1. Old Man Logan
What do you get when you take Wolverine, drop him in a Mad Maxian post-apocalypse and reform him like a Forgiven-era Clint Eastwood? How about a genre mash-up, the likes of which we've never seen. It wasn't just groundbreakingly awesome, though that would have been enough. It really delivered too, right down to the final "SNIKT".
Examines the dichotomy of Logan as both man and beast. I've never seen a Wolverine comic rendered with so much grace and beauty as this. Props to Brian K. Vaughan and Eduardo Risso for telling such a wonderful, though short, Wolverine epic.
It all comes back to the classic. This is the story that is, perhaps, the most important in Wolverine canon as it really distinguished Wolverine as a unique and compelling character rather than just some gimmick.
Crafting a character who is so outwardly rough and primal, but who has the honor and heart of a samurai somehow made perfect sense when it all came together. It's such a brilliant notion. You really have to hand it to Claremont and Miller for making this juxtaposition, because once they made this notion clear all of a sudden Wolverine makes perfect sense. His attitude, his motivations, his outlook - all of it. He's a failed samurai; a warrior without a master; a man without a purpose. He's a ronin.
4. Wolverine: Origin
I wasn't all too thrilled about the idea of seeing Wolverine's origin explicitly told. For one, mystery was a big part of the character. Finding out bits and pieces here and there, that were shrouded in just enough mystery, really made for a rich back story that writers could continually mine. However, it's now apparent to me that it really had to happen sooner or later.
As popular a character as Wolverine is, it was only a matter of time before we HAD to know exactly how it all began. And I couldn't be happier with the result. Not only is the art beautiful and quite different from anything we've seen from past Wolverine yarns, it also had a surprising amount of twists, considering we know where it ends up.
5. Weapon X
Less a story about Wolverine and more a story about the systematic dehumanization of a man - Logan. Told from the perspective of those experimenting on him, Weapon X is a chilling tale that shows the horrific experimentation on a man, as shown through the mundane, "just another day at work" experiences of those around him. It's a brilliantly creative narrative by Barry Windsor-Smith, as we see the sanity of the story slowly unraveling itself. Actually, it even feels more like a sci-fi/horror piece when you think about it. This is like the Wolverine version of Alien. Pretty cool, right?