My feelings are mixed about this issue. For the most part it’s a good comic, but there is some subtext (whether intentionally or not) that frustrates me. The mini-series as a whole does what it set out to do, bringing Old Man Logan into the new Marvel Universe within the confines of Battleworld. Without further to do, let’s review the only X-Men comic that’s releasing this month.
In the last issue, She Hulk launched Logan out of the zombie realm of Battleworld, and he landed in what remains of the 616 Universe. Of course the first thing that happens is that he freaks out, finally losing what’s left of his mind. It’s a great dramatic moment, backed up with the fantastic art I’ll talk about more later and a montage of events from the mini-series. What happens next is a series of reunions and teasers for the rest of Secret Wars.
The reunions, for the most part, are great scenes. Writer Brian Michael Bendis often does well with these kinds of moments, balancing characters being shocked and a touch of humour to make it feel real. It takes everyone a while to adjust to what’s going on. These scenes also explore exactly what happened to the 616 Universe and the Ultimate Universe in Battleworld, and how they’ve combined in odd ways. Adult Cyclops’s appearance confuses me a bit though, considering his involvement with the main Secret Wars event. The reunion scenes also lead to a particular meeting that, while a great moment, also leads to my frustration with this comic.
Toward the end of the comic, Old Man Logan meets Jimmy Hudson, Ultimate Wolverine’s son. Seeing as how neither of them has ever met a version of each other, this is a nice dramatic moment that’s short but effective. This meeting could have easily been a full issue in itself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of Jimmy in the upcoming Old Man Logan series by Jeff Lemire. What frustrates me is that Laura is completely absent here. For someone who is supposed to become the new Wolverine, it’s annoying that she hasn’t appeared even once in the Secret Wars event, and this would have been the perfect place for her to show up. It continues the trend that, somehow, she’s never actually appeared in a single Wolverine comic in her 12 years of existence. Apart from the in-issue posters from two weeks back, it feels like Marvel doesn’t want to advertise her new role at all.
Also, the fact that this is the only X-Men comic to release this month is very annoying for us fans of the franchise. Seriously Marvel, what is the point of delaying Uncanny X-Men 600 so much? It’s been finished for months now, and Bendis originally wanted it to be released before Secret Wars. I don’t believe the rumors that you want to kill the X-Men franchise, but you’re not helping your case with these delays. We could have been reading Extraordinary X-men this month like originally planned, but apparently the biggest comic publisher in the world is somehow incapable of letting that happen.
Anyway, the art by Andrea Sorrentino continues to be the real highlight of this series. Everything has a painted feeling to it. The skyscrapers in the opening pages are well detailed with company logos, reflective windows and birds flying in the sky. Facial expressions do a great job at expressing character emotions. The best example is the 1-page spread of Logan’s face close-up when he sheds tears, which showcase a wide-range of mixed emotions of loss and relief. The colouring by Marcelo Maiolo is also great. It captures the mood of the comic very well.
My rants and frustrations aside, this is a good comic. The mini-series slowed a bit too much between issue 2 and 3, but otherwise this is a well-written adventure through Battleworld with some great dramatic moments, good action scenes and utterly fantastic art. Also like Siege, this feels like an important mini-series thanks to bringing Old Man Logan to the 616 Universe, while also teasing the final Secret Wars battle. If any of this interests you, or you’re a Wolverine fan, this is at least worth checking out.