- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Zadzooks: Wolverine Origin review (DVD)
With the latest live-action movie starring Hugh Jackman as Marvel Comics’ X-Men legend in theaters, it’s worth appreciating the mutant’s roots told through the motion comic Wolverine Origin (Shout! Factory and Marvel Knights Animation, not rated, $14.97).
A series of unfortunate encounters with a grandfather, a servant class boy named Dog Logan and cousin Rose leads to the young Howlett discovering his horrific abilities to sprout claws and tap into his animal instincts.
I won’t give much more away other than to report writer Paul Jenkins delivered a tragic tale of loss and lifelong suffering that leads to the birth and complex personality of one of comic books most popular superheroes.
As far as the story’s presentation on the DVD format, I’ll first report that I’m not much of a fan of the initiatives by both Marvel and DC Entertainment to bring PG-13, direct-to-disc-related cartoons based on legendary sequential-art series to life. I’ve rarely liked the efforts and have often been disappointed by the animation style.
My beef was always that the onscreen work could never capture the artist’s incredible effort. However, I can’t complain with the release of Wolverine Origin. It liberally uses artists Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove’s visual masterpiece, literally ripping art pieces from the pages and configuring them into an animated format.
We get about a 50-minute, violent soap opera broken up into six chapters and near perfectly mirroring of the book’s style.
The key to a successful motion comic is not the art or story, that’s already brilliant, but the devil is in the visual and audio details.
In this case, the sophisticated digital film storyboard features effects such as snow flakes falling, coat panels moving, a crackling fireplace, textured shadows, the occasional eyebrow raise, eyeball movement along with camera pans and zooming.
Added also are moving mouths replacing dialogue bubbles, sound effects and a musical score that all lead to not quite the traditional cartoon but a living art landscape for the viewer to appreciate. And, potent voice-over work kept the emotions running strong throughout the highly charged story.
Digital craftsmen Atomic Cartoons delivered the magic, and I was riveted to the DVD presentation throughout.
Now, would I suggest not reading the original source material from Marvel and simply view Wolverine Origin? Absolutely not. However, watching Mr. Kubert and Mr. Isanove’s art dance about on a wide screen is certainly an experience worth admiring.
Best extra: Bonuses on the DVD include a pair of 15-minute featurettes, with the one devoted to the artwork being the stand out.
The discussion revolves around the process of Mr. Kubert doing enhanced pencil work and then Mr. Isanove digitally painting over it, bypassing the inking process but giving the art a very vibrant and textured, watercolor effect bathed in sepia tones. It’s fascinating to hear about the creative process in action.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
- Zadzooks: Angry Birds Star Wars review (Wii U)
- Zadzooks: Batman: Arkham Origins review
- Zadzooks: The Wolf Among Us – Faith review
- Zadzooks: Beyond: Two Souls review
- Zadzooks: Star Wars: The Black Series, Luke Skywalker figure review
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow