When “Wolverine: Origins” began, it seemed like a good idea to explore some of Logan’s newly-remembered past. Had we known then that it would involve a massive conspiracy theory macro-arc orchestrated by a dull villain with no agenda that made sense, we might not have been quite so enthusiastic.
Still, the series has had its moments, and if nothing else it gave the world Daken, a character who might have some interesting stories in him yet. In this series finale, Daniel Way brings his 50-issue arc to a close with the second issue of a two-part story in which Logan finally decides to put away his past and move on.
In fairness, it’s the right sort of ending for this series, although it’s not the first time the character has made such an assertion. There’s nothing in this story that truly changes the game, and that leads me to believe we haven’t seen the last of the “Wolverine decides to leave his past behind” story before too long.
Of course, while it makes sense as an ending, the issue itself isn’t massively coherent, mixing up flashbacks, guest stars, ghostly manifestations, dream sequences and memories without much care for distinguishing them from one another. I’ll be honest, I’ve read more coherent comics, but in terms of bringing in various disparate characters and ideas from Way’s run on the character, it does alright.
Will Conrad’s artwork is a strong choice for the setting, and his panel compositions in particular make what could have been a dull book and setting (the issue is largely characters talking in a forest) into something more dynamic. Some of his character poses are a little forced, and the expressions on some characters’ faces are hard to read, at some potentially crucial moments, which is a shame, but overall it works.
The one major slip-up is that when Logan faces a more bestial metaphysical version of himself, the character is presented as maybe a little too similar to him, which loses some of the symbolism in the scene. More could have been done to distinguish them visually, but it’s the only big flaw in the art for the whole issue.
A backup strip sees Wolverine encounter Hope in a nice little short designed to establish Logan’s relationship with the character. I’m not sure it entirely works; It could have done with a Nightcrawler mention, for instance, and it’s strange to see Logan apparently leaping so readily to Cable’s defense, but he and Hope are in character and it mostly feels like a shame this vignette wasn’t placed somewhere a bit closer to the main series where more people would see it.
Wolverine fans won’t have long to wait for a new book, of course, with no less than two Wolverine on-goings cropping up alongside a Daken relaunch and an X-23 ongoing, but it’s fair to say that this story had gone on long enough, and this issue, despite its flaws, can at least claim to be a fitting send-off for the title.