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Origin: The True Story of Wolverine - Bill Jemas

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Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins / Edition: 2nd Printing / Paperback / 160 Pages / Book is published 2007-02-02 by Panini (UK) Ltd.

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      25.10.2009 14:51
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      Origin: the Marvel account of the history of the mutant Wolverine

      An intense Wolverine fan since I can remember, it is only recently that I have delved into the history behind the mutant Marvel consider to be pretty much the most popular individual cult character they have had. However, I was a bit unsure about what I would find, whether it would destroy my perceptions or whether it would add to my being a fan.

      Having seen the recent film Wolverine: Origins, I was wondering whether it would be the same, but it's completely different. It harkens back to when Wolverine was a child named James, a sheltered son of a wealthy family, and it develops his life as an outcast following deaths, as he flees with Rose, who is also blamed for the deaths.

      The story develops somewhat, as Wolvie grows a bit older, and it is the tale that is quite enticing here, how he winds up in a quarry in the coldest parts of Canada, frced to fend for himself, and how the development of his name Logan, and nickname Wolverine came about. The story also develops his relationship with wolves and how he came to use his claws, which protrude from his knuckles whenever he finds himself needing an extra defence.

      I found the story to be a bit hard to get hold of to start with. Written by Bill Jemas, it is well developed, but confusing to start with. The artwork doesn't help, with Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove giving us almost blurry images at times. While this works very well with the confusion Wolverine is going through, it does make it hard at times to see who is who from frame to frame.

      Overall, the tale is intriguing, and I found myself drawn in. It forms the base for Wolverine as a character, as a person, as a mutant, and it is well developed by the end of the 160 pages or so. As characters from his past begin to emerge, he finds the past he put behind him will ever be there, and this is, in a way, a sort of explanation to the roguish and volatile character that Marvel fans are used to. We don't see the further continuance of characters such as Sabretooth that the film gives us. In fact, the whole set up with other characters is different. The similarities with fleeing following accidental deaths are there, but those he develops with are different, as is his transformation from boy into man.

      Overall, the storytelling and artwork connect very well together. There are confusing elements, but it is nice to see a bit of a difference to the normal exaggerated musculature that Marvel often has. There is no glossy overexaggeration, either, with the whole thing staying consistently downbeat throughout, letting some of the visuals, but mainly the words, do the talking. There are a couple of powerful scenes, but beyond that, it is more of a filler, a background tale, and as such, it is not really one that wows me at all.

      So, am I any better or worse off than I was before? No, not really. It's an interesting read, and I liked the difference in artwork, but there was confusion and it didn't really make it particularly special in terms of developing my knowledge of the character. There are so many different accounts of Wolverine's past. Perhaps this is the right one to believe, perhaps not. Perhaps it is just on a different timescale. Either way, it's just another historical development for Wolverine, and one more to add to the pile that seems to be building.

      Origin is available from amazon.co.uk for £6.35. It's well worth the read, but don't expect anything marvellous (excuse the pun).

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