The 9 Worst Things Comic Books Have Ever Done to Wolverine
Wolverine is proof that everyone loves Canadians, even when they're surly murderers. His only powers are always carrying knives and repeatedly coming back from things that should have killed him. That's not a superhero, that's a horror movie villain.
Under that striped jumper Freddy Kreuger was ripped.
The Wolverine is his most unexpected resurrection yet. X-Men Origins: Wolverine proved that making Wolverine the sole star of a superhero movie was about is enjoyable as making Wolverine pick your nose. With similar effects on your intelligence. But that's not even nearly the worst thing that's happened to the skunk bear.
Neither is being named after an animal called the "skunk bear."
Being Torn in Half (For Three Years)
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk asked the question, "Who would win in a fight?" because apparently some people who didn't know the answer was "Duh" and "Who'll clean all the liquid Canadian off Hulk's feet?"
The fashion police are powerless against those color combinations
Wolverine is dispatched to Tibet to assassinate the Hulk, because pissing that guy off is always such a brilliant idea. The problem with adamantium bones is that unless you have carbon monofilament ligaments, your limbs are just harder sticks people can rip off and beat you with. Coating your vertebrae with an unbreakable metal does nothing but turn your spinal cord into a shiny bead necklace.
Hulk show nipples, get bead necklaces OR ELSE!
After Hulk throws him away like the world's hairiest Christmas cracker, Wolverine smells his own legs at the top of the mountain and started climbing to retrieve them. We often see climbing Tibetan mountains as a quest for attainment, but it's not meant to be attaining the potential to tap dance. Then the series was struck by delays, because producing monthly comics is apparently very difficult for a billion-dollar company that's been doing only that as their primary occupation for 70 years. These interruptions left a bisected Wolverine trailing intestines for three years.
As if masturbating wasn't difficult enough for him before.
It was an excruciatingly long story, suddenly and unsatisfyingly resolved by unrelated factors. But it was written by the guy behind Lost so we should have expected that.
Vulcan Neck Pinch
Marvel was printing fan-fiction long before 50 Shades Of Grey triggered an entire new generation of Tumblrs about Harry Potter's wand and Hot Rod's exhaust port. They printed Star Trek/X-Men in 1996, four years before Patrick Stewart would have made that the most amazing identical twins-mistaken identity comedy in history.
"I'm sensing ... that Counselor Troi is the worst goddamn psychic in the entire galaxy."
Paramount Comics was a licensing deal that would allow movies to become comics and was such a bad idea that doing the exact opposite would instantly make both companies billions of dollars. It started when the X-Men were transported by an alien penis ship through a rift in space time.
Seriously, that's how an artist says he thinks this story is screwing two universes.
The story revolves around the resurrection of Gary Mitchell by the disembodied spirit of Professor X's son, Proteus, because a two-issue crossover with a completely new property is no reason not to indulge in endless continuity. This was late '90s X-Men. They're not allowed to piss in the woods without tying at least three other epic urine arcs.
The stowaways are almost immediately found by Spock, because he is the ice-coldest motherboardfucker in space. He's so cool that when Paramount destroyed his entire universe, he was the only thing they kept. And when he calmy requested that the stowaways come with him to WOLVERINE ATTACK!
The last time something yellow and black was taken out so contemptuously with two fingers, you were squeezing a spot.
Spock drops Logan like a particularly illogical piece of trash. The Enterprise wouldn't see someone switched off so quickly again until Commander Data arrived. Wolverine recovers a moment later and attacks again, because doing the same thing over and over is Wolverine's entire deal, and spends the rest of the episode reduced to growling.
The best bit is the end, where the combined forces of the Enterprise and X-Men must pour all their powers into destroying the possessed Mitchell.
Wolverine seems unphased that even the navigator has a gun that renders him obsolete.
Even Checkov and Sulu are pouring pure destruction into the target, while Wolverine is reduced to helpfully pointing out the incandescent god-being set on fire by every kind of energy in two fictional universes. In case anyone missed it. Possibly while growling. When you're outputting less damage than Mr. "Oh My," it might be time to start carrying a gun.
(Not Really) Fighting Lobo
Lobo was designed as a brutal parody of Wolverine's violent stupidity and ended up becoming sincerely popular. And now you know why comic writers sometimes just stick a cape on an element and go to the pub. A chain-smoking, beer-swilling, ever-healing indestructible asshole, his only hobbies were riding an awesome bike, shooting everyone, and then stabbing the bits he missed. He was a true ideal for his target audience: an un-wedgiable hero whose lunch money could never be stolen.
And who apparently has vagina dentata.
The 1996 DC vs Marvel series was a showcase of everything those imagination powerhouses were famous for: pitting the greatest heroes in fiction against each other and failing to deliver on that awesome premise. The Wolverine vs. Lobo fight should have been the ultimate battle of slicing skill, a deathmatch Iron Chef where the special ingredient was each other. Instead, it was the worst wasted opportunity since someone asked a genie to get him a regular lamp.
The two near-immortal warriors fell behind a bar together, it went quiet, and then Wolverine came out for a smoke. Your ultimate badass blade battle should not be indistinguishable from tender loving in a period drama too delicate to show boning. This, in a comic specially designed to be nothing but fight sequences. Someone decided we wanted five full pages of fight for Robin vs. Jubilee, but intimate romance between the burly stabbers.
Even more embarrassingly, Lobo's loss was later explained as Professor X paying the mercenary to take a fall to protect Wolverine's precious feelings. Not that the world's most insightful psychic understands that the tough guy pose covers more insecurity than the Leaning Tower of Pisa's Rooftop Ming Vase collection.
