By any standard, Wolverine is one of the most famous superheroes of all time, which all the more surprising considering his relative newness compared to other major mainstays like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. He's also starred in some of the most memorable and referenced covers in comics history.
Before Logan's next solo series launches, we're taking a look back, in no particular order, at some of Wolverine's most iconic covers. These images from Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine have been seared into the back of X-fans' brains for years and have played a big part in helping turn Logan into one of the most recognizable superheroes in comics.
UNCANNY X-MEN #133
Up until the "Dark Phoenix Saga," Wolverine was far more of a supporting character than the main draw of Uncanny X-Men that he would become. But while the rest of the team was defeated and captured by the Hellfire Club over the course of #132, Wolverine was believed dead by the hands of Harry Leland.
However, the issue ended with Wolverine declaring his promise to take the fight back to them. Uncanny X-Men #133 by Chris Claremont and John Bryne follows up on that, with the issue following through on the promise of Wolverine fully unleashed for arguably the first time, as he does on this iconic cover.
The first Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller was a major moment for the character that brought him to Japan for his first true solo mission. This story would help define the character as a starring player, something he hadn't been up to this point in history.
The four-issue miniseries saw Logan fighting the father of his beloved Mariko Yashida, drawing him into an extended conflict with crime families and just a whole mess of ninjas. The cover, by Miller, shows a Wolverine who's not only confident to be in battle but almost excited to be stab-punching people, and the comic went on to largely inspire The Wolverine, the second-solo movie about the character.
UNCANNY X-MEN #141
As one of the last stories by Chris Claremont and John Bryne before their iconic run together ended, "Days of Future Past" has become one of the most iconic pieces of the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe.
Showcasing a dark potential future where Mutant hatred had led to the development of Sentinels that were ruthless and powerful enough to kill the rest of the Marvel Universe. The last remaining X-Men, among them an older Wolverine, had to try and send Kate Pryde back in time to save the world. With an ominous list that reveals the grim fates of the other X-Men, this cover has since gone on to be one of the most referenced comic covers of all time.
INCREDIBLE HULK #340
Coming during the events of the "Fall of the Mutants" crossover (which would eventually see the X-Men seemingly killed but actually relocated to Australia,) the Peter David and Todd MacFarlane run on Incredible Hulk got the chance to create a rematch for Wolverine's very first appearance as an antagonist for the Hulk.
The cover pits Wolverine against a different form of the Hulk than he'd ever fought before. However, this came during a period where the Hulk had turned grey and become more diabolical, so their fight was more ferocious than ever, as McFarlane's cover perfectly captures.
UNCANNY X-MEN #251
While most of the X-Men would end up leaving the Australian outback via the Seige Perilous, Wolverine wasn't among them at the time. This meant that when Logan returned to their abandoned base, he was ambushed by the Reavers who'd chased the X-Men away.
A quickly overwhelmed,Wolverine was promptly tortured and even crucified on a giant X, left to rot in the hot sun. Written by Claremont and with art by Marc Silverstri, the moment proved an especially traumatic event for Logan (which is really saying something, considering his life). However, this moment also led to one of Logan's most meaningful relationships, as he was rescued by the young runaway Jubilee, who would go on to be his protege.
UNCANNY X-MEN #268
Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Jim Lee, Uncanny X-Men #268 tied Wolverine to the greater Marvel Universe, revealing his previous alliances with characters like Captain America and Black Widow. While it wasn't his first major crossover with other Marvel heroes (being predated by the seminal and very dark Spider-Man vs. Wolverine miniseries,) it did serve a more distinct and outright heroic tie between Wolverine and other heroes.
Largely a flashback to the days of World War II, it brought Logan closer to the rest of the universe as and helped pave the way for his current role in the Marvel Universe, as both a mainstay of the X-Men but also a chief ally to the Avengers.
To this day, one of the best selling single issues of a comic book of all time, X-Men #1 partnered Chris Claremont (right at the tail end of his historic 16-year run on the X-Men books) with then-red hot artist Jim Lee (shortly before he left Marvel Comics to help form Image Comics.)
The multiple variants of that issue formed a single giant picture of the united X-Men, but the most common (and wide-spread) version of the cover was this one, featuring Wolverine alongside Cyclops and Iceman rushing into battle. The issue was spurred on by Magneto's return to villainy, leading the X-Men to move together in response to try and keep him from using his newly acquired nuclear weapons.
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #79
As part of an anthology series that showcased different corners of the Marvel Universe, Marvel Comics Presents ended up being where the first true hints of Wolverine's origins were revealed. As the product of writer/artist Barry Windsor-Smith, the issue was part over a multiple issue storyline that revealed how Wolverine had been captured by Weapon X and given the metal claws that he would eventually use to help save the world multiple times over.
It's also where the visual of the experimented Wolverine first appeared, which has been a consistent element of the character even outside of comics. Between his bloody claws and training helmet, the cover to Marvel Comics Presents #79
WOLVERINE VOL. 3 #20
Wolverine #20, the first issue of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's "Enemy of the State" storyline, saw Wolverine mind-controlled by the Hand into attacking the rest of the heroes of the Marvel Universe.
Even when he was captured and restored to his normal form, Wolverine would still go on to just murder so many people across the course of this story, even using Sentinels to attack a cult of twisted mutants. This cover was almost instantly iconic, inspiring tributes from across the Marvel Universe and beyond.