Wolverine Week-11-in-Review: X-Men Noir, Astonishing Tales, Marvel Spotlight

Wolverine appeared in only two titles this past week (March 11, 2009).

But he was the centerpiece and editorial subject of Marvel Spotlight: Wolverine that begins with an absolute must-read interview with Daniel Way.

Marvel Spotlight: Wolverine cover

Early on, Way admits, “[Wolverine] is almost a war criminal. And if we had lost WWII, he would have been a war criminal.”

And here is where Daniel Way and I differ.

Morally, Wolverine is a war criminal, period.

I understand his legal distinction, but for me it is all about what one does when no one is looking. Not merely what one can prove.

And for me, it is for exactly that reason that I do not like ‘Wolverine: Origins’.

I, for one, do not believe it was necessary to take Wolverine to these evil depths in order to show off his redemption.

As he notes at the end of the interview, “…Sometimes I’ve done things that have pissed off fans to the extreme, but I’ve gotten their heart pumpin’ again. ‘I made ya look.’ And, that was the point.”

And here I thought it was to make fans say, “Wow.”

Jason Aaron and Christopher Yost are also interviewed and there are some excellent pieces on Barry Windor-Smith’s ‘Weapon X’, ‘First Class’ and ‘Origin’.

Moving onto the reviews themselves…

X-Men Noir #4 (preview)
“The Mutant Hunter”
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Dennis Calero

I strongly recommend a thorough reread of the first three issues before embarking on this series finale.

Wolverine does appear, but merely plays a supporting role this time around…

Astonishing Tales #2 (preview)
“The Hard Way”
Writer: C.B. Cebulski
Penciler: Kenneth Rocafort

More over-the-top posturing for Wolverine and the Punisher, and the introduction of “Kimora: Agent of the Mysterious Organization Known as The Facility” whose enormous breasts threaten to burst through the fabric of her low-cut uniform.

So depending on your viewpoint, this is either an incredible waste of your money or the greatest comic book of all time…

What do you think? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below OR join in on the fun in the Wolverine Files Forums

Facebook comments:

  1. I wish Daniel Way to be feared to go outside because of angry fans. he deserves it. As Way was able to ignore some of Logan past, I hope it goes the same for his Wolverine Origins in the future.

  2. He already has done so in the last issue.
    I’ll be honest and say I’m starting to just ignore Way. If I do not acknowledge what he is doing to my favourite Character, then it is not happening. Wolverine is NOT a war Criminal, any more than Nick Fury is. Maybe yes from his time in the cold war, but not WW2.
    Honestly, the sooner they recon this the better.
    (N.B. This is simply my personal opinion, and I respect the rights of those who enjoy Origins to do so, providing they respect my right to hate it).

  3. Cat: It is your right to dislike or enjoy a storyline, that’s all personal preference. However simply ignoring the storyline and not acknowledging its existence does not make it any less of a reality. No more than how ignoring a disease will not make it go away.

    There are a number of things to consider as well. First of all, Wolverine wasn’t really in control during most of his pre-X-Men life. He was being controlled, conditioned, and just generally manipulated throughout. A lot of the evil things he has done aren’t really his fault.

    The fact that he knows this and still shoulders the blame actually make him more endearing. He’s aware a good portion of his actions weren’t his own, yet he still wishes to make amends. That shows real strength of character.

    On the flipside of that, Wolverine is not really the nicest fellow. He’s killed thousands upon thousands of people in his life time. A great deal of them as a superhero. Whereas characters like Cyclops and Spider-Man will capture a henchman and turn them over to the police, Wolverine cuts through most of them with almost no regard for human life.

    Then there are other examples. How about the man who lead to the death of Mariko, Matsu’o Tsurayaba. Every year Wolverine on the anniversary of Mariko’s death Wolverine tracks him down, kills all of his body guards (who are just doing the job they’re paid to do, they’re not necessarily bad people), and then he cuts off a piece of Matsu’o.

