On his second Hulk issue, #180, Len Wein creates the most important mutant not created by Stan Lee, and in his third Hulk issue, #181, he creates the most valuable comic in Hulk history.
(Other than Hulk #1, but who can compare with the inflated values of first issues? In mint, you can get Hulk #1 for $4k, and Hulk #181 for $2k.)
And it’s all because of Wolverine. Know what his first words were?
“All right, you freaks-just hold it! If you really want to tangle with someone, why not try your luck against the Wolverine!”
Does the story even matter? Not really. But it’s easy to forget that before Wolverine shows up, Wendigo and Hulk bash each other in the head with their heads.
That’s special. Wendigo also gets an origin:
There will be others who are transformed by the spirit of Wendigo in the future. My Wendigo tag refers to all iterations of the character because his human host could not matter less.
That’s actually something different about Wendigo: Most human/monster hybrids in Marvel get more of a Jeckyll/Hyde type storyline.
All the fighting gets the officials to call in Weapon X.
I had forgotten that they called Wolverine that in his very first appearance.
The three issues are basically one long fight, but it’s a great one. The two team up against Wendigo and then fight each other.
And in the end, it’s not hard for Hulk to knock Wolverine out.
Turns out, Wendi does get a little bit of an arc.
And just as #180 introduced a new, unforgettable character, issue #182 introduced Hammer and Anvil! Remember them?
That’s okay. Nobody does.
And it’s also easy to forget, with all the Wolverine hubub, that Hulk showed his sensitive side as he apologized to a dude for busting his fence.
1 thought on “Incredible Hulk #180-182 (1974): 1st Wolverine”
The Wolverine possesses an unbreakable, adamantium skeleton, matching claws, and a pretty impressive healing factor, which is actually his primary mutant power- a detail that his fan club tends to lose sight of. Do you know how long all that should keep him alive against the Incredible Hulk-?? Two seconds, tops. Not to speak ill of the dead, but if writer Len Wein hadn’t been so determined to sell the Wolverine as a potential new superstar at the time, that’s exactly how long he WOULD have lasted! I wonder if Lou Ferrigno or Hugh Jackman have read these issues?? The Wendigo is a truly terrifying monster. How I determine these things are the monsters who give me nightmares. Count Dracula and the Wendigo have been known to do this. Trapped in the wilderness with the Wendigo after you. No thanks. Even with superpowers, you are boned. And Count Dracula- the Right Hand of Death Herself. Yeeesh! By the way,I am the proud owner of pretty fair-condition copies of both ‘Incredible Hulk#180 and 181’. So- I’m awesome. Also by the way, you misidentified the Wolverine’s very first recorded words- they weren’t what he said on the splash page of issue#181- they were what he said in the final panel of issue#180! “If you really want to tangle with someone- why not try your luck against- the Wolverine!!!” You’re very welcome!