Once X-Men: Days of Future Past comes out in May, Wolverine will have played a starring role in six separate movies.
To put things into perspective, Superman has only ventured out onto the big screen for six feature films himself, and that’s over the course of thirty-five years and three different actors.
In a genre that already revels in the triumph of underdogs over supervillains, the X-Men franchise is unusually blatant in how it highlights comparisons between Mutant Pride and the real-world underdog battles of race, gender and sexuality-based civil rights campaigns. As a result, the comics have ended up with one of the most diverse casts in mainstream superhero publishing, and their audience reflects that. It’s just too bad that the movies went in precisely the opposite direction and lined up three white men at the front.
Wolverine’s position almost becomes a parody of Hollywood’s determination to forever cast heroic white men as victims of oppression. If the mutant-human conflict is meant to reflect racism and homophobia in the real world, then the constant presence of the indestructible, hyper-masculine Wolverine is a depressing commentary on who Hollywood is willing to root for as an oppressed underdog hero.