Welcome to The Pull List, a weekly column where we check out a first issue of a new series and tell you whether or not to follow the comic based only on that. This week, I’ll be taking a look at the first issue of Old Man Logan, Marvel’s Wolverine-centric Secret Wars tie-in series.
If that description of the book sounds daunting to you, then tough luck, because the book itself does very little to explain to you what’s going on. Unfortunately, I’ve never read the original Old Man Logan story-line, though I am aware that it follows an older, grizzlier Wolverine. That being said, here’s what I managed to piece together of the plot to this series:
In the distant future, Wolverine is one of the last true Marvel heroes in a world that’s gone to hell. He’s still trying to fight the good fight, but it’s him against the world, and the world’s gone mad. In this first issue, the head of an Ultron robot crashes down to earth near Logan, and he sets out to find out where it came from and what it’s doing crashing near him.
While the first issue can be read on its own, I do feel like I’m losing quite a bit of the narrative for two reasons: 1) I’ve never read the original Old Man Logan storyline, and 2) this is a Secret Wars tie-in, which I’m not following as closely as I could be. Now, those things being said, I will say that it’s still a very pretty issue on its own.
The artist, Andrea Sorrentino, has a real knack for bringing to life the post-apocalyptic western landscape that Logan finds himself in. Some of the most stunning panels are nothing more than landscape shots, but landscapes rendered in such a way that I would gladly hang them, without context, on my walls at home. The action sequences, though, are just as masterfully depicted, with the right amount of gore to accurately depict the brutal nature of these fights, without feeling like it’s sensationalizing the violence.
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of writer Brian Michael Bendis, but I also don’t dislike his work, either. I sometimes feel that his comics can be a bit too exposition-heavy, and while he does a decent job in this book of letting Sorrentino’s art breathe, with plenty of pages without word balloons at all, there are still times when dialogue between characters feels more like the characters explaining what’s happening in a given moment, rather than actually having a conversation.
My biggest problem with Bendis, though, has been that he’s a little too entrenched in the Marvel universe, in my opinion. Plenty of people will probably thoroughly enjoy that, but for someone like me, who doesn’t want to have to read 14 other Secret Wars tie-ins, and a Wolverine comic published in the 90s just to enjoy a single issue, it’s a bit harder of a sell.
All things considered, though, Bendis does a decent job in Old Man Logan#1, and Sorrentino’s art is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Wolverine, or are already invested in Secret Wars, then by all means I recommend this series. If you’re looking for something you can pick up and dive right into, though, you may want to look elsewhere.