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Wolverine 1: Prodigal Son (Wolverine Manga) Paperback – April 7, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this alternate, mangafied vision of Wolverine's past, we find a teenage Logan living at the Quiet Earth School in Canada and studying martial arts. Bored, restless and channeling James Dean, the young rebel worries about his upcoming graduation as well as his missing past. A trip to New York complicates things by introducing Logan's first rival, a former student named Morgan. Johnston's characters are overdramatized and flamboyant; Logan is more like an angst-ridden teen than a future X-Man. Master Mr. Elliot and daughter Tamara are caring and yet one-sided. Hopefully, subsequent volumes will provide more character development and flesh out the personalities of the cast. Tortosa's art is an interesting blend of obvious manga influence with a fluidity of movement that makes the art easy to follow. The fight scenes look natural and are not overly posed or stylized. This will hold the most amount of appeal for fans who are more into manga than comics and are not familiar with the existing nuances of Wolverine's story. (Apr.)
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From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Marvel Comics&' popular antihero gets a dramatic manga treatment in this, the first volume in a projected series. Johnston gives Logan&'s backstory, presenting him as a contemporary teen living in a martial-arts retreat for troubled youth. Having been found on the school&'s doorstep, the young and amnesiac Wolverine grows to be a formidable warrior while living in the relative isolation of the Canadian wilderness. Feeling unchallenged by his fellow students and confused by his secret mutant abilities, he asks his sensei for a true test of skill. After completing it with trademark style, Logan&'s reward is his first trip to a city, and not just any city, but the Big Bad Apple itself. Once there, Wolverine finds a conspiracy involving mutants, a disgraced childhood rival, and a mysterious doctor, leading to one big showdown and setting up several more. The narrative, combining standard coming-of-age material with high-voltage action, works to satisfactory effect. However, it is the hyperkinetic artwork that really makes the book shine; Tortosa imbues every spinning, leaping, skewering move with action and drama. Recommended more for fans of action-packed manga than for fans of Wolverine himself.–Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wolverine Manga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505163
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Antony Johnston is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of graphic novels, video games, and books. His graphic novel THE COLDEST CITY is being adapted into a film starring Charlize Theron. His epic series WASTELAND is one of only a handful of such longform comic stories in the medium. His first video game, DEAD SPACE, redefined the survival horror genre.

Antony has written more than thirty graphic novels and comic series, including THE FUSE, DAREDEVIL, CODENAME BABOUSHKA, JULIUS, THE LONG HAUL, WOLVERINE PRODIGAL SON, the ALEX RIDER graphic novels, the DEAD SPACE transmedia comics, and the adaptation of Alan Moore's 'lost screenplay' FASHION BEAST.


Antony also hosts the podcast UNJUSTLY MALIGNED on the Incomparable network, and records music under the alias SILENCAEON.

He lives and works in England.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wolverine fans that like their hero pure and unadulterated should probably stay away from this "mangafied" version of the character. However, people interested in seeing how Wolverine might have fared had he been brought up steeped in Japanese culture could have a new venue for watching their hero in action as a rebellious (can you believe it?) teen.

I originally bought this book for my 11 year old because he's interested in anime and manga. Through him, I've deepened my curiosity into a love of the art form, especially with The Last Avatar. Since he wasn't reading Wolverine: Prodigal Son, I picked it up just to spend a few minutes with in between projects. Then I finished it off the next day.

Anthony Johnson wrote the graphic novel, paring the words down on the page to only what was necessary to keep the story moving along. In fact, there's a chapter in the book that doesn't have a single word on the page and the story moves along like a jet. His "repurposed" Wolverine as a young man is a bit more sympathetic at the outset, but his origin story is no less dark. By the end of the novel, Wolverine's innate rebel nature gives way to a full-throttle need for retribution, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Wilson Tortosa is a new artist to me, but a quick search revealed that he comes from manga roots. He's been the artist on several of the Battle of the Planets comics and graphic novels. I really enjoyed his black and white artwork. The images and the action are both fluid, easy for the eye to pick up and follow along. He also keeps the dialogue-heavy scenes interesting, drawing from different angles or showing different things than I expected.
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Format: Paperback
It's Wolverine! Everyone's favorite superhero! As an emo teen...with anime hair...

Really, it's not as bad as it sounds. Wolverine: Prodigal Son is a reimagining of Logan's back story in manga form. Years ago, a wolverine left a young boy at the "Quiet Earth" dojo's doorstep. He has no memories of his past, only that his name is Logan. With Sensei Elliott as his only parental figure, Logan grows up constantly feeling out of place and different from everyone around him. You'd think he'd get used to the life after 10 years and not feel so alone, but then he wouldn't have all that dark, teen angst that will eventually culminate and turn him into the badass we all know and love.

Logan is unfortunately very typical, at least to begin with. In addition to being a cold, lone wolf archetype, he's the best fighter in the school; even sending the former top student scampering off with his tail between his legs. No way that guy will ever reappear exactly 100 pages later to exact his revenge in a completely over-the-top manner.

That was sarcasm...just FYI.

In order to prove that he's ready to go out and see the world, he takes up his sensei's "Wind, Wood & Water" test, which, within the manga's content, doesn't seem as impossible as Antony Johnston plays it up to be. Logan and his obligated-plucky, teacher's-daughter female lead Tamara pass the test, only to reveal his darkest secret, the claws within his hands.

This is where the book starts to turn around. Sensei Elliott takes Logan on a trip to New York City, where the culture shock brings out a whole other side of him. Logan quickly takes offense to a man who bumps into him. He's overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and noise. He even visits a dojo with students more talented than he.
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Format: Paperback
For some reason, I'm getting more and more into manga lately. Kenshin Rurouni, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Mail, 20th Century Boys...I'm finding the tricks and story techniques different from the big two and it's been a lot of fun.

Anyway, Antony Johnston (a British writer who has done work I've liked at Oni) and Filipino artist Wilson Tortosa are the team behind this new Wolverine series. You have to know absolutely nothing about the Logan of the mainstream Marvel universe or the film version to enjoy this book. In Prodigal Son, Logan is a 14 year old (by best guess) orphan who lives and trains in the Quiet Earth School for Young People "somewhere in Canada". It's a martial arts school run by Mr. Elliot, a kind-but-tough teacher. He found Logan as a toddler on his doorstep years before. Li'l Logan was actually being watched over by a real wolverine (Mowgli-style). Mr. Elliot has a daughter, Tamara, who not so secretly pines for Logan.
Logan has the same powers and the same hair...but there is no adamantium and the claws are the bone-type.

Logan wants to see the world outside of Quiet Earth and it's when he and Mr. Elliot take a trip to NYC that the story really starts moving. It seems a former student known to both has joined forces with a shady organization that knows all about Logan's origins...and they want him back. It's a great start to what, hopefully, will be a long series of books. I appreciate the fact that Logan is the only character from the X-universe in the book. There are no manga-versions of Xavier, Jean, Magneto, Creed, etc...at least there weren't in this volume. Del Rey and Marvel have another series coming soon which does feature more of the X-Men...so Kitty, Beast, and Nightcrawler fans, keep an eye out for those.

I give this four SNIKTS! out of five.
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