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If you’ve been keeping up with the continuing adventures of Old Man Logan, you’ll know that this alternate-future Wolverine’s days are numbered, as Dead Man Logan is well underway. But before Logan’s 12-issue sendoff series launched, readers had to say goodbye to the series that was Old Man Logan, which ended at #50 (quite a feat in the modern, relaunch-loving Marvel era).
I’ve been reading Dead Man Logan in single issues since it started, but was only reading Old Man Logan in trades. So, that means I went into Dead Man Logan without reading the issues that were designed to lead into it. Considering I wasn’t completely lost, that also means the issues featured in this collection (#46-50 and Annual #1), really aren’t essential reading. But they are exactly what you’ve come to expect from writer Ed Brisson’s Old Man Logan run: solid stories featuring an older Wolverine.
In Old Man Logan Vol. 10: End of the World, we’re treated to three tales that would surely appeal to three different comics fanbases. The first, which runs through Old Man Logan #46 and 47, is for those Wolverine fans who love to see the Canucklehead team up with his old buddies from Alpha Flight. This two-parter, titled “Northern Flight,” pits the heroes against a mysterious alien threat that wreaks havoc on a Canadian town. It’s pretty much a horror/monster story featuring Old Man Logan, who’s truly getting too old for this kind of thing. Like, so old he’s close to death, as Shaman points out.
The artwork in “Northern Flight,” by artist Damian Couceiro and color artist Carlos Lopez, is appropriately creepy, from the walking fish creature we meet early on to a town overtaken by freaky, purple tentacles. There’s also a really nice shot toward the end of the story where Logan’s engulfed in flames. I mean, it’s not nice for him, I’m sure, but it’s cool to look at!
In the second story, “King of Nothing,” Brisson teams up with artists Ibraim Roberson, Neil Edwards and Lopez for a rematch between Logan and the Maestro, who’s taken brutal control of a small town and its people. Brisson kicked off his Old Man Logan run by pitting our hero against the twisted future version of the Hulk, so it’s fitting that he closed out his run by putting a period on their rivalry.
This arc, which runs through #48, 49 and 50, is the best of the bunch, in my opinion–and may be of interest to fans of the Hulk. While the villain is a giant, green monster, this is a very human story about how people can turn on their values and neighbors and give into pettiness under the influence of a cunning bully. Hm, that sounds terrifyingly familiar.
The artwork across the three-parter is fittingly gritty, with mutilated faces appearing both in dreams and reality. Maestro is especially intimidating, which helps show how easily some of the weaker-willed folks in town could so easily be swayed in his presence.
Finally, Old Man Logan Annual #1 takes us back to the Wastelands for “Pride & Punishment,” where Brisson, artist Simone Di Meo and color artist Dono Sanchez-Almara show us what happened to the Punisher in Mark Millar’s post-apocalyptic Marvel future. As I’m not the biggest Frank Castle fan, this one didn’t do much to grab my attention. I’m a bit worn down on the “Old Man” craze taking comics by storm. But if you’re a Punisher fan, this one should appeal to you, as it features an additional story about Frank in the Wastelands by writer Ryan Cady, artist Hayden Sherman and Sanchez-Almara. If Marvel ends up putting out an Old Man Punisher series, you now know where the story starts.
Overall, this is a good Old Man Logan collection, but definitely not the best example of Brisson’s work on the series, as the Maestro story is sandwiched between two others that didn’t do much for me or tread new storytelling ground. Still, if you’ve yet to start Dead Man Logan and want to go into it with as much background as possible, this trade will help you do just that. Specifically the ending of Old Man Logan #50, which leads directly into Dead Man Logan #1.
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