Wolverine and the Four Archetypes of Manliness

What exactly is it about Wolverine that makes him the man that he is? Is it the claws? The healing factor? Maybe it's just all that testosterone...

“What makes a man? Is it the power in his hands? Is it his quest for glory?”  Wait, is that a euphemism? I’m pretty sure it is.Anywho. What about Wolverine? Is he a man because of the power in his hands – which we will attribute to his claws (get your mind out of the gutter, you dirty bird). I must admit that every time I see a trailer for The Wolverine, featuring Hugh Jackman in all his grimacing, beefcake, wife-beater wearing glory, I think to myself, “Now there is a manly man.”Yes, we can all agree that he is a man’s man. Right? Yet not all men, not even all X-Men, are created equal. The unequivocal hotness of Jackman’s Wolverine is more on par with the new, lumberjack-esque Superman (whose love of scruffy beards and flannel knows no bounds), than it is with the smoothed out, pirate-goatee wearing manliness of billionaire playboy Tony Stark.I hate to attribute their differences to money (despite the fact that the first time we saw Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s X-Men film, Rogue was hiding out in the back of his filthy, dilapidated, mobile home). Maybe Stark can just afford a better beard trimmer and finer undershirts? No, no, that can’t be it. Even outside of the movies, comic book Wolverine has always been a more rough and tumble, burly, dude; not a metrosexual.The long, sad, life of James Howlett.Unlike Hugh Jackman, Wolverine did not roll out of his mother’s womb with a rocking hard six pack. No, his humble beginnings were far less manly. Born James Howlett in late 19th century Canada, he was sickly and small. Despite this, he grew into his mutant abilities, his six pack abs, his swarthy chest hair, and found himself at home with his physicality. Yes, first came murder, abuse, devastating betrayal, bloodshed, and some weird running with the wolves episode; but in the end that little wussy caterpillar spun his cocoon and transformed into a swarthy, sexy-time weasel.