‘Wolverine Saga’ Review: Good, Really Good, But Not Perfect…

I must admit that I’ve been a little nervous about the release of ‘Wolverine Saga’, Marvel’s latest attempt at a Wolverine chronology in comic book format. So now that it’s out, let’s how good it really is…

Wolverine Saga coverWolverine Saga (details | thread)
Writer: Ronald Byrd
Chronology Writer: John Rhett Thomas

For a free giveaway, this is a very impressive Wolverine chronology.

Even at regular price, this would be an impressive chronology.

Constructed by Ronald Byrd, the creator of the old ‘Unofficial Wolverine Chronology’ abandoned back in January 2003, this is, quite frankly, the best Wolverine chronology that Marvel has ever published.

It reads well and will be helpful for old and new readers alike.

That said, there are a few things contained with ‘Wolverine Saga’ that I would like to address…

Dates (thread): We’ve been having some genuinely fascinating debates around here and on the Wolverine Files Forum (see this thread) concerning Marvel Time and how dates  are handled in the Marvel Universe. So it is interesting to see this chronology very blunt in assigning dates through the 1970s and placing the debut of the Fantastic Four at some unspecified time after that…

  • Logan’s time training young Natasha Romanova has been placed in 1937, suggesting Black Widow is 70 some years old.
  • Logan’s spell with Neil Langram and a secret Canadian Intelligence group is placed during the 1970s as is his run-in with Peter Parker’s parents and his intelligence work with Carol Danvers.
  • The events of team X are placed between 1961 and 1968.

Chronological Discrepancies (thread): If this is indeed the official Marvel position on Wolverine’s chronology, then, obviously there are officially no errors. But let me point out a few places where I have a difference of opinion with their conclusions…

  • With Logan meeting Sabretooth for the first time in Japan prior to World War One, it is posited that Logan first began his work with Chang and Landau, Luckman and Lake at this point in history. This is something that I had not previously considered, but seems plausible, even though Logan himself describes this period of time as “bumming ’round.”
  • The romance between Janet and Logan and her resulting death at the hands of Cyber is placed AFTER World War One. Not sure why, since it fits better prior WWI, but it certainly is something to consider.
  • Logan’s initial meeting with Ogun in Shanghai is placed prior to 1921, an odd choice since the Japanese involvement in Shanghai didn’t really start until the Shanghai War of 1932, culminating in the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1937.
  • I completely forgot about Logan saving Blade’s life in ‘Blade’ #5, and there is a deft reference to Raven Darkholme and Irene Adler, that makes my time traveling adventure slightly more plausible.
  • The treatment of Logan’s adventures in World War II is interesting as Logan globe trots from adventure to adventure willy-nilly instead of  attempting a more coherent flow as I did. Left untouched is how Captain America could work with Logan again after his betrayal to Baron Strucker.
  • Interestingly, it is suggested that the experiments of Tule Lake were at the behest of Romulus, even though Logan hid his son there specifically because Romulus didn’t know anything about it.
  • Jasmine Falls is handled most strangely, placing Logan there twice, once from 1945-1946 with Itsu (even though Logan claims to have spent four to five years there) and a second time in 1948 (accounting for ‘Logan: Path of the Warlord’), having forgotten his initial stay.  Again, I attempted to create a smoother flow, reversing and combining the events as posited here. Not sure why they chose the more complicted route, but there you go.
  • It is funny to see Experiment X’s Professor referred to as, “Truett Hudson a.k.a. ‘Professor Thornton’.
  • While I understand why they place the Ben Grimm and Logan miniseries after ‘Weapon X’, it really should be placed before.
  • There is some very bizarre chronology of Logan’s early days as Wolverine. His battle with the Hulk was his first assignment as Weapon X, but here, they move many of his later adventures to before this story. Not sure why as they place plenty of the adventures afterwards. And personally, I think Logan rescuing Hudson’s armor should take place before he met Hudson, since in the story he takes on the job only reluctantly.
  • A bit of a surprise is the suggestion that Logan sought out Ogun AFTER he became Wolverine. I have no idea why this is even mentioned as I have seen nothing at all to even hint at this possibility.
  • Perhaps my biggest single issue as a chronologist is this assertion that Romulus was behind (or possibly behind) everything. It is an unnecessary device that needlessly clutters an already complicated history.

Unknown Wolverine Appearances (thread): One of the biggest treats for me was that there were mentions of several appearances that I had been blissfully unaware of. Please, please help me discover what issues they took place in….

  • Not sure when Logan smuggled bootleg alcohol and met Jim Beam. Anyone remember?
  • Where specifically is it mentioned that Logan worked with Doop during the Cold War?
  • When did Logan cross paths with Arnim Zola (before joining the X-Men)?
  • And where is the reference to Logan serving with Xavier in Asia (probably Korea)?

Phew! As always, leave comments below or join in on the discussions in the Wolverine Files Forum…

Facebook comments:

  1. “Interestingly, it is suggested that the experiments of Tule Lake were at the behest of Romulus, even though Logan hid his son there specifically because Romulus didn’t know anything about it.”

    It is possible that Romulus ordered him to do that horrible thing, but was unaware of how Logan carried out the mission.

    They say several times that he operates behind the scenes and gives orders through various people. I see that as a one way street and information can be lost by operating that way. Taking that into consideration makes it more believable.

  2. The bootlegging was mentioned at least twice during Hama’s run, the first time being during the fishing trip with Puck.

  3. I just reread Wolverine #35 and didn’t see a reference. Do you have any issue numbers handy?

    Thanks!

  4. Embarrassingly, I can’t find the reference, now. But I just reread those early Hama issues and would put money on it being in there. The response to his assertion of running liquor then was “You and Al Capone”, whom he says he didn’t meet. I’m going to keep skimming as see if I can’t dig it back up.

  5. Cool!

    We found the Xavier/Logan appearance in Excalibur #14 and have determined that Doop/Logan is probably simply conjecture.

    We have found a bootlegging reference with (not) Al Capone in Wolverine #12 by Rucka, but it is a dream sequence.

    I’ll skim the Hama issues as well.

    Thanks!

  6. I was annoyed that the period in Logan’s life where he was a chippendales dancer in Montreal was a implanted Memory. But it made sense that during that period he was actually a French Mime known as “Binky” working with the LAPD to help bring in the notorious Brotherhood of evil mime’s.

  7. But wasn’t he actually the rarest of artistes? The fabled Talking Mime of Montreal? Or was that eventually retconned out?

  8. Question for a person who loves Wolvie, owns tons of X-Men and Wolvie comics, but isn’t a completist like you: Should I buy it?

  9. It’s free… so, yes, you should get it!

  10. Is there any chance it will be published in a tradepaper back for UK readers?
    (There are no comic stores near me, believe me I’ve checked)

  11. “Wolverine Saga” is free? How can one obtain a copy if one does not have an “in” with a local comic store?

  12. LOL.

    You can always have me mail you a copy. I have four of them already.

  13. GZ, are you serious? Not that I’d want to push your generousity, but I would love to have a copy, if you are serious about parting with one.

  14. Has anyone seen the newsstand versions of the Marvel “Saga’ series of chronology books?
    I’ve seen the Wolverine saga version but it was too beat up to spend $3.99 (!) on- I’ve heard of a few others- any info??

  15. I understand this is really stupid to ask cause it is way after most of these posts but can u still get the saga for free. And if u can where would they b located at.Thank you to any one who answers this

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