With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.
Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!
Writers: Daniel Way (Wolverine Origins), Mike Carey (X-Men Legacy)
Artists: Mike Deodato (Wolverine Origins), Scott Eaton (X-Men Legacy)
Issues: X-Men: Original Sin One-Shot, Wolverine Origins #28-30, X-Men Legacy #217-218
The plight of self-pitying, guilt-stricken Charles Xavier continues as the focus of X-Men Legacy in 2008. This time we get a surprisingly effective crossover with Wolverine Origins.
Both Logan and Charles are men with checkered pasts that they’d sooner forget – even with Logan finally regaining his memories after House of M. This story, which begins with its own One-Shot issue before intertwining both series, centers around Wolverine’s son, Daken, and his quest to fix his son’s damaged psyche with Xavier’s help.
The oft trite and forgettable Wolverine Origins had just come off another semi-crossover with Deadpool (Right before the Merc launched his own series). It was one of the better story arcs of the series, and at the end gave Logan his mind-wiped son thanks to an adamantium bullet from the Winter Soldier.
Logan knows he needs a powerful telepath to try and fix Daken’s broken mind. Daken has been mostly an awful character since his introduction a few years ago – petulant, selfish, psychotic, and extremely angry. He’s like an angsty teenager with claws and a bad attitude, and not in a fun way. But Wolverine feels beholden to help him, as fathers do, and seeks out Emma Frost and Cyclops.
Given the animosity between Scott and Logan that doesn’t end well, but Logan learns something better – Professor X is alive. Who better to help him than the world’s greatest telepath? What follows is a nicely focused story on the two men working through their demons and their past, while fighting against the machinations of Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost’s former team the Hellfire Club.
Shaw is joined by newcomer Miss Sinister. That would be a female clone of the late Mr Sinister. She mostly parades around in bikinis and impossibly tight corsets, and we know she’s no match for Xavier when it comes to mind games. Shaw had been featured quite a bit in the previous X-Men Legacy story, and his ongoing split with the Hellfire Club makes Wolverine storm the wrong place when his son is captured – though it does lead to some awesome battles.
Wolverine and Professor X are able to defeat Shaw and, ugh, Miss Sinister, by getting to Daken and opening a good old-fashioned three-way telepathy session. Daken sees through Wolverine’s memories of his murdered lover and Daken’s mom, and we finally see glimpses of humanity in Daken. I went from absolutely despising the character to gaining a glimmer of sympathy, though the writing teeters toward over-dramatic cheesiness.
My favorite part was Mike Deodato doing the artwork. Wolverine Origins had just about the worst art of any series I’d read and now all the sudden it has one of the best, though just for this arc. Still, great art can elevate an alright story, and that’s exactly what happens here. I even love his panel construction, giving scenes a dynamic composure. Scott Eaton’s work with X-Men Legacy is nice as well, though the slight change in style every other issue due to the crossover is a bit jarring as always.
X-Men: Original Sin takes a simple story and effectively focuses on just a handful of characters. The result is a satisfying little arc that actually ends stronger than it begins – a rarity among comic stories. Everyone gets a chance to do cool stuff (and it’s rare and fun to see Xavier on an actual field mission). It segues into Wolverine’s next story where he and Daken go on a Father-Son quest for revenge. Aww.