Dated 28th February, 2015
Self-preservation? Or outright selfishness?
Remember the scene in X-men, ‘Days of Future Past’, where Wolverine tells Magneto that he (Magneto) is just like him (Wolverine), a survivor? Well, Bullshit. Magneto is nothing like Wolverine,who’s much, much better. Wolverine is the real survivor. The selfless, protecting, caring person.
Magneto, on the other hand, is just a coward who uses his past to justify his heinous present, future and animalistic nature.
Although one cannot deny some similarities in their past, but their attitudes towards it are poles apart. Wolverine lost his father, saw him killed in front of his own eyes, mutated and killed the murderer, only to learn that the murderer was his real, biological father. That he is a bastard. His own mother threw him out, partly because of her fear of his bone claws and mostly due to the fact that the boy killed her darling lover (so what if the poor boy had witnessed the man, whom he thought of as his father, being murdered in cold blood just moments back). But Wolverine didn’t get back at the world for it by tearing apart every family he could get his claws on. I also never saw him go on a killing spree against all the mothers in this world, or even all the infidel ones!!!
He lost each and every women he fell in love with- each more tragically than the previous one. Jean, Kyla Siverfox, (maybe) Rogue; and (I’m presuming a bit, that he wouldn’t have remained single all those years- before and after Siverfox, and before Jean) many more the movie series couldn’t show. In fact, he lost Siverfox twice- both times to brutal murder by someone he once trusted.
And the worst part of the ordeal was his immortality. He couldn’t even commit suicide when the pain became too much to bear. But he still remained (mostly) untainted. He is the real survivor. Not someone, who would commit any horrific sin, just to keep intact his cocoon of comfort; but someone who would preserve both himself and his ideals,with whom he wouldn’t compromise, no matter what the world does to him.
I may not admire Wolverine totally, but I do love some things about him. Firstly, he knew about, believed in and protected innocence. He went against his own brother when the latter was about to slaughter the innocents. He fought the world for Rogue, and later for the granddaughter of Yashida, who wanted to take away his immortality and kill him. He even went out to avenge a grizzly bear. He didn’t go on a killer rampage just because some people had been bad to him.
He was subjected to the most inhuman experiments in William Stryker’s lab. That too, under a false pretext. And he did avenge himself most brutally, to which he was entirely entitled. But he did it against the right people, and not any random, innocent bystanders.
Magneto now. Yes, he did lose his mother, had to see Sabastian Shaw kill her in front of his eyes. Yes, he too was tortured inhumanly, was made an insignificant lab rat. But that justifies just the killing of Shaw and his henchmen- or at the maximum, firing those nukes against the human allied forces, who deserted and plotted against him. But whatever he went on to do later, was just him and his lust for power. He tried to kill a 16 year old Rogue to harness her mutant power, in order to kill humans. He manipulated Jean when she was mentally unstable, causing Professor X’s death, for which he had almost no regret, and most certainly no guilt. He made Mystique, who was Professor X’s adopted sister, poison his cerebro, thus poisoning the relation between a brother and sister as well. X had saved him as well, from himself in a feeble attempt to get back at Shaw. And how was the professor repaid? By being crippled, forced into hiding and having to fight a man who not only owed him his life as well as his greatest obsession- revenge – but also the one whom he loved the most in the world, more than a brother.
So, you see, it’s not the circumstances, but what you decide to do after them- that has the final word in who you are. You can protect, and cherish innocence the way Wolverine did, or you can trample it and make people stop having any faith in it, the way Magneto did.
You can fight for what’s actually right, like Wolverine, or you can conveniently drop them like hot potatoes, for your selfish ends, no matter what fancy name for them you might come up with. There’s always a choice- between being Wolverine and being Magneto.