    So far (that we know of) he’s cut off/out his arm, right ear, nose and gall bladder. That’s torture. Wolverine tortures and dismembers this man every year simply because he can. And that’s Logan while in control of his own actions. Regardless of what Matsu’o did, no one deserves that sort of treatment.

    That was a story that was told years before Daniel Way ever started writing the character. So it’s hardly something he’s invented and solely responsible for.

    The fact of the matter is that Wolverine is emotionally and mentally damaged. He’s been used and discarded as nothing more than a living weapon for so long that almost all he knows how to do is kill. Yet despite this, he tries to restrain those ingrained impulses. To better himself, to redeem himself.

    The beauty of Wolverine as a character is just that. He’s been a tool of others for so long… used to play every side of the field for whatever nefarious purpose those who seek to control him have. He’s been that way for so long that when he joins the X-Men, Avengers, and his other general friends and allies he tries to live up to their expectations. To live with honor even if that’s not who he’s been conditioned to be deep down.

  4. [quote]The fact that he knows this and still shoulders the blame actually make him more endearing. He’s aware a good portion of his actions weren’t his own, yet he still wishes to make amends. That shows real strength of character.

    On the flipside of that, Wolverine is not really the nicest fellow. He’s killed thousands upon thousands of people in his life time. A great deal of them as a superhero. Whereas characters like Cyclops and Spider-Man will capture a henchman and turn them over to the police, Wolverine cuts through most of them with almost no regard for human life.[/quote]

    I couldn’t agree more. Logan was portrayed as a dangerous and vengeful murderer many of times during Larry Hama’s run and several others. The guy stabs and kills criminals that shoot at him for crying out loud. To say that Way is turning him into Sabretooth is ridiculous, since Logan has not yet murdered or ripped apart women for the shear pleasure of it. But Both Creed and Logan have always walked on the same tight rope since the Claremont days. I can spend days listing all the times someone other then Way has portrayed Logan as a ruthless and dangerous killer. I don’t think he has shown every character that appears in his series “at their worst”. Even with Cyclops, do you remember how he was in X-force? Christopher Yost has shown Scott Summers doing some really intense things. Like it or not this is the age of “Dark Superheroes” and it isn’t just Logan doing some fucked up things. Do I need to mention the new Captain America or the son of the Hulk?

    What I like about Way is it shows why he is always fighting, why he chose to be a soldier or a mercenary his entire life. It is extremely unbelievable and cliche is assume Logan chose to shoot people his entire life but sort to be a peaceful Samurai. Those two concepts contradict themselves and it just seemed like Logan exist to fulfill every teenagers wet dream. Knowing that Logan wanted to be a samurai, but was forced to become a dangerous mercenary makes a lot of sense and fills a lot of noticeable holes that plagued Wolverine as a believable character. That is the main reason I support Origins and choose not to hate on it all of the time. Yeah it’s dark and ugly and it takes away from Logan being the Canadian version of Captain America. But for christ sake, the guy’s very first appearance stated “Is he a Hero or the most dangerous Villain ever? ” How many times did he get into a fight with Scott, because he wanted to make the villain of the day bleed? From day one Logan was a character that was always forced to play both sides of the coin. That isn’t something that Way pushed on the character.

    Is it necessary to explore Logan’s dark origins? Yes. Because like Ace said before me, the dude has tortured and left people for dead millions of times previously. There is a reason so many evil people look to control Logan, because he is good at killing and making people bleed. Way doesn’t do it for the “shock” factor like Loeb has done with Ultimatum. The “shock” factor is something that happens but doesn’t contribute to anything in the story other then making the reader go “wow.”. Everything that happened in Origins was relevant to the plot and it had a deeper meaning to it all. Like I said before, I read all of Origins and yes everything does connect together wonderfully. While he may give the fans little bits of information at a time, he is building a intriguing story that is part of Logan’s legacy.

