Their Royal Opinions: Issue #3
by Queen Yezra and Ice Princess Deluxe

Well folks, we・ve decided this month to talk about Origin number 6 and Wolverine number 176. We wanna do more talking than summary for these, so in a nutshell:

Origin #6

Final installment of the six part Origin series, starts out with a hooded man looking for a Howlett. Gets info from old trapper, kills the guy afterwards. Cut to Logan chopping wood to vent anger or frustration. Rose talks to him and tells him to tell her what・s wrong. Logan asks her to stay with him. Rose says no, she・s leaving the mining town to get married in the City to Smitty. Logan walks off in a huff. Next, Smitty is in the local bar, trying to see stuff so he actually has money to get on the train with Rose. There・s an announcement for a ・winner take all・ cage fight. Smitty signs up. Logan sees him do that, gets a smirk on his face and signs up as well. Cut to scenes of veracious people kicking butt. Logan takes on butterball Cookie Malone, wins, and is up against Smitty for the final round. In the beginning, Logan kicks butt, telling Smitty how much he loves Rose. Smitty says if he really loved her, he・d do the right thing and let her go. So Logan throws the fight just so Smitty can get the money and get out of town. Then out of the shadows pops up the hooded guy, who we soon find out to be Dog. He lays the smack down on Logan, then Logan starts fighting back after Dog tells him it was him that killed John Howlett all those years ago, not Logan. Logan・s about to skewer him with his claws when up comes Rose screaming for him to stop. The crowd, horrified by the sight of his claws, run away, but in the process push Rose・right on top of them. She dies, Logan runs away to be with the wolves, Smitty is left alone with his grief, and Cookie gets the spoils. He・s in Rose and Logan・s cabin looking for all the good stuff and grabs her gold necklace to hock later, but throws her diary-- the one bit of evidence that everything that happened is true-- into the fire where it burns up to ashes, never to be seen by anyone.

Wolverine #176

Starts out with Logan wandering through empty space, wondering if he really is dead. A voice confirms it. He looks and lo and behold, there・s Jean. We find out Amiko is still alive and Weapon X is the reason. Jean then goes through ・It・s a Wonderful Life・ with Logan, and he・s had enough of it. While they・re talking, in the distance some of the baddies from Logan・s past that he killed find him and think now would be the perfect time to get their revenge on him. Jean shows him the X-Men, his family, and centers on herself. Logan admits that he always did love her and he still does, but Jean says that isn・t the point. She shows him Peter・s funeral, then asks if he never felt anything. He・s having a rough time admitting his feelings, but then she goes and shows him Mariko. He blows up and tell her that putting Mariko out of her misery was the hardest thing he ever had to do and how dare her tell him he didn・t feel anything. She goes on to remind him about all the torture that he・s gone through in his past and how Sabretooth was right about his healing factor making him lose his memories. She shows him the ・door to his origins・ that・s the answer to his past. Just as he・s going to go over, all the dead bad guys show up and he either has the choice to fight them or run over the hill. He chooses to fight. Then Colossus shows up to hold them back while Logan goes over the hill, but Jean is right there with the door closing in front of her saying that Logan just blew his chance at happiness. Right as she・s leaving, she tells him she・s not Jean. He wakes up to find himself in a body bag, cuts his way open, kills the pilots and goes back to the mansion where he wonders just who the hell that chick was if she wasn・t Jean. The doorbell rings and there・s Amiko, all healed up. Weapon X sent her to him on an act of good faith.

And now for the commentary:

Yez: Origin #6, well.... sorry if you liked it. I thought it was so very anticlimactic. eeeep..... (your story was TONS better, chica) Which shot was the money shot for you? You must tell me now! I enjoyed seeing him stick it to Rose. (Even if it was an accident cuz the twit was actually pushed by the crowd; I looked at it carefully in the second read.) She probably shouldn't have died, but still.

