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Nostalgia November Day 23 — Wolverine #25

Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s Wolverine #25.

The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.

wolverine25Wolverine #25 by Jo Duffy and John Buscema is a solid little one-off story that wouldn’t really work as well now as it did then. It takes place during a time that Wolverine was, apparently, thought dead and he was living in Madripoor as Patch. An old favour by a friend who is trying to gain control of the Wharfside neighbourhood is called in and Logan finds himself guarding a six-year old boy against possible retaliation from the rival mob boss. The boy can’t sleep, so Logan tells him the story of a young boy who lived in the Canadian wilderness and was cast out for being too small and weak… he’s adopted by a pack of wolverines and lives the wild, saving them from hunters and trappers. After the story, the rival criminals attack, there’s a big brawl, and it ends in a stalemate, Logan having repaid his debt.

The story that Logan tells the boy is obviously meant to be a hint to the readers that this happened to him without actually confirming anything officially. He could be making it up or it could be true… we’ll never know because Logan’s past is mysterious, his origins unknown. Of course, that doesn’t work as much now that his origins aren’t unknown and his past is being mined constantly to create a cohesive whole. Not that the story here is that impressive either. Duffy doesn’t really do anything with the story Logan tells or provide any real insight beyond the idea that this is what happened to Logan as a boy. The only thing of real consequence is that he does kill humans to protect the wolverines, possibly showing his first killing.

Buscema’s art is good, very solid. He does the story scenes well, but the Madripoor stuff isn’t as impressive. The end brawl is cluttered and chaotic, and difficult to really follow at times. The colouring has a weird moment at the end where Logan’s clothes switch colours from blue to brown to yellow, making him look like Dick Tracy by the end.

All in all, a solid but forgettable issue.

9 Comments

This is the first one you’ve posted about that I am 100% sure I bought and read. You are right that it is forgettable, because I only vaguely remember it, despite the fact that I loved all of Logan’s Madripoor adventures and almost certainly thought this issue was awesome at the time.

The Wolverine solo-series never clicked with me, probably because the initial stories lacked the edge of the first mini-series. And the art was, well, ugly.

I remember reading this comic as a teen and thinking “wolverines aren’t pack animals, idiot.”

Still, this harkens back to a much better time for the character, when his history was comprised of just a lot of disconnected hints and clues. Flat out revealing Wolverine’s “origin” was like solving the Laura Palmer murder on Twin Peaks. It’s like, okay, now what?

Generalissimo Fernando

November 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Not especially memorable or not, I recall reading it and thinking it was the gospel truth about a chapter of Wolverine’s past for years, and I loved the issue for that reason. I used to love the anti-hero with a heart of gold, whose past was as mysterious to himself as it was to us. I can’t stand Wolverine now, the guy whose past ties in with every single event in the past 150 years of the Marvel Universe. In any case, that cover is gorgeous.

I’ve only read one issue of Wolverine ever, but I assume he was believed dead at this time because all the X-Men were supposedly killed during the Fall Of The Mutants. They moved to Australia and pretended to be dead for at least a couple of years, I think. I stopped reading mutants books during that time, so I don’t know when they were finally revealed to be alive. But I know Wolverine’s series began right at the beginning of this period, so I’m pretty sure he was still ‘dead’ at this time.
Is that supposed to be a wolverine in the foreground? Its face looks strange, and vaguely human.

Whatever happened to Jo Duffy? I haven’t heard anything from her since the late ’80s.

Casey — I agree. Though, with a character as long-lasting as Wolverine, I can see the other side rather easily, too. Especially when, as Joe Quesada put it, the movies would probably eventually reveal the origin, so shouldn’t the comics do it first? I don’t necessarily agree, but I can definitely see where they were coming from.

this book had horrible art!

Ah, nostalgia. A much simpler time for Wolverine and the x-line as a whole. Interestingly also, back then, you could have an # 25 of series without it being a ‘special’ issue.

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