  5. I feel like I’ve discovered Logan just at the wrong time – in the middle of Way’s vision of him, something I cannot read and enjoy. This storyline just bumms me out and leaves me feeling hollow. I agree with Cat and just want to pretend “Origins and Endings” and ‘Origins” doesn’t exist, but Ace’s very literate devil’s advocate post is certainly true in that ignoring it won’t make it any less of Marvel’s canon on the character now. Frankly, I dislike the idea that Wolverine has been nothing more than a jacked-around, mind-controlled thug for the majority of his life, and dislike storylines that depict him as nothing more than a universal pawn.

  6. True. He was a puppet.

    But he was a puppet when he was captured and programed millions of times before. This just wasn’t a story exclusive to Origins either. During the Weapon Plus saga, we caught glimpses of Weapon X controlling Logan to wipe out villages and torture criminals constantly. Creed has always mocked Logan for being “similar” to him, now we know why he always teases him.

    The relationship between Creed and Logan makes a lot more sense because of Origins existence. But this doesn’t necessarily make Logan identical to Creed, it just means they had to mind control him into doing what Creed volunteered for.

  7. Well said, roleplay. And may I just add that even if Logan has done some morally questionable things under the control of Romulus, Weapon X, etc… he’s nowhere near the sort of beast Creed is. Creed is a rapist, a pedophile, and a cannibal. Wolverine may have tortured, he may have murdered, but Sabretooth did all that and the aforementioned acts. And he did so willing and with a smile on his face.

  8. Oop, I completely missed your post before the latest one, roleplay. There’s logic in your words. I hadn’t considered that playing up the darkness in the character’s old life was a way to contrast how and why he could be an honorable samurai later in life. While I hadn’t considered it previously, I very much agree.

  9. Ace, the reason you will see so many people adding disclaimers to their comments is that discussions about ‘Wolverine: Origins’ nearly created several flame wars here in the past. So those who are not fans of the series have tried to couch their criticism as personal opinion, not fact. And those who do like the series now try to avoid the charge that Origins-haters are closed-minded.

    Now watch my comments start a brand new war. ;)

    As for me, I started reading Wolverine in the early Claremont-Byrne days so I have lived through and endured every phase of Wolverine’s character and past.

    That doesn’t make me better than anyone, merely explains my perspective.

    In the beginning, Wolverine didn’t kill people. Jim Shooter made that painfully clear even when Wolverine killed the guards in the Savage Land and the Hellfire Club.

    Now Wolverine had killed as a soldier. But there was a distinction made back then. Later, he did kill on occasion and over time, his killings become more indiscriminate and larger in volume, climaxing with Mark Millar’s one million ninja march.

    I, for one, was horrified at that storyline. I felt is was all about Mark Millar showboating the fact that his Wolverine killed more people than any other writer. He boasted about it in interviews.

    For me, I like Wolverine as someone who kills on occasion, when it is required. That made him different from every other hero.

    But what really drew me to the character was a person so filled with rage, who had made mistakes, who had done the wrong thing on occasion, was trying to keep that under wraps and become a better person. Hence the concept of the failed samurai.

    So stories where he continues to kill… and enjoy it, really bothered me. I know they happened. I know they are now part of who Logan is, but so is Savage Wolverine, and that period of Wolverine history has been swept under the rug.

    I do admire Daniel Way for trying to reveal more of Wolverine’s past, but as has been noted, the early issues were not enjoyable reads. And I still don’t personally gain pleasure from the reading the comic, aside from the revelations.

    But my biggest issue is the depths of depravity that he has put Wolverine through. I understand he was a “puppet’ for most of it, but I don’t think as a writer or as a custodian of the character that he needed to go so far. This is a fictional character. The writers are making up his past, not revealing actual events. I would have been happy with some darkness, but not this extent of indiscriminately killing women and children.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that Logan was a saint. I just think the current ‘revelations’ are more evil than is necessary to tell this story. In fact, :ogan was not under of Romulus during the war crimes activity at Tule Lake. That’s why he took Daken to the home of the experiment, because Romulus didn’t know about it.

    So, as always, I love these discussion and these are simply an expression of my opinions, not to be taken as a proclamation of fact.

