Yes, I saw The Wolverine, and yes, I did get sick the next day. Draw what conclusions you will.

As a general rule, being a long-time fan of superheroes and comic books, I avoid seeing their representations in movies. This is because Hollywood third-parties tend to buy the rights to a superhero franchise, cling to a  to a classic image of the character, ignore decades worth of stories and canon, shove the character into their formulaic narratives, and then sheep-dip the thing in special effects. For a fan of these comics who actually knows who and what the character is, these flicks are insulting.

In my opinion, there have been few exceptions.

The Marvel-produced films have been pretty great, though. Iron Man was a brilliant debut. Captain America: The First Avenger was an unexpected success, and The Avengers was practically perfect. It’s why I now boycott all third-party films, as the only way to get Marvel to make a Spider-Man, X-Men or Fantastic Four flick is for Sony and Fox to lose the movie rights, and for them to revert back to Marvel – which won’t happen unless the movies flop, and they don’t make money. (Remember Hulk? I prefer not to. Luckily Marvel got the rights back, and we got Incredible Hulk. Not a well-received flick, but it was a great representation of the Hulk.)

Now, The Wolverine . . . Despite being a third-party film, made by Fox, was pretty good. Of course, that may have been because a majority of the plot is derived from a four-part comic book series which started the Wolverine comic book title.

I actually had an opportunity to speak with Chris Claremont recently. Stan Lee may have created the X-Men, but it was Chris Claremont who made them awesome. Chris Claremont turned the Uncanny X-Men comic into a flagship title. All of the greatest stories, sagas and events derive from his writing. When I spoke with him he seemed rather bitter. After seeing the film, seeing that it was essentially his story, seeing that the worst parts in the story were the stuff they added to Claremont’s plot, and then not seeing his name anywhere in the credits (admittedly, I may have missed it), the reasons for his bitterness seemed evident.

In short, The Wolverine was a surprisingly good flick. And, yet again, we have Chris Claremont to thank for a good X-Men story.

-TM