Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Scanned Thoughts: Old Man Logan #2
No matter what your high school guidance counselor says, getting ahead and getting shit done sometimes requires a “fuck it!” mentality. I imagine Steve Jobs’ guidance counselor warned him that he would be flipping burgers and selling crack after dropping out of college to sell computers. I hope at some point, Jobs went back to his guidance counselor and kicked them in the ass with a boot made out of solid gold. That guidance counselor still would’ve gotten off easy if they gave the same advice to Old Man Logan.
If there’s anyone who embodies the “fuck it!” mentality and raises it to an art form, it’s Old Man Logan. He’s not a headmaster of a school. He’s not the leader of some secret kill squad. He’s just a bitter, cantankerous old man who hasn’t given a shit in decades. That’s exactly what makes him so qualified to piss Dr. Doom off in the pages of Secret Wars. I don’t know what Dr. Doom was thinking when he made Old Man Logan part of Battleworld. It must have been what other gods were thinking when they created the platypus or reality TV. Old Man Logan didn’t need much of a reason to start pissing Doom off, but he has one anyways. Now in Old Man Logan #2, he’s openly defying the rules of Battleworld and probably waving his dick in Doom’s face in the process. Wolverine fans might need another bottle of lube and some towels for this one. It’s going to get messy, but not in the way you might expect.
So we know Wolverine has climbed the walls separating his world from the rest of Battleworld. We also know that Doom doesn’t take kindly to people who do that and I’m not just talking about giving out bullshit parking tickets. This is a guy who would eat a live kitten to prove he’s better than Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and everyone else in the multiverse. Anyone who didn’t have the adamantium balls of Wolverine wouldn’t dare test that, but Old Man Logan’s capacity to give a fuck ensures he’s up for the challenge.
However, he learns right off the bat that Dr. Doom isn’t much for giving warnings or polite reminders about his rule. This guy as a whole army of Thors to enforce his law. So as soon as Wolverine gets to the top of the wall, he has one waiting for him. He responds short of giving this particular Thor the finger, but he might as well have because he still makes clear that he couldn’t give a cosmic shit about Doom’s decrees.
Wolverine then learns the hard way that Dr. Doom isn’t one for warnings. One Thor against an old, cantankerous Wolverine who looks like a crack head version of Liam Neeson isn’t a fair fight to say the least. He’s got claws. Thor has a magic fucking hammer. It’s not going to be an epic Hulk vs. Superman brawl. Wolverine gets KO’ed with a big fucking lightning blast that blows off most of his skin. It’s the kind of wound Wolverine used to suffer all the time before Marvel ditched his healing factor. But even with his healing factor, this isn’t some shit he can just walk off, although I don’t doubt that he tried.
Wolverine unceremoniously falls off the wall, losing most of his clothes in the process. This sounds like one of those epic fail moments that usually wind up on youtube at some point. That’s the benefit of being old, bitter, and past the point of giving a fuck. He really doesn’t give a shit how much he gets pwned. For this version of Wolverine, it’s more of an inconvenience and one that just happens to expose his junk. I’m sure LeBron James can sympathize.
The Thor that just casually fried his as is still flying around, probably hoping for something to throw on the grill. Wolverine slips away like the survivor he is, still butt naked mind you. He eventually finds a river with some water, if only to wash off some of the pwnage. Then a tiger just happens to show up because I guess an angry Thor just wasn’t enough. PETA doners might want to look away from this because he deals with the tiger the same way he deals with bottles of whiskey. He’s still a raging animal of a man who can hold his own in the wild and doesn’t care if his junk shows. LeBron should take note.
A tiger and a Thor is menacing enough. But I guess this Wolverine hasn’t been fucked up enough by defying Doom’s rules. So an alternate version of Sabretooth gets thrown into the mix and he just happens to be one of the versions who isn’t fucking inverted. So I guess in the same way this book give us a classic, don’t-give-a-fuck version of Wolverine, it also gives us a classic snarling psychopath version of Sabretooth. I say why the fuck not? It’s basic, but it works.
At the same time, it’s getting somewhat ridiculous at this point. I get that one of the Thors picked up on Wolverine’s defiance. I even get that he got burned to a crisp as a result. But then he just happens to run into a tiger and a pissed off Sabretooth with support trips happens to be nearby. I get that some characters have some really shitty luck. Just look at all the shitty luck Jean Grey has had to deal with. But even she would roll her eyes at this shit. As contrived as it is, it still makes for some visceral moments that Andrea Sorrentino’s art makes pretty damn satisfying.
However, the visceral action doesn’t last very long. Hell, it’s over faster than a Kardashian marriage in Vegas. It’s a bit rushed, but there’s a fairly decent reason for that. Some of the X-men in this world show up and one of them is Storm. Since a big ass lightning strike worked so damn well for Thor, why not Storm? She effectively proves the effectiveness of solving problems with big ass lightning by taking out Sabretooth and the troops nearby. Wolverine then comes face to face with a team of X-men who recognize him, but not as the younger-looking, Hugh Jackman-esque version.
