Old Man Logan has been consistently been one of Marvel’s strongest ongoing comic books. Jeff Lemire has successfully integrated the Old Man Logan version of Wolverine into the greater Marvel Universe without taking away what made him cool during Mark Millar’s epic story. That melding of the two has created a unique dynamic between Logan and everyone he knows that now lives in the Marvel Universe. This latest story arc involving Logan going to save Alpha Flight from the Brood has so far delivered a strong horror-base story that is hard to predict where Lemire is going. Now will we find out what the Brood are planning by capturing Alpha Flight? Let’s find out with Old Man Logan #17.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Logan has a hard time understanding in which universe his mind is going between the Marvel and Wasteland Universes while his body is freezing.
He continues to fall until he hits the water at Niagara Falls in the Wasteland Universe. After swimming out of the water Logan continues his search for Baby Banner. He eventually comes across Kang’s gang, who quickly overwhelms him through sheer numbers and throw him over the water falls.
After recovering from the fall Logan heads into a cave while still being confused about how he remembers going after Baby Banner and being stuck in space.
Logan suddenly remembers waking up in a space ship with Puck driving it. Puck reveals that Logan has been out for fifteen hours and he has been circling the space station as he wasn’t going to fight the Brood without Logan watching his back.
Logan suggest once they get Agent Brand and Sasquatch out of the space station they can blow it up with the Brood inside. Puck likes the idea though he mentions that the Brood in the space station seems to be much more mindless than the ones they’ve fought in the past.
Their conversation is disrupted by an emergency signal going off. Puck wonders if that means there is someone other than Alpha Flight and Brood inside the space station.
They head back to the space station and before they head inside Logan gets distracted by something he senses outside. Puck tells Logan to shake it off as they need to head inside.
While slowly making their way through the space station Logan suddenly feels like he is transported back to the Wasteland searching for Baby Banner.
At the end of the tunnel Logan finds an older, and severely injured, Puck. Logan asks Puck what happened at the space station. A traumatized Puck tells Logan that the Warlord of the Wasteland did this to him. Logan is stunned to find the dead bodies of Alpha Flight nearby since he thought Puck ad Alpha Flight died during the villain uprising. Logan then demands to see Kang as he believes him to behind all of this.
A terrified Kang appears out of the shadows. Logan charges at Kang but is stopped by Kang, who uses his powers to show Logan where he really is.
Logan is suddenly back at the space station with Puck yelling at him that the Brood are coming. Logan and Puck proceed to slash and punch their way through the army of Brood members in the space station.
After a bloody fight all of the Brood suddenly disappear and Logan and Puck are left in an unknown area in the space station. Logan remembers that the last thing in his memories before returning to the Wasteland universe was reaching the space station’s command center with Puck.
Back in the Wasteland, Logan slams Kang against a wall, ordering him to return Baby Banner. Kang reveals the reason he took Baby Banner was because he saw the future and decided he need the baby to stop the Warlorld’s uprising. Logan is still confused and continues to ask who the Warlord is and where Baby Banner is. Kang says the cave they are twists time and that Baby Banner has already become the Warlord of the Wasteland.
An adult version of Baby Banner, wearing Ares’ helmet, comes out of the shadows and is now known simply as The Warlord.
Warlord tells Logan that his transformation is Logan’s fault for leaving him behind. He goes on to say that things could’ve been different if Logan stayed or took him to where Logan went.
Warlord grabs Logan by the neck and slams him to the ground while saying that the world shaped him to become something in its own image.
Both present and Wasteland versions of Puck tell an injured Logan to remember the truth about where they are.
Logan returns to the present Marvel Universe after remembering that when he and Puck got back to the space station they saw another ship from X-Haven docked as the X-Men sent someone to help them.
Logan remembers all of this and as reality is broken around him, Logan suddenly sees a zombie-like Jean Grey floating in front of him. End of issue
The Good: With all of the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe busy starting a war with their allies and getting involved with politics it is refreshing to get comic book completely outside that drama like Old Man Logan. What makes this approach so satisfying is that Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are allowing their imaginations to find the best challenges for the guy formerly known as Wolverine to go up against. This is once again exemplified by Old Man Logan #17 as we see Logan get involved in the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe in a way that makes sense for the character.
No matter how many issues deep that we get into this Old Man ongoing series I continue to be amazed by Lemire’s ability to balance the present and Wasteland universes stories so neither one suffers. Not only is Lemire able to strike a strong balance between the two universes but he also finds a way to make them complement one another. Old Man Logan #17 shows this by how Lemire is able to draw an emotional connection for Logan with both universes anchored by Puck and Alpha Flight.
This is by far the best use of Alpha Flight in a long time. Lemire strong grasp of the rough, gruff attitude of present day Puck was well balanced out by his Wasteland counterpart. In both cases, Puck was able to play an important role in pushing Logan to fight back against whatever is going on in his head. This was a great way to also clue readers into the fact that something more is going on than what we are seeing play out in both universes with Logan.
The Wasteland part of the story in particular was the star of Old Man Logan #17. Throughout these parts of the issue you can see Lemire playing with how guilt ridden Logan is over leaving the Wasteland universe. Even though the Wasteland universe is a place no one should live in, it is still home for Logan because he still feels a responsibility for Baby Banner. That sense of responsibility made the reveal of Baby Banner, not Kang, as Warlord much more impactful. It is the point you see how much Logan’s own guilt and uncertainty is what has left him open to psychic attacks.
The final reveal with a zombie-like Jean Grey throws a lot of questions up into air about what is going on in Logan’s present. Because as Puck pointed out, the Brood don’t seem to be completely responsible for the attack on the space station with how mindless the members Logan and Puck fought were. Add in the fact that Logan did have 24 hours to deal with the space station problems alone and Jean’s sudden appearance the mystery of what is going on just got more interesting.
As strong as the Lemire’s writing is, it is Andrea Sorrentino artwork that continues to be the star of Old Man Logan. Sorrentino’s ability to bring Lemire’s story to life with how he is able to frame pages in so many different ways makes the issue much more fun to read. Through the way he lays out each panel you are able to understand how every character is feeling in each scene. He also nails the brutality of Logan’s fighting style when he and Puck have an intense battle with an army of Brood members.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino combined storytelling talents have very few equals and Old Man Logan #17 is yet another example of why that is. Lemire’s ability to balance two different timelines and how they complement the story going on in each universe continues to be amazing. The horror and cosmic element of this story once again shows how flexible a character Wolverine can be when a writer treats the story with great care. That care in the story is further elevated by Sorrentino’s incredible artwork that delivers some iconic images that leave your jaw on the floor. This all comes together for yet another winner in what is one of Marvel’s best ongoing comic books.