The Revolution has thoroughly enjoyed Millar’s Old Man Logan story arc. Yes, it has been a slow paced read. But, for me it is not getting to the destination that matters, but the journey along the way. And Millar has created such an engrossing and textured setting for this story that I am simply enjoying travelling through it.
Wolverine #70 should be a big issue since we are going to finally learn what the villains did to Logan to cause him to never pop his claws again. Millar has really built up this moment as well as the reader’s expectations. It is going to be tough for Millar to deliver a compelling enough reason that makes sense and is not anti-climactic after this long wait. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Wolverine #70.
Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Steve McNiven
Inks: Dexter Vines
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: We begin with Logan telling Hawkeye about what happened the night the villains broke Wolverine. We flashback to the X-Mansion with Jubilee informing Wolverine that they are getting incoming distress calls from the Avengers, Fantastic Four, SHIELD and Wakanda. Jubilee adds that she gets only a high pitch noise when she tries to respond to the calls.
Wolverine tells Jubilee that they need to evacuate the X-Mansion immediately. Suddenly, the wall explodes and in walks Styfe, Hyde, Klaw, Doc Octopus and the Shocker. They immediately attack Wolverine. Stryfe comments that it was only a matter of time before someone organized all of the super-villains.
We then see Absorbing Man, Silver Samurai, Blob, Bullseye, Green Goblin and Mr. Sinister break into the X-Mansion and attack the students. Stryfe tells Wolverine that the villains have it all worked out and that this is the end of the heroes. Wolverine growls “Not on my watch, Bub.” Wolverine plows his way through the villains. Wolverine kills Doctor Octopus, Klaw, Hyde, Stryfe and Green Goblin.
During the battle, Wolverine calls out for his fellow X-Men. Wolverine yells “Where the hell is everybody?” Wolverine then tells the students to run and to not look back no matter what they hear. Wolverine continues the killing as he slaughters Blob, Mr. Sinister, Lady Deathstrike, Sabertooth, Scorpion and Omega Red.
Finally, it comes down to just Wolverine and Bullseye. The two engage in a massive battle that lasts for ninety minutes. Wolverine finally guts Bullseye. Bullseye then looks at Wolverine and says “Logan, stop. Please. Why are you doing this? You’re supposed to be our friend…” Bullseye then dies.
Suddenly, Mysterio appears on the scene and says “Oh dear.” Bullseye then turns into Jubilee. Mysterio snidely asks if Wolverine really thought he could kill all of those villains by himself. Mysterio continues that, on the other hand, friends who would hesitate are an entirely different matter.
We then see the room full of dead villains turn into a room full of dead X-Men. Wolverine has killed all of the X-Men. Mysterio then says “My thanks on behalf of the criminal community.” Mysterio then teleports away from the scene.
We cut back to the present with Hawkeye stunned that Logan killed the X-Men. Logan is crying. Logan says that Mysterio made the X-Men look, feel and even smell differently. Logan says “I swear to God. I had no idea.” Hawkeye asks what happened next.
Logan says that he walked through the countryside for days or weeks. He doesn’t know which. All he could taste was blood. Logan said that all the animals that crossed his path were scared of him. Logan says that the Battle of Vegas, the final showdown between the heroes and the villains, did not even register with Logan. That they had broken him so badly he was not even thinking.
All Wolverine wanted to do was to hurt himself. To pay a price for what he had done. So, Wolverine stood by some railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to come. When a freight train approached, Wolverine laid his head across the rail.
Logan tells Hawkeye that he killed the Wolverine dead that moment. Hawkeye interjects that Logan’s healing factor would not have let him die. Logan answered “No, but it hurt…An sometimes that’s enough.” We then see the freight train cutting Wolverine’s head off on the rail.
Logan continues to cry and says for Hawkeye to now try and say that Logan has been a fool to hide his claws for fifty years. Hawkeye replies “I wouldn’t dare.” Logan says that he is a farmer now and his hands do not do anything other than tend to the land. Logan asks Hawkeye to not even think about asking Logan to fight again. Logan says that he will never hurt another living soul again. Hawkeye responds “Your call, brother.”
We shift to Hawkeye and Logan in the Spider-Buggy and arriving at Dwight’s Toll. Dwight is a small kid or midget wearing Ant-Man’s helmet. Dwight says that they have to pay 80 cents or else he will call a million ants to come and attack them. Hawkeye pays the toll and tells Dwight to have a good day. Dwight thanks Hawkeye.
We see our heroes passing through Doom’s Head, Illinois where we see a bunch of dinosaurs roaming about. Hawkeye says that he is sorry for making Logan do this. Hawkeye says that if he had known what happened to Logan back at the X-Mansion then he would have never asked Logan to come with him on this adventure.
Logan responds “Forget about it, Bub. The past only hurts if we let it catch up to us.” We then see a dinosaur possessed by the Venom symbiote rampaging toward the Spider-buggy. End of issue.
The Good: Wolverine #70 was absolutely fantastic. Old Man Logan has been a slower paced story as Millar proceeded to build up reader’s expectations extraordinarily high. This is a risky move for an author to take as it makes it difficult for the writer to deliver the moment in a fashion that lives up the all the hype.
