My brother and I stopped collecting comics after about 1991, around the same time that Barry Windsor-Smith wrapped up the Weapon X saga in Marvel Comics Presents. We didn’t talk about it, about why we gave up on comics, but I think it was because the mystery was over. They told us how Wolverine came to be who he was. So we slowly stopped buying comics until they became a thing of distant memory. It was more fun for us to stumble upon an old issue, lying around, tucked away in a bookcase, or better yet, piled up with all the other reading material we put in the bathroom. I’ve never gotten around to it, but I believe every bathroom in a house should have a bookcase. And, the master bathroom should be a small library with reference books when an idea hits you.
Don’t worry. I’ll get to the movie in a minute.
I think we started collecting comics in and around 1982, when Frank Miller did the 4 issue limited series that really started it all. Before that, when X-Men started and he was recruited along with Colossus and Nightcrawler (two characters, I think, that were overlooked for an excellent origin story – especially Colossus ; him being a sculptor and his power that sculpts his body into an organic steel monstrosity…. Dunno. I think he could get a movie all his own – especially if the Hulk can) to fight an island that had captured the original X-men. Then, he was just a guy with claws. As a matter of fact, they did not even call them claws, they called them ‘talons’. And he always referred to himself in the third person. Still, even up to the Phoenix saga, I was drawn to the guy.
I remember, a friend of mine at the time, Hiroshi, and I created our own comic book characters. His were based on fruit, mine were based on strange robots. His fruit based wolverine was called ‘Orangerine’.
Seriously. This is what he and I did for fun.
I think, eventually, I came around to Hiroshi’s way of thinking and created comic book characters that kinda of looked more like upside down eggs with hands and fit that were disproportionately muscular and I called them ‘Ovoids’. I can still draw them, and I just might start drawing them again if my daughter grows tired of the birds and dragons and butterflies that I draw for her now.
I collected the mini series, I collected Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series. Though I didn’t think the series was going to amount to much, I gave it a chance because it was, after all, Wolverine. Turned out, Kitty Pryde kicked a little ass. The scene with her coming into her own, spending all night holding up the katana blade, before venturing out to take Ogun on her own, I thought was pretty cool as well. I especially liked the birth of Shadowcat as well. Far better than Ariel. Because, frankly, once Ogun taught her how to fight, that phasing power didn’t seem to wimpy after all.
I collected the regular series and I am sure that I have the first issued wrapped up in a proper bag somewhere in my book collection. I’d never sell it, for sure, but it would be a nice thing to have. You know, just to show the world just how hardcore I am. Or how sad I am, depending on your point of view.
I read up, many years later, about the further origins of Wolverine and the Weapon X program (I kinda like how they went to the roman numeral thing and incorporated Captain America as being Weapon I). I got down with the whole James Howlett thing and I always suspected that Sabretooth and him were related somehow. I got up to speed on my favourite character and I really want the issue where Magneto rips the metal from his very pores. I do have the graphic novel where he becomes a horseman of Apocalypse and gets his skeleton and his claws back. So, yeah, I kept up to speed. But my Wolverine isn’t today’s Wolverine.
My Wolverine is Mariko and Clan Yashida and Yukio and ‘gotcha’ and ‘snikt’ and he’s a mystery because that’s what makes him deep and so very, very cool.
So, having said that, I still enjoyed the movie.
The took the patchwork quilt that was his history over thirty something years (he first appeared in the Hulk, with the yellow and blue costume) and made it into a nice, pretty blanket. The opening scenes set the stage, and the montage of him fighting over the decades, and never leaving his brother’s side, learning what it is to kill and relish in not being able to be killed. The montage then changes, at first with Logan (I’ll call him Logan, James Howlett be damned) pulling Victor (I’d have to check my old, old Marvel Universe copies for Sabretooth’s entry, because I think his name was always Victor) away from the door gun to stop killing. Victor is seen as the bad seed and Logan is the better half.
I had a hard time with the whole Wraith, Deadpool and Blob thing – how was it that the big fat guy from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was part of the Weapon program? I’ll have to read that up. I mean, Deadpool was cool (I waited for him to look into the camera lens and break the Fourth Wall – and Ryan Reynolds was the guy to do it – but he didn’t), but I thought the whole pooling of mutant powers was a bit much.
I really enjoyed the Silverfox and how that part of the origin played out. As a matter fact, it seemed damned perfect. I even thought the whole idea of carving the happy face into the bar instead of the birthday cake was pretty cool as well. Like it should have been written that way in the first place. I won’t got on about her any more than that, other than to say that the purpose that the character played in the movie wasn’t the one I thought she played in the comic books, but it served a purpose nonetheless.
And how it is that he lost his memory didn’t sit well with me. I liked the idea of him being mind wiped by the program after the adamantium was bonded to his bones and the way that they dealt with the memory loss in the movie didn’t ring true with me either. But it served it’s purpose.
I enjoyed the flick. Watched it once. Don’t think it will be one of the movies I’ll watch again anytime soon. Like I said, it was Wolverine and it was done with good intentions and hard work. It’s just that, well, with no fear of sounding selfish – it just wasn’t my Wolverine, you know?
I have one story to post. I think it needs a rewrite, though. Still, I like it well enough.