By Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), and Morry Hollowell (colors)
Not to make any comparisons or anything, but this book really reminds me of Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Earth X maxi-series from 10 or so years back.
We’re 50 years into the future where the planet’s been overrun by super villains. How Earth’s heroes fell is not explained, but Wolverine is one of the few heroes to survive the war and continue on. He has a rural, pedestrian life now – raising pigs, two kids, and burdened with the task of finding rent money. He’s a tired, old man trying to live out the rest of his days in peace.
But when hard times fall on Logan and he can’t come up with the rent money, he endangers the rest of his family. With a proposition from an old friend, Logan decides to take a trip out from the wastelands of Sacramento to the East Coast. As timid as Logan is about this job, he knows it’s the only way to keep his family safe.
If you’re expecting a huge, fast-paced romp like Mark Millar’s “Enemy of the State” storyline (which is probably the last great Wolverine story I’ve read), you’re going to be disappointed. This is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Wolverine is a man who’s made peace with himself and the past. He’s a pacifist and because of that it allows the story to grow. We all know this pacifism isn’t going to last. Eventually, Wolverine’s going to go berserk and that’s part of the fun – seeing how much he can take before that feral instinct takes over.
Millar’s story moves very quickly. A lot of the dialogue is strictly expository, but very much needed for this dystopian future. Also, the geographical map of the United States shows the political restructuring of the land, and like a good roadmap, it clearly shows what’s in store for Logan and his partner. Steve McNiven’s artwork is a feast for the eyes. Even with the bland desert-like setting, there’s plenty of life to be seen within the characters. It’s painfully obvious that a lot of care went into designing them, their environment, and the outfits. It’s also pleasing to see Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell continuing to stick around as McNiven’s support team. Without them, this book wouldn’t look half as beautiful as it does.
Old Man Logan is not a mind-blowing debut, but it will fill you with lots of intrigue. The story’s properly set up and the production values are top notch. Coming from the team who did Civil War it’s hard to really doubt the lack of quality we’ll be receiving as the story progresses. I can’t wait to see how this ties into Millar’s Fantastic Four run and/or 1985. This is like Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven – but Wolverine style! (Grade: B)
– J. Montes