Origin (comics)

From Academic Kids

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Origin2coverPreview.jpg
Cover to Origin #2. Art by Adam Kubert.

Origin was a 6-issue comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics from November, 2001 to July, 2002. The series was written by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada and Paul Jenkins, and illustrated by Adam Kubert (pencils) and Richard Isanove (color).

Origin tells the story of the origin of the superhero Wolverine, best known as a member of the X-Men. Since the character first appeared in the early 1970s his history had often been shrouded in mystery, with bits of information revealed piecemeal over time (notably in Weapon X), but this series was the first to reveal Wolverine's early days and his original background.

The series revealed that Wolverine was born James Howlett, the son of rich plantation owners in late 19th Century Canada, and has long suffered fits of amnesia. He was a sickly child, so his loving father, John, brought a orphaned girl named Rose up from the town to be his companion. The two children also often played with Dog Logan, son of the Howletts' cruel groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. This friendship is spoiled by the tension between the boys's fathers centering on James' mother, Elizabeth, who went mad after her first son, John, died under mysterious circumstances.

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Wolverine-first-claws.jpg
Wolverine first uses his claws in Origin #2.
Dog becomes increasingly like his father, and his misdeeds become so violent that he and his father are expelled from the manor. Thomas returns for vengeance, and kills John (James' father) before all three children and Elizabeth. The horror of his father's death causes James' powers to manifest for the first time, and he uses his claws to kill Thomas and injure Dog, before lapsing into shock.

Rose attempts to care for him, but his grandfather drives them both from the house. She takes him by train from Alberta to British Columbia, where she gets work for them in a stone quarry. She gives him the name Logan and claims to be his cousin. Gradually he strenghtens physically, though his memory is still shattered. He often goes into the woods to hunt game with only his claws.

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Origin06.jpg
Cover to Origin #6. Art by Adam Kubert.

James becomes like a son to the foreman, Smitty, who in turn loves Rose. He courts her with books, including poetry by William Blake and a history of the samurai. Logan's public identity as her cousin makes it impossible for him to declare his own feelings for her, so he works out his violence in a series of cage fights, where his brutality earns him the nickname Wolverine.

The final fight is against Smitty, but Logan decides to throw the match so Rose can be happy. Just before the couple leaves to be wed, Dog comes to the quarry, sent by the ailing grandfather Howlett to find his heir, but really there for revenge. In the ensuing fight, Rose is accidentally impaled on Logan's claws. Logan goes mad with grief and runs into the woods, where he will live for a number of years in a feral state. Rose's diary, which contained the truth of Logan's past she had been unable to tell him, is burned by the vengeful camp cook, who had long hated Logan.

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