The original Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven remains one of the best Wolverine stories that have been written in the last decade, and with Marvel revisiting old stories from their past with Secret Wars (with mixed results), it was somewhat inevitable that we would return to visit the world of Old Man Logan.
Whether fairly or not, this series will invite comparison to the original, and as such it has some pretty large shoes to fill. Although this volume of Old Man Logan has, on the whole, done a decent job of filling those shoes, up until I read this issue I felt that this volume had been gradually falling a little short of the original story.
With Old Man Logan #4, the penny finally dropped for me. The comparatively weak third issue has given way to arguably one of the best comics featuring Wolverine I’ve read in a long, long time, and in doing so it’s shone a new light on where Brian Micheal Bendis is going with this tale; giving me a new appreciation for the third issue in the process. What I’ve come to realize about Old Man Logan Vol. 2 is that much like the original was a story about Logan more than Wolverine, the sequel is about more than a man finding his place in a broken world. In many ways this is a story about hope in the worst of times.
We’ve seen some very inventive page layouts from Andrea Sorrentino during this series, and Old Man Logan #4 is no exception. The layouts in this page showcase the stunning artwork to great effect; the way in which the harshness of the art style itself reflects Old Man Logan‘s surroundings, and what he’s going through in this issue is fantastic and perfectly lends itself to the more horror themed elements of this issue. While there may have been some concerns (now alleviated) from me regarding the quality of the story, what I’ve never questioned is the consistency of the artwork, and with Old Man Logan #4 artist Andrea Sorrentino, with Marcelo Maiolo returning to provide the colours, gives us something truly special.
To say the second volume of Old Man Logan doesn’t hold up to the first volume of Old Man Logan, isn’t entirely fair; the first volume was an outstanding series that evoked the feel of the Spaghetti Westerns as it told one of the best stories about the Canadian mutant in the last ten years. The second volume, while it didn’t impress me as much during the first three issues, is a sequel that is beginning to shine in it’s own right. Yes, as a tie-in title by it’s very nature it will be bound to Secret Wars in some form that may require an ounce of understanding of the larger arc from readers eventually. That being said, this is a story focusing on Old Man Logan‘s perspective, and since he’s trying to find out just what on earth is going on in the rest of Battleworld, as a reader who is in pretty much the same situation, it’s been enjoyable to follow along with Old Man Logan‘s sense of discovery.
As it stand thus far, you can read Old Man Logan independently of Secret Wars, but whether that will change or not is still up in the air. What this issue had done, for me, however is reinvigorate my interest in the story being told; I went from being largely indifferent about the last issue to devouring every page of this comic. Twice.
Which brings us to our conclusion.
This is a fantastic horror tinged issue featuring everybody’s favourite zombified Marvel characters, and regardless of whether you’re reading Secret Wars or not, Old Man Logan #4 is an absolute blast to read, which is more than I said for the prior issue. Should you read that before picking this one up? Maybe. Maybe not. If you’re a fan of Wolverine, then this issue is worth a read regardless of whether you’ve been following the series it has spun out of, or even this miniseries. Contrary to what I said about the previous issue, the second volume of Old Man Logan has become one of the highlights of the summer for me, and I can’t wait to see where the old man ends up next.
Story: Brian Micheal Bendis Art: Andrea Sorrentino Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy