[Spoilers Ahead For Jason Aaron’s Wolverine Run]
I grew up around Wolverine and was never a super big fan of him. My friends liked him on the X-men but it was that Sega Genesis game that made me not care for him.
In a game where you got to choose between Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops and Nightcrawler he was the weak choice. He was the guy who you had to take risks to use. He was the guy who hurt himself when he used his power. He didn’t do awesome kicks and teleport around. He didn’t get to throw cards and use a staff. Even Scott Summers had his optic blasts – but Wolverine you had to run in there. You had to risk everything and punch guys and you had to hide to heal to punch more. That game made me like Gambit and that is a pretty astounding task – though I always liked Nightcrawler the most before.
For me Wolverine was always in the X-men. He was there in the 90’s cartoon that inspired the game. There he was usually grumpy and grumbling and yelling. I have vivid memories of him getting sprayed with perfume in the Christmas episode – but I didn’t really like him there. He wasn’t friendly. He didn’t strike me as a nice person – and I don’t recall much from my rewatch two years ago to remember how correct I was though in my defense I was usually working on something else while watching and my main memories from the rewatch happened when people commented on me watching the show and I’d be like “oh yeah, this is on, Magneto is taking all the mutants into space,” or “Yeah, White Queen’s costume isn’t really all ages appropriate” or “Wait, when the hell did Storm die (because the episodes on the DVDs were out of order for literally no reason).
Even when I got to X-men: Evolution it was all about Nightcrawler. He was the funny foreign German guy with the transforming watch and he was a nice dude. Wolverine was still standoffish and while they did cover his origin partially (and they did in the 90’s series as well) I still didn’t care about the character.
So now here I am, I’m 23 – god I’m 23? – and Wolverine made me cry. Wolverine punched me in the heart with direction from Jason Aaron and made me care about the character. He made me feel pain for the character that I was generally ambivalent about.
Former (?) writer Ziah Grace suggested that I check out his Wolverine runs and I was fine to. I’d finished my other binges. I caught up on what I wanted to for the most part on Marvel Unlimited. And so I started with Wolverine: Weapon X.
It has laser claws in it. People with healing nanobots and Wolverine style laser claws. And then it brought me to a madhouse and it tore Wolverine apart. And then they were like – how about some Deathlok action too? And it had a crazy Terminator style story that only Marvel could do. And these were all fantastic stories.
And then Weapon X ended. It just became Wolverine and Wolverine was sent to hell. And I remember seeing covers around the time this series was happening. I was in the comic shop and I read one issue because it implied he had sexual fantasies about Squirrel Girl (my OTP) and I had to see it to believe it. And so Wolverine fights his way out of hell – and the people who sent him there expected it. All the while, the people who sent him there are attacking his loved ones. They are destroying his memories literally – and his body was filled with demons – you started off an issue seeing the X-men’s plan to kill Wolverine.
And Wolverine has to fight for his body. And he wins. And the Red Right Hand, the group behind it were expecting this and it becomes this question of who are they? And you find out they are normal people. Normal people who Wolverine hurt and you get that pain. You get that insane lust for revenge.
And Wolverine gets to their base. He kills their superpowered guards, the Mongrels, one by one. Easily – bafflingly easily. He reaches the Red Right Hand – only to find they all died – they poisoned themselves.
And then they win. Via a video. they show their hand, they play the trap card, the flip the game board around, they call Uno to stop Wolverine in a 2 person game and then drop 5 Skip cards winning.
Those cards – those Mongrels were his children. He killed his children. And he was warned and didn’t listen. He killed children who he didn’t know about. Hurt his own line. Was forced to live with what he did. And it broke him. And it broke me.
And I learned to care for Wolverine.
Jason Aaron, you are a monster for making me care about Wolverine.