With boy-scout heroes out there like Superman, Captain America, and Spider-Man, no one is going to think Wolverine is the perfect superhero. He’s a grumpy, sarcastic, gruff, decades old Canadian mutant that wants to be left alone above all else. Over the course of his life he’s been tortured, turned into a weapon against his will, and made to suffer the loss of almost everyone that he loves, so it’s safe to say that Wolverine isn’t having that great of a time.
But since Logan’s 1974 debut it hasn’t been all blood, sweat, and tears. Thanks to the drug-fuelled comic book era of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as some plain old poor choices in the decades that followed, Wolverine has had his fair share of moments that are best forgotten. Like the most embarrassing trauma, the craziest, silliest, most ridiculous moments of Wolverine’s life should probably be pushed to a corner of the brain and plastered over with years of denial. But then, we all know about Wolverine’s healing factor – he can’t repress a memory he doesn’t want, and he’s forced to live with these WTF moments forever.
To honor Wolverine and the embarrassing history he’s forced to live with, it’s only fair that we refuse to forget his past and uncover the 15 Most WTF Things Wolverine Has Done.
15. He Was a Mascot for a Scandinavian Death Metal Band
When you think of Wolverine, you think of a guy sitting alone with his thoughts drinking a bottle of whiskey. What you don’t think of when you think of Wolverine is a guy with headphones on banging his head to incredibly loud death metal. I mean, sure, Wolverine is intense, but even he’s not that intense.
Back at the early ’90s – a time when everything was just a hot mess of embarrassment and comics weren’t selling – Marvel made a regrettable marketing deal with a record company. In that deal Marvel agreed to have Wolverine be the face of Scandinavian death metal band Entombed, whose new LP was called, of course, Wolverine Blues. Aside from the name of their record sounding like the first thing you’d make up if you had to think of a death metal LP, Entombed’s problem was that they didn’t even want Wolverine anywhere near their band. Nonetheless, the deal went through and Wolverine and Entombed formed a horrible partnership. Entombed sure wasn’t happy, but if Wolverine was real you can be sure that he wouldn’t be happy, most likely choosing to go into a berserker rage to avoid selling out.
14. He Fought Magneto, Which, You Know…
It’s obvious why this is bad, right? Like, of all the superheroes that should fight supervillains, it’s clear that Wolverine should never fight Magneto, yeah? Can we agree that this totally, absolutely, for sure never should have happened? Because if it did happen – which it did – it seems like it would only last about a second, right?
For the uninitiated, Wolverine’s entire skeleton is made of a hard metal called adamantium. And for those even still uninitiated, Magneto’s powers enable him to control and manipulate metal. So, you know, there’s no reason why Wolverine would even be able to take a step toward Magneto if Magneto didn’t want him to. Which is exactly why when the two characters faced off in the comics Wolverine barely lasted a few frames, essentially being torn apart from the inside out before finally relenting. The only problem: he never did admit to his mistake, and he even faced off against Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past before losing miserably once again.
13. Hulk Ripped Him in Half, Left Him for 3.5 Years
Most geeks know Damon Lindelof from his role as showrunner on Lost, during which time he aggravated the hell out of most of us by setting up stories that were impossible to pay off. Well, as it turns out Lost wasn’t his first time doing that, as back in 2005 Lindelof was the writer of Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. It was in this comic book storyline that the Hulk ripped Wolverine right in half, throwing his lower body farther than a remote DHARMA outpost.
Sticking with that classic Lindelof style, it took months for Issue #2 to come out, and even then no conclusion was reached with Wolverine finding his legs. After that, a full three and a half years passed, right up until May 2009, before the series was continued. It was only at that point that Wolverine finally found his legs and put himself back together. The only thing we could imagine that would make Wolverine any more upset is if he was stuck watching the later seasons of Lost in those 3.5 years.
12. He Yelled About a Gerber Ad in His Own Comic
It’s always going to be embarrassing when a fierce, take-no-prisoners superhero like Wolverine has to resort to product placement, but embarrassing doesn’t even begin to explain Wolvie’s run in with the Gerber brand. Back in 1993 – yep, the same year as he shilled a death metal record – Logan appeared in a report that Marvel sent out to their shareholders. Sure, he’s supposed to be fighting international crime, but apparently that doesn’t make him too busy to fight boredom with yearly earnings.
Although the “comic” had appearances from Spider-Man and Iron Man as well, there’s no comparison to Wolverine’s moment when he started shouting about Gerber products. Apparently the decades old mutant is a big fan of Gerber and their baby monitors, as he decided to put aside chasing the villain Arcade in order to break the fourth wall and lose his shit over a Gerber ad. “You can hear and watch your baby in the light or darkness!” shouts Wolverine. If only we could’ve told him that while that may be true, he’ll never fully regain his dignity.
11. His Name Was Revealed by a Leprechaun
When Wolverine first debuted he was a mysterious side character that no one thought was going to be popular. As such, he never really had a real name other than “Wolverine.” So it makes sense that with the character’s rise in popularity there would be a big reveal – or at least a respectable one – to finally tell the masses Wolverine’s name. But alas, that wasn’t the case.
