Wolverine Frank Miller

Created  by writer Len Wein and artist Josh Romita Jr., Wolverine was a throwaway menace introduced in a random issue of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and was originally conceived to be an actual wolverine that had mutated into a human.  Writer Chris Claremont adopted this misfit and crafted a rich, compelling back story for him and in doing so, turned him into one of the most popular characters in comics and certainly the most popular to emerge since the Silver Age.  In the beginning, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, served simply as an aggressive, mysterious member of the ensemble ‘The Uncanny x-Men’, and Claremont doled out clues as to his enigmatic past in small pieces… the source of his adamantium skeleton, his past in the Canadian military, his healing factor which it turned out granted him extreme longevity, his connection to Japan… the latter of which played a large part in the mutant hero’s current box office smash ‘The Wolverine‘, which borrows heavily from Claremont’s 1982 ‘Wolverine’ miniseries, illustrated by a then up-and-coming artist named Frank Miller.

When asked for his take on ‘The Wolverine’, Claremont reacted overall enthusiastically, but with some reservation:  (SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the movie!)

Chris ClaremontThe first two acts were kick-ass, and they set this up to be a really exceptional, different movie. It was like the film took this giant step forward. I liked that it focuses on the essence of who Wolverine is and what he does. Hugh Jackman is eloquent, and he owns the character at this point. It’s a surprisingly multidimensional performance. The third act wasn’t bad, per se, but it was a different tone. That moment he starts motorcycling up the 400 kilometers … he was almost riding into a different movie. It would be interesting to talk to Mangold and ask why they felt they had to go in that direction.”

Perhaps answering his own question, he elaborated:

WolverineThe end sort of turned into stuff we’ve all seen before. It just started throwing superhero tropes against the wall: the Yakuza against Wolverine, the Viper imprisoning Wolverine, the Silver Samurai cutting off Wolverine’s claws. The point is not how many artful ways can he cut someone to shish kebab. There was no moment of emotional punch to match, say, Tony Stark watching what he thinks is Pepper Potts’s death in the third Iron Man. That’s a moment. There should have been one in this, but everybody was on the sidelines. There should have been more direct involvement with Mariko. The problem with that superhero silliness, I’m sitting there thinking, What’s Viper there for? And what exactly does her venom do? People go all bubbly and collapse? I wanted a moment of choice for the characters in that scene in the castle. That sort of got lost in all the running and jumping and hitting.

And although Claremont created much of the material that inspired this film, he admits he had no involvement in crafting the film (or any of the X-films), stating:

As the creator of source material — corporate-owned source material that’s being developed by a rival corporation, no less — I have no say… Oh, it’s very emotional…. when I listen to Hugh Jackman bring some of the characters’ signature lines to life. That’s incredibly cool. I can look over all the five films and see, “That’s mine, that’s mine, and that’s mine.”

I guess you go back to the old writer’s adage that when they do your stuff in Hollywood, you smile sweetly upon your credit — if there is one — and enjoy the show.

So despite not receiving a credit (or any payment), it looks like Claremont is giving ‘The Wolverine’ his stamp of approval.  Does it make you like a comic book movie more or less based on the reaction of one of the comic’s creators?  (See Dan Jurgen’s negative reaction to ‘Man of Steel‘.)  Does the creator’s willingness to forgive departures make it easier for you as a viewer?  Leave a comment below!

Source: The Vulture