Marvel Knights: Wolverine Origin
Based on the comic written by Paul Jenkins
Screenplay adapted by Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins and Bill Jemas
Original Art by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove
Directed by Carl Upsdell
Rated R | 66 Minutes
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Many of you may not of heard of this new comic format. It’s referred to as a motion comic. Essentially it’s a comic or graphic novel that is adapted to film by basically dissecting each panel and moving pieces of it to create the illusion of action. It is probably pretty painstaking work since we don’t see too much of it. Marvel Knights: Wolverine Origin is the first of these I have seen from Marvel, though I do own one from another comic company.
Being referred to as “the greatest story never told” is a tough bill, but ever since being introduced in 1975, Wolverine has been one of the most enigmatic comic characters around. Whereas other heroes had their backstories filled in fairly well, poor Logan’s has long remained a mystery. Until Paul Jenkins wrote the graphic novel Wolverine Origin and revealed the past for all to see, that is. I must admit, I remember reading the story back in 2009 and pretty much liking it. There were still some obvious gaps that I figured were there to create places to add in new stories later. Remembering all of this I went into the viewing of this motion comic with a pretty open mind.
Unfortunately, that’s where it started going downhill. I was astounded at how boring the video was. It’s an interesting story that had life breathed into it but yet it still felt wooden and hollow all the way through it. It wasn’t the voice acting, at least not directly. I got the feeling that they cut some corners on voices…one person might be handling as many as four different characters in one chapter. But the animation of the comic was more juvenile than I might have wanted, especially when dealing with such a popular character under the Marvel Knights logo.
Broken up into chapters, this motion comic was obviously meant to be aired in bits and pieces, maybe as filler between other cartoons or animated shorts. The credits roll every time, meaning you are forced to endure the entire list again and again. Hell, I feel like I should send the folks Christmas cards as I’ve seen their names more than some of my friends on Facebook. And on top of it all, it felt a little thrown together. I just didn’t feel like it was given it’s due. And I’m not even a big fan of this mutant hero. But still, if you’re going to do something, do it correctly.
Addressing the story itself is easy, if you’ve read it, you know how it goes. If not, I won’t spoil it for you but suffice to say that Wolverine is a lot older than you might have first thought. It’s that wacky healing factor that enables him to age much, much slower than a normal human. Chronicling his life from around the age of ten or twelve, the beginning of the comic is all about who he was and where he came from. Taking place during the 19th century, events transpire to change his life drastically and we see the next few years take their toll on this once happy young man. For those of you that are not overly familiar with Logan, this is all before the adamantium was added to his skeleton, before Xavier formed the X-Men and before the world knew anything at all about mutants in general, much less anything dealing with the short Canadian who is constantly making a “SNIKT!” noise with his claws.
So that’s what I’ve got to say about it. It may have been produced by Marvel but it definitely was not marvelous. Honestly, it could have been so much more. Wolverine may be the best there is at what he does but his wasn’t. I didn’t hate it (far from it) but neither did I love it. My advice is to watch this only if you’ve read the original comic. I say this because I feel that if you watch the motion comic first then you’ll steer away from the graphic novel and it’s actually pretty badass in print form. I do like motion comics, I just didn’t really feel this one is the best example you could be shown. And having said all of this I know there are collectors who will disregard this review because they just have to own everything. Not to worry, I do the exact same thing for certain franchises and comics, so I won’t judge you for it.