Wolverine is one of the most popular X-Men out there, and due to his role in the movies, so perfectly portrayed by Hugh Jackman, he has become a household name for non-comic fans around the world. While in the movies, he is mostly unstoppable, there are a few times that he loses, but they are few and far between. He’s easily stopped by Magneto several times, and the entirety of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a major loss for anyone who manages to sit through it (on every single level imaginable). Still, in the comic book source material, there are many more times in which Wolverine manages to lose in a fight. Even more surprising is the number of times he’s managed to lose to his fellow superheroes. It’s fairly common for superheroes to come into some kind of combat scenario against each other, whether it’s in training, actual anger, or under some outside influence that has taken over their minds.
However, some of these encounters leave the audience just kind of laughing and feeling sorry for Wolverine. Whether he is completely outmatched or the circumstances of the fight are absurd, there’s a lot of interesting fights Wolverine has had over the years, and a lot of embarrassing battles the mutant has fought. We dug through the books and found 20 times that Wolverine was bested by other superheroes in some of the most embarrassing of ways. Check out some of the best and most hilarious below — from werewolves to squirrels, we’re sure you’ll be surprised by these ridiculous losses.
Brian Michael Bendis brought Spider-Woman back from near obscurity to the forefront of the Avengers for a time. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she led a team of Avengers on a mission to the Savage Land, where through circumstance, she found herself facing off against Wolverine. In a very quick sequence of maneuvers, the heroine ends up using Wolverine’s own claws against him, and the mutant ends up stabbing through his own throat.
In the ’70s, Wasp ended up encountering Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men during the course of the “Secret Wars” event. Now, let’s be honest, one wouldn’t think that Wasp would be able to stand up to many of the X-Men on their own, let alone a team of them all at once. And yet, Wasp, having attacked Magneto, found herself targeted by the X-Men, who needed Magneto alive.
Suddenly, Wasp turned her upgraded bio-electric blasts on the X-Men, including Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Colossus. She manages to knock them all out and escape, commenting that she was only using half-powered blasts.
Marrow is a mutant who was a member of the Morlocks before she was brought on to the X-Men team. She clashed with the X-Men several times before joining, and even after, she’d once had her heart stabbed out by Storm.
While she was on the team, Wolverine was training her in the Danger Room, pushing her until she snapped. She attacked him and, using her mutant ability to grow bone spikes, stabbed Wolverine in the throat. She wasn’t a member of the team for much longer after that, and Wolverine really only lived because she removed the bone and allowed his throat to heal up.
17. MOLLY HAYES
Runaways was a huge seller for Marvel, and featured the children of supervillains. These super-powered kids try to tackle with whether or not they are destined to also be evil, or if they can be heroes. Molly Hayes, a ten-year old mutant girl whose super strength mutation activated early due to the stress of her childhood is part of this group.
She’s also a huge fan of Wolverine, at least, until he confronts her during a search for Cloak. She punches him once and sends him flying. For Logan, who is the best at what he does, getting beaten by a 10-year old girl in one punch is just humiliating.
Look, just because Wolverine is cool and can heal and can’t be broken easily doesn’t mean he’s invulnerable or unstoppable — far from it, in fact. That’s why any match-up between Wolverine and any tank-style character doesn’t tend to go well for Wolverine. He can dish out punishment, and he can certainly take it, but when he fought the Thing, he was easily punched through several solid brick walls.
This was while Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and Hulk were calling themselves the Fantastic Four. Guess Ben Grimm didn’t take too fondly to that — that’s one lesson Wolverine learned the hard way.
Look, if Wolverine couldn’t hold his own against the Thing, he stands little to no chance against the Hulk, who only gets more powerful the angrier he gets. For Wolverine, who manages to tick off everyone that he works with, it’s no surprise that his fights against Hulk go poorly. His legs have been ripped off and his body thrown miles and miles away.
