Title: Wolverine: Old Man Logan
Author: Mark Miller
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Audience: 17 years of age and up
Logan aka Wolverine is no longer the effective killing machine he used to be. Now he is a quiet, mild-mannered pacifist. He lives in a United States that has been taken over by villains. The Hulk, who has had an incestuous relationship with She-Hulk, has taken over the west coast with his thuggish, redneck-like family. The Kingpin has taken over part of the Midwest, and Redskull has taken over the east coast.
Logan lives with his family on the west coast and is in debt to the Hulk gang. Refusing to engage in violence or “pop his claws,” they are being threatened in numerous ways if they don’t come up with the rent. Then, Logan gets a visit from the one-time superhero Hawkeye. Hawkeye is delivering a package to the east coast and has gone blind so he needs a driver. He promises to pay Logan well and off they go.
Through their journey they narrowly avoid death, see the bodies of their former superheroes, learn why Logan has turned over a new leaf, and see how Logan learns to forgive himself.
Forgiveness is an important theme in this graphic novel. Throughout the story we see bits and bits of what happened to Logan to make change so much. Eventually we learn that one night he was in the Xavier mansion and it was attacked by all of the supervilains. Throughout a long and bloody fight, Wolverine emerges as the victor. Then we see that all the villains he killed were actually all of the superheroes and X-Men colleagues. This was an illusion set up by Mysterio. The villains knew they couldn’t take them all on so they used the one person they knew who couldn’t die no matter what. Through Wolverine’s actions, the villains were able to effectively take over. In the end, Logan loses his family to the Hulk gang and becomes Wolverine again. He kills the entire Hulk gang including the Hulk. There is a small baby there and he takes it with him to raise as his own. We see him riding off into the sunset with the baby, forgiving himself and making the decision to take the fight to the villains.
Dystopia is a very evident theme in this story. As we see Logan and Hawkeye travel through the country, it is almost unrecognizable. The west coast is a dry, dead landscape. The Midwest is not much better, and it is littered with dinosaurs for unknown reasons. The east coast is very reminiscent to a 21st century Nazi Germany. There are secret police and banners sending messages of surveillance and strict rules. All along the way, the United States does not offer much promise in regards to its landscape and environment.
Being that this focuses on superheroes and superviallains with an array of different powers in a dystopic future, there is not a great deal of connections that can be made to the reader. However, it is important to identify the ones that can be made. Learning to forgive yourself and fighting for what is right are among the few. Superheroes, though fictional, offer a lot to learn. Fighting for what is right regardless of the personal consequences is a trait that we can all admire. Learning to forgive yourself for the things you have done is never easy, but if you are not careful it will take you over and destroy you.
I loved this graphic novel. I’m not a religious reader of comic books but I do love the stories that I do read. I’m familiar with a lot of these characters in this novel which made it all the more enjoyable to read. The story was excellent, the graphics were excellent, and the entire plot was excellent.
8th-circuit.com really loved the book. They found the artwork excellent and the story engaging. “The story finishes with a climactic battle between Wolverine and another surviving villain. It was maybe a little short seeing as this was the end game but thanks once again to some amazing artwork from McNiven all is forgiven as you just sit there and marvel at his work.”
Comics.ign.com were huge fans of the graphic novel. “Nobody crafts a comic book story around big, outrageous spectacles quite like Mark Millar. And of all Millar’s big, outrageous comic book stories, none are quite as spectacular as Old Man Logan.”