Thursday, 5 September 2013

Wolverine: Origins & Endings Review

Writer: Daniel Way
Artists: Javier Saltares & Mark Texeira

I've been trying to get through as many of my graphic novels, and comics series as I can, reviewing them along the way, whilst also reading the Marvel events that fall in between. I also plan on reading the series at the same time, reading each story that falls in line (e.g. a Spider-Man story followed by an Avengers, followed by something else, then back to Spider-Man). I've finally come to start re-reading my Wolverine collection, with this being my sixth review from it.


After the events of House of M, Wolverine has finally regained all his memories, and begins a mission to try and right some of the wrongs in his life.


This was a good story, and although it wasn't without it's flaws, overall it was very good, and interesting. Daniel Way is a writer that I've had mixed feelings about in the past, as he's done such amazing work, with stuff like Wolverine: Origins, and Deadpool having tremendous stories, but for all the good stories he produces there's at least one poor one to match it. Anyway Way did a great job on this story, and although it wasn't phenomenal, it was a great way to follow with Wolverine regaining his memories, and the perfect prelude to his Wolverine: Origins series, which would see Wolverine try and rectify his past wrongs. Although I've been a fan of Wolverine for many years, I feel that Way has done a good job at introdcuing readers to the character with this story, as although there are many better stories for new readers to try, if you're looking for a modern story that introduces there's only really one other story like that I feels better than this, and that's Origin. The story itself was exciting, and interesting, as well as having some brilliant appearances, as well as giving plenty of insight into what would happen in the Wolverine: Origins series. In saying that, this story still wasn't without it's faults, as there were times that it felt a little too slow. Another negative thing was that whenever it built up to something interesting it'd sometimes trail of into a different part of the story, and by the time it returned the situation would have defused itself, going from something possibly exciting to something slightly disappointing.

The art in this story was once again great, and Javier Saltares, and Mark Texeira once again did a good job, but it just didn't feel quite as good as it was in House of M: World of M Featuring Wolverine. There's two main reasons that I believe is the reason for their art not being quite as good, with the first being that I don't feel that Jonathan D. Smith's colours suit their artwork, and although normally I'd love this type of colouring, due to it not suiting the pencils it just didn't feel right. Besides that I also didn't feel that Saltares, and Texeira did as good a job at drawing Wolverine himself, as although I felt their art was perfect for Wolverine when he was out of the blue and yellow spandex, it didn't really suit him when he was in it. There was however still positives to their art, as it wasn't terrible, and the overall detail was just as good as it was in House of M: World of M Featuring Wolverine. I also loved the layout (which I believe Saltares was responsible for), as it added a lot of drama, and depth to the story, making it feel more alive, and vibrant. The action was also handled very well, as although there were certain panels that looked a bit motionless, and unrealistic, the rest was pure brilliance, and really gave a lot of excitement to the story, as well as giving the violence this sort of story needs.

During House of M Wolverine regained all his memories, something that he's been trying to get since Weapon X experimented on him, and this story shows how he deals with them. What I found most interesting about Wolverine regaining his memories was that after all these years of wanting them, that now he does, he wished he didn't. It's kind of a natural reaction though, as if you don't know something you have the natural urge to know it, especially if it's something personal like this, but due to the nature of these memories, and how they now haunt him it's also natural to no longer want them. The best thing however about regaining his memories was that we got Wolverine: Origins to follow, and although that series was far from perfect, it did have it's good moments, like the introduction of Daken.

The first real appearance in this story was from the Silver Samurai, a person that knows Wolverine very well. I always love it when Silver Samurai makes an appearance in stories, especially when they're Wolverine stories, but at the same times he's made some terrible appearances, which makes me sceptical when seeing him. Now this wasn't the best appearance from Silver Samurai, but at the same time far from the worst, as the interaction between him and Wolverine was awesome, and the fighting was also brilliant.

The New Avengers, who Wolverine's a member of make an appearance in this issue, working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to get Wolverine back, or prevent him from doing further damage. To be fair the New Avengers did next to nothing in this story, and all of them besides Captain America could have easily been left out. At the same time that doesn't mean that the appearance wasn't nice, it's just that it wasn't any thing special, and removing them from the story wouldn't do much difference. I also found the way Iron Man was drawn, and more importantly coloured to be very weird, and didn't really like it.

The reason I said that Cap kind of needed to be involved, and you could involve Iron Man for the same reason, is that Cap's former sidekick Bucky Barnes who's now the Winter Soldier appears in this story, and has an interesting run in with Wolverine. Although due to Bucky only re-emerging recently there hasn't been a lot of interaction between him, and Wolverine unless in stories set during World War II, but for anyone who follows Wolverine will know that since his re-emergence they've had history. Now I won't spoil it for anyone who doesn't know, as this is the story that reveals why, but I will say that it was very interesting finding out, and reading when it occurred, and the aftermath from this would be interesting, even if it never reached it's full potential (the aftermath that is).

This story also revealed how the Muramasa Blades were created, something that I'd always wanted to read prior to this. When I started collecting Wolverine comics it was during the time of Wolverine: Origins, and the Muramasa Blades were frequently used during that, as well as in other Wolverine related series'/stories, so to read the actual origin of the blades was interesting. Now again I won't spoil anything, even though it's pretty obvious, but I will say that the sequences that lead up to this were exciting, and interesting, even if they were a bit sudden.

Final Verdict

This was a very interesting, and entertaining story, and although it's not the best Wolverine story ever (far from it), and also isn't without it's flaws, it's still very interesting, and a great way for newer readers to understand Wolverine in a modern story. It was also the perfect prelude to Way's Wolverine: Origins series, and although there's many Wolverine stories I'd recommend over this story, I'd still recommend giving this one a try, as it's worth the read.

Rating: 4/5

The next Wolverine book I'll be reviewing will be Wolverine: Civil War.

Before that however I'll be reviewing Civil War itself.