Enjoy your birthday, Wolverine, because it looks like it's gonna be the last one you'll ever have! The "Death of Wolverine" storyline has really come at a fitting time; Logan's fighting the one enemy he's never fought before--Death--just as he hits the big 4-0. Don't feel bad for the ol' Canucklehead! He's lived an incredibly full life! He's been an X-Man and an Avenger--heck, he even served as a member of the Fantastic Four for a short time. He was the best there was at what he did, and what he did best was star in comic books!
Wolverine first appeared 40 years ago this month in INCREDIBLE HULK #180 by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe. The issue starts with the Hulk jumping from upstate New York into Quebec on his quest to get away from humanity. While roaming the Canadian wilderness, the Hulk gets roped into a grieving sister's plot to save her brother's life. Marie Cartier hopes to transfer the Wendigo curse, which has turned her bro into a massive, fur-covered beast, to the monstrous Hulk by using some of her newly acquired dark magic skills. Unbeknownst to her, the Canadian military has also been tracking the Hulk, and they've dispatched their own agent to deal with him!
The mask may be different, but the claws and 'tude remain the same. That's definitely Wolverine!
The next issue picks up with Wolverine leaping into battle against the Hulk. Of course he quickly learns that the Hulk's hide isn't easily pierced.
Wolvie picks a fight with Wendigo for reasons best summed up by the phrase "just 'cause." This causes the Hulk to do some thinking--a very dangerous prospect for this version of the jade giant. He ends up coming to a somewhat logical conclusion, one that really favors Wolverine.
After teaming up to take down the beast, Wolverine turns his attention back to his original target. Yep, he tries to sucker punch the Hulk!
Before the rampaging giant can rip Logan to shreds, they both get zapped with a spell courtesy of Marie! With the help of her friend, Georges, she ties up the two dueling anti-heroes and prepares to perform the spell of Wendigo transferal once again. Of course that doesn't exactly go as planned…
During their continued skirmish, the Hulk and Wolverine hear a blood-curdling scream. With his opponent distracted, the Hulk wisely chooses that moment to pay Wolvie back for that earlier sucker punch.
With his ferocious foe out cold, the Hulk discovers that Marie's friend Georges had conducted the spell and traded places with the Wendigo's host. Wolverine would soon recover from that blow to the head and join the second generation of the X-Men in GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1, thus changing the Marvel Universe for good!
Wolverine continues his march towards death in WOLVERINE #11!