Ice: Origin 6 SUCKED. Okay, maybe a little strong wording there, but it was TOTALLY anticlimactic. I mean, I thought we were going to see the big truths revealed within this issue. Like all the lose ends tied up. Okay, so yeah, we know Dog hates James for stealing his name all these years, killing his dear old drunk daddy, and scaring up his face. But who is he to him? Who is Thomas Logan to James? Whatever happened to his big brother? Those questions are still left unanswered. It just kinda ended on a flat note for me after being so good during books two and three.

Yez: Gawd, finally, someone agrees with me!!!! Gee... now all those years between him running with the wolves and Weapon X (or was it the Hudsons that found him first...? I'm not sure...) all those years are left either to speculation, or, yet another miniseries.

Ice: Yeah, I think so. There's just so much character to work with here. Look at it: Wolverine has got to be Marvel's most popular character. Give people on the streets a picture to look at and try to identify characters with just that, and ninety percent of the time they'll pick Logan first. With that popularity and the screwed up history he already has (implanted memories, mind wiped out, etc.), there's a whole slew of potentials for new miniseries dealing with the unspoken yet questioned past he has. And where did pretty pretty Dog go? No doubt that's Sabes though. All that fur, the claws, the freaky hair. That's Victor fer sure! The TWO shots that just made my lil' heart go pit a pat were on the same page. Check out Logan when he walks into the bar. The guys are calling him "little Smitty" and he doesn't want them to anymore. DAMN does he look good in that turtleneck! Broad shoulders, WIDE chest...great color for him and his eyes...sigh...

Yez: I don't know if I agree that Dog is Sabes yet, but I definitely agree on the money shots. They were great images!

Ice: Then go down below and check out that smirk. First time I saw that my knees went all wobbly...yeah, I got it bad for him, I know :)

Yez: Doll, you are not alone. I told you when issue 1 came out that Origin was gonna make me love him all over again. :)

Ice: This entire series, whether I liked all of it or no, has further cemented Logan as numero uno X-Man for me. And if any shot in Origin has ever changed my mind as to if Logan should have blue or brown eyes, THAT was it.

Yez: I told ya he looks great with blue eyes. his brown ones must be a new mutation... yeah, that's it... uh huh. Excellent smirk and insight into his darker side!! Yay, I loved that too! He smirked cuz he was contemplating signing up for the cage fight, then saw Smitty signing up, then he smirks, like, "Oh yeah. I get to put the smack down on Smitty. Sign me up!"

Ice: Oh yeah. He got to vent some of his anger at Rose choosing Smitty over him right there. And then he made him hit him just so he'd win and they'd have money to start up a new life away from the mine. Now if that isn't love, I don't know what is.

Yez: Well・ about the diary, one thing we keep forgetting to mention is that the personal note she wrote him was spared the fire. It was very subtle, but it fell away from the book as Cookie tossed it in the fire. So it still exists - or at least that is what Marvel wants us to believe. I'm sure that note will have a crucial part in some future arc. What do you think Rose put in that note? Any thoughts as to what it said?

Ice: Hmm, as far as the note goes, it could have said anything from "just read this and you'll understand" to "I love you James and I always will, even though I picked Smitty to live with" . There's just no telling.

Yez: And, I have to say this: excuse me - but MORE cage fighting??? First the movie, then the 2001 summer arc of Wolverine, now in Origin.... gads Logan, get another hobby. You want less pain in your life? Then get some other hobby, Bub.

Ice: Well Yez, do you REALLY see him as the kind of guy to sit down and start weaving baskets?

Yez: Heh・ No. No, no. But he couldn't take up, I dunno, fringe sports? Let's move on・ cuz #176 was much better!

Ice: VERY! I *loved* the fact that they had Peter in it. There's never been that sense of closure with him. He just died and that's that. At least here he said that he was with his sister and his family and he was happy. Pete's always been another one of my favorites, ever since him and Kitty started having a romance. He was the shy guy, sensitive artist type that had a heart bigger than anything since he was larger than life in all other matters. When he died, I thought it was chickenshit of Marvel to have him die that way. Yes, noble, but like they said in 176, there could have been other ways to cure Legacy without him having to die. It's good to see someone actually putting a closure on his death, at least for his pal Wolvie.

