This March sees the release of Logan which marks potentially the final performance by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine after 17 years of playing the character. Fittingly, this film presents a Wolverine past his prime forced to go out one more time into action. Whilst not a direct adaptation, this film draws heavy inspiration from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s 2008 alternate future storyline Old Man Logan. One of the best Wolverine stories of the modern era, the hardcover collection is being reissued this month to coincide with the release of Logan making it a perfect time to revisit this modern classic.
A future world savaged and sundered by super villains, the United States ain’t what it used to be. In California, now a wasteland controlled by the evil Hulk Gang, the former Wolverine seeks to live in peace. He’s retired, finally free from the violence of his former existence as an X-Man, and he wants to keep it that way. If only they’d let him. Now, Logan and an aged, blind Hawkeye are forced into a cross-country jaunt through villain-ruled lands, on a collision course with the worst of them all! Can Old Man Logan maintain his pacifist vow, and make his last stand without doing what he does best?
This story has plenty going for it so it’s hard to nail down only a few things that make it so great. An easy place to start is Steve McNiven’s art. McNiven established himself as a heavyweight in the superhero genre alongside Millar in the now legendary Civil War storyline which not only helped establish the modern Marvel event title but featured some of the most dynamic and action packed super hero art you’ll ever see. Millar affords him plenty of opportunities to cut loose with the moments of pure fan service like Logan and Hawkeye barrelling through the desert in the best forgotten Spider-Mobile and a battle with a deranged Red Skull garbed in a Captain America costume being particular highpoints. But it’s the more intense moments that he really shines with the night Logan stopped being Wolverine and the final battle with the Hulk family being particularly jawdropping.
But the main strength has to be Millar’s success in transferring Wolverine into the tired old hero setting that many has been described as a combination of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mad Max and spaghetti westerns of the Clint Eastwood variety. There have often been attempts to show Wolverine out of his comfort zone and him trying to be a family man definitely falls into that category. Millar succeeds on this front by keeping the character truly authentic to what has come before and taking the character on an arc where you understand how he ended up in such an uncharacteristic state (the reveal of what happened to the X-Men and why Logan abandoned the Wolverine identity is still as shocking now as it was nine years ago).
This has become one of the definitive Wolverine stories and the Old Man Logan character has recently been integrated into the main Marvel Universe following Secret Wars. Any X-Men fan owes it to themselves to read this story regardless of the film release and all movie viewers who want to check out where the inspiration for the last cinematic chapter of Wolverine comes from should pick this right up.
9781302904630 – H/B – £29.50
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Post by Leo