There weren’t really any expectations for The Wolverine. Following the less-said-the-better one-two punch of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins Wolverine, the series and its franchise star James ‘Logan’ Howlett (aka Wolverine) seemed more than a little overripe. There just didn’t seem much left to mine from The Wolverine. The character, the obvious standout of X-Men and X2, now felt repetitive and dull. Just the same note of false bravado masking seething rage repeated ad infinitum. Which is why The Wolverine was such an unexpected surprise. Less a comic book than a drama that just so happens to star a guy with claws, The Wolverine unearthed hidden depths of its titular character. In the hands of filmmaker James Mangold, the archly hyper-masculine Wolverine became a tragic figure of ineffectual heroism. What happens when the hero can’t save the day? Who does he then become? How does he then define himself?