This is a big moment and not just because they saved his ass. Anyone who has read the original Old Man Logan understands why this would fuck with him. In his world, he was tricked into killing the X-men and everyone he cares about. So seeing them again, having not killed them in an omega level berserker rage, hits him on an emotional level. It’s the first real emotion Old Man Logan has shown that can’t be properly articulated by a middle finger.
The pacing here continues to get a little chaotic. Wolverine passes out and then wakes up in a surprisingly pleasant area, complete with a poster of the All-New, All-Different X-men. It’s not unlike the poster I had in my room as a kid. Then Emma Frost shows up and it quickly turns into one of the twisted fantasies I had in my room as a teenager.
This serene environment is actually not real. It’s taking place in Wolverine’s mind. This marks the second time in this series that Emma Frost has probed his mind and not in a sexy way either. But this isn’t the same Emma Frost as the previous issue. That doesn’t matter to Wolverine. He still doesn’t appreciate it. This makes for a tense yet meaningful conversation where Emma Frost essentially gives readers a recap of who Old Man Logan is and what happened to the X-men in his world. It’s meaningful information for those whose memories were a little fuzzy around 2008. It’s the same year that the economy went to shit and people were willing to vote for a black President to fix it so I think some can be forgiven for needing a recap. But that doesn’t make the conversation less meaningful.
It still drags a bit, but it establishes that Old Man Logan is in a very different world and the X-men are just as confounded as him. While Emma is genuinely curious and maybe a little horny if she just watched a George Clooney movie, Wolverine isn’t in the mood to have his mind probed. Maybe if Emma Frost was a sexy redhead, he’s be open to it. But he’s more interested in finding out where the fuck he is and just how fucked he’ll end up being.
Emma gives him what he wants and Wolverine sees the shitty world around him. He’s still greeted by a team of X-men, which is still pretty jarring for him. However, these X-men don’t just belong to any world. They belong to the world of Age of Apocalypse. It’s a different kind of X-men team, but an X-men team none-the-less. Given the circumstances of Old Man Logan’s world, it’s still an upgrade.
There are some good reactions here, but not nearly as much as there could’ve been. Again, this part was a little rushed. It would’ve been nice to see Old Man Logan interact more with this new brand of X-men. They already seem to enjoy poking fun at his age, but not much really comes of it. We just get more reminders of what Wolverine did in his world and that doesn’t need to be reinforced. When Emma Frost reminds people of something while exposing plenty of cleavage, it’s pretty damn hard to forget.
The same shitty luck that just happened to put Wolverine face-to-face with a tiger earlier once again kicks in. Sabretooth shows up again and attacks, this time with Sinister as backup. It makes for another quick yet destructive clash with the X-men. It still feels rushed, but this time it has no excuses. It’s got a lot of flash, but it’s nothing that can’t be matched with a few firecrackers and some paint cans. The only important thing that happens in this battle is that Wolverine gets knocked out of a window. That’s it. That’s like hiring the cast of the Expendables to shoot an infomercial. It feels underhanded.
It still sets Wolverine up for a very important confrontation that more than makes up for the pacing. He’s had to fight a tiger, a Thor, and a non-inverted Sabretooth. Who else wants to get in on beating up an old man? Enter Apocalypse. This is his domain after all and Old Man Logan just happened to trespass on it. He might as well have taken a piss on Kim Jong Un’s front yard. He’s in some pretty deep shit. Maybe the younger version of Wolverine could muster up some bravado, but this is a burned out old version of Wolverine. To think he’ll stand a chance against Apocalypse is like saying Kevin Hart has a chance at winning an Oscar.
If the first issue was a reminder on just how few fucks Wolverine has left to give in Old Man Logan, this issue explores the extent of those remaining fucks. He’s willing to dive-head first and butt naked into a world where Apocalypse has made everyone his bitch and Sabretooth is his psychotic pit bull pet. That’s the kind of badassery we expect from Wolverine. But at the same time, we also learn that a part of him still cares about the X-men the friends he lost. And seeing them again, albeit alternate version in a shitty apocalyptic world, had a real impact on him. It helps add balance to a story that had been dominated by Wolverine giving the finger to Dr. Doom’s rules.
It moves a little quickly. The pacing may throw the non-stoners of the crowd off at times, going from a brawl with Sabretooth to a psychic conversation with Emma Frost. But it never becomes Mission Impossible chaotic. It works, even if some of some of the details are lacking. The story still delivers in all the ways Wolverine fans will enjoy. As a whole, it’s still a story that has a lot of “Oh fuck!” moments, but hasn’t had that defining “fuck yeah!” moment. I give Old Man Logan #2 a 7 out of 10. There are worse worlds Wolverine could’ve ended up in, but not many. It’s probably for the better. For Wolverine, a world where he can take his anger out on assholes like Apocalypse is the best kind of therapy that doesn’t come in a bottle. Nuff said!