by Brett White
I had high hopes for "The Wolverine." From early on, we knew that the cast seemed pretty gender balanced, with Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), Yukio (Rila Fukushima), Mariko (Tao Okamoto) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) all guaranteed to play a big part in the film—heck, they all got character posters! The ratio looked good, especially compared to pretty much every other superhero film in recent memory, which usually manages to cap off the leading lady number at two, even when the male characters skyrocket into double digits.
Plus, the storyline that inspired the film was written by Chris Claremont, the guy that made the X-Franchise incredibly progressive. All of the women in the James Mangold film were there in Claremont's original story, and that guy wrote strong women. If the film managed to not stray too far from that source material, then I knew it'd be in good shape. I knew that we'd finally get a film where women played as pivotal a role—and got as much screentime—as their male cast mates.
I'm happy to report that "The Wolverine" exceeded my expectations in a big way, turning a lot of film and superhero film conventions on their head and even improved on the source material. Here are five reasons why "The Wolverine" is the most feminist superhero film in recent memory. Also, duh, SPOILERS AHEAD.