‘Wolverine: Origins’ #41 Review: Ace’s Take Two

Wolverine: Origins #41 cover Wolverine: Origins #41 (details)
“7 the Hard Way, Part One”
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Bill Reinhold


RECAP: Wolverine speeds down the highway while contemplating his loss at the hands of Romulus. Coming to the realization that in order to best his enemy at his own game and save his son he has to do the unexpected. He resolves through the advice of another to destroy the throne of Romulus’ empire as opposed to the man who rules it, thus ending the potential cycle.

In order to do so he needs to collect the pieces and players of this gambit: the first approach being one Bruce Banner. Banner plays dumb, pretending to be unaware of their shared history. Wolverine informs him that he’s looking for someone else to which Bruce replies that that part of his life is over (Note: Bruce Banner was recently “cured” of the Hulk in his own title).

Logan, knowing that the best way to bring out the Hulk is to anger his alter-ego promptly attacks Banner, hoping to elicit the proper emotion and release the beast within. Enter Skaar, the Son of Hulk, the Hulk’s lovechild from another world. Coming to his father’s defense Skaar soon learns that he would be unable to kill the feral mutant due to his healing factor and unbreakable skeleton.

Wolverine makes one last remark to Banner, stating the following: “Hopin’ to keep your son from gettin’ sucked into the same nightmare you were livin’? Well, Bruce it might surprise ya’ to know… that I’m doin’ the same damn thing”. Skaar then punts him into a forest one state over.

Here he is found impaled on a tree by yet another father and son, two adult civilians. The father attempts to help Logan while the son calls 911 in order to protect his father from Wolverine, who he sees as a dangerous individual and a potential heart attack risk for his dad. The officer taking the call contacts Romulus, who then uses his connections to send the local police force to apprehend Logan.

As the police close in on him, Skaar and Bruce appear to lend a hand. The latter having changed his mind after thinking over Logan’s aforementioned words.

MY TAKE: Now this is more like it! It may not be the best issue in the world, but I’ll take something happening over a non-story like the previous issue any day. At least this I can review. While I actually rather enjoyed this particular story (especially when comparing it to #40), it was hardly without flaws.

Lets start at the beginning, Wolverine: Origins #41 opens with Wolverine contemplating, in his own words, how he “got his ass kicked in every possible way”. Did I read a different story? Was he not actually present during that fight? Did Daniel Way not read the scripts for #40 and #41 while he was writing them? In no way were the events of last issue an “ass kicking”.

Without spending too much time on the events of last issue, Wolverine not only held his own during that fight, but he was also winning it for the majority. And when Romulus walked out of there, he did so bloodied and beaten, having just barely survived the encounter. Wolverine’s statements in this issue completely contradict what we just saw in the last. Someone dropped the ball.

Another quibble would be how codependent this story is in regards to recent Hulk continuity, with nary a writer/editor’s note to be seen. I’m all for continuity, but this story assumes you’ve read Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Son of Hulk, the recent issue in which Bruce loses his ability to become the Hulk, and the events of Incredible Hulk #602 which takes place before this story and features Daken/Skaar and Bruce/Logan interaction. To make matters worse, that final story was released in the same week as Origins #41.

It was to the point that I actually felt the need to insert my own note into the issue summary, as the Wolverine and Hulk fandoms are hardly interconnected, even with the characters shared histories.

As for my final gripe, I’m a bit perplexed by Romulus’ logic here. Why would he possibly believe sending a backwater small town sheriffs department to apprehend Wolverine would work? That said, I do love the idea of him having those sort of connections to begin with.

Switching gears, I’m starting to rather enjoy these “Wolverine gets punted across the country by super-beings” gags that have been popping up of late. They’re a bit silly, but what other character could take that sort of power and punishment and walk away from it in such a fashion? Quite amusing.

I’m glad to see the storyline getting back on track. As much as I hated that what should have been the big reveal last issue turned out to be a glorified promotional ad for this one, it actually had a rather interesting premise. Wolverine had two choices: go to one or all of his teams and ask for an assist, or go solo. Nothing particularly groundbreaking in either scenario, typical Logan behavior.

Instead the character is going out of his comfort zone and doing something a bit more radical, something the enemy presumably doesn’t have a counterplan for. As a reader I find that intriguing.

Overall it’s not a bad issue, and it’s certainly an interesting start to the new storyline that seems to seek to close out the series. It suffers from the typical logical fallacies the book often falls into, but above all else it shows promise to be a unique tale, one we haven’t seen before from Wolverine.

Unfortunately I believe this will be my last review for Wolverine Files for the time being. I always knew some day my other duties would pull me away, but I thought I would have more time. Please keep the comments coming and thanks for reading. – Ace

‘Wolverine: Origins’ #40 Review: Ace’s Take

Introduction: Greetings gentle readers, as of today I’ll be taking over the ‘Wolverine: Origins’ reviewing duties for jrpbsp.

Before we begin I’d like to make a few things clear: First of all, this review will be a bit different from my future efforts. This particular issue was extraordinarily difficult to review for reasons that will become apparent below. Second, I’ll be sticking fairly closely to DiG and jrpbsp’s established reviewing format.

However, with that said, my style of reviewing will also be less critical. What do I mean by that? Well, I’ll do my very best to objectively interpret each issue, but I won’t necessarily nitpick the smaller subjective quibbles. One fine example of this would be Wolverine’s healing factor and fighting abilities…

As we all know, ‘Wolverine: Origins’ can be inconsistent in its portrayal of those aspects of the character. While my predecessors have written some phenomenal reviews, one element I often disagreed with was trying to critique something as subjective as abilities. Daniel Way writes Logan’s healing factor and fighting abilities differently from Jason Aaron, who in turn writes them differently than Marc Guggenheim. And he, of course, wrote it differently than Chris Claremont.

I feel it would be unfair of me to berate one writer for the inconsistencies in that area which every writer in the comic industry shares. Each of them have a differing take on what Wolverine is and isn’t capable of. It varies from story to story, issue to issue. As such, I shall only be critiquing such things in the most glaring and extreme of circumstances.

And now, on with the review!

Wolverine: Origins #40 cover Wolverine: Origins #40 (details | thread)
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Scot Eaton
Inker: Andrew Hennessy


RECAP: Romulus finally reveals himself to Wolverine. A confrontation ensues and the two do battle; Wolverine out of vengeance, and Romulus out of his want for a suitable replacement. Logan is disarmed and goaded into losing his cool when his opponent threatens Daken, enabling Romulus to temporarily gain the upper hand.

His enemy attempts to manipulate Wolverine one time too many, explaining that if he were to slay him he would effectively become Romulus’s successor: “I am what you will become”. Logan is able to take advantage of this and turns the tables with a goad of his own, telling Romulus that “You’re not what I’m going to become… …I’m what you’ve always wanted to be”.

Wolverine is able to best his ancient foe, stabbing him in the torso. He then walks away, making a claim that he will eventually defeat Romulus but not now. While his back is turned Romulus hurls the Muramasa blade at him, knocking him unconscious for a moment. In this state he has a vision of Itsu and their life in Japan.

Romulus stands over Wolverine’s body and then walks off.

MY TAKE: This issue was perplexing. So little happens within the issue that it made my reviewing process so simple that I was left with virtually nothing to say; thus making the reverse true and complicating matters.

Throw all of your expectations regarding this issue out. Unless you guessed that the story would be a glorified 20+ page fight scene, you were wrong. There was practically no character or story progression. No reveals to speak of. It essentially amounts to Wolverine and Romulus doing battle while trash talking each other.

The summary suggests that more happens than what actually did. In terms of interesting plot elements we find out Romulus has been guiding Wolverine’s journey all these years in order to hone him into the perfect weapon. A fact we already knew. That Romulus’s claws are attached to his glove and not his flesh, thus explaining the illogical thumb claw. And finally we glimpsed some brief development regarding Itsu in Wolverine’s unconscious mind. Nothing of consequence.

If nothing else ‘Wolverine: Origins’ #40 had some interesting dialogue on the part of Romulus. Some of it will be controversial, some was clever. But it should illicit a response one way or another, unlike the rest of the issue. Way seems to have at least mastered the art of villainous gloating.

Again, if you had any expectations about a Romulus identity reveal, you would be sadly mistaken. If you thought the Lupine controversy would be cleaned up, it would in fact only be made more vague. The story ends, but has no real ending. It only serves to advertise the real battle between Wolvie and Romulus that will be seen in the coming issues.

In closing, I’ve come down hard on this issue, but it really isn’t worth your time.

Thanks for reading my first official review for Wolverine Files. Please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.