Origin

Written by Jemas, Quesada, and Jenkins, and illustrated by Kubert and Isanove, Origin recounts the heretofore unknown early years of Wolverine’s life. For two decades, Marvel afficianados have wondered: “who is Wolverine?” and “what made him the way he is?” Unfortunately, Origin doesn’t really answer these questions. Oh sure, we do learn that Wolverine’s given name was James, that he was born in the late Nineteenth Century, that he was part of the landed gentry, and that through a series of troubles, he set off on the road to becoming a homicidal maniac. But these were hardly the questions I wanted answered. How did he become a martial artist, a Japanese expert, a Canadian super-spy, and a guy with adamantium bones? That’s what I want to know! Is that in Origin II? On the bright side, Kubert’s art is thoughtful and certainly evokes the period; unfortunately, painted comics typically leave me cold. Perhaps the best part of Origin is the afterword by Quesada wherein he explains just how much “courage” it took for Marvel to reveal these long-held secrets. Is he joking? The story is only mildly interesting, and it certainly doesn’t take any risks (despite taking three guys to write it). If anything, the whole “saga” only underscores just how chicken-shit the folks at Marvel are. Origin was a commercial success and helped to pull Marvel out of the financial gutter. Here’s hoping the next big risk pulls them out of the creative one.