Chris Claremont, who helped define the 'X-Men' in comics, weighs in on 'The Wolverine'
This weekend, I watched the new DC animated film "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox," and I thought it was really well-done overall. One of the things that most impressed me was a credits block where they named the creators of several of the major characters used in the film.
"SUPERMAN created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
By Special Arrangement with the Jerry Siegel Family.
BATMAN created by Bob Kane.
WONDER WOMAN created by William Moulton Marston.
AQUAMAN created by Paul Norris.
ETRIGAN THE DEMON created by Jack Kirby.
CYBORG and DEATHSTROKE created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
GRIFTER created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi."
And, no, I don't know why they don't also credit Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert for creating The Flash, since this is a Flash-heavy movie, or why they don't include the creators of The Green Lantern or Shazam. It's been a slow and interesting process watching DC and Marvel grapple with how to handle the credits on their films, both animated and live-action, and so far, most of these decisions have been made because of legal action, not a sense of wanting to credit those who deserve it.
I thought it was very touching when, during the Comic-Con panel for "The Wolverine," Hugh Jackman called Len Wein out of the crowd so he could shake his hand and thank him for creating the character. I would argue that the Wolverine we've seen in the movies is really the result of several creators, people who fine-tuned the character over time. John Byrne was a big part of that process, and Chris Claremont may be the most significant other voice in that mix.
Much of what you saw onscreen this weekend began in the collaboration between Chris Claremont and Frank Miller back in the early '80s, and so I found it fascinating to read a conversation between Sean Howe (whose "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" is an absolutely essential text if you are curious about how that company's heroes were created and developed) and Claremont about "The Wolverine" and the way the character's been treated on film so far.
Uber-nerdy stuff, sure, but fun, and Claremont's reaction is very reasonable. He does not seem to have much ego about any of this, but he does seem to have perspective, and I would imagine the arrival of any "X-Men" movie is, for him, a pretty big deal. He helped turn the team into the icons they are, and his love for the characters was evident to anyone who read those books as they were being released.
And check out this story about Wolverine's comic history. Nicely done.
"The Wolverine" is open now in theaters everywhere.