Wolverine is arguably second only to Batman in terms of pop culture influence and popularity. Partially because if Batman is the rich, highly-intelligent person with the godlike physique we all kind of want to be, deep down inside, Wolverine is the guy who literally has nothing to be scared of. Anything he can't stab, he can heal from, unless we're in an alternate continuity where Doctor Doom animated his skeleton as a robot.
The problem with being badass, however, is that everybody wants to be you. Or, if you happen to be a copyrighted character, everybody will start imitating you. Especially if it's the mid-'90s and you work at Marvel, as it turns out.
Here are the five most amusing Wolverine knockoffs ever to take a dip in unbreakable metal or just get some claws and anime hair stapled onto them. What's really sad is that most of these are actually from Marvel.
First Appeared In: Cyber Force #1
Part of Marc Silvestri's X-Men knock-off, Ripclaw, aka Robert Bearclaw, aka Bob Donut, manages to combine the worst of ripping off Wolverine with a lot of well-meaning but unfortunately kind of ignorant Native American stereotypes. Being as he is a Native American, he can enter the spirit plane as one of his powers. Also, in the long tradition of "If I lump him in with another hero nobody will notice I ripped off this other hero", he can also assume the attributes of other animals, like bears, or, considering the finger knives, Freddy Krueger cosplayers. But usually bears.
First Appeared In: The Avengers #363
This is Lilandra's niece. She was assigned by the Shi'ar as a bodyguard.
To the Avengers. We're not really sure what's more of an insult, dumping her on Earth with what's obviously a B.S. assignment because she drunkenly killed somebody, or acting like a team of insanely overpowered people need what's basically the Shi'ar version of Hellcat with more military training as a bodyguard. Don't the Shi'ar have, you know, jails?
If that weren't blatantly lame enough, her powers are super strength, enhanced senses and talons. Her powers revolve around having long nails. There are ladies at my supermarket checkout line with her superpower.
Marvel actually brought her back from the dead in 2011, and it's unclear whether she's going to stick around. Maybe she could be Wolverine's personal stabber or something.
First Appeared In: New Mutants #86
Why, yes, he's a villain! How'd you guess? In fact he's a member of the Mutant Liberation Front.
Wildside's mutant power was the ability to make anybody hallucinate anything, usually their worst fears because, you know, bad guy. He was also incredibly fast and agile with reflexes to match, and liked to bite people, which is just unsanitary. He rarely used his powers because he supposedly liked hurting people with a clear mind. This meant he got stomped a lot.
Weapon X bagged him after he managed to screw up leading the MLF, saw that he was incredibly dangerous, and said, "Eh, f*** it, let's give him claws, it's standing policy anyway." So basically he's what happens when you cross Wolverine with the Scarecrow, and then nerf him. He was depowered during M-Day so we're pretty sure he'll be back aaaaaaany minute now.
First Appeared In: New Mutants #99
See, she's not Wolverine because she has boobs, and is based on a cat, and... and...
Did Marvel just let Liefeld knock off Wolverine for every character he created?
First Appeared In: Bloodstrike #1, we think.
And did they ever sue him after he left to make him stop? Deadlock is so obscure he doesn't even have a powers list that I can find. He looks like what would happen if Wolverine decided he was a radical Canadian separatist.
So that's what I'm going with. He's totally a radical Canadian separatist. With claws.