Origin #1

Issue Date: 
November 2001
Story Title: 
The Hill

Paul Jenkins, Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada (plot), Paul Jenkins (script), Andy Kubert (penciler), Richard Isanove (digital painting), John Roshell and Comicraft’s Said Temofonte (letters), Mike Raicht (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Howletts live in a huge castle. John Howlett, the master of the house, treats his servants very well, though his father thinks he is too soft. John’s wife Elizabeth has been in psychiatric care after one of their children died, and spends most of her time in her room, speaking with noone. One day the Howletts take in the orphaned girl Rose to become the companion of the other boy James, who is allergic and almost constantly sick. They befriend Dog, the son of Mr. Logan, who works as the grounds keeper, and often beats up his son.

Full Summary: 

Rose has been given a chance of a life time. Both her parents have died of the Flu but she is to become the companion of a sickly rich boy called James. She is driven, in a horse and cart, up the hill to the huge Howlett estate by Mr. Kenneth. As they enter the estate they pass a middle aged man who looks uncannily like Wolverine. At the house Kenneth leaves Rose and she comes across a scruffy young boy.
The young boy says that she is pretty and she has nice hair before throwing dirt in her face and running off. The house keeper Mrs. Hopkins explains that it was Logan’s boy. Mr. Logan is the grounds keeper and Mrs. Hopkins tells her to stay clear of him. Mrs. Hopkins takes Rose inside and introduces her to the friendly Mr. Howlett and his stern father. Outside James is playing with a hoop. It rolls to the feet of the scruffy young boy from earlier. The boy sends the hope flying down a hill and James joyfully runs after it.
Rose writes in her diary about the different family members. It turns out that James is allergic to just about everything and his mother lives as a near recluse up stairs. The scruffy looking Logan’s boy is affectionately known as Dog as no one seems to know his name. Mr Logan is a violent drunk who beats Dog regularly. Rose notes that Dog appears to admire her.
The three young children become close friends over the summer. There friendship comes to an end when James falls into the river and has to be rescued by Dog. Mr. Howlett is unconcerned by these events but the Old Mr. Howlett is enraged. Mr. Howlett cut off his father and asks Logan to take his son home. That night he beats Dog before handing him some alcohol to see him right.
It is now winter and Rose and James walk in the snow. James’ mother watches him from the upstairs window but when her eyes meet with Mr. Logan’s she looks sad and goes back inside. James sees Dog and runs to meet him but Dog runs away.
At Christmas Mr Howlett gives Rose a new dress to cheer her up. A commotion is heard and Kenneth enters pulling Dog buy his ear. Dog has been watching them all through the window. Mr Howlett takes pity on the young boy and gives him one of James presents, a train. This causes Mr Howlett and his father to have yet another argument which upsets young James. Meanwhile Mr Logan has got well and truly hammered at a bar and sits complaining about the Howletts, on how they are too good for us.
When Dog arrives home to show his father the gift he has been given he gets another sound beating and his train is smashed. A broken picture of James’ mother lies on Mr. Logan’s table. The end shot is of Dog sitting on the roof of his shack staring out to the light in one Window of the Howlett estate.

Characters Involved: 

John and Elizabeth Howlett

James, their son

Old Mr. Howlett
Mr. Kenneth, servant

Mrs. Hopkins, house keeper

Thomas Logan

Dog, his son

Story Notes: 

So far it is unknown which of the characters will become the man known as Wolverine. Is it Thomas Logan or his son Dog ? Internet speculations even include the cranky James, who could have been fathered by Thomas Logan too and a manifesting healing factor would permanently heal his allergic nature.

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