After Secret Wars dumped a future Wolverine into the current timeline (it’s comics and it’s easier to just accept that it happened then to try to figure out how and why. I have, because I still haven’t read Secret Wars, and this series has been outstanding so far), he realized that he had a unique chance to prevent the future where he came from. A future where the villains banded together and killed the heroes, and the Hulk turned evil.
He would kill the villains before they had a chance to do the heroes.
It’s that is the premise behind Old Man Logan, and it’s a question that has always, always fascinated me; if you could change the past by killing somebody before they did something evil, would you? Should you? Old Man Logan certainly thinks so.
If you haven’t read the original Old Man Logan by now, and you want to, then stop here. Buy this issue, the last issue and Millar and McNiven‘s original in trade and settle in for some of (if not the) best Wolverine comics you’ll have read in a long time. After this point I’m going to be spoiling a couple points of the original story that will also be spoiled if you read this series before the original. But, and here’s the beauty of Jeff Lemire‘s writing, you don’t need to have read the original to enjoy this series.
If you’re never going to read the original, then read on, dear reader. Read on.
When his family is killed by the Hulk Gang in the original Old Man Logan that ran in 2008, the story takes a sudden turn for the slice and dice revenge that Wolverine is somewhat famous for. Needless to say, the front cover of a Hulk standing over the prone body of Old Man Logan was immediately striking, and I couldn’t wait to start reading the issue.
I was not disappointed.
I know I’m a huge fan of Canada’s most well known mutant, and maybe that’s colouring my love of this series, but watching an older, wiser Logan taking on a new Hulk for the first time was, probably, one of the best fight scenes the various iterations of these characters have had in quite some time. Knowing he’s out powered, the older, and arguably wiser, Logan fights as smart as you’d expect when facing off against a being as horrifically powerful as the Hulk. That the encounter never feels as if it’s being written just so the characters will sell the comic, nor does the fight seem cheap, or cheesy, is a testament to Lemire‘s skill. I’m not going to reveal much more than I have done about the interior of the issues pages (but, honestly, if you couldn’t tell this fight was coming from the cover…), but allow me to say that the internal monologue of Old Man Logan in conjunction with the Hulk‘s spoken words are a highlight of the issue for me.
This would be a solid comic if almost any artist drew it, but Andrea Sorrentino‘s art work and Marcello Maiolo colouring elevate this to the next level. The use of colour during the fight is spectacular, allowing you to easily find the totally awesome giant, where as you may need to look a bit harder for the grumpy old man, which if any fight between a power house like the Hulk and a more savagely stealthy character like Wolverine were to happen would be be how I’d expect it to go down. And yet it never feels as if the characters are lost in the page; the art is never muddied, or poor, but rather makes you work to understand just what Logan is trying to do.
And the last two page spread? Oh boy. The layouts and colouring here give you a fantastic primer for what’ll happen on the final page. It’s glorious, not entirely unexpected, but so fantastic when it arrives. Normally I’m loath to commit to bi-weekly comics, prefering instead to space my comic budget out over multiple different issues each month, but Old Man Logan is probably the best book that Marvel are producing right now, and I’d be buying it weekly if it was as consistently great as the last two issues have been.
Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Andrea Sorrentino Colour: Marcello Maiolo
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy