All 12 versions of Wolverine ranked from worst to best

Wolverine is a staple of X-Men movies and TV shows, but which version of the beloved Marvel character is the sharpest of them all?
Madame Tussauds New York To Launch A Wax Figure Of "Wolverine"
Madame Tussauds New York To Launch A Wax Figure Of "Wolverine" / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

It doesn't get more epic than Wolverine. Marvel's claw-wielding mutant has been scratching his way through opponent after opponent for decades now, making him not only the most beloved X-Men character, but one of the most legendary Marvel characters of all time.

Logan has also made his presence felt on the screen before, bub. From his various TV animated appearances (he even headlined his own animated series) to the live-action Fox X-Men film series, he has been a regular of the big and small screens over the years. Heck, he even headlined his own movie trilogy, with Fox giving Hugh Jackman's live-action Logan a series of standalone films.

It's a wild time to be a Wolverine fan, because he's back in the mainstream. Not only will Hugh Jackman reprise his role (and finally wearing a comic-accurate suit in the process) in Deadpool and Wolverine, Cal Dodd is reprising his voice role from X-Men: The Animated Series to voice him in the critically-acclaimed Disney Plus sequel series X-Men '97.

Those are probably the two most famous versions of Wolverine we have seen over the years, but are they the best? Let's look back at the character's storied history on the screen and find out.

12. Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends

Wolverine made his very first appearance on the screen in the form of a guest appearance in animated series Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends. It wasn't a particularly substantial role but it was history-making (though perhaps they didn't know it at the time).

This version of Logan is a new member of the X-Men who is introduced to Firestar in his first scene. He's friendlier than his modern day counterpart, which isn't particularly surprising considering this aired in 1982 and mainstream animated comic book shows hadn't ascended to their grittier storytelling heights just yet. He also oddly speaks with an Australian accent, which is pretty ironic considering the live-action future that awaited him.

Outside of that, we don't know much about this version of Wolverine, he doesn't have the ferocity of his comic book counterpart, and he didn't make any subsequent appearances to develop his character. Unfortunately, that means we have to rank him at the bottom of our list. He still seems like a nice guy, though.

11. Pryde of the X-Men

Before X-Men: The Animated Series, there was Pryde of the X-Men; a pilot intended to launch an X-Men animated series that ultimately wasn't picked up. There was potential there (particularly in the animation department) but it didn't come together in the way that it could have.

One of the most bizarre elements is its adaptation of Wolverine, who is - again - portrayed with an Australian accent. While he certainly reacts to things before thinking (a very Wolverine trait), he lacked the heart that the character would become known for. Another thing Wolverine is known for is his unexpected ability to bond with kids in need of help, but here he was downright uncaring and actually scared Kitty Pryde with some of the comments he made.

We can't blame Pryde of the X-Men for not having a fully-developed Logan because there was just one short episode, but he had very little to do in the pilot and that makes it hard to rank him any higher on this list. There was potential, sure (this is Wolverine we're talking about, after all), but it didn't come to fruition in the first and only episode.

10. Black Panther

Marvel Knights' Animation produced the wonderful motion comic and animated series Black Panther in 2010. While the King of Wakanda played the central role in it, there was often time for a cameo or two from the X-Men, and that included our old pal Wolverine.

This version of Wolverine was exactly what you would expect from him; sarcastic, moody, and always open to dragging Cyclops about his ability to lead the team. There isn't much to go on beyond that, though, as he didn't have much of a role in the show. But he definitely gets points for feeling like an extremely comic-accurate portrayal of the character in just a few short moments and for the fact that the awesome Kevin Michael Richardson voiced him.

9. The Super Hero Squad Show

Here we have a version of Wolverine that, in some ways, isn't like your typical Logan, but in other ways is exactly like him. Marvel's The Super Hero Squad Show was produced for a younger generation of fans and that shows from its unique style of animation and the voice performances, which result in all of the characters sounding more like kids.

