Suggested Reading: Wolverine - The Fiery Rage of Logan
by Roman Chavez
April 30, 2009
Hello again! I am back, Roman, your comic book guide to the stars. We haven't spoken since Watchmen and I have to say that it's certainly good to be back again in time for the summer. In this latest installment of Suggested Reading, we'll be looking back at the world's favorite X-Men - Wolverine. That name is synonymous with the X-Men. He is getting to be as recognizable as Superman or Spider-Man. People who have never read an X-Men comic can tell you who Wolverine is. There are a lot of layers to the old man, and we're going to touch on a few today, but first I'll tell you about my love for this savage, yet noble character.
I was first exposed to Wolverine not through comics or a cartoon, but through a Halloween costume. My mother got me his costume one year because she thought it looked cool. It was a throw back to his tan and brown costume. A year or so later I was introduced to the 90's X-Men animated series, and my life would change forever. I was a bit confused when I first saw him slicing and dicing on TV because my costume did not match his yellow, blue and black ensemble. I would later learn that Wolverine had many guises. The show was great, but I was captivated by Wolverine and Gambit the most. I fell in love with the character through one of the coolest quotes ever from a cartoon. I believe it's from the episode "Deadly Reunions."
In the episode, Wolverine says to Sabertooth: "Alright you egg sucking piece of gutter trash. You always liked pushing people around who were smaller than you! Well I'm smaller, try pushing me!" I got into so much trouble calling people "egg sucking pieces of gutter trash," but it was totally worth it.
I later became aware of the X-Men comics and was totally taken aback. There were so many characters to choose from. They were all depicted so well in the show and I was surprised to see how close it seemed Wolverine was to his comic book character. At this point the comic book series Origin had not come out yet, so Wolverine's back story was still very much a mystery. With his clouded past and fiery rage, I couldn't help but become a fan of the man they called Logan. Not only was he a badass hero, he also had some of the coolest villains. Sabertooth, Omega Red, Cyber, Lady Deathstrike and the Silver Samurai are just a few of Wolverine's greatest enemies. Each of which are insanely deadly and a handful to contain.
So I thought I'd give you a list of some awesome Wolverine stories, so that when the movie comes out and it's as bad as I'm expecting it to be, we can all be pissed off together? Even if the movie has little to do with the comics, these stories are still certainly worth reading. I can't suggest all of Wolverine's stories because there are so many good ones out there, but here is a list of some of my absolute favorites. Dive on in!
Wolverine #1 - 4 (1982)
Written by Chris Claremont, Penciled by Frank Miller
This was Wolverine's first solo mini-series. It tells us the story of Wolverine and his long distance girlfriend, Mariko Yashida, and what he must do when he discovers that she has taken a husband in Japan. This was an interesting story because we never really got to see that much of his personal life on this level. How does one of the world's most dangerous men handle a situation like this? Find out that and much more in this timeless mini-series. Read it online.
Written by Paul Jenkins, Penciled by Andy Kubert
Marvel's best kept secret was finally revealed in this story. We got to see the beginnings of Logan as a child, where he grew up and some family secrets. This story was so hyped up that it was a let down to most. However, knowing that before I read it made the story great for me. If you pay attention, you learn so many details about his life. Where is hair style comes from, his obsession with red heads and even where he got the word "Bub" from. Buy from Amazon.com.
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1 - 6 (1984)
Written by Chris Claremont, Penciled by Al Milgrom
This is a cool little story. It's one of a few times where Wolverine takes on a female as his sidekick. He trains Kitty in martial arts and various disciplines. We got to see a paternal side to him that had not really been seen before. It's another one of those special layers of Wolverine that make up the man. A man that could kill you many different ways, can form a young lady into one of the best X-Men of all. This really doesn't gear you up for the movie, as much as it shows you a different side of the Logan you might not have known about. Buy from Amazon.com.
Written and Penciled by Barry Windsor Smith
This was one of the earliest stories that showcased some kind of origin for Wolverine (before the aforementioned Origin was published). This story was about some of his time at Weapon X. We see the strange experiments and procedures that are done to him - the most significant being the adamantium that was bonded to his bones. This is a great story about Wolverine long before he became a member of the X-Men. Buy from Amazon.com.
Wolverine: Origins & Endings
Written by Daniel Way, Penciled by Javier Saltares
After the events of House of M, Wolverine is left with the full memory of his clouded past. What do you do when you finally know your past? More importantly, what do the people responsible for your years of torture do once they've find out that you've remembered who they are? This is just a fun story of revenge that shows us how a man who went years with only questions reacts when he has all of the answers. Buy from Amazon.com.
From his badass hair to his razor sharp claws, it's hard not to see why Wolverine is one of the most recognizable X-Men in the world. There are so many great stories about him. Many are just single issues and I could not even begin to tell you which ones to start with. These suggestions above are just a few great stories that I have found interesting. Stories of love, loss, pain and rage, and the ability to overcome those things and still accomplish some good. Whether or not the film will depict his origin accurately is still a mystery, but if you want to learn a little more or just refresh your knowledge of Wolverine, check those out.
As a last minute reminder, X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theaters everywhere tomorrow, May 1st, so don't miss it in theaters. So long from Roman's Land and, as always, keep reading and see you at the movies!