Losing Jeff Lemire as the writer for the series hurt Old Man Logan. Lemire was doing fantastic work with the older, time-displaced Wolverine and making him fit with the current Marvel Universe. Though it was an unfortunate loss Lemire was able to go out on top with his last arc that explored Logan’s history and getting the character to come to accept his current life and status quo. Luckily for us Marvel was able to find a great new talent in Ed Brisson to take over the Old Man Logan series. Brisson is already doing fantastic work over in Iron Fist and his first issue of Old Man Logan showed he knows what he is doing with the character. Being paired with the talented Mike Deodato Jr. only helps things. Now let’s see what they have in store for us next with Old Man Logan #26.
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the future at the Wastelands, Logan is fixing up his barn with his son, Scotty, and Hawkeye’s help. Scotty asks his dad why the pigs keep getting sick. Logan says it’s because the villains dropped nuclear bombs on the Wastelands after they had already won.
In the present Maestro in his human form reaches a military facility in the Yukon Territory of Canada. When he is stopped by some soldiers Maestro doesn’t take to kindly to how the soldiers are talking to him.
Suddenly all of Maestro’s children in their Hulk-like forms attack the military base and kill all the soldiers.
At Department H Weapon Facility, Logan finds the place reeks of Hulks. Logan investigates the place further to see that it has been emptied out. He gets back on his bike and follows the trail of the Hulks he just picked up.
At the other military facility Maestro congratulates his children on taking the facility as their new home but says their work is still not done. Maestro talks about how the people of this world want them gone and already killed this universe’s Bruce Banner. He says before that happens to them they will end things with the world’s own weapons.
At a local diner Logan calls Puck to track down the trucks that moved all the supplies out of the Department H facility. Puck looks for the info Logan is looking for. Puck also reminds Logan that he has friends that he can ask for help if he needs it.
Back at the other military facility Maestro talks to the Hulks about how Billy-Bob’s actions caused Logan to come after them. Buck doesn’t think that is a big idea but Maestro says that Logan is a real threat who will not stop until he tracks them down. Maestro then kicks Buck and Billy-Bob out.
Buck tells Billy-Bob they are leaving. As the two leave the facility and leave Cambria behind since Maestro needs her.
Logan drives down a road until his bike is shot down and explodes. He then gets run over by a tank Buck and Billy-Bob are driving. More Hulks show up and start shooting Logan until he passes out from all the gun wounds.
Buck gives Billy-Bob a gun to try to kill Logan with. Just as Billy-Bob is going to do it he notices that the gun isn’t loaded. All of the other Hulks fire their guns at Billy-Bob and leave him lying on the ground to bleed out Logan. End of issue.
The Good: Old Man Logan #26 does exactly what it needed to do to make both sides of this latest Wolverine vs. Hulk fight moving forward. It does not deliver the wall-to-wall action that you would like to see from a story involving Logan and Maestro. What we do get is a nice appetizer for what is to come in this arc.
When it comes to writing Maestro as a detestable and charismatic villain Ed Brisson has it down. Maestro is a character that just has a certain charisma that it is easy to see how he could put together his own army of Hulks. His speeches in Old Man Logan #26 show this as he goes from motivational speaker to dangerous psychopath in the same speech. That is a rare thing to see from villains now and works in establishing Maestro as a big time threat that Logan has to overcome.
Keeping the army of Hulks dialogue to a minimum also worked to the stories favor. It helped to show that Maestro is the dominant leader in this group. This decision also kept each of the kids in a sympathetic light whenever Maestro made them do something they did not necessarily want to do. At the same time, Brisson is able to flip the switch on how sympathetic these Hulks Maestro gather are whenever they do speak. Buck’s dialogue is a good example of that, as after what he said you want to see Logan tear the kid apart.
Logan being the hunter of this scenario is a good way of highlighting his skills as a tracker. This is something we don’t see very often as we mostly see Logan rely on his hack and slash abilities. But in Logan playing the role of hunter looking for Maestro and his Hulks it puts our lead in a fun scenario.
Brisson also does a good job using this role to highlight how much of a lone wolf Logan is when it comes to his personal missions. His short phone call with Puck highlighted this, as the Alpha Flight member mentioned how Logan should call in one of his Avengers or X-Men friends for help. With Logan going up against an army of Hulks it makes sense he would call in one of his friends, one of which will be Hawkeye, especially after how bloody they left him at the end of Old Man Logan #26.
Mike Deodato Jr. once again delivers some excellent artwork for Old Man Logan #26. Even though we don’t get any sort of action until the end Deodato delivers an issue that kept moving at a brisk pace thanks to his artwork. Deodato’s Maestro is particularly impressive. Even though the character is surrounded with an army of characters that have his same physique, Maestro still stood out with the aura he exuded thanks to Deodato’s artwork.
The Bad: At some point Old Man Logan will need to start getting away from relying on flash-forward sequences featuring the Wasteland future of the Marvel Universe. We have seen this far to often in Old Man Logan and are just coming off an arc that heavily focus on Wolverine’s history. By continuing to highlight the Wasteland future it also makes it hard to believe this version of Logan will ever have forward character progress. It’ll be best for the series to begin to use these Wasteland future segments rarely in order to make them special instead of something readers should expect every issue.
Overall: Old Man Logan #26 is a solid second chapter to the “Days of Anger” arc. Ed Brisson did a great job further developing Maestro and his army of Hulks as a threat Logan can’t go up against alone. The menacing nature of Maestro is all brought to life by Mike Deodato Jr. excellent artwork that is at home with a series like Old Man Logan.