Wolverine is the best there is at what he does… and one of the things he’s the best at is getting jobbed out to make other characters look better. Wolverine is easily one of the tougher heroes in the Marvel Universe- he can take shots from the Hulk for crying out loud – but he often gets beat by people who shouldn’t be able to do it for a variety of reasons.
Wolverine has a healing factor, an unbreakable skeleton, claws that can cut through just about anything, and is easily one of the most skilled and experienced hand to hand combatants in the Marvel Universe. The amount of losses he’s taken is kind of flabbergasting for a hero of his caliber. This list is going to look at some of the times Wolverine got beaten by people he shouldn’t have.
This happened in the inaugural arc of Brian Michael Bendis’s New Avengers, “Breakout”. The New Avengers were following a lead in the Savage Land when Wolverine snuck up on them and came out of the bushes. Spider-Woman grabbed him and after a brief scuffle, stabbed him in the throat with his own claws. He didn’t tag her once.
First off, just as a history lesson that Bendis probably didn’t know, these two characters are actually very good friends and worked together in Madripoor. Even though it was the Skrull Queen masquerading as Jessica Drew and she might not have know their history, Wolverine wouldn’t have came at her out of nowhere. However, beyond that, there’s just no way that she would have been able to manhandle Wolverine so easily. Again, dude takes shots from the Hulk. Spider-Woman is nowhere near strong or skilled enough to take down Wolverine.
9 Captain America
Captain America and Wolverine are two men that have a lot of common but couldn’t be more different. Both men have been experimented on by Weapon Plus Program. Both men fought Nazis in WWII. Both men would go on to become leaders in the Marvel Universe, but they both do things completely differently and have different attitudes.
They’ve come to blows a few times over the years. Now, look, Cap is good. Very, very good. However, durability wise, he’s still human. If he were hit Wolverine anywhere there’s adamantium, that’s some broken bones. And sure, he has his shield, but again, Wolverine gets tagged by the Hulk. Cap couldn’t hit Wolverine with enough force with the shield to hurt him.
In Joss Whedon’s inaugural Astonishing X-Men arc, “Gifted,” a scientist invented a mutant cure. The students and faculty of the Xavier School had a lot of opinions about it and Wolverine and Beast came to blows over it. Wolverine was completely against it and Beast wasn’t.
Now, the fight got broken up before it could get real nasty, but before that, Beast was actually getting the best of Wolverine. He wasn’t using his acrobatic skills, hitting Wolverine and getting out of range. They were just going up close and personal. There’s no way Beast beats Wolverine this way, even if Wolverine isn’t actually trying to hurt him. Beast is good, but he’s a soft scientist. Wolverine is basically an unkillable martial arts master.
Mark Millar’s Enemy Of The State/Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Wolverine run is one of the best of the last twenty years, but the beginning doesn’t actually work. Wolverine is at a cemetery in Japan to meet a friend when he’s ambushed by the Hand. He kills the ninjas, before Gorgon stabs him from behind, killing him.
Okay, so how does he kill him? Yes, Wolverine’s spine is not entirely adamantium, so if aimed correctly, a sword can cut through the non-bone parts, but this wouldn’t kill Wolverine. After the sword was pulled out, he’d heal and the fight would begin. Readers only ever see that one stab. Wolverine had to die for the story to work, but there are better ways to go about it.
Wolverine and Gambit have come to blows several times over the years. Most of the time, Wolverine wins these fights, but the fact that Gambit has won any of them is kind of mind-boggling. Now, yes, Gambit’s powers would allow him to keep Wolverine at bay, but it’s not like Wolverine hasn’t beaten people with ranged attacks before.
Wolverine tanks damage like no one’s business and explosions barely phase him. He’s also very fast. Gambit’s wins have come because he was able to distract Wolverine, but there’s no way he could do enough damage quickly enough even to a distracted Wolverine.
Like many characters introduced in the ’90s, Cable was put up against Wolverine to show how tough he was. It was a rite of passage for new ’90s Marvel characters to get a win over Wolverine to make them seem cool.
Now, modern Cable, with all of his powers and such, could probably beat Wolverine. However, back in the day Cable, who was just a guy with guns and didn’t exhibit any mutant powers except the ability to have more pouches than anyone else? Nope.
4 Black Panther
Nobody is saying T’Challa isn’t awesome, because T’Challa is awesome. He’s one of the smartest guys in the Marvel Universe, a great leader, and versatile fighter. He can take out loads of dudes. However, he’s somehow beaten Wolverine and that’s not a thing he should be able to do.
First off, T’Challa is not a better fighter than Logan. Logan has mastered multiple forms of martial arts. Secondly, he’s not stronger or faster than Wolverine. They’re about on par there. Third, unlike in the movies, T’Challa’s suit isn’t made of vibranium, but a clothe vibranium weave. So, unless Wolverine wasn’t trying at all, T’Challa can’t beat him. It’s doubtful he could even hurt him.
Since joining the Avengers together, Spider-Man and Wolverine have become one of the most entertaining duos in the Marvel Universe (seriously, go read Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert; it’s amazing). Back in the day, though, they used to get into fights and Spider-Man would win those fights. That’s not a thing that should have happened.
Here’s why- adamantium skeleton. Spider-Man swings in and kicks Wolverine, right? He breaks his foot. Why? Adamantium is harder than bone and Spider-Man is hitting him with super strength. Spider-Man’s durability isn’t that much higher than a normal human’s. He’d pretty much break all of his bones fighting Wolverine, a guy who can get hit by the Hulk and not get knocked out. Spider-Man can’t win this fight.
Everyone has heard of that infamous Garth Ennis written issue of Punisher where Frank Castle just destroys Wolverine. It’s a very entertaining comic and is great for a laugh. Ennis is probably the best at writing comedic violence in comics, so this is a pretty fun comic.
It’s also completely outside of the realm of possibility in an actual fight between the two men. Wolverine is a bullet sponge and if he was in close with Frank, well, that would be that. Daken, Wolverine’s son, cut Frank to pieces. There’s no way Wolverine wouldn’t be able to do the same if he so chose.
Comic creators love Daredevil. They love Daredevil so much that they’ve allowed him to beat all kinds of people he shouldn’t have a chance against. Daredevil has beaten Spider-Man, somehow. He’s beaten Beast of the X-Men. He’s beaten Hercules. Yes, Hercules. That Frank Miller run was a powerful drug for a certain generation of comic creator.
He’s also beat Wolverine. Yeah, no. He’s a normal guy physically. He’d hurt himself hitting Wolverine. His billy club wouldn’t hurt a guy who tanks hits from the Hulk. Wolverine is easily a better fighter than him. There’s just no way Daredevil wins this fight.
Wolverine is the best there is at what he does… and one of the things he's the best at is getting beat up to make other characters look better.