It’s not easy being a member of Wolverine’s rogues gallery. Other villains have it easy. I mean, if you’re a Superman villain, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You’ll find yourself tied up with a lamp post? What about Spider-Man? Webbed to a wall? That’s not so permanent. Even Batman foes have it relatively easy. Yeah, you might need dental surgery after getting slammed with a batarang, but you’ll live to fight another day.
But Wolverine? If one crosses Wolverine, one will find six unbreakable razor sharp claws buried in one’s aortic valve. Now that’s permanent. Maybe that’s why Wolverine’s list of foes isn’t that long. Wolverine has faced many enemies, but most of them find themselves taking a dirt nap after the encounter.
But there have been those that survived and have returned to bedevil the berserker mutant again and again. On this list, we tried to focus on foes that Wolverine have taken on solo, but some of his battles he fought against villains alongside the X-Men were so personal to Wolverine, we just had to mention these unrepentant killers…
First appearance X-Men #4 (1992)
Created by Jim Lee and John Byrne
As any Logan aficionado knows, Wolverine was created by the top secret Weapon X program. The scientists of Weapon X took Logan and bonded unbreakable adamantium to his bones and created the most feral X-Man of all. But Logan isn’t the only creation to come out of Weapon X. Russian soldier Arkady Rossovich also underwent Weapon X experimentation and became the murderous Omega Red.
Omega Red is long overdue for a film appearance because there’s just so much badass going on with this pony-tailed killer. He has a healing factor like Wolverine, he is bonded with an unbreakable substance known as carbonadium (which is like a flaccid version of adamantium- hey, there you go, Omega Red is the flaccid Wolverine. No wonder Rossovich hates Logan so much), he is able to suck the life force off others using his carbonadium tentacles essentially making him a Russian assassin vampire mutant spree killer. Omega Red has been a constant foe to Wolverine and the X-Men, but the Weapon X connection also makes this tentacle versus claw rivalry personal.
We love Omega Red because he is every 1990s comic book trope rammed together. Pony tale, snarling, great hair, and Wolverine derivative. We adore you Omega Red, you creepy anime-haired tentacle vampire, and we hope to see you in live action one day.
First appearance X-Men #1 (1963)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Yeah, we know, Magneto is the X-Men’s ultimate enemy, not just Wolverine’s. Heck man, these days Magneto runs with the X-Men as he has become a reluctant hero in the Marvel Universe. But listen, Magneto once tore out Wolverine’s skeleton, so that makes them mortal enemies forever and ever because you just don’t go around tearing out people’s skeletons. You just don’t.
In fairness, Magneto tore out the adamantium lining Wolverine’s bones not the whole skeleton, but still, that totally counts as a dick move (if you tore out the lining of an android’s skeleton, that would be a Philip K. Dick move…sorry…sorry).
Wolverine did avenge himself when he recovered, and totally sliced Mags to ribbons. Of course, Logan did get his adamantium back, but still, the moment that Magneto pulled out the adamantium from Logan’s bones through Wolverine’s pores, ass, and nostrils is forever burned in X-lore, making Magneto and Wolverine eternal rivals.
First appearance Iron Fist #14 (1977)
Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Wait, Sabretooth first appeared in Iron Fist? That’s so weird. Considering Sabretooth went on to become Wolverine’s greatest foe, it seems odd that the most murderous mutant of all first appeared in a random issue of Iron Fist. That’s like Lex Luthor making his debut in an Hourman comic.
Anyway, fans first thrilled to the Wolverine and Sabretooth rivalry during the Mutant Massacre. Sabretooth was a member of the Marauders, a team of hired killers that were paid to take out the sewer dwelling Morlocks. During the conflict, Wolverine ran afoul of Sabretooth and the two tore into each other. From that battle, it was clear that Logan and Sabretooth had a bloody hatred for each other that stretched back decades.
Since then, it has been revealed that Sabretooth and Logan used to be comrades in arms until things turned sour. Then, Sabretooth murdered a woman named Silver Fox, one of Logan’s great loves and this bloody hatred was born. X-lore hints that Sabretooth and Wolverine may be brothers, but X-continuity is about as tenuous and as difficult to understand as Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. Whatever the case, Sabretooth has dedicated his life to tormenting Wolverine.
The rivalry leaked over onto the big screen twice, but the first X-Men film and the deservedly maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine do not capture the bloody majesty of the Wolverine/Sabretooth war that has been raging on comics for centuries. These days, Wolverine is dead and Sabretooth is a good guy, but you just know a resurrection and a heel turn will happen at some point and the X-Universe will be red in tooth and claw once again.
