I started reading comics when I learned how to read circa 1981. I quit reading them for a few years after I grew up, but in the past few years have been enjoying them again, and I've noticed something...
Wolverine is a totally different character. And he's absolutely loathsome these days. It's Popularity Induced Power-Creep.
I was thinking about what the character was vs. what he has become, and thought it might be interesting to talk about the differences.
1. Strength - Anyone remember "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe"? The stock line for non-super-strength characters was, "Whatshisname possesses normal strength for a human who engages in intensive regular exercise" (or something like that). Examples include Daredevil, Punisher, Cyclops, and Wolverine. He's not supposed to be super-strong...not even a little bit...at least he wasn't.
2. Speed - Also not super-fast. Wolvie's not Spider-Man.
3. Fighting Ability - When did he become a super-skilled Martial Arts Expert? Originally he was a wild animal type character. A savage little mountain man brawler who fueled by rage who fought on pure instinct (like Conan of Cimmeria). At some point though, everyone just started assuming he was a master of tons of esoteric Asian fighting systems. Now plenty of people think he's Captain America level in terms of fighting ability.
4. Teh Klawz!!!! His claws were always meant to be unbreakable and razor-sharp. But "unbreakable and razor sharp" does not mean "can cut through anything". It means that his claws can't be broken, they never dull, and they're as sharp as razors. Ok, maybe they're even sharper than razors. Fine. Say they're sharper than obsidian. That doesn't make them lightsabers. He shouldn't be able to cut up The Hulk or The Thing or any other character with a hide that can shrug off bazooka shells. Yeah, maybe the adamantium is hard enough to penetrate the Hulk's skin, but Wolvie's not superhumanly strong. A titanium nail is harder than oak, but try pushing it into an oak tree with your finger.
5. The "Healing Factor" - We all know about this for sure, but I'm talking about it anyway. It's out of control. The power of "healing faster than normal" has become "unkillable". He's like the T-1000 now.
What's next? "Wolverine vs. Reed Richards: Reverse-Engineering The Ultimate Nullifier"
"That could be a close call...Wolverine's healing factor makes his neural synaptic activity perfectly efficient, giving him super intelligence."
Marvel really needs to tone him down and bring him back to what he's supposed to be: a street-level character who's tough and has un-disarmable knives, but can be killed as "easily" as the next super hero, and who's power level means he functions best as part of an ensemble team.
And if anyone hasn't seen this video (which is doubtful in here), watch it. It's funny: