Wolverine:  an Origin Story

If you want to know the back story of how Wolverine became, well, Wolverine, Marvel has recently released Logan’s origin story in this new picture book/graphic novel hybrid. From the very beginning, we learn about James, Rose, and a boy named Dog, who live together in the Canadian Wilderness. They start out as close friends, but as James and Dog grow older, their relationship changes from friend to enemy. When Dog threatens James and his family, James learns of his mutant status — the claws rip through his hands right before his eyes. He must run away and hide, far away from the prying eyes and disapproving looks of the townspeople. James, now known as Logan, must find his way in the world alone. Along the way he meets other superheroes and mutants, other loners and solitary creatures, but he will now be forever known as — Wolverine!

This new addition to the Marvel storybook-type line of books is on par with others in the series. The illustrations are more picture-booky, if that makes sense, as opposed to traditional comic book style illustrations. Also, there are no panels, no speech bubbles — it really should be seen as an introduction to the characters in the Marvel Universe in picture book form as opposed to a real graphic novel or comic book. The illustrations, while quite vibrant and brilliant in color, often look computer generated, which seems to be the case as the illustrators are listed as Val Semeiks and Hi-Fi Design. I prefer real illustrations, and the drawings here, especially when James first has his claws appear, look really awkwardly drawn. There is no depth at all to the hands, fingers or claws. There is some mild violence throughout the book, nothing too scary or overwhelming. There is much more text than there are drawings, so the illustrations on each page are really only representing a fraction of what is being told story-wise. All in all, even though I wasn’t really pleased with the quality of the illustrations and the story seemed a bit too rushed, this is a book that kids will pick up. It offers a story of Wolverine that’s appropriate for younger readers and it will appeal to those kids who have seen any of the X-Men movies, but are too young for the Marvel comics.

Wolverine: an Origin Story
by Rich Thomas, Jr.
Art by Val Semeiks, Hi-Fi Design
ISBN: 9781423154013
Marvel, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: Ages 6 Up

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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