More so than any other actor in any other superhero film, Hugh Jackman showed us all what it’s like to embody a superhero. He played Wolverine on-screen for longer than any other single actor has portrayed their own characters. And along the way, he truly made the role his own, giving us a Wolverine that wasn’t exactly like anything we had seen before. However, that’s not always a good thing. Part of what any hardcore comics fan looks for in his chosen superhero movies is how closely the movie recreates their favorite characters.
When it comes to Wolverine, Fox (and, of course, Hugh Jackman) omitted many key aspects of Wolverine and they managed to change the rest. The end result is a character that is at times completely unrecognizable to the comics fans who have read his adventures for years.How can you spot these shameful moments for our world’s short-legged, short-tempered mutant? Fortunately, you don’t have to don Cerebro and manually scan the planet to find all of them. Instead, all you have to do is scroll down on your phone or PC to discover 15 ways that Fox ruined everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant for true diehard fans of Wolverine!
15. TOO TALL
For longtime fans of the comic Wolverine, the most striking thing about the cinematic version is that he’s so damn tall! It may not seem like this is a big detail to get wrong. However, it changes Wolverine’s character in some profound ways.
The comic Wolverine always managed to look unassuming — enemies didn’t expect such big violence from such a small package until it was way too late. Logan being really short also contributed to his “otherness” — he can otherwise pass as an average human, but being constantly derided for his diminutive stature makes him seem more at home with the freaks and geeks of the X-Men. By contrast, Hugh Jackman towers over many of his fellow castmates: he is intimidating, tall, and utterly handsome, making him quite easy on the eyes…but he’s still a far cry from the comics.
14. HIS BROTHER’S CREEPER
There were a lot of cinematic sins committed by X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but one of the biggest was making Sabretooth Wolverine’s brother. And in all fairness, this kind of familial connection was teased in the comics, and Sabertooth even claimed to be Wolverine’s father in an early appearance. However, the comics eventually revealed this to be false, making the movie’s brotherly revelations that much more bizarre.
Making Sabretooth Wolverine’s brother essentially robs their dynamic of its chief spark. Rather than being these ancient rivals whose conflicts spans continents and centuries, they are reduced to the stereotype of squabbling siblings, more at home in a supernatural soap opera than a superhero film. This idea also retroactively makes Sabertooth’s scenes in the first X-Men movie that much worse, as the two are reduced to mindless brawlers who have seemingly forgotten this substantial part of their shared history.
13. LOGAN DRINKS LIKE A WUSS
Part of what makes Logan such a sad movie is that we see the state that Logan has been reduced to. The world’s most fearsome mutant has become a taxi driver who self-medicates, mostly by liquor that is leftover from the young partygoers that he drives around. However, this eventually leads to one of the saddest things related to Logan that we ever see.
As the camera pans over in one scene, we see that Logan has been drinking Fireball, the Cinammon Whisky that has powered sorority parties from coast to coast. It’s kind of funny to think about for a moment, but for comics fans that have watched Wolverine drink manly beer and whisky for decades, the idea that he’s been getting white girl wasted is downright unacceptable.
12. HOW’D THE CLAWS COME BACK?
For comics fans, one of the most striking (and horrifying) things we ever see is Wolverine getting the adamantium torn from his bones by Magneto. This leads to years of insane misadventures and attempts to restore himself before Apocalypse of all people puts the bones back in his body. However, Wolverine’s movies completely waste this storytelling opportunity!
On-screen, we see Wolverine lose his Adamantium claws in his second solo movie, The Wolverine. They are cut clean off by the Silver Samurai, leaving many fans to wonder what kind of epic quest Logan would go on to restore them. However, when we see Wolverine in Days of Future Past‘s dark future scenes, he has the claws back. There is not even an explanation, much less a story, serving to remind Wolverine fans of how unimportant Fox thinks his onscreen story really is.
