Old Man Logan (Comic Review)

Old_Man_Logan DKThis review is regarding Jeff Lemire’s Old Man Logan which came out 1/27/16, not Mark Millar’s original Wolverine: Old Man Logan, nor Brian Michael Bendis’ Old Man Logan: Secret Wars.
Back in 2014, when Marvel decided to “kill” Wolverine, I was honestly glad. I knew they’d never throw away such a golden egg permanently, after all, the vast majority of characters don’t stay dead in the Marvel universe for long, especially not cash cows like Logan. Moreover, I was relieved to see less of him in the books for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Wolverine fan, in the same way Raphael is my favorite turtle. I love the angry, dangerous, plays by his own rules type hero, but there is such a thing as too much, and Wolverine passed it a while ago. Imagine my surprise, then, when I picked up this book new Wolverine book, and found it to be a blast.

There was a stretch of time not too far back that this so called “lone wolf”, this renegade, was on at least three different teams PLUS he was running a school (because having the most murderous, alcoholic, angry, independent X-man become a headmaster of a school for children made sense, right?). It got to be so that you couldn’t keep up with who exactly he was in love with, where in the world he was, if he could heal or not and whether or not he was even alive. Sure, he’s a cool character, the kind of character that even non-comic fans recognize and enjoy. I feel, though, that when he’s put on the covers of comics he’s even not in, it’s gone too far.

So Marvel did a wise thing, and sold a bunch of books by “killing him off”, and for a time, Logan was actually out of the picture. Now, as Marvel launches its post Secret Wars era line up, it would seem Logan is back. I was hesitant about this decision, but am very pleased to report that I’ve read the first two issues of Old Man Logan (the only two available to date), and I loved them.

Old Man Logan is written by Jeff Lemire, who’s one a reliably fantastic writer (check out Sweet Tooth, it’s amazing), and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, who did a great job working with Brian Michael Bendis for the Old Man Logan: Secret Wars mini-series. It focuses on a different Logan than the contemporary one we were most familiar with. This is about the future Logan, the Old Man Logan, introduced in Mark Millar’s brilliant series back in 2008. In that series Logan went through a lot of changes, both good and bad. Now, in this new series, he’s back in our present time (don’t worry about why, it wouldn’t make sense anyway), before a lot of things which went wrong in his life had a chance to occur. As you’d expect from Wolverine, he’s not about to let a second chance pass him by, he’s out to right the wrongs before they even happen. I, for one, want to see every brutal moment of it.

The art is top notch. It’s appropriately gritty in style, and the bold, dynamic intensity seeps off the page. Virtually Every panel is worth stopping and enjoying. The writing is dark, and emotional. While Wolverine has been portrayed many ways over the years, this style of approach has always been my favorite. When he’s alone against the world, when he’s angry and focused, such that you almost feel bad for anyone who gets in his way. Almost.

The plot seems relatively straight forward considering how muddy things can become in time travel books. Logan has written a list of names on his arm, fans of the original Old Man Logan series will recognize these names as the people responsible for ruining his future life. The premise is simple. Find these people, kill them, and in so doing, prevent all the bad things that happened in the time he came from. So far, the book seems to be tackling one character per issue. Simple, straight forward, and effective. Considering the list of names on that list, we’re in for a real treat. We haven’t yet seen the real Bruce Banner Hulk, only one of the knock off Hulks, but when the Canuck meets the genuine article, it will be a clash of titans which will hearken all the way back to Hulk #181. I can hardly wait, and we haven’t even gotten to targets such as Mysterio and Red Skull. Remember, too, that none of these people see Old Man Logan coming for two reasons. First, they haven’t yet committed the crimes for which he’s coming to make them pay, and second, most people believe Wolverine is dead. Don’t ask me how if the current Wolverine were actually dead, his future self would be running around. These are questions best left unasked.


It’s one thing to put out Wolverine books because they’re almost guaranteed to sell, it’s another to approach them with reverence, which seems to be what this new series is trying to do. I can’t say how the series will develop as a whole, but based off the first two issues, I’m given no cause for concern, rather, I’m left far more invested than I had assumed I’d be.

I do have to wonder what became of the Wolverine from our timeline. This isn’t a criticism of this comic on its own, it’s just that Secret Wars really muddled things, and there seem to be loose ends everywhere. Even though the younger, modern Wolverine was “killed off”, his body was preserved in Adamantium, and I have a hard time believing the fine folks at Marvel will simply leave him in limbo forever. For now though, X-23 (Logan’s teenage female clone) is taking his mantle in an official super hero capacity, and Old Man Logan is delivering the kind of berserker quality the normal Wolverine had been lacking prior to his being taken out of the picture.

For the quality of the art, and the straight forward, character appropriate plot, I give this book 4 out of 5 claws. The only reasons it’s not a 5 is that this comic didn’t really need to exist in the first place, it’s not clear where the other Logan is, and frankly, it was nice to have a reprieve from the Wolverine inundation.





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