Wolverine: Origins #40

Issue Date: 
November 2009
Story Title: 
Romulus: Conclusion

Daniel Way (writer), Scot Eaton (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Andy Troy (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters & production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer & John Barber (editors), Axel Alonso (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Doug Braithwaite with Art Lyon (cover art), Simone Bianchi and Simone Petruzzi (variant cover)

Brief Description: 

Facing off against the enigmatic Romulus, Wolverine barely says a word as he continues to attack him repeatedly. However, each time he does, Romulus has the upper hand and beats Wolverine down each time he tries. Eventually, Wolverine is able to slash Romulus across the face which staggers him a bit. As they continue to fight, Romulus tells Wolverine that he, Romulus, is what he, Wolverine, will become. Bolstered, Wolverine then begins to fight back and manages to slash one of Romulus’ claw gloves off. After gaining the advantage, Wolverine walks away from Romulus for, if he were to kill him, he would become what Romulus is. As walks away, Wolverine has a dream involving Itsu who asks about their son. When he wakes up, Romulus knocks him out, tosses the Muramasa blade on his chest and walks away.

Full Summary: 

As Wolverine faces off against him, Romulus asks Wolverine if he knows who he is. Gripping the Muramasa blade and growling, Wolverine thinks to himself that the blood on his hands and the scars on his soul are all because of... Wolverine exclaims youuu and leaps towards Romulus. Blocking his attack, Romulus states that he’ll take that as a “yes.”

Grabbing Wolverine’s arm and tossing him into some nearby crates, Romulus says to him that nothing ever changes with him, does it. Is that out of stubbornness or ignorance? Undeterred, Wolverine gets up and takes another swipe at Romulus. Dodging it, Romulus takes the advantage and elbows Wolverine in his kidneys, which doubles him over in pain. When he does, Romulus remarks that he’s seen everything change and he’s changed with it. That’s how he’s stayed on top.

When Wolverine straightens up, he sees no sign of Romulus. He angrily calls Romulus a coward for always hiding. Romulus says to him no, it’s the world that lives in his shadow, not the other way around. Appearing behind Wolverine, Romulus proceeds to grab his sword arm and slash him in the back with his claws. When he drops Wolverine on his head, Romulus tells him that he’s waited Wolverine’s whole life for this moment and this is what he gets? He didn’t come there for a @%#$ing sword fight.

Rising up, Wolverine leaves the sword on the ground and pops his claws. As he goes to engage Romulus in battle again, Romulus remarks that is more like it. Picking Wolverine up by his arms, Romulus elbows him in the face and tells him that he came there to see if he was ready, to see if he was worthy. Kicking Wolverine in the face, he tells him that he’s not. Pinning Wolverine to the ground, Romulus says that he can only hope that his son will...

Before Romulus can finish his thought, Wolverine slashes Romulus across the face. Holding onto his face for a moment, Romulus kicks Wolverine away. He then tells Wolverine that he’s really good with those things, referring to his claws, and asks if he ever wonders why. It’s because he taught him. Through the others, he’s taught him everything he knows. Made him into everything he is. He is him; he is what he will become; but only if he lives long enough. The whole time Romulus speaks, he continues to beat Wolverine into submission and eventually jams his claws deep into Wolverine’s shoulder.

Grabbing Romulus’ wrist, Wolverine defiantly tells him that he’ll live but he won’t and punches Romulus in the face. Leaping away from Romulus counter-attack, Wolverine tells Romulus that Wildchild told him what he wants from him, from them. But by doin’ that, he also told him somethin’ else. Romulus isn’t immortal; he’s just old an’ tired an’ scared. As Wolverine continues to slash away at him, Romulus tells him that he fears nothing. Wolverine points out that he fears what he can’t control, that’s why he’s there. Because he’s afraid that it’s all gonna slip from his grasp.

After one of Wolverine’s claw slashes, Romulus’ glove, containing his “claws” on his left hand, falls to ground, much to Romulus’ surprise. Noticing this, Wolverine mentions “An’ what you said about you bein’ what I’m gonna become? That’s a lie. Just like everything else about you. You’re not what I’m gonna become, I’m what you’ve always wanted to be.”

Enraged, Romulus leaps towards Wolverine. When he gets there, Wolverine and Romulus take a swipe at each other. Putting some distance between them, Wolverine tells Romulus to watch his step, it’s slippery over there. At that moment, Romulus doubles over and falls to his knees from the wound in his chest. Charging towards him, Wolverine asks Romulus what’s wrong, he thought he wanted to die. Romulus replies no, he wants to live forever. Raising the claws on his right hand, Wolverine tells him that ain’t gonna happen.

Romulus says to him that he’ll tell him what will happen. He’ll kill him and then he’ll become him. He’ll have no choice. He then asks him that he realizes what he is, doesn’t he? He’s not simply the head of some evil empire; he’s the top of the food chain. It’s a position that’s impossible to share, because he’s made it impossible by creating two of them – Wolverine and Daken. He may not want it, but his son does. It’s the only thing he wants and he’ll never stop wanting it until he either gets it by killing him or he’s killed by him. Only the most ruthless will survive this, only the one most like him.

Pointing his claws at Romulus’ head, Wolverine asks him if his hearin’ is failin’ him in his old age. He already told him, he’ll live. An’ so will his son. But him an’ everything he’s built are goin’ down hard – soon. With that, Wolverine turns and walks away and thinks to himself just as soon as he figures out... Before Wolverine can finish his thought, Romulus tells him that he forgot something and tosses the Muramasa blade at him.

After blacking out, Wolverine awakens immersed in a lake. Walking to the shore, Wolverine angrily asks where he is. Standing on the shore, Itsu welcomes her husband and asks him why he has kept her waiting. As Itsu begins to walk towards the house, Wolverine rushes over to her and tells her not to go to the house and grabs her by the arm. Shocked, he realizes that he’s touching her, it’s real. Wolverine apologizes to Itsu and tells her that he’s there now. Itsu replies that he is, but where is their son? Letting go of Itsu’s arm, Wolverine stands in silence.

In real-life, Wolverine wakes up to a sword butt strike to his temple. Romulus tells Wolverine that he’s lived longer than even he can remember so believe him when he tells him that he should never turn his back on an enemy. And he can never turn his back on what he is. There’s a reason why he’s spent his life watching the sheep and it’s not because he’s a shepherd. It’s because he’s a wolf. Romulus proceeds to cut his thumb with the Muramasa blade and examines the wound. Tossing the blade on Wolverine’s chest, Romulus tells him to keep it; he’ll need it. With that, Romulus walks out the door, holding his side.

Characters Involved: 



In Wolverine’s memories:



Story Notes: 

The tip of the Muramasa blade was knocked off in Wolverine Origins #35.

Issue Information: 
Written By: