In the wake of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe, we’re taking a look at each and every #1 in the line. This week sees the return of Wolverine, but not the Wolverine you might immediately think of. Old Man Logan first debuted in 2008 in the regular Wolverine title. Author Mark Millar (Starlight) told a bombastic action story featuring the most detailed pencils of illustrator Steve McNiven’s (Uncanny Inhumans) entire career.
During Secret Wars, Brian Michael Bendis (Alias) and Andrea Sorrentino (Green Arrow) followed up Millar’s and McNiven’s run with an Old Man Logan miniseries. Now, for the latest Old Man Logan ongoing, Sorrentino has returned on art, partnering up with writer Jeff Lemire.
To put it simply: Wolverine isn’t alone in the Marvel Universe anymore. Will he be able to acclimate with the return of Marvel heroes to everyday life?
It’s time for the latest installment of The Marvel Rundown.
Old Man Logan #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Andrea Sorrentino Colors: Marcelo Maiolo Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Where to start?
Given his long history, pushing Wolverine’s character forward in a meaningful way is difficult. That’s why fans are going to be thrilled to see the direction that Lemire and Sorrentino take in this issue; Logan must stop his future from happening. The concept of this story is simple, yet it’s the perfect ongoing and premise that set’s it apart from the many solo hero titles in Marvel’s ongoing lines.
It’s important to note how distinctive Lemire’s and Sorrentino’s Old Man Logan is from the series that preceded it. Readers will be able to pick up this comic and really be able to tell the difference between Bendis, Millar and Lemire’s runs based on plot alone. Bendis’ Logan meandered a bit during the Secret Wars miniseries, but Lemire gives him some really strong agency as a character. Watching him really take control of his life and story is a great way to suck lapsed fans in.
If you’ve been reading The All-New, All-Different Marvel Rundown for a long time this criticism is going to feel rehashed but it’s something that’s especially true for Old Man Logan: this is not a good introductory issue. Marvel does a better-than-usual job trying to catch readers up with the Old Man Logan story, but I’m not sure if new readers are going to gather enough information about the character’s backstory from the teases throughout this comic book.
Andrea Sorrentino has a lot of fun here, and his gritty art makes Old Man Logan feel like a Tarantino film with some Marvel Universe characters thrown in for good measure. Some blood is spilled in this issue in almost humorous, horrific Tarantino-esque manner. I have enjoyed his collaboration with Jeff Lemire in Green Arrow over at DC for many years. Some of the best parts about their work together is demonstrated by the structural risks they take in every comic they collaborate on. Old Man Logan #1 doesn’t fail to please on this point, either. Without giving too much away, there’s an ode to a DC comic book in here that will stop readers dead in their tracks.
It’s also invigorating just to see Sorrentino on a monthly book again. Checking in with this comic each month and seeing the unique layouts and panels for the artist should be worth the price of admission alone. There’s a couple splash pages and spreads in the comic, but each feels tasteful and really adds to the story being told. Some of the information in these pages was lightly touched on in Bendis’ work as well, but I’m not going to be the one complaining about a spread from Sorrentino.
This story has a lot of the classic detective trappings that are thoroughly explored throughout the issue. Through bar scenes, flashbacks and violent brawls, this comic harkens back to mystery classics like The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. Old Man Logan continues the noir superhero tradition made popular at Marvel by Daredevil and Alias.
There’s a lot to like about this new incarnation of Old Man Logan. I’m more than happy to let the overused Earth-616 Wolverine rest in piece and push forward with some new characters at Marvel. The House of Ideas seems to finally be warming up to the idea of replacing some of their original heroes, allowing legacy characters to take on their monikers. Innovation. Creavity. Those lie at the heart of Old Man Logan.
As an aside, it’s nice that Wolverine is only in two books now, but I have to ask the question: is Ms. Marvel the new Wolverine? She’s shown up in a lot of All-New All-Different titles including the key Avengers title.