REVIEW BY Dave Whiteman
Frank Castle has gone back to basics.
DEAD MAN LOGAN #1
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
WRITER: Ed Brisson
ARTIST: Mike Henderson
COLORIST: Nolan Woodard
COVER PRICE: $4.99
Old Man Logan is DEAD…again, sort of…but not really. Ever since the Old Man Logan character was introduced as a self-contained story arc written by Mark Millar and with art by Steve McNiven, the character very became popular with fans and gained an ongoing series within the Marvel Universe after 2015’s Secret Wars, where he found himself in a new world. But now it seems as though the Old Man Logan series may be coming to an end, but it seems as though the elder Wolverine’s story is not finished as he has returned to his own timeline.
“Transported to the present from an alternate timeline where villains triumphed and the world devolved into lawless wastelands, Logan used his second chance at life to rejoin the X-Men and avert catastrophes like the ones that befell his world. However, his advanced age has caught up with him and his famed healing factor is severely reduced, leaving him slowly dying of adamantium poisoning…”
If all of this sounds familiar, it should because much of the premise was used in the 2017 movie Logan directed by James Mangold, which became a record-breaking release that surpassed all other X-Men movies (except Deadpool). Which saw an aged Logan/Wolverine in a very bleak near future, where his healing factor has weakened and he cares for a mentally ill Charles Xavier, while also defending a young mutant named Laura, who just so happens to be (SPOILER ALERT!) his cloned daughter, also known as X-23 or the All-New Wolverine in the comics.
In the beginning of this 12-issue limited series entitled “Sins of the Father” we are shocked to see Logan face down in the snow in Canada and very near death after a violent battle with the future version of the Hulk, Maestro and found by fellow/former X-Men, including Forge, Cecilia and Glob, who take him back to the X-mansion. There he recovers and learns that he has been unconscious for 11 days and explains to him that his system has overloaded and his healing factor can’t keep up. Therefore, he has only 12 months left to live. Despite the warning Wolverine heads out to find Mysterio and get revenge for tricking him into murdering the X-Men in the other universe.
This year has certainly been a busy one for Wolverine, after dying in the “Death of Wolverine” in 2014 and “Hunt for Wolverine” this summer, Wolverine has now returned from the dead, but there is also this alternate timeline version of him. For those who haven’t been keeping up (and I’ve really tried!) this series follows the Old Man Logan series which takes place in Earth-807128 while the main timeline is the Earth-616 universe (I think?). While Mysterio (who is usually a Spider-Man) villain had made Wolverine think that he was protecting the X-Men when he made it seem like the mansion was being attacked, Logan’s rationale is that if Mysterio could use his illusions to do that in the other timeline, then he could also do it in the current timeline.
While Marvel has certainly had their share of alternate universe troubles, but since there are two “main” ones in the comics Earth-616 and Earth-1610 that include the bulk of the Marvel story lines. There is also Earth-199999, which is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Written by Canadian (appropriate) comic writer Ed Brisson (Old Man Logan, Cable and Iron Fist) and with art by Mike Henderson (Daredevil), for X-Men and Wolverine fans alike, Dead Man Logan is going to be an interesting story as the two universes come together in what will no doubt turn out to be an adamantium slaughterfest! SNIKT!!!
Dave “Chernobog” Whiteman is a life-long comic book collector, metalhead, part-timer writer, Funatic and a die-hard Star Wars fan!
Wolverine died, entombed in molten Adamantium.
The X-Men took his metal-encased body and hid it away, keeping its location secret.
But nothing stays buried.
It was only a matter of time.
With these words, Charles Soule opens the first chapter of The Hunt For Wolverine – what may well be the most eagerly anticipated Marvel Comics event of the year. (Well, apart from that movie that’s coming out later this week that you might have heard of, but we’ll stick to the books today, thank you.)
Logically, we all knew that James “Logan” Howlett would not stay dead forever. It’s the nature of comics. No matter how much the writers and editors may insist that dead is dead and that the torch has been passed and that a successor will be forever taking up their mentor’s name, it is as the introduction to this issue says – nothing stays buried and it was only a matter of time. To that end, The Hunt For Wolverine contains two stories, which begin the epic tale of just how Wolverine apparently came back from the dead and had to be hunted down afterward.
The first, Secrets And Lives, centers upon The Reavers – a group of mutant-hating mercenaries who went through a series of surgeries to become literal killing machines. The Reavers have fought the X-Men on more than one occasion and they fight them again here, after the gang of cyborgs somehow learn the location of Wolverine’s body and decide to indulge in a bit of grave-robbing.
This is the weaker of the two chapters by sheer virtue of the fact that The Reavers are hardly the most exciting group of antagonists. With code names like “Pretty Boy” and “Starshine” and costume designs that resemble rejected characters for the He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe toy line, The Reavers wouldn’t be memorable even if Charles Soule had bothered to introduced them individually. The artwork by David Marquez doesn’t make this action-based story any more exciting, somehow managing to be over-inked in a way that leaves everything cloaked in shadows while still leaving some of the defining pencils untouched!
The second story, Hunter’s Pryde, is a marked improvement. The action here focuses on Kitty Pryde as she seeks out various figures from around The Marvel Universe and asks for their help in trying to find the missing Wolverine. This leads to the formation of several groups, including various X-Men and Avengers.
Despite this chapter largely being expository and devoted to setting up the teams that will be the center of the action of the upcoming Hunt For Wolverine mini-series, Soule’s script is full of a wit and humor that the first chapter with The Reavers lacks. If nothing else, it’s funny watching Tony Stark’s reaction to finding out he wasn’t the first person Kitty approached and then seeing who she did go to first. The artwork by Paulo Siquiera is stronger for its clarity – a quality the fight scenes earlier in the book might have benefited from. Still, the artwork here is somewhat flat due to their being no action and most of the book being devoted to characters standing around and talking.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of The Hunt For Wolverine #1 will come down to how big of an X-Men fan you are. The chapter with The Reavers is largely pointless and only serves to balance the lack of action later in the book. The second chapter has some great character moments and conversations but it doesn’t really do anything but set the stage for the books that are coming out later where people will actually start hunting for Wolverine. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything here that is absolutely necessary to the crossover but neither is it so pointless as to be worth skipping entirely.
The Hunt For Wolverine #1 releases on April 25, 2018!
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.