“It’s a hell of a thing, killin’ a man. You take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.”
Given that I’m a huge Western buff, I’m delighted that Mark Millar looked to Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven for inspiration when writing his upcoming run on Wolverine.
Through his character of thief and killer William Munny, Eastwood rejected the concept of casual murder and examined “why it ain’t so easy to shoot a man.”
I’m hoping Millar can bring a similarly revisionist take to Wolverine, who we’re forever being told is the best at what he does, namely slicing and dicing his way through everyone in his path.
Millar told Wizard: “Wolverine, as the story opens, hasn’t popped his claws in 50 years. That’s a little tip of the hat to Bill Munny in Unforgiven.
“And Wolverine’s just living on a farm now, just trying to make a living, and he’s got two children and a middle-aged wife. He’s just trying to forget his old life. And people kind of know the legend of what Logan used to do, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s ashamed of what he used to be, and something awful happens that has made him never, ever, pop those claws again.”
Eastwood humanised his Man With No Name and Dirty Harry personas to great effect in Unforgiven, and perhaps Millar feels Wolverine is ripe for the same point of departure. If he and artist Steve McNiven intend to deconstruct the mythic glamour and heroism of the Marvel Universe in this post-apocalyptic road tale, to tell the tale of a reformed killer forced by circumstance to resume his violent ways, then Wolverine is the book for it to happen in.