Few actors have become so intrinsically tied to a character they’ve played like Hugh Jackman and his portrayal of James Howlett, better known as Logan, the Wolverine. A central figure in 20th Century Fox’s long-running X-Men film series, Logan is a mutant with an accelerated healing ability and a bad temper who sprouts bony, claw-like protrusions from his hands when it comes time for some down and dirty knuckle-dusting. His mutant abilities ensure that he’s been around for a lot longer than most people, as well as put him on the military’s radar as they seek to hone him into a finely tuned killing machine through a secret project dubbed “Weapon X.” When he has a fictional metal known as “adamantium” grafted onto his bones, he becomes nigh-on indestructible—until age finally catches up to him. As his body begins to break down after nearly two centuries of trauma, Logan trudges on toward the finish line, finally ready to be done with this life in which everything and everyone he loves passes on while he remains. Logan is a film that masterfully deconstructs the superhero film genre, unmaking and profoundly humanizing its central hero. By embracing the mythic dimensions of tragic heroes, Logan subverts audience expectations at every corner to tell a seemingly new story through the rediscovery of classic mythological tropes.
It was the great conviction of author C. S. Lewis that, even as adults, the world is best seen through the eyes of a child with stories. Those stories have the potential to “baptize” the imagination, priming one to receive in faith the mythic dimensions of the biblical story, and therefore the gospel. This is a conversation about the Marvel character the Wolverine and the film Logan which can be used by the cultural apologist as a springboard to talk about the truth of Christianity.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Cole Burgett about his article, “Deconstructionism and the Gospel of Hope in Logan.” **Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Logan.**
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