Saturday, February 24, 2007

James Howlett: Punk Ass B*tch

I loved Wolverine. Maybe not as much as I love Batman, but he's always been a close second. As close as second could be when I'm a loyal servant of the Dark Prince of Gotham. *sigh*

Growing up as I did, with a past I rarely talk about, but which involves physical, emotional and other abuse, endless confrontations between adults, people purposefully driving their cars into cliff-side walls and other such craziness, there was always going to be something appealing to me about the heroic figures who took it on the chin and kept pressing on.

"Wounds heal. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever."

Maybe I didn't think that in so many words. But I believed it. And believing it, I could believe in Wolverine. He lived in the now.

"Now lasts forever. The future is not promised. And the past cannot be changed."

Wolverine found a way to be who he was, without a past, without memories and without all the little things that a whole bunch of psychologists believe make a human being human. He was instinct, trained and honed for a purpose. He made himself more than a weapon for his own sake in dealing with his environment. He made the best of his circumstances. He lived.

I adored him.

The first time I realized how much I liked him and why I liked him 'SNIKT' became something to get excited about. I can take or leave 'Bub'. He can quit smoking if he likes. And the cowboy hat? Depending on the artist it can be kind of dumb. But that sound said that the time for civilized conversation was over. A line had been crossed. Rules had been broken. Somebody was going to pay.

I had a hero. His name was Logan. His codename was Wolverine.

As a little girl in a very turbulent world, I could read Wolverine and feel protected. Not just by his character. But by the knowledge that a character existed who turned his past into fuel to protect his present. Just like Batman, only with a lot more violence and some government conspiracy and brain-washing.

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Only I Will Remain. I. Logan. Wolverine.

Not. James, The Effing Pansy Howlett.

There is no WTF loud enough, effusive enough to describe my need to physically tear open someone's chest for coming up with this idea.

Wolverine creating his past, out of memories, real and imagined, meant he created himself. James Howlett, the pussy, was created and lost his memories not because some force beyond imagination tried to break him, but because someone was hurting his Mommy.

Suddenly he wasn't a hero anymore. He was just another little kid with a hard life. It shot Wolverine down to being ordinary so fast, my head is still spinning. My 'hero' was laid low by everyday stuff. Normal BS. The sort of stuff that I fought through day after day and week after week.

Where was the inspiration in that?

Wolverine scared of himself and what he was capable of, disgusted me. Where was the edge? Where was the acceptance that actions have consequences but some actions need to be taken and some people were meant to take them?

Wolverine not in touch with his instincts and emotions, repulsed me. It was one thing for him not to express what he was feeling, but I'd never doubt that he felt it. It was simply a matter of control. But to have his origins stem from bullying? Adultery? A mother held captive? For those ordinary fears to have become the emotions he'd repressed as necessary for survival? This was a hero?

To have him not know himself as strong enough to survive no matter what, from the very start? It shattered the pillar, broke the pedestal and just made me wonder who hated him so much they had to do this to his character.

A definitive past?


Why was it necessary?

Who was Wolverine to these people that they thought he needed a definitive past? How could they not see he'd gone beyond that. Above that. That his past wasn't who he was anymore. Who he was would always be grounded in the present and the problem he currently faced; determining whether or not he had the skills or the strength for it.

All the various 'past lives' had ever been were experiences that exposed silvers and varied sides to his personality. Couldn't they see that? Didn't they know that? Were they blind? Stupid? Knocked in the head?

What the hell was wrong with: Self Made Man, Wounded Samurai, Frontier Ethics ?

Why wasn't that good enough for them?

I still don't know. What I do know is that ever since I found it about it, I haven't been able to look at him anymore. I don't read him, I don't follow him. Hell, for a while I latched onto Victor Creed, because he was still left without excuses and explanations.

I miss Wolverine. I miss my hero.

Batman's a love I have from afar. After all, I don't live in Gotham. But my Wolverine love was visceral, because I know what it's like to live in my head, to not trust, to not share and to wonder if something inside me was going to come out at any second and ruin it all.

Dear Logan. They finally broke you. RIP.

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