Wolverine rose from humble beginnings to rival Spider-Man as Marvel’s most popular character. The ol’Canucklehead is easily the most popular X-Men solo character, so when Marvel’s merry mutants make their MCU debut, it won’t be long before Wolverine gets his solo movies or Disney+ shows. Luckily, there’s a wealth of great Wolverine stories to choose from, ones that would adapt well.
That said, not every Wolverine story should be adapted. Sometimes, it’s because they’re abysmal. Sometimes it’s because they’re too good to trust to the MCU. Fans can’t wait to see Wolverine on the big screen again, but there are some stories they shouldn’t see him in.
10/10 “The Crunch Conundrum” Is Too Weird For The MCU
Wolverine (Vol. 2) #51-53, by writer Larry Hama and artists Andy Kubert and Marc Silvestri, is a very different kind of Wolverine story. Involving Mystique, Spiral, Mojo, and the Wolverine android Albert and his robotic partner Elsie Dee, it has Wolverine trying to stop Mojo from interfering with the Big Crunch, the end of all matter in the universe in the far future.
Wolverine works very well in sci-fi stories, but “The Crunch Conundrum” is just way too wild for the MCU. That’s not to say that the MCU can’t get wild, but they definitely aren’t going to take Wolverine in this direction. Hama’s Wolverine run is brilliant, and he understood the character could work in any story. General audiences aren’t ready for that yet.
9/10 The Age Of Apocalypse’s Weapon X Is A Bit Too Much For The MCU
The Age Of Apocalypse is a seminal X-Men story. Taking place in an alternate universe where Professor X was killed years before founding the X-Men, Apocalypse rules the US. Only Magneto’s X-Men stand in his way. It’s a great story, and Wolverine gets his own four-issue miniseries called Weapon X, by writer Larry Hama and artist Adam Kubert.
The story follows Logan, first with Jean Grey and later on his own, working with the Eurasian High Human Council to prepare their final assault on the US. The Age of Apocalypse is definitely not Disney’s Marvel Studio’s cup of tea. They wouldn’t do the story right, especially not Weapon X.
8/10 “Not Dead Yet” Is Too Hardcore For The MCU
Wolverine (Vol. 2) #119-122, by writer Warren Ellis and artist Leinil Yu, is a highlight of the bone claw years. It pits Wolverine against the White Ghost, an assassin from Logan’s spy days. The White Ghost comes for him but still believes that Wolverine has the adamantium. The story is violent and twisty, completely out of the MCU’s funny action wheelhouse.
The violence is just one reason why the story shouldn’t be adapted. The other reason is Warren Ellis himself. Formerly a well-respected talent in the industry, Ellis was revealed to use his status to harass female fans. His stories shouldn’t be boosted, no matter how good they are.
7/10 Death Of Wolverine Is Basic
Marvel heroes escape death well, especially Wolverine. However, even he couldn’t avoid the Reaper forever. Death Of Wolverine, by writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven, was all about Wolverine’s death. He had lost his healing factors months before, and suddenly everyone came gunning for him.
Searching out the enemy paying for his death takes him back to Weapon X, where he dies, preventing others from being made into him. It’s a fine story, but that’s it. It would take a lot of time for the MCU to build up to, and it’s just not that great of a comic. There’s really no reason for it to ever be adapted.
6/10 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #91-100 Would Never Be Adapted Well
’90s Wolverine was full of gems, with Wolverine (Vol. 2) #91-100, by writer Larry Hama and artists Adam Kubert, Duncan Roleau, Chris Alexander, Luciano Lima, and Ramon Bernando, being a highlight. The story revealed that Wolverine was mutating into a more feral form without his adamantium. As he fought this, dark forces conspired to give him the metal back for their own purposes.
These issues are all interrelated, one-and-done stories that progress a general plot, a storytelling method that was more prevalent back then. That in and of itself makes them hard to adapt. Beyond that, it’s all about tone. The MCU has a certain tone, and this story is light years from it and wouldn’t work as well if forced into a Marvel Studios mold.
5/10 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #90 Is A Brutal Masterpiece That Would Be Toned Down Too Much
The best Wolverine stories can be quite violent, which will make it hard for the MCU to do them any justice. Take Wolverine (Vol. 2) #90, by writer Larry Hama and artist Adam Kubert. Wolverine returns to the X-Mansion for the first time in months, but only one other person is there: Sabretooth. When his arch-enemy tries to escape, Wolverine attacks, and the two have a brutal battle.
To begin with, the story ends with the universe imploding and becoming The Age Of Apocalypse, but it also ends with Wolverine putting a claw through Sabretooth’s brain. Before that, the two battle it out in a hardcore fight that is too much for the PG-13 MCU.
4/10 Wolverine (Vol. 2) #10 Is Definitely Not An MCU Story
Wolverine stories can be quite sad, as they deal with a life that is full of tragedy. Wolverine (Vol. 2) #10, by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Buscema, is a story that shifts between past and present. In the present, Wolverine lays low because it’s his birthday, a day that Sabretooth always does something terrible to him.
In the past, the story reveals the first time Wolverine got a twisted birthday gift from Sabretooth. The killer went to Logan’s cabin while he was out fishing and killed his girlfriend, Silver Fox. The two men had their first fight, and it was a route for Logan. This is yet another tale that just wouldn’t fit in with the MCU’s lighter tone.
3/10 Wolverine: Evolution Is Terrible
Some Wolverine stories are infamous, which describes Wolverine: Evolution to a tee. Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Simone Bianchi, the story introduced Romulus and saw Wolverine, Sabretooth, Sasquatch, Feral, Thornn, and Wolfsbane going on a quest to learn why humans all mutated to feral creatures at the time. What followed was a bad idea that had to be retconned.
The story brought about the concept of the Lupine, a special type of mutant that had existed for millennia and evolved from canines. It was an idea that no one liked, and the story’s only saving grace is the art. It wouldn’t have that if it was adapted, so there’s no reason to bring it to the big screen.
2/10 The Return Of Wolverine Is Mostly Abysmal
Some Wolverine stories are panned by fans, and for very good reason. It would be easy to imagine that The Return Of Wolverine would be a story that was beloved by Wolverine fans, but that’s not true at all. Written by Charles Soule with art by Steve McNiven and Declan Shalvey, the story sees Wolverine brought back to life by an evil secret organization.
After Wolverine is resurrected, it’s all pretty standard in the worst possible ways. There’s nothing special about the story, and the one thing that’s supposed to be — the hot claws power — was a dud. The Return Of Wolverine is yet another story that no one wants to see adapted because no one likes it.
1/10 Old Man Logan Is Much Too R Rated For The MCU
Old Man Logan, by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, is very important to ’00s Marvel. It’s also not a story the MCU should touch with a ten-foot pole. The tale of an older Wolverine going on one last mission to get the money to save his family is a classic, but it’s not an MCU story.
It’s much too violent and honestly too Marvel. The MCU is a very different place than the comics, and Old Man Logan really only works in the comics. There are so many scenes that are just too R-rated for the MCU. It’s best if the MCU stays far away from it.
NEXT: 10 Wolverine Villains Who Deserve A Comeback