The Wolverine Crash Course: 5 Comic-Book Facts You Need To Know
2. There are two beautiful ladies in Logan’s world.
The driving force of Claremont and Miller’s book is Wolverine’s love affair with Mariko, whom he travels to Japan to reconnect with. But he’s angered by the fact that her father, Lord Shingen, has married her off to another man … deeming the feral Wolverine unworthy. Claremont and Miller fought hard in these issues to establish Wolverine as a warrior of honor, married to a “code” that defines traditional Japanese ethics. Prior to this run of books, Wolverine was a one-note berserker of a fighter. The Claremont books looked as the hero in a different light – tortured, but still a slave to an ancient belief system that’s characteristic of Eastern samurai warriors.
Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is an important part of Mangold’s film, as is the bodyguard character of Yukio (Rila Fukushima), though Wolverine only meets Mariko for the first time in the film’s story, and they have no real history to draw on. It steals a little of the story’s impact, though diving back through the years in a two-hour run time would have proved challenging. Mangold does what he can.
3. The Hand takes a backseat.
Cast out by Lord Shingen, Wolverine often finds himself at odds with the lethal ninja organization The Hand. Though they are trained in the way of the samurai, Wolverine often is able to defeat them by switching into his bloodiest beast mode. But that feral warrior side terrifies Mariko, and drives a wedge between the lovers. It’s that separation that prompts Logan to begin exploring his faint human side … giving a fresh angle to this previously one-dimensional character.
Jackman fights several ninjas in two memorable fight sequences in The Wolverine, though they’re referred to as members of the Yakuza, an organized Japanese crime syndicate. The loss of The Hand doesn’t hurt The Wolverine, though it’s one of those changes that may irk die-hard fans of Claremont’s story because including their name wouldn’t hurt, and it would show reverence for the source material.
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