First appearance X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1982)
Created by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson
In the comics, William Stryker was a politician and a televangelist sworn to eradicate all mutants. Stryker makes the alt.right look like open minded relief aids working in a soup kitchen. In the classic God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel, Stryker tried to murder a young Kitty Pryde on national TV. Disgraced, Stryker swore to kill the X-Men to keep God fearing humanity safe from the demonic mutant scourge.
Stryker is an X-Men foe in the comics, but in the world of film, Stryker is the greatest human evil Wolverine ever faced. Brian Cox played Stryker to perfection in X2: X-Men United and in this damn near perfect film, it was revealed that Stryker was the head of the Weapon X project and was responsible for creating Wolverine.
Stryker was brought back in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (portrayed by Danny Huston) and serves as the film’s main antagonist. Josh Helman plays a younger version of Stryker in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, further solidifying William Stryker as Wolverine’s greatest film foe.
First appearance As Yuriko Oyama: Daredevil #197 (1983) As Lady Deathstrike: Alpha Flight #33 (1986)
Created by Dennis O’Neil, Larry Hama, Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema, Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith
Jeez Louise, that’s a lot of creators. Lady Deathstrike certainly is gifted with many creative daddies. She is also gifted with a vicious and fascinating history with Wolverine- making this not so good Lady Wolverine’s most enduring female foe.
Deathstrike’s father was the creator of the bonding process that was used to attach the adamantium to Wolverine’s skeleton. She felt like her father’s work was stolen and dishonored, so Deathstrike swore to destroy anyone who had adamantium in their bodies. This brought her into conflict with Wolverine as she vowed to steal his bones to restore honor to her family. Now, that’s nasty!
Deathstrike underwent an adamantium bonding of her own and became the long fingered psycho killer of X legend. Wolverine and Deathstrike have fought many times as the lady of the unbreakable cuticles has become one of the deadliest and most persistent enemies in Logan’s life.
First appearance Daredevil #111 (1974)
Created by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown
Sometime ally, sometime enemy, Silver Samurai is perhaps Wolverine’s deadliest non-mutant foe. After fighting Wolverine a few times in Japan, Silver Samurai became the head of the Yashida crime family after the death of his half-sister Mariko. Now, Wolverine historians know that Mariko was also Wolverine’s great love, so after her death Silver Samurai developed a grudging respect for Wolverine. They have fought side by side many times, defending the Yashida Clan from enemies, but the alliance is tenuous at best and many times the Samurai and Wolverine have clashed claw to sword.
Fans saw that rivalry come to life on film in The Wolverine as the Samurai succeeded in stealing the film universe’s Wolverine’s adamantium. And here’s a fun fact, in the comics, Silver Samurai was the leader of Big Hero 6. Yes, the (sort of) same Big Hero 6 that Disney brought to life in animation a few years back. So from a drug lord to Wolverine’s bitter rival to a man who introduced a franchise that focuses on a big, fat, adorable balloon person, Silver Samurai has truly done it all.
First appearance Wolverine Origins #10 (2007)
Created by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
At least this Wolverine foe keeps it in the family. Daken is Wolverine’s son. Born of violence, Wolverine’s scion was torn from the womb of his mother Itsu after she was murdered by the then brainwashed Winter Soldier. Abandoned, the boy is adopted and lives an unhappy childhood. He is given the name Daken which means bastard dog in Japanese. Well, this bastard dog had bite and as he grew, he took on an extremely nihilistic view of the world.
Daken became one of the most skilled assassins the world had ever seen and his chaotic nature and the powers that he inherited from dear old dad brought him into conflict with Logan many times. He joined Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers and donned his father’s uniform as a profane version of Wolverine. As Dark Wolverine, Daken’s glorified in his violent nature and did everything he could to disgrace his father’s heroic name.
Since then, Wolverine has died and Daken has softened his view on his father. But when Wolverine inevitably returns to life, you can bet Daken will be waiting to once again become Logan’s most personal enemy.
First appearance Captain America vol.1 #110 (1969)
Created by Jim Steranko
Viper isn’t just one of Wolverine’s most persistent and vile foes, she also happens to be his ex-wife (X-wife?). That’s right, Viper, also known as Madame Hydra so you know she’s evil, once blackmailed Logan into marrying her. Instead of wedded bliss, Viper and Wolverine entered into one of the most hateful nuptial bonds in comic book history. Viper wanted to marry Wolverine so she could join her criminal empire with a criminal enterprise Wolverine oversaw in the lawless nation of Madripoor, but even though the marriage was business oriented, the green haired femme fatale insisted that they consummate the marriage.
So Viper is the only villain on this list that Logan had anger sex with. The marriage ended when Viper was possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja and Wolverine had to stab her to get the malevolent spirit out of her body. In exchange for divorce, Wolverine gave her first aid.