  10. Perfectly understandable. I’ve gotten into arguments with friends in the past over mistaken intent. When I state something, I very very rarely state it as absolute fact. I generally say “I believe…”, “It is my opinion that…”, “My feeling is…”, etc. Not speaking of anyone here on this site or this community, but there are people in the world who feel that when you state something that you feel you are absolutely right and they are absolutely wrong. As one would expect that misconception offends them.

    I try to never speak in absolutes, as I am as fallible as any other human being and by no means am I always correct. Nor do I feel that the second party is necessarily incorrect. There’s valid levels of reasoning to almost any opinion.

    Moving on, you bring up yet another interesting point. I’ve always thought that most of characters in the Marvel universe don’t feel ninjas of The Hand are a genuine life form. They all seem to kill them indiscriminately, after which they burn up, turn to dust, etc.

    Given the nature of how a Hand ninja must first die to be a Hand ninja, and how they do not seem to bleed or leave behind a corpse. Now to mention how they kill themselves without thinking twice and rarely speak… I assume (perhaps wrongly so) that they’re more akin to zombies than living human beings.

    With that mindset in mind, Logan really may not have killed anyone who wasn’t already dead in regards to Hand ninjas specifically.

    If I might quote my previous response to roleplay:

    I hadn’t considered that playing up the darkness in the character’s old life was a way to contrast how and why he could be an honorable samurai later in life. While I hadn’t considered it previously, I very much agree.

    That’s an interesting perspective that I’d personally like to see become more prominent.

    And I may again play devil’s advocate. Even if we excuse Wolverine’s past in the manner I’ve spoken of above and in previous posts, how can we excuse his present?

    There’s a genuine sense of escalation to his actions over recent years. More and more killing, but I believe there are clues to this. I know one of his reasons for murder is to protect the X-Men. Not just from their enemies, but from themselves. I recall Wolverine once stating that the reason he kills people while with the X-Men is that so none of the others have to. He’s saving them from having to become like him.

    It’s both a strong sentiment and a cowards reasoning. As more noble heroes find a way to do both without murdering.

    Then there’s the more recent conditioning. Apocalypse made him the very avatar of Death, Weapon X has attempted and succeeded to reprogram him in recent years, he was again conditioned as a killing machine for and by HYDRA, AIM, and The Hand. The biggest points of escalation seemed to come after this. So perhaps there’s still something broken in him.

    While I think all of those things contribute, plus his inner beast-like rage… I believe that it’s more likely that Romulus and Weapon X have simply come closer to succeeding. They wanted they ultimate living weapon, and after breaking him down over and over again he seems to have been pushed to that point.

    Especially since Romulus’s conditioning tactics have been especially nefarious since Logan regained his memories (likely because it’s harder to control him now).

    The growing consensus that I’m getting from Daniel Way is that he’s trying to redeem Logan. He wants to make his terrible past known (by writing it) so that the character can move forward and focus on the future. He’s said that much in interviews. I feel he’s ever-so gradually trying to push Logan back towards the path of honor. That feeling increased when he started trying to tame Daken.

    Again though, my opinion is hardly fact. I’m a very open-minded person and I try and see the good in all things. Even the stories I hate have their upsides. More importantly I like to contrast the information we know against personal opinions and preferences so that everyone, myself included can see an alternate perspective. Neither being any more correct than the other, generally.

  11. WOW…this has become a riveting discussion with such depth of civilly written debate on both sides of the coin,and such conjecture of character, background, and possibilities. I would like to see this continue. I agree that I was taken aback by the huge number of deaths noted at the end of “Agent of SHEILD,” but they were sort of dismissed as bad guys who deserved it, and simply a problem for Nick Fury to keep word about Logan’s furious killing spree out of the media. It seemed extreme, but this may explain why there are more and more killings at Logan’s hands now…still don’t think I want to follow in that direction about his character, though.

  12. While this is an enjoyable conversation that has sprung up thanks to the comments of Mr. Way and everyone is making good points as to their opinion about the character, the way the perceive him and how it is felt that the character should be written. I will however throw my two cents into this.

