Wolverine's a respectable bub. This is no small feat as he's spent most of the last thirty-odd years wearing a banana-colored body condom and a Batman hat. Nonetheless, life has kicked the snikt out of Logan.
When you're the best there is at what you, it's inevitable that you'll have an off day...or ten. As a stalwart cash cow anti-hero, Wolverine has been pretty much a walking lightning rod for embarrassing moments (his adamantium skeleton makes him a literal lightning rod, but that's neither here nor there). Here's a ten-part chronicle of the times his human dignity factor failed to kick in.
S 10.) Alternate Reality Wolverine Is Al Bundy
In 1999's dystopian miniseries Earth X, Wolverine has settled down with Madelyne Pryor, who he believes is Jean Grey. In Earth X, the world's gone to pot and so has Wolvie. He's become a fat wheezing sot, condemned to torment his Rubenesque clone wife. Of course, his boorishness may have to do something with the fact that he evolved from Moon Boy in the series, but hey - Earth X was some heady stuff. Dr. Doom became an angel and shit. [Picture via Again With The Comics]
S 9.) The Punisher Runs Wolverine Over With A Steamroller
In 2002's Punisher #17, Frank Castle blows Wolverine's face off with a shotgun, they team up to battle a bunch of dwarf mafiosos, and Frank shoots Logan's testicles off and mows him down with a steamroller, Wile E. Coyote style, as illustrated by Darick Robertson. It's a classic example of Garth Ennis venting his superhero frustrations before The Boys and taking Logan's persona to ludicrous extremes.
8.) Wolverine Calls The Punisher A Homosexual
What's more pathetic than Wolverine getting smushed by a steamroller? His totally bad revenge on the Punisher. In Wolverine #186, Logan bests the Punisher in a pointless, totally left-field battle during which a whole lot of dire, macho pap is spouted. At the end of the fight, a stack of men's muscle mags slips out of the Punisher's rucksack. Frank claims they're suspects; Wolverine insinuates Frank's a nancy boy. The issue reads like fan-fiction written by Andrew Dice Clay.
7.) Wolverine Throws A Shrimp On The Barbie
In the 1989 X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men failed TV pilot, Wolverine spoke with a Down Under dialect more stereotypical than Paul Hogan at a Men At Work concert. At least they didn't name him "Dingo."
6.) Wolverine Becomes A Death Metal Mascot
In 1993, Earache Records made a deal with Marvel to showcase Wolverine in the marketing of Scandinavian death metal band Entombed's new LP, Wolverine Blues. The problem? Entombed wanted nothing to do with the superhero, but Logan nonetheless became the spokesman of the album. Death metal yowling and Wolverine are two great tastes separately, but together, they go together like chocolate and whatever the diametric opposite of chocolate is.
S 5.) Hulk Rips Wolverine In Half, Leaves Him That Way For 3.5 Years
In December 2005, Damon Lindelof's Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk opened with Hulk ripping Ultimate Wolverine in twain. Issue #2 came out several months later. The series went on sabbatical until May 2009, thereby leaving Wolvie disemboweled for a solid 1/3 of a decade.
S 4.) Spock Nerve Pinches Wolverine
In 1996's Star Trek/X-Men, Wolverine berserker rages at Spock, who shuts him down immediately. Sure, his healing factor allows him to wake up in a hot minute to fight Spock again, but then he just looks like a déclassé ass for threatening our favorite Vulcan (who is not named Tuvok). It's a lose-lose scenario. See also: Wolverine and Whoopi Goldberg, prune juice buddies. [Photo via The Retroist]
Notice his frozen gaping maw, awaiting your sweaty tongue. He melts faster for dead redheads. [Via Frederator Studios Blog]
2.) Wolverine Shills Gerber Products
In 1993, Marvel sent out their annual report to shareholders in the form of a comic book. The comic featured Iron Man, Spiderman, and Wolverine alternating between chasing Arcade and yammering random facts about Marvel tie-ins. The best moment is when Wolverine loses his mind over Gerber products.
Of course, the segments when the mutant supremacist Apocalypse starts screaming about sales demographics are pretty clutch, too.
1.) Wolverine The Anti-Semite
In 1998's Wolverine #131, this absolutely baffling typo appeared. The offending issues were pulled faster than you can say "Excelsior." Holy shit, Logan. I mean, you're a century or so old, so you're kind of backwards. But man! I don't think Red Skull's ever stooped this low.
UPDATE: Readers have since informed me that the slur-tosser in this issue was the femme fatale Viper, not Wolverine. Still Wolvie, you married her and this happened in your title. Had this happened to say, Quasar, editorial would have thrown him under Galactus' bus. [Typo picture via this Vendio shop]
This io9 Flashback originally ran March 2010.