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About Wolverine

A Wolverine appearance? How novel. Seriously, this is the third time I've run into you this week, Logan.
Iron Man, Runaways (written in 2005)

Matt Murdock: [Wolverine's] still an X-Man?
Steve Rogers: Yes.
Matt: And an Avenger?
Steve: When he can.
New Avengers (written in 2005)

Wolverine: Hey, I'm an X-Man and on two Avengers teams.
Mockingbird: Yeah, how the hell do you do that?
Wolverine: Multi-tasking. It's my mutant power. Don't tell anyone.
New Avengers (written in 2010)

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Rictor: Some unexpected showed up at the front door... you'll never guess who.
Wolfsbane: Aw, God...
Shattershar: God?
Rictor: Uhm... no.
Shatterstar: Justin Bieber?
Rictor: No, it's not...
Shatterstar: Wolverine?
Rictor: Holy crap.
Wolfsbane: How did ye know?
Shatterstar: Well, he tends to be everywhere. Not as much as Justin Bieber, but still...
X-Factor #230

Cyclops: All right team, you heard Beast. Jean has once more turned evil. So, we're just going to have to kill her. Again. As usual, we will split up into teams. Team A will consist of myself, Emma, Colossus (who is apparently also back from the dead), Beast, and Wolverine. Team B will consist of Havok, Polaris, the other Xorn, Iceman, and Wolverine.
Wolverine: Uh...okay.
Cyclops: Team C will consist of Storm, Psylocke, Jubilee will be on the team but not do or say anything, Bishop, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine.
Wolverine: Now wait just one minute here!
Cyclops: Team A will search the grounds to find and detain Phoenix. Team B will stay at the Mansion to defend off inevitable attacks from the Brotherhood. And Team C will go have adventures in Europe or something. Now let's move!
[...]
Wolverine: Wait up, eh! *pant pant pant pant* Whew!
Cyclops: Did you find Jean?
Wolverine: No, I just ran here from helping Team C in Europe!
Floating Hands Studios, summing it up nicely in Dark Phoenix Rising

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Cyclops: Since when are you in the Avengers anyway, Wolverine?
Wolverine: I was getting bored only being on three teams while having my own solo adventures. Ya know a guy's gotta live a little!
Floating Hands Studios again putting it very succinctly in House of M, Part 1

He's in EVERY BOOK. I think he just joined the JLA, and for some reason he's in the revised Penguin edition of Little Dorrit.
Joss Whedon on Wolverine, SFX Magazine interview, 2006

He's the best there is at what he does, and what he does is make gratuitous guest appearances.

"In a world full of other cool X-Men, meet Wolverine. For the seventh fucking time!”

"Do you hear the Wolverine?
Finally finished with the fight.
All of his stabbing of the people
Who do not know wrong from right.
Of all the Mutants and their worth
There is a man that never dies.
Seventeen years of X-Men
And now he’s cutting ties.
[...]
Will you forget X2?
How many "Last Stands" will there be?
We tried to make X-Men Origins,
But, just got more Wolverine."

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As we continue our follow-up on stuff from previous years, it’s time yet again to showcase a character who first premiered in someone else’s book. Yeah, today’s episode, as a result, is more a follow-up to the Hulk, who I think has shown up more times than Wolvie on this show. That’s pretty surprising considering how frequent the guy appears in the Marvel Universe. There was a joke for a few years that Wolverine was technically active on THREE different teams at the same time and was ALL over the map. He was basically the Marvel Universe’s equivalent of Batman with how many things he was doing all at once. The guy is so popular that he’s gotten THREE spinoff movies from the X-Men, which when you think about it was BARELY necessary considering the first three X-Men movies were all about him anyway.

Usually, if a special guest star is featured on the cover, they'll show up for an aimless cameo or appear suddenly in the final panel. This type of cover is a very advanced type of shitty, since it stays as close to untrue as possible while also spoiling a surprise ending. Statistically, the most common type of guest appearance is Wolverine briefly stopping by. And putting him on the cover makes sense if you're Alpha Flight, because if you're Canada's premier super team, the most interesting part of your month is when Wolverine asks to borrow your snowmobile. But mathematically speaking, if you were a comic book in the '90s, you had 7-10 Wolverines on your cover and far fewer than that inside.

"There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and Wolverine."
A Tumblr post discussing this trope

About everyone else

And yes that means that Thor shows up to help! AND LOKI!
Loki's a huge character! He's been in THREE different movies so far. Three!
He's only in our comic for a couple pages though.
— The solicitation for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vol 1 #8

But I can definitely tell you one thing is true that’s tied into [the critique that DC was trying to make everything like Batman]: Batman oversaturation. During one of my Clone Saga reviews, I mentioned that there was a point when there were FOUR Spider-Man books. Well apparently, DC thought they didn’t embrace that 'hold my beer' meme and upped the ante. FOUR Batman titles: Batman, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, and Detective Comics; TWO Justice League books where he was supposed to be a member of TWO different teams; and SEVEN books featuring Batman spin-off characters, either in a title role or as part of a team. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that this has been cut back a bit in recent times with Rebirth and the years following the New 52’s launch, but CRIMINEY! A FOURTH of the 52 books consisted of Batman, or Batman peripherals. Not to diminish those individual characters or anything like that, but once upon a time, you COULD actually keep track of a continuity of books and have a timeline of events for a character. Nowadays? Good luck figuring out where the hell any particular story falls in relation to others. THIS is one of those issues of continuity nightmares that discourages new readers.
Linkara on the use of this trope when it comes to Batman during the New 52 and the consequences of using said trope with comic books in general

"Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry Series"
Sticker on the EU cover of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

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