Thursday, January 28, 2016

Old Man Logan #1: Nuff Said!

Wolverine as a character has often been portrayed as the kind of guy Clint Eastwood probably wishes he were. He's old and cranky, yet perpetually young, tough, able to bang every beautiful woman he comes across just by giving them the right snarl. This is all well and good in that it has helped make Wolverine the most popular X-men of all time. What's not to like? He's James Dean, Dirty Harry, Lemmy Kilmeister, and Ron Jeremy all rolled into one.

Well, those strengths can be a weakness. By being this invincible, hard-drinking pussy hound, Wolverine becomes less a character and more a male fantasy. He's basically the guy every teenage boy wishes he were. There's nothing wrong with that, but it tends to make him bland. That's why Old Man Logan is so refreshing. He's less James Dean and more Keith Richards, dangerously close to being burned out and probably should've died years ago. Well, he's now step up shop in the Marvel Prime Universe. He's already added some refreshing grit to the Cyclops-bashing in Extraordinary X-men. Now, he gets his own title. And I'm here to let you know whether Old Man Logan #1 gives us a lovable old coot or a cantankerous fuck or ideally both.


There’s no bullshit time skip. The story doesn’t start with Old Man Logan sitting behind a desk, lamenting what an asshole Cyclops has become. It literally picks up right where Secret Wars left off. Old Man Logan got caught up in the final battle against Dr. Doom. And like Miles Morales, he got the privilege of joining the new Prime Earth and he didn’t even have to play the race card.

However, his entry into Prime Earth is a lot more abrupt than Miles. He just wakes up in the middle of Time Square, bare-ass naked, and confused as fuck. This being New York, a naked old man running around on the street barely slows down traffic. But given that no time skip was used to fill in any plot holes, this feels more refreshing than a cup of hot cocoa in a blizzard.


Understandably, the NYPD react somewhat harshly to a naked old guy running around Times Square. For all they know, he’s selling illegal cigarettes. They try to subdue him, but this is fucking Wolverine. The collective efforts of Sabretooth, Apocalypse, and Mystique’s pussy couldn’t subdue this guy. No disrespect to the NYPD (except their traffic cops), but they don’t stand a chance.

Getting tazed and beaten sucks, but it does have one notable benefit. It jars his memory. In a brief flashback that is beautifully illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, Old Man Logan recalls the shitty, post-apoclayptic world he came from. He might have been better off assuming he was just some creepy old guy from a nudist colony. In New York, that shit will get you laid…to a point. But he now knows who he is, how fucked he is, and that the NYPD aren’t going to help him.


Old Man Logan knows he needs help, but first he needs some pants. Even he understands that he can’t be the badass he needs with his manly bits flapping in the wind. So he fights off the NYPD in a way that’s sure to piss off Sean Hannity. Then, he finds an empty apartment where he gets his hands on some clothes. If he were Hugh Jackman, I’m sure the ladies would not approve.

But while he’s making himself decent, he has a few more flashbacks. First, he notices that this is a world that isn’t totally fucked over just yet…at least not for mutants. All the heroes that ended up worm food in his world are still alive. Being an experienced X-man, he immediately assumes time travel, since that’s way more common than alternate universes. It’s sad how reasonable that assumption is.


In contemplating his next move, we get another nice flashback into the world that Old Man Logan came from. It’s a shitty world, but one perfectly suited to a grumpy old fuck. IT’s a moment that involves him and his son, Scotty. Yes, Old Man Logan had a son whose name is strikingly similar to the guy who married the girl he wanted to bone. But that’s beside the point.

What makes this flashback meaningful and relevant is that it shows the shitty wasteland that he came from. It’s a world where you have to barter for everyday shit like Ebay while dealing with gangs of Hulks to get groceries. Even though the X-men have a long list of post-Apocalyptic futures, this one has a unique charm and one that Old Man Logan thrives in.


The apocalyptic extent of this world becomes clear once Old Man Logan encounters Butcher, a D-list villain that even other D-list villains find pathetic. He’s part of a Hulk gang that basically acts like the mafia for every store front in the wasteland. And just because he’s in a world where he never has to worry about Iron Man shooting him in the dick, he pisses off Old Man Logan. He even steals his son’s hat. In any other world, this man would be counting the pieces of his intestines by now. But Old Man Logan, being in a shitty world ruled by villains, doesn’t raise a hand.

That might sound outrageous to anyone who has seen Wolverine overreact to a joke about Jean Grey’s hair. But it’s an important distinction in Old Man Logan. In that world, he hung up his claws and tried to just fade into obscurity with his family. Now that world is gone. So what does that mean for him in his aged and jaded state?


Well, he now knows he has no excuses. This isn’t his world or his future. There aren’t any roving gangs of Hulks butchering and maiming anyone who looks at them cross-eyed. He can actually find the sadistic fucks that made his world apocalyptic and fuck them up in the way they deserve. This is the vindictive, brutal Wolverine we know and love. Sure, he’s older and a lot less sexier, but he’s still Wolverine. And even in his old age, he could probably get more ass than 99 percent of men not named Channing Tatum.


He doesn’t let his age slow him down. He doesn’t need to do some Rocky training montage either to get his skills back. He’s Wolverine. Some skills just don’t need to be learned. They’re innate with his badassery. So he starts hunting down some of the evil fucks that are destined to make his future apocalyptic. This involves him getting into bar fights and roughing up criminals. It’s Wolverine at his purest and his best. I’m sure if the AARP saw him, they’d make him his spokesman on the spot.


So who does he start off with? Which villain deserves an adamantium sandwich for his apocalyptic future? Well, remember that asshole who slapped around his son on that flashback? This might not be the same timeline or the same world for that matter, but that’s still enough reason for Old Man Logan to give him the old Canadian root canal. Sure, Butcher is not the Red Skull or Sabretooth. He’s just a deviant little shit whose every breath is an invitation for someone in a costume to kick his ass. So Old Man Logan’s methods are as bloody as they are satisfying.


Now Old Man Logan can say he has honored his son. He might have even given himself a slight erection in the process. At his age, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. But he’s more ambitious than most old men who aren’t running for President. He wants to take down every villain that fucked over his world. That includes the Hulk, Mysterio, and the Red Skull. Chances are they’ll be a bit harder to take down than Butcher, but Old Man Logan is way too old to give a shit at this point. I’ll give everyone who ever saw a Lethal Weapon movie a moment to wipe the tears of joy from their eyes.


So...is it awesome?

Is cold beer awesome on a hot summer day? Is a glass of whiskey awesome on a cold winter night? Like asking me if I'm hung over after the Super Bowl, It's one of those questions that answers itself. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino don't rely on time skips or off-panel bullshit to tell Old Man Logan's story here. It picks up right where Secret Wars left off, dropping him buck naked in the middle of an unfamiliar world and having him survive as only Wolverine can.

But it wasn't just survival that brought out the best in Old Man Logan. In addition to his cantankerous, old forms of badassery, we get some added insights into his life before Secret Wars. It's a nice reminder of the fucked up AU he came from and the personal connections he still has. He's not just a grumpy old badass. He's a grumpy old badass with depth. We don't get many characters like that who aren't named John McClane. It's still disorganized at times, but maybe that's just because Old Man Logan gives me a craving for whiskey. But the story is strong, concise, and full of everything that makes Old Man Logan awesome.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

3 comments:

  1. So he doesn't have any interest in finding his wife in this reality? None at all?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure that she hasn't been born yet.

    ReplyDelete