Wolverine, pictured in pre-steroid days
Wolverine, also sometimes known as Logan, Weapon X, Howlett, Patch, and "the ‘ol Canucklehead” is either one of America’s most beloved heroes or one of its greatest threats, depending on who you ask, but few would deny that the scrappy Canadian changed the American superhero paradigm for good when he burst on the scene years ago with a savage and uncompromising attitude toward crime-fighting. He quickly became a fan-favorite, and before long, was rewarded with his own mini-series, then his own monthly book.
"I was given a gift to scrag bad guys, bub" he once told Rick Jones on the Hero One Network. "I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do ain’t very pretty.”
But with the fame and exposure came an increased pressure to perform. Wolverine recalls that his mutant healing factor was a key element in his ability to do so much, but even so, he could only heal so fast.
"During the early '90s, I was shot, stabbed, burned, thrown into a volcano, and fired from a cannon in one month," Wolverine said. "I experienced a lot of injuries, including a bruised ribcage, an amputated arm, multiple contusions, and that one time Sabertooth disemboweled me. It was a miserable couple'a hours healin', and I figured steroids could help me recover faster."
The steroids amplified his healing factor to an almost ludicrous degree. Wolverine went from being an unusually fast healer to being nigh immortal.
“After I stared juicing up, there wasn’t anything that could kill me. In one adventure, I was disintegrated in a nuclear explosion, reduced to a charred skeleton. Well, in the time it takes to microwave a burrito, I knit myself back together well enough to fight off ONE HUNDRED NINJAS. Try doing that with a standard-issue mutant healing factor, bub.”
Another contributing factor was Wolverine’s height, which was always a source of chagrin for the proud mutant fighter.
“Squirt. Short-stuff. Runt. Midget. And that was from my teammates! Mean words hurt, people. I thought that maybe steroids could help me put on some height, too. And they did...sometimes.”
Yes, the steroids worked, but at a price. Wolverine’s appearance varied wildly during this period, and indeed, has ever since. Many wonder if the X-Man/Avenger/X-force member has indeed truly given up on performance enhancing drugs, given that he is now more in demand than ever. He replied t these accusations at he press event:
“Listen, Bub, I gave that junk up years ago. The 'ol Canucklehead don't need nothin' but his claws 'an his instincts! I’m coming clean now because I realize what a mistake I made, and ‘cause I need to face up to my responsibilities since I've become an Avenger. As of this morning, I'm apparently the new leader of Power Pack, too, so I can’t be no bad influence on little kids."
Wolverine insists that the steroid abuse left no permanent effects on his mind or body, though fans and colleagues question the veracity of such statements, given his ever-changing appearance and continued reference to himself as an "ol Canucklehead". As the superhero community struggles to come to grips with these new revelations, Wolverine remains as popular as ever. He will no doubt continue to do that which he does best, and continue to do it in about twenty comics a month.