This is one of the comics that makes me love comics.
Wolverine is a collection of Wolverine’s first solo series. It was written and illustrated by comic titans Chris Claremont (Days of Future Past) and Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil). The writing is terse and largely comprised of Wolverine’s stream of thought. The art is simple yet moody. As Claremont explains in the introduction, the book elevates Wolverine from an animalistic berserker to a complete and compelling character.
While I love Hugh Jackman as much as the next nerd, this Wolverine would be more likely played by someone like a young Clint Eastwood or Tom Hardy or Daniel Craig – someone simultaneously feral and intelligent, with a kind of working-class sensibility. There’s a sadness and a pride that Wolverine takes in his ability as a predator, as well as a self-destructive and fatalistic streak. He is an interesting guy.
The underrated film The Wolverine (check out the extended version) is more or less an adaptation of this story line, so you may be familiar with the main plot points: Logan aka Wolverine heads to Japan and becomes entangled in his paramour Mariko’s family drama. The book version includes some extras not seen in the movie such as the fabled assassins The Hand, as well a few X-Men thrown in for good measure.
If you are fairly new to comics, I think this classic book is a good introduction to some of the best the 1980s has to offer. The price point is good, Marvel has republished several books with this black and gold look so you can add to your collection, and the intro by Claremont gives you meaningful context. Definitely worth the $13.
The book is a 4/5 for me because the Uncanny X-Men issues aren’t quite up to snuff wit the original run.