Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino return the aged Logan to the world that shaped him at the outset of the latest arc in Marvel’s consistently inventive Old Man Logan.
Old Man Logan #16 (Marvel Comics)
Are you reading Old Man Logan? If you’re not, I get it. Despite being an X-fan, I got my monthly Wolverine fix in the main X-Men books–never his solo series (though I would catch up in trades). Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan run was certainly cool, but Brian Michael Bendis’ continuation of the story in his Secret Wars mini-series did little for me.
As a result, when I heard Old Man Logan would be sticking around and get his own series, it was an easy pass.
Then, Lemire released his first issue. I heard good things and loved the premise–a man haunted by his past has a chance to prevent all the tragedy that befell him. I picked up issue 1 and I’ve been reading ever since!
This month, Lemire and Sorrentino launch their latest arc, ‘Return to the Wastelands.’ The Wastelands, of course, are the post-apocalyptic landscape where the likes of Dr. Doom and the Red Skull finally triumphed over the heroes of the Marvel Universe.
Logan wakes in the Wastelands and immediately encounters a creature that should be familiar to fans of Millar’s run (see image below). Did he ever even leave? Have all of his All-New, All-Different Marvel adventures been nothing more than a dream? Don’t expect answers to these questions right away (it is a multi-issue story arc, after all).
What Logan does remember is receiving a distress call from his old Alpha Flight teammate Puck–who currently works in space alongside the now-despicable Captain Marvel (that’s my opinion, not Logan’s). Fans of Chris Claremont’s classic X-Men run will be pleased to learn Puck’s space troubles are caused by none other than the Brood.
How are these aliens connected to Logan’s return to the Wastelands? That remains unclear, but Lemire and Sorrentino keep the reader preoccupied enough not to worry about it. Did I mention this issue revisits the baby known as Bruce Banner Jr. from Millar’s run?
Because of that final tidbit, I feel like fans of the original Old Man Logan story who may have been ignoring this series will want to pick up issue 16. While previous arcs have explored different corners of Logan’s new reality (he fought Dracula last issue), Lemire seems set to revisit the former-Wolverine’s future roots in the issues ahead.
For the record, I’ll just say I think this series’ strength is in the fact that it’s not so religiously tethered to what Millar established. Sure, he created the concept and the aged Logan’s history, but Lemire has taken these ideas in fresh new directions. If handled incorrectly, Wolverine can become something of a parody of himself. Much like the time-displaced original X-Men, Old Man Logan has grown in ways the original Wolverine never could. He is a genuinely likeable character who I’m not sure I want to see go away anytime soon.
My love for this series is helped significantly by the artwork from Sorrentino. I wasn’t familiar with his art before this series, so that could be why I think he was born to illustrate this battle-hardened take on Wolverine. Together, with colorist Marcelo Maiolo, Sorrentino creates visuals that are savage, stoical and, ultimately, cinematic. And while I haven’t seen the upcoming Logan film yet, reading this series makes me wish the pair’s images were being directly adapted to the big screen.
Hopefully I’ve made the case for Old Man Logan (Marvel, if you see a sales spike, you know who to mail that check to). This is truly one of the best books on the stands, with each arc as eclectic as Old Man Logan’s life.