Tag Archives: wolverine

Wolverine vs. Iceman

Iceman just finished his morning workout in the Danger Room. He walked into the communal bathrooms to take a shower when he spotted Wolverine going through all of his stuff. The deodorant was out, the cap off.


“What the hell man?” Iceman threw his hands in the air.

“What the hell to you too, bub,” Wolverine shot back. Not only was he not surprised to see Iceman, he hadn’t even looked up, or stopped rummaging through Iceman’s stuff.

“Come on, Wolverine, I asked you to stop doing this.”

“Doin’ what?”

“Don’t pull that amnesiac shit on me. Seriously, why are doing this to me? Why do keep breaking the lock off of my locker and going through my stuff?”

“Heh. I don’t know whatchyer thinkin’ puttin’ a lock on that locker. You know I’ve got these claws, eh? Cut right through anythin’.”

“Yeah, OK, that’s fine man, I know you can cut through anything. It was more like a symbolic lock, like please don’t go into my locker, like could you please stop rummaging through my stuff and using my deodorant? What’s the deal with the deodorant?”

“I just thought it smelled nice is all. I have a really heightened sense o’ smell. You know it’s one of my powers …”

“OK, great, that’s one of your powers, terrific. How many powers do you have anyway? You’ve got claws and healing and strength and smelling powers, what do they have to do with anything? What kind of powers are Wolverine powers? Just a bunch of dumb stupid junk powers that don’t have anything to do with each other?”

“Heh. Better ‘n just ice powers, snowflake.”

“Yeah, well you know what? At least I’ve got a consistent thing. It’s easy, it’s Iceman. I’m the guy with the ice powers. It’s not like you see me with a little bit of super speed, and maybe some extra abilities where my hair comes up to a stupid point at the sides, and I’d have some crazy name that makes no sense at all, like ‘Oh, hey everybody, from now on, I want my superhero name to be Octane,’ or some bullshit. What the hell do you have anything to do with a wolverine? You ever a see a real wolverine? Come on dude, you’re such a joke. Why don’t you just go back to Japan or something? Seriously, everybody hates you around here.”

“The professor don’t hate me.”

“Yes he does. He absolutely hates you.”

“No he doesn’t.”

“I’m telling you, for real, listen to me here, the Professor can’t stand you. Whenever you leave the room he’s always making fun of your dumb accent and your stupid haircut.”

“I don’t have a dumb accent.”

I doon’t have a doomb aah-xent.

Snikt! Wolverine drew his claws.

“Oh wow, I’m scared now. Oh man, Wolverine popped his knives out. I guess I shouldn’t have made fun of his dumb accent. Oh jeez, man, Wolverine, I’m really sorry. Can we just forget about this maybe? I’m just, wow, I’m really, really scared. I don’t know if … just … holy …”

“It’s OK, bub.”

Snikt! Wolverine put his claws away.

“Are you for real? You don’t have any sense of sarcasm at all?”

“I said apology accepted.”

“You fucking moron, I wasn’t apologizing.”

“Oh yeah? Well why’d ya say sorry then, eh?”
“Because I was … I can’t even. That’s how sarcasm works. Because I’m not scared of you. I have powers too, you know.”

“Heh. Yeah, you’ve got snow powers.”

“Are you serious? Are you for real right now? Just because I don’t walk around smoking a dumb cigar and riding a motorcycle doesn’t mean I’m any less powerful than you. Especially you.”

“That cigar ain’t a power. That’s just a cigar.”

“Yeah, idiot, I know it’s a cigar. I can’t even have a conversation with you.”

“Yeah, because you’d lose at a conversation just like you’d lose at a fight.”

“I wouldn’t lose at a fight. Do you have any idea what I’m capable of? I could freeze you right in your tracks.”

“Heh, I can handle the cold. I’m from upstate.”

“Yeah, whatever, I could freeze the blood in your veins. I could bury you underneath a goddamn iceberg. You know what entropy is? Huh? Of course you don’t. But it’s fucking cold. For real. That’s where this is heading, everything, the universe, all of our atoms, it’s all heading to the cold, the big freeze, and you know who’s the only one around here ready for an ice age?”

“Yeah. Wolverine.”

“No, not fucking Wolverine. It’s me. Iceman.”

“OK, well, I disagree, bub.”

“Fuck you, Wolverine. Just go fuck yourself. Fucking asshole. And stop using my fucking deodorant. Seriously, one more time and I’m going to Cyclops.”

“Heh. Cyclops.”

Iceman storms out. Then he comes back in to scoop up his duffel bag, his things strewn around his open locker.

“Wolverine, come on, please, please, just knock it off. Keep the deodorant. Come on man, just … enough, I live here too, you know.”

