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Classic Hulk vs. Wolverine cover
Image via Marvel Comics

The 10 most brutal Hulk vs. Wolverine brawls

These two have quite a bit of beef.

Despite the fact that they’re both on the same side, the Hulk and Wolverine have often found themselves at ends with each other. It turns out Marvel’s two most hot-headed heroes have clashed more times than any other. It makes sense, after all — both are short-tempered and overpowered, and us fans love to see them duking it out.

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Their fights have the potential to get real brutal and gritty with both being practically unkillable; it means that the fights can go on way past the point any normal hero would have had to tap out. With Wolverine set to make his MCU debut in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future, it’s a definite possibility that we could be seeing an all-out brawl between two of Marvel’s most indestructible heroes. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of their most iconic battles. From Wolverine’s debut to Old Man Logan’s deadly fight with a Hulk driven insane by too much Gamma radiation, here are some of the pair’s all-time most gnarly fights.

The Incredible Hulk #181

Image via Marvel Comics

The Hulk is sent on a mission, hunting the legendary Wendigo, but ends up encountering a mysterious clawed human known as Wolverine. This was his first-ever appearance in the Marvel comics, and it began a decades-long rivalry between the two heroes as their first-ever fight can be traced back to this issue.

There’s not much motivation and little reason for the two to fight, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. While neither does too much damage to the other, Wolverine quickly realizes he can barely even scratch the green giant. The pair briefly work together to deal with the Wendigo before trying to tear the other’s guts out again. Before the fight can get serious, Wolverine is called off.

The Incredible Hulk #8

Image via Marvel Comics

A pretty gruesome fight that sees Wolverine stabbing Hulk in the eyes in order to get one up over the behemoth. Logan finds himself at even more of a disadvantage than usual as this fight takes place after his adamantium skeleton has been ripped out in an earlier storyline — meaning he only has his bone claws. Obviously, poor old Logan gets his claws crushed to a fine powder during the fight, but he does come out on top as he tricks his opponent into punching a pocket of gas, knocking him out and forcing him back into Bruce Banner.

Wolverine #145

Image via Marvel Comics

At this point in time, Logan has been brainwashed by Apocalypse and is working as one of his four horsemen, Death. Apocalypse tasks him with slaying the Hulk, and so fans have the perfect setup for another duel between the two. When Death/Wolverine finds the Hulk, the two immediately begin brawling with both being pretty equal. It looks like Wolverine could win at one point as he stabs Hulk in the neck; however, he hesitates before he can land the killing blow and the Hulk takes advantage of the pause to put Wolverine in the ground.

The Incredible Hulk #454

Image via Marvel Comics

This has to be one of the most out-there fights between Wolverine and Hulk in the comics. Not so much because of what goes on between the two but more to do with the setting and the fact that a T-rex also decides to get involved in the fight. That’s right; this time Wolverine is tracking Hulk in the Savage Lands. He finds the purple trunk-wearing beast being worshipped by a tribe residing in the lands.

Once again, Wolverine doesn’t fare too well; although he’s at a decidedly poor disadvantage as he no longer has the adamantium in his body, so he doesn’t stand a chance of piercing the giant’s skin. Logan is quickly defeated by the Hulk, although the fight is interrupted by the aforementioned T-rex who decides to take a bite out of the Hulk and launch him into the forest. That pretty much ends the fight — although we’d like to see a re-match between the Hulk and Mr. T-rex.

World War Hulk: X-Men

Image via Marvel Comics

Not one of the biggest fights between them. Wolverine gets launched into some trees early on in the fight. When he returns, he’s pretty quickly beaten as the jade giant smashes his head again and again to incapacitate the unkillable X-Man. It’s worth reading for Hulk going completely mad and hunting down the members of the Illuminati who decided to launch him into space.

The Hulk is embittered by the loss of his wife as a result of being blasted into space, and so he begins bumping off those he feels are responsible, Kill Bill style. When it comes to Professor X, the behemoth has to go through an army of X-Men — including Wolverine. Unsurprisingly, Logan has no chance against such an enraged monster.