    To me, Wolverine would cross the line between killing because as pointed out, he’s stated that no one else should. Not only is this true but it is known. Every character in the Marvel universe knows this from Fury to the X-Men to the Avengers. In fact, that is the reason why he’s a part of X-Force, why he was elected to become a member of the Avengers and why it seems that whenever the dirty job of killing someone arises Wolverine is the first person called upon (Best there is at what he does? Anyone?). Because he was willing to cross the line. And I’m not going to get into the thoughts of there being someone that it’s ok to have kill for you so long as it is for your purposes. That’s another debate in itself.

    The other reason is because of his rage. Even though the only time I can truly think of that coming to the forefront in recent years has been the Spider-Man: Extra backup story that came out recently, that didn’t lead to someone being killed. Perhaps Wolverine just has that under control now or no one wants to dive back into that inner struggle. However the animalistic rage in him has caused him more to react out of survival and anger causing him to kill people (I’ll leave aliens and other assorted beings out of this since it appears that killing people is what this debate is mostly about).

    Even though we all know Wolverine is no saint as we all know that it might be a horrible responsibility to have, it is his responsibility to do what everyone else isn’t willing to. There are times though that he does so without fear of consequences (e.g. beheading the Magneto imposter in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run). Is it constituted? I know that someone mentioned that there should be another way. But then again, this is a comic, this is a character known to kill, so as gratuitous as it is to write the character that way, it will keep getting done. That is until Jubilee starts carrying around a samurai sword beheading people.

    As for Way’s work on Origins, the conversation about Wolverine’s past and what has occurred, I won’t go heavy into the things that Wolverine has done. Quite frankly, Wolverine didn’t know. He never knew what he did. He never knew what he was capable of no matter how depraved it was. Have they established how bad Wolverine was? Yes. We get that. Is it time to build the character back up and have him atone for everything that he just realized he did? Yes. Way has had 30 plus issues to tear Wolverine down. That is more than enough to get the point across. And since Way said he visualized this as a 60 issue storyline, it’s time to make Wolverine the hero again and clean up the mistakes.

    Now here is a question for everyone. Does one writer alone define who Wolverine is and should be? Is Paul Jenkins origin story sum up the be all, end all to Wolverine’s history that should be accepted or perhaps Alex Ross’s from Paradise X? Or maybe (cringe) Bill Jemas’s idea on how Wolverine’s origin should go? Or are we just satisfied enough with Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X story do so? Or will Way’s work on Wolverine destroy the do so? Did Claremont define the character and how he should be portrayed? Or does the work of Rucka, Tieri, Millar or anyone else who have written the character make the be all, end all for who and what Wolverine should be? I like to look at this as such. Wolverine:Origins is to Wolverine as the Clone Saga is to Spider-man. Eventually it will come to an end. The only question is whether it can be looked at as the joke that the Clone Saga has become or with pity.

    And speaking of pity, Wolverine did make one other appearance this week. If the Marvels: Eye of the Camera appearance I mentioned before put a sour taste in your mouth then avoid Marvel Apes: Speedball. A dream sequence with Wolver-Ape or whatever crap name they gave him. I haven’t read it yet and don’t think I have the stomach to. But he’s there.

  13. This will teach me to break my vow I was never going to comment on another Wolverine Origins bit, lol.
    I’ll start by saying I know ignoring it doesn’t mean it’s any less canon, I leave that to other writers in Marvel, I’m just saying I dislike it.
    That aside, I’m not 100% sure why. I was really excited when I saw my library had preordered Wolverine Origins Saviour Paperback, as I love reading about Wolverine’s time in Team X. And the art was interesting and the story line had a lot of potential, but…It just missed something and I don’t know what. As I’ve said before, this is merely personal opinion, but things seemed to go down hill from there.
    In answer to Comusiv question, No I don’t think one writer defines a character, any more than one issue does.

