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Wolverine: Origins #41

Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009
By: Stephen Joyce

Daniel Way
Doug Braithwaite, Bill Reinhold (i), Andy Troy (c)
Marvel Comics
Wolverine heads out looking for the Hulk. Unfortunately the Hulk is unavailable, but someone else is. How will Wolverine measure up to Skaar, Son of Hulk?

Wolverine: Origins has been in a weird place for the past few months. With the appearance of Romulus last issue one would think that this series has run its course. Now, Daniel Way has decided to take the series in a new direction. Wolverine's whole mission has become to stop Romulus. The problem with this is we still don't really understand who or what Romulus really is. Yes, we've seen Romulus and we got a brief history of the shadowy figure back during Jeph Loeb's run on Wolverine, but what he does and why he's tied to Wolverine isn’t particularly clear. Basically, Romulus serves a cheap way of continuing Wolverine’s search to discover his past.

The interaction between Wolverine, Bruce Banner, and Skaar is sparse and offers little in the way of an explanation as to why Wolverine even needs Hulk. But it should be said that it was done tastefully with respects to characters’ well established histories. Banner is cold to Wolverine, which is always expected considering Wolverine only ever really appears to smack him around to get the Hulk out. And true to form, that’s exactly what Wolverine tries to do. Well, before learning that the Hulk is gone and his son is here to play.

The major action in this issue is instigated by an FBI agent who informs Romulus that Wolverine has been spotted nearby. This scene doesn't really work for me. In the Marvel Universe we've seen sophisticated arrays that can track information around the world, but instead of Romulus using something like that he's relying on the FBI to call him with information. This is a character that is supposed to be able to move people like chess pieces and he has to have the FBI call him on his private line to get information? This just seems to be a cheap way of bringing this character down a few pegs.

From an art perspective, Doug Braithwaite is always a pleasure to have on anything concerning Wolverine. He just seems to have a feel for the character that works. His attention to detail is what makes his art so distinct, like showing the character’s eyes through their masks. His eyes are always emotional and really drive home what that character is feeling. He also handles Banner a little differently, which works well for me. Most artists like to show Banner as a complete weakling, but Braithwaite shows him as a normal sized man. (Banner has to be in some kind of shape after doing as much running as he has.)

To be perfectly honest, this issue isn't that great. While it may be a little entertaining in the opening scenes it quickly begins to drag and becomes rather boring. It probably would have been better to just have Wolverine and Skaar beat the crap out of each other, rather than having Wolverine hiding out in some man's house and seeing an FBI agent talking with Romulus. At least that would have been a little bit more entertaining. This issue hopefully sets things up for a better story next issue.



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