‘Wolverine: Origins’ #39 Review: Really Hot Time

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here…Here is my fourth and final review for the week, ‘Wolverine: Origins’.  Hope you enjoy it.

Wolverine: Origins #39 cover Wolverine: Origins #39 (details | thread)
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Scot Eaton
Inker: Andrew Hennessy

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Wolverine hanging over a vat of molten steel, a prisoner of Wild Child. Kyle is planning to kill Logan by lowering him into the vat feet first.

Wild Child reveals that Romulus’ plan was to give his position to the last one standing amongst the contenders and everyone that Wolverine had killed played into that role. Wolverine is not happy to learn he has been a pawn all this time.

Before Kyle can give Logan his metal bath Omega Red interrupts and attacks. The fight between Red and Wild Child buys a little time and allows Wolverine to escape by swinging himself into the molten metal wrists first.

Kyle sees Logan flee and takes his attention away from Omega Red, which proves to be a fatal mistake. Red drives his tentacles through Wild Child’s body and then tosses him into the vat.

Two weeks later Wolverine is in a warehouse in St. Petersburg where the Black Widow has left the Muramasa Blade. Wolverine calls her to tell Natasha to hide it even from him when Arkady interrupts again. Logan tells Red he is not going to fight for Romulus’ position but after Omega Red mentions Daken, Wolverine is ready to do battle.

He throws the blade into Omega Red’s chest where it immediately begins to kill the Russian. As he is dying, Red asks if the Muramasa can even kill Romulus and Wolverine says it can. Only to find out that the man is standing right behind Logan looking to put the statement to the test.

MY TAKE: This issue was pretty mediocre as per the norm for the series. Very little happened plot-wise except for the revelation that all of these different characters were competing for Romulus’ empire even if they did not know it. Yet it still contained two deaths of long established characters with very little fanfare or noticeable impact.

All that happens in the issue is that Wolverine escapes and gets hold of his blade. But somehow in that little bit of time, Romulus decides to go from being the hunted to confronting Logan, after he gets his sword. That makes no sense to me. I could understand a confrontation if Red was the last one that needed to die, but Daken is still out there.  Alternately if Romulus just wanted to confront Wolverine finally, it would have made more sense to do it when he was not holding a sword that could kill anything.

Of course my biggest problem with the issue was killing off Wild Child and Omega Red. Both have long histories in Marvel and deserved a better send off then they got. I can understand Kyle fitting into the plan more or less, but I still do not know why Red would have even been involved. He is not from North America nor does he have any feral mutations. It seems like he was brought in just to be killed off and that is a bad thing for any story.

The big reveal of Romulus’ face was not really a surprise either. Assuming he is indeed Logan’s brother, that has been predicted pretty much since his name started showing up. While it is nice to see the plot getting tied up, the ending had a certain anti-climatic feel. Especially since he looks like a more buffed version of the villain from ‘Wolverine: The End’ except for yet another configuration of claws.

Which brings me to a minor nitpick, how does a foot long claw manage to sprout from someone’s thumb? There is no way to house it in the wrist and the thing is longer then his entire hand. Of course that goes along with having Wolverine’s hands being bandaged two weeks after he burned them. Even in the old days he would have long been healed.

Even with all of those complaints, this was not too bad of an issue. I can actually see some good ideas and some nice plots in here that should have made for a decent read. But the execution of those concepts leaves a lot to be desired. There are simply too many plot holes and miscues to ignore. Which is a shame because I like the idea of someone controlling Wolverine’s life and making bad things happen to him. It just was not done well in my opinion.

In the end we have an issue that has been built up to for a long time but which ends with a shrug rather then a gasp. I was more surprised at the callous way that Omega Red and Wild Child were killed then the reveal about Romulus. Hopefully we will get some answers next issue and it will help make sense of this whole story arc.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

Facebook comments:

  1. Hey… I’m thrilled Romulus wasn’t revealed to be Dog!

    Anyway, let’s hear from those of you who liked this issue…

  2. Well you already know my take, I’m glad Romulus was finally revealed, and it seems like foregone conclusion that he is indeed John Howlett. Which pleases me so.

