were so sadistic they ended up using Wolverine’s healing factor against him, allowing him to heal between near-death torture sessions. Although they’ve appeared subsequently in Uncanny X-men and Uncanny X-Force, they have yet to match that sadistic high point against Wolverine in Australia.
Ogun6 of 12How can someone’s mentor also be one of their worst enemies? Things change over time, and with Wolverine’s long lifespan that leaves a lot of room for change – the good and the bad kind.
Originally created by Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom in Kitty Pryde & Wolverine, Ogun’s story is that he was a ninja and a mutant, and first met Logan in China after the Battle of Shanghai when much of China was controlled by Japan. Ogun was working as part of the Japanese army, and took Wolverine under his wing and training him in various fighting styles as well as combating a telepath – which Ogun was. Logan ran across Ogun again in the modern day, finding him working as a Yakuza enforcer. After Ogun possessed his protégé, Kitty Pryde, to act as an assassin, Logan reluctantly killed his mentor – only to see him return as a vengeful spirit possessing others.
Wolverine has routed the spirit Ogun on several occasions only to see him spring up once again inhabiting other bodies, at one point even gaining control of a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier using a technology-based form of telepathy he had mastered after his “first” death.
Ogun’s purported to have been alive since the 16th century, attributing his long life to his mutant powers, so it’s tough to say if Ogun will ever truly be dead and has actually outlived his one-time apprentice.
Romulus7 of 12Wolverine is purported to be over a century old, but what if there was another feral mutant whose history goes back even longer? Well there is, and his name is Romulus.
Created by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi in 2007’s Wolverine #50 (Volume 3, for those keeping track), Romulus is a shadowy villain that’s been revealed to be the puppetmaster for many of the darkest events in Wolverine’s life. Born in ancient times from a species of canine that evolved to roughly resemble humans (as opposed to primates), Romulus has been rumored to have been the founder of the Roman Empire and was revealed to be the guiding force behind the original Weapon X program.
In modern times, Romulus takes an interest in the more feral mutants existing, starting with Wolverine but also including Sabretooth, Feral, Thornn and Wild Child. He even took Logan’s son Daken from his mother’s womb and conditioned him to be a bloodthirsty killer with a single-minded goal of assassinating his father and picking up that mantle.
Red Right Hand8 of 12The newest characters that are part of our Countdown today, the Red Right Hand made it onto our list for debuting with an impact: sending Logan to hell. During Jason Aaron’s acclaimed run on Wolverine, the Red Right Hand were introduced as support group for people who had loved ones killed by Wolverine. Their method for coping? Putting Logan through as much grief, if not more, than they were in.
The Red Right Hand’s first act was finding a loophole in the longevity of the seemingly unkillable Wolverine by making a deal with a demon to possess the longtime X-Man and send his soul to hell. Wolverine eventually clawed his way out of the firey pits of hell, only to be confronted by a second attack by this shadowy group – a group of young mutants dubbed the Mongrels with mysterious grudge for Wolverine. Logan cut through them all and eventually kills them, only for the Red Right Hand to reveal they were all – all five of them – previously unknown children of Wolverine.
In plain terms: the Red Right Hand had him kill or be killed by children he never knew he had.
Still reeling from that revelation, Logan finally made it to a stare-down with the Red Right Hand only to be robbed of any kind of vengeance or justice when the entire group committed suicide before Logan could gain any sort of pleasure out of doing it himself.
Mystique9 of 12The relationship between Mystique and Wolverine is complicated. There’s hate, lust, distrust, respect and unresolved issues that litter their decades-long interactions.
For years comics readers never saw anything personal between Mystique and Wolverine; yes she was an ertzwhile adversary of the X-Men, but nothing put these two against one other personally. But in recent years, Jason Aaron and others have made this conflict between these two 100+ year old mutants personal.
From their first meeting in the Mexican desert in 1921 and on through numerous conflicts including the critically acclaimed “Get Mystique” stories in Wolverine, these two have crossed, double-crossed and triple-crossed each other while still finding time for a little romance along the way. Perhaps they’re too different from one another, or perhaps too much alike.
Mystique sits in a unique place in Wolverine’s life: able to fit in on a list of his top adversaries as well as his top lovers in his life. Now what does that say about their relationship?
Weapon X10 of 12Weapon X is more than one person or one team; it’s a system, an organization that put Logan through the worst moments of his life and, ironically, made him the hero he is today.
Hinted at from Wolverine’s very first appearance in Incredible Hulk #181in 1974, it wasn’t until 1991’s “Weapon X” arc in Marvel Comics Presents by Barry Windsor-Smith that we knew what Weapon X meant. The Canadian-based research facility kidnapped unsuspecting humans and mutants and experimented on them to enhance, subvert and explore superhuman abilities and augment them with technological means. This culminated with the brutal adamantium-bonding process on Logan’s bones, but also included the wholesale brainwashing of Logan which lasted up until House of M which cleared the mutant’s foggy head.
There were several notable people working in Weapon X and behind the scenes, ranging from Mr. Sinister to John Sublime and even Romulus. The test subjects of Weapon X and the other associated Weapon Plus programs are a Who’s Who of the Marvel U, ranging from the original – Captain America – and on through to Sabretooth, Deadpool, X-23, Fantomex, the Stepford Cuckoos and even the entire Deathlok program.
Sabretooth11 of 12You could call Sabretooth and Wolverine blood brothers. Even though the idea they were actually related was nixed from comic book continuity, they’ve shared enough blood in fighting each other to be tied to each other in more ways than any family could be – or should be.
Originally introduced as an Iron Fist villain back in 1977 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, when that duo took over Uncanny X-Men they brought Victor Creed with them and found a potent rival in Wolverine. In many ways, Sabretooth was the man that Wolverine was fighting not to become – one unrestrained by civility and giving in to his primal and bestial urges. Originally depicted as a serial killer, Sabretooth has gone to kill countless people in Wolverine’s life (and outside of it), which we learned recently in Wolverine: Origin II all stems from Logan killing Creed’s brother and sister.
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