I often say I don’t care about Wolverine, but that’s not really true.
There are Wolverines that I love. This includes the one named Laura, the James Howlett one who loves Hercules, and the ones in fanfiction and fanart who are various kinds of queer. Sometimes, I also love ones named Logan who appear in licensed comics, cartoons, and films. The Wolverines that I love challenge stereotypes related to masculinity and violence and the supposed inseparability of the two. These Wolverines struggle, heroically, against what a bad world wants them to be or else don’t give a fuck about stereotypes, because they’ve seen it all and know who they are.
Then there are Wolverines I don’t love. This includes the ones mired in white savior tropes and cultural appropriation and especially the ones who uncritically glorify violence, graphically murdering untold scores of people who are usually bad people but still, nonetheless, people. These Wolverines never change yet always demand forgiveness through their enduring popularity and the seemingly boundless acceptance of their less-murderous friends.
But despite knowing which Wolverines I love and don’t love, I frequently struggle to decide how I feel about specific stories starring Wolverine. Take the first four issues of the recent X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic, written by outgoing X-Men franchise impresario Jonathan Hickman with art by Declan Shalvey. [Read more…] about Choosing Violence: The Complexity of Loving Wolverine