I first got into the X-Men when I watched X2: X-Men United with some friends years ago. Back then I knew next to nothing about the comics, but I really enjoyed the movies (until the third one at least). Back then my favourite X-Men character was Wolverine – Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character is really good when the writing is strong enough to back him up. That said, I quickly grew tired of him when I did get into comics. That’s what happens when he’s pretty much everywhere. That’s why I felt relieved when Marvel killed him off in 2014. Now that he’s been dead for more than a year, I’m fine with Marvel bringing back a fan favourite version of the character, Old Man Logan.
Old Man Logan 1 starts exactly where the Secret Wars mini-series left off, with Logan waking up in modern day New York City. It wastes no time with Logan trying to figure out what’s going on and coming up with a plan. The series opening premise is firmly established by the issue’s end. He’s decided that he’s been sent back to prevent the wasteland featured in the original Old Man Logan storyline by hunting down and killing those responsible for the villain uprising.
The comic is good for what it is. The flashback where Logan remembers how Butcher antagonized his family in his post-apocalyptic future gives context to his anger in a fitting way. The action is quick, but effective. There’s nothing particularly special about this issue’s writing, but there doesn’t need to be and there’s nothing wrong with it either. It’s mostly a setup issue, but a dramatically effective one at that.
The art by Andrea Sorrentino is this issue’s real highlight. There’s a painted quality in everything, from the rich and detailed backgrounds in the streets of New York to the facial expressions that perfectly capture Logan’s varied emotions. The splash page where Logan remembers his past is a great montage of characters, moments and environments that helped shape his bleak outlook on life. The colouring by Marcelo Maiolo is brilliant too. Every panel is shaded in a way that emphasizes the tone. It’s greyed out in flashback panels, reddened when the violence gets brutal and well varied for everything else.
Even with the fantastic art this issue isn’t quite great, but this series has the potential to become great. It’s dark, but not unnecessarily so, and Logan’s characterization is spot-on. Old Man Logan fans should pick this issue up. Whether you’re a fan of the original Wolverine or you’re interested in checking this version of the character out, this is at least worth a look. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with Old Man Logan or not since I’m not a Wolverine fan anymore (well, not a Logan fan), but it’s good enough that I’ll give it at least a few more issues to win me over.