Wolverine was the first X-Men character to get a solo movie. X-Men Origins: Wolverine got his standalone series off to a rocky start, but the trilogy got more and more positive reviews as it went on. James Mangold took over the director’s chair for The Wolverine, a warmly received Japanese-set superhero actioner, then really pushed the boat out with his R-rated finale Logan, which earned an Oscar nod for Best Adapted Screenplay.
RELATED: 10 Best Wolverine Comics Ever
Throughout this trilogy, Wolvie battled plenty of villains, ranging from well-matched opponents like his own evil clone to forgettable baddies like a wildly unfaithful version of Deadpool with his mouth sewn shut.
Bafflingly, one of the villains that Wolvie faced in his first solo movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was fellow X-Man Deadpool. And on top of that, it’s a ludicrously unfaithful adaptation of ‘Pool that ignores all the things that make him great in the comics. Not only does he not break the fourth wall; he doesn’t speak at all.
Ryan Reynolds has since proven in his solo movies that he’s the perfect casting choice to play Wade Wilson, but the version he played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine couldn’t possibly be a more backwards take on the character: the Merc with a Mouth’s mouth is sewn shut.
7 Silver Samurai
The opening flashback in The Wolverine takes place during World War II. Wolvie is being held in a Japanese P.O.W. camp near Nagasaki, and when the atomic bomb hits, he shelters a Japanese officer from the blast. This officer, played by Haruhiko Yamanouchi, is later revealed to be the main villain of the movie. He’s the founder of the Yashida Corporation, better known as the Silver Samurai.
The Silver Samurai is an electromechanical suit of armor with energized katanas made out of adamantium. Ultimately, the Silver Samurai is a faceless antagonist and a generic CG robot villain, like the Destroyer in the first Thor movie.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
6 William Stryker
Danny Huston played a young version of William Stryker, the nefarious mastermind behind the Weapon X experiments, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Some heroes unwittingly create their arch-nemesis, but in this case, the arch-nemesis created the hero (and Deadpool and a handful of others).
RELATED: 5 Things X-Men Origins: Wolverine Got Right (& 5 It Got Wrong)
Huston’s take on Stryker is suitably hateable – as anybody who experiments on human beings should be – but he’s pretty forgettable. Brian Cox did a much better job with the character back in X2. He shared stronger hero-villain chemistry with Hugh Jackman and gave a more nuanced, substantial performance in the role.
5 Donald Pierce
Wolvie faces off against a bunch of different villains in his final solo movie, Logan, but the first one he encounters is Donald Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook. Pierce is the cold, calculating head of the Reavers, the band of mercenaries sent after Laura.
When Pierce comes after Laura, Wolverine stands in his way. As a big fan of the adamantium-clawed mutant, Pierce is honored to come into conflict with Wolvie. But despite his affection for the iconic X-Man, he doesn’t take it easy on him when he faces the Reavers in combat.
4 Dr. Zander Rice
Richard E. Grant gives a delightfully sinister turn in Logan as Dr. Zander Rice, the surgical head of Transigen responsible for all the experiments turning kids like Laura into mutants.
Rather than presenting a direct threat to Wolverine, Dr. Rice is the Palpatine-esque puppetmaster behind all the threats that he does face, from the Reavers to X-24. There’s an interesting backstory to Rice’s vendetta against Wolvie, since the clawed mutant killed Rice’s father on his way out of Weapon X Headquarters.
Viper’s superpower is an immunity to toxins, but her name is more of a reference to her snake-like personality than her superhuman abilities. Played by Svetlana Khodchenkova, Viper is a cold-blooded hunter determined to track down Logan.
RELATED: 5 Things The Wolverine Got Right (& 5 It Got Wrong)
She’s the secondary villain in The Wolverine. As a quintessential femme fatale with a unique superpower, Viper is much more memorable than the movie’s main villain, Silver Samurai.
2 Victor Creed
The opening scene of X-Men Origins: Wolverine focuses the story on Logan’s relationship with his half-brother and fellow mutant, Victor Creed, played brilliantly by Liev Schreiber. Schreiber’s terrific on-screen chemistry with Hugh Jackman is one of the movie’s few saving graces.
After the war montage following Logan and Victor through all the major conflicts of the 20th century, the movie’s main plot sees Victor taking on the alter ego of Wolvie’s arch-nemesis, Sabretooth. The fascinating thing about their relationship is that they’re at odds but they also can’t live without each other. Victor represents the darker side of Wolverine that he loathes in himself: the rageful, animalistic side.
The biggest physical threat that Wolverine faces in Logan is his own clone, X-24. The best villains are a version of the hero, and in this case, the villain is quite literally a version of the hero. He’s easy to hate from the offset, because he kills the universally adored Charles Xavier.
X-24 was the perfect villain for Wolverine’s bittersweet swansong. The themes of the story come full circle as the aging, weakening Wolverine is forced to fight a younger, stronger version of himself.
NEXT: 10 Ways Logan Is The Best Wolverine Movie (By Far)
The Book Of Boba Fett: 10 Questions We Have After Season 1
About The Author
(3318 Articles Published)
Ben Sherlock is a writer, comedian, independent filmmaker, and Burt Reynolds enthusiast. He writes lists for Screen Rant and features and reviews for Game Rant. He’s currently in pre-production on his first feature (and has been for a while, because filmmaking is expensive). You can catch him performing standup at odd pubs around the UK that will give him stage time. Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema, Comic Book Resources, and BabbleTop.
More From Ben Sherlock