Why Every Man Wants To Be The Wolverine

Have you seen Hugh Jackman’s new film The Wolverine yet? If you haven’t, you’ve got to check it out. It just came out on Friday, July 26. It’ll help what I’m about to say make a lot more sense: every man wants to be the Wolverine, even if he doesn’t even know it yet.

Even if he’s not a fan of illustrated novels, action movies or super heroes. He might hate beards and hairy muscular guys. But it doesn’t matter—I repeat, every man wants to be the Wolverine.

why every man wants to be the wolverine

Sometimes when women ask me to help them understand men, I use Wolverine as an example. What is he like, and what about him do men identify with? Women are usually a little bit surprised when I say this. But most guys don’t want to be Superman-because he’s perfect. And none of us feel perfect. Iron Man is cool, but there’s nothing too super about him.

Now Batman, he is pretty awesome. Guys do want to be Batman. But without his billions, would he really be who he is??

Wolverine is Wolverine, no matter which way you cut it. He doesn’t need a suit of armor, a weapon, billions of dollars, superbrains, or to steal his powers from others.

Here’s the background on Wolverine: (No Spoilers)

He’s really, really old. Like 150 years old. As a young lad in the 1800’s he developed a gene mutation that gave him an exponential healing factor. And stronger, animal like feral senses (like hearing and smell). In the 70s/80s the Canadian government convinced Wolverine to join the Weapon X program and covered his skeletal structure (and bone claws) with  a “super steel” called Adamentium. In one way or another depending on the source material, Logan, or Wolverine as we know him, lost the past 100 years of his memory.why every man wants to be the wolverine

Why Every Man Wants To Be The Wolverine

So why does Old Man Logan seem so awesome? He can’t fly. He can’t shoot lasers from his eyes. He can’t breath ice or read people’s minds. He’s not a billionaire, has no gadgets, and doesn’t have a suit of armor or grappling hook.

And that’s exactly why every man wants to be the Wolverine. He’s normal. Aside from his healing factor, he’s kind of like each of us. And we can see an idealized version of ourselves within him.

Every Man Wants To Be Resilient

Wolverine is the perfect picture of resiliency. He’s nearly immortal. Tough as nails. Can endure bullet wounds, stabs to the chest. His bones can’t be broken. But he still feels pain. Unlike the Terminator or Superman, stuff hurts. Every. Single. Time.

Cut his flesh. He’ll scream. Nuke his flesh. He’ll cringe and wail. But he’s resilient. He feels every blow, every strike. Again, he’s tough as nails.

He’s resilient on the inside too. He’s suffered through an eternity of wars, friends dying, and feeling responsible for the deaths of loved ones. Yet he continues to push forward with a purpose. Or as in the case of the latest film, he’s lost searching for one.

Men want to be regarded and respected as resilient. We want to be seen as a man that can take and endure anything. When the going gets tough, we keep going.

Every Man Admires the “Man Of Few Words”

Wolverine is a brooding, tragic figure. He means what he says. He doesn’t mince or waste words. What he says is respected, although he’s often abrasive. Guys want to be that man. A man that isn’t self-seeking, and can be brutally honest and still sought after by powerful people.

This is somewhat of an illusion. Although we’d like to be the badass maverick at the workplace, it’s likely to get us fired. Being brutally honest rarely wins you favors. Unless you’re Michael Jordan or have adamentium bone claws, it’s not going to work.

We see Wolverine like the Clint Eastwood type–we don’t want to be the boyish jokester who wastes words. We want to be the strong, confident, thoughtful man who speaks when he truly has something to add.

There’s A Loner In All of Us

This doesn’t apply to all men, but people generally agree that women are more communicative and are more skilled at navigating relationships. Men need less friends than women. We like our alone time, our processing time.

We see Logan, this distant man who is sought after by people who want to make a change. We want to be that guy. Who gets away with being reclusive. We like to see ourselves as that James Dean “Rebel Without A Cause” type. And, to be honest, it’s a breath of fresh air when we actually get to act that way.

He’s Not That Super

Wolverine doesn’t fly around, smash buildings, or shoot web from his wrists. In a way, his superpower is kind of lame. It doesn’t directly make him powerful.

The Wolverine is a normal guy. He can’t jump over a building. What he does takes heart. He can fight, but he still has to feel every wound, every punch. Every ounce of pain. And he keeps being resilient in the face of it.

For the Man Who Just Feels “Average”

Ultimately, this article is for the man, or even woman, who just feels “average.” Like a mere, forgetful blip on the world’s radar.

Listen, you don’t have to be “specially powered” or skilled or handsome or have a six pack to matter in this world. The movie which I’m referring to, The Wolverine, isn’t trying to be a superhero movie. It’s trying to be a small story about one man who’s protecting someone he loves, and trying to keep himself alive. While feeling really guilty about the past. Isn’t that a lot like you and me on some days?

You don’t need to be spectacular by anyone’s arbitrary standards. Just make a difference for those that should matter most to you. I like to think that’s what Wolverine would do, and that’s what I want to do.

About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.

Comments

  1. AweSome post. I had never really thought this much into Wolverine, but you a completely right. I love him because he is normal.

    • Yeah, it makes us a feel a bit like he’s like us. No projectiles or flying powers. Just hard work and gut instincts.

      And he’s ripped out of his mind.

  2. Love this post! Youre so right. It’s so interesting when you consider how of all the x-men, wolverine is by far the most loved. He comes across as powerful because of his insane appearance (carrying around 150 lbs of pure muscle) but in fact he’s very accessible. He’s the Everyman x-man. Great thoughts, loved reading it

    • Yeah, he definitely seems like someone insecure people would have a hard time being around, or people that love playing by the rules. But if you’re someone on the fringe, you’d probably really like Logan.

  3. Gotta love Wolverine! “His only powers are always carrying knives and repeatedly coming back from things that should have killed him. That’s not a superhero, that’s a horror movie villain.”

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