Old Man Logan #2
Release Date: June 17, 2015
The original Old Man Logan was gratuitous, no doubt about it. It was obviously a story with one purpose: to give Wolverine/Logan a chance to do what he always seemed to hint at – kill lots of people in gruesome ways. Not that there was anything wrong with that. Watching him decapitate the Red Skull with Captain America’s shield was fantastic. But it was a tragic story right off the bat. The world had gone to shit, all his friends were dead, and even in this world, the new friends would die or betray him, and his family was killed – murdered brutally by the Hulk gang.
This arc isn’t quite as…”graphic”…but it’s definitely headed in a direction I like. Other than X-Tinction Agenda, this is the only Battleworld issue I really enjoy at the moment, and this one has me drooling for the next issue. I made the trip all the way across town, on my lunch hour, to pick up this one issue and I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, there are some things I can nitpick, but just as issue #1, the rest of the story is so well told and so enjoyable, that I’m wiling to overlook things.
Okay…so remember that wall that Logan started climbing at the end of the last issue? No? Well then go check out my review (or get your ass to a comic shop and actually start picking up these issues). Anywho… Logan gets to the top of the wall and finds himself staring out at a world in the distance that is completely different from his own. He’s completely confused (not realizing as the reader does that he is seeing one of the bordering worlds in Battleworld – giving the impression that each world is, in fact, a separate reality, separated only by a giant wall). Unfortunately, if you’ve been following Secret Wars, you know that the Thors are around to prevent people from crossing over into different realities. And one of the Thors shows up.
Whoever this Thor is, it gives Logan a single warning to return to his reality, but Logan is dumbfounded by this character wearing a dead man’s outfit (remember…Logan’s Thor died with the rest of the heroes). Due to the non-compliance, it calls down a massive bolt of lightning and fries Logan which tosses him right off the wall…and into one of the other realities. Seriously. If the Thors’ jobs are to prevent this, then this Thor should be fired. Logan’s body (seriously…it got torn apart by the electricity) drops into a forest (now do you get the title?) and lands hard on the ground after crashing through several branches. The Thor follows, just to make sure Logan is dead. The Thor searches, but cannot find Logan, even when she walks right by where he is hiding (that’s right…he ain’t dead). Ultimately, she gives up the search and flies off.
Logan finally gets to his feet only to have a Tiger stumble across him. The Tiger attacks and Logan is forced (he actually really did not want to) to kill the beast. No sooner does he toss the dead tiger to the ground then a familiar face shows up. Sabretooth emerges from the brush. And it’s not a pleasant visit. Sabretooth reveals himself as a Horseman (that’s right…of the Apocalypse…I really did start shuddering with anticipation at this revelation) and prepares to have himself some Filet Logan, rare. But before he can attack, blasts of energy lance out, striking them both. Sabretooth shouts back about Logan being his to kill.
Once again, thought, lightning interrupts Logan. This time, however, it strikes down Sabretooth and the soldiers who were firing. Logan looks up and sees a familiar figure hovering. This figure lands in a crowd of four others. Storm, Iceman, Colossus, Dazzler, and Nightcrawler all take a look at Logan, commenting how he looks like someone’s dad. Suddenly, Logan passes out. Whether its from his wounds or from the shock of seeing his friends who he killed years ago, it’s hard to say.
Let me interrupt by explaining something. This wasn’t any ordinary Storm, etc. They were clearly dressed as they were in Age of Apocalypse. Now I’m not sure if this will have any impact on the AoA Battleworld story out later this summer, but still. It was ^$%&ing awesome to see.
Some time later, Logan wakes up in what is, to him, a familiar setting. As he walks through the halls, a disembodied voice talks to him, tells him he’s safe. There’s a picture of Logan’s group of original X-Men (the All New, All Different ones). Logan turns to see Emma Frost. Not the old one that died last issue, but a younger Emma Frost. Turns out, they’re in Logan’s head and the scenery is simply a happy memory. Emma goes through Logan’s memories, including ones after the death of the X-Men. Of course, she’s confused as well because it’s events that she knows never happened and this Logan is also older than he should be. But with his promise to behave, Emma allows him to wake up.
Logan opens his eyes to see Storm, Rogue, Magneto, Iceman, Colossus, Blink, and Emma, all watching him. Before he can even try to explain anything, the wall explodes and in the rubble stands Abyss (at least I think it is), Sabretooth, and Mister Sinister (or, as Sabretooth calls him, Essex). Apparently, Sabretooth tracked Logan here. In rage, Magneto, with a simple gesture, tosses Logan through the wall and into the rain and rubble outside. Logan, completely confused by what he has witnessed, fumbles around only to stumble upon APOCALYPSE.
This issue was worth the wait and worth the drive. I’m not even a big fan of Wolverine after the over saturation of the last couple decades, but this issue was so enjoyable, especially Logan. Sure, the final scene of the issue was fantastic, but it’s Logan’s reactions to seeing all the memories of his world, but as living, breathing souls and trying to cope with facing the friends and family he slaughtered (even if it was under Mysterio’s control).
- Battleworld. I love how Bendis reminds us that it’s not just Logan in his own little world. It’s part of a patchwork of worlds. The sight from on top of the world is amazing which leads me into the next pro…
- The art. It’s not just Andrea Sorrentino’s pencils which, I will admit, are amazing. The coloring is fantastic as well. Combined, they make for some amazing visuals, such as the Thor dropping from the sky and the view from the top of the wall.
- Inner Turmoil. Bendis does a fantastic job, just in the actions and Logan’s dialogue, of showing us the struggle Logan is having. He no longer relishes violence and what he’s done in the past still weighs heavily on him. He struggles killing the tiger, even trying to talk it down. He is shaken up by seeing his friends alive and well and in their prime. Even seeing someone dressed as Thor is noticeably disturbing to him. He keeps hoping it’s all a dream. And I love it. It brings back the depth that has been missing for 20 years.
- Overused Cliché. Seriously, Bendis. I’m talking directly to you now. It was cute when you brought it back. It seemed to drop in at just the right moments. But now? Now it’s just tired. I read it and there’s just no surprise or wonder left in me. Please stop. Stop with “To me, my X-Men.”
Outside of the core series, this is the best Battleworld issue yet. And true to form, I’m left eagerly awaiting the next issue. Will it remain on top? Who knows. I’m hoping that each issue is better than the last and I’ve got high hopes for the Age of Apocalypse series (and I have to wonder if it will spin off of this issue), but this one is definitely turning out to be a gem.