Wolverine: Origin (Image via Marvel)
4. Wolverine: Origin
Marvel took more than two decades slowly, methodically taking apart the particular of Wolverine’s backstory. It was fun to reveal Logan’s history, bit by bit, but eventually, it became clear that they would have to rip the band-aid off sooner or later. Writer Paul Jenkins and artist Andy Kubert finally did that in 2001-2002, with Wolverine: Origin.
If you were hoping for some sort of upbeat origin story, then you are both in the wrong place and sadly misguided about Wolverine in general. He’s got his fun moments, for sure, but the years of intense, slowly revealed backstory weren’t exactly leading up to a comedy.
In Origins, things start out kind of okay for young Logan, originally named James Howlett. He’s sickly, sure, but his family is rich and they live on a nice, prosperous farm in Canada. However, things start to go truly wrong. Not only does young James have to deal with tragic love, but he is eventually forced to change his name and gets into a rivalry with a boy named Dog.
All of these reveals bring Wolverine’s story to the kind of intensely tragic state almost entirely unique to comics. It’s a rough ride, to be sure, but one you may want to take anyway.