Thursday, March 2, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Wolverine: Old Man Logan

The superheroes are all gone and the supervillains that remain have split American into separate countries. Those who live under the brutal regimes of Dr. Doom, the Kingpin, and the Red Skull dream of the return of hero teams and the overthrow of these villains. Logan has shunned the name Wolverine and retreated to a life of farming with his family. However, his rent is due to the inbred Hulk family and he refuses to fight. Hawkeye, blind, offers to pay Logan for assistance in driving across the villain-owned country in the spider-mobile to transport a mysterious substance.

Logan has sworn off violence but that doesn't mean that violence avoids him. The two former superheroes encounter all sorts of issues like the Kingpin pitting Daredevil versus Punisher in an arena, a Venom Tyrannosaurus Rex, and mole people. Plenty of offspring or strange evolutions of superheroes appear in these pages showing what would happen if the villains won and the world of the Marvel Universe spun out of control. The reason behind Logan's reticence to use his claws is kept a mystery throughout most of the book until a revealing section about how the X-men were destroyed. 

With free rein of the Marvel Universe, writer Mark Millar takes advantage of the opportunity. He never hesitates to add in an explosive action and take things over the top. The setting is like Mad Max but with superheroes thrown in and a national conspiracy of villains to overthrow. The artist Steve McNiven draws the world and characters beautifully making this an extraordinary comic to look at and admire.

Millar is not afraid to kill off characters though Wolverine has the healing factor so nothing can stop him even if he won't fight. Hawkeye is transporting super serum and hopes to deliver to a group of spies working to recreate the superhero teams of old. Logan is betrayed and turned over to the Red Skull who still dresses in his greatest enemy's uniform, Captain America. The Skull is gleeful to have the Wolverine but he has more than he is bargained for.

The last chapters are Logan returning home with the money to pay off the Hulk family landlords but find his family dead. The rampage on the Hulk family begins as Wolverine is back in action though a little grayer than before. There are no more prisoners and McNiven draws the destruction with a certain beauty that is fascinating as it progresses. I don't read many comic and love to get them in their collected form so this is one I would recommend as a complete story that is well-drawn and an interesting story. 

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