I love post-apocalyptic stories, yet I never got around to reading Old Man Logan for a variety of reasons. I also didn’t touch upon Old Man Hawkeye, Old Man Quill, Dead Man Logan or any of the other assorted sequels and spin-offs based around the same universe. (I did, however, read the hilarious DC Comics parody of the whole concept, Old Lady Harley.)
Despite this, I wasn’t at all lost reading Avengers of the Wasteland #1, which is something of a miracle given how utterly essential it seems that you read everything associated with any universe ever in order to keep up with Modern Marvel. But I digress. The point is that Ed Brisson makes the world of Old Man Logan easily accessible to new readers, so you can jump into this book knowing practically nothing about the setting beyond it taking place in a bad future of the Marvel Universe.
The story is fairly basic stuff. Doctor Doom has taken over the wasteland that was America and is roaming the desert with his armies of raiders and robots, destroying those settlements that will not swear fealty to the will of Doom. A man named Dwight, who apparently found Ant-Man’s costume but can’t get it to work, tries to recruit help after his village is destroyed by Doom.
This leads him to a different settlement, where he finds a young woman named Dani and a Hulk-like creature called Bruce, who is smaller and more peaceable than the original Incredible Hulk. Dani has a legacy that ties her to the Avengers of old, but is also the current wielder of the hammer of Thor. Realizing their home may be next, Dani and Bruce agree to help Dwight in standing up to Doom, with the hope that others will join them in their noble crusade.
Beyond establishing the setting, Brisson’s script does a fantastic job of establishing the characters, though there’s not much time to develop them amid the action sequences. Dani is the classic determined heroine, who refuses to hand over everything she’s worked to build. Bruce is the Hulk, but with a slightly softer nature than we ever saw from the Jade Giant as a general rule. Dwight is the classic well-meaning screw-up, who wants to be a hero but isn’t sure he’s cut out for it, partly due to his inability to get the Ant-Man suit to work and partly due to his wondering how shrinking and talking to ants can help save the world.
The artwork by Jonas Scharf is good, though a far cry from the grim and gritty style favored by Old Man Logan artist Steve McNiven. This works to the benefit of the story aesthetically, however, as this is a story about hope renewed. As such, the more traditional superheroic style Scharf draws suits the story and his choice of colors is also top-notch, giving everything a bright aura.
Fans of the Old Man Logan franchise will find Avengers of the Wasteland to be a welcome continuation. Newcomers will also enjoy it and find it to be an easily accessible read. If the idea of Mad Max mixed with Marvel sounds intriguing, give this one a shot.
Avengers of the Wasteland #1 releases on January 29th, 2020!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.