    And I hope that that’s What Way intending. The new Weapon X story line does look good (I admit I’m a sucker for Maverick) and I’d like to see Romulus and find out if what Wolverine is remembering is real (remember who he got his memories back from).
    However, at the minute, I merely don’t like what Way’s doing. That said, I did like Lama’s run, so it may merely be a personal dislike of the writer, I haven’t read enough of his work on other characters to be sure. I hope I’m not going to generate 200 comments from this, because it wasn’t my intention. I just really like Wolverine and enjoy having the chance to discuss what’s going on (I’m a UK reader, so this and Marvel previews can be all I get now they’ve closed down scans_daily (Don’t get me started on that), so I hope no takes offence at my remarks.

  14. Words from last DiG post:

    “Ace, the reason you will see so many people adding disclaimers to their comments is that discussions about ‘Wolverine: Origins’ nearly created several flame wars here in the past. So those who are not fans of the series have tried to couch their criticism as personal opinion, not fact. And those who do like the series now try to avoid the charge that Origins-haters are closed-minded.”

    I couldn’t agree more with these words. In my honest opinion, I don’t think Way is revealing some past but instead he’s creating a new one and therefore disrespecting the character’s chronology. To put DiG’s words otherwise, I think that if Wolverine Origins were introduced in 1974 instead of 2006, I believe that today Wolverine wouldn’t be the popular character he’s now, who knows, maybe Wolverine Files wouldn’t even exist ;).

    I’d like to add that the thing that did piss me off (more than Wolverine Origins) was D. Way comments on Marvel Spotlight: Wolverine because while there are WO defenders speculating that Wolverine actions weren’t jis own, D. Way comes to say that Wolverine is a war criminal, leaving me with the feeling that he’s saying “your speculations are wrong, Logan did it by himself”.

    That’s how I understood D. Way words. If you people understood otherwise, I’d like to know what you think about it.

  15. “It’s both a strong sentiment and a cowards reasoning. As more noble heroes find a way to do both without murdering.”

    I’m sorry but while the rest of you post is very good this statment is provable BS.

    Some enemies need to be killed, this is evidenced by people like spider-man who doesnt kill goes through this cycle.

    1. Dress up in a high profile persona, attack villians and call them names.
    2. Act shocked when they kill you family.
    3. Put them in jail.
    4. they escape 2 and a half seconds later.
    REPEAT THE ABOVE FOR EVER.

    Wolverine knows this and that is why he kills hand ninjas and cut Tooths stupid head off.

    There was a story in Giant Size Avengers where wolverine saves the day by stabbing and killing a villian who otherwise would have become like Kang and killed the Avengers. (Do you own that one DiG)

    And Commusiv, the Wolvie Killing Xorneto isnt a good example as he had just murdered JEAN GREY, lets not open a whole new bag of worms by brining up her in relation to wolvie.

    He killed people in publishing-early (hellfire guards)
    He killed people in chronology-early (world war one)
    He kills people now.

    What Way has done is nothing new. He simple shows and expands the horrible bits making his redemption and modern heroics that much more of an effort and achievment for old James Howlett.

  16. Hey Toby… nice to see you around!

    I mentioned this earlier, but while Wolverine did kill the guard in the Savage Land and the guards at the Hellfire Club, Jim Shooter as Editor-in-Chief actually proclaimed that Wolverine had not killed anyone. If he had, he would have to be put on trial and sent to jail.

    That is why several Hellfire Club guards returned later (Cole was one), and Shooter even stated that if he had to, he would show the Savage Land guard still alive.

    This is not to say he didn’t kill later (or earlier chronoglogically), but at the time, the official party line was that Wolverine had not killed as Wolverine.

    I think the distinction made at the time was that it was morally acceptable to kill as a soldier in a wartime situation, which is how most of us viewed his killings.

    But I think the bigger problem for many of us is that Logan/Wolverine is portrayed as sadistic and seems to have no remorse at the time whatsover, even when he is not under the control of Romulus (e.g. Tule Lake).

    As always… this is only my opinion.

  17. I`ll have to agree with Cat and DiG on this one. There are people who like this new dark and bloody take on the character and I respect that, but frankly I feel that such stories are missing the point of the character.

