This time around I thought I’d discuss a story a little bit outside the mainstream norm, yet still using some of the more familiar characters. The story Wolverine: Old Man Logan is just such a story. Written by Mark Millar who moviegoers might not know specifically but may recognize some of his works that have been turned into movies like Wanted and Kick-Ass. His stories are a bit more dystopian in nature. Borrowing a theme from Wanted, he places Wolverine 50 years into the future where the villains have defeated all the heroes, and divided up the United States of America into controlled territories.
The introduction to the story is a brief and not very fact filled introduction to just what happened to all the heroes. It tells us that Wolverine still survives, but unlike many of his friends who were outright killed, “they hurt him like no one ever hurt before”. Now he lives on a farm in what was once Sacramento, CA with his wife and children in a territory that is now controlled by the Hulk. When he can’t pay his rent, descendents of the Hulk come by and beat him up for it. He doesn’t fight back, we learn that he’s become a pacifist. He no longer goes by Wolverine, just Logan.
At this point an old and blind Hawkeye shows up at his home to offer him a job. Not of a “legal” nature, but it will pay his rent for a long time to come. He accepts the offer and the two head off in the Spider-Mobile, only Hawkeye is driving. Remember that he’s blind. Wolverine is there to help him stay on course and for protection. After heading through some devastated areas, they end up in Hammer Falls, a place where people come to pray for the return of the Heroes – also formerly Las Vegas. It happens to be where Thor died. There we find out the daughter of Hawkeye and his third wife, who happens to be the youngest daughter of Spider-Man has assumed the role of Spider-Girl.
They set off to rescue her, but things don’t go very well as we learn she didn’t need rescuing, and they end up inadvertently helping her overthrown the current Kingpin (not the one you’re used to), making her the new Kingpin. At this point we learn that being blind is barely a handicap for Hawkeye who can still hit any target that he can hear. And again some reminders about Wolverine now being a pacifist with slowly more and more reveal into just what happened to Wolverine. The two stop in a bar, and Wolverine tells the full story to Hawkeye. Revealing a gruesome about how the villains broke Wolverine’s will.
From there we get to see his transformation from Logan back into Wolverine. The pair try to complete their task, which doesn’t end well, and Wolverine is brought before President Red Skull as a trophy. He eventually wakes up, and the two face off in the Red Skull’s trophy room that contains all the various gadgets, gizmos, weapons, and costumes of various familiar heroes who were defeated long ago. Eventually Logan makes it back home only to find that the Hulk Gang got bored and killed his family anyway. This leads to the story culminating with a battle between Hulk and Wolverine, which is always a good show.
This story is really strong on plot, even though it feels a little too loosely stitched together at times. This is more because there’s 50 years of story here crammed into 8 issues of comic book. I’d love to see a one-shot some day of the “Fall of the Heroes” story that is hinted at where we can see things like the Baxter Building being used as a weapon. The reveal of just what happened to Wolverine is extremely tragic, and entirely plausible. Overall I really liked it, but I can’t say that it’s something everyone will enjoy. It is extremely graphic at points, and not a typical superhero tale. But is is a solid story about a morphed dystopian landscape that is both creepy and intriguing with lots of nifty elements for comic fans to consume.
Wolverine (vol 3) #66 – 72
Wolverine: Old Man Logan: Giant-Size (vol 1) #1