Marvel Graphic Novels: Old Man Logan (2010) - Reviewed

I always love alternate universe comic book stories because it allows the writers to have some fun with the characters. They don't have to worry about messing up continuity or canon and can come up with creative ideas. Mark Millar's Old Man Logan run is a prime example of the awesome material you can get when you let writers run wild.

Old Man Logan takes place in the distant future on Earth-807128, a universe where all of the supervillians have banded together and defeated most of the superheroes. The villains have divided The United States into different territories and Red Skull has declared himself president. Logan is an old defeated shell of a mutant living in Californian, now dubbed "Hulkland" with his wife and children. Because of a tragic past event he has given up the Wolverine moniker and refuses to use his claws against enemies. This is a world that has moved on and with no heroes to protect it has the inhabitants scrounging for survival.

Mark Millar is known for writing some over-the-top stuff and he does not disappoint with this tale. This is like X-Men meets Mad Max and is ridiculous in the best kind of way. Logan has to constantly contend with this nihilistic and grim acid western hellscape and it's a blast to see what wacky shit he will encounter next. If it isn't the Hulk Gang (the incestuous redneck grandchildren of the Hulk and his first cousin She-Hulk) it's goddamn dinosaurs that have been infected with the Symbiote alien parasites. It never ends for him. It's like the comic book version of a super fun B-movie and I loved every second of it.

Steven McNiven, who also worked with Millar on Civil War (2006-2007), provides the pencils for this run and as per usual his art style is fantastic. His ability to depict incredibly dynamic action scenes is unmatched and his grizzled version of Logan is one of my favorite iterations. There's nothing more bad ass than seeing Wolvie saunter around in a sweet duster and cowboy hat. Old Man Logan is pretty gruesome as well with blood and guts flying on almost every panel--especially towards the end.

I did find myself feeling sorry for Logan because, as always happens, tragedy befalls him. This is what his character is made for though, a sponge for despair that eventually has to be wrung out in a flurry of violence and destruction. It's truly cathartic to finally see him release his rage even if it's at the cost of his happiness. The 2017 film Logan is loosely based on this comic but honestly, it shares very little with this story. That doesn't mean this isn't worth a read as this is some prime Millar writing with outstanding art by McNiven.

Related article: An Early Review of Logan 

-Michelle Kisner