Marvel Pick Of The Week – January 27, 2016 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Old Man Logan #1, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

The original Old Man Logan was a character in an arc of Wolverine by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. In the future, after the bad guys tricked Wolverine into killing all the X-Men, Logan has made a little family in a post-Apocalyptic wasteland run by a power-mad Hulk. It didn’t sound great to me, but it was an amazing Western story with lots of action, deep moral exploration of the characters, and stellar art. The next Old Man Logan was Brian Michael Bendis’s Secret Wars miniseries, a hardened man looking for answers across different Battlezones before joining the heroes of the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe for one last fight. Though it didn’t exactly click with the rest of the crossover, it was great enough on its own to slot into the top tier of recommendations on Bam Smack Pow’s Secret Wars Battle Reports. The most current version is in Jeff Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men, a new recruit to the team who has a paternal vibe with teen Jean Grey and mostly considers himself too old for this stuff in a grouchy but humorous way.

The Old Man Logan we meet in the first issue of Lemire’s solo series is a different animal from all three of these, but I think he brings out the best of the character. In this issue, he’s waking up in Times Square seconds after the end of the Secret Wars miniseries, disoriented but smart enough to put clues together. He realizes he is in a version of the world a few years before the bad guys ruin everything in his timeline, and he decides to play it fast and loose with sci-fi rules by putting together a hit list to snikt the Hell out of anyone he’s not going to like in the future. We get to see him take out Butcher, a minor villain in our world but a monster in his, and then we learn that his next targets are Mysterio, the Red Skull, and the Hulk himself.

Each version of Old Man Logan carries a network of scars, but what sets this apart from the other versions is the way this man shows his damage. Physically, Sorrentino covers him with intricate wrinkles and healed wounds, but in addition, Lemire writes him as the berserker Claremont always hinted he could be. Millar and Bendis wrote a man who was too traumatized by his role in the murder of his friends that he wouldn’t ever pop his claws again. Lemire has a man who viciously dismembers his opponent and starts hallucinating a blend of the man before him and the monster who could/will have assaulted his son (alternate timelines and time travel play Hell with the verbs). I don’t love gory books, but when Sorrentino shows you a fight, it’s with huge sound effects and beautiful focus on a blade instead of an arm stump. Lemire isn’t reveling in this revenge/prevention story – we know from his team book that Old Man Logan will get this out of his system by the time he joins, and there is a comfort to that boundary. Instead, the reader feels fear for this character on a noble quest but with such terrible distortion in his means. We want him to be Jean’s nice grandpa, and we want him to get there with his hands as clean as possible. With The Vision as a brilliant technological horror and Scarlet Witch as a grounded seventies supernatural book, Old Man Logan is All-New All-Different Marvel’s psychological thriller. I’m scared to see where it goes next, but I am totally on board.

Honorable Mentions:

All-New All-Different Avengers 4, because this? This is one Hell of a kiss.

Extraordinary X-Men 6, because Illyana loves that they get to fight Rhinosaurs in Weirdworld and I do, too!

More from Bam Smack Pow

Check out previous Picks here!