“Wolverine Origins” is, ostensibly, a book for the continuity buffs, the hardcore fans who want to delve into Wolverine’s past to examine all of those small, forgotten moments and, then, tie it all together into one bigger unified picture. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what a book like that needs is a feeling of purpose, of forward drive, but issue 36 has little of that, preferring to simply go through the motions in an effort to arrive at a predetermined destination.
While Wolverine recovers from an encounter with Romulus’ right-hand man, the giant bruiser known as Victor Hudson, Daken works with the Tinkerer to modify his claws to incorporate a portion of the mystical blade that can kill Wolverine. Upon awakening, Wolverine rushes after Victor, driven to find him and Romulus, narrating his search in stilted, bland fragments.
Both plots of this issue deliver little new information or insight into Logan or his son. Logan continues to struggle between his desire to kill Romulus and to help his son. Daken continues to be mysterious and rebel against his father. The only real point here seems to be the implantation of the shards of the mystic blade, giving Daken the ability to kill his father if he wishes. Beyond that, the image of Daken going through his own Weapon X-like treatment seems central, but that’s a single visual idea, not a story in and of itself.
That said, Doug Braithwaite’s art and some of the interplay between Daken and the Tinkerer do make this issue a somewhat enjoyable read. Daken is still a rather bland character, very moody and focused, but Daniel Way uses the Tinkerer to play off those characteristics.
Braithwaite is an incredibly talented and skilled artist just waiting for that right assignment that will make him a star. He draws very fluid characters, one that seem to move, often choosing dynamic angles. He does hit a rough spot in this issue once or twice by using angles that make it difficult to follow the story, but, otherwise, his bold choices work well. In the opening pages, his layouts and angle choices reflect Wolverine’s disorientation and make the scene slightly off-putting.
Where this story leads to will surprise no one since that’s been advertised since day one and, if the journey to that endpoint were more interesting, it wouldn’t be a problem. However, nothing indicates that the goal here was anything other than reaching the end, even if getting there was a boring trip.