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Wolverine: Origins #32

Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
By: Steven M. Bari

Daniel Way
Yanick Paquette(p), Michel Lacombe (i), Nathan Fairbairn (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Wolverine: Origins #32 arrives in stores tomorrow, January 21.

"Family Business: Conclusion"

Plot: Daken and Cyber double-cross Wolverine to locate the mysterious Romulus.

Commentary: Although Romulus' identity is still up in the air, Wolverine: Origins #32 hands off the reins of the character Daken to the new Dark Avengers series nicely. It's not an explicit transition, as much of this series runs tangential to rest of the Marvel Universe, but it is clear that Daken is no longer tied to this title. He's a free agent.

Despite enjoying this issue, I did have trouble understanding the timeline Way is creating. We discover Daken was present when Cyber underwent the surgery that grafted adamantium to his body. It's unclear how old Daken is, save that he is possibly twenty-something years old. Yet if Cyber trained Daken for Romulus, why would Daken be present at his teacher's surgery? Did they have a working relationship before the procedure? The timeline remains hazy, and I don't think Cyber is in any condition to elaborate further.

I have been impressed by Way's journey of a man finally coming to terms with his past. And given a past as long and complicated as Wolverine's, Way has done great job exploring and playing with the many elements that compromise the Clawed Canuck. I'm finding my interest waning, however, and I'm wondering if it's due to Way's story or my interest in the main character. The Wolverine/Daken relationship is an intriguing character study, not just from father/son comparisons, but also the fact that both have been born and bred killers. It's in their blood. To remove a variable like Daken from this character study makes me less inclined to follow along. I will, but this issue's surprise cameo isn't selling me (Hint: He's secretive and has a knack for global defense).

As for Paquette's art, it's a mixed bag. I enjoy his figures' elasticity throughout, even when they're just standing around. For example, Cyber and Daken are recumbent yet poised to fight as they wait for their plane to land. Yet, Paquette's faces always bother me. They're comprised of too many jagged lines, creating a theme of wrinkly, scowling people. Since so much of a story's feeling is carried in a character's face, the breadth of emotion is truncated by Paquette's facial expressions.

Wolverine: Origins #32 is thrilling and satisfying, but Way has crafted better story arcs for the series.

Final Word: Not the best issue in this series.

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