The one thing I always enjoyed about Wolverine was his mysterious background. Ever since the EPIC mini series and crossover House of M (2005), when Wolverine regained his memories, we have seen many authors take a stab at this bub’s past. I’d like to say that this improved the character but it has not. Back in 2001, the only story we, kinda, needed to explain Logan’s past was released, Wolverine: Origin. Here’s a synopsis (minor spoilers):
“The series reveals that Wolverine was born James Howlett, the son of rich plantation owners in late 19th Century Canada, and has long suffered from various allergies. He is a sickly child so his loving father, John Howlett, Jr., brings an orphaned girl named Rose up from the town to be his companion (Rose is red-haired which some take as a reference to Jean Grey, with whom Wolverine sometimes showed something of an obsession). The two children also often play with Dog Logan, son of the Howletts’ cruel groundskeeper, Thomas Logan (who looks a lot like the fully-grown Wolverine). Readers are led to believe that Dog was the young Wolverine, but this is later revealed to be not the case. The children’s friendship is spoiled by the tension between the boys’ fathers centering on James’ mother, Elizabeth, who went mad after her first son, John, died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. It is hinted throughout the series that Wolverine’s elder brother John Howlett III was a mutant himself with powers similar to his own (both his mother and grandfather allude to this). As a result of beatings and alcohol, Dog, over the next few years, becomes increasingly like his father, and his misdeeds, including an attempted assault on Rose or the killing of James’ dog, become so violent that he and his father are expelled from the manor. Thomas returns for the purpose of robbing the Howlett estate and to convince Elizabeth to leave with him (it is implied that they had an affair and that Thomas may be the biological father of Elizabeth’s sons). John Howlett enters the bedroom after hearing noises. Thomas kills John Howlett with a shotgun blast in front of all three children and Elizabeth. The horror of his father’s death causes James’ powers to manifest for the first time, and he uses his claws to kill Thomas and injure Dog, before lapsing into shock. Rose gets James away. Elizabeth, surprisingly, cradles the body of Thomas Logan rather than that of her husband. After a few moments, Elizabeth, with her shallow grip on reality shattered, picks up Thomas’ shotgun and kills herself.“
Some great family dynamics going on there! We will see what the return of Dog has in store for Logan, but do we really need to keep adding members to the Wolverine family? Pretty soon we will see a Dog and Daken team-up I’m sure!! 20th Century Fox’s movie ATTEMPT,Wolverine: Origins, KINDA used this back story as well, but instead of Dog, we got Sabertooth. At least Jeph Loeb doesn’t have his hands on this one…not yet.