He’s been pummeled and just smashed all over the place by the Green Goliath. Honestly, is anyone surprised by that outcome? Even Thor can barely go toe-to-toe with the Hulk, so of course Wolverine doesn’t stand a chance. Look, Wolvie, we love you, but let’s think before we start fights we can’t finish.
At first glance, this should be a fairly even match-up, as both characters have that accelerated healing factor that is just oh so helpful. However, the fights are only even because of that healing factor. A close look at fight style demonstrates a huge difference in fighting ability. Deadpool is better trained, more skilled, and with greater variety to his attacks and weapons.
Wolverine basically slashes at anything with a wild lack of restraint and counts on his healing factor to keep him alive. Remove that healing factor, and it’s an easy win for Deadpool. We know this because it happened. The two have fought many times and both have won, but this match-up made it apparent that Deadpool is the better combatant.
Remember how Wasp defeated a bunch of X-Men all at once? Turns out she’s not the only Marvel hero to do so. Spider-Man has also managed to hold his own against the team — including Wolverine, and strangely enough, this happened during the same overall event. He managed to web up several X-Men and moved quickly enough to let the rest hurt each other for him.
Acrobatic maneuvers saved Peter’s skin and he managed to escape, though not without having his mind wiped of the incident by Professor X. It’s an embarrassing example of how uncontrolled Wolverine’s attack style really is, and how ineffective a brawler can be against a much more agile opponent.
12. KITTY PRYDE
Kitty Pryde is one of those heroes who is a lot more powerful than she appears at a glance. That phasing ability isn’t just for going through walls. She can avoid direct attacks by letting them phase through her, and she can cause some deadly phasing attacks, like she did with Wolverine. Wolverine, under the control of HYDRA, was attacking his X-Men allies, and eventually it was up to Kitty to stop him.
She phased her arm through his skull and resolidified it, essentially destroying his brain. Even worse, he sliced her arm clean off once it was solid again, leaving the arm permanently embedded. There might be worse ways to go out than that, but you have to admit, that’s pretty bad.
Let’s be honest, once Wolverine was around, no one really liked Cyclops anymore. Wolverine was awesome, and he had a problem with Cyclops as a leader and as competition for Jean Grey’s affections. This meant that a feud between the two would eventually escalate to a fight — it seemed inevitable.
However, Wolverine, prone to mind control as he seems to be, was once again manipulated into attacking his allies. Cyclops didn’t bother to fool around and turned his optic blasts on Wolverine, with enough power to send Wolvie flying. It certainly silenced anyone who had ever argued that Wolverine would win that fight, but perhaps, in the right circumstances…
Once again under mind-control, but this time by Loki, Wolverine attacked a Marvel hero. This time, however, he attacked a literal god in Thor, the God of Thunder. It should surprise no one that Wolverine didn’t last very long against Thor, who Wolverine was seeing as Sabretooth.
However, a giant smack from Thor’s hammer and a direct blast of lightning later, Wolverine was down for the count. Seriously, though, the only way Wolverine would ever win that fight is with a cheap shot. It’s good for Wolverine that he came to his sense after his metal frame was directly blasted with lightning — he was able to team up with Thor to take down Loki.
9. BLACK PANTHER
Black Panther is one of Marvel’s wisest characters, and when Wolverine faces off against the king of Wakanda, T’Challa imparts an important lesson indeed. Wolverine at this point has lost his healing ability, and as we pointed out earlier, he basically relies on that to keep him standing while he wildly slashes at whatever is hurting him.
You take away that healing ability, and Black Panther makes quick work of Wolverine. The fight only happened because, once again, Wolverine was under some mind control effect. It’s a good thing getting hit a bunch of times tends to stop mind control for Wolverine. It’s too bad that he didn’t have his healing abilities at this time.
Could Captain America beat Wolverine? Is Vibranium or Adamantium stronger? These are the questions you’d usually ask about these two characters, but that’s not at all what we’re diving into here. The scenario raises far too many questions — essentially, Cap is a werewolf, so we watch a Super Soldier-serumed werewolf dressed as Cap fight against Wolverine.
