Good old Logan, or Wolverine, or James Howlett, or whatever you want to call him. The man with a million origin stories that through retcons, brainwashing, or another reason to sell a comic book, keeps having his origin retold with something new and original along the way. For some reason, Marvel is once again giving us a new chapter in the secret origin of Wolverine and how he became to be the man that he is. Not even a new chapter but a five issue new chapter at that!
I’m sure this has nothing to do with the ‘Wolverine’ reboot that is occurring with the next set of NOW! that makes Wolverine lose his healing factor and thus making him ‘killable’. Clearly I’m biased against the idea of more Wolverine on page. He’s in every comic, on almost every team, has multiple stand alone titles, AND we’ve seen a gazillion variants of his origin at this point. Oh, did I mention that the first ‘Origin’ mini-series for Wolverine was probably my favorite origin of him to date and the fact that they were doing a sequel just felt off?
So I’m going to say that I was pleasantly surprised when, at least for the first issue, Kieron Gillen has delivered a solid story that I was able to like in spite of my preconceptions of being against the very idea of the comic. This is not the light-hearted author from ‘Young Avengers‘ and clearly he is able to touch on the darker points to Wolverine’s psyche. Yes, just one issue in and I feel we might have a perfect sequel on our hands. The pages open in 1907, roughly where the first ‘Origin’ leaves off with Wolverine in Canada with a pack of wolves living as more beast than man. Never being able to be left at peace, we see a strange and hungry white bear break into his solitude who has a label with the name Essex on it. Clearly any fan of the X-Men titles instantly knows that something a little sinister is going to be afoot in this event.
For the most part, we get a telling of who Wolverine is at this time in his life and not much of the berserker rage that he will one day be known for. In fact, aside from the explosive ending to the first issue there really isn’t much fighting to draw you in though fans of that side of Logan will surely have that in store for them with how the final pages closed. So if you are mainly looking for that portion of his personality, I’m pretty sure it’ll be here in the upcoming issues but the first is still showing a bit of his wild side, at least on his tracking skills and more of the ‘wild’ take of his personality.
I’m still not sold that this was a needed entree into the mysterious history of Wolverine. That being said, it was a fun read and if the other four issues deliver on the promise of the first one, the series will probably be worth picking up.
ORIGIN II #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Adam Kubert