Since then, Viper has had a deep and abiding mad on for her X-hubby. She has returned numerous times to make Wolvie’s life miserable. Logan, you should have swiped left, pal.
First appearance The Incredible Hulk #162 (1973)
Created by Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe
Every rogues gallery needs a flesh eating bigfoot Yeti thing, and sure enough, Wolverine has one.
Wendigo is a rather terrifying adversary. In the Marvel Universe, there have been a number of hapless souls that have become a Wendigo over the decades. Basically, if someone indulges in cannibalism, whether it is an act of psychosis or survival, that person is cursed to walk the Earth as the always hungry Wendigo. Now, that’s pretty horrifically awesome in and of itself, but Wendigo is so important to Wolverine lore because this white furred hungry beastie was Wolverine’s adversary in Logan’s very first appearance.
That’s right, out of the gate, Wolverine faced off against Wendigo and the Hulk, and as always, Logan lived to tell the tale. So from his very first appearance and his very first enemy, Wolverine was establishes as a hero that never quits.
Even when faced with a flesh hungry super monster, Wolverine will keep clawing until the day is won. Wolverine has faced different Wendigos over the years because evidently the Marvel Universe is lousy with cannibal freaks, but it will always be the first Wendigo that will go down as history as the earliest villain Wolverine squared off against.
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #132 (1980)
Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Film fans are about to meet the cybernetic evildoer known as Donald Pierce in Logan, but in the comics, Wolverine has been banging heads with Pierce for decades. Pierce once infiltrated the Hellfire Club by pretending to be a mutant, but in truth, Pierce was a mutant hating racist that wanted to bring about the genocide of the mutant race. Pierce was proud of his humanity which makes it ironic that he gave it all up to become a cyborg killing machine.
As the head of the cybernetic assassin crew known as the Reavers (also about to appear in Logan), Pierce kidnapped, tortured, and crucified Wolverine. This is a fateful moment in mutant history because when Wolverine escaped from this torment, he met Jubilee for the first time and an X legend was born.
Since the crucifixion, Pierce and Wolverine have been blood enemies. Pierce created a Wolverine android named Albert who ended up turning good, but the creation of such a profane and mechanical version of Wolverine showed just how far Pierce was willing to go to humiliate and eradicate Logan. This is a bitter and long fought rivalry, one that is about to come to bloody life in Hugh Jackman’s last film go around as Wolverine.
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #13 (1964)
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, and the master of illusion is even among the top Daredevil foes.
But Mysterio also has to considered a Wolverine foe for one simple reason: in the Old Man Logan storyline, it is Mysterio that uses his illusions to fool Wolverine into thinking his fellow X-Men are super criminals. This illusion forces Wolverine into horrifically slaying his friends and surrogate family. It was at this point that Old Man Logan swore to never pop his claws again.
Old Man Logan might take place in a potential future, but the fact that Mysterio does what Magneto, Mister Sinister, Apocalypse, and legions of Sentinels never did, destroy the X-Men, makes him one of Wolverine’s top foes. Add to the fact that Mysterio tricked Wolverine into doing his dirty work for him, and you have to say that it was Mysterio that caused Wolverine’s greatest defeat in all of the multiverse.
First appearance Wolverine #50 (2007) (shadowed) Wolverine: Origins #39 (2009) (Full appearance)
Created by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi
Very little is known about the man known as Romulus. He is an ancient being whose life stretches back to the Bronze Age where he led tribes of lupine warriors into battle. In modern times, this ancient feral threat is responsible for creating the Weapon X program and also ripping Daken out of his mother’s womb. Right there, Romulus and Logan have a very personal and hate filled rivalry.
Romulus’ motivations are shrouded in mystery, but it seems that he wants to train Wolverine as his replacement as the grand poohbah of the wolf people or something. Romulus stands as a warning of what Logan will become if he allows himself to lose control of the beast within.
The two have fought a number of times with Romulus trying to force Wolverine to descend into a berserker rage that he may never emerge from. Wolverine has resisted the violence of Romulus so far. But the hatred between the two is profound. Romulus is pretty badass himself. He is four claws on each hand where Wolverine has three and he is a killing machine that has abandoned every last vestige of humanity. Wolverine hates Romulus because if Logan ever loses control, he can very easily become Romulus.
First appearance Marvel Comics Presents #85 (1991)
Created by Peter David and Sam Kieth
Imagine how tough one would have to be to serve as Wolverine’s drill instructor. That’s exactly what Cyber was, a bullying, brutish authoritarian that made Logan’s life miserable during Wolverine’s World War I military tenure. During this period, the future Cyber beat Logan to an inch of his life and gouged out Logan’s eye. Of course, Logan’s healing factor soon allowed the mutant to regain his peeper, but this beating gave Wolvie a deep fear of Cyber.
