Thursday, August 11, 2016

Old Man Logan #10: Nuff Said!

You can be a grumpy old fuck and still kick ass. Old Man Logan is the living embodiment of that concept. If he were any more grumpy or kick-ass, he'd be one of Chuck Norris' stunt doubles. Unlike Chuck Norris though, he has a damn good reason for being grumpy. He comes from a world where he slaughtered his friends and he does not want to go through that shit again.

 The X-men, especially Storm and O5 Jean, have been helping him every step of the way, but sometime grumpy old fucks need a different kind of help. Sometimes they have to actively seek that help. That's the story we get in Old Man Logan #10. He may still be a grumpy old fuck in the end, but he'll still kick more ass than every teenager, twenty-year-old, and aggressive cougar in history.

For this reason, it's generally a really bad idea to piss Old Man Logan off. Even without knowing all his pet peeves, I'm pretty sure throwing him down a well and shooting him with poison arrows is going to get him pretty damn upset. That's the situation he wakes up in after getting a nasty surprise at the end of the last issue and not the sexy kind either.

Now, he's wounded, pissed off, and having visions of Maureen. At least they're the healthy kind of visions. Anyone who has done a couple hits of LSD knows that visions of a beautiful redhead are as healthy as they come, provided they don't involve dragons that shit ninjas in the background. There's no ninjas or dragons here, but Andrea Sorrentino's dark and gritty art do a damn good job of setting up the right ambience, even for a sober mind. When maximizing Old Man Logan's brutal awesome, it's as vital as cold beer and Canadian whiskey.

For Old Man Logan though, he's painfully sober. That means that being a grumpy old fuck with multiple poison arrows lodged in his body isn't going to keep him from clawing out of this well and fucking up whoever did this. It's the kind of kick-ass badassery that makes Wolverine awesome and further amplifies Hugh Jackman's sex appeal.

Jeff Lemire gives Old Man Logan his share of inner musings, which help tie this shitty predicament with the story that began in the last issue. He came looking for Lady Deathstrike, who recently tried to lay waste to an entire community just to lure him out. He ended up getting his ass kicked by a new asshole who was badass/dumb enough to use Lady Deathstrike as bait. I think Old Man Logan can be forgiven for thinking nobody has that big a death wish. Being thrown in a well probably changed his thinking though.

So who is this asshole with an overly elaborate death wish? Old Man Logan already knows him. He's Sohei of the Silent Order. If that sounds like some shadowy shit from a bad anime, you can unclench your asshole. He's not that bland. He just reveals that he and the Silent Order have been trying to kill Old Man Logan for four straight days now, but he just won't die. He's learning the hard way that being a grumpy old fuck with a healing factor is almost as effective as whatever dark magic Keith Richards has been using since 1967. After four days, he hasn't gotten the hint. He just wants to die a horrible, bloody death that badly I guess.

This brings us to another one of Lemire's insights into the world of Old Man Logan. Unlike most flashbacks that try desperately to make an episode of Family Guy more funny, these insights provide a big chunk of the awesome in this series. It gives context and drama to whatever gratuitously violent predicament Old Man Logan ends up in. This one is no different.

In his world, he encounters the Silent Order shortly after he and his new wife, Maureen, flee to Japan. They're hoping that the villains who have taken over don't have an anime fetish. The Silent Order is about as welcoming as a Big Mac at a vegan convention. By that, I mean they slap Old Man Logan's wife. Even though he swore off violence in this world, that's not something you do unless you're really eager to die a horrible, painful death.

To his credit and the mercy of the Silent Order, Old Man Logan resists the urge to maim every last one of these assholes in front of his new wife. He just married her. He really doesn't want to have to explain to her that he has berserker tendencies. There's only so much that makeup sex and whiskey can fix.

