Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Steve McNiven
Publisher: Marvel Comics
With Logan coming out soon, which will sadly be the last time we’ll see Hugh Jackman play Wolverine (unless he decides otherwise), I decided to get my hands on a copy of Old Man Logan. Logan is said to be partially based on Mark Millar’s graphic novel, and after having both seen the trailer and read the comic, I can definitely see echoes of Old Man Logan in the upcoming movie. Due to rights issues with Marvel and Sony, Fox can’t use many of the characters in the story, so it’ll be more of a reimagining than a straight adaptation.
Let me start by saying that Old Man Logan is really quite incredible. It’s violent, bloody, gratuitous at times, and is another comic book that portrays a post-apocalyptic world, but Old Man Logan is so much more than that. It takes places after the world’s villains decided to come together in order to defeat the superheroes once and for all. The story follows Wolverine, who prefers to be referred to by his other name, Logan, who’s visibly aged, seems to be losing his healing abilities, and hasn’t “popped his claws” in years, since the day the supervillains won to be exact.
Damn you to Hell for making me do this, Hawkeye.
Logan’s now living on a farm with his wife and kids, but his quiet life is turned upside down when he’s given a tremendous beating by his landlords, the Banners (they’re not very nice people in the new world). Hawkeye then shows up, who’s now old and blind (but still kicks ass), and offers him the chance to accompany him on a mysterious job, which will help Logan make enough money pay the Banner’s rent. He wants Logan to drive him across the country and help him deliver some ‘cargo’. This is when stuff starts to get pretty hairy for our old hero friends.
Millar’s turned the Marvel comic universe we have come to know and love on its head. It’s so much more than just a post-apocalyptic tale. Old Man Logan shows us what could happen if the bad guys one. It’s a world without hope, without heroes, which is run by the villains. It’s acctually quite poignant in our current political climate. Logan is the perfect protagonist. He’s always been quite gruff and grumpy, but in this world he’s got a reason to be. We also know Wolverine to be prone to violence, however here we see him as a pacifist. He point blank refuses to “pop his claws”, and tends shy away from fights.
Well, they killed me fifty years ago, bub… And I got better.
The thing I really loved about Old Man Logan is that it plays out like a road movie. I loved how you get to see Logan and Hawkeye’s journey across this war-torn United States, which is both familiar and completely alien. Steve McNiven has done an incredible job in creating this new land and his artwork is grim, dark, depressing, yet also quite beautiful. He uses a lot of red, which suits Wolverine perfectly. The fact that nearly all the heroes have been killed and the villains are now in charge is also an interesting twist, one which the film Logan may also share.
Mark Millar has once again put his own unique spin on the traditional superhero story. Old Man Logan is far more personal than any other superhero comic I’ve read and it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. It’s a shame that we won’t get to see a straight adaptation for the big screen because movie studios can’t get their act together, but I have my fingers firmly crossed that James Mangold and Hugh Jackman will do the source material justice in Logan.