I was just thinking. If Wolverine had never been given claws, would he still be such an iconic character? I'm inclined to say no, but Wolverine was the original bad *** mutant and that's iconic right there. What do you guys think?
The first thing I ever found cool about him was his claws. I didn't even know about his healing factor untill I actually started reading the comics. I used to run around with knives between my fingers pretending to be him.
No, because while a living weapon character with issues was probably permissible when they made him, a guy who ran around with some melee weapons or firearms kicking *** wouldn't have flown. If they even let the character come into being (when was the Punisher created relative to Wolverine?), he wouldn't have had the star status that the clawed Wolverine does.
Personally, I think he could have been iconic had he not been given the claws. Though, I think if he hadn't been given something like a pair of knives, katar, whatever, he wouldn't have been as successful, The sharp cutty things just amp up the dangerous thing.
BTW: as Elton John once said, the ***** (me) is back.