So, this is the big one. The big reveal. Why Wolverine ended up a dirt farmer in a futuristic America instead of the gruff, bad dude slicing hero we’ve grown to love. It’s not a bad rationale. It’s not one I’d honestly seen coming, so it’s got that going for it. The issue is mainly focused entirely on telling that story, understandably so. That’s good, because it’s something clearly integral to “Old Man Logan,” but it’s also bad.
The problem isn’t that not much happens. I can deal with a good talking heads book. The problem is that we know what happens, but Millar and McNiven can’t stop telling us. We get it. It’s pretty to look at sure, but we get it. Wolverine is killing the crap out of a lot of people. A LOT of people. But no one’s putting up a fight. Wolverine is never at risk. It’s not a perilous or dramatic battle. It’s just slaughter. The kind of thing that a Klaus Janson or Mark Silvestri used to be able to sum up in a single splash page and that a Chris Claremont could opine about in ornate narration.
So when the penny drops, and we learn that Mysterio has duped Logan into murdering the X-Men, it almost forces you to focus on the logistics that ought to be furthest from your mind. I mean, this is the big huge reveal about what caused Logan to give up all that fussin’ and a-fightin’ and all you can think about is “Wait, Jubilee just fought Wolverine for an hour and a half?” (Although it’s not all bad. I just noticed Longshot is in there, and any issue of anything with the best X-Man that ever lived is kind of untouchable, critically-speaking. [Boy, that just laid it out there for a blurb quote, didn’t it? “Untouchable, critically-speaking.” – Comic Book Resources])
Steve McNiven does his typically fantastic job on the artwork, backed up by the capable inks of Dexter Vines and some great, textural coloring by Morry Hollowell. As ever, it’s a fantastic looking book.
As much is there are some slight problems with the book’s pacing, it’s difficult to be that hard on a book whose last page depicts a Tyrannosaurus Rex possessed by Venom. As in so much of “Old Man Logan,” Mark Millar is awfully good at showing us awesome things we didn’t even know we wanted to see until we saw it.