Matt Fraction's Defenders could have been a contender, if only Wolverine wasn't such a dick.
Source: USA Today
It was a sad and tragic end for the Defenders, the series by popular creative team Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson which saw the fan-favorite team of Doctor Strange, Namor, Red She-Hulk, Iron Fist, and Silver Surfer teaming up to face world-threatening, if off-beat, menaces that the Avengers and X-Men are too busy punching each other in the face to worry about. Marvel had high hopes for the book, which they promoted heavily by never bothering to mention in while concentrating on promoting the Avengers vs. X-Men mega-event. The truly depressing part about the whole story, however, is that Defenders could have been successful... if only the team had featured Marvel's favorite Mary Sue: Wolverine.
Wolverine, who is featured in 80% of Marvel's books, is a proven sales booster who can keep any title, no matter how poorly written or how effective an assassination attempt on longstanding characters and franchises, on the top of the charts. Unfortunately, the hairy mutant's success has led to a primadonna attitude, resulting in demands by the character that he receive a $1.00 premium for ever issue he appears in, which is why ever Marvel book featuring Wolverine costs $3.99. "People want Wolverine," explained VP of Wolverine Sales Jeph Loeb. "They want Wolverine and are will to pay any price for them. That price happens to be $3.99."
Reportedly, Wolverine was sought out for the Defenders team, but, according to sources close to team leader Doctor Strange, he "refused to return any of the Doctor's phone calls." The Outhouse, using sophisticated computer hacking methods such as "opening sockets" and "tracking ips" has gained access to Wolverine's voicemail account, and we can exclusively reveal here some of the messages we found from the increasingly upset Doctor:
"Uh, hello Logan, yeah, this is Stephen again. I guess maybe you didn't get my last couple of messages. I know you're busy. Listen, uh, we could really use your help over here, you know, so like, give me a call back when you get a chance. Thanks."
"Hey Logan, it's me again. Are you getting these messages? Yeah, the other day Wong tells me he sent a sext message to his boyfriend last week and it didn't go through until a few days later, so I thought, yeah, um, there's probably something wrong with the cell service in New York what with the Phoenix Force and all that, which makes sense since you haven't gotten back to me. Anyway, I've been trying to get in touch, give me a call back. Thanks."
"Logan. Stephen. Just wondering if you've gotten any of my calls. It's really an urgent matter. If you could call me back, I'd appreciate it. Thanks."
"BY THE HOARY HOSTS OF HOGGOTH! I'VE LEFT FIFTY FUCKING MESSAGES?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I'M THE SORCERER FUCKING SUPREME, MOTHERFUCKER! THIS IS BULLSHIT!"
"Uh, Logan, listen, sorry about that last message. Please disregard. I was a little upset, and, um, well, you know how I can get? I didn't mean to yell. I'm just under a lot of stress. The book isn't selling. Please call me back."
"Logan, this is Stephen again. I know you're listening to these... I just... I don't know if I can take the pressure anymore, man. I wrote myself a prescription for Xanax and I'm thinking of taking the whole bottle. Just end it all, you know? They're gonna cancel us anyway. I might as well cancel myself. If you still care about me, even a little bit, or if you ever did, just give me a call back."
"Logan, this is Stephen. I have magic. You have a dead co-worker you still lust over. We can work something out. Call me."
Sad. Fraction will be taking over Fantastic Four and FF for Marvel in October. Neither book features Wolverine.