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Marvel Knights Animation Presents: Wolverine Origin

Score: 72%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 66 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Audio: English


  • The Origin Featurettes:
    • Creating the Story of Wolverine
    • Creating the Art of Wolverine

While Marvel Knights Animation Presents: Wolverine Origin is the basis for the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine (at least as far as Logan's past is concerned), this six-issue comic series now put to video should not be confused with the major motion picture featuring Hugh Jackman.

What Wolverine Origin offers is the story that finally told Marvel fans who Wolverine really was, how he first discovered his powers, and why he forgot his past. Where the movie goes a bit farther and actually takes Wolverine through the two World Wars, this comic series stops before that point where the man who calls himself Logan walks away from what little past he has left and forges a new identity for himself.

If you've seen the aforementioned movie, then you have a good idea of what to expect. What is interesting about the comic's portrayal of the events is that it is told from a young girl's perspective who joins the young mutant's household as a serving girl. Little Rose talks about the events as if writing a letter to Logan as a way of helping him remember not only who he really is, but also where he came from.

Wolverine was born James Howlett, a sickly kid from a wealthy family. While Howlett feels that he has friends in Rose and a boy named Dog who lives at the bottom of the hill with his abusive father, he soon learns that Thomas and Dog Logan resent the rich family a great deal. When Thomas is fired from his groundskeeping job, he gathers up his son and breaks into the Howlett mansion, and what results is a lot of death and James sprouting three bone claws from each hand in defense of his family's life.

Rose takes James and runs away with him knowing that the deaths will be blamed on them. The pair make their way North to the edge of the Yukon and start working in a small mining town where no one asks questions. Rose and James, now calling himself Logan, pose as cousins when they enter the town and quickly make themselves useful. What Rose is trying to figure out is if James/Logan remembers what happened at his family's estate or if he has somehow blocked out those events.

As time passes, Logan becomes a strong hand on the mining team while Rose' handling of the accounts means the company is actually starting to make a profit. As Logan's skills improve, he also finds he has to keep his anger in check more and more, especially since there is a particularly wrathful bully in the town that has made it his job to make Logan as miserable as possible.

Wolverine Origin comes with two special features, one that talks about Marvel's decision to finally show the history of one of their favorite characters, and another that goes into the art direction used in the six-issue mini-series. Oddly enough, I found the art style used didn't actually lend itself all that well to the motion-comics format. Where other Marvel Knights releases have felt fairly natural in how the images were sliced up and moved, Wolverine Origin just felt off. I'm not saying anything bad about Andy Kubert or Richard Isanove's illustrations, it just seemed like this particular style made the motion treatment that was being applied seem wrong.

Quite frankly, it seems like there are better ways to see where Wolverine came from given how this particular Motion Comic came out. I would just recommend picking up the original comics or watching the live-action film. Other Marvel Knights productions have provided previously untouched areas of the various heroes stories, but that just isn't the case here.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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