Published in 2008 in Wolverine #66-72 and Old Man Logan Giant-Size, the story known as “Old Man Logan” would be one that would go on to impact the character known as Wolverine, and Marvel Comics, 9 years later. Written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, “Old Man Logan” fuses classic dystopian future X-Men tales like “Days of Future Past” with Mad Max, and western heroes made famous by the likes of Clint Eastwood.
“Old Man Logan” is a road trip story at its heart. A now blind Hawkeye enlists a retired Logan to help drive across the country to deliver a package. The United States is now a hellscape ruled by supervillains who have carved the country up into their own kingdoms after having banded together to defeats the world’s heroes.
It’s been 9 years since this story was first released and I remember picking it up in single issues and as a trade all these years later, it still holds up. Interestingly, the story beyond holds up, and definitely is a modern classic in many ways.
Millar doesn’t give us anything really new with the story, but how he packages it and its setting is what really makes it all stand out. We’re given a new Logan who is a pacifist, refusing to pop his claws or take part in any violence. He’ll take a beating instead of giving one. It’s a fascinating shift for the character who at one point was one of the most deadly superheroes out there. What caused him to be this way? That’s teased out through numerous issues getting to the emotional reveal that packs a punch. It’s not just a fall from grace for the character, but a reminder that deep down he’s an animal in many ways. Millar gives us humanity for a character who often is depicted as a killing machine.
Joining Logan is Hawkeye, Clint Barton, who is now blind and been up to some shady shit. Having to get a package across the country, out of the two, Barton is the badass letting arrows fly and talking up a storm.
The story is packed with winks and nods as we move across the country to see the devastation. From bones laying around to tokens of the villain victory, this is a comic that is full of Easter eggs for comic fans.
That’s delivered by Steve McNiven who’s backed up on inks and color by a team of individuals and the art is fantastic. McNiven is a talented artist who gives us both wide expanses and close up action scenes. There’s emotional moments and moments full of rage and destruction. With a sparse choice of colors that enhance the situation, the art will have you linger on every page looking at the details that tease the story within the story.
“Old Man Logan” holds up and in some ways, I appreciate it more reading it in one sitting and really taking in the details. The story falls back on tropes a bit too many times with twists that are easy to see coming, but it’s still enjoyable and entertaining. A classic in every sense of the word and something that’s been copied, but yet to be improved upon.
Story: Mark Millar Art: Steve McNiven
Inkers: Dexter Vines, Mark Morales, Jay Leisten
Colorists: Morry Hollowell, Christina Strain, Justin Ponsor, Jason Keith, Nathan Fairbairn, Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy