Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Old Man Logan #3

There are some advantages to being a grumpy old fuck. For some, it gets them a regular gig on Fox News. For others, it gives them a valid excuse to get pissed off and take dumb chances. At a certain age, what more does a grumpy old fuck have left to lose? If the process of eating, sleeping, shitting, and peeing has already become a test of will, how much more damage can be done?

Old Man Logan is the personification of being too old to give a fuck and he makes it more awesome than every Liam Neeson movie of the past 10 years. It takes a certain amount of bitterness and balls to act out in a world where Dr. Doom is a god and that’s exactly what Old Man Logan has done. He’s given the finger to Doom’s divine authority. He’s breaching the barriers of Battleworld, which are protected by an army of Thors no less. He’s already taken several lightning bolts up the ass, but to him it’s probably no worse than a prostate exam. Now he’s put himself in a position to piss Dr. Doom off even more in Old Man Logan #3. So grab a bowl of popcorn, open up a bottle of Jack Daniels, and get ready for a show.

Apocalypse is understandably confused by Old Man Logan’s presence. Either one of his cloning experiments went horribly wrong or something really fucked up is at work. Surely, nobody on Battleworld would have the balls to defy Doom like this? I’ll give everyone else a moment to stop laughing because no matter which world he’s in, Apocalypse has a really shitty sense of humor. He’s content to treat Old Man Logan the same way casinos treat card counters. I’m sure he was really looking forward to channeling his inner Joe Pesci. Sadly, he never gets a chance and it’s not because Robert Dinero held him back.

One of the Thors from Doom’s Thor Corp shows up and tells Apocalypse to stand down. In any other world, telling someone like Apocalypse to back the fuck off would be like telling Rhonda Rhousy her ass looks fat. It’s not going to end well for anybody with intact testicles, but it does give Old Man Logan the window he needs.

There’s a tense, but nicely detailed conversation between Apocalypse and the Thor. He’s understandably curious about where Old Man Logan came from and why he ended up in this apocalyptic wasteland among the many apocalyptic wastelands that make up Battleworld. Even the other X-men are curious. They don’t even use this as an opportunity to kick Apocalypse in the balls. It may be their curiosity or it may be that they don’t have the stones to piss off Doom or his emissaries. And when Apocalypse actually tries to be respectful, it shows just what Old Man Logan is up against. But does that make him give even a sliver of a fuck? Hell no.

Eventually, Apocalypse gets too pissed off to be respect Doom’s divine authority. I guess in that sense, he would make a really shitty Catholic. He basically excommunicates his ass, among other things, when he opts to attack the Thor rather than cooperate like the gullible little choir boy that some priests are way too fond of. It won’t make Apocalypse less of an asshole, but it will show that he still has more balls than most of the assholes on Battleworld. It’s not a fair fight though. He’s not just fighting some whiney insurgents. This is an emissary of Doom, who is a fucking god in this world. I think that needs to be reinforced because it shows that even someone like Apocalypse, in his own domain no less, can’t measure up to Doom’s power.

While the fight is as lopsided as it is rushed, it gives Wolverine the chance he needs to slip away. He doesn’t have Apocalypse’s forces, but he still has the balls to keep spitting in Doom’s face. He even manages to get some help from a familiar face in Tabitha Smith, who probably thinks someone put something extra in her drink. I don’t think the residents of Apocalypse’s domain are used to seeing their ruler getting his ass handed to him, even if it is from Doom.

It adds another nice personal moment that builds off the one from the previous issue. These are still versions of the friends and family that Old Man Logan slaughtered in his world so it definitely affects him. His desire to protect Tabitha, along with the emotions conveyed in Andrea Sorrentino’s art, help to remind everyone that this version of Wolverine is more fucked up than most. That just means Hugh Jackman really has his work cut out for him if the next Wolverine movie is going to be his last.

Now at this point, most sane and reasonable beings, including those with obscene healing abilities, would sprint full speed in the opposite direction of a being that just pwned Apocalypse. Most versions of Wolverine would probably do that, if only to get a little backup while his ass is healing. But this is Old Man Logan. He sees strategy the same way I see light beer. This bitch KO’d Apocalypse? He doesn’t give a shit. He’s going to attack her anyways. Why? Because fuck you, that’s why. He’s Old Man Logan.

It’s omega level badass and weapons grade stupidity rolled into one. But Old Man Logan makes it work, attacking the Thor that already fried his ass once. He even guides the X-men to Tabitha so they can help her. But as badass as this is, it also reveals a growing deficiency in the story. What exactly is he trying to accomplish other than being the ballsiest motherfucker in Battleworld? This shit started with an Ultron head falling in his domain. What exactly is he looking for? Does he just really want to stab the body that the head was attached to? That’s an important detail that seems to be negated.

That doesn’t make Old Man Logan’s bravado and badassery any less entertaining. This isn’t even the first time he’s dared to take on a Thor. This time he actually gets a shot in, which makes for a pretty satisfying moment. Sure, he still gets another big fucking lightning bolt to the ass. And sure, this is probably something that’s going to take more than a few bottles of whiskey to get over.

Even so, he still had the balls to do it and given how so many other tie-ins have others shitting themselves as the thought of defying Doom, this is pretty refreshing. It doesn’t change the outcome of the fight, which is also somewhat rushed. But it’s entirely expected. Badass or not, he’s still an old, cantankerous version of Wolverine. He’s not going to take down a Thor. Even in defeat, he still finds a way to make it pretty fucking badass.

