‘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

SPOILERS BELOW…

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.

Facebook comments:

  1. Grats on the review Ace and I tend to agree. It was an issue that made me say ‘Ok so what?’ I understand taking a long view to an extent but there needs to be a big payoff at the end like in Old Man Logan and this was not that payoff. Hopefully we will get more after the next arc.

  2. Way’s greatest gift seems to lie in stringing along his readers with very little story stretched out over innumerable installments.

  3. Thanks jrpbsp. You know me, I’m often more forgiving towards a comic’s shortcomings, but this issue was just bland. At the end of the day, had I not read this, I wouldn’t have really felt as if I missed anything at all come #41.

    With this being an extended fight scene it was probably both the easiest and hardest review I’ll ever have to do. At least in previous fight issues there were some memorable moments. Not so here.

  4. i don’t know why this series has been disappointing for most, including me..is it because we were/are expecting great things from it and we set the bar pretty high or just because it really is lackluster..

  5. The vote is on the side of “lackluster” with a huge dollop of “mediocre.”

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