He may be older, but the aged Wolverine from an alternate future can still kick as much ass as he did during his X-Men heyday. No surprise, of course, to fans of Logan (now on home video). With excellent writing from Jeff Lemire and dynamic art from Filipe Andrade and Andrea Sorrentino, Old Man Logan Volume 4: Old Monsters collects five issues that highlight why this series is one of the most surprisingly refreshing X-books Marvel has released in years.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Filipe Andrade
Publisher: Marvel Comics
With the final issue of Lemire’s “it-better-be-considered-a-classic” Old Man Logan run out this week, now is the perfect time for readers who haven’t been following the series to start reading the trades. Aside from this volume, there are five books available for you to purchase – one is the Mark Millar arc that started it all, one is the Brian Michael Bendis Secret Wars mini-series that reintroduced the character and the other three collect Lemire’s run.
What I’ve loved about this series from the get-go is how it’s allowed Lemire to tell classic Wolverine stories with a twist – almost a prototype of what we’re currently seeing with the ResurrXion revamp of the X-line. The Logan we all know and love is currently “dead,” and Old Man Logan has seen and done more horrible things than we can imagine. Despite it all, the heart inside this beloved character’s adamantium ribcage remains the same.
That classic Wolverine spirit is on display in the two story arcs collected in Old Monsters. The first takes Logan to Romania in search of Jubilee, who’s gone missing. That’s right, mutant-turned-vampire Jubilee and Romania – have you figured out this arc’s villain yet? Yep, it’s Dracula and his army of bloodsuckers.
It’s one of Lemire’s weirder Old Man Logan adventures, but also a lot of fun due to his inclusion of the Howling Commandos, including Man-Thing, Warwolf, Manphibean and other obscure and monstrous Marvel characters. That’s another thing I’ve loved about Lemire’s run – the way he’s plucked characters from the less-explored corners of the Marvel Universe to include in this series. Just look at his use of the villainous Asmodeus in the current “Past Lives” arc.Old Monsters‘ first arc is made all the more pleasant due to the kinetic and sketchy (in a good way) artwork courtesy of Andrade. His pencils remind me of those of Humberto Ramos. A moodier Humberto Ramos.
While we’re on the topic of art, it’s the perfect time to switch gears and talk about this volume’s second arc, which takes Logan both to space and the alternate future from which he hails. Anybody who’s read my previous Old Man Logan reviews knows I’m a sucker for Sorrentino’s inventive artwork. The last three issues of this book feature some of his best layouts of the series. A sinister Venom-possessed dinosaur swallowing Logan whole, a Brood-controlled Jean Grey, the all-powerful Warlord on a throne of bones and skulls – awesome visuals all around!Yes, even though Old Man Logan’s adventures started out as very grounded tales, Lemire takes the character to Dracula’s castle and space. And that’s part of what makes this series such a great read. There are no limits or no Marvel events to tie into. It’s just a bunch of creators cutting loose with an older, pissed off version of the character we all know and love.
There are no extras in this collection, and at only five issues, it’s a very quick read. Still, it’s worth it, especially if you plan to read Lemire’s final arc in the next trade paperback, as Old Monsters sets up that emotional series send-off.