I’ve been a big fan of Wolverine since I was a teen. A mean little scrapper with a temper, I saw a kindred spirit. Of course he made it look cool while I got time outs. It’s hard to imagine that once upon a time Wolverine was unpopular enough with X-Men readers that he narrowly missed the ax that caught Thunderbird. He blossomed into a fan favorite after Chris Claremont and John Byrne developed the character into an animalistic hombre. As the monthly comic garnered acclaim and awards, it also became decidedly violent and bloody. Wolverine’s infamous ‘all red’ killing sprees pulled in new readers and continue to make the mutant a major star on the racks (though he does ebb and flow these days).
Of course things really came together for wolverine when Claremont teamed up with young Frank Miller on a four-part solo adventure set in Japan that added another facet to the character. Whereas he was simply a tough killing machine before, a tragic lone samurai was shown to be lurking beneath the steel-like tough guy veneer. Forever the outsider, Logan wandered the world looking for peace and found only bloodshed.
In film, the unlikely Broadway darling Hugh Jackman has embodied the character of Wolverine so well that even after two lackluster outings, fans are still willing to give him another go. The latest movie is said to take great inspiration from the Claremont/Miller series and even introduces some new ideas such as an emotionally tortured and distraught Wolverine seeking an end to his suffering only to find a real purpose, at the expense of his remarkable healing factor.
What’s particularly interesting to me is how they have recreated some key moments from the Miller comic such as the bar room brawl (seen here).
The Wolverine strikes July 2013.
Personally, I’d love to see a 1950’s Wolverine film starring Humphrey Bogart where he investigates a mystery, drinks, talks a lot then in the final scene unexpectedly pops claws out his hands and slaughters a bunch of gangsters.