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Steve McNiven

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

OldManLogan
Millar, Mark & Steve McNiven. Wolverine: Old Man Logan. 2008.

Mark Millar, you did it again. Civil War, Red Son, now Old Man Logan– you really know how to tell a story!

I’ve been circling this comic for awhile, not sure what to expect from it, and feeling that Wolverine already gets a lion share of Marvel’s attention, did I really need to read another Wolverine book? Well, I did, and will be definitely be coming back for more.

Wolverine, who now goes by Logan,  is living in a post- apocalyptic world with his wife and two children (I’m sorry, but you just know they’re doomed) and is a pacifist with flashbacks to some great trauma from his past. He and his family are barely scraping by on their dying farm, when the Hulk family comes by to collect the past due rent. They beat Logan down, knowing he won’t fight back, and give the family one more month to pay up. While Logan is recuperating, for he still has his power of speed healing, old friend Hawkeye comes to visit with a proposition. Hawkeye, who is now practically blind, wants Logan to help him cross the country from the West Coast (present day Sacramento area) to the East coast (current day Washington DC). He is willing to pay Logan enough money to cover all his debts, so Logan gives his family a loving goodbye and sets off with Hawkeye in a former Spidey-mobile.

They run into a bit of trouble…Hawkeye’s rebellious adult daughter, Ghost Riders,  mole men called Moloids, dinosaurs imported from the Savage Land; all the while battling the flashbacks of what happened fifty years prior. We find out what happened to the X-Men, and I won’t spoil what happened, but it’s brutal.  You will understand why Logan put down his persona of Wolverine that day, and why he has not stepped up to help when all of America was falling to the super villains.

The duo make it out East to meet with an underground group and the secret that Hawkeye was carrying is revealed- serum to make super soldiers so they could restart an Avengers team. Betrayals and deaths occur and Red Skull is revealed to be behind it all. Logan fights the villains, but without his claws being unsheathed. He is able to make it make home with his reward, but as expected his little family is no more, killed by the Banner clan in his absence.

The claws come out in his grief, and he is Wolverine once more. The large inbred Hulk family doesn’t stand a chance when confronted with Wolverine’s fury. The show down between the original Bruce Banner and Wolverine is epic, with Wolverine persevering in an awesomely gory way.

The ending is apropos, with a nugget of hope built in. Enough plot threads and hints of other characters out there are left, to fuel future stories of how Wolverine is back and is going to reclaim the land, before he rides off into the sunset.

The artwork by Steve McNiven is outstanding. The color scheme is sepia toned and dusty, with an Old West feel to the people and terrain.  The characters are drawn realistically, with a good eye for detail.

I highly recommended this graphic novel- for it has a great way to restart Wolverine’s story, with an intriguing line up of past and future heroes and villains.

-Nancy

Old-Man-Logan-752x440

 

Civil War (Marvel Civil War Complete)

Marvel_Civil_War
Millar, Mark & Steve McNiven. Civil War, 2007.

One of the best Marvel stories in awhile- this comic book “event” truly made me think about which side I’d be on and why.

After a careless accident between warring super villains causes the death of hundreds of civilians, including children, the public demands a Super Hero Registration Act that would regulate the heroes and have them set up as a official police force. This sounds reasonable at first and is led by Iron Man and Dr. Reed of the Fantastic Four (both of whom I ended up hating), while Captain America heads up a rogue group of heroes who prefer independence. But then Iron Man’s group becomes very authoritative, utilizing villains and cloning Thor in an attempt to bring in the anti-registration group. This causes the death of one of the hero’s and causes the tide to turn in favor of Cap’s group. The war turns personal with betrayals and destruction, and eventually Cap realizes this war is ravaging everyone no matter what side they are on. He makes a surprising request with far reaching consequences, and enough plot threads are left open for further storytelling based off this plot.

The artwork by McNiven is solid, although some facial close ups are a bit distorted. Many Avenger superheros are included, with most X-Men choosing to sit out this battle. Even being a Marvel fan, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, especially in group scenes. Occasionally there were would be a reference or a piece of dialogue that gave hints as to who some of the lesser known heroes were, but I still had to Wikipedia some characters. The layout of the panels was standard, but in this case that is a plus, as this complicated story didn’t need additional visual chaos.

Deep themes of moral responsibility, civil order, and the greater good tie into this story; and you can see the merit of both side’s point of view. It will be interesting to see how the movie will cover this comic, especially because they might have to skip some heroes from the book in the movie due to copyright issues.

-Nancy

Iron Man is at it again- this time he is against Captain Marvel in Civil War II.

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