Customer Reviews: Wolverine
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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.
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VINE VOICEon May 12, 2003
But what else could it be with two of the greatest comic book professionals ever teaming up to add much needed dimension to a character that was at the time a little flat. The fact that this story idea was created and plotted as Claremont and Miller were driving back from the San Diego comic book convention probably helped fuel some of the angst that the poured into revamping Logan's character.
This story cements Wolverine as a Ronin, a Samurai without a master, and shows him one of his greatest loves, the tragic Mariko Yashida, who is still one of my favorites out of Logan's vast bevy of beauties.
Whether you're a long time Wolverine/X-Men reader and somehow managed to skip over this one, or a fan of the movies and looking for a place to start, I highly recommend this graphic novel.
Just a note, if you are just beginning, please check out the Essential Wolverine volumes 1-3. For the money you get a lot a great reading and even more insight into this enigmatic mutant.
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on June 28, 1998
This book reprints the very first solo Wolverine story, from the 1982 four-issue Wolverine miniseries. A tale of love, duty, and honor. The Claremont/Miller team is superb. Highly recommended.
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on December 3, 1999
Back in the mid-80s Chris Claremont and Frank Miller joined creative talents to write the first 4 issure Wolverine miniseries. It had great plot, great art and excellent characterization of Wolverine. That story showed that he wasn't just a psycho killer. Now that story is collected here and is a must have for Wolverine fans.
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on May 8, 2005
When he first appeared in an Incredible Hulk comic book issue and then later as part of the mutant super team, the X-Men, Wolverine's character was portrayed as the berserker animal with the killer rage. He was the guy you would not want dating your daughter. Few decades later to this modern day and age, Logan's history is the richest and most complex out of all the characters in comics, including greats such as the Batman or even Spider-man. Due to being shrouded in mystery and allegedly to be more than 100 years old, Wolverine's character is beyond the scope of trying to cramp many layers of origins and histories in a short time. His experiences and life are stuff of legend and is a fertile soil for many creators to delve into.

All this is to thanks to two creators that are well known to both the comic book industry and mainstrem entertainment. Chris Claremont is the definitive writer of the X-men and though he had a short departure in the 90s from the characters he helped cultivate, his comeback has been much wanting and less than stellar to the works that he helped write in the old, including this story that helped make Wolverine who he is now and forever. His take on the character made him more complex and alluring to the readers, both young and those who were growing up and wanted to more out of him. In this story where we learn Wolverin's strong Japanese roots help shed light to that and pave the way to future stories of the same caliber.

Frank Miller has recently been hailed in the mainstream media as the creator and co-director of the Sin City movie. He was widely appraised before that on most of his works in comics, including Batman, Daredevil and Wolverine. He is the ultimate method creator of comic books when it comes in both writing style and in your face, gritty drawing. He makes the character alive with his strokes in this book.

Combining both artists to the most controversial comic book character was done just right and the work is one of the best and the greatest that will leave fans wanting for more. Only time will tell whether these two greats will ever come together in the future. All we can do is hope and see.
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Before he became the posterchild for everything X-Men, Wolverine was a berserker mutant with animalistic rage who made his debut as an adversary for the Incredible Hulk, and eventually gaining much notoriety in the re-vamped X-Men comics under the pen of Chris Claremont. However, it wasn't until this mini-series that Wolverine really gained the iconic status that he has as one of Marvel's heroes, and upon reading this, you'll be able to see why. Claremont presents an impromptu origin story for Wolverine, as he deepens his already mysterious past while injecting a new kind of life into the character as well. What's even better than Claremont's story is the artwork by none other than the legendary Frank Miller; who along with Claremont are kind of the guys responsible in the long run for the oversaturation of Wolverine in terms of popularity. Surprising, action packed, and above all still awesome after all these years, this Wolverine mini-series, now re-packaged in a handsome hardcover collection, is a must own for fans regardless of age.
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on April 14, 2013
OK: Claremont is iconic. This is classic work, fondly remembered from when I read the stories back when they first appeared. I bought the electronic version and read it on my iPad. I like these collections, I really like the 'Absolute' format (especially Gaiman) but I have problems with some of the larger collections (such as the current Claremont X men omnibus) as to how to read them: tricky to read lying down (heavy), I have yet to get a lectern, so I decided to try the kindle version. My first Kindle comic was a Star trek prequel, read on a black and white kindle. Not a great experience.

This time, on the iPad (and I presume on any other high definition pad as well), it was a success. Although the foot print is smaller, it is very legible, the colors great (and I compared the iPad rendition with the print omnibus). I think for me, except for 'absolute' style editions, this is how I will go forward.
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on May 13, 2014
Brilliant work from Claremont and Miller. The first and best Wolverine mini-series. I have the original issues, but this allows me to introduce the story to people who were too young to see it when it was originally offered.
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on September 8, 2013
I read this as prep for the movie (The Wolverine) later in the day, and I have to say it had me looking forward to how this source material gets interpreted. As graphic novels go, this one is pretty solid and it was fun to see good old spandex wearing yellow Wolverine after several years of the movies and Ultimate versions. The title feels (as well it was) like part of a series, and though it is standalone, you can't shake the feeling that you joined proceedings in media res - and being volume 1, it leaves you off with a cliffhanger.

I'm just glad I took in some proper 616 canon. Was great to see the X-men of yore all together. The art is nice, though I confess to having missed the more modern style from the Ultimate U, not least the full page action/ hero shots. The plot is unpredictable and the characterisation is solid; vintage Miller really. The man has revived so many doddering franchises (Daredevil, Batman) that what he does with the iconic Wolverine is in that sense predictably delightful. Well worth the money.
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on January 4, 2013
Ahh, the heady days where Wolverine wasn't an unstoppable force of nature, able to survive even a nuclear blast.
He seems somehow more human here, driven by those so relatable impulses of love and revenge. In fact, it's a tragic love story but one with just enough action and the trademark Claremont touches to engage any reader.

Japan is an alien place to many of us reading this story, but the Japan that leaps off the page here may be alien, but it is engrossing - full of honour, sacrifice and the other usual simmering juices that drive the best dramas. Wolverine is an outsider, something not uncommon for him, but here it is less the claws, the metal bones and healing factor and more the fact he's not Japanese - he may speak the language he may b more Japanese then many Japanese (something commentedupon in the very story) but because he isn't Japanese he is automatically less in the eyes of others.

Miller gives us a character driven story, focusing less often on the action and more on the characters reaction to it, the tightening of eyes, the horror on the face of someone witnessing an evisoration, the broken look in Wolverine's eye when Mariko turns her back on him... it's masterful in it's simplicity.

I strongly suggest fans of the character should get it - not just because it may or may not form the basis of an upcoming (as I write this in early 2913) film, or because it's by Chris Claremont and frank Miller, but because it's very good and is a foundation stone of the character Wolverine has become since.
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