Steve Blum voices Wolverine here, and even though he's a regular at voicing Logan in various Marvel cartoons, he successfully tackles the more kid-friendly approach to the character. So whenever Logan is ranting about something, he sounds less like an intimidating X-Man and more like a bold child throwing a tantrum. It's pretty funny to see but after a few moments you start to realize that it's still very Logan... no matter how different the show is.

The Super Hero Squad Show's version of Logan isn't the best one ever, but it worked in its own environment. Seeing him raise hell whenever he is in a bad mood is so unbelievably Wolverine that you can't help but commend the show for nailing the core of the character in such a unique adaptation.

8. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

In the midst of all the kid-friendly cartoons that starred Marvel characters, we got a pretty comic-accurate version of Wolverine in the short-lived animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. A member of the Howling Commandos in World War II before he ultimately joined the X-Men in the present day, he surfaces in the show when he is recruited to join the New Avengers.

Ever the reluctant hero, Logan saves Spider-Man from a bunch of dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs) and agrees to help save the world when the original Avengers are seemingly dead.

He didn't have that big of a role on the show but this one fared much better than the previous short-lived Wolverines we mentioned. Steve Blum was once again in his element as the moody hero and it was great to see that, even in a guest spot, Wolverine is still very much Wolverine.

7. Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers

Superheroes often lend themselves to anime well as most of the action and adventures crosses over with the medium nicely. Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers was the perfect example of that, as we got to see some of Earth's Mightiest Heroes involved in some super-sized and ambitious showdowns. Yes, that includes Wolverine too.

Wolverine appeared in about half of the episodes, and it didn't take long to see that he was perfectly suited for this world. With longer claws than the typical version of Logan, he sliced and diced his way throughout some larger-than-life opponents, often roaring his attacks before he unleashed them (like any good anime character should!).

He was aggressive and determined to win those battles, and that made him feel very loyal to the source material. It was perhaps one of the most underrated adaptations of Wolverine and one that definitely deserves a revisit.

6. Ultimate Spider-Man / Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Marvel was pretty great at launching other shared universes outside of the MCU, as the Marvel Animated Universe entertained viewers between 2012 and 2017. Wolverine was a recurring part of that universe as he made appearances in both Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

This Logan had a different look from the typical iteration we had grown accustomed to, adopting a yellow and brown uniform and a cowl with shorter spikes. It was quite the look and one that he wore very well. And although I would have liked to have seen more of him, it was fun seeing him swap brains with Peter Parker on Spider-Man and spiral into a berserker rage on Hulk.

Oh yeah, and Steve Blum was as epic as ever in both shows.

5. Marvel Anime

Logan may like to crack one-liners, roll his eyes and grunt his way through the day but he also has a much darker side; his berserker rage, in which he just loses it and goes full on animalistic weapon. It's horrifying to see and we've rarely seen it on-screen because of that. Few adaptations ever captured that quite like Marvel Anime.

There's a violent, unhinged nature to Logan that goes back to his Weapon X days and this personified that with ease. Maybe it's just the fact that anime has limitless potential in terms of animation and storytelling, or maybe it's Steve Blum's most raw voice performance of them all, but hearing Logan go through that and the impact it has on him (and those around him); it's so compelling and terrifying at the same time.

This is Wolverine as comic-readers know him; and as TV viewers haven't seen enough of.

4. Wolverine and the X-Men

It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that Wolverine headlined his own animated series. The character's complex nature made him the perfect candidate to do so, and even though Wolverine and the X-Men wasn't given the chance to join the ranks of Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, or X-Men: The Animated Series, it provided a solid case for why its iteration of Logan was every bit as compelling as the leads of those shows.

The show revolved around Logan becoming the reluctant leader of the X-Men just as he was set to leave them. The reason? The mysterious disappearances of Charles Xavier and Jean Grey. He doesn't want to be there at first, but he also knows that he must reassemble the team to figure out what has happened and continue to protect the people in need.

That concept alone justifies the decision to put Wolverine's name in the title ahead of the X-Men but the show doubles down on it to ensure that it was always justified. Logan isn't a known leader by his reputation and yet he must step up to do it. He's actually quite good at it, which is something he learns as the show goes on.

