Marvel Comics decided to write the origin of
Wolverine before some comic illiterate from Hollywood
did. I’ve written my (spoiler-free) opinions on how
it turned out. Would you like to add yours?
Author: Paul Jenkins, with input from Bill Jemas and
Illustrator(s): Andy Kubert (pencils) and Richard
painting) on most pages, with Richard Isanove and Joe
Quesada on the
Original Publication Date: Published in a six part
series through 2001
and 2002, collected in a single hardcover that hit
shelves June 5, 2002.
Cover Price: $34.95 US, $55.95 Can
The origin of Wolverine.
This is handled as a back story. The modern Wolverine
is not seen
anywhere. In other words, the readers know where he
came from, but
Wolverine doesn’t. That, I think, is a very good
thing, and an
excellent way to handle it.
Wolverine’s first introduction to the ways of the
samurai felt a
little forced to me.
The Questions That Get Answered
I hate giving spoilers, so I’ll list the questions
that get answered
without revealing the answers. (Well, some answers
Is Logan Wolverine’s first name, or his last name?
How old is he, really?
What aroused his interest in the samurai?
Where was he born and raised?
Why does he have a thing for busty redheads? (Like
that one needed a
When did he first pop his claws?
We know most mutant powers emerge after a trauma of
some form, while
others (like Shadowcat’s) just sort of happened; which
way did it
happen for Wolverine?
Does Wolverine have any family?
Why was Wolverine living off the land in the Canadian
wilderness for a
Why can’t Wolverine remember his past?
The Questions That Don’t Get Answered
These are the questions that aren’t answered here. If
I know where
the answers are, I’ll point you to them.
How is he connected to Sabretooth?
How did the Weapon X project become interested in
The originality here is fairly impressive.
The writers knew
they were working with a prequel. Like
Star Wars: Episode III, the reader knows
where the story
should end. That makes it a little tricky to present
original and unexpected. That said, they did a great
job of keeping
things fresh, and providing enough surprises to make
sure the story
felt new. I give it 4 out of 6.
The artwork is excellent, particularly on the
only complaint is that the faces sometimes shift from
panel to panel.
I give it 4 out of 6.
The story is excellent. The story starts in
a setting that
I’d never imagine finding Wolverine in, and then does
a great job of
delivering him to where we know he should end up.
Even knowing the
answers to the questions above, I still like the story
as it’s told.
It also held back. Reading the extra materials
discussing the stages
of the project made it clear that they wanted to
about Wolverine when they started to do this, but
decided to leave
some questions out for fear of crowding the story.
They found an
excellent balance. I’ll reread this one a few times.
5 out of 6.
Those of you who read my review of
Wolverine Vol. 1 know that I wanted strong
characterization for Wolverine. It’s in
here. Not only do
we see him develop into the recluse he is, we see why
that was the
best thing for him to do. We see where his rage comes
importantly, we see who he was before he became this,
and how he
became what he is. I give it 5 out of 6.
My emotional response was good. This really
brought me in.
Issue two hits pretty hard, as well. I give it 5 out
The flow was excellent. The pacing while
multiple scenes and during the battles was excellent.
conversations and actions all played out well. If Fox
option this story as a movie to go along with the
franchise, the adaptation will be extremely simple,
and most of the
director’s work will already be done. It really plays
out well. 5
out of 6.
Overall, this is the kind of comic that will
readers into the genre. I wouldn’t recommend it for
the very young or
the soft-hearted, but I’d definitely recommend it for
It’s not quite perfect, but the flaws hardly stand
out. (The Low
Point was the only point that nagged, even a little
the story, and that’s about two panels worth of a
book.) I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, Origin receives 34 out of 42.