X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men was released in 1989 and looked like it had been kept it in storage for 15 years, first. It was the last stand of the Stan Lee "standing around and talking at each other" era of X-Men cartoons.
"Listen, bub, I'm just sayin' we should all get chairs to sit through this many monologues."
Never mind faithfulness to the character, they didn't even get Wolverine's hemisphere right. He had an Australian accent in the same way he had overgrown fingernails -- horrific abominations created by those who made him and who would pay for their mistake. This was the last cartoon ever made in that universe: It single-handedly did what Galactus couldn't.
We've covered this before, and we'll cover it again, because Wolverine attacking Magneto will remain the stupidest thing done by anyone in comics until a character works out how to start fires in the real world.
When everyone kept talking about how this guy could dominate metal, did Logan think that meant wicked guitar?
I understand that heroes are meant to take on impossible odds, but not when the bad guy can turn you into a game of Operation just by thinking about it.
Wolverine Watches Your Infant Sleep
Marvel released their 1993 Annual Stockholder Report as a demented comic, because no matter how much we mock them, superheroes are permanently awesome. Nothing has been cast in such a hilariously unsuitable form since Gozer the Gozerian. After battling the Hobgoblin they're plunged into darkness in a toy warehouse, which is how 50 thugs ask you to dance in Superpowerese. But they face a far more terrifying threat.
One more second and Tony would have repulsored that nightmare's face off.
And just like anyone faced with the dead eyes of a giant baby poking through an unexplained void into our suddenly shining universe of light, Wolverine promptly goes completely insane.
They had three heroes to choose from. They could have had household celebrity electronics manufacturer Tony Stark, or the friendly neighbourhood hero Spiderman, but they decided the face of night-vision baby voyeurage should be Crazy Knife Man.
Teen Prostitute Wolverine
Marvel decided that they didn't have enough Wolverine, even though he's been in more comics than staples. And has the most unoriginal powerset in history ("has claws and hard to kill" was invented the first time cavemen met a bear). And had already been copied to create his own villain, Sabretooth, meaning that most of his epic showdowns were the world's most superpowered catty fingernail fights, two people who totally hate each other scratching each other to pieces, then meeting next week to do it again.
"And I can't believe you wore yellow, too. I told you I was wearing this today!"
Wolverine was a totally badass, growly antisocial guy who smoked and drank and who was so tough nobody better mess with him, and Marvel thought, "Hell, we can pander to young boys way harder than that."
Cloned and raised as a weapon, X-23 destroyed all her fellow clones, killed the scientists behind it, escaped from the facility, and almost immediately had to work as a prostitute. Apparently single-handedly defeating a deep black government weapons program doesn't cancel out the biokryptonite orbs that are ovaries!
This never happens to the male characters. We've never seen Jamie Madrox selling himself to bestow multiple orgasms, or Colossus working as the world's first wipe-clean hen party stripper.
"I'm the best there is at what I do, which is why the male Wolverine doesn't wear a belly top."
Being Steamrolled by the Punisher
While most of the Marvel universe believes that genocidal lunatics should be given as many chances as they need to kill the entire universe, Wolverine and the Punisher's only moral quandary is whether it's better to stab them or shoot them.
Unless Wolverine has Superman speed, he's leaping in to cut corpse sashimi.
They got to test their theories in Punisher 17, where Frank Castle proved the Italo-Connery principle that it's easy to win a gunfight when your enemy brings knives instead.
The 10 most brutally literal crotch-shots in history in one panel.
After blowing the canucklehead's face, balls, and knees off, Frank is left with an ethical dilemma. It's very rare to still have one of those after doing that. He can't actually kill Wolverine, who's not a bad guy, but knows the lunatic will be back on his feet in a few minutes and doesn't have the same restraint. He needs a way to hold Wolverine down until his scent fades, making him harder to track.
If you thought the title of this section was figurative, you don't know how the Punisher rolls.
"Winning" a Fight Against the Punisher
Hero vs. hero battles are always decided by whose name is on the cover, so they made it fair by having the Punisher turn up on Wolverine's home turf. We've just seen how, in his own comic, the Punisher used superior firepower and tactics, while Wolverine continually blundered face-first into painful disaster. In Wolverine 186, by contrast, the Punisher used superior firepower and tactics, while Wolverine continually blundered face-first into painful disaster, but then just kept going and won because that's Wolverine's entire deal.
It was basically 20 pages of this, including being dragged behind a motorcycle and falling into a literal child's ball-pit full of grenades.
The problem is how Wolverine claimed victory. He throws Frank through a plate-glass window, the superpowered equivalent of a slap on the wrist, but then:
That was it. Marvel's most badass hero takes down their most dangerous anti-hero, and his entire victory was calling the other guy gay. In 2003. That'd be an embarrassing victory for a 7 year old, and it's terrifyingly bad writing for an X-Man. Wolverine is a member of the most hated and feared minority on his planet. It's unlikely he takes breaks from fighting oppression and hatred to indulge in a spot of hilarious homophobia. Punisher's victory reduced Wolverine to a two-dimensional carpet, but this victory reduced him to a one-dimensional asshole.
For more Marvellous madness, check out The 7 Most Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles and 6 Ways Iron Man Is Objectively Better Than Batman.
Luke brings you more fictional conflict with The Adventures Of Internet White Guy Commenting On Equality! He also tumbles and responds to every single tweet. Tell him your favorite X-Man. He'll defend Dazzler to the death.
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