Today’s prompt was to nominate one person for TIME’s Person of the Year with justifications for the nomination.
And my nomination for TIME’s Person of the Year 2014 would be “The Wolverine”.
My fascination with this immortal and timeless (pun intended) character began with the first X-Men movie which released way back in 2000. The movie itself was path-breaking in the sense that it probably was the first superhero movie which presented the protagonists in brooding dark shades rather than the ‘holier than thou’ and ‘honest to goodness’ superheroes that we were accustomed to seeing on the big screen till then.
Bryan Singer, the director, chose to focus on the human conflicts that the mutants faced in their daily lives, the fact that they had these powers which they had no control over most of the time, and they had to live their lives knowing that they might just end up inadvertently hurting people they love and those around them due to these powers. The first character shown in the movie, Rogue, is a classic example of this conflict. She has the ability to absorb the ‘life force’ of anybody she touches and this prevents her from having a normal teenage life which all other girls her age have. Now if that isn’t a classic example of a conflicted teenager, what is!
Coming back to The Wolverine, this movie set the stage for my decade and a half long fascination with him. I mean, how much more cooler can it get, the man actually has metal claws coming out of his knuckles, is self-healing and lives forever. If that isn’t a ‘mean list’ of awesome mutations to have, nothing else can be!
While the first movie introduced me to The Wolverine aka Logan, his mutation, and some snippets of his back story, subsequent movies in the series continued with providing viewers with more and more parts of his history. Given that he was immortal, an entire movie, X-Men Origins : Wolverine devoted to his story was more than a summer blockbuster to me, it was a veritable basket full of Easter Eggs and Halloween Treats for me. And man, did I drool all over that movie or what!
Just imagine yourself being immortal. Forget the cool metal claws for a moment (they were a later addition to him) and just imagine that you are blessed with the ability to self-heal which means you live forever. Just imagine you were part of WW 1 and WW 2, the American Civil War, and you had to live a life doing what you were good at, being a ‘killing machine’, knowing fully well that nobody or nothing can hurt you or kill you. This knowledge would drive normal men crazy and they would start running rampage on anybody and everybody they find, like Wolverine’s brother, Sabretooth, with almost exactly similar mutations. But Logan, he is not your normal man with such ideas, no sir no.
If anything Logan is extremely conflicted and hates these supernatural abilities of his. For a very long time he is beset with feelings of guilt when people around him accuse him of being a ‘freak of nature’ and refuse to accept him as one of their own. He has no choice but to live his life as a loner, away from society whose rules and norms have no place for somebody like him. He is a drifter due to the same reasons and therefore has no place he can call home. He has no friends. Just imagine living a lifetime (or in this case many lifetimes) without having any family or friends. Just imagine living all these years when everybody you know dies, everything you know keeps changing, feeling helpless knowing that there is no ‘end’ to your life at all.
While this explains my fascination for The Wolverine, why am I nominating him for TIME’s Person of the Year? Because in just a few days from now, he will be back on the big screen in X-Men : Days of Future Past where Hugh Jackman will be reprising his role for the seventh time on the big screen. And as a huge fan of the entire X-Men franchise and more specifically The Wolverine, do I need any other reason to nominate him!