Back in X-Men #101-103, the X-Men ventured all the way to Cassidy Keep, Ireland in order to visit Banshee’s ancestral homeland. Of course, them being in Ireland and all, it only made sense for the X-Men to eventually run into a horde of little green leprechauns. Of course, since everyone knows leprechauns are magic and love breakfast cereal, one of the leprechauns knew that Wolverine’s real name was Logan: and so he revealed it to the world for the first time. Though the name stuck, the leprechauns faded into obscurity and were barely ever mentioned after that.
1o. He Called the Punisher Gay
With all the reinvention of Wolverine lately – including the stellar Logan – it’s tough to imagine the character as a bad schoolyard bully. And yet that’s exactly what he became in Wolverine #186, failing to think up any proper revenge on the Punisher after he crushed him with a steamroller. So, like any bad bully, Wolverine resorts to the laziest taunt he can think of and he essentially calls the Punisher gay. Um, okay there Wolverine, good one?
For any of this to even remotely make sense – though it still won’t – you have to know that Wolverine found a stack of bodybuilding magazines that belonged to the Punisher and began to insinuate from there. But unlike if this were to happen in Arrested Development with Tobias where it would be funny, here it was just sad, as Wolverine started to piece together his killer gay insult. “You’re single, neat, very organized,” said Wolverine. Yeah, but since this issue was written in 2003 and not 1953, maybe it would have been best for Wolverine to come up with a new insult. Something a little less childish? Forget about how un-PC it is, it’s just bad fighting-technique.
9. He Went Berserk on Spock
When the X-Men met the Star Trek crew in 1996’s Star Trek/X-Men, neither of the famous teams really knew what they were getting into. And full credit goes to Wolverine, who certainly didn’t assume that some guy with pointy ears – A.K.A. Spock – would be as powerful as he was. But then, he didn’t know, and so he attacked Spock anyway, and Spock taught him a valuable lesson that day: don’t mess with Spock.
It all started when Wolverine went into a berserker rage in order to defeat the famous Vulcan. Aiming for victory, Wolverine went feral, attacked Spock, and Spock basically stopped him before he could even begin. Not learning his lesson right away, Wolverine waited a few minutes for himself to heal, then tried to attack Spock again, and again he lost. After that he basically walked away with his claws between his legs, not knowing the main rule of big comics crossovers: the result is either a tie, or you lose because you’re fighting Spock.
8. He Merged with Batman, Becoming Dark Claw
For nearly ever Marvel hero there is a DC rival. Captain America has Superman. Quicksilver has The Flash. Namor has Aquaman. And rich playboy billionaire with fancy tech, Iron Man, has rich playboy billionaire with fancy tech, Batman. But according to one Marvel and DC crossover, apparently Batman’s rival is… Wolverine?
During Marvel and DC’s Amalgam series, heroes weren’t so much pitted against each other as mashed right into each other, complete with crazy names, hybrid costumes, and powers that feature the best of both heroes’ arsenals. While the idea is cool in theory, what made no sense was mashing Wolverine – a dark son of a bitch who rips enemies to shreds with his claws – with Batman – a guy famous for not killing anyone and having no natural powers. What it resulted in was Dark Claw, a hero that was all over the map until the Amalgam series ended and he thankfully faded into obscurity forever.
7. His Genitals Were Shot Off… Twice
It’s tough being a mutant, but it’s easier being a mutant with healing abilities. On the one hand, mutants seem to get their genitals shot off a lot – at least considering that this particular fate happened to Wolverine on two separate occasions. On the other hand, being Wolverine and being able to heal means that his genitals have grown back not once, but twice. That must be reassuring for him.
Having once been castrated by the Punisher, then by a villain called The Hood, Wolverine was all but experienced in the very comic-book-y art of re-growing your sex organs. In fact, when it happened the second time, Wolverine didn’t even flinch, he just took it the way you’d expect Wolverine to take a beating: by sitting in a bar and waiting to heal. Oh, and he also threw some of that classic Wolverine sense of humor in there, saying to no one in particular “maybe it’ll grow back bigger.” And that’s called turning lemons into lemonade.
6. The Time He Called Sabretooth a Racial Slur…
File this one in the “yikes” category, just don’t misprint it. While you’re at it you can file it in the “misprint” category, since apparently Wolverine had never intended to call his arch nemesis Sabretooth by a horrible (and perhaps inaccurate?) racial slur. Nonetheless, there it is in print, a racial slur inked on the pages of Brian K. Vaughan’s Wolverine #131.
The story goes like this: Brian K. Vaughan – one of the greatest comic book writers of all time – wrote the script for the issue, faxed it in to the letterer, and since the entire thing was running late, things got a bit rushed. With no time for proofreading, the issue got published and made it all the way to retailers before Marvel found out what happened and recalled the issue, sending a corrected version out afterwards. The corrected version has Wolverine calling Sabretooth a “killer,” and not another thing, and we have to say that it makes a lot more sense this way. We can believe that Wolverine is a Gerber-shilling, Spock-fighting, Leprechaun-associating schoolyard bully, but taking him to the heights of deplorable racist is a bit much.
