When I was a kid, Wolverine wasn’t a comic book character. I didn’t qualify my heroes with the medium they came from. They were just as valid and special as any character from any film or book. That opinion wasn’t shared by most of the world and, in turn, that made the characters even more precious to me. I felt like I was special because I understood something about them that other people didn’t.

For better or worse, that feeling no longer exists for me these days. Comics have made it to the masses and you could argue that the nuance that should exists in every character has been exchanged for brightly colored spectacle. While that’s not inherently a bad thing, and I appreciate a world where access to these stories is readily available, I miss the quiet moments I spent with these characters. I miss connecting with them in a way that felt like they were created just for me.

This movie made me feel that again.

Wolverine is the character that (like many kids) made me pick up my first comic. He actually served as a pillar to an industry that wasn’t as profitable as it is today. And as someone who had trouble making friends and always felt like an outsider — as someone who found comics at a time when my father was no longer part of my life, the relationship between him and Charles was something that felt extremely personal.

The Wolverine I’ve seen on screen has always brushed the surface of the character I grew up with, but never broke the surface. Maybe marketing to general audiences wouldn’t allow it, or maybe everything that happened between the panels couldn’t be replicated on screen. The rough edges that made him so appealing to me were sanded off. Instead, they were used as punctuation marks or for shock factor.

In Logan, you get the rough edges. And the moments of quiet reverence the movie spends with him and Charles are all the more meaningful because of it. This isn’t a movie about comic book characters — it’s a movie about humans. Extraordinarily unique humans struggling to do the right thing in the face of constant hardship.

Beyond that, it’s a movie that takes these characters and brutally acknowledges the context in which they exist in the real world. It takes shots at the state of “safe” violence in entertainment while also commenting on the violence taking place in our border states — an aspect of the film that’s timely, if not outright intentional.

To say that I was emotional throughout this movie would be an understatement and I feel like the tears I shed as the credits rolled were earned and honest and true. It’s a beautiful send-off for two characters that deserve my eternal thanks and it reminded me that there are still stories being made just for me.