In an article describing The Wolverine's opening weekend box office take, USA Today stumbled upon an inkling of something comic book readers have known to be true for over two decades: There is way too much Wolverine. The article said that the the movie's opening weekend take of $55 million, which earned it the number one spot, was good for a sixth entry in a franchise. But then they took a step into territory heretofore uncharted by the mainstream media:
While Wolverine's opening was solid for a sixth franchise installment, analysts wondered whether moviegoers are suffering mutant fatigue. The previous Wolverine film, 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, debuted to $85 million.
"The concern with The Wolverine has been one of saturation," says David Mumpower of boxofficeprophets.com.
USA Today goes on to talk about the abundance of super hero movies in general, glossing over the point.
Clearly, they don't know who they're dealing with. This is Wolverine. The dude has starred in no less than six ongoing titles since 1992. Currently, he's in Wolverine, Wolverine Max, Wolverine and the X-Men (where he's a teacher), Savage Wolverine, Astonishing X-Men, All New X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, probably several Ultimate and animated universe books, and has like a 40% chance of popping up in any other Marvel book at any given time, 60% if it's an Avengers or X-Men book. USA Today has no clue how deep the infection has spread, and if they start investigating... well, we're not sure the outside world is ready for what they might find.
"People who have never read comics have no frame of reference for understanding the oversaturation of certain characters or groups of characters like comic book readers do," explained Dr. Thaddeus Puffinbottoms, professor of comiXology at DeVry University. "Their brains just couldn't process it."
"Psychologists would have a field day examining the psyche of the comic book reader and its willingness to fork over countless dollars just to read watered down, meaningless stories about a single popular character," he remarked. "There's no question that there's too much Wolverine. The only real question is what kind of effect that type of oversaturation has on a generation of readers, ones who, perhaps, grew up in a world where twelve ongoing Wolverine titles was a reality, from the time they began reading comics as a child right up to the time, perhaps they even started writing them themselves..."
"That's bullshit, and you know it, Puffinbottoms!" shouted an irate Jason Aaron, who busted in on our fictional conversation with the fictional Puffinbottoms. "There can never be too much Wolverine! There could never be enough!"
Aaron grabbed Puffinbottoms by his hounds tooth jacket and shook him vigorously.
"There's a hole in my soul, an empty, gaping void," explained the wild-eyed Aaron, spittle flying from his mouth and collecting on his beard. "And only Wolverine can fill that void! I need Wolverine to be constantly thrust into the void, rigidly, over and over again, in an unwavering, pounding, ultimately unfulfilling assault!"
"Do you hear me?!" he finished, before storming out of the room.
"This is exactly what I mean," Puffinbottoms told us. "USA Today had better stop asking questions. Once you fall down the rabbit hole..."
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (probably), is in theaters now. Just go watch it and thank your lucky stars you don't have to watch eight more Wolverine movies this month alone. It could be worse. It could be so... much... worse.