Why We All Want to be Like Wolverine

Since Bryan Singer’s film, X-Men starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and Femke Janssen was released in 2000, the Wolverine has arguably been the world’s most recognizable and intriguing super-hero. And why not? The Wolverine has been the central figure in all three of the X-Men films and has had enough power at the box office to bring in nearly one billion dollars[1]. That doesn’t include his X-Men: Origins film, his appearance in X-Men: First Class or 2013’s The Wolverine.

So, why the attraction? Why is Wolverine such a magnetic figure? It’s not hard to see. First, for his fans and fans of comic books in general, having the powers of Wolverine would be insanely cool right? Retractable, indestructible claws, instant healing, heightened sense of sight and smell, and super-human strength? Yes, please. This is the stuff that boys’ dreams are made of (and some full-grown men, but that’s another matter!). On some level, it could be argued that all fans of this power-franchise have found themselves asking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”

However, I believe there is something else that attracts us to the Wolverine’s character. There is something that ties him to the persona of our culture. It’s not unique and it’s certainly not super. In addition to his super-human attributes, Wolverine exhibits characteristics that are far easier to come by. You don’t have to participate in genetic experiments, get zapped by lethal doses of radiation or have genetic mutations, giving you super-human qualities. You simply have to be… you.

The Wolverine is a known loner. He never allows himself to be constrained by any authority for a significant amount of time. He’s rarely called upon to answer for his actions and when he is, he is given a pass because of his troubled and checkered past. He can exist for days, months and even years without companionship or help from anyone, removing the prospect of any real, meaningful relationships in his life. The fact is, our culture is seeing this type of character emerge in our reality every day. Social media has pushed us more and more into seclusion, driving us further from personal relationships with real people and placing a wedge between us and the ones we love in our few remaining meaningful relationships. Our society’s lack of responsibility for our actions is glamourized and it is considered cool to have no job and no responsibilities. Singleness and sexual immorality are celebrated, thus encouraging a lack of responsibility for other people.

So, men especially, how do we keep the heroism of the Wolverine, but rid ourselves of his apathy? Here are ten Biblical principles that can give us some direction:

1)       Pay close attention to character (1 Timothy 4:16)
2)      Protect People (Titus 1:10-17)
3)      Respond to the teaching of God’s Word (James 1:19-25, Proverbs 1)
4)      Be Passionate about the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16)
5)      Confront Sin (Matthew 18:15-20, Galatians 6:1-2)
6)      Give yourself away (Matthew 10:39)
7)      Give generously (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
8)      Be Faithful (2 Timothy 2:2)
9)      Be available (1 Peter 2:4-5)
10)    Serve (Philippians 2:3-8)[2]

Not many people would describe the Wolverine as passive. But his character says otherwise. Men, it’s time put away our old apathies and lack of responsibility (Colossians 3:5-9) and put on our Christ-bought manhood (Colossians 3:12-17).

Put on your Bible glasses and be wise, friends.

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. Proverbs 14:6


[2] Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas, Stand Up! A Guide to Biblical Manhood.

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