Back Stories I Wish I Knew LESS About
My esteemed contemporary in evil, Mr. Biff Tannen, recently posted an article featuring back stories about which he’d like to know more of. I enjoyed the article thoroughly, but it got me to thinking what a shame it is that these stories have not been told, but I know what other characters had for breakfast yesterday. Here’s a list of characters who, in my eyes, fall into the T.M.I. category.
This is the big one. There was a time when all we knew about Wolverine was that he was a short Canadian who had knives coming out of his hands and an attitude problem. Then they took off his mask, and we found out that his hair was shaped like his mask. Weird, but fine. Then we’re told he goes by Logan his claws weren’t part of his gloves, but rather a part of his skeleton. Holy shit! That’s awesome! And what’s this? The Canadian government wasn’t too keen on him leaving, so they’re sending people after to him to get him back. I wonder what that’s all about! A little while later, he’s spotted hitting on a Japanese woman in her native language. That rascal, he never told us he knew Japanese!
Figure that was really all we *needed* to know about Wolverine. The fact that Sabretooth knew him, but neither mentioned how was very interesting. Every year on Logan’s birthday, Sabretooth would attack him by surprise! Plus, he periodically kills Wolvie’s love interests just to rustle his jimmies.
I liked the Weapon X storyline by Barry Windsor-Smith, and I liked it a lot. It revealed how Wolverine got an adamantium skeleton and tastefully avoided showing us his dick. And it certainly didn’t hurt that it’s one of the most gorgeously illustrated comics of all time. But then we start learning about his time with “Team X”. It showed us a lot of things about young Wolverine, at least part of his history with Sabretooth, and kinda contradicted the things we already knew. Throughout the 9os we were given more hints about his backstory, often outright facts. They showed that he and Sabretooth were somehow related, he had met Captain America and the Black Widow in 1941, and encountered/possibly nailed Carol Danvers. I could live with that stuff, even I didn’t like it.
And then came the 2000s and Origin. They basically said “Yo, FUCK leaving it to the imagination, we’re gonna show baby Wolverine in his pajamas!”. They decided to tell an anti-climactic story about an adolescent Logan falling in love with his first redhead. Wolverine regained his previously blocked memories of his past. Oh, and we met Daken, Wolverine’s half Japanese adult son. We found out that he was part of a tribe of wolf people and he…. wait, what the hell? Anyway, I long for the days when Wolverine had a little mystery surrounding him. And when his name was Logan, not James.
C-3PO AND R2-D2
The original Star Wars movies had the right idea with these two. They were always around, but rarely really up to anything. They were more often the object of other character’s actions. They certainly didn’t get their heads swapped with battle droids and attack Jedi with a blaster. Typing that embarrassed me, you know. I didn’t have that idea and I was certainly not the first person to type it… but actually thinking about that scene deeply enough to make a sentence describing it sort of pissed me off.
So we get to see Threepio and R2 introduced to one another for the first time in Darth Vader’s bedroom, we have them playing key roles in battles, we have them meeting every character in these movies. They spend a good deal of time with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and maybe they had their memories wiped but for some reason he doesn’t remember them, either. Are we expected to believe that a wizard wouldn’t remember hanging out with two robots who were clearly in love with one another? While these little flaws were certainly not the biggest problems with Episodes I-III, it’s remarkable that the two lovable characters who were the audience’s point of view throughout the original trilogy became little more than an annoyance through the telling of their origins. It’s also remarkable that the Droids cartoon series wasn’t the most awful rendition we would see of these characters.All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.