Written by: Mark Millar
Pencils by: Steve McNiven
Inks: Dexter Vines, Mark Morales & Jay Leisten
Colours by: Morry Hollowell, Christina Strain, Jason Keith, Justin Ponsor, Paul Mounts, and Nathan Fairbairn
Letters by: VC’s Corey Petit
Cover: Steve McNiven
Assistant Editors: Michael Horwitz, Aubrey Sitterson, and Jody LeHup
Editor: John Barber with Jeanine Schaefer
Editor in Chief: Joe Quesada
Production: Irene Lee, Paul Acerios, Joe Sabino, Damien Lucchese and Jacob Chabot
Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Publisher: Dan Buckley
When I was first getting into comics, I started with the characters I knew best from movies; Batman, Hellboy, Spider-Man, and of course Wolverine. Luckily I had a few friends around me in college that read comics, that could point me in the right direction of stories to read. One of those friends borrowed me a copy of the book ‘Wolverine: Old Man Logan’ and it was one of the most brutal, badass, and brilliant books I had ever read. However, being my mates’ book I had to give it back after I read it, and although it took me some years to get round to it, I finally bought a copy of the book for myself during the pandemic, since it was on sale.
The world’s villains decided to work together in harmony, and the heroes we know and love fell to their combined power. Nothing could be done to stop them, and even one of Earth’s mightiest mutants, the man they call Wolverine, could not stop them, or maybe it’s because he didn’t try to.
Something happened the night the heroes fell, most of the heroes were killed, some went into hiding, but no one knew what happened to Wolverine. There were rumours, that the villains did something so twisted that it broke him for good, but no one knew for sure, except for Wolverine himself.
50 years later and the world is ruled by tyrannical villains, who have segregated the world into territories in which a specific villain rules. One of those territories is run by none other than Bruce Banner, a.k.a The Incredible Hulk, but something has twisted his mind in this universe and he is not the hero we know him as. He rules over a family of thuggish rednecks known as ‘The Hulk-Gang’, which he produced with his own first cousin, Jennifer Walters, a.k.a She-Hulk. Now an old man, Logan lives on a plot of farmland within Hulk’s territory, and he’s behind on his rent. The Hulk-Gang show up demanding payment and beat Logan into the ground for not paying, as a warning.
Sometime during Logans, now slower than before, recovery, Clint Barton a.ka. Hawkeye comes to him with a job to help raise the money needed to pay to The Hulk-Gang. Logan agrees but vows he won’t fight or hurt anyone, which Hawkeye soon learns to be a true vow, not just some senseless words.
Will Logan return in time to pay the Hulk-Gang or will he once again have to pop his claws and break his vow? With such villains as Red Skull, The Kingpin, Doctor Doom, and even the Hulk, how can one man hope to win against such odds, even if he is Wolverine?
There is a lot to unpack in this story. For starters, Wolverine, or rather Logan as he goes by now, is old, which isn’t something you see given that he has born in the late 1880s and still looks fairly young due to his mutant powers. Then we have Hawkeye, who isn’t just old, but also blind (not deaf like in some comics), and he’s still the best archer in the Marvel Universe without his eyesight, as he uses noise to detect where his enemies are.
The Hulk has an inbred family, and all the other big-name heroes, as far as anyone is aware, are dead, even some of the off-worlders such as Thor, have been slain, which shows the true power of the Marvel villains when combined.
It’s a brilliant and brutal story that unfolds across the eight issues collected in this book, as we see Logan try his best not to hurt anyone, which leads to people close to him getting hurt instead, or those closest to him hurting him instead. There’s some brilliant dialogue, humorous moments that ease some of the tension, and emotional moments that genuinely make you feel like the world you’re reading into is utterly hopeless.
It’s a powerful story that delves deep into the psyche of a man running from his past, only to learn that it will always come back to haunt you.
The art in this book is incredible. The amount of detail within each page and panel makes this one of the best-looking books I have ever read. With really earthy colours throughout that reflect the world, it’s set in, which is of course a lot of deserts and dried-up land. The story is also very dark in places and the art brings out the brutality of this plot with its gory details when it comes to injuries and/or killing blows, with lots of blood and guts being seen, making this a book for mature audiences only and it’s not hard to figure out why once you see some of the panels and pages.
The artists also do a fantastic job of making each individual character (or in some cases a character’s corpse) completely recognizable by using classic comic book outfits, be it Captain America in his bright blue suit, or even Hank Pym in his classic red Giant-Man costume. There are little details seen within some panels that are recognizable and it means that you genuinely spend more time admiring the art than regular readers do when reading comics.
This remains to this day, one of the best Wolverine stories ever made, in my opinion at least, as it gives us pretty much everything we need from a Wolverine story; mystery, intrigue, brutality, and a sense of Wolverine doing the right thing despite questioning his own nature. It’s a book that has plenty of characters, a weird-ass timeline, and some truly hard-hitting moments that leave us wanting more.
Luckily for us now, there is Wastelanders, a new series from Marvel that finally gives us a one-shot sequel to Old Man Logan, which was released in 2021. So hopefully we’ll get to see what happens with little Hulk-baby (That’s right Mandalorian fans, Wolverine had a little green baby buddy first).
Wolverine: Old Man Logan – Marvel Premium Edition is available from local comic book stores or online retailers such as Amazon.