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Origin II #1 - Book One Review

5

Before he was Wolverine, but after he was James Howlett, he was a man in the woods with a bunch of wolves.

The Good

In 1907, the Wolfish Man, AKA Logan, hunts game during the winter to find food for the pack of wolves he travels with.

As a fan of ORIGIN and Wolverine, I was a bit skeptical about this sequel. What's great about this first issue is that while it is a sequel, it feels so different. The tone of this book is completely different. It feels more like a story from mythology and lore rather than a Wolverine story. It has shades of Native American folklore sprinkled into the story, like the power and hungry white bear. Writer Kieron Gillen does a phenomenal job at combining modern day comic book storytelling with campfire tales. This reads more like a novel than anything else. That's what makes this stand out from the rest of the pack because it's different in a glorious way. The story is told through captions and what is actually said it pretty limited. Gillen let's Kubert's art do most of the talking.

ORIGIN II is a showcase for how awesome Adam Kubert's art can be and how well he can tell a story from panel to panel.His art really grabs the reader and pulls them in close. His line work is fantastic and the two page fight scene, between Wolverine and the white bear is thrilling. During this fight, the panels are a bit askew, but every piece of the page is utilized. Plus, the fight scene is pretty dang awesome. Along side Kubert are the beautiful colors from Frank Martin Jr. Together, these guys can do no wrong. Although the book takes place in the winter, out in the snow, Martin's colors shine here. There's lots of variation in color and it all looks extremely natural. This is one dynamite art team for this book

After Wolverine dukes it out with the white bear, there's something on his nose: a button. It reads "Subject II N. Essex." Obviously, most of the readers will know that Mr Sinister is a part of this story, but this is the lead in to that. It has me hooked.

The Bad

This issue may be a bit weird for Wolverine lovers. It's a big departure from ORIGINS. We do start to see a connection to a familiar name in the Marvel universe, but this issue focuses mainly on the Wolfish Man's family.

I still remain a tad skeptical because I'm not sure if this is an area of Wolverine's past that needs exploring. It's unfair to compare this to ORIGINS, but this is a sequel and that original mini-series did so much for the character. It's hard to see this mini-series having that same impact. However, only time will tell.

The Verdict

This particular issue hit me in a much different spot than it will hit other readers. I love Native American folklore. I love when well established characters can be placed in another genre and it really works. While there will be a lot of people that have a bit of a problem with this first issue because it's unknown, at this time, whether or not this will have the same impact as ORIGIN, take this first issue for what it is and enjoy it. It's a ton of fun and Gillen, Kubert, and Martin hit a home run here. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.