Old Man Logan #14 Review


The Last Ronin was the strongest arc Jeff Lemire has delivered during his Old Man Logan run. The arc explored Old Man Logan’s past to give further depth to the present day version of the character we see now part of the Marvel Universe. Now with The Last Ronin behind us it’s time for Lemire to explore another side of the Marvel Universe as Logan goes claw to fang against Dracula. Let’s see how things begin with part one of Monster War in Old Man Logan #14.

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Filipe Andrade

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: On X-Haven, Logan is having a drink alone when he is approached by Cerebra. Cerebra informs Logan that Jubilee has gone missing.

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Not long later Logan visits Jubilee’s apartment in Brooklyn. There he finds that Shogo has been left alone.

Logan heads outside and hands Shogo over to Cerebra to babysit. He then tells Cerebra to immediately open a portal to Jubilee’s last known location. Though Cerebra hesitates to send him alone to Romania he does so after a threat from Logan.

In an unknown location in Romania, Logan tries to use his senses to locate Jubilee but the specific forest he is in. Instead he picks up the scent of someone else’s blood that is not human.

Logan is suddenly attacked by Man-Thing from behind. Man-Thing grabs Logan and sets him on fire. Logan powers through and counters Man-Thing’s attack.

Hit-Monkey suddenly appears out of nowhere. Logan is quick to spot him and throw Hit-Monkey against a tree.

Warwolf then sneaks up on Logan and slashes him from behind.

Before the fight can continue Warwolf tells the Howling Commandos to stand down as they are only fight “Old Wolverine” and not a vampire. Logan tells Warwolf the only reason he isn’t tearing the Howling Commandos, especially Hit-Monkey, apart is because they are part of SHIELD. He then tells Warwolf to start giving him some explanation as to what is going on.

Warwolf explains that the Howling Commands are part of SHIELD’s paranormal division, STAKE. He goes on to say that they have been tracking their teammate Vampire By Night, who disappeared a few nights ago. Warwolf then says that since arriving in Romania they’ve been fighting off attackers and thought Logan was one of them.

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Teen Abomination wonders if the rest of the X-Men are with Logan. He then intimidates Teen Abomination to not ask any further questions.

Logan says they are not and quickly asks about the hostiles that Warwolf mentioned. Warwolf reveals that they are at war with Dracula and all his vampires.

The Howling Commandos then show Logan the mansion that is home to Dracula. Warwolf mentions that they have been doing recon on the place for over a day and found out that Dracula has called all the vampires back “Home.”

Manphibian asks Logan why he is in Romania in the first place. Logan says that he is there because Jubilee has gone mission and that she is possibly under Dracula’s control since she is also a vampire.

Logan finally has enough of talking and tells the Howling Commandos they are going to go save their friends. Warwolf asks Logan about his plan. Logan explains how the Howling Commandos are going to attack the castle head-on while he sneaks inside.

Warwolf isn’t so sure about Logan’s plan, saying he is the leader. Logan quickly backs Warwolf down by taking out his claws and threatens them all with possibly losing an arm.

At Dracula’s castle the Howling Commandos launch an all-out attack against the Vampires guarding the perimeter. The Howling Commandos are able to make it deeper inside the castle and soon run into Vampire By Night. They are shocked when they hear Vampire By Night order her fellow vampires to kill her former team.

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Inside Dracula’s castle Logan finally makes it inside through the sewer. Logan does not take long to locate Jubilee.

As Logan approaches Jubilee he reassures her that everything is going to be okay. Jubilee speaks to her master that Logan did what Dracula though he would.

Dracula suddenly comes out of the shadows and bites Logan in the neck. End of issue.

The Good: Monster War is a great change of pace in terms of setting for Logan to be placed in the middle of. Just like his previous arcs of Old Man Logan, Jeff Lemire maximizes the interactions his lead character has with other heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe. This latest trip to the monster side of the Marvel Universe is proof of that.

While Monster War places Logan in a setting we aren’t used to seeing him in Lemire makes sure to ground the story that still fits the character. Instead of just jumping into the thick of things Lemire takes his time with Old Man Logan #14 to show us why Logan would clash with the likes of Dracula. Grounding the story with Jubilee going missing and leaving Shogo behind instantly makes this as a story about Logan saving someone he considers family rather than a fight with monsters.

The pacing of Old Man Logan #14 strengthened the core of the story Lemire created at the beginning of the issue. There was enough action sprinkled in throughout to give us an idea of what kind of bigger set pieces Lemire has in mind for future issues of Monster War. Introducing the new monstrous Howling Commandos allowed us to see Logan to interact with new characters. Through these interactions Lemire was able to keep the issue moving without making all the exposition reach the point of being boring.

This being my first exposure to this new Howling Commandos squad I must say I was impressed. Lemire made it easy to understand what role each member in this new Howling Commando’s plays and their distinct personalities. With how quickly this was established it allowed someone like me who isn’t familiar with this version of the team to understand why Warwolf and his squad acted like a fight with Dracula was just another normal day at their job.

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Click for full-page view

These scenes with the Howling Commandos nicely built up the ending where we see Jubilee betray Logan. Even though their reunion was less than one page before Dracula launched his surprise attack Lemire maximized the emotion of that scene. Understanding Logan’s history with Jubilee as a mentor-protégé one I can see how Logan’s words were of someone that just wanted to help someone close to him. It was in that moment of vulnerability where Logan completely lets down his guard that makes Jubilee’s betrayal harder to accept. It makes me hope that this story turns out to be about how Logan not only brings Jubilee back to Shogo but gets her completely away from Dracula’s control.

Though it is unfortunate that Andrea Sorrentino is not handling the art for the Monster War story Filipe Andrade more than is up to the challenge of filling those shoes. Andrade’s style invokes some similarities that makes Sorrentino’s so great while still making his work unique outside of his predecessor. Once the issue shifted to Logan interacting with the Howling Commandos and Dracula’s vampires is when Andrade’s artwork shines. It’s in these scenes where he is able to make the horror elements shine with all the various types of characters he gets to draw. He also does just enough with the background to remind readers this isn’t the normal type of setting someone like Logan is a part of.

The Bad: The one part of the issue that felt a bit flat for me was Cerebra’s reasoning for only going to Logan about Jubilee’s disappearance. These two characters haven’t interacted very much especially with how much distance most X-Men members have with this version of Logan. Seeing how Cerebra didn’t get any of the other X-Men involved is a headscratcher given how close the senior members of team are to Jubilee and Shogo. It was a rare miss when it comes to Lemire’s storytelling in Old Man Logan.

Overall: After such a strong story arc Jeff Lemire follows it up with another story that is already set-up to be just as enjoyable. Old Man Logan #14 does not waste anytime introducing Logan to the Marvel’s world of monsters and making it feel like a natural place for him to be a part of. The new Howling Commandos added a unique dynamic to the story that was refreshing. It all lead to an ending that has me highly anticipating Logan’s clash with Dracula and how he will save Jubilee, a person that is like a daughter to him.