    I do have one quibble with the review itself, that being this line, and all the lines relating to it (such as how Omega Red was connected, and so on):

    Hopefully we will get some answers next issue and it will help make sense of this whole story arc.

    I just wanted to point out that this series has always been a slow burn concept. We’re just now getting answers to questions posed in earlier issues. A fine example o this would be the issue where Logan’s plan to take out Daken came to fruition. Individually most of those threads seemed meaningless and/or half-assed, but then we saw how they all connected and it clicks into place.

    That’s the nature of this entire series. How does Omega Red factor in and other such questions? We’ll probably be answers to all such questions, but it may be next issue, or it may be 20 issues down the road. That’s what this series does. It poses questions and plot lines with little context, and then sets it up as a big reveal 15 issues later.

    As for the issue itself, I felt there was this sense of grandeur in the tone of the book. Maybe not in the events themselves, but all issue I had this feeling like something big was coming. And then, lo and behold, Romulus stood revealed. There was something in the tone of the issue that I can’t put my finger on that just felt like this was it, these were the first shots of the endgame.

    I’m sure it shall all come together eventually, but it may not be next issue.

  3. Slow burn is one thing but this has been grinding on for years now with little real information. Now that the big ‘reveal’ is done I would really like some answers during the confrontation between Logan and Romulus since it seems to be the best chance we are going to get.

  4. i do wanna make a small correction that it said he was in the warehouse 2 days after, not 2 weeks, with the bandages on his arms, at least in the issue i have. not that it justifies the bandages, because, depending on how feral he is, he could still have healed within hours, arguably. (if i remember right his healing factor worked better the more he was embracing his inner, well i guess lupine apparently.*rolls eyes at that entire concept*)

    i dunno, id have to at least for now kind of agree with jrpbsp as far as Way killing off damn near every major villain of logan’s and doing it without much regard not to mention a good climax. i definitely turned the page and was like “oh wow, i guess there goes another staple of the last two decades out of nowhere..” it definitely didnt feel right.

    on the other hand, Way seemed to touch on this with logan’s dialogue (“some people might say that afer all these years… …omega red deserves better. those people would be wrong.”) this kind of seemed like way knew people would be mad that he kills him so quick, but wanted to anyway, possibly to bring the idea of a long running character’s still having mortality to the reader, as a kind of shock factor twist. cool idea i guess, but i was still mad when it happened the way it did. hecka sudden, even though it was a good example of wolverine being cool with killing someone when the x-men arent holding him back.

    And If it IS John Howlett, how would that explain the whole Romulus being the first of their Lupine kind?? (i.e. the whole images of Romulus at the helm of early evolutionary battles as well as Roman fighting throughout history from wolverine 50-54) or are we supposed to have forgotten that whole shebang because Way thought it’d be cooler to make it his brother? Heck, at this point it’d make more sense to me if creed was his actual brother (ahem, besides the dna test) than if Romulus was, just based on age. wasn’t john born in 1885? (origin 2) am i missing something?

  5. Well he healed his entire body from the bones up in less then an hour recently so it varies. But he has never been shown to take a long time to recover from burns, all the way back to when he saved Elsie Dee from a warehouse fire.

    As for character deaths I am never for it. Yes there is a revolving door these days but it just makes it pointless to kill them off. Leads to sloppy and lazy story telling too knowing nothing has any real impact. I think if you are writing these characters then you should treat them with respect.

    As for what or who Romulus is? It’s not for certain on anything yet but it certainly looks like John. Maybe they are simply ignoring Loeb’s run or perhaps there will be some explanation on the discrepancies. Not holding my breath on the later though.

  6. Dustin, the consensus on the matter is that they’re probably going to ignore the lupine matter entirely. We’ve been discussing that very thing on the Wolverine Files forums and most of us believe that that whole lupine thing will be retconned to be memory alteration.

    Check out the forums for more details, if you’re interested.

    http://forums.wolverinefiles.com/topic/2208922/1/

  7. I admire your blog posts, keep making more like this :D

  8. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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