I wanted to write a good long piece on Wolverine: Old Man Logan, but then I realized the worst thing I could do was spoil this amazing story for those who have not read it yet. I made the mistake of not reading the single issues when they first came out and waited for the trade. But I am glad a friend let me borrow it, allowing me to experience this epic tale all at once. This is one I would recommend to anyone who does not have a weak stomach.
Old Man Logan is an eight-issue miniseries written by Mark Millar (Wanted) and Steve McNiven, the team that brought audiences Nemesis and a huge chunk of Marvel’s Civil War series. The story is set over fifty years in the future, with a dark premise and bleak future familiar to longtime Millar fans. The supervillains have realized that they outnumber their do-good enemies, and that by working together they can easily overpower them. With the heroes out of the way, the criminal masterminds have divided the country into territories that are ripe with danger.
Logan has stopped being Wolverine, claiming that the man he used to be died on the same day the rest of the heroes died. The reasons why, and what truly happened that day, are not revealed until later in the series. Logan lives as a farmer with his wife and children, struggling to pay his rent to the Hulk gang, who are deformed redneck Hulk-kids. Logan is hired by a blind Hawkeye to run a package across the country into a Red Skull-controlled Washington, D.C. Logan must help Hawkeye make it across the country and deliver the package so that he can be paid. If the former superhero can’t get back with the money in time to pay off the Hulks, his wife and children will pay the price.
The comic has a great setup with a Western motif, specifically elements of the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven. There is even a nod to the film title in the first issue. There are a large number of throwback references to past Marvel storylines and half of the fun is seeing what has become of all of the heroes and their offspring. There are many twists and turns that keep the reader wanting more. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, Millar has said that he is working on a sequel to the popular series and has even released some details of the first scene of the new story.
I cannot recommend this book enough. Old Man Logan is a bit vulgar, but if the reader has seen any non-mainstream Millar books before, there will be no surprise. Readers should not let that detract though, as the characters are well-developed, depicted well, and the atmosphere of this alternate future is beautifully painted for the reader. I was pleased with the ending, and put the book down satiisfied by the joining of a classic Western tale with some of my favorite Marvel characters.