For once, Old Man Logan tries to channel his inner Charles Xavier and use his words to avert violence. He does this by telling Sohei that he'd be doing himself and his limbs a big favor by letting them go, apologizing to his wife, and not fucking with him more than he already has. Sohei's response to this perfectly reasonable request? He stabs Old Man Logan in the neck, right in front of his wife no less. I guess this is his way of making us feel no sympathy for whenever Old Man Logan gets around to maiming his ass.

Back in the present, we now know that Old Man Logan has a long list of reasons to make sure Sohei dies a horrible, bloody death. Usually, getting thrown in a well and shot at for four days is reason enough. Sohei just has to be an overachiever here for all the wrong reasons. He reveals that he's been looking for a chance to kill Wolverine, but doesn't want to draw out the rest of the X-men. He may have a death wish, but not that much it seems.

We don't get much more about his reasons for wanting to kill Old Man Logan or why he thinks using Lady Deathstrike as bait is a good idea. Then again, it's not like people give many reasons for wanting to kill Wolverine in the first place. Those reasons don't make the brutality that follows any less awesome. Old Man Logan, knowing full well that this is one asshole who needs some extra stabbing, starts clawing his way out of the well again. It's another violent montage that Andrea Sorrentino's art captures beautifully. Even those with a weak stomach can't deny that Old Man Logan's efforts are pretty damn badass.

Flashback to the past again and Old Man Logan isn't in a position to be quite as badass, but the Silent Order are setting the stage. This also gives him a moment to explain to Maureen why getting stabbed in the neck is no big deal for him. Turns out, he's not at the point in their relationship where he shares with her that he has mutant powers. That sounds like a pretty egregious oversight. Considering they're in a world where super-powered villains are waving their dicks in the face of everyone they can, I think he deserves a pass here.

His powers are still secondary to Maureen. Having a husband that can heal just means he can never claim he's too sore to take out the trash. The primary concern for her and Old Man Logan is making sure the Silent Order gets the death wish they seem so eager to embrace. For Old Man Logan, that means breaking a vow and keeping his wife out of the crossfire. For someone who has a history of mistakenly stabbing beautiful redheads who love him, that's a challenge.

Back in the future, however, there are no attractive redheads to protect. There's just a very pissed off, very grumpy old man who is tired of getting shot. He finally makes it out of the well. He finally gets to confront Sohei, who at this point I think we're all eager to see stabbed a couple times. Lady Deathstrike is still there too and trapped in a cage. I'm guessing Sohei wants to make sure he pisses off enough stab-happy living weapons to ensure he gets maimed as he wants. Old Man Logan rips out the arrows the same way most of us rip off hang-nails. He's got every possible reason to end this shit in as bloody a way as possible.

Death wish or not, Sohei isn't going to make it too easy for Old Man Logan. He still has an army of ninjas at his side, all of which seem to have a death wish too. I want to have sympathy for them, but I really can't. Every ninja on the fucking planet should know at this point that fighting Wolverine in any form is usually the quickest way to stab wounds and lost limbs. I don't know much about the people who join the Silent Order, but if they're dumb enough to join someone like Sohei in a plot to piss off Old Man Logan and Lady Deathstrike, then I have no sympathy for them. it awesome?

I'll answer that with another question. Does the formula for a cold beer need tweaking? Fuck no. It works. It delivers the same awesome buzz we want and expect. That's exactly what Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino do with Old Man Logan #10. They stick to the same formula that makes this series a consistent source of awesome. It mixes insights into Old Man Logan's past with gratuitous violence and unparalleled badassery in the present. If you need more awesome then that, then you're just being difficult.

The insights here are meaningful and personal. The violence isn't quite as gratuitous as some of the shit we've seen in this series, but that's like saying a blowjob from Jenna Jameson isn't as messy as usual. When the standards for awesome are this high and the current state of the X-men is this fucked, you come to appreciate the little things. Old Man Logan #10 gives us a lot to appreciate while setting the stage for a lot more gratuitous violence. What more do you need from a Wolverine comic?

Final Score: 8 out of 10

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