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Not everyone is a huge comic nerd, and when a blockbuster like Wolverine comes around it’s a sure bet that most of the audience goes into it knowing almost nothing about the world they’re stepping in to. Almost none of them will have read the comics and a few won’t have even have seen any of the X-Men films (in the case of the third one, consider yourselves lucky). We’re here to help, by answering the questions you might walk out with, before you walk in.
This is our guide to what non-nerds need to know before seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It may not all make sense now, but by the time the credits roll it all fits together. Sure you may enjoy the movie even without this information, but it can’t hurt to go in armed with a little knowledge to impress your friends. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it spoiler free.
If You Prick Him, Wolverine Bleeds
With all the ridiculous things he survives, it may seem like Wolverine is immortal. He’s not. This isn’t Highlander though if it were it’d be handy having those internal swords, and not having to bother with carrying one around. Other than dropping him in instant, bone-stripping acid, I’m really not sure how you’d take him out. Thanks to his mutant healing factor, he’s pretty good at getting better. He’ll bleed though, or at least he does when he’s not in a PG-13 movie.
Wolverine Is Iron Man, If The Suit Wore Him
Pay attention to the scene in the film where they inject him with a bunch of gunk. That’s actually Adamantium, a liquid metal which replaces his bones and makes them unbreakable. So you can cut him, you can hurt him, but you can’t break him. Maybe that does make him all but immortal, since even cutting off his head becomes nearly impossible with an unbreakable spinal cord.
Sabretooth Can Be Broken
Much like Wolverine, Sabretooth often seems impossible to kill. In reality, he’s a lot easier to kill than Logan. Wolvy has those unbreakable metal bones, which come in pretty handy when you’re being dropped off buildings or crushed between runaway trains. Sabretooth's skeletal structure is calcium based (and we suspect he drinks a lot of milk). Still Sabretooth has that same mutant healing factor going for him. And apparently there can be only one, which is why they spend so much time fighting each other.
Wolverine May Seem Eternally Virile, But Someday He’ll Need Viagra
In the movie, Wolverine and Sabretooth don’t seem to do much aging. Don’t worry, some day they too will be forced to deal with old-age erectile dysfunction. They get older, it just takes them longer than most. Presumably a hundred years from now, around the time we all finally get our flying cars, Wolverine will get his first gray hair. It’s all courtesy of that super healing factor. Wolverine’s body just keeps renewing itself while ours run down, fall apart, and support the drug industry.
Cyclops May Own A DeLorean
X-Men Origins: Wolverine may seem like it takes place in modern times, yet for some reason Cyclops is a kid in it, even though we’ve already seen him played by James Marsden in the other X-Men films, which are also set in the present. Don't worry. This movie is a prequel, they just didn't put a lot of effort into making it seem retro. Even if it's not explicitly stated, the entire film takes place in the past. There's a good chance the jeans Wolverine is wearing are Jordache.
The World Needs Mutant Obama
Wolverine exists in a world where humans have begun to exhibit strange mutations, and everyone else hates them for it. Instead of growing baby-arms, in the X-Men universe mutations usually result in super-cool powers like Wolverine’s healing factor. So you’re probably wondering: What’s everyone so afraid of? Super powers are cool, who wouldn’t want to live in a world full of superheroes? Except these aren’t superheroes, they’re just normal people with weird problems that sometimes they can’t control and end up hurting other people. Plus, normal humans are sort of afraid they might be replaced. After all, who’d hire you for a job when they could be hiring a guy who can make coffee with his fingertip? In the comics mutant hatred is used as a stand-in for all kinds of intolerance and bigotry, especially discrimination against homosexuals. It’s unlikely you’ll notice anything that socially relevant in a glitzy summer blockbuster like Wolverine, but it’s in the background somewhere anyway. Wolverine is basically a black, gay, fat woman!
Fan Pandering Is Alive And Well
His name may be in the title, but Wolverine is just one of many mutants present in his movie. You’ll see characters like Deadpool, Gambit, and Blob show up throughout. You’ve also seen them in the trailers which, make them seem like a pretty important part of the narrative. Well they’re not. Don’t be confused. In the film those characters are barely more than cameos and though they’re all well known to fans of the X-Men comics, aside from Sabretooth none of them really play all that important a role in Wolverine’s back story. They’re just a fun gimmick, thrown in to earn the movie more fat nerd cash and set up potential spin-offs if the film does well. Pay no attention to the fat man in the boxing ring, the real story here is all about Hugh Jackman as Logan.