I've made it no secret that I am not a huge fan of Wolverine. No, no... That's putting it too lightly. I fucking hate him. And that really bothers me! I didn't always hate Wolverine. In fact, I used to love the character. Remember this guy?
This is the Wolverine I loved. The rough-and-tumble badass with a heart of gold and a costume fancy enough to make you forget he could kill you. Was he mean? Yeah, sometimes. But you always knew that when it came down to it, Wolvie always knew what was important and did the right thing. He was a good guy. One time, I ran into him down at the grocery store. He was buying coloring books and crayons to give to special-needs children at an orphanage (Leinil Yu?). Sure, he knew that the kids didn't know how to properly color or shade things, but Wolvie didn't mind. He loved those kids anyways. He was known by all and loved by all. And with good reason, he was just a plain old great guy. But then, everything changed.
Life is hard in the mean streets of the 616. It's either kill or be killed, and nobody can go it alone. Wolverine knew it was only a matter of time before he'd need a crew to have his back, and so he hopped from gang to gang, eventually settling for a long stint with a rag-tag crew of lovable scamps known as the X-Men. These years of Wolverine's life are largely a mystery, as he kept many secrets about his history and whereabouts from even his closest of friends. It became harder and harder for him to contain his angry outbursts, and he was known to disappear from the X-Men's "crib" for days, sometimes weeks, at a time. It soon became evident that the Wolverine who was known, loved, and respected by the community was gone. Although, no verifiable evidence has been found, many who knew him best said that Wolverine had become addicted to methamphetamine.
He began whoring himself out in order to support his addiction. Making cameo appearances in any comic he could find his way into. He quickly became a major selling point for any failing comic series of the day. If a series had not been selling well, the writers would simply launch a mini-series that involved wolverine and the main character fighting for no real well-defined reason. Covers would generally depict a large image of wolverine with a menacing snarl doing something insane looking. A classing example is the 1988 issue of The Incredible Hulk #340
That's odd... I could almost swear that the title of this comic book says "The Incredible Hulk", but I don't see the hulk anywhere on the- oh, nevermind there he is. Right there reflected in Wolverines claws (which for some reason are as wide as a yard stick and drawn horribly out of perspective). Not exactly what I would call subtle in any way, but it is slightly better than their original concept for the cover:
Eventually it became too much. Only so much pressure can be put on a Canadian-Samurai-Cowboy-Failed Government Experiment-Ex-Soldier-Mutant. Wolverine's drug use increased as his sanity spiraled downwards at an alarming rate. His physical appearance became more and more unkempt, and eventually he even stopped bothering to put on his uniform in the morning. Often, he spent his days wandering in the nude around his dirty apartment trying to find the stash of meth he was sure he had hidden in there weeks before.
When he could not score a fix, he became suicidally depressed. He began to pick fights with anyone who made the mistake of getting too close to him, all in hopes that one day he would eventually be beaten and die. Unfortunately, he was too valuable. A secret society of asshole comic writers continued to augment his mutant healing factor, saving him from numerous fatal injuries, eventually making him virtually immortal.
And that's terrible.
Wolverine was such a great character back when he was just some dude with claws that could kick your ass, but still get hurt. Back when he was just angry, and not some batshit insane butcherer who like to do nothing but cut people and shit. He was the best at what he did, so why did he have to change? What are you going to do, make him better? I think you will see that, logically, that makes no sense. Just can't happen. So stop it.
Here's a great idea, you remember in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk when this happened?
Let's just rewind back to that point and then leave him ripped in half. Let him die. Or, if you're going to let him keep living, at least make it because of something people wouldn't expect. Something like, oh, i dunno medical science? Maybe there are some genius characters in the Multiverse who could do something sciencey and put him back together. Hell, just give him Professor Xavier's old 'Transistor Legs'. They seemed to work pretty well for him.
Well, there you have it. Another great idea for a comic for Brian Michael Bendis to steal from me. And you know what, I don't think I would mind too much in this case...