    The great thing about Wolverine is that he has all the makings of the perfect killer, but he resents it. In fact, in Larry Hama run he says that himself, several times over. He`s not a murderer, merely a protector and sometimes a vigilante – in his own way admittedly, but he does not slaughter and especially not indiscriminately! He is indeed a fallen samurai, that`s how he was written initially, that is at the heart of the character and to throw all that out the window and pretend you can ‘reinvent’ him as a darker bloodier homicidal maniac just because we`re talking about his past, is a, I`m sorry to say, a very cheap move.

    I feel that all of this has nothing to do with the desire to bring about new and interesting takes on the character and everything with the desire to cash in…because Marvel knows we all love Wolverine, but they seem to have forgotten what drew us to the character in the first place…

  18. Hmm, well I never interpreted it as he enjoys ending lives except perhaps with the really evil bastards.

    I always read it as he enjoys the thrill of combat and chase etc like a hunter or a sportsperson would.

    If he grinned before I fight that is how I would take it.

    Interesting factoid about the “he didnt kill the guards” but come on….. really….. he did. Any mention later otherwise was clearly ass-covering politically motivated bullshit from the higher ups at marvel.

    And I think there is a difference even if he enjoys figthing that doenst make him like Deadpool:

    “Yay, Fighty time, fighty time, blood, blood, blood.”

    When he says that I will wholeheartdly agree with you.

    I however fully except that you are more well read then me on wolvie so youre oppinions are inherently more valid for the most parts.

  19. It really was a big deal in the 1980s.

    When Wolverine killed the guard in the Savage Land, everybody was shocked. I mean, superheroes don’t kill! It was awesome! Here is a real frickin’ soldier showing these naive superheroes what you really have to do in war.

    And then the Hellfire club sequence cemented Wolverine as the coolest hero we had ever seen. He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.

    But the entire Dark Phoenix debacle and controversy brought this whole killing thing to the fore. And Shooter made these papal proclamations.

    Looking back some 25 years later, it really does seem ridiculous.

  20. This conversation has really grown, it seems I have a lot to reply to. I’d first like to say this has been an enlightening discussion, I greatly enjoy reading alternate perspectives.

    WOW…this has become a riveting discussion with such depth of civilly written debate on both sides of the coin,and such conjecture of character, background, and possibilities. I would like to see this continue.

    I couldn’t agree more, Pamela. This is why this community is such a wonderful place to frequent.

    Is it time to build the character back up and have him atone for everything that he just realized he did? Yes.

    I agree with that, Comusiv. While it’s been interesting to see the character’s darker side, as as stated above I feel it contrasts against the lighter side nicely… eventually it will be time to move forward. I believe most fans want to see Wolverine overcome his personal demons and move back towards the honorable man he was perceived to be in earlier stories.

    We’ll see if that comes to pass in the coming years.

    I’ll start by saying I know ignoring it doesn’t mean it’s any less canon, I leave that to other writers in Marvel, I’m just saying I dislike it. That aside, I’m not 100% sure why.

    First let me apologize as I didn’t mean to suggest that you were taking an “ignorance is bliss” stance. Even if you didn’t read that into it, I feel it needs to be said to avoid any possible intention confusion.

    I suppose what I was trying to do is to show that there is some logical/historical backing for Daniel Way’s storylines, and to present an alternate perspective to perhaps ease the minds of any and all who have difficulty seeing Logan in that role.

    That said, I still believe it’s perfectly within your rights and understandable to not be taken with the particular direction. Because yes, Logan has been written doing fairly brutal things prior to Daniel Way, but that doesn’t necessarily change the fact that you don’t care for it. Nor does it change the stark contrast between what we’re seeing from Wolverine now, and what we saw from him in earlier stories.

    As for not being sure why you dislike it, well there are likely reasons, but it’s hardly said that every reason has be logical or understood. We know that Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben fought in a war, but I’d likely be upset if it was written that he gunned down enemies without mercy. The fact of the matter is of course he did, it was war, but that doesn’t mean it’s something I would want to know or see written.

    The point being that not every opinion needs to be based on cold logic, sometimes going with your heart is just as valid.

