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First, Wolverine.

I only just read the Origin story recently. Reasonable people can disagree on this, but it’s necessarily underwhelming, as Jemas and Quesada come close to acknowledging in the introduction to the collection. Nothing can match the mystery of not knowing who Wolverine is or what drove him into the Weapon X program. The story disappoints on the merits — claws of bone? Little Lord Fauntelroy Wolverine? — until the Yukon scenes come close to redeeming the story, since at least there Jemas deals plausibly with the question of Wolverine’s beastial impulses. 

Worse, the origin story misses the point of the character. The real origin story of Wolverine unfolds every day, in a continuum, just like ours does. There’s no point after which we become who we are. Wolverine was the first comic-book character treated like that. We find him out of nowhere, emerging from the Canadian wilderness to intrude on a fight between Hulk and the Wendigo. The alleged burden of not knowing who Wolverine is frees us to recognize that we see him shape himself out of the void, designing his own purpose, being worthy of himself and the X-Men. It’s a transcendent moment for a genre where we’re supposed to only understand Batman’s obsessions through reference to his murdered parents. But people’s parents are murdered, alas, too often, and no one else became the Batman, so how plausible is it that an act of murder should inspire a vigilante crusade? (Now you can understand the psychosis of The Dark Knight Returns. But anyway.)

Wolverine’s origin story is told through his development, like when Storm thinks he’s about to kill a deer in the forest, but he informs her that the true test of a hunter is the ability to "walk up to a skittish doe, just to touch her," and he snaps at her when she apologizes for misunderstanding. Or when he’s hiding in the rafters of the sewers beneath the Hellfire Club, ready to kill the club’s henchmen and liberate the X-Men. Or during the current X-Force revamp, where he leads the X-Men’s black-ops team and trades places, character-wise, with Cyclops but still rakes his claws through people’s faces. Or, more perfectly, in the Claremont/Miller mini-series that takes him to Japan for what might be called the Passion of the Wolverine, where he labors to make himself worthy of Mariko Yashida. That should be the Wolverine movie. 

So the movie is going to betray something important about the character, but Marvel did it first. I’m seeing it, primarily, because I’m incapable of not seeing a Wolverine movie. But my eyes are open here. I want to see what they do with Gambit and Wraith and Emma and Sabretooth and, to a much much much lesser extent, Deadpool. (Ryan Reynolds is a really apt choice to play such a douchey character.) The Weapon X program too: what made the Barry Windsor Smith story about Weapon X great was how it treated Logan like an ancillary character, focusing instead on the clinicians and the bureaucrats who become the real monsters. Imagine a comic book called Black Sites that told the story of torture through James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen