Just so you know, this review isn’t going to start off by complaining about how Marvel released the last few issues of Wolverine out of order. There are bigger things to complain about in life. For example, the contents of the issue itself.
Now, if you enjoy the idea of Wolverine blasting his way across the country using the remnants of Iron Man’s armor, then good luck to you -- but to me, the sheer incongruity of the situation outweighs any potential sense of cool. As with “Civil War,” it seems that the density of Millar’s ideas is betrayed by his inability to wrap them around a solid enough narrative.
The pacing of this story has, to date, been quite uneven, skipping between decompressed and hyper-compressed in a manner that seems to be largely dependent on what images Millar wants to see McNiven draw, rather than more traditional storytelling concerns. The artwork is jaw-droppingly fantastic, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s a pity that the plot is just “Unforgiven” set in an identikit Marvel future. A dash of “Days of Future Past," a smidge of “Future Imperfect,” a touch of “Earth X” and here we are in the world of “Old Man Logan.”
This issue finally delivers the moment that every single reader has predicted since the story started, when Wolverine finally pops his claws. It’s a cathartic moment, but only in the sense that it puts an end the charade. Up until this point, Wolverine has repeatedly professed himself to be a new man; a pacifist -- as if readers would eventually be won over and agree that Wolverine practicing non-violent resistance could make for an interesting denouement. With no real plot twists to speak of, the experience of reading “Old Man Logan” has been more frustrating than anything, as this moment again failed to arrive.
With one chapter left, it seems unlikely that Millar has any massive tricks up his sleeve that can redeem his meandering, flippant story. It’s almost worth reading for McNiven’s art alone -- but not quite. It’ll undoubtedly make a far more satisfying read when the collected edition is released, but after a solid year since the story began and the likelihood of yet more waiting for the finale one-shot, you have to wonder what everyone was complaining about when Marvel released #73 first. At this point, wouldn’t we rather they just got on with the rest of the series?