Once again, Old Man Logan gets pwned so hard that he gets knocked into yet another domain of Battleworld. Last time, he ended up in Age of Apocalypse. This time, he wakes up in Technopolis, a domain where Tony Stark is the boss of more than just flashy armor and quality pussy. It’s still an upgrade in that it’s not a barren wasteland that looks like a garbage dump in Somalia. The problem is he’s not going to get a chance to enjoy it or even see if this world has a Japanese whore house in it. As soon as he wakes up in Tony Stark’s domain, he’s met with another Thor. This one looks like War Machine after getting a Pimp My Ride makeover. After getting his ass kicked by another Thor, even Old Man Logan needs to catch his breath.

Again, Sorrentino’s art shines here because the emotional impact on Wolverine is clear. These are more familiar faces of people he’s killed. It leads to a nice, but not too tense conversation with Tony Stark. He gives a little background in this world. Apparently, it isn’t all technology and Stark groupies. This world has this tech virus that’s not safe for anyone who can’t heal from multiple blows from Thor. It at least gets Tony Stark interested and Old Man Logan doesn’t even have big tits. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

But as much as Stark wants to study Old Man Logan’s healing and find out how the fuck someone survives a Thor blast, the War Machine Thor reminds him that he’s still giving the finger to a god-powered Doom. He’s still outside his domain of Battleworld and in this world, that’s like taking a shit in the Pope’s hat. That means he’s likely to get fucked up by even more angry Thors and even his cranky old ass can take so much.

So how does he go about dealing with this? What’s his first inclination after getting bitch-slapped into two different domains? Well first, he’s probably going to need a case of whiskey. That’s a given. But second, he wants to sit down and have a chat with Doom himself. Seriously, I’m not kidding and I’m partially sober here. He wants to confront a god-powered Doom. Why? Again, I think it comes down to a “fuck you, that’s why” type mentality. It’s as badass as Wolverine can get, but it’s still lacking in terms of details. What does he hope to accomplish by meeting with Old Man Doom? Does he think he’ll feel any less a grumpy old fuck by getting his ass kicked by a god-powered Doom? It’s hard to say, but it does reinforce that Old Man Logan has balls of adamantium.

A tense exchange follows. There’s more insight into Old Man Logan’s torment. He talks about the shitty things he did in his world. It shows that being around the people he killed is really fucking with him. It probably doesn’t make him feel better that Tony Stark doesn’t even know him in this world. It’s still a better world than the one he came from. He makes it clear that he doesn’t want to go back to that world. He doesn’t want to live in a world where he killed everyone he ever cared about. He’s not just a badass. He’s trying to find a place in the world that’s less shitty. In a world ruled by Doom, that’s still a big fucking problem. But it’s one that’s worth fighting for and he’s got the balls to fight for it.

Even with balls and sincerity, Thor isn’t having it. He’s still breaking Doom’s divine decree and Doom could give less of an unholy fuck about how much he hates the world he came from. So for the third time, he gets another lightning bolt to the ass. He doesn’t even get a chance to fight this time. It’s as unceremonious as it sounds, but it sends Doom’s message loud and clear. He doesn’t care how shitty your domains are. You better fucking stay in there and be thankful he allows your ass to live in one piece.

So what happens when someone isn’t content to go back to their domain? They get their asses thrown into the Deadlands. It’s a part of Battleworld that Doom made specifically to make even the shittiest domains seem like a trip to Tahiti. And this is exactly where Old Man Logan ends up. As soon as he wakes up, he’s greeted to an army of symbiote monsters and a zombie Doctor Octopus. On top of that, the landscape looks like a wart on Courtney Love’s asshole. So I’m wondering if maybe Old Man Logan is starting to think his world wasn’t so shitty after all. Even if he does, I still doubt he gives any trace of a fuck.

I would say that Old Man Logan is a glutton for punishment at this point, but I’m not sure he sees this as punishment. He may see it as an overly exotic vacation for all I know. But more than anything else, Old Man Logan #3 established that the man is still deeply haunted by what he did. Keep in mind, he didn’t just drown his asshole son in his timeline. He slaughtered nearly every hero in the entire Marvel universe, including his closest friends. There’s really nothing Doom, Thor, or Apocalypse can do to make him feel worse than that. It puts him in that perfect “Fuck this shit and give me something to stab!” mentality that brings out the best in Wolverine.

There should be no doubt at this point that this is the kind of Wolverine that Hugh Jackman wishes he could play. In the grand scheme of things, this Wolverine is the new gold standard. That said, the story surrounding him isn’t quite as polished and I can’t imagine any rap stars (except for Lil Wayne) wanting to encrust his teeth in it.

This story started off with him investigating some shit with an Ultron head. Since then, it’s become more like a drunken bender where you just forgot why you needed to get drunk in the first place. It lands guys like me in jail cells or crack houses. It lands Wolverine in the Battleworld Deadlands. That’s all perfectly consistent with the physics of a bender, but it’s quickly becoming a plot hole. The characterization and drama here are spot on, but really have no fucking clue what Wolverine’s endgame is here. Does he think having a beer with Dr. Doom will fix any problems that don’t involve wasting good beer? It’s hard to say, but he’s still made his rage bender as entertaining as can be without hookers, cops, and donkeys being involved. I give Old Man Logan #3 an 8 out of 10. At the rate he’s pissing off Doom, Old Man Logan can probably add blasphemy to his list of shit where he’s the best. If Battleworld has a Richard Dawkins in it, he would definitely approve. Nuff said!