Yez: And in all that reminiscing, Carol, Jubes or Kitty weren't mentioned one time. He blatantly mentions them in 175 - as more of the people 'closest to him'. But there are conspicuously absent in his afterlife reminiscing. That's just Marvel trying to please more than one set of fans. Betsy should have been there helping him fight with Peter... C'mon Marvel!!!! Wolverine #176 was the perfect time to have Betsy show up right where Peter did! But, they were focusing on the particular X-Team that he was in love with, the ones playing poker around the table; Betsy was not with them yet. How did you like that concept of Logan 'healing' his bad memories? It was reiterated by Rose in this issue. What with her being 'otherworldly' and Sabes having inside info from Weapon-X, I guess we can take that as gospel that it is the truth. I thought it was a very clever thing, and very a interesting concept that Tieri can explore later. The only trouble I had with it is that maybe he couldn't have even helped himself from healing a memory, so why beat him up for it? Isn't that asking a little much of him? Maybe his mutation just did it naturally when the pain in his mind got to be too much to handle. This not a guy, after all, that has had it easy.

Ice: No, he has NOT had it easy, that's for sure. As for the idea that his mind is actually the thing protecting him from all the traumatic memories, it's a really original concept. All these years Logan's been blaming the outside (i.e. Weapon X's memory implants) for his Swiss cheese memory, and now it comes to pass that it was him all along. It's a new take on an old problem and I'm looking forward to what Tieri will do with it. And to veer off the course of discussing the plot for a bit, what about the artwork? I absolutely loved both issues' art. The digital painting in Origin makes for lots of opportunities to create a realistic three dimensional "finer" rendering in comics and I like it a lot. The depth and values just can't be gotten that way with traditional inks and colors. And I still have to rave about Chen's work. Never have I been more pleased with how Wolverine has looked. Not only the depth of facial expressions that he's shown so far that go beyond the normal stoic look and the berserker snarl, but by how he's given Logan strength without making him look like he has no neck...or that he has too much neck (bulging muscles, exaggerated tendons and veins and the like) either. With Logan's height, Chen's made him look muscular without being overly built up, like a block. I for one like the new streamlined and economical look.

Yez: I agree, both were great! Origin was very painterly throughout, which a nice style for a miniseries. And most importantly for its short run, it was consistent. But as far as a monthly book's art, Wolverine and X-Treme are at the top of my lists! They are good, solid 'comic book' styles - not overly 'arty' or experimental - but still very fresh and attractive. My money shot for 176 was page 24, top panel, where Shingen and his cronies are poised for battle. A great layout with a smorgasbord of baddies! I love the images on that whole page, especially how it ended with Logan's cool grin - as though he is thinking "Goodie! I finally get to claw something!" What was yours?

Ice: Just turn to the next page. Seeing Colossus again in that foreshortened angle (once more with the ・larger than life・ take) and then seeing Logan・s happy look at seeing his old friend one more time. And another has gotta be the scene where Logan isstanding outside during Petey・s funeral. He looks so alone and totally withdrawn into himself there. Rose was right about him doing that with his emotions, I have to give her that.

Yez: Okay, I just need to say this right now. I hate Rose. I HATE her! She is mealy-mouthed, and how DARE she cut him off from knowing things like that, closing the door on him in the after life what with how much pain he has suffered through - what the hell?!?! Logan has an ingrained code - get rid of the bad guys before they kill his family. That code cannot be bypassed, nor would I want him to. What did she think he was gonna do when all those villains came gunning? Turn tail, walk over the hill and take a gander?!? This is WOLVERINE we are talking about!!!! There was NO reason why he couldn't have fought them, and then she could have showed him what she wanted to show him in the first place.