Years later, when Wolverine encountered Cyber, even though those fears were deeply buried in Logan’s psyche, they resurfaced as Cyber became one of the very few people in the world that Wolverine fears. But Wolverine is Wolverine and found the testicular fortitude to bury that fear and beat the living crap out of Cyber. That wasn’t easy because Cyber’s skin has been laced with adamantium so the brutish killer essentially has an unbreakable epidermis. This didn’t stop Wolverine however who got the ultimate receipt after he popped out Cyber’s eye during their first modern era battle. How Hammurabi!
First appearance Wolverine #17
Created by Archie Goodwin and John Byrne
Wow, John Byrne has created a ton of Wolverine foes, huh? Leave it to a Canadian artist to torture a Canadian hero, I guess. This is comics, so you can’t have a greatest villain list without at least one Nazi prick, amiright?
During World War II, Dr. Nikolaus Geist became one of Hitler’s main advisors and helped the Third Reich construct many concentration camps. In the modern era, the aged and infirm Geist built himself a cybernetic suit and used radical limb attachments like saws and scalpels to become one of most feared evil scientists in Marvel history. When Geist started experimenting on mutants, Logan hunted him down and brought an end to Geist’s operations. Wolverine peeled the metal clad Nazi like an onion and left him to die.
Somehow, Hitler’s right hand man survived, until he was discovered by Magneto. As all X fans know, if you’re an evil Nazi scientist, the last mutant you ever want to run into is Magneto. Geist did however survive and join HYDRA, but his time bedeviling Wolverine and the overwhelming evil inherent in every one of Geist’s plans allows this disgusting piece of cybernetic offal to make our list.
First appearance Wolverine #66 (2008)
Created by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
The Hulk Gang also went up against Wolverine on the Old Man Logan universe. In this world where all super heroes have fallen, the Hulk Gang would scour its territory and force any residents to pay rent. If this rent was not paid, death would follow. Essentially, this group of killers were like a bunch of Negans, but imagine if Negan was a Hulk. Yeah, that’s the Hulk gang.
As we mentioned, due to Mysterio’s manipulation that caused Logan to kill the X-Men, the former Wolverine refused to snikt his claws. When the Hulk Gang forced Old Man Logan to pay his rent, the former heroic mutant went on a quest for the cash. When he returned home, he found that the Hulks murdered his wife and children. There was a lot of snikting after that.
The Hulk Gang is made up of a bunch of ignorant and cruel rednecks that are infused with the same powers as Bruce Banner. They are a terrifying gang of thugs that remain perhaps the most intimidating and frightening group of foes that Logan ever faced. But these Hulks still got smashed when they pushed Wolverine to the edge.
Bloodscream and Roughhouse
First appearance Wolverine #4 (1989)
Created by Chris Claremont and John Buscema
One is a mortal vampire the other is a rough and tumble bear of a man with super strength and a penchant for killing, can they find love and happiness in the big city? Where the hell did I go there? What just happened?
So Bloodscream and Roughhouse are two mercenaries for hire that have become sometime mortal enemies and sometimes reluctant allies with Wolverine. Well, Bloodscream is a Nazi vampire so not so much with the ally with him, but Roughhouse and Logan have developed a begrudging respect for one another. In fact, it was Roughhouse that Wolverine was trying to save when he first ran afoul of Geist.
When Logan first met Bloodscream and Roughhouse, the unlikely pair of criminals were working as enforcers for a crime family in Madripoor. When the strongman and the vampire tried to kill Wolverine’s ally Tyger Tiger, a rivalry for the ages was born between the pain of super enforcers and the berserker mutant.
First appearance Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #1 (1984)
Created by Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom
This is a Wolverine villain list, we have to have some ninjas up in here. And Ogun is one of the baddest ninjas of all. He has the power to possess people and use their hapless bodies to commit all sorts of heinous deeds. Have you ever been possessed by an evil ninja? It’s not pleasant.
Logan first met Ogun in World War II and at some point became Logan’s sensei. Later, Ogun fell from the path of honor and became the head of a powerful Japanese crime family. Ogun once possessed Kitty Pryde, Wolverine’s X protégé and while dwelling inside the body of the young mutant, he forced years of ninja training into her mind. So Kitty Pryde became a kind of insta-ninja and transformed into a cold blooded killer. Wolverine retrained the suddenly really dangerous young mutant and expelled Ogun’s influence.
Ogun is still a free-floating spirit floating around the Marvel Universe ready to cause havoc should this disembodied dick ever run into Wolverine once again.