If Wolverine and the X-Men hadn't been cancelled after just one season, we probably would have ranked this version of Logan even higher on the list. He's a compelling lead who thrives with more focus than the typical version of the character and Steve Blum is very convincing in the role. If only there had been more seasons.

3. X-Men: Evolution

Now it's time to put some spotlight on the most underrated Wolverine of the bunch. That figures because X-Men: Evolution is the most underrated of all the X-Men adaptations, often living in the shadow of the previous animated series. But it has its own appeal, quality, and strengths, and Logan is responsible for a significant portion of all three of those things.

Get ready to meet a different interpretation of Wolverine than the one you're used to (and we're not just talking about the fact that his suit is orange and black instead of yellow and blue). Here, Logan is more of an unlikely leader, a father figure if you will, for a younger team of X-Men. That's right, all of the beloved heroes on the team are teenagers and that makes Logan the oldest of the bunch. He owns this surprisingly well, calmly offering advice to his younger teammates and bonding with them when they need an older, wiser mentor to help them master their abilities (and their lives as mutants).

But don't let the niceties and logic fool you; he's still Wolverine under all of that, too. Yes, that means there is plenty of anger, conclusion-jumping, one-liners, and physical fight scenes to make any fan of the character happy. It's the perfect blend, to be honest, and that makes X-Men: Evolution's iteration of Logan one of the strongest we have seen - and one that deserves a bit more love than he gets.

LOGAN, Wolverine
DF-04338 - Hugh Jackman stars as Logan in LOGAN. Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein. /

2. The X-Men movies / Wolverine trilogy

You won't find a more famous version of Wolverine than the live-action one, and that speaks volumes to Hugh Jackman's performance - especially because he never got the chance to wear the suit in those movies. Logan was at the center of Fox's X-Men universe, playing the main role in almost every one that he appeared in, as well as starring in his own Wolverine trilogy.

There were ups and downs along the way (as some movies were better received than others) but the franchise's portrayal of Wolverine was always one of its greatest strengths. The creatives knew that, too, because Logan was always at the heart of the movies. This was understandably frustrating for fans hoping to see a more ensemble X-Men film but it doesn't take anything away from the strength of Logan's character.

Though he never wore the yellow and blue suit, the film version of Logan was still pretty comic-accurate. He was very rough-around-the-edges and that was due to the lifetime of struggles he endured, but he did endure and came out the other side of them. He was also well-balanced too, showing off his softer side through his friendship with Rogue, his bond with Jean, and the respect he showed towards Charles Xavier.

Jackman's performance in Logan is one of the greatest the comic book movie genre has ever seen and he also had some mighty fine material to work with. It was the perfect send-off to a phenomenally complex character, and the icing on the cake of a truly remarkable run.

X-MEN '97
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

1. X-Men: The Animated Series / X-Men '97

If you closed your eyes and imagined Wolverine in your head, there is a pretty strong chance that the image you would see is the classic X-Men: The Animated Series version. He's the most comic-accurate version of Logan we have ever seen and he entertained a whole generation with his adventures (and misadventures).

While the animated series certainly did a better job of balancing its core cast of characters than the live-action movies did, Logan was still at the center of the story. It's not surprising either because he had the most interesting of all the backstories. The show also captured his brutish personality well and how it hides a heart of gold beneath the surface. This much is clear when he remains determined to save Morph from the trauma he was facing and, in some way, atone for being forced to leave him behind.

Wolverine is a rich well of potential that the show cultivated and explored well. While he has taken more of a backseat in X-Men '97 thus far, it's wonderful to see the best version of the character back on-screen. His time to shine will come around again, and Cal Dodd has once again been acing it with his performance, highlighting the gruff-but-occasionally-warm tendencies that Logan is all about.

It doesn't get better than this one.

Next. All 13 X-Men movies ranked from worst to best. All 13 X-Men movies ranked from worst to best. dark