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Sunday, July 28, 2013 

Only 2 of 5 of the NYDN's Wolverine recommendations are worthy

With the debut of the latest Wolverine movie, The New York Daily News wrote about 5 past adventures Logan had they think are worth reading. But only 2 of them are worth reading. The first is the Claremont/Miller Wolverine miniseries from 1982, which I own. The second is a story penned by Barry Windsor-Smith around 1991. Those are the good ones.

The third is the Origin miniseries by Paul Jenkins, and that one certainly wasn't the classic it could've been:
3.) ORIGIN: The next piece of the puzzle is 2001's "Origin", a controversial (at the time) decision to shed light on the hairy mutant's mysterious background by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada and Paul Jenkins.
What sabotaged it was that it didn't have a real ending, and instead turned out to be what Jemas and Quesada must've hoped would entice readers to pay more money instead of completing a whole story on the spot. Yes, they revealed Logan's name, but "James Howlett" sounds like an all too obvious riff on what real wolverines can do: howl. And maybe some heroes are better off with their origins kept in secrecy.

The fourth of their choices is Enemy of the State, written by Mark Millar, and was about:
Wolverine is killed by The Hand, the same group of ninjas he faced in Japan, and resurrected as their unstoppable assassin.

As Wolverine becomes the killing machine he always feared he would, the other heroes battle to stop him.

This story shows readers that Wolverine gone bad is a very scary thing.
It also demonstrates how Marvel went bad under Jemas/Quesada. A story that would've been better off as a simple What If? episode was turned into a protracted mishmash that was like a counterpart to a story either Millar or Brian Bendis wrote in one of the crossovers they did several years ago (I can't remember if it was Civil War) where Logan's flesh was all burned off his skeleton, yet he still resurrected, turning him into a wholly indestructible pagan. Just like that tale, this one too only makes Wolverine meaningless by ditching him in fanfiction plots. The fifth one, Old Man Logan, is also by Millar, and not worth the paper it's printed on either.

What Culture also brought up some of the same recommendations, but at least had the decency to admit Origin is in very questionable taste. The sad truth is that the 1990s was the beginning of the end for any really worthy tales with Wolverine in comics, and Jemas/Quesada made it additionally impossible to appreciate what could come next.

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Yeah, I think it was a Civil War tie-in where it had Wolverine regenerate from a skeleton. It was pretty ridiculous, to say the least, considering how even Claremont acknowledged that he wasn't completely vulnerable, such as that instance in Days of Future Past where the Sentinel killed him.

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