File:Hulk181.jpgThis issue was the 1st cover appearance of Wolverine.
Wolverine first appeared in Incredible Hulk #180 (October 1974), in the final panel (enshrouded by darkness) of an issue written by Len Wein and illustrated by Herb Trimpe. His full introduction was in the next issue, #181 (November 1974) He appeared in a yellow-and-blue spandex costume and had foot-long metal claws. His introduction left an vague impression, revealing little more than that he was an agent of the Canadian government with superhuman powers.
Wolverine next appeared in Giant-Sized X-Men #1 (1975), in which he joined the X-Men. Written by Wein and drawn by Dave Cockrum (who altered Wolverine's mask), the issue was successful enough to revive the title, starting with #94 (August 1975), drawn by Cockrum but written by Chris Claremont. As the series progressed Wolverine was overshadowed by the other characters and Claremont even considered dropping the character.
One of John Byrne's (Cockrun's replacement as artist on The Uncanny X-Men) ideas involved creating Alpha Flight, a group of Canadian superheroes, who tried to recapture Wolverine due to the expense the Canadian government incurred in training him. Wolverine's murky past was gradually established, as was his unstable nature, which he battled to keep in check. To further deepen the character, Claremont and Byrne presented Wolverine as having a crush on Jean Grey (a subplot that has been revisited), the team leader Cyclops' girlfriend. This caused tension within the team dynamic, especially as Cyclops was written as a more cautious character, allowing another avenue for writers to develop tension, as well as adding a new dimension to the character. Byrne also designed a new, brown-and-tan costume for Wolverine, keeping the distinctive Cockrum-designed cowl.
File:Wolverine 003.gifWolverine in his brown and tan costume
After John Byrne's departure as artist on The Uncanny X-Men. Wolverine remained with the X-Men, written by Claremont. By this point he was becoming popular with regular comic book readers, and appeared in his own mini-series Wolverine (#1-4 by Claremont and Frank Miller, September - December 1982) and in Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (#1-6 by Claremont and Al Milgrom, November 1984 - April 1985).
The success of these books prompted Marvel to launch a solo book for Wolverine, written by Claremont, with art by John Buscema, in November 1988.
File:Wolverine-1.jpgCover of issue 1 of Wolverine's solo book
In addition to the Wolverine comic book and his appearances in the various X-Men comic books, two other stories have been published which serve to expand upon the character's past; Weapon X (by Barry Windsor-Smith, which was serialised in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, 1991); and the Origin six issue mini-series (by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins and Andy Kubert, 2002).