Millar has teased the hell out of the reader during this story arc about how the villains broke Wolverine. I had my doubts that Millar would be able to match the build-up to this moment. Well, Millar lived up to the hype and delivered the moment in style. I know that some readers may have seen this coming, but even if they did this still was a powerful and incredible moment when the reader learns that Wolverine killed all of the X-Men. This was a well done scene that had my jaw on the ground.
The stunning scene where Logan brawls with all the villains was well done. Millar treats the reader to some sick bloody action. This brawl fight scene between Wolverine and the villains was insane. I loved it. And even though everyone knows that Wolverine is one tough hombre in a fight, even the most rampant Wolverine fan was scratching their head half-way through this fight and wondering how in the world Wolverine could slaughter off all of these big-named villains all by himself.
And then it happens. Millar lifts the veil from the reader’s eyes when Logan realizes exactly what he has done. And what a powerful and amazing scene it is when Logan stands there in stunned disbelief while looking at the corpses of his teammates. This scene hits the reader square in the chest. Millar delivers this dramatic scene with minimal dialogue and minimal narration. Millar let’s McNiven’s well crafted artwork carry the moment and that makes this revelation have even more impact on the reader.
I loved the brilliant twist of having the entire brawl being nothing more than an illusion created by Mysterio. I definitely did not see this coming. Of all the villains that I expected Millar to reveal to be behind this deception, Mysterio was not at all on my list of possible suspects. This was a great use of Mysterio’s character and a nice way to utilize a villain that readers are not going to immediately think about while reading a Wolverine comic book.
Millar handles Mysterio well and delivers an icy and cruel version of the long-time Spider-Man nemesis. It was a chilling moment when Mysterio thanks Wolverine for his help. This caused the reader to get the same sick sinking feeling inside of their stomach just like Logan had during this moment.
This climactic scene lived up to all the hype that Millar has been generating over the course of this story arc. This devious plan by the villains was pure genius by Millar. And this was a rather logical and sensible approach for the villains to utilize Wolverine to their advantage and then remove him from the playing field.
A straight up attack against Wolverine would be far too costly and bloody of an approach to remove Wolverine from the battle. And Wolverine is definitely one of the first heroes that the villains would want to take off the table early into their attack on the super hero population.
Therefore, the villains attack the most vulnerable part of a man who has an unbreakable skeleton and an amazing healing factor: his mind. Logan’s only weaknesses are his mind and his fear of losing control over himself and become an animalistic killer. The overwhelming guilt of killing his friends and teammates is the inevitable result of a plan like this and would easily serve to break Wolverine. This was the perfect blueprint on how to break Wolverine.
I loved the scene where Logan lays down in front of the oncoming freight train and kills Wolverine. Even though Logan knows it will not technically kill him he reasons that the incredible amount of pain and the symbolic death will be enough. And from that moment only Logan is reborn and not Wolverine. This scene was emotional and quite moving. Millar manages to tap into the intense sorrow and empty feeling of deadness that is inside Logan’s soul during this scene.
Hawkeye’s reaction to Logan’s story was well done. It Hawkeye is setting up Logan and that the “package” is indeed Logan then I can see where Clint would truly be sorry for bringing Logan along for this mission. Even though Clint may be a shady character, he is not without feelings.
Millar delivers some excellent dialogue in this issue. Millar continues to employ short and blunt sentences. And this is pure genius. I appreciate it when a writer is able to adapt his style of dialogue in order to fit the character he is writing rather than bend the character to fit the writer’s preferred style of dialogue. The short and direct dialogue has the literary effect of hitting the reader like multiple punches and is the perfect style of dialogue for a character like Logan.
The character work with Hawkeye and Logan continues to be well done. However, Logan is the character that receives most of the character work in this issue as Millar gives the reader a raw and unfiltered look into Logan’s mind. And in the process of revealing the source of Logan’s pain and sorrow, Millar is able to accomplish his task of getting the reader to truly feel Logan’s pain. Millar is able to craft quite an emotional read that captivates the reader and gets the reader to empathize with Logan.
The setting for this story continues to be the strength of this title. Millar has created a fascinating and textured world that has a real sense of history. In this issue, we get to see Dwight’s Toll which was a pretty cool. I found this to be a neat use of the Ant-Man helmet. Dwight’s Toll is in keeping with the generally bleak and bizarre setting of this future world.
Millar ends Wolverine #70 with a nice hook ending. I mean, it is pretty hard to get any cooler than a Venom dinosaur! Next issue should certainly supply us with plenty of action.
McNiven and Vines deliver plenty of gorgeous artwork. McNiven pours so much emotion into this issue. McNiven is able to effectively convey the pain and sadness in Logan’s soul. The artwork made this issue quite a moving read. I did have one odd observation. Even though Millar is writing Logan as an Eastwood type character, there were several panels in this issue where McNiven draws Logan just like Mel Gibson.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: I found this to be a wonderfully written issue. The scenes where we see how Wolverine was broken and then killed himself were actually quite beautiful. The Old Man Logan story arc has been well worth the cover price. If you still have not given this Old Man Logan story arc a try then you should definitely pick this story arc up when it is released in trade paperback format.