Steve Rogers isn’t usually inclined to temper any decency. With Old Man Logan, he might have to make an exception. He’s the only other overly aged geezer who Old Man Logan might listen to. But given Old Man Logan’s history for getting fucked over by illusions, listening isn’t his first inclination. It almost makes you feel sorry for Steve Rogers. But he got to spend a good chunk of his life beating the shit out of Nazis. You can’t feel too sorry for a guy like that.
More importantly though, Steve’s presence as a geezer gives Old Man Logan yet another telling clue that he’s not in the same world he thinks he is. He’s already encountered an Asian Hulk, a woman Hawkeye, and learned there’s a female Thor running around. He can only use the senility excuse so much before he starts to come off as a dumbass. He doesn’t help himself when he forces Hawkeye and Cap to knock his ass out. But at his age, he should be used to that shit and not just because he can’t get his meds right.
As we’ve seen in previous issue, this triggers another flashback. These aren’t Family Guy style cut-away gags either. They actually help improve the story. I know that’s like saying mayonnaise improves the taste of kale, but it’s true. This one isn’t as elaborate as previous flashbacks, but it sends a simple message. Old Man Logan is still haunted by the death of his family in his shitty dystopian future. The last three issues established how dedicated he was to his family. This one just reminds us how losing them sucked in the most simple way possible. For those of us who don’t often read comics sober, we certainly appreciate this simplicity.
Old Man Logan wakes up from his nightmare in a new location. It’s not as terrifying as Brett Ratner’s toilet or anything, but it’s not exactly ideal. Cap and Hawkeye somehow found a way to get him from New York to Alberta, Canada. Considering how long it takes the TSA to scan my shaving cream, that in and of itself might as well be a superpower.
That’s not to say that Cap and Hawkeye don’t take precautions. They tie him to a tree since he seems to be playing up the senility excuse. He still believes this could be one of Mysterio’s illusions. He still believes he’s destined to slaughter everyone he loves while his enemies jerk off in the corner. Even so, Captain America tries to trust his old war buddy. He’s Captain America. He’s supposed to trust in the spirit of friendship, duty, and fidelity. Clearly, he hasn’t been keeping up with this year’s presidential campaign.
Letting Old Man Logan go turns out to be one of the dumbest things Captain America ever did that didn’t get him shot, but it’s the best thing that could’ve happened for this comic. What follows is another glorious display of Andrea Sorrentino’s artistic craft. It’s Old Man Logan versus Captain America and Hawkeye. Sure, it’s an old geezer version of Captain America and a female version of Hawkeye who is barely old enough to drink, but Sorrentino and Lemire make it one of those beautifully gritty fights that give me wonderful feelings in my pants and not for reasons related to weed.
It only finally ends after Cap rough’s Old Man Logan up enough to make him blurt out his mission. When he says he comes from a future where he slaughters his friends, Cap finally has a way to prove to him that he’s in the wrong fucking timeline. He also finally reveals why he took him to Alberta and not a Japanese strip club, which probably would’ve avoided a fight.
Here in Alberta, Wolverine’s birthplace, the X-men and Wolverine’s friends set up a makeshift shrine for his dead, adamantium-encased body. Cap shows this to Old Man Logan, definitively proving that this can’t be his timeline. He never was destined to slaughter his friends in this world. He was only destined to get himself killed without ever having tasted Jean Grey’s pussy. It’s tragic, but it sends the right message.
It makes for a powerful, sobering moment. For Old Man Logan, it’s the equivalent to a 100 cold showers, 50 cups of coffee, and 10 bottles of aspirin. He finally ditches the senility and realizes what he’s in for. He’s not in the past. He has no horrible future to prevent. He’s just stuck in this world now where his other self is dead and his family doesn’t exist. It’s a sad moment because there really is nothing for him here. He’s not the same Wolverine who could kick ass alongside the X-men. Granted, even as an old geezer, he kicks more ass than 99.99 percent of the Inhumans, that 0.01 percent being Kamala Khan. But he’s got nothing to fight in this world.
In this case, Danny Glover is spot on. He really is too old for this shit.
For Old Man Logan, that means going back to his lone wolf drifter days. It’s the perfect way to fill the rest of the 8-month gap. He’s old. He’s bitter. He has nobody in his life. Sure, the entire mutant race gets fucked over in that time, but that’s not his fight. This isn’t his world. These aren’t the same friends he knew. The only friends he has left are named Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, and Sam Adams.
Now I know this will get some readers bitching and moaning, saying Wolverine wouldn’t sit on his ass and get drunk while mutants suffer. To that I say, you’re half-right. He would fight to protect mutants, make his enemies suffer, and get drunk along the way. But what he does here is perfectly in line with Old Man Logan even if it isn’t in line with Wolverine. Old Man Logan gave up fighting in his world. When he had nothing to fight for, he just retired his claws and disappeared into the world. Well he has even more nothing in this world than he had in his world. So him just throwing it all away makes perfectly poetic sense.
In terms of setting Old Man Logan up in the new mainline Marvel universe, his transition is complete and surprisingly seamless. Sure, it meant him waking up naked in the middle of a busy intersection, minus the excuse of having stayed too long at one of Tony Stark’s parties. But by Marvel standards, it’s still pretty seamless. The only thing left to do is to perfectly link Old Man Logan up with the events of Extraordinary X-men.
And wouldn’t you know it? That’s exactly what Lemire takes the time to do. He sets it up perfectly, right down to the sentinel attack that began in Extraordinary X-men #1. It might not seem like much of a feat, having a killer robot fight Wolverine. That sort of thing used to happen at least once a week when Wolverine was alive and a lot more often when Jean Grey was still around. But it shows an attention to detail that is hard to come by in an era where comics skip ahead 8 fucking months at time.
The end in this story is the beginning of his story in the post-Secret Wars world for the X-men. It’s a story that progressed perfectly from the pages of Secret Wars to this series and right into Extraordinary X-men. That kind of progression and refinement is just so beautifully crafted that it brings tears to my eyes that I don’t usually feel unless I’ve run out of whiskey. At a time when Marvel is content to fuck over the entire mutant race off-panel, this sort of refinement is more refreshing than a cold beer and a blowjob.
So...is it awesome?
Well, let me put it in a way that only a drunk can properly articulate. Fuck...the fucking hell...yes. I’ll say it again just to get the point across. Fuck...the motherfucking fucking hell...yes. FCC, if you’re reading this, send me the bill. It’s worth every penny. Old Man Logan #4 and the arc it completes is just that awesome. THIS is Wolverine at his best. THIS is Wolverine at his most pure. Sure, he’s still a cranky old fuck, but he’s never been this much Wolverine without Japanese hookers. Old Man Logan #4 perfectly ends the first arc and perfectly links into the first arc of Extraordinary X-men. If this isn’t enough for you, then no amount of fucks will get the point across.
Final Score: 10 out of 10