With Secret Wars opening up the realm of possibilities to revisit old storylines Marvel has tapped Old Man Logan to be a world that is being revisited. One of my favorite comic books from the last decade has been Old Man Logan. Mark Millar created a fascinating post-apocalyptic Marvel Universe for Wolverine to roam around in as a Man With No Name type figure. While Mark Millar is not returning to write Secret Wars version of Old Man Logan, Brian Bendis is. Bendis has shown over the last few years that the X-Men multiverse is something he knows how to write. So will Bendis take his success with the X-Men and translate it to Old Man Logan #1? Let’s find out.
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Somewhere in New Vegas a guy named Gladiator, who is wearing a partial Iron Man helmet, is playing poker with a bunch of guys wearing Daredevil costumes. During the poker game the Daredevil guys talk about how no one has seen a Hulk for a while. Gladiator asks what did else do they know about the Hulks disappearance and one guy says he heard of some other person.
Suddenly Logan walks in and says he is the other person. Gladiator gives Logan till the count of three to get out but Logan doesn’t take it. Instead Logan kills Gladiator right away and begins killing all the guys dressed up as Daredevil. One of the guys tackles Logan out a window and onto a car below. Logan quickly recovers and finishes off the last of the guys in the Daredevil costume.
Some random women tell Logan that he messed up their gig and that they now have to get back to Santa Fe. Logan tells the women that they are now free and they should take the opportunity to make the best of it.
As Logan tries to eat a piece of gum he gets shot in the side of the face by Gladiator’s son. Logan quickly takes the kid’s gun away and says that the kid will thank him some day for getting him out of his situation. The kid tells Logan he is going to kill Logan when he grows up. Logan welcomes it.
A crowd soon gathers and Logan tells them that they are all free to build something worth living for. Before he leaves Logan tells the towns people he better see something that looks good when he returns or else he’ll burn it all down.
Logan travels through the Nevada desert. During his travels he comes across an non-working Ultron head.
After some time Logan arrives at an abandoned town he has been living in. Danielle Cage is at his house and welcomes Logan back. Danielle tells Logan that the Hulk baby is doing okay. Logan shows Danielle the Ultron head he found and says he has to go out again. Logan says he has to look into if Ultron is still active. Danielle tells Logan to stop looking at her the way he is. Logan says he can’t help it because she looks a lot like her parents. Logan leaves Danielle some money for food and supplies before heading out.
Sometime later Logan arrives at Hammer Falls, Nevada where Thor’s hammer is located. Logan reaches a hotel and once he gets inside Emma Frost tries to trick him into seeing Jean Grey. The trick does not work and Logan tells Emma to stop playing games and let him see her real face. Emma says she can’t because of her pride. Logan quickly changes the subject to what Emma is doing in Hammer Falls. Emma says it’s because of Logan she is there. She explains that after he through off the balance of powers in the territories as everyone was looking to claim the Hulks land. Emma goes on to say that the Punishers were at Hammer Falls recently.
Flashing back to when Emma arrived at Hammer Falls, Emma witness the Punishers takeover of the town. Emma’s car is tipped over and one of the Punishers takes advantage of Emma being pinned down by her car and shoots her at point blank range.
Back in the present, Emma says she tried to use her powers on the Punishers but it only made them crazier. Logan tells Emma that it wasn’t her fault. Emma changes the subject to the Ultron head Logan found. Logan said he came to Hammer Falls to talk to Ultron Eight since the helmet he found is from a Five unit.
Emma decides to rest on a bed and tells Logan that the Ultron head he found actually came from another part of the world over the wall. Emma says that Logan shouldn’t try to solve the world’s problem. Logan responds by saying it’s not too late for them. Emma says it is and when Logan turns around to look at her he sees that Emma is succumbing to her wounds and is unable to keep up her powers that gave her a youthful appearance. After a brief goodbye chat Emma reveals that when she saw Logan she thought he was the angel of death ready to take her.
Logan rides to the boarder and begins to climb the wall separating Battleworld. End of issue.
The Good: Old Man Logan #1 is not shy about what it is. This is a comic book that takes place in a land where there is very little hope left for anyone still alive. It is in that dark atmosphere that makes Old Man Logan world a place you want to see where things will go next.
What made Old Man Logan #1 a success is that it did not worry about tying into Secret Wars at the beginning. Instead Bendis used how Old Man Logan ended and continued Logan’s story as he is now a wandering samurai saving whatever city he comes across. By taking this route Bendis was able to explore the power gap that was left from Hulks death at Logan’s claws. This role that Logan has taken on let the story progress more naturally. Seeing Logan find a disabled Ultron head didn’t feel contrived, instead it felt like something that he accidently came across during his travels.
Finding the Ultron head gave Logan a reason to travel to other locations which gave us a chance to get closure on the Old Man Logan version of Emma Frost. The relationship between Logan and Emma was an interesting sub-plot in the original Old Man Logan story and I was glad to see Emma used once again. The scene between the two added further context to what Logan caused by killing the Hulk clan. It also gave Emma some closure and we were finally able to see her real appearance.
Bendis also did a fine job allowing Logan’s actions define his character instead of long dialogue sequences. This allowed for the real star of Old Man Logan #1 to shine: Andrea Sorrentino. The artwork throughout this issue was absolutely fantastic. Sorrentino brought the world of Old Man Logan to life and Bendis showed that he understood this by allowing Sorrentino to tell the story on his own. Seeing Logan go to town on Gladiator and his goons was a sight to see. Marcelo Maiolo choice of colors was also fantastic as it made Sorrentino’s artwork standout event more.
Placing Old Man Logan in the Nevada was a perfect choice as the state was already a desert before the events that caused the post-apocalyptic world. In having this setting Bendis was able to explore classic western troupes without seeming out of place for the location. Seeing a decimated Las Vegas strip was a good visual as we got to see how the gangs took over different iconic casinos. The addition of a Helicarrier in the city was also a nice touch to feed into our imagination of what type of battle took place in Las Vegas.
Bendis also did a nice job integrating one of his sub-plots from his Avengers run by using Danielle Cage in this story. It’s no secret that Luke Cage is one of Bendis pet characters and it’s fitting to see him use Danielle in this story. What I like about how he used Danielle is that we didn’t learn her last name until Logan named dropped her dad as a quick aside. It’s a dialogue choice that allowed us to have time to buy into the makeshift family dynamic that Logan has built for himself during his down time.
The Bad: The one knock I have against Old Man Logan #1 is the ending. While Logan climbing the wall separating the different lands of Battleworld was a cool visual it didn’t leave the impact it should have. The reason is because we have seen many Secret Wars tie-in books deal with the politics of Battleworld and we didn’t need another character try to defy Dooms rule at the end of the first issue of another comic.
In reality the ending that would have made more sense for this issue was the final page of Logan’s scene with Emma. Ending the issue on Emma’s death would have made a much bigger impact on the reader than seeing Logan climb a wall. It’s the type of ending that would have added to how Logan is now the last living X-Men living in the Old Man Logan world.
Overall: Old Man Logan #1 is one of the stronger Secret Wars tie-in comics out there. Brian Bendis brought his A-game to this book with how he is able to further flesh out the world of Old Man Logan. It doesn’t hurt that Bendis had Andrea Sorrentino phenomenal artwork to elevate everything about the story. While Logan was the headliner it was Sorrentino’s artwork that was the true star of the show. The art alone is reason enough to buy this comic and the fact that the story is so strong is just an added plus.