He's the best there is at what he does, and what he does is occasionally ... bizarre. Though Wolverine is <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090428-wolverine-history-1000words.html>typically played</a> anywhere from straight to darkly serious (as serious as a guy who often runs around in yellow and blue can get), he's had a few stories that run from funny to outright weird. <p>Here's a look at just <i>a few</i> of these moments. <p>We invite you to kick in with some of your favorite off-beat adventures.
One of our favorite random bits in Wolverine's history is that the markedly Canadian hero was portrayed as Australian in animation not once, but twice! When the X-Men guest-starred in the 1980's <i>Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends</i> episode A Firestar is Born, Wolverine was inexplicably saddled with an Australian accent. He was also saddled with uselessness; when the Juggernaut attacks the X-Mansion, he tosses Wolverine away rather quickly. Wolverine would have been happy to rejoin the fight, save for the fact that his claws had become stuck in some bricks. <p>At the end of the '80s, a pilot was made for an X-Men animated series. Titled <i>Pryde of the X-Men</i>, it again featured an Australian Wolverine. Rumors abound that this error turned on the fact that Wolverine called the Australian Pyro a dingo in the script. Hey, if he called the guy a dingo, then he <i>must</i> must be Australian, and not mocking the Australian villain, right? Regardless, the pilot didn't result in a series. <p>By 1992, when the full-blow <b>X-Men</b> animated series finally hit, Wolverine's voice was finally put into growly, <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/040928-GBU.html>Clint Eastwoodian</a> perspective. Of course, the ultimate irony is that Wolverine on film has now been played four times by Hugh Jackman, an Australian who approximates the more accurate accent of the '92 series.
We're not mocking "Rahne of Terra". It's actually a rather cool 1991 one-shot written by Peter David that has the <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090206-nycc09-new-mutants.html>New Mutants</a> and Wolverine transposed into a fantasy-style universe. For the New Mutants, their powers were equivocated by magic weapons (Cannonball, for example, had seven-league boots instead of his blasting ability). Wolverine's function was to essentially serves as the monster of the tale, but into opposition with the younger heroes until a particularly plot secret was uncovered. These days, there are a lot of new twists on the X-Men (manga-style, etc.), but David's fantasy take was an early branch, and deserves some praise for taking the group in an unexpected direction.
Did you miss that one? In 1987's <b>Uncanny X-Men Annual #11</b> by <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090210-GenNext-NYCC.html>Chris Claremont</a> and Alan Davis, the X-Men fight a villain named Horde. The extremely powerful Horde forces the X-Men to break into a citadel outside reality and retrieve for him an object called the Crystal of Ultimate Vision. The other X-Men all fall, either defeated or succumbing to the fantasy lives proffered by the Crystal. Wolverine and Horde arrive at the Crystal, and Horde eviscerates Wolvie. A single drop of blood from Wolverine's heart splashes the Crystal, and Wolverine is reconstituted, imbued with all the Crystal's power. <p>Wolverine's first action is to remove from Horde a shard of the crystal that he already has; at this, Horde turns to dust. His power growing, a cosmic Wolverine ponders whether he should use the power to touch the souls of every being in the universe with honor. <p>Ultimately, he decides against playing God, and returns things as they were prior to Horde's recruitment of the team. One supposes Wolverine might have lifted the fog on his own memories, but he nobly decides to forgo any benefit to himself, such as turning all women into schizophrenic redheads. Still, for a few minutes, our under-tall clawed friend was essentially God. That doesn't happen every day.
In <b>What If? #24</b> from 1991, that series posed the question What If Wolverine Was Lord of the <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/081120-top-5-unusual-screen-vampires.html>Vampires</a>? That proposition came from a pair of X-Men stories in the early '80s wherein Marvel's Dracula coveted Storm for his bride. In this premise, Dracula turns Storm, who turns the rest of the X-Men. Wolverine doesn't appreciate being controlled, and usurps Dracula as Lord of the Vampires. And you know who really, really doesn't like vampires? The Punisher! This rolls into some wild, early '90s fun, and was popular enough to be revisited in issue #37 of that title with the extremely specific What If Wolverine Had Been Lord of the Vampires During Inferno?
After a particularly rough few months, during which the <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/topic/X%20Men>X-Men</a> fought Dr. Doom (actually, a Doombot), Arcade, met the Morlocks, fended off Magneto again, and dealt with the Hellfire Club, Kitty Pryde told Illyana (still a little girl then) a bedtime story in 1982's <b>Uncanny X-Men #153</b>. Dubbed Kitty's Faery Tale, it featured Kitty's fantasy take on the X-Men's story. Kitty fashioned herself and Colossus as merry pirates, Nightcrawler as a cute little annoyance called a Bamf, Professor X as a Wizard, Cyclops as a prince trying to rescue his ensorcelled love Jean, Storm as a goddess, and so on. Wolverine's appearance was festooned into the truly hilarious FIEND-WITH-NO-NAME, a riff on Logan's larger-than-life character traits and Eastwoodian demeanor. <p>Hunched and exaggerated in appearance, the Fiend burrowed underground, referred to himself by the name Mean, puffed a cigar, wore a tiny cowboy hat, and consumed beers by putting the whole can into his mouth, biting the can, and spitting out the aluminum remains. He would return in the 1984 <b>Nightcrawler</b> mini-series, but Claremont here truly nailed the funny clichés of his own characterization of the clawed mutant. <p>So those are <i>just a few</i> of our favorite strange Wolverine moments. How about you? What others do you recall that had you howling or bewildered? Wolverine: his life may occasionally he wacky, but he's still the best there is at what he does. Unless he's stuck in a brick.