Thursday, April 6, 2017

Superhero Media: Wolverine Origin

I'm not a fan of Wolverine at the best of times, and this comic doesn't really help at all. I know comic fans cry out for expanded continuity like a toothless addict cries for crystal meth, but did this comic ever really need to happen? Personality wise, Logan is dull and only made interesting by the fact that his past is a mystery; as soon as the reader knows that Wolverine was once a sickly, prissy child named James Howlett, there's nothing more to really care about. Therein lays the problem with this story, James is not an interesting character on his own merits, wanting to avoid fighting and pining over a bland, two-dimensional redhead girl who, for some reason, is the actual protagonist of the story. Wait, why is this considered a "classic" in the Marvel canon again? 

I know that when I'm keen for some superhero action, flipping open a comic and finding the story of a love triangle in a rural, colonial Canadian mining camp is exactly the thrill I was looking for! There's the occasional fight, just to keep things interesting, but does anyone really care about the rivalry between James and Cookie? Also James runs with some wolves occasionally, which I'm not sure is meant to be read literally or as symbolism for his awakening animal instincts? He's the Wolverine after all, and characterised as a loner, why is he involved with a pack animal? Hell, wolves don't even hunt in the same ways a Logan, so the metaphor is completely off. I guess it just makes for some good splash panels to use in the advertising so that the comic looks more interesting than it is.

I cannot recommend this comic at all, even for die-hard Wolverine fans. Logan barely does anything and the overall narrative is dull at the best of times. This doesn't explore who Wolverine really is, it just names him as James Howlett, which, as mentioned above, only serves to hurt the mystique of the character. The scene in The Ultimates where Captain America identifies Wolverine as "Lucky Jim Howlett" and talks about what happened in WWII is much better (and quicker) than this entire comic and achieves the same result. Better yet check out the WWII episodes of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series for some fun cameos from "Lucky Jim" fighting alongside Cap, Bucky and the Howling Commandos.

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