Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Essential Wolverine Volume 5

I love the Marvel Essential series which is a collection of reprints of their whole run of comic titles at a reasonable price. Printed on newsprint in black and white, I can read them in the toilet and in my bathtub without fear of them being ruined by water. I am more careful with my mint collector single issues.

Wolverine volume five which collects Wolverine #91-110 & Annual 96 and Uncanny X-men #332 is my favourite among the 5 volumes on Wolverine issued so far.

Wolverine is James Howlett also commonly known as Logan, a mutant with fantastic healing power, and with unbreakable adamantium bonded to his bones. He is strong, a savage fighter and have adamantium claws coming out of his fists. He is also short and hairy, something that Hugh Jackson is not. Anyway, I am still looking forward to Hugh Jackson's Wolverine movie later this year.

Everyone always assumed that adamantium was bonded to Logan in the weapon X project to make him stronger. However to every one's surprise, when the adamantium was drawn out of him by Magneto (is adamantium magnetic?), Logan not only survived but revealed that his claws are made of bones. This led to the revelation that the adamantium was essential to Logan to help him keep his animal-side at bay. Without the adamantium, Logan degenerates into an animal - an animal with human cunning, animal strength and bloodlust. This volume documents how Logan was helped by his friends to seek the path back to his humanity.

Wolverine/Logan story lines always fascinate me. He is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (H.G.Wells) or if you are a Pauline scholar, our old and new natures. Like all of us, Logan has a dark side, a bestial animal side. Like all of us, Logan is always aware that there is a better side, a more human side, and he is always struggling to become that better person. He often fails and gives in to his berserker self but he was contrite after and seeks to better himself. One thing I like about Logan is that he never gives up, that he always believes that he can be better than he is.

'nuff said!



Blogger Paul Long said...

In my wilder moments, I have at times wished for retractable claws :-)

2:18 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...


I know how you feel.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the movie's coming out this year...can't wait...

claws? hey, what about the self-healing stuff??!! :)

6:43 PM  
Blogger Paul Long said...

You're right! The self healing ability would be very nice - but unfortunately it is limited to physical healing not emotional :-(

The character has undergone many developments. What for me is moving (in terms of plot) is the storyline that Wolverine is actually very old as his healing ability also slows down his aging process. As a result, he has lived many normal lifetimes and has had many "true loves". But many of them have died and he has to live with the pain of these memories. And how hard it is for him to allow himself to love again knowing that the chances are they too will die (violently because of his enemies) but he will live on. Also, he cannot fully trust himself and his baser animal instincts.

So there is a storyline in one of the comic books where he can be killed by a particular sword, which he had made and passed on in trust to his friend Scott Summers to be used to kill him if he ever gets out of control.

Many great themes .... brilliant writers!

Made me think too of Tom Hanks character in "The Green Mile" (I like that show too) where his "blessing" of long life is his "curse" is that he lives on (and this time in an old frail body) forced to watch his loved ones (from wife to children die) and yet is unable to die.

Related to the euthanasia post, it made me think of how sad it is have "eternal life" in such a condition. It makes me go back further to the blessing of knowing Jesus - that eternal life God gives us is not just longevity but "abundant life", where there is hope and joy and peace.

In this sense I think of how good it is to be able to die and yet live again in Christ in the new heaven and earth.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Alwyn,

The self-healing stuff is good. Especially for pastors :)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Paul,

I agree with you that Wolverine has many great storyline. I am glad he was not affected in the House of M. I look forward to the ongoing Wolverine:Origins series where they unravel his checkered past.

3:32 PM  

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