    In my honest opinion, I don’t think Way is revealing some past but instead he’s creating a new one and therefore disrespecting the character’s chronology.

    That’s an interesting perspective, DF. And technically, it’s true. He is creating a new past on some level. To delve into semantics for a moment that’s technically true of all writers. The history of Wolverine that we know today, or the one that we knew ten years ago is vastly different from how the character was originally intended.

    One only needs to recall when he was intended to be a mutated Wolverine or some such creature. Each writer adds their own perspective and their own voice to a character’s history, and sometimes that doesn’t jive with what we know of the character, or what the creators intended.

    This is both the blessing and the curse of the comic medium. Any character can be retooled at any time by any future writer to be both great or terrible.

    “It’s both a strong sentiment and a cowards reasoning. As more noble heroes find a way to do both without murdering.”

    I’m sorry but while the rest of you post is very good this statment is provable BS.

    I’m afraid I’m at fault here, TobyS. I misworded my statement. It wasn’t that I was calling Wolverine a coward, or that I was saying that one character’s view is more noble than another’s (in fact, if I could rewrite the above statement I’d have said “altruistic” instead of “noble”). What I was suggesting is that in certain situations he uses that viewpoint as an excuse.

    At any given time he can (not that he always does) attack anyone, kill them, and then say “It was for your own good, I did it so you didn’t have to”. As much as he may mean it most of the time, part of it is that deep down he wants an excuse to kill on occasion. It’s an easy way to explain away a darker part of his nature that he may not want to admit to.

    As for the second part of the statement: “As more noble heroes find a way to do both without murdering”. What I was suggesting is that the superheroes with more traditional “good guy” character archtypes generally try and keep both the innocent parties and the villains alive in any given scenario.

    Spider-Man knows that when he puts the Green Goblin in jail he’s simply going to get out and kill more people, likely even Peter Parker’s own friends and family. Yet he makes a conscious effort to keep him (and all the villains he faces) alive.

    In polite society there’s procedure, the police, the good guy archtype-based superheroes, they believe even the villains have a right to life. Now I don’t necessarily think that perspective is right or wrong, it’s character specific. But those characters still go to great lengths more often than not at even greater personal cost to follow the procedures of said society.

    I suppose what I’m getting at is that Wolverine is a logical character. He knows that when he kills an enemy, they probably won’t come back, and then they can’t hurt anyone else. And that if he’s the one to kill them, no one else is forced to suffer that on their conscience.

    Whereas other less logical heroes play by a very strict set of moral guidelines that say you can’t kill, only capture. They know that it’s a temporary measure and the villains will get free, and they will hurt more people. Yet they stick to this system because of their own moral code. Whether that moral code is right or not doesn’t really matter to the conversation at hand.

    What a rousing discussion. :)

    – Ace

  21. As I read through this wonderful discussion (and it really is an example of what I was hoping this site would become), it occurs to me that Wolverine’s story can viewed in several different ways. And perhaps, depending upon our moods, can be viewed as a mixture of them all.

    1) There is a definitive story of Wolverine’s life and we are digesting portions of it over time, similar to the 300 issues of ‘Cerebus’ or the 100 issues of ‘100 Bullets’. In a sense this is especially true for Wolverine, if you perceive the story from the future, instead of the present (or worse, the past).

    2) Each chapter of Wolverine’s story is being told independent of all the others in a series of tales that will never end. Hence there is no closure, there is no happy ending. There is only the next chapter to be told, possibly contradicting what came before. Think Spider-Man’s clone saga and the editorial rationale for Brand New Day.

    3) An even more cynical view is that we are merely reading independent story after independent story because the publishing company needs to make money, e.g. ‘Origin’ was told because Marvel Comics bordered on bankruptcy, not because that was his actual origin.

    Depending upon your perspective, each of the viewpoints in our lengthy discussion is easily understandable.

    DiG…

  22. Huh. Did not know number 3.

  23. I am quite curious as to how Claremont will write Wolverine in X-Men Forever, after all these many ‘incarnations’ of the character.

Leave a Reply