From his debut in 1974, Wolverine has clawed his way into the hearts of comic book fans worldwide. His rough-around-the-edges attitude, tragic backstory, and iconic ‘snikt’ sound when unsheathing his adamantium claws, make him one of Marvel’s most beloved characters. However, it isn’t just Wolverine’s character that’s captured the imagination of fans, but also his evolving wardrobe. Each costume not only reflects the artistic trends of the times but also provides insight into Logan’s complex character and the diverse situations he’s found himself in. In this article, we’re diving into the “10 Most Iconic Costumes of Wolverine”, tracing his sartorial journey from the classic yellow and blue to the dystopian attire of the Old Man Logan era.
10 Most Iconic Costumes of Wolverine
Modern Yellow And Blue
First on our list is the modern blue and yellow costume from Astonishing X-Men confidently strides into the contemporary era, making it arguably the best outfit in Wolverine’s wardrobe. It echoes the essence of the classic costume, providing a sense of familiarity to long-standing fans. Yet, it’s not a mere copy, but a thoughtful reinterpretation featuring a sleeker fit, less exaggerated features, and a bold move away from the traditional superhero underpants.
The reinvented combat boots and a more practical full-body suit lend the ensemble a modern edge. John Cassaday’s design seamlessly blends the old with the new, offering a vibrant nod to the past while infusing the outfit with a fresh, contemporary vibe. This makes it a standout, embodying Wolverine’s evolving character while respecting his rich history.
The X-Force’s Black And Grey
Wolverine’s membership in the X-Force marked a distinctive sartorial shift. The team, essentially a stealth black ops group, required attire that was far removed from his characteristic yellow and blue. Artist Clayton Crain’s solution was a stunning black and grey version of his classic costume, perfectly suited to the group’s covert operations.
The black and grey ensemble not only looked striking on Wolverine, but it also enhanced his stealthy aesthetic, in line with the team’s clandestine activities. The darker shades complemented Wolverine’s gritty personality, adding an extra layer of mystery and intrigue. The blend of practicality and aesthetic appeal in this costume underlines why it remains one of Wolverine’s most memorable outfits.
Classic Brown And Tan
Unveiled by John Byrne in X-Men #139, Wolverine’s classic brown and tan costume marked a significant departure from his earlier blue and yellow look. Ditching the flamboyant tiger stripes and shoulder pads, the outfit embraced earthier hues that truly aligned with Wolverine’s rugged nature. A staple throughout the ’80s, it mirrored Wolverine’s rise as a leading character in the comics. Despite being replaced in 1991, its enduring appeal led to revivals, worn by Daken in Dark Avengers and by Logan himself in 2018’s Uncanny X-Men. This iconic costume, blending practicality with aesthetic allure, embodies Wolverine’s grounded persona, marking a critical milestone in his sartorial journey.
The Krakoan Brown And Tan
Designed by Adam Kubert, the costume brilliantly merges the past with the present. It brings together the earthy tones of the classic brown and tan costume with the modernized design aesthetics of the yellow and blue outfit from Astonishing X-Men.
As the X-Men sought refuge on Krakoa, away from human prejudice, many underwent a metamorphosis in appearances and attitudes, including Wolverine. His Krakoan brown and tan costume represents a return to the basics, while embracing a refreshed design. Kubert’s genius lies in blending the familiar and the new, creating an ensemble that’s not only visually striking but also symbolic of Wolverine’s evolving journey. It’s a near-perfect embodiment of Wolverine’s essence and, regardless of what the future holds, it’s a look that should definitely persist.
The Ultimate Wolverine Costumes
The Ultimate Universe had a profound influence on the broader Marvel landscape, with its aesthetic echoes even visible in the early Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Ultimate X-Men, artist Adam Kubert introduced redesigned costumes that paid homage to the original black and yellow color scheme but with a more superhero-esque flair.
