8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Early Wolverine is more fun than the fleshed out Wolverine of today

Story is rather intentionally slow paced

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Wolverine (Limited Series)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Chris Claremont

Artist:  Frank Miller

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  1987


Wolverine (Limited Series) #1

Reprints Wolverine (Limited Series) #1-4 (September 1982-December 1982).  Wolverine travels to Japan to learn his former lover Mariko is trapped in an arrange marriage to an abusive husband and her father’s criminal empire is growing.  Wolverine is saved by a mysterious woman named Yukio and fights to free Mariko and bring down Lord Shingen.  When Wolverine’s friend Anso Kimura is killed, Wolverine is not only trying to save his love, he’s seeking revenge!

Written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Frank Miller, Wolverine was one of Marvel Comics earlier forays into graphic novels and became another crossover graphic novel of the ’80s being sold in regular bookstores.  The series was well received and has been collected multiple times sometimes including Uncanny X-Men (1) #172-173 (August 1982-September 1982) which followed the events of the series.  The Wolverine (Limited Series) was also collected in The Best of Wolverine Volume 1 and Wolverine Omnibus Volume 1 which also included many other early Wolverine appearances.

Wolverine was an interesting creation and after a few “solo” appearances in Uncanny X-Men quickly gained a fan base.  His earliest appearance in a cameo in Incredible Hulk (2) #180 and first full appearance in Incredible Hulk (2) #181 (October 1974-November 1974) became some of the most sought out comics by collectors.  This series gave the character more backstory and allowed the X-Man to cut loose and be a bit more savage without his teammates.


Wolverine (Limited Series) #2

Wolverine is a fun story that feels a lot slower paced than the Uncanny X-Men stories at the time.  Claremont really spends some time developing Wolverine’s character here and the story often dissolves into Wolverine’s internal debate.  It is nice to see the “origin-less” Wolverine and I do prefer the Wolverine of mystery rather than the fleshed out Wolverine of today.

The comic is also aided by Frank Miller who just starting to peak in his career.  Daredevil was making him a star and The Dark Knight Returns was still in the future.  At this point, his art wasn’t as edgy as later on, but it is still solid and the subject matter (which included some of his favorite recurring themes…ninjas, the Hand, and Japan) were perfect for his style.

Wolverine is a must read for comic fans, but also is worth checking out if you are a fair-weather fan.  It is a great example of the evolution of comic books and how comics transformed from something for kids and became something more.  The limited series was also used as a basis for the 2013 film The Wolverine.

Related Links:

The Wolverine (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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