You know what I don’t get? Wolverine. I know that we’re supposed to suspend our belief in a lot of what’s possible when we read comics, OK, I get that. Like his healing factor. That’s not something I expect any real human being to be capable of possessing. But it’s a comic book, and so when they tell me that he’s able to instantly recover from any sort of bodily damage, I accept it as part of who he is, part of what makes all of his stories so fantastical.
But come on, would it be too much to ask to keep things at least somewhat plausible? Like in the latest Wolverine movie, right at the beginning, he saves the life of a Japanese soldier from the atomic bomb. With nowhere to run, Logan throws him down a hole in the ground and uses his own body as a protective shield. The deadly blast melts the skin right off of Wolverine’s back, as the lone survivor watches in shock.
Those types of injuries would have killed most anybody else, but not Wolverine. Right before the soldier’s eyes, we see the skin start to grow back. That’s awesome, right? It is for a little bit, until we see the healing factor slowly piece back together Wolverine’s face. Not only does his skin grow back, but so does his facial hair, the stubble on his chin, the precise razor marks where his sideburns cut off below the ear.
How can his healing factor restore his exact hairstyle? Because hair’s not alive, right, I mean, isn’t it like dead protein or something? If his body was regenerating completely new skin, wouldn’t you expect is to be totally hairless? Think about it, if Wolverine goes to get a haircut, and he tells the barber, “Hey bub, I want two inches off the top.” Does the hair grow right back after it’s cut off? I can only assume that, since Wolverine doesn’t have ridiculously long Rapunzel-like locks that, no, his healing factor doesn’t include hair.
So that’s one reason why Wolverine’s story isn’t totally convincing. Another example I’ll point to is his claws. Yes, they’re visually stunning. Right, I mean, who doesn’t get a mini adrenaline boost every time they see those – Snikt! – claws pop right out of his hands. Besides his yellow costume and his pointy haircut, those metal clad blades are probably Wolverine’s defining characteristic.
But, and I hate to sound like a killjoy here, they make no sense at all. Just use your brain for a second. Look at any picture of Wolverine. I’m talking comics, movies, action figures, whatever. The claws are always like at least the length of his forearm. So where exactly are they supposed to be located before they pop out of his knuckles? Wouldn’t his arms look totally deformed if they had three super sharp knives somehow retracted all the way up?
There’s no way he’s be able to bend his wrists at all unless the claws were extended all the way out. This isn’t me trying to over-scrutinize the details of comic book superhero, OK, this is geometry. You take something that’s like twelve inches long, you can’t just pretend like they don’t take up any space when they’re inside of his hands or arms somewhere. Maybe there should be a redesign or something, where the claws are only like three inches or so. That’s slightly more believable, like maybe they hide out in the space in between his fingers and his wrists. But that definitely wouldn’t look as cool.
Or maybe it would. In the comics, Wolverine is supposed to be famously short. Which is why I’ve got such a huge problem with how he’s portrayed in the movies. Hugh Jackman isn’t exactly a shrimp. They should have gotten a really small guy, and given him really small claws. And would it have killed the director to tell Wolverine to talk with a Canadian accent? I mean, he is a Canadian. You think he’d drop an “aboot” or “ootside” or “eh” every once in a while.
Look, I love comics. I love Wolverine. I just don’t get him at all. His powers and his character don’t make any sense. Hey Marvel, you should kill him off and introduce someone a little more realistic. Shorter claws, realistic facial hair, more Canadian. Got it? Cool.