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Marvel's very own ronin
on December 18, 2004
Back when Frank Miller was at his most prolific at Marvel, and Chris Claremont was at the top of his form, this little four-issue mini-series hit the stands as something unseen. In this short volume, Miller and Claremont figure out what really makes Wolverine tick. And it's not the claws, or animalistic rage, or false-memory-implants, or whatever.
The real stroke of genius developed out of good, old-fashioned character. Boil Logan down to his essence, and you have an honourable man, prone to violence and weak to his own impulses. He is a samurai, but a failed one without a master. He is ronin, and though he has wandered in his adventures with the X-Men, it is in this solo book he really shines. We see a man with his heart laid out for all to see, that a man capable of so much violence and rage is a human who strives for the same things we all want for ourselves. Love, honour, a place in this world where we belong.
To say that he is wandering samurai is not to say that he is without direction. We also see Wolverine at some of his most calculated, that there's a reason that he's the best there is at what he does. Between Claremont's point-perfect wordsmithing and Kurasawa-esque visuals by Miller, this mini-saga gives us more insight into Wolverine than the misguided Origin mini-series ever hoped to. Claremont fires on all cylinders here; his Logan-voice is authentic without being a caricature. And Miller's love for Japanese art, culture, and history lends the story an authenticity that is lost in the majority of what's published today.
Whether you are a fan of the ol' Canuckle-head, the X-men, or samurai fiction, this is money well spent.