James Howlett

Since you’ve heard Wolverine referred to as Logan so many times, you probably assumed that Logan was always his name. However, an origin story brings some clarity as we see him as a child. What is interesting though is that the story is told in a way where you think Wolverine is another character (because he’s named Logan) but you find out later that Wolverine is in fact James Howlett, which turned out to be his original name.

The place to read this story is a comic called Wolverine: The Origin, a six issue miniseries. The story starts with seeing a twelve-year-old girl named Rose given the task of being James Howlett’s companion. He is still a child, and suffers from severe allergies. He also has a problem with water, so he spends much of his time indoors. Meanwhile, a groundskeeper named Thomas Logan has a son nicknamed “Dog”. Logan is the kind of father that kisses his son using his fist, if you get my meaning. It doesn’t help that he’s a chronic alcoholic, who’s angry that he is poor, and his older son is rich.

Dog and Rose from Wolverine The Origin

When Dog tries to have his way with Rose, James runs to try and get help from his father. Eventually, after James’ father John is killed, James Howlett loses his nerve and kills Logan with his bone claws. You could say that this was the “first” time Wolverine had used them. This is seen at the end of issue 2.

So why did the groundskeeper Thomas Logan look exactly like Wolverine and carried the name Logan if Wolverine is actually James Howlett? There is implication that Thomas Logan had a secret relationship with Wolverine’s mom, Elizabeth Howlett. However, it was never stated that Thomas Logan is James Howlett’s father in this miniseries.

Thomas Logan in Wolverine The Origin

The point of Wolverine: The Origin is to finally explain Wolverine’s background. However, for many, it just added to the confusion. The storytelling makes it hard to know who the characters are. For example, James has a father named John, two named starting with the same letter. What is cool, though, is the artwork has a sort of sketchy feeling, as if charcoal drawings or paintings made in the same time period that the story is told. We also get more perspective, of course, about Wolverine’s background and find out his original name. The popularity of the comic has made it a collectable, but not to the point where it is unobtainable. Any Wolverine fan would be honored to have acquired this miniseries for their collection.

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