(Image via Marvel)
If you were somehow forced to read only one Wolverine story off this list, then make it this Chris Claremont and Frank Miller 1982 team-up that helped kicked off the unending Wolverine craze. Though it took place over only four installments, the effects of the series can still be felt today.
And, um, I lied. This one is also set in Japan.
Now, before you leave in a huff, remember that this is one of the first major Marvel stories to place Logan in Japan. It was, in large part, an effort to set Wolverine apart as a character in his own right, rather than yet another member of the swiftly growing X-Men team. Indeed, this editorial decision may have cemented Wolverine’s future status as a top-tier X-Man and Marvel film staple. To whom should Hugh Jackman address his thank you card?
Over the course of the miniseries, Logan attempts to find out what’s going on with his erstwhile love, Mariko. It turns out that Mariko has been trapped in an abusive marriage thanks to an honor debt incurred by her own father. Wolverine attempts to save her, gets his butt kicked, and spends a significant amount of time plotting his revenge. At this point in time, Logan’s healing factor hadn’t been fully explored, so readers fully expected that he could incur some serious damage during a fight.
He also teams up with the aforementioned Yukio, lady ninja extraordinaire. Not only that, but this series is the origin of his now iconic phrase, “I’m the best there is at what I do”.