Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Mark Millar is famous in comic books for ultra-violent, blood-soaked, high-concept stories. He's the author of Wanted (a bunch of assassins with amazing powers duking it out), Kick-Ass (a kid decides to be a superhero without any superpowers and is constantly beaten to a pulp), and Nemesis (a wealthy socialite goes on a crime spree as if he's the moral opposite of Bruce Wayne). Old Man Logan follows in these footsteps.

Wolverine tries to lead a quiet life as a farmer in a dusty future California. The story begins fifty years after almost all the superheroes were killed. The supervillains have taken over and divided up America among themselves. The Hulk clan runs the west coast and they've been harassing Logan's family. Logan can't make the rent payment on his farm so Bruce Banner's redneck grandchildren threaten to eat his family if he can't pay double next month. Enter the blind, aged Hawkeye who recruits Logan for a cross-country trip to deliver a mysterious package. The money will set Logan's family up for months. Logan accepts on the condition that he will not fight, just drive across the country. Hawkeye doesn't believe him but does accept.

The story is a journey of discovery. We readers discover what America would be like if supervillains were running the show. We discover how they came to power and what they did so Wolverine turned into a pacifist. Logan discovers how bad things are and if his inner berserker is really gone.

I enjoyed this book as an imaginative reworking of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. In addition to ripping off the plot, Logan is depicted almost exactly like William Munny both as a character and in his physical appearance. The ending is different.

Millar provides some interesting twists on various characters (mostly villains) which is fun if you are already familiar with Marvel's universe. The violence and blood are over the top so it certainly isn't for everyone.

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