11. HE DOESN’T KNOW KUNG-FU
Many casual fans of Wolverine think of him as a bruiser — someone whose fighting style concentrates on down and dirty fighting. And while this is part of his background, the comics Wolverine also has extensive martial arts skills and has mastered things like Japanese meditation. Sadly, this is completely lost in translation on-screen.
Pretty much all of Wolverine’s onscreen fights retain the same over-the-top, claw-swinging style that we see in the first movie. Comic fans had hopes when Logan visited Japan in The Wolverine, but Wolverine’s fighting style is still that of a clumsy brawler. And now that Hugh Jackman has bowed out of these movies, our hopes of seeing martial arts master Wolverine are dashed forever. Maybe X-23 can trade her Western movies for some kung-fu movies for future films? It would be just one more thing she can do that he cannot.
10. DO YOU EVEN SNIKT, BRO?
Sometimes, the changes that Fox made to the character are almost entirely motivated by budget. And while that makes it understandable, that doesn’t mean that true fans aren’t sad about these changes. And one of the saddest changes is the simple fact that Wolverine is much less powerful as a warrior.
In the comics, some of Wolverin’e most memorable scenes involve him being a one-man army. Bad guys throw legions of Hand ninjas and Hellfire Club goons at Wolverine and he always comes out on top. However, the cinematic Wolverine is mostly involved in one-on-one fights, and even when he takes on multiple non-powered bad guys, we never see the full extent of his battle fury unleashed. And if being physically weaker wasn’t bad enough, his healing factor sucks, too.
9. HEALING FACTOR DOWNGRADE
Over the decades, comics fans have watched Wolverine’s healing factor help him recover from anything. When he has been burned down to the bones, he can put himself back together; hell, in the Ultimate universe, we even see Wolverine recover from being torn in half by the Hulk. On-screen, however, the healing factor is a big letdown.
There are many examples of the onscreen Wolverine being taken out by things that the comics Wolverine could shrug off. Perhaps the best example, though, comes from the second X-Men movie, X2, in which a single bullet is able to temporarily knock Wolverine unconscious. Compared to the comics Wolverine who just shrugs off entire magazines of ammo, this is a significant disappointment.
8. HE GOT DUMBER
Again, most casual Wolverine fans dismiss Wolverine as one of the more brainless X-Men. This is far from the truth, though: in one comic, Forge scans Wolverine’s mind and body during Danger Room training. What does Forge report? That Wolverine’s performance is “equivalent to an Olympic-level gymnast performing a Gold-medal-winning routine whilst simultaneously beating four chess computers in his head.” This is part of what is going on when Wolverine excels at combat, but it’s completely lost onscreen.
When we first see Wolverine on-screen, he’s a surrogate for us as the audience. This means that everyone has to spend half the movie explaining everything to him. And even as late as Days of Future Past and Logan, he often seemed lost about the plot and in need of an explanation at every turn. Compared to secret super-genius comic Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s Logan is a pretty dim bulb.
7. NO RAGING AGAINST MACHINES OR MUTANTS
One of Wolverine’s defining comics qualities was his trademark berserker rages. Sometimes, this let Wolverine win battles that would otherwise be impossible. Other times, though, it made him an unpredictable teammate that other members couldn’t easily trust. However, the onscreen Wolverine has very few berserker rages.
In fact, he only has one: towards the end of Logan, after injecting himself with the serum to regain some of his vitality, he unleashes his rage against the Reavers who have been hunting him. It’s a really amazing scene that is true to the comics, but it’s also a shame that Fox waited until the last fight of the last movie for Logan to finally cut loose.
6. ADDICTED TO WAR
Part of what made the Wolverine of the comics such a sad figure was his constant torment over his past. After being brainwashed by Weapon X and receiving countless memory implants, Wolverine was forced or manipulated into many acts of horrific violence. However, the onscreen Wolverine is reduced to being a war junkie.