Ice: How DARE she? I mean, if she knows so much about his life, then she knows how hard he's been trying to find out the truth of his existence. I love the fact that Logan has that protective code to him. He was so close to knowing the truth and then she slams the door in his face. I've hated her ever since book one of Origin because she's been so quiet and mousy. Then book 6 comes out. Her last words are that she should have told Logan that he didn't kill his father. All those years and he had that weight of guilt over him for what? NOTHING! Okay, so he didn't want to talk about it. Fine. MAKE him listen.

Yez: Yes! All I can figure - and I am really going out on a limb here - is that he was coming back to life either way and Rose knew that; that he only had 'so much' time. He chose to fight dead bad guys and lost the opportunity to 'see' what truths she was offering? (Cripes, I sound like Fox Mulder!) Or - and I am really beginning to believe this theory - if Logan had gone over that hill, would he have actually died for good? Was that his ultimate reward, knowing the truth upon his death? Don't you think that if Logan suddenly had all that happiness in his grasp that he would refuse to let it go, thereby actually ending his own life, as a conscious choice? If that 's the case, I am very glad he missed out. But tell me - since when does someone who loves you so much say things like "Congratulations Logan, you've succeeded in losing your one chance at peace - possibly forever." Excuse me? What kind of benevolent spirit says it's all or nothing? Or slams shut a door of perception? And could you be a little bit more snotty? Didn't you just say that you love him? Aw, fer fuck's sake bitch, just go back to Smitty. I know, I know& Logan jumps right on the 'Who are you?!' wagon right after that, and in fact he misses her point entirely, because he concentrates on the teacher and not the lesson. But still& If it was so important, why did she turn it into a puzzle? That's harsh! If someone came to me with that kind of insight but managed to look down their nose at me while delivering it, I'd probably reject it too!

Ice: What the hell was up with that? Okay, so she knows he's going to be going back to the land of the living pretty soon. He had plenty of time left, she could have saved it by NOT closing that door on his past and letting him see more, instead of just catching a vague few sounds that stirred his memory. Okay, so she ignored him. Now Marvel might go at this two ways, they might let Logan angst over the situation, search for the truth even more, be tortured because he doesn't remember... OR, they could let that little scene stick in his head, let him ponder and think about it, force himself to remember everything. Sure it's going to wind up being painful for him that route, but I think it's preferable to the first choice.

Yez: I hated the way she never really reacted to him calling her by some other chick's name.

Ice: The whole not showing her face at the beginning made me realize that wasn't Jean-o. If it had been Jean, she would have at least made a crack about how "Yeah, it's me...why shouldn't I be your guide to the afterlife? I've been there so many times I can't remember!" What I liked was the conversation he was having with Rose about how if he's dead, then let's get the show on the road! Throw some dirt on him and leave him alone! That's the Wolvie I know an' love :)

Yez: Rose confused me here; she's being contrary. She's telling him to let go, to allow his heart to feel again - basically, quit fucking lots o' women and find one to actually make love to. But, at the same time, she has hindsight on her side. Well hey - that's cuz she's freaking dead! If her big message is that they are fated to be together, why is she telling him to find other meaningful relationships?

Ice: What I don't get is that when she WAS alive, she never treated him like anything else than a cousin. In my eyes, she never loved him, like REALLY loved him. She went for Smitty instead of Logan. If I was in Logan's shoes, I would have told her "The hell I'm gonna be with you. I'm spending my afterlife with Mariko." Because if that was what was gonna happen, that would be the one person I'd want him to be together forever with. He said it himself, when he was with her, he felt like his humanity was at its strongest. She MADE him feel like a man instead of a beast. She was his kind of outlet to inner peace. When she died, it made him go nutso. Rose, on the other hand, spent all her time protecting James and treating him like a little boy that needed to be sheltered from all of life's ups and downs. She was horrified by his claws, afraid of his beast. That alone made me hate her. If you're gonna love him, you gotta love the entire package, not just the nice shiny paper it's wrapped up in.

