When Cosmo and I were waiting in one of many lines during New York Comic Con in 2014, we were spit balling idea’s for what Marvel comics we’d like to see Jeff Lemire on. This was before he was announced as the new writer on Hawkeye and there was no indication that he would be writing for the publisher other then that he was probably leaving DC Comics. When I tried to search for an answer, the first character that came to mind was Wolverine. That didn’t feel right when trying to describe it in the abstract, Lemire’s more measured style doesn’t feel like a match for the bombastic X-Men mainstay. Still, the idea of Lemire writing him made sense in my own vision of the character as a lone shogun ala Lone Wolf & Cub. It seems that somebody at Marvel must have felt the same way as Lemire partners with former Green Arrow partner Andrea Sorrentino for Old Man Logan, a continuation of the Secret Wars tie-in that takes the concept from Mark Millar & Steve McNiven’s iconic Wolverine arc and retrofits it into the post Secret Wars continuity.
In Old Man Logan #1, Wolverine wakes up in the current Marvel universe with all the memories from his past. After a quick break getting acquainted with his surroundings, Logan goes on a mission for revenge for those that ruined his family and the world he came from. Lemire & Sorrentino smartly toggle between the two time periods and make the book a revenge story based on those that did Logan wrong in the future, where killing is now a preventative measure. In that way there is a sadness and anger to the debut issue that Lemire taps into effortlessly and if you are going to make a Wolverine comic; why not have it actually wrestle with the moral implications of his frequent brutality. Artist Sorrentino visual story telling is as elegant and unpredictable as ever with his classical style of illustration contrasting against the books unhinged layout styles. Like in the last series, Sorrentino’s wide angle desert shot’s are gorgeous but he does a pretty solid Time Square as well in the books opening page. Colorist Marcelo Mailo gives the book a burnt color palette matching the tone and adding western film style to comic.
Old Man Logan could feel like a cheap brand extension in the wrong hands but Lemire, Sorrentino & Malio make this work as they feel like a natural fit on the title. It may not have seemed that way from outset, but these guys are built for this book.