Wolverine’s Ultimate Universe costume stood out, especially due to the absence of his signature mask. The predominantly black attire was fitting for the darker Wolverine iteration of this universe, while the yellow slash marks provided a striking contrast. Two versions of this costume existed: the first featured yellow around the abdomen against a black backdrop, while the second was mostly black, adorned with yellow slashes. Both versions captured the essence of this unique universe’s Wolverine, providing a bold, stylish departure from traditional designs.
The Classic Yellow And Blue & Black
Despite its garishness, the classic yellow and blue costume remains an iconic chapter in Wolverine’s stylistic evolution. First introduced in Giant-Size X-Men #1, this bright ensemble marked a pivotal turn in Wolverine’s life. Artist Dave Cockrum eliminated the mask’s whisker design and accentuated the side fins, giving the costume its distinctive flair. Although it may not scream ‘berserker warrior-spy’ due to its vibrant hues and unique details, it was prominently featured until the early ’80s and then revived from 1991’s Wolverine #50 through 2001’s New X-Men #114. While subsequent designs have arguably offered a better reflection of Wolverine’s persona, this original costume remains a memorable and cherished symbol of Wolverine’s beginnings, fondly remembered by fans.
The Age Of Apocalypse Weapon X Look
The Age of Apocalypse era brought a slew of radical redesigns for many characters, and Wolverine, known as Weapon X in this alternate universe, was no exception. This version of Wolverine came with a captivating twist: he had lost a hand in a battle with Cyclops, replaced by a visually striking metallic cap.
Wolverine’s costume was a deep midnight blue, almost black, embellished with numerous red slash marks across the chest and gloves. His look was further intensified by red facial tattoos that matched the costume’s accents, and his hair flaunted considerably more volume. This wilder, edgier ensemble, masterfully crafted by Adam Kubert, was perfectly attuned to the harsh, dystopian setting of the Age of Apocalypse. Despite its relative under-appreciation, this version of Wolverine’s costume is a standout, underscoring the character’s resilience and adaptability.
The Patch Look
When Wolverine needed an escape, he found solace in the criminal island nation of Madripoor, adopting a uniquely simple disguise as Patch. This persona, which consisted of a white tuxedo and an eyepatch, was an ironically minimalist approach to concealing his identity. Despite being a world-famous superhero, Wolverine’s choice of disguise did nothing to alter his iconic hair or other distinguishing features – it was merely the addition of an eyepatch and a tuxedo.
The charm of the Patch look lay in its unexpected humor and simplicity. This look became particularly prominent during the Outback era, when the X-Men were presumed dead and Madripoor became Wolverine’s second home. Despite its seeming absurdity, the Patch look has its place in the rich tapestry of Wolverine’s sartorial history.
Wolverine’s brown leather jacket, adorned with yellow stripes and a circular ‘X’ insignia, has increasingly become a characteristic element of his attire in the 21st century. Introduced in New X-Men and The Uncanny X-Men reboot, the jacket gives Wolverine a more humanized appearance, steering away from the traditional superhero costume aesthetics.
During Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men, this look was the predominant choice for Wolverine, aligning with the minimalist style adopted by the rest of the X-Men team during this period. The jacket, though less flamboyant than his earlier outfits, plays an important role in grounding Wolverine’s persona, blending everyday clothing with a hint of his superhero identity. Its recurring presence in various comic book series signifies its relevance and popularity in defining Wolverine’s contemporary image.
The Soteira suit represents a brief yet impactful stint in Wolverine’s costume evolution. Despite its fleeting presence, torn off during a confrontation with Soteira’s soldiers in Return of Wolverine #1, its aesthetic appeal was unmistakable. A sleek black outfit accented with red lining, it was originally the uniform of Soteira Corporation’s guards.
Wolverine donned this suit in a similar vein to his adoption of the Fang costume, after his traditional blue and yellow attire was damaged. Although the circumstances were circumstantial, the Soteira suit added a distinctive touch to Wolverine’s look. Its chic, minimalistic design contrasted with Wolverine’s typically more elaborate costumes, making it a memorable addition to his ever-changing wardrobe.