Wolverine officially has his second title. I don’t know how necessary that was, but it was inevitable. The writer is Daniel Way and the artist is Steve Dillon. Daniel Way has written Nighthawk: Supreme Power, Ghost Rider, Gun Theory and is currently writing the Hulk. Steve Dillon has done art on 2000 A.D., Hellblazer, Preacher, Punisher and Nighthawk: Supreme Power. I’m not a huge fan of either Way or Dillon and I don’t think that Wolverine is the right title for either talent. Let’s see if they can prove me wrong with Wolverine Origins #1.
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler & Inker: Steve Dillon
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue starts with Wolverine in Japan vowing to make those who did what they did to him pay big time.
We then shift over to S.H.I.E.L.D. command center where the Secretary of State demands that Dum Dum Dugan give her answers on Wolverine’s location. Suddenly, the line goes dead. A full alert is triggered and an agent runs in and tells Dugan that all communication with the White House has gone down.
We then see Wolverine having sliced the communications cables (because they are always conveniently placed in one bundle of cables) in the sewer system. Secret Service hurries the President from the Oval Office, shoving the Secretary of State out of their way and leaving her to fend for herself. (Oh, c’mon, like that is going to happen in a state of emergency at the White House).
We then shift back to S.H.I.E.L.D. command center where Dugan is told that there is an incoming cruise missile headed for the White House. It was launched from the Chesapeake Bay and is coming in too low to be shot down. The missile hits the lawn of the White House but does not explode. S.H.I.E.L.D. thinks it malfunctioned. Dugan then is told by an agent that the President is clear and is in his motorcade. Dugan then realizes that this was all a diversion and that Wolverine was headed for someone else. The President was not the target.
With that, we see Wolverine approaching a helpless Secretary of State alone in the White House (Again, so very likely to happen). We then see the missile on the front yard open up and out steps a robot. We then cut back to Wolverine smashing the Secretary’s face into a wall (Logan digs beating up chicks, evidently). Wolverine asks from whom the Secretary is taking her orders. Before she answers the robot from the missile busts through the wall. It is a Shiva Robot built to neutralize rogue Weapon X agents. Wolverine says they are “damn-near indestructible.”
The Shiva robot blasts the Secretary to roasted ashes. Wolverine attacks the Shiva robot and it’s a braaawwwwl! Oh, wait, no it isn’t. The fight lasts 1 page. Wolverine dodges a punch and then with one stroke of his samurai sword he slices the Shiva in half, destroying it. (So much for it being “damn-near indestructible” and a tough customer). Wolverine then spits on the head of the robot. (Ooookay, very in character). Wolverine finds a super-secret hidden tunnel out of the White House and makes his escape. (I won’t even try to figure out how he would know about that).
We then shift to a 4-star general bitching out Dugan telling him that S.H.I.E.L.D. has done a terrible job trying to catch Wolverine. The General tells Dugan that from now on the military will be taking matters into their own hands and from now on it is every man for himself.
We then cut to the U.S. Embassy in Chile where two men in black suits enter a super-secret lab in the basement of the embassy. There they tell Nuke that his country needs him and will he take the assignment. We a splash page of Nuke chained up and looking psychotic agreeing to take the assignment. End of issue.
The Good: Oh man, I have to find something good about this title? Hmmm, well, the comic was not unreadable. So, it’s not like Way’s writing was totally laughable. And, Dillon does have talent, but maybe not for this type of comic book. The comic was just average, at best.
The Bad: Well, neither Way nor Dillon proved me wrong with this issue. Let’s start with the art first. Now, it will look like I am ripping Dillon, but I’m not. First, I will admit that I am not really a huge fan of his style of art. It is too stiff and boring for me. Having said that, his art does work with certain comics like Punisher, Hellblazer and Preacher. Dillon’s art most definitely does not work at all with a traditional Super-Hero comic. Dillon’s Wolverine is absolutely horrendous. This had to be the most boring un-Wolverine looking Wolverine. Wolverine is short, thick, hairy, stubble-faced and absolutely feral looking. Dillon’s Wolverine is too normal looking. He just looks like your average guy in a Wolverine costume. Dillon’s style just does not work for me on a typical Super-Hero comic. The entire issue is rather boring to look at since Dillon’s style is so stiff and restrained.
Now, let’s tackle Daniel Way’s writing. Again, I’ll readily admit that I have never been particularly impressed with Way’s talent. I think that Way is basically a rip-off of Garth Ennis. Way has all the violence and cursing of Ennis with about 1/10 the actual talent of Ennis. It reminds me when Tim Sale as making a name for himself on Deathblow by blatantly copying Frank Miller’s style of art. When I read Way’s writing I feel like I am reading the work of a college creative writing student trying to write a Garth Ennis story.
I found Wolverine Origins #1 to be a rather paint by numbers read. There was not anything interesting or different about it. It read like a generic Wolverine story. First, not much really happened other than we know the Secretary of State was working for someone who didn’t want her to give Logan any information. And the big “bomb” of the issue is that the US military is going to unleash Nuke on Wolverine. Ooookay. A C-list villain is going to appear next issue. Yay.
There were too many flaws with the story as well. There is no way Secret Service is just going to Heisman the Secretary of State in the face and leave her alone to fend for herself during an attack on the White House. Also, I understand that Wolverine’s sword, the Muramasa Blade is supposed to be a weapon of incredible power, but he already has adamantium claws that can cut through absolutely anything! Does he really need the Muramasa Blade? It just seems redundant.
And jeez, the Shiva robot is built up to be this big bad unstoppable monster and it takes Wolverine one page and one sword stroke to dispense of the Shiva robot. Some internal consistency is necessary for a story. And how in the hell did Wolverine know about the hidden door behind one of the rooms in the White House that led to a secret tunnel? Does he now have x-ray vision?
Also, the other problem with Way’s writing is that all of these characters sound the same. It doesn’t matter if the comic is Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Nighthawk, etc. They all read the same. Way doesn’t write the unique voice of each character. Instead, he gives each character his trademark Way style voice. No matter what type of story or comic, Way writes them all the same in his standard voice.
The dialogue is stiff and not particularly interesting. Wolverine’s character is nothing like what I am used to reading over the past 20 years. He didn’t sound like Logan. And Wolverine spitting on the head of the Shiva robot after the fight was just weird. Logan has never acted like that. He just kicks ass and moves on like it was another day in the office. Or he goes totally feral and just is a whirlwind of death and when the fight is over he just moves on.
Also, Logan beating the hell out of a middle-aged woman was out of character. No doubt that Logan is a killer. However, this was a non-super powered average middle-aged woman that hadn’t done anything to Logan. He just wanted information from her. Would he scare her to get it? Yeah. But, smash her face into a wall several times? No. Those two acts are both examples of Way being Way instead Way writing Logan.
Not much really happened in this issue. There are not too many subplots or storylines. Basically, someone sent a Shiva robot to shut up the Secretary and the U.S. Military is going to unleash Nuke on Wolverine. Not a lot of depth or facets to this story. I can’t say I am particularly interested in getting the next issue.
Of course, I have a 6 issue rule with all new titles, so I’m going to give Way a chance with this Wolverine Origins. However, I certainly cannot recommend that anyone spend their hard-earned money on this title.