“Heh. Sure thing snowman.”

My action figures

I have these two Marvel Comics action figures on my desk. They’re from when I was a little kid. For some reason, out of all of the toys that I had growing up, these little plastic Wolverine and Deadpool figures are really the only ones that made it, to still being a part of my life, even if they only exist in a background kind of way. You think about Toy Story, right, you think about Buzz and Woody having to deal with the inevitability of getting tossed to the curb. But not these two. They’re right here on this desk.

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I think I got them when I was in the second or third grade, and twenty-two years later, these guys look pretty good. It’s not like I’ve taken special care of them or anything. As soon as I got them, for Christmas, a birthday, I can’t even remember, they were torn out of the packaging, whatever tiny guns and knives that fit into their molded plastic hands were almost immediately lost.

I never really understood action figures, even as a little kid. I knew that I was supposed to want them. Every commercial on TV told me so. But I never knew what to do with them. Like, are you supposed to hold one in each hand and make them interact?

They’re cool decorations I guess. But that’s about it. Although I didn’t have the biggest collection out of all of my friends, I definitely wasn’t lacking. I had a bunch of superhero stuff. I remember one time I went to the comic book store and saw this Mr. Fantastic action figure. “With fantastic stretching powers!” the box read, and in my mind I imagined some sort of a cool bendable Gumby-like guy. But when I finally got to pick out a toy for whatever reason you let a little kid pick out a twelve-dollar toy at a comic book store, I was really disappointed that it wasn’t really a stretching toy at all. The limbs just kind of clicked out by maybe a centimeter or two, giving him a weird stick-figure appearance.

I didn’t really enjoy playing with action figures, but it was the only real currency that boys in my class dealt with. Not that you’d ever exchange them. But just having the most, a big collection. It was important. In addition to super hero action figures I also had wrestling action figures, Ghost Busters actions figures, Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles.

It’s all pretty dumb, all of the stuff I valued as a little kid. Pogs were fucking stupid. Let’s get a bunch of kids to beg their parents for a dollar so they can buy a bunch of cardboard chips at Seven-Eleven. And again, a part of me knew that these were stupid too, that I was forcing myself to have fun presenting my pog collection for the approval of my ten-year-old peers. But everybody was faking the same excitement, what would I have done, just sat it out? What else would I have had? Nothing.

In addition to the Wolverine and Deadpool, I definitely had a Spider-Man figure that lasted all the way past college. In my first apartment after I graduated, I definitely remember stringing a thread through his plastic hands and taping it to the ceiling, making it look like he was in mid-swing. And then, I don’t know, somewhere along the line, packing my stuff into boxes, unpacking everything, I have no idea what happened to that Spider-Man.

So now it’s just the two, that’s all that I have left of my action figures. Recently Wolverine’s arm snapped off below the elbow, and that kind of sucked, but I reattached it with duct tape, and so, I don’t know, now he looks battle-hardened.

I’ve always kept them standing up at the back of the desk, but these are old toys, there’s a little bit of play in the joints. It’s hard to get them on really firm footing. I’d stand them up, and not right away, but definitely by the end of the day, they’d just fall over. It was getting to be a distraction, the constantly trying to find the right balance, positioning their limbs in such a way to try and foster some stability. Finally I tried wedging one of Wolverine’s claws inside of Deadpool’s hands, like where one his knives used to go.

And it worked. They look like they’re holding hands, yeah, but they haven’t fallen over in weeks. It’s like four legs of a table, ultimate stability. And yeah, the positioning is awkward, but now that I don’t have to fiddle with them every day, it’s easier for my brain to have them just melt into the background. They only pop out once in a while, and it looks like they’re holding on to each other. Or they’re fighting. They’re seeing which one is going to outlast the other. Because I think about myself as an old man, fifty, sixty years from now. Maybe I’ll have one. That would be cool. Holding on to both would be really cool, but it’s just realistically not going to happen. If I could make a chart, the number of action figures I’ve had, over time, and I graphed it out to the present day, there’d be a clear line pointing down. And I really don’t have any reason to think that the decline is over. So no, I’ll probably be lucky to wind up with just one.

Wolverine doesn’t make any sense

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.

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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.

