Logan and Overcoming Rage Mar13

Logan and Overcoming Rage...

For Wolverine, denying his rage is like denying breath. Wolverine is characterized by his berserker fury and Logan holds nothing back when it comes to it. He rips, slashes, maims and destroys. He cannot control his anger and knows it. It’s why he warns people they don’t want to mess with him because they will die. But in the film Logan, all that rage has taken a toll on his mind. I can understand where he’s coming from because I have not always been in control of my anger. There have been times when I have lashed out and caused harm to people and things. While the people who have been hurt can forgive me and eventually forget about it, the fact that I’ve hurt them stays with me much longer. Many years later I can still remember hurt that I’ve caused to others because I couldn’t control how I reacted to anger. While I am troubled by the hurt I’ve caused, Wolverine has maimed and killed hundreds of people and while I have moments of remembering and feeling sad, he has outright nightmares. When Logan wakes up from one of these nightmares, Laura tells him that she has nightmares too because people have done bad things to her. Logan confesses that his nightmares are because he has done bad things to people. Giving into rage and lashing out leaves emotional trauma that may never fade. All you can do is try and figure out how to live with it. When Laura, Logan’s daughter, admits that she has done bad things to people too, but justifies it because they were bad people, Logan tells her that the impact of uncontrolled anger hurts you no matter how much the other person deserved it. Logan tries...

X-Men Apocalypse Isn’t About the End of the World Jul11

X-Men Apocalypse Isn’t About the End of the World...

One of my favourite parts of X-Men: Apocalypse is the scene toward the end of the movie, when various mutants pool their abilities together to rebuild Xavier’s mansion. Jean Gray hoists stones and beams with her telekinesis near a floating Magneto in plainclothes; Storm, who with Magneto had been under Apocalypse’s thrall, stands among the group as well. It’s a fitting picture of the possibility of renewal after and amid brokenness—the literal rebuilding of the mansion parallels the rebuilding of the X-Men team and the possibility that Xavier’s strained relationships with Magneto and Mystique can also be rebuilt. It’s also a very familiar type of scene. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single superhero movie that doesn’t end with an explosive (literally), destructive climax, followed by either a subsequent rebuilding, or at least the acknowledgement that a loss has been suffered. The rebuilding generally represents some restoration—whether it’s of a team, of an individual body, or of a literal building like the mansion. X2: X-Men United, for example, also involves an invaded and destroyed mansion that must be rebuilt. The Avengers leaves us with the sense that they have finally assembled. Groot sacrifices himself for his friends but, rather than being gone, regrows as a tiny shoot with a penchant for the Jackson 5. At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman’s infamous reputation is further disgraced, and viewers mourn the injustice of it, because we crave public, positive acknowledgement of his crusade. Disaster, in X-Men: Apocalypse, isn’t only something that can be overcome—it’s something that was defeated before some of us were born. This trope of costly destruction followed either by rebuilding, or the longing for renewal kept just out of reach, isn’t limited to superhero stories, of course, but superhero stories tend...

It’s all geek to you May21

It’s all geek to you...

A few weeks back, X-men lovers (including myself) discovered that Bobby Drake, Iceman, is gay. As with any change in the characters we love, there was a public outcry. I’m adding my own pitchfork to the pile in response to Franklin Graham’s post on the subject. Franklin’s statement bothers me for reasons beyond the LGBTQ debate, which is a hotly contested topic in its own right. Stepping away from the Christianity vs. Gay battle royale here, Franklin’s statement is a prime example of how us geeks are so often misunderstood by the Christian church. “…our young people…” My primary frustration is the inferred belief that comics are meant for young people. That is a common misconception in the Christian church. The expectation is that as we grow up we are to “put away childish things,” and comics is one of these. But I am in my thirties and I still want to read about, enjoy, and follow the lives of these characters. “…indoctrinate…” Franklin’s belief about the comic world appears to be one of subversive agenda. That these stories are only tools to push moral and political agendas. In this particular instance, it appears Franklin reduces the Iceman story to a Sex Ed pamphlet meant to educate a particular worldview. But these stories have deeply affected me and other comic fans. We grew up with these characters, we get tense when they are in trouble, we grieve their losses, we laugh at their jokes and celebrate their successes. The characters in these worlds are every bit as real and alive to us as a dog is to a dog lover. They are not tools for an agenda, they are our friends. If my best friend came out as a gay, the last thing I...

Mutants and humans: a glorious mess May12

Mutants and humans: a glorious mess...

Life is messy. This is what X-Men has taught me. It’s true we are still sorely lacking in the area of super strength serums and invisibility concoctions; it’s not often that we see spandex-clad heroes pulling tanker trucks off the edge of bridges. That being said, it seems we’re just as far from a world where we accept people regardless of gender, skin color or lifestyle as we are a world of adamantium bone claws and weather-controlling African princesses. For all their differences in opinion, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, better known as Professor X and Magneto, have only one goal—to ensure their species’ survival. Professor X believes that if mutants offer the olive branch of peace and non-violence, humanity will grow to trust them and accept them, even if that acceptance is only experienced by future generations. Professor X’s belief is perhaps affected by his upbringing; he is the son of a wealthy research scientist, he has five Ph.D.s from Oxford University, and his mutation is incredibly beneficial as well as non-visible.  He’s had the luxury of seeing humanity at its finest, and cultivated the belief that humanity has the capacity to adapt in the face of extinction. I hope we can learn to accept each other’s differences and choose to value life, whoever’s it may be. Magneto, on the other hand, never had the luxury of adopting these beliefs. Magneto was a teenager living in Warsaw, Poland when the Nazis built the Warsaw Ghetto. His family was killed in front of him, and he was thrown, still breathing, into a mass grave. Eventually, he was found and spent the rest of his teenage years in the extermination camp at Auschwitz. There, he was conscripted into the Sonderkommando; the squad of Jewish men...