The Claremont-Byrne Years
Under Cockrum and regular writer Chris Claremont, who'd stay with the title from its official relaunch, August 1975's Uncanny X-Men #94, for another 16 years, the all-new, all-different X-Men became one of Marvel's big hits. But it was the team of Claremont and subsequent artist John Byrne that cemented the mutants' status as Marvel's premier franchise, and Wolverine as its breakout star. (Byrne was allegedly instrumental in pushing his fellow Canadian to the fore.) Together, they'd introduce Wolverine's Kramer-esque mononym "Logan"; give him a makeover with his grim and gritty brown costume from the Eighties; provide him with his Japanese love interest, Mariko; depict a convincingly terrifying rampage against the Hellfire Club – a real "holy shit" moment for his young fans at the time; and place him at the forefront of the series' two most inconic storylines – the operatic "Dark Phoenix Saga," in which his unrequited love, Jean Grey, goes mad with power and dies from its abuse, and the wildly influential "Days of Future Past," in which a grizzled and graying Wolverine in civilian duds leads the mutant resistance in a dystopian future. A hero who killed, a loner at the heart of a team: Wolverine's internal contradictions made him irresistible.