Movie Review: The Wolverine

After watching The Wolverine, I’m starting to doubt my power to give any superhero movie a fair review. Am I that biased? Have decades of reading comic books left me unable to separate the good from the garbage? I mean, yes, I loved Dark Knight Rises. Like, I really, really, really loved Dark Knight Rises. But I thought Daredevil was pretty cool. And Thor. And Iron Man 3. And Spider-Man 3. And X-Men 3.

the wolverine

And The Wolverine. I was watching that movie in the theater, sitting there, thinking to myself, man, this is a pretty cool movie. Pretty badass. Even when Wolverine got escorted through security, and the guards are waving the metal detectors all over his body, and all of the readings are off, you know, he’s got that metal skeleton and everything, and he says, “hip replacement,” I was like, well, OK, yeah, that’s kind of cheesy, but it’s still OK. I mean, yeah, he does have a metal skeleton and I’m sure that’s got to be annoying after a while, constantly trying to explain himself.

And then much later in the movie when he’s trying to get through airport security and the machine’s going nuts, and he’s just like, “I want the pat-down,” it’s like, really? Two metal detector jokes? But maybe it’s not a joke, maybe they’re just really driving home the point that, if you had a metal skeleton, this is what you’d have to deal with on a regular basis, deal with it. And that’s kind of like a really hard directorial trick, right? Like getting us really inside the character’s head?

But I’m jumping ahead. It starts in the woods somewhere. The Wolverine is sleeping outside, not like in a tent or anything, but just right outside. And he’s got a severe case of PTSD. But that’s OK too, because he’s sworn off killing, a solemn vow as he calls it. Except, there’s this guy in the woods who shoots this bear that the Wolverine has befriended, and that kind of sets him off, like it’s just the right offense to make him forget his solemn vow.

But that’s kind of believable, I mean, if I were living in the woods by myself, with a big beard and long hair, and a stupid little radio that runs on size D batteries, batteries that kept dying way too fast, so fast that I’d have to walk all the way into town and buy just one two-pack of batteries and then walk all the way back to the woods, and my only friend was a bear, and somebody shot my friend, I guess I’d be pissed. Yeah, that makes sense.

We’re out of the woods soon enough. The Wolverine’s got some business to attend to in Japan. Some guy that the Wolverine saved from the atom bomb in Nagasaki wants to say thank you, and goodbye, and also, sit still for a second so I can steal your healing powers, please. The whole rest of the movie takes place in Japan, showing off everything as Japanese as you might imagine: ninjas, samurais, secret orders of the black clan, marrying the Minister of Justice to help out with your family’s honor, getting scolded for leaving your chopsticks sticking out of your bowl of rice. It’s all very authentic. And very picturesque too.

In the comics, Wolverine does spend some time in Japan, and he winds up getting involved with a woman named Mariko. I only mention this because, when you see Mariko and Wolverine suddenly fall in love, the only reason that makes sense as to where the out-of-nowhere mutual attraction arose from is, well, it happened in the comics, so there you go, it’s happening in this movie also. But whatever, it’s love at first sight. That’s no reason to criticize a movie. In fact, it’s just another added dimension to the film. Look at me, I’m practically a romantic over here, gushing about true love.

There’s some blond villain named Viper. It’s one of those names that she kind of gives herself while she does this speech explaining her powers, more or less, “I possess the ability to manufacture any type of poison. Also, I’m immune to every class of venom. I guess you could say I’m a … Viper.” And it just takes off, because soon random Japanese people are referring to her as capital V Viper in their English subtitles.

But I can’t knock it. That’s her name, it’s Viper. That’s who she is. Who am I to judge her name, how she dresses? Hell, if I were a blond super villain named Viper, I’d probably only wear green also. Like green leather pants, and green tank tops. And then green dresses later on, and green eye shadow. That’s her thing, she wears green, like a snake, like a green viper. And she has that viper tongue, it’s always like slithering out of her mouth. She’s like a snake lady.

And then, I don’t know, there’s fighting and stuff. And there’s some sort of a plan to kidnap a granddaughter to trick the son, who in turn is using the fiancé, all in an effort to get back at the grandfather, I think. And the Wolverine is there. And he does this crazy fight scene on top of a three hundred mile per hour train.

It’s awesome! That’s probably all that it is, it’s just a truly great movie. I’m here doubting my reviewing skills, but it’s not me, it’s not me just blindly slapping a seal of approval on all projects Marvel. No, The Wolverine must have been a truly amazing movie. Some things don’t need to make sense. Or some things probably do make sense, it’s just my fault for not really getting them. Like when the Viper lady gets stabbed in the heart and dies, why is she able to peel off her skin and restart her pulse? I don’t know, it’s probably some really technical snake ability that I don’t get.

Whatever, superhero movies are the best. I could watch The Wolverine like three more times, today, and I’d still be entertained. Just keep them coming. Like man, I hope they make a Daredevil 2. Or even better, a Spider-Man 3 2. Maybe they could do a crossover, Spider-Man 3 Vs. Daredevil. That would be pretty sick. Even though Michael Clark Duncan probably won’t get to be Kingpin again, because he died.