The summer officially kicks off this Friday with the first official blockbuster film of the season – X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And, as we both have nothing but love for Wolvie, what better way to prepare for the film’s release than talking a bit about our own experiences with the character?
That’s the name of the
culprit friend who introduced me to Geekdom: he lent me all of his X –Men comics collection, told me about something called Dungeons and Dragons and got me to watch this TV show called Married with Children of which he had every single episode taped.
I was 15 (or *gasp* 18 years ago) when I first noticed this new guy in my classroom back in high-school. I immediately realised we had something in common that distinguished us from the horde: we both sat in the back rows because we both spent the lessons…..reading. First let me tell why this connection is so important: generally speaking, Brazilians do not read. That’s even truer to high school kids. In fact when I was 14 I was called to the school’s psychologist’s office and was interrogated about my life back home: was everything ok? Were my parents getting along fine? Was I being bullied? Why was I called to her office you may ask? Because according to her, I read too much ergo I must be unhappy. Seriously, that is the sort of mentality I grew up with. But I digress.
Back to Skini and I: we both read a lot. But whereas I read books (mostly Egyptology books – I was in my archaeological phase) , Skini read comics. I was surprised as I had never heard of these comics he was reading: X-Men. When I was child I read a lot of comics – especially Brazilian ones like Turma da Monica’s but they were for children and I had stopped reading them when I was about 10.
Skini spoke highly and enthusiastically about the X-Men and one day, curiosity spiked, I asked if I could borrow them. Silence. I could see how precious these comics were to him and these days I understand WHY: he had every single issue of the X-Men since number 1. But he brought them to me, after telling me to take good care of them (or die). And he kept bringing batches of issues over the next months and I read them all. (memory flash: He also taught me to drive in his father’ s car and on my first lesson, I nearly drove the car into a tree. Come to think of it, I think Skini had a crush on me! OMG I was so clueless in high school).
The first issues of X-Men had this formation: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel.
I loved it, even though I wasn’t crazy about the heroes themselves. I mean, Angel and Beast were mostly OK but I was thought Cyclops was a bit lame. Then there was a clear break and then new stories with a new, better formation ( I learnt later that the comics had a publishing break for a few years back in the 70s): Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Banshee (LOVED these two) plus Storm, some oldies like Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and this new character called Wolverine.
Dear lord, it was freaking love at first sight. The character was as Bolt’s Rhino would say: FULLY AWESOME !! *takes a deep breath*
He had cool powers: strength, healing factor and the adamantium–covered skeleton with retractable CLAWS that made him near indestructible which in turn, made him such a bad-ass who was first to run into danger and sometimes he behaves like a mental berserker even though he hates it because it reminds him of his animalistic tendencies but he has a soft side as well, especially when it came to women, form his paramours to his closest friends like Jubilee and Kitty Pride for example plus he was sort of mysterious, no one, not even him knew details of his past and and and he was sarcastic, was always teasing lame-ass Cyclops and FINALLY he was, even in his comic form HOT.
Like, so hot, that Wolverine , to this date, remains the one and only draw comic book character to have ever featured in an erotic dream of yours truly (does that constitute TMI, Thea?. Oh well, too late).
I devoured these comics – Skini had also Uncanny X-men issues, X-factor and the Wolverine solo comics. There were so many great stories in them: my favourites remain The Inferno Saga and The Dark Phoenix Saga. (And then in later issues, Gambit showed up to rival my love for Wolverine but that is subject for another post, I think).
It took me MONTHS to read all the issues he had and when I was done, I started to buy them myself (lots and lots of money spent here dudes. Like, lots) and only stopped one year later, in 1993 when the horrible, horrible Fatal Attractions Saga happened. That was when Magneto removed the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton.
That was one of the most painful things I have ever read in my life, I couldn’t cope with it and that was the very last X-Men issue I read (I later learnt that he regained his adamantium back 7 years later). I went on with life and to university and the X-Men remained part of my teenage years. When the animated series made an appearance in Brazilian TV, I watched a few episodes but was already too old to really enjoy them. And I never played the video-games.
But then, the movie came along and HE with it.
From that first scene in the cage, I thought: OMG this is Wolverine and everything started all over again. The two first movies were awesome (despite Hale Berry and the most stupid incarnation of Rogue ever, talk about Character assassination) (the third was a piece of crap I’d rather forget about ) and now I am of course, looking forward to Wolverine: Origins.
I mean this movie is ALL about Wolverine, plus it has Gambit in it.
My tickets are secured for Saturday and I will be sitting there hoping it will be a Great Movie (whilst rooting for a Gambit spin-off).
Bring it on!
My love affair with the X-Men in general (and Wolverine, Storm, Gambit and Rogue specifically) began when I was in the second grade, and I was introduced to a certain animated show. X-Men: The Animated Series was my first foray into the world of the X-Men, and from the first sweet synthesized notes of the opening credits, I was hooked.
