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Aug 2

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 4

Posted on Sunday, August 2, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II
Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939

We’ve reached the Second World War – and this is a busy period, though still quite a scattershot one.

Flashback in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #9
“Savior, part 4” by Daniel Way & Steve Dillon
December 2006

It’s somewhere on the eve of World War II. And we have to begin by unscrambling a continuity problem, since Daniel Way’s timeline gets garbled at this point. In narrating this flashback, Wolverine calls it his first mission “after being picked up in Jasmine Falls”. We’ll get to Jasmine Falls in a future instalment, but suffice to say that it’s the town where Logan fathered Daken.

The trouble is, Daniel Way had already showed Logan’s extraction from Jasmine Falls in Wolverine vol 3 #38 and #40, and it clearly happened after World War II, because the Winter Soldier was involved. So whatever this issue may say, it’s not after Jasmine Falls. (It’s an unusual lapse, since whatever else you say about Wolverine: Origins, Daniel Way certainly did his research.)

Jul 19

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 3

Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1 – Origin to Origin II
Part 2 – 1907 to 1914

We’ve reached World War I, which is… untapped territory, for the most part. Not entirely, though. Wolverine: Origins #17 tells us that Logan fought in World War I as part of Romulus’s “Devil’s Brigade”, some sort of black ops or mercenary squad who fought alongside the regular troops. Daniel Way seems to have picked this up from Alpha Flight vol 1 #33, where Wolverine mentions in passing his service with the Devil’s Brigade. In reality, the Devil’s Brigade was the nickname of the First Special Service Force, a US/Canadian commando unit that existed between 1942 and 1944 and is regarded as the forerunner of modern US and Canadian special operations forces. Maybe Daniel Way didn’t get the reference, or maybe he was suggesting that that unit was also part of Romulus’s conspiracy.

Flashbacks in WOLVERINE vol 3 #57-60
“Logan Dies, parts 1-4” by Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin
November 2007 to February 2008

22 April 1915. Logan is fighting with (apparently regular) Canadian forces. At the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans use chlorine gas for the first time. Everyone else dies, but Logan survives to see a mysterious figure with a sword. Being Logan, he promptly fights and kills the guy, who immediately reappears alive and well and says they will meet again. This is Lazaer, an angel of death. (Yes, it’s an anagram of “Azrael”.) The nagging sense that he has defied the order of nature leads Logan to fall into a depression, to the point where he attempts suicide – but evidently he comes to terms with it over time.

Jul 12

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 2

Posted on Sunday, July 12, 2020 by Paul in Wolverine

For part 1, see here.

In part 1, we were going through stories that were mostly designed to be read in sequence. We left off with Logan in New York in 1907, at the end of Origin II. Now we’re entering a rather more haywire phase, since writers tend to assume that Wolverine’s history between Origin and World War I is simply a bit of a blank. It isn’t, but it’s a scattershot period with a lot of travelling going on.

Flashback in WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #10
“Love and the Wolverine” by Jason Aaron & CP Smith
February 2010

Shortly after Origin II (“it wasn’t long after I first come down outta the wilderness”), Logan wanders to California and becomes an agricultural labourer, where he loses his virginity to a Mexican migrant worker (whose name he doesn’t know). And that’s the whole thing.

Jul 5

The Incomplete Wolverine, Part 1

Posted on Sunday, July 5, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized, Wolverine

Because you can’t spell “quixotic” without an “X”.

So the Moira thing went well, but it goes without saying you’d be completely insane to do the same thing for a character like Wolverine. Still, we had a long gap this year with no new comics coming out, and so I thought I might go back and read Wolverine’s pre-X-Men back story in chronological order to see if it made any kind of sense.

And so in this series of posts, we’re going to go through Wolverine’s history in more-or-less chronological order – some of this stuff just can’t be placed precisely, but there are certainly clear phases of his life where appearances have to go. Obviously there’s got to be a cut-off point somewhere, but we’ll cover at least his history up to joining the X-Men and see where we go from there – I’ve read up as far as Uncanny X-Men #200 at time of writing, which is around the point where he’s fully developed into the familiar character. It’s also “Incomplete” because I can’t be 100% confident I’ve caught anything, but also because it’s clearly going to stop somewhere. Once the ongoing comics are coming out again, these will probably settle into a less frequent schedule than the Moira posts – the current material takes priority.