Page 45 Review by Stephen
For those seeking a straight forward account of Wolverine's birth, adolescence and the order in which he was enlisted by various agencies before joining the X-Men, you might as well walk away now because Marvel decided not to be so bloody tedious, and instead served up a piece of historical drama, intelligently going for partial revelation with just enough mystery to make you do some of the work yourself.
The sickly, surviving son of wealthy John Howett, James, is given a playmate called Rose. His mother is sequestered up on the top floors of the mansion, rarely to be seen since the death of her eldest. Rose recalls the events in her diary, as the pair of them make friends with 'Dawg', the gardener's boy, but of course there's trouble and whenever there is, James' irrascible grandfather erupts like a volcano and the alcoholic gardener beats his submissive son to a pulp. From the first time you see him, the growling, resentful servant with his feral child will look immediately familiar, and his name will only confirm your suspicions. But I'd curb your initial instincts if I were you, because thankfully this story, like Logan's lineage, isn't as obvious as it seems.
Some have said that Jenkins' attempt at a Brontë feel was a bit naff, but it suits the story and Kubert's seasonal landscapes, first on the Howlett estate then round the snow-capped mountains and quarries of British Columbia, shifting from parched to verdant then chill, are rendered with detail, majesty and, courtesy of Isanove, a subtlety of colour. The wildlife moves with astonishing vivacity and power, whilst the figure work is all you could hope for.
And, come on, you do want to know now, don't you...?