Yez: Unless Mariko was Rose reincarnated? :::shudder::::::: If not, then I don't know how else I can accept what she is telling him, because... well, the alternative kinda sucks.

Ice: Very confusing. I think Rose is just trying to get him to actually remember her. Yes, he loved her when she was alive, so maybe that link will help him to put the missing pieces in order. But then again, I'm biased when it comes to her. I hate her just for not being there for him in life. That look he gave her when he asked her to stay with him just tore at my heart. He was hurting and she didn't do a damn thing to help it stop. Then she tortures him further by not letting him know all that he needs to know. Wasn't that what she had been trying to do the entire time?

Yez: Yes, exactly - she did it in Origin, and then she did it in 176. I'll tell ya, I read these two books back to back, just because I happened to have bought them both today, and the striking resemblance to just that - what Rose did NOT do for him - was shocking. It made me mad that she lectures him on letting go and loving again - here she is all preachy and perfect - but HEY! What about you Rose?! People who live in glass houses.... And frankly, I'd rather have the tough Logan who says fuck it and starts slashing when those he loves are in jeopardy. What is so wrong with that Logan? I'd want him on my side if I was under attack. And already slashing, not contemplating slashing, thank you.

Ice: Exactly. I・d want a Wolverine that bashes heads and takes names after instead of sitting there and thinking about stuff. It goes against his nature. He trusts his instincts enough that he doesn・t have to think before he acts. And now Rose had her chance to tell him what she・d been trying for years to get him to understand! He was all ears, ready to believe the truth! SHE was the one that blew it, not him. Her whole "don't fight, it's bad" concept ruined it. Hey, if I knew that the one person holding the key to the thing I've been searching my whole life for, that I've killed and seen other people that I cared for killed for it, then find out that they slam the door in my face, denying me the truth after so long...I sure as HELL wouldn't think they were my true love. No way.

Yez: It kind of sucks the wind out of those sails, doesn't it? Still, I was very happy about them acknowledging that Logan is afraid to love someone since Mariko. That is a biiiiig problem, and I hope they plan to rectify it.

Ice: That whole "I love you Jean and I always will!" Crap. Total crap. He's already burned himself on holding onto that torch for so long he probably can't feel his arm anymore.

Yez: Bwaahahahah!!!! You GO ice! Too funny. Yes, let it die already. I am honestly looking forward to the planned Jean/Scott/Emma triangle that's coming up in New X-Men. Maybe it will suck the rest of the fire out of the L/J/S triangle. I'm gonna start a freakin' club - the Give Logan A Real Honey That Is All His Own, Dammit Club.

Ice: Can I be Vice Prez?

Yez: You can be the Princess!

Ice: Woo hoo! Seriously folks, he NEEDS to get a regular sweetie. If I agree with Rose on anything, the whole ・Floozy of the Week・ thing had to be it. Sure, Logan doesn・t have any problems in the women department, but I would like to see him be with one girl and make love to her, not have sex. There・s a big difference there and he had that with Mariko. I wanna see him have that again.

Yez: How 'bout that little Amiko still being alive! They did not need to have him lose her as well. Talk about twisting the knife a little further.... He got down on his knees to hug her! That was wonderful!

Ice: That panel where he hugged her was worth the book. I loved it. I can't wait to see what kind of twist they do in their relationship. Maybe Logan'll become more of a foster father to her, strengthen his ties with both Yukio and Amiko. As I see it, Yukio is going to want to die pretty soon, and Logan's going to try his damndest to get her to see that she can live even with all the hardships facing her. It'll kind of link the whole Rose idea of letting his feelings out and not withdrawing into himself when faced with a problem.

Yez: I don't know if Yukio will go for that. I can see him telling her to 'quit moaning and get it together' because Amiko needs her. She'd do it for the kid, for the innocent. And, I'll be honest, I'd rather see Logan telling Yukio to suck it up than trying to explore his feelings about the whole thing. Now that's the Logan we love.

Well, this is Ice & Yez, signing off until next time!