The Origin II miniseries revealed even more secrets from Wolverine’s early life, including the beginnings of his relationship with Sabretooth.
For decades, the fact that Wolverine’s past was almost completely unknown was a key aspect of the character. Logan’s mind had been manipulated so many times that he could only recall small samples of his centuries-old life, like his time as a Weapon Plus Program assassin or his extensive military service. In the early 2000s, Marvel vowed to change this, revealing at least some of the secrets about the Clawed Hero’s early days.
Before House of M finished restoring Logan’s lifelong memories, the 2001-2002 limited series Source, by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins, Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove described their first years of life. Although the idea of such a story was initially controversial, the series received widespread praise and became influential in Logan’s future. Over a decade later, a sequel was released, and while it didn’t receive such an enthusiastic reaction, it continued to explore Logan’s early adventures and build on the origins of other popular characters from the X-Men franchise.
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Origin II was a five-issue limited series by VC’s Kieron Gillen, Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, Rain Beredo, and Joe Caramagna, released from 2013 to 2014. After accidentally killing the woman he loved named Rose (who bore a striking resemblance to Jean Gray), James Howlett, who had previously adopted the name Logan, fled society and lived in the woods with a pack of wolves. When a displaced polar bear killed the wolves, Logan in turn killed the bear with his bone claws. Word of a mysterious animal reached local hunters, and Logan was captured by a man named Creed, who worked for a circus owner named Hugo. It was displayed as a display during the exhibition. When Hugo allowed Nathaniel Essex, the twisted scientist who would one day become Mister Sinister, experiment on Logan, Creed’s sister Clara, and his brother, they freed him and the three of them fled together.
Living with Clara and Creed helped Logan regain some of his humanity and he and Clara began to form a romantic connection. But when the Essex men attacked them, Logan accidentally impaled her during the fight. He and Creed then went after Essex for revenge, but before Logan pushed him out the window, Essex told Logan that Creed was the one who told him where Logan and Clara were.
Logan attacked Creed, but Clara, who had survived thanks to the healing powers her family shared, intervened. Logan proceeded to drown Creed in a potion created by Essex that could kill even people like them, causing Clara to hate him. Logan walked away alone and the final scene of the series shows Clara talking to a mysterious man. She tells him about the death of her brother, whose first name was Saul, and the man is revealed to be Victor Creed, the future Saber Tooth, who decides to hunt down Logan in revenge for killing his little brother.
Origin II presented the first examples of elements common to the X-Men and Wolverine stories. Sinister is almost always pursuing some wicked experiment with one mutant or another, although in the modern age he is more obsessed with Jean Gray and the Summers family than with Logan. Furthermore, most of Logan’s romances would go on to end in violent tragedy and of course this story also offers an explanation for the decades-long rivalry between him and Sabretooth.
It is somewhat surprising that Sabretooth and Sinister were completely disconnected in the story, considering that the Greater Creed first appeared in Uncanny X-Men as one of the Sinister Marauders responsible for the “Mutant Massacre”. Still, this series offered an exciting glimpse into one of the oldest fights in comic book history and confirmed the complicated history between mutant rivals.
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