Cap ends up winning, but the whole scenario was so weird that it was hard to take seriously. Whether or not Wolverine could actually beat Cap, no one could say, but at least comic fans had something to laugh about in hindsight. It is definitely one of the weirder storylines that’s out there.
Gambit is a favorite of a lot of comic fans. He’s always been kind of a trickster, and has fought and beaten Wolverine on several occasions. As a thief and gambler, Gambit has been known to have a few tricks up his sleeve, and manages to get the upper hand, knocking Wolverine on his back and pressing a staff to his throat.
There’s a lot of fans of the ragin’ Cajun out there, and this fight helped to establish a lot of their fandom. The embarrassing part for Wolverine is that Gambit usually wins by some kind of trick, not necessarily out-fighting Wolverine, but outsmarting him.
6. SQUIRREL GIRL
Squirrel Girl is one of those kind of ironic powerhouses. You wouldn’t expect her to be so powerful just by looking at her, and her name and power sound kind of ridiculous, but because of this, writers tend to amplify her abilities and just have a blast doing so. She’s taken on Thanos single-handedly, and so it should be no surprise that she defeated Wolverine.
She threatened to sic her legion of squirrels on him, which is ultimately what made him give up. Losing to Squirrel Girl isn’t unheard of, but you know Wolverine didn’t like surrendering to a group of squirrels.
To be upfront about one thing off the bat, Beast was kind of overpowered at the time that this all went down. An entity called the Sublime had taken over his body and mind (so this time, Wolverine wasn’t he mind-controlled one for a change). The Sublime also harnessed the Phoenix power, and nullified Wolverine’s healing ability before slicing open his stomach.
But of course, this was all canceled out later by Jean Grey with some time travel, but it was definitely a very violent end for Logan, especially because it was at the hands of a close ally and friend.
So, Wolverine gets brainwashed in this story and once again under the control of someone else, Wolverine ends up breaking into Daredevil’s apartment, where the blind hero ends up defending himself against Wolverine and a dozen Hand ninjas.
Daredevil manages to use his weightlifting set to bash Wolverine in the head with some dumbbells and knock him over, impaling him on a sword from a fallen Hand ninja. This was basically the end of the fight, but it showed that Daredevil, even caught by surprise, was a better fighter than Wolverine had ever been. Maybe next time Wolverine shouldn’t try taking Daredevil on in his own home.
Storm not only defeated Wolverine, but she wiped him out. It makes complete sense — Storm can harness lightning and Wolverine’s skeleton is a giant conductor. This particular series was never wrapped up, so we’ll never get to see how this was all resolved, but it certainly kicked off with high stakes.
Why exactly Storm had taken Wolverine out will never be revealed in a comic. Nonetheless, Wolverine was beaten way too quickly in a fight that was far too one-sided. Wolverine really needs to stop fighting heroes with lightning-powers. And he should probably stay inside during storms. It just seems too risky.
Punisher is one of the more violent heroes, and is often hunted down by other heroes. When it came to fighting Wolverine, Punisher saw the mutant’s healing power as a challenge, and he stepped up to the plate. Frank Castle destroyed Wolverine’s face with a shotgun, demolished his nether region, and then rolled over him with a steamroller.
This was just a case of sheer brutality meeting its match, with Frank’s penchant for strategy giving him the edge necessary to stop Wolverine for good. Brains win out over brawn, and firepower wins out over knives. They do say not to bring a knife to a gun fight.
There have been a few characters that have stopped Wolverine in one move, including Molly Hayes, Cyclops, and the Thing, but our last entry is one that few people would expect Wolverine to ever face off against. However, in a crossover between the X-Men and Star Trek, Logan faced Mr. Spock.
Upon boarding the Starship Enterprise, Wolverine moved to attack Spock, only to discover that Spock knew who he was. He also discovered the effects of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, which Spock used to knock Wolverine to the ground almost instantly. It’s another case of skill winning against brute strength, and that’s why Wolverine needs to learn a little finesse.
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