5. He Was An Australian Stereotype in a Failed X-Men Pilot
Was there ever a better moment in Wolverine history than when Ryan Reynolds broke the fourth wall in Deadpool in order to imitate Wolverine with an Australian accent? Maybe, but also maybe not, because the moment combined Deadpool’s flare for humor with his fourth-wall-breaking knowledge, a fact that resulted in Reynolds lampooning Hugh Jackman’s Australian accent. It all made perfect sense, but what doesn’t make any sense at all is why Wolverine was portrayed as an Australian stereotype in the 1989 failed TV pilot X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men.
Bad title aside, Wolverine has always been a proudly Canadian comic book hero, and in 1989 Hugh Jackman wasn’t even an actor, let alone Wolverine. So it really was a head-scratcher why creators of X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men had Wolverine speak with an Australian accent that was more cliché than anything in Crocodile Dundee. Even worse, this choice was never once explained, and everyone in the X-Men just took it at face value that this crazed, claw-rubbing mutant was Australian now for some reason; at least, until his accent would mysteriously shift from Cockney to American to Irish and back to Australian all in the span of one sentence. Watch for yourselves here.
4. He Got Eaten by the Hulk
Those who know anything about the movie Logan know that it’s lightly based on the seminal comic book storyline Old Man Logan. However, what’s missing from the movie is the comic’s insane use of the Hulk, whereby the big green guy becomes a gang leader whose main joys include incest with his disgusting green family and murdering innocent people. Oh, and he also at Wolverine.
Although the story doesn’t exactly take place in the main Marvel Universe, the alternate reality aspect of it doesn’t change the fact that a horrific giant Hulk consumed Wolverine whole. Now, this was a bad idea for the Hulk for a number of reasons, two of which being that Wolverine is nearly impossible to kill and adamantium gives you horrible indigestion. Of course it was the first reason that ended up being the Hulk’s undoing, as Wolverine literally tore his way out of the Hulk’s stomach and ripped him in half, leaving only a pile of sludgy green mess where the Hulk once stood.
3. He Was A Popsicle
We all remember our childhoods as a carefree time of superhero cartoons and frozen dessert treats. We also remember that when the two came together it was downright glorious and nothing could ever compare. So while we may not remember what a Spider-Man or Wolverine Popsicle tasted like, we do remember that they existed and that we would do anything in the world to get our hands on one. That’s the memory at least.
In reality, the Wolverine Popsicle looked nothing like it should have at best, and at worst it looked like a horrific nightmare. With bublegum eyes for some reason – because who doesn’t like chewing gum while eating a Popsicle – the dessert was a staple of ice cream trucks and the envy of kids everywhere. It also happens to be one of Wolverine’s most WTF moments considering the fact that if there’s anyone who wouldn’t appreciate being turned into a frozen treat it would be Wolverine.
2. He Became Dracula
Marvel comics are full of stories with the public domain villain Dracula, and almost all of them are very bad. Maybe it’s just that famous Transylvanian vampires shouldn’t be sharing comic book pages with superheroes, or maybe it’s that any hero should beat Dracula in an instant, but whatever way you cut it, Dracula and Marvel don’t mix. Apparently, no one told that to the writers of Wolverine #24 when they decided that Wolverine shouldn’t just fight Dracula, he should become him.
The story starts out much like all the others, Dracula comes along and turns our favourite X-Men into vampires. However, Vlad’s plan is put on the ropes when it’s discovered that Wolverine can’t be turned. Why? Well, it doesn’t really matter according to this issue, because the main point of it was for Logan to kill Dracula and become the King of the Vampires just like his destiny never foretold. It all ended up being exactly as forgettable as you could imagine.
1. He Tried To Sleep With a 15 Year Old Mary Jane Watson
So here we are, the cream of the crop, the worst moment for Wolverine throughout his decades of pretty regrettable moments. In the end, it could only be one thing, since apparently being a crappy Popsicle and selling baby monitors wasn’t bad enough for Wolvie. Nope, he had to go and sleep with a teenaged Mary Jane Watson – not only breaking the law, but also being really crappy to Peter Parker in the process.
It all happened in the early 2000s “Ultimate” relaunch of Marvel characters. Peter Parker was 15 again and just learning how to be Spider-Man. To really throw him for a loop, Parker got mind-swapped with Wolverine by X-Men’s Jean Grey. So Parker is now in the adamantium-filled body of Wolverine, and meanwhile the 80-ish year old Logan is running around in the 15 year old body of Peter Parker. Rather than trying to switch back or enjoying the teenage perks of being able to eat all the carbs you want without getting fat, Logan decides the best use of his teenage body would be to try and bang Mary Jane. So, that’s what he does. It was…not great. Not a great moment for anyone, and certainly not a great moment for Wolverine.
Do better next time, Wolvie. We’re all rooting for you, amazingly, still, after these 15 crazy WTF things you’ve done over the years.
Which of these moments do you feel most embarrassed by? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!