December 2, 2008

There are new photos out from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Finally, an X-Men movie that gives Wolverine a chance to be front and centre …

Forgive my sarcasm. But there’s a reason for it.

I’m an old-school X-Men fan. I started reading the comics during the rerun reprints of the old series, and during the first years of the New X-Men. My X-Men (and sorry to fans of the original five) are Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine, with Phoenix, Banshee and Sunfire and Kitty Pride hanging around. Once Rogue came aboard, I was busy with other things. And after that? I don’t even know. Who’s Gambit? Who’s Maggot?

In those mindblowingly cool comic-book-collecting days of the early 1980s, Wolverine became a breakout character. Possible the biggest breakout character in the history of comics, actually. But I never got it. I remember when Wolverine showed up in the Hulk comics to fight Wendigo. I liked the idea that a Canadian was in the X-Men. But I never gave a ratsball about the character.

Wolverine was different back then. You were told he was a killer, but you never actually saw it. He actually had a heart a mile wide and a soft soul, and that worked. By the 1990s, he was killing, slashing and fighting, and when the movies came out he was basically an assassin with built-in blades.

A lot of people popped their claws for Wolverine, but to me, he was never really what the X-Men were about. It was about being an outsider, about being different. The movies make allegories like mad, comparing mutantism to being Jewish, or homosexual. But the X-Men went deeper than that, digging down into the things that make us really, really different, beyond race, beyond sexuality.

That being said, I never got Wolverine, and when he took off in popularity, I just shut him out. When he became the main character in the first X-Men movie, I objected to the fact that Hugh Jackman was playing him; I hadn’t heard of him, I like him fine now, but he isn’t exactly a stubby five-foot-three cigar-chewing Canadian.

And that’s been my problem with the X-Men movies. As much as I wanted to like them, they were all about Wolverine. Cyclops was … barely visible. And I like Cyclops. He was a real hero to me as a kid: a smart leader with a medical problem that would always make him different. I liked Nightcrawler, who couldn’t go out in public. That’s the point of the X-Men. They were different. They were mutants. They didn’t look like Hugh Jackman. To be blunt: No member of the X-Men, Wolverine included, should ever be named Sexiest Man Alive.

So I haven’t really understood why Wolverine has become the breakout character he has. Yes, he is a hero, and yes, he does the right thing. But he’s an animal, a savage, a killer .. and he inspires the kind of stupid fanbase worship that I can’t handle. LIke the piercing fanatic in this photo.

I’ll go see Wolverine. And so will you. But I hear there’s an X-Men First Class movie in the works, and that sounds more up my alley.



  1. I was never into comics, so I may exemplify your dissatisfaction. I really dug Wolverine in the movies, but then he was really the only well fleshed out character. Jean Grey was cold and flat.(despite the implants šŸ˜‰ ) and Cyclops was a douche-bag boy scout. After the first movie came out I asked a friend who is really into comics to recommend where a n00b like me should start reading the X-Men. The response read more like an algebra problem than a reading list, and I gave up. Might you have a simple ‘star here’ recommendation?

  2. There’s a lot of Hugh Jackman in this blog.

  3. No such thing as too much Jackman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: