Since Wolverine’s “death” back in 2014, there’s been no shortage of clawed characters in Marvel’s monthly comics. If you prefer Wolvie with a feminine touch, look no further than All-New Wolverine, which stars Logan’s clone/daughter Laura Kinney. Maybe you like Wolverine, but always wished he was blond. X-Men Blue’s got Jimmy Hudson, his son from the Ultimate Universe. And for those who desperately need to fill the Wolverine-sized hole in their monthly pull list, there’s Old Man Logan.
Despite the fact that this version of Logan hails from an alternate future, where he actually murdered all of the X-Men, the heroes of the Marvel Universe have welcomed him with open arms. In many cases (X-Men Gold comes to mind), he’s basically just Wolverine with wrinkles and a more conservative haircut. But previous Old Man Logan writer Jeff Lemire never lost sight of who this character was, and what he’d been through in his tortured–and oh-so lengthy–existence.
As a fan of Lemire’s 24-issue run (which often included stunning art from Andrea Sorrentino), I had doubts about new creative team Ed Brisson and Mike Deodato filling their shoes. While I was very familiar with Deodato’s pencils, I’d never read anything written by Brisson. But after finishing Old Man Logan Vol. 6: Days of Anger, I’m happy to report that this series is in good hands.
If you’ve only ever read Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original Old Man Logan story, I highly recommend going back and reading Lemire’s run, because it’s great. But you can also pick up this collection, which contains issues 25-30, and not have to worry about what came before.
What you do need to know is the remaining members of the Hulk Gang (gamma-irradiated hillbillies) that tormented Logan in the future–and killed his wife and two children–are back, and following the Maestro (an alternate future version of the Hulk with Bruce Banner’s intelligence and Hulk’s savagery). He’s got big plans for Old Man Logan’s new home reality, and it’s up to our hero to save the day, with help from modern Hawkeye.
It’s a pretty straightforward story, as well as a breezy read. And that’s just fine. I feel like we’ve gotten to the point where every comic needs to be so epic, so internet-shattering that it’s destined to be adapted into the next big superhero film. Brisson delivers a good old-fashioned Wolverine story that puts our hero through the ringer, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The writer definitely has a strong handle on Old Man Logan’s voice. This is a version of Wolverine who’s lived a very different life than everybody’s favorite X-Man. His approach to the world and problem-solving should be different, and Brisson gets that. In fact, Logan gets to share his wisdom in a very nice speech at the conclusion of the arc.
Visually, this is a brutal story. For much of it, Logan’s in tattered clothes, covered in blood. I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re looking for a birthday present for the young Wolverine fan in your life, don’t give him or her this book. But if you know someone who loved seeing a man with six metal claws cut loose like in Fox’s Logan, then yes, buy this book. Super-strong Hulks are the perfect sparring partners for any Wolverine. But the Maestro, who is basically the Old Man Logan version of the Hulk, is an inspired choice for an antagonist.< img class="wp-image-117831 size-full aligncenter" src="http://aiptcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/OML-6.jpeg" alt="" width="1349" height="2048" />
Deodato, a former Hulk artist, really crushes it drawing all the different gang members. His Maestro is especially intimidating, regal and, well, hulking. I do take issue with his Old Man Logan, to a degree. This weathered Logan shouldn’t be sporting the classic Wolverine hair with a gray dye job, which is basically what we get. Also, he has gigantic claws. Those have to hurt coming out.
Still, the art is stunning, and Deodato serves up some interesting panel layouts, which I appreciate, considering Sorrentino was always reinventing the way he told stories during Lemire’s run.
While I said this trade paperback is a breezy read, it certainly fits the bill of a story “written for the trade.” So, if you’re not the biggest fan of decompressed storytelling, you may feel that this arc probably could have been wrapped up in fewer than five issues. But, that’s more of a larger comic industry issue.
With the original Wolverine popping up in various places around the Marvel Universe, there’s no telling how much longer you’ll be able to read Old Man Logan’s adventures. For now, though, enjoy this series, which is delivering solid and entertaining adventures. I didn’t know much about Brisson before reading this volume, but I’d have no problem with him chronicling the resurrected Wolverine in a new series once he finishes doing whatever he’s doing with that Infinity Gem.