The Wolverine of the comics certainly fought in multiple wars, including World War I and World War II. However, he did so out of a sense of service, which is also what led him to organizations such as the CIA. The cinematic Wolverine, however, seems like he fights in every possible war simply for for thrills and kills, which seems to be confirmed when he defends Sabertooth after Sabertooth rapes a woman during the Vietnam War and then murders his own senior officer. The cinematic Wolverine’s background is reduced to violence for the sake of violence.
5. THE LEADERSHIP PROBLEM
As Hugh Jackman’s character became more and more popular, Fox did what was inevitable and made him more of a leader. By the time of the terrible X-Men 3 movie, Wolverine is practically running the school, and in Days of Future Past, the entire plot revolves around his mission instead of the First Class mutants and their struggles. For fans of the comic Wolverine, this is a real waste.
While post-Schism Wolverine was forced to be a leader in the comics, his best stories involved around the uneasy dynamic between Wolverine as a soldier and characters like Cyclops or Xavier as leaders. By making Wolverine the wise and mature leader figure, Fox squandered the rebellious nature that fans love, and pretty much zero spark left between Wolverine and any other characters.
4. RUINED HIS BACKSTORY
Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton is one of the most important parts of his character and background. The comics show us how the Weapon X program imprisoned Wolverine and forcibly experimented on him, making him receive a metal skeleton he never asked for. This idea is yet another one that Fox manages to grind into dust.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see that Wolverine receives his adamantium skeleton voluntarily. This is because Stryker tricks Wolverine into thinking that he needs a special upgrade in order to finish the fight with Sabretooth once and for all. With this simple change, Fox destroys part of the essentially tragic nature of Wolverine’s character, turning him into an action movie cliché who is out for revenge against his enemies at all costs.
3. LOGAN’S KRYPTONITE: BULLETS
How to kill Wolverine is one of those debates that fans have argued about for years. The truth is that the comics Wolverine has very few weaknesses. This is what makes objects like the Muramasa blade so valuable, as it is one of the only objects on the planet that can actually kill Wolverine. However, Fox gave Wolverine an exceedingly basic weakness in the form of adamantium bullets.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see how these are sufficient to seriously injure Wolverine and to inflict long-term memory loss. And in Logan, a single one of these bullets is sufficient enough to blow half of a Wolverine clone’s head clean off. While Fox fans may argue that adamantium is difficult to obtain, the truth is that these shadowy organizations keep getting enough to coat an entire skeleton in it; this means that it would be trivially easy for them to mass produce a method of killing Wolverine.
2. WOLVERINE: LOST IN TRANSLATION
As mentioned earlier, the comics Wolverine has a deep knowledge of Japanese culture, as reflected by his knowledge of practices ranging from martial arts to meditation. Furthermore, the comics Wolverine speaks completely fluent Japanese and often makes an effort at integrating into Japanese culture. In The Wolverine, though, we get none of that.
In that movie, Wolverine comes across as more of a Western tourist than anything else. He is using Japan as a home to rebound from killing Jean Grey in X-Men 3, but doesn’t seem to have made any real effort to learn more about the culture or make himself a part of it. In this way, Fox killed our hopes of ever seeing a proper, Claremont-inspired Wolverine on the silver screen.
1. SNIKTS BEFORE CHICKS
While “love life” is not at the top of the list when you think about Wolverine, the truth is that the comics Wolverine has had a hell of romantic history. He’s been married to Mariko Yashida, had flings with Yukio and Domino, been brainwashed by Viper…and, of course, has held a torch for Jean Grey, both during her life and after her death.
The Fox Wolverine, however, gets almost none of this. He gets a token relationship with Mariko (no marriage, though), and we get a brief plot point with Silverfox. However, the cinematic Wolverine seems to have no time for love: the intense comics flirtation between Jean and Wolverine is reduced to Logan just being creepy every now and then, and he is never really given any kind of lasting love interest. Unless you count Cyclops’ motorcycle, of course.
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!
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