(On a side note, how badass is this intro theme? It’s so badass that no words are needed. Just a sick tune and sweet character introductions)
I loved these cartoons. I had always been a Saturday morning cartoon kind of gal, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were my cornerstone, which is a fine series in its own right. But X-Men was fascinating, different, and frankly infuriating. It was the first show I ever watched that I HAD to tune in to the next week because the show had a definite continuity, and so many “to be continued…” episodes (anyone that has seen the cartoon knows you have to be there when it starts or you might miss the “Previously, on X-Men” rundown essential to the rest of the episode). I collected toys. Trading cards. We used to “play” X-Men on the playground (when we weren’t playing Captain Planet or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always Storm, and I would freaking hate it when I had to be Jubilee. Occasionally I would get to be Beast, but I think this has more to do with the fact that I am a badass on the jungle gym. That’s right.).
Two men in particular caught my eye as freaking awesome: Wolverine and Gambit. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Cyclops, but there was always something about Wolverine that I liked. Maybe because he was a hothead with awesome claws, and I like hotheads and claws. Maybe because he was short and different looking than the tall Scott and Remy; maybe because he said ‘bub’ a lot and had a cool gravelly voice. All I know is that I could not get enough of him.
Three episodes in particular sealed my love for Logan:
Out of the Past – Where Wolverine meets the changed, vindictive Yuriko (aka Lady Deathstrike) in the Morlock tunnels, resulting in heartbreak for poor Logan once again when they discover a Shi’ar ship in the sewers (eventually leading into the whole Dark Phoenix Saga, but that’s another can o worms). Out of the Past showed a different Wolverine, and a past love story that ended incredibly sadly. We’d seen him to this point in love with Jean, but always getting the short end of the stick.
Weapon X, Lies and Videotape – In which Wolverine starts to lose it mentally because of implanted memories, and Beast takes him to the government facility where the fated adamantium was grafted to his skeleton. What’s also cool about this episode was that we finally see Sabretooth in a different light (up to this point he’d been Wolverine’s enemy and they’d had their share of showdowns), as another part of Weapon X.
Lotus and the Steel – Right after Weapon X, when Wolverine completely loses it (over a picture of Scott and Jean too *ahh angsty sigh*). This is when Wolverine quits the X-Men, goes to Japan and works to establish control and inner peace. In an homage to The Seven Samurai (and The Magnificent Seven, one of my all time favorite movies period and probably why I feel so favorable towards other media that emulate the story), Wolverine intervenes to protect the villagers from the Silver Samurai and his bandits who demand tribute in return for their “protection”. And of course, Wolverine finds himself and his inner peace in the process.
So that’s where it all began. I watched all the cartoons, and to this day have every episode on crappy, pixelated recorded DVDs (so imagine my JOY when I discovered that the cartoons have finally officially been released on DVD this Tuesday! And you can watch streamed episodes for free online here). So, what else was a kid to do? As I grew older, I began to dabble in some of the original comics: The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past (Bishop is just cool), the Age of Apocalypse crossover. And the cool thing was…I could actually follow the stories without any trouble, because I had seen them in the cartoons. To my even further surprise, I discovered the cartoons were pretty loyal to the source material. Go figure.
After a while though, and due to the fact that getting comics while you’re living in third world countries is impossible (except for some reason Duck Tales comics were everywhere in Indonesia), I kind of lost touch. Lost interest. That is, however, until this guy came along once more:
With the first film, I was head over heels in love all over again with Wolverine. Cyclops never did it for me and his lame showing in the film only reinforced my good sense as a young girl; no Gambit unfortunately; and I was upset with the casting of annoying Halle ‘I-only-got-an-Oscar-because-I-got-naked’ Berry and the underage Anna Paquin as Storm and Rogue (two of my favorite heroines). But no matter. Because I had the ultimate Wolverine (and Xavier & Magneto weren’t to bad either).
With X-2 and X-Men 3: The Last Stand, I could only grow in my appreciation and love for Wolverine. His badass factor off the charts, the comic quippy relief, the (yes I’m shallow) man-candy…who could resist? This, along with my love for the X-Men Legends videogames (which totally, totally rock) got me back into the X-Men once again, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
I started to read the comics again, picking and choosing from the morass of material – Wolverine’s Origin, Weapon X, Ultimate X-Men, eventually leading up to this blog and Ana’s and mine re-kindled love for comics, and the monthly huge dent in my wallet with current issues (most recently I’ve enjoyed Deadpool, Magneto Testament, & X-Force/Cable Messiah War).
When we heard about the spinoff film, Ana and I were ecstatic. We bonded over our ubergeekdom: LOST spoiler whoring, book smuggling, and then one day we started exchanging PMs about – you guessed it – X-Men. In particular, Wolverine and Gambit. So, when we found out that Gambit WOULD be making an appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine we were completely beside ourselves.
In addition to Wolvie, he was my favorite leading man in the cartoon and in the comics. I loved his Cajun accent, his charm, his head-to-head fights with Wolverine, and most of all, I loved his feelings for Rogue. Their love story in the cartoon and then later in the comics is my X-Men flagship. It’s all about Remy.
Needless to say, I’m excited for the film. Even if it sucks, which it very well could, I still get that awe and wonder at seeing the characters I love in realtime, with high budget special effects…and that’s all I could ask for.
How about you folks? Love for Wolverine, or any other X-Men? Are you excited for tomorrow? Who has their tickets?