Wolverine: Origins #1–5 by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
Too much damn punctuation in that damned title …
You know what’s weird? Seeing a good artist on the wrong title – Dillon is an excellent penciller but he shouldn’t be drawing Wolverine superhero comics. Punisher comic books, written by Garth Ennis, yes, he should draw those, but not mainstream superhero books that are about making the people in spandex look good. It doesn’t seem to blend; the art style and the content jar with each other. His artwork on dialogue scenes and those action scenes that don’t involve people in spandex is great – sharp, clear, focussed storytelling, great facial expressions; typical Dillon. It’s just the other stuff that doesn’t work as well. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t do a particularly good Wolverine in costume, which is slightly vital for this book, although he does a particularly impressive ‘evil’ Logan – the look on Logan’s face as he tortures Nuke (before he became Nuke) is scary.
The story, and the entire point of this book it would seem, is a case of ‘Provide background information on Logan but without actually revealing anything of actual value’. It’s not helped by the weird choice of Nuke – I’m not aware of his origin, but he’s a character I associate with Frank Miller’s landmark run on Daredevil, which is not something you want to compare your comics with unless you are writing some bloody impressive stories. I also don’t understand the Muramasa blade aspect of this story – why on earth would you give Wolverine, a man most famous for having six claws in his arms which he can use to cut through anything (because they’re made of adamantium), a great big sword that cuts through anything but that he has to carry around with him? It’s completely illogical and extremely silly.
If anything, this collection of comic books is more an origin story for Frank Simpson, aka Nuke, which kind of misses the point of this book if you ask me. Even trying to liven things up by having Wolverine fighting Captain America seems off-kilter, with very weak justification for their opposition. And the book goes to all this effort to give Logan yet another bloody back story – how many does this once-mysterious character actually need? Are these ‘filling in the blanks’ stories the only ones Marvel is permitting anyone to tell now? And having him as a handler of psychopaths and turning them into weapons that can be used for whatever agency requires them just seems unnecessary. It’s trying too hard. I don’t know if this was the first mention of the son who is now almost as ubiquitous as his father, but it saddens me to see what has happened to Wolverine.