There is no better way to prepare for the cinematic premiere of Logan than to delve into the history of one of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes. Wolverine: Prehistory is a 500-page collection of one-shots, annuals, and mini-series that document Logan’s mysterious past and reveal some of the most poignant and influential experiences that shaped who we know as The Wolverine. So is it good?
Wolverine: Prehistory (Marvel Comics)
I’m currently sitting in my local Starbucks waiting for the next showing of Logan and, having just finished reading Prehistory, it’s hard to contain my excitement for seeing Jackman’s last portrayal of the character. Wolverine: Prehistory couldn’t have hit shelves at a better time as it’s the perfect tribute to the hero right before his most anticipated film. Physically, the collection is an impressive piece of work. Bearing the impressive Isanove cover art, the volume weighs a hefty 2 lbs and contains over 500 pages of Wolverine stories whose publication dates span from the 1980s – 2010s.
Between the writers and the art teams, the amount of talent collected in this publication is staggering. Just some of the finer works of Tim Truman, Mark Millar, Rick Spears, and Neal Adams are displayed while Tod Foxx, Kaare Andrews, Timothy Green, John Paul Leon, and Neal Adams head the visuals. These stories not only fill the gaps in Wolverine’s forgotten past, but they all represent experiences that are essential in understanding who Logan is and what shaped him into the grizzled, but beloved hero that he is.
These stories are collected chronologically based on the dates within the stories themselves. So we start with Logan living as a fur trader in the wild frontier and the following issues take us through the 20th century as he travels from WWII Germany to his training in Japan to Cuba during the Cold War. It’s a very cool experience to flip through the decades of Logan’s life and being able to appreciate the varied writing and artistic styles that brought this character to life and to the status of beloved superhero. There’s no other collection that allows you to study a Foxx image of Wolverine red-eyed with rage attacking a monstrous worm with a group of Native Americans and then just pages later see Green’s depiction of war-ravaged Europe with Logan sparring with a Nazi Werewolf (or is it a Werewolf Nazi?).
There are so many sentimental and crucial stories within this volume, whether it’s how Logan received the title of “The Wolverine” or when his sensei recognized Logan’s greatest fault was his “lack of control”. These stories also feature some of the best team-ups I’ve read with a supporting cast that includes, but isn’t limited to: Carol Danvers, Nick Fury, Sabretooth, Kimora, Cable, Ben Grimm, and the very young Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier. This revolving door of notable characters make every story entertaining, but while it’s difficult to choose a favorite work, I can narrow it down to two.
The first is Millar’s and Andrews’ Wolverine #32, “Prisoner Number Zero”. This must read issue is told from the perspective of a Nazi general in command of an internment camp. Without saying a word himself, Logan’s depiction and silent resistance is both haunting and powerful and easily cracks my top ten favorite Wolverine stories.
The other top inclusion within the volume is all five issues of Neal Adam’s “The First X-Men” mini-series that revises the origins of the team, Logan and Creed’s relationship, and the creation of both Charles’ school and the Department of Mutant Affairs. While the series wasn’t well-received initially, I enjoyed the revision to the classic X-Men origins and the version has a well-deserved place within the volume as Logan is the main catalyst of these events.
Is It Good?
If you are a Wolverine fan, this collection is a must have for your library. Wolverine: Prehistory is five hundred pages conveniently organized chronologically that depict Logan’s travels around the world and throughout time. Considering what’s collected, it’s at a very reasonable price and is the perfect read before seeing Logan.