Hulk Vs. Wolverine (2008)

Image via Lions Gate

This animated short takes place in the same universe as Disney’s Avengers Assemble animated series. It sees Wolverine hunting the Hulk after he’s suspected of destroying a small town. Right now, it’s the closest we’ve got to seeing the heroes battle in motion on our screens. Their fight is somewhat reminiscent of their first comic encounter. Similar to The Incredible Hulk #181, the pair join forces as they fight off a shady group who want to turn Hulk into a living weapon similar to how they made Wolverine. Oh, and Deadpool and a handful of other villains are there too, and they all duke it out in glorious fashion.

Savage Wolverine #5

Image via Marvel Comics

In 2013, fans were given exactly what they wanted with a tussle between Wolverine and the Hulk. To date, it’s one of the best fights that isn’t resolved with an unsatisfying truce. The pair cross paths in the Savage Lands, and while there isn’t much context behind the reason for their fight, there really doesn’t need to be. The writers don’t waste any time in getting to the good stuff as our heroes begin scrapping.

It’s one of the rare occasions where Wolverine is on form and is actually able to beat the Hulk. It all ends with him taking advantage of the Hulk being distracted to deliver his final blow as he impales the Hulk’s skull with his claws. Although the Hulk survives and regenerates, we’ll chalk it up as a win for the grumpiest X-Man.

Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk

Image via Marvel Comics

For the umpteenth time, Wolverine is charged with hunting down and killing the Hulk. No points for an original setup, but this fight sticks out for being one of the most gory and brutal battles between them. Once again, Wolverine loses the fight as he gets ripped in half by the Hulk from the waist down in a move similar to what the Juggernaut did to Deadpool in Deadpool 2. 

Afterward, Wolverine recovers and tracks Banner down for Round 2. Unfortunately, their fight is interrupted by Nick Fury before a victor can be decided.

The Incredible Hulk #340

Image via Marvel Comics

Probably one of their most well-known and beloved fights in comics history. In this issue, Wolverine finds himself up against the Grey Hulk. The whole fight comes about after Hulk accidentally hits a commercial airliner. The X-Men happen to be in the same area and, after rescuing the passengers, Wolverine goes in search of the Hulk. He’s quickly able to best the green menace but mistakenly believes the battle is over prematurely. The Hulk gets back up and goads Wolverine into a frenzy, and Hulk turns the whole fight around before it is interrupted and the fight rather unceremoniously ends.

Old Man Logan

Image via Marvel Comics

The Hulk has finally gone fully off of the deep end and rules over the entire west coast of the USA in a world where supervillains successfully eliminated all of the heroes and took over. Wolverine lives on the Hulk’s land and pays rent to what must be one of the worst landlords in the world. Unfortunately, late payments result in Logan’s family being eaten by the Hulk’s inbred children.

Obviously, Wolverine doesn’t take too kindly to this, so the former X-Man enacts vengeance upon the Hulk family. He wipes out all of his offspring but is eaten by the Hulk. Although being indestructible means that it’s not long before Logan bursts out of the Hulk’s back — killing the giant once and for all.

To date, this is one of the darkest versions of this fight, from the Hulk going mad and becoming a villain, to his children eating Wolverine’s family. However, the whole story takes place outside of the main Marvel comics continuity, so that’s probably why the writers went so far with it and also why it’s remembered so well. It’s also one of the few times where Wolverine categorically wins the fight.

Will they ever stop fighting?

These two heroes seem to have more beef than any other in the Marvel universe. The amount of times these guys have been at each other’s throats is insane. Clearly, the writers at Marvel just love pitting them against each other and we can’t blame them; we love to see it, too. While the fight might seem a bit uneven at first, both are capable of giving as good as they get, so it’s really hard to say who is the strongest. 

Will there be more stories involving a fight between the Hulk and Wolverine? Most definitely. Will we be seeing the two throw hands (and claws) in the MCU? It could happen; the world is ready for the X-Men to land on our screens and the Hulk is still kicking, so there’s a strong chance the two could cross paths. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with the dozens of different versions we’ve already got.

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Jordan Collins
Jordan is a freelance writer who has been featured in a number of publications. He has a Masters in Creative Writing and loves telling that to anyone who will listen. Aside from that he often spends time getting lost in films, books and games. He particularly enjoys fantasy from The Legend of Zelda to The Lord of the Rings.