Old Man Logan #1
Published on: 1/27/2016
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo
Old Man Logan and I have a conflicting relationship. On the one hand Mark Millar had that brief window of sanity when he wrote the original masterpiece—masterpiece might be too strong a word but a lot of praise to the book that made Wolverine readable once more. Then after that incredible exploration of the depths of humanity and asking some deep questions Bendis turned Old Man Logan into a tourist for Secret Wars and it was as substantial as a ghost’s fart. So imagine my trepidation when they announced Old Man Logan would be coming to the Marvel Universe but for realsies. Well prepare for the twist kiddies because I read “Old Man Logan” #1 and I kinda liked it.
Jeff Lemire is really the guy to go to when you have a weird, loner character. He knows what aspects of the character most resonate with fans. Like he realized that one of the most enthralling aspects of Old Man Logan was watching him traverse this wasteland the world had become. Because he was so removed he acted as a tourist of sorts. While everyone accepted the terrible festering dung heap the world had become, Old Man Logan had this particular view. There was this conflict inside of him that was telling him it was his fault because of what he did to the X-Men and he shouldn’t do any more heroing but also it was his fault because his inaction allowed this world to crumble.
And that’s why you bring Old Man Logan into this universe because there’s quite a few things about that Old Man Logan that differentiate him from Wolverine paramount being that Old Man Logan was a pacifist. It took him until the very last book in the entire arc to fight a single guy. So instead of him cutting everyone to ribbons, this will be a book about coming to terms with this new reality he’s been forced into right? Well, no. His family is already dead, he’s lost in a place he remembers from long ago, and he has a list of men who made the world a wasteland. So without wishing to spoil anything, things turn “Kill Bill” real quick.
Things weren’t all thumbs up and high fives though. As I recall, Old Man Logan had not aged gracefully. In the story he had slowed, grown weaker, and you know—aged. This was most visible with his healing factor. Injuries that used to take three panels to heal now took the length of a book. This was a man being ground to a halt metaphorically and physically. So what’s the first thing chucked from the cart with the return? Yep, Old Man Logan gets gunned down by cops only to pop up a frame later. Let me pose a question then: What makes this Logan functionally different from the dead Logan? He even takes off his shirt and has an eight pack, like the dude is shredded. There was something more engaging about a stubby little farmer facing down the might of the world. Now that he’s back to being the same Logan I knew from before I feel like everyone in the book is just lying to me and this is just Logan with a dye job.
Being that Old Man Logan is a man out of his own time you’d think I’d talk about how Invincible got himself stuck in that desert until the future Guardians from messed up Earth had to save him. But prepare for another twist kiddies, cause “Invincible” recently got the reboot. That’s right, Mark jumped back in time and found himself in his old body before everything went so righteously heinous. And he used his knowledge delicately to preserve the time stream. Nah, just kidding. He becomes like a prophet of kickass, calling out the fights before they even happen. But the best part is that even though the plot is repetitive, the redundancy serves to emotionally pulverize Mark. He has to live through some of the most heart rending moments of his own past. Raise of hands, how many remember he had to fight his own father to protect Earth? Pretty sure that’s a hard pill to swallow once never mind the repeat. So if “Old Man Logan” can keep beating up Logan physically and emotionally this may well be a series to keep up with. Also the stabbing, the stabbing helps.