Old Man Logan has been one of the more consistent Marvel titles on the market. The switch to Ed Brisson has been seamless as he has explored more of the characters history. That character exploration has now taken Logan back to Japan. And as soon as Logan steps foot in Japan he has already found himself in a conflict between Silver Samurai’s Clan and The Hand. If that was not enough Logan must also deal with the fact that The Hand have resurrected his greatest love, Mariko, as the new Scarlet Samurai. How can Logan deal with all of this? Let’s find out with Old Man Logan #33.
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
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: Several years ago while in Japan Wolverine gives Mariko a White Chrysanthemum flower and reveals his real name as Logan.
In the present Logan is able to make Mariko (now the Scarlet Samurai) hesitate by stating his name. When Logan makes a run for it he is quickly surrounded by Hand. Logan slices his way through, saving a woman in the process, and leads the Hand into the streets of Tokyo.
Back inside Gorgon questions Mariko capabilities in of taking Logan’s life as the Scarlet Samurai. Mariko apologizes and says she will correct her mistake.
When the Hand ninjas come back and say they lost Logan’s trail Gorgon gets pissed. Gorgon orders Mariko to retrieve Logan so he can kill him with his hands.
At an abandoned pier Silver Samurai finds Logan still recovering from his injuries. Silver Samurai reveals that the Hand are after the Regenix pharmaceutical drug his company is developing. He goes on to say Gorgon brought Mariko back to take his place as head of Clan Yashida.
Logan mentions that Regenix is already in Madripoor. Silver Samurai freaks out since Regenix isn’t ready for mass release. Logan promises to help Silver Samurai as long as Mariko isn’t killed.
At the Yashida Corporate Offices Gorgon is pissed that the head scientist reveals that they are out of Regenix. Gorgon goes to kill the scientist but Mariko stops him. She reminds Gorgon they can’t keep killing scientists and expect Regenix supply to continue.
After dismissing the scientists Gorgon reminds Mariko to not disrespect him like that again.
Suddenly a nitrogen canister explodes in the room. Logan and Silver Samurai appear and start taking out Hand ninjas.
Silver Samurai ends up clashing with Gorgon.
Logan finally reaches Mariko and tries to remind her who she really is as they clash.
At the same time Gorgon is pissed that Silver Samurai is alive. Gorgon makes his escape by jumping out a window.
Meanwhile Mariko does not listen to Logan and slashes his stomach. Silver Samurai strikes Mariko from behind and knocks her out.
Silver Samurai reveals that he used the nanites that save his life earlier to heal Mariko and free her from the Hand’s control. He then tells Logan to take Mariko with him to Madripoor. There he wants Logan and Mariko to destroy the last of the Regenix. End of issue.
The Good: Old Man Logan #33, like the rest of this “Scarlet Samurai,” arc does not waste time in getting the main characters to act. Ed Brisson has a clear understanding of how precious his page count is and manages to pack in the right amount information to explore the various character dynamics. These character dynamics help make sure the plot is always moving forward.
The pace of Old Man Logan #33 is the greatest strength of this issue. While the big impact of “Scarlet Samurai” is Mariko Yashida’s revival Brisson does not keep the focus completely on her relationship with Logan. That is definitely a major part of the story but not the only thing. Brisson makes sure that Mariko’s revival also impacts a bigger part of the Marvel Universe as she plays a part in the war between The Hand and Yashida Clan. That sense of importance adds to how Mariko can shift the balance of power within the underworld which is big part of the street level heroes in the Marvel Universe.
Using Silver Samurai as the messanger for what Mariko’s revival means added to how he interacts with Logan throughout Old Man Logan #33. Brisson does a good job balancing how big of a cocky asshole Silver Samurai is with his business sense as head of the Yashida Clan’s corporation. It further paints the picture of how Silver Samurai is only acting out of self-interest when it comes to the Hand. Because he is more than happy to live in a world with the Hand as long as they don’t mess with him or the Yashida Clan. But now that they have taken a shot at him he is more than willing to help Logan, who he has had intense battles with, to further his own goals.
This motivation for Silver Samurai perfectly works alongside how Logan is acting because he wants to break Mariko free of the Hands control. The animosity they both had towards each other even as they fought Gorgon and the Hand was noticeable. It also set things up for what could be an interesting future clash if we see the Regenix drug come into play more now that it is becoming more public.
It all made Logan’s struggle to break Mariko free from the Hand’s control even more engaging. Brisson did a good job using the Old Man version of Logan’s age to the benefit of the character’s personal struggle as there was an even deeper longing for his first true love. Adding in the flashback scene to when he was Wolverine further emphasized how Mariko did bring the romantic side of Logan not many have seen. Now that Logan does have Mariko back to normal it’ll be very interesting to see how they interact given how much time has passed for the former.
And given that they will be going to Madripoor, an even darker corner of the Marvel Universe, it’ll be interesting to see how Gorgon reacts to Mariko now. Brisson has gotten over how much of an evil asshole. His anger of when things don’t go his way and how he speaks to everyone around him, including Mariko, makes you want to see Logan slice him up.
Mike Deodato Jr. once again is the highlight of Old Man Logan #33. Deodato is perfectly at home with drawing Wolverine’s world. He does an excellent job balancing the ferocity Logan slices his way through Hand ninjas along with his genuine concern when he does his best not to harm Mariko when she tries to fight him. And with the pacing of this issue being quick Deodato makes sure to keep the issue moving while matching the character’s facial reactions to what is going on in each panel.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Old Man Logan #33 does an excellent job pushing the “Scarlet Samurai” forward with an emotionally drive issue. Ed Brisson continues to make Logan’s personal struggle at the forefront of the story as he does all he can to save his first love, Mariko Yashida. Adding in Silver Samurai’s conflict with Gorgon and the Hand further magnified the importance of Logan and Mariko’s relationship. Having Mike Deodato Jr. along for the ride just made the story even better with how he brings Brisson’s story to life.