Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wolverine: Old Man Logan (2010)

Author: Mark Millar | Illustrator: Steve McNiven | Page Count: 224

"The past only hurts if we let it catch up with us."

Wolverine has survived multiple horrific injuries over the years but he’s not immortal. A bullet might not kill him, but old age likely will because the passing of time is more deadly than lead from a gun.

Time is also a great pacifier. OML begins 50 years after a cataclysmic battle saw the heroes lose their fight against evil. With no one left to oppose the tyranny, the world changed. Wolverine changed. He’s bub’d but he hasn't snikt’d in almost half a century. The combative Wolverine is gone; only Logan remains.

The detritus of the past is a constant reminder that he failed, so he removes himself from the larger arena. Doing so partially eases the numb pain he feels but nothing lasts forever (he knows that better than anyone).

When an old ‘friend’ comes calling with an opportunity that will enable Logan to extend his current situation, he has to take it seriously…

Mark Millar loves movies. If you've read any of his work before you’ll know that already. The book is a road trip that’s influenced by the American Western movie, specifically Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992). Like Unforgiven’s William Munny, Logan retains the same practical attitude he’s always had but his focus has shifted to more personal concerns.

Millar also loves action scenes, so there’s no shortage of those either. Amazingly, up until the final chapter he finds an almost perfect balance between the two things. The absurd nature of the post-hero world helps the more fantastical aspects of the story seem less at odds with the more introspective, quiet moments. The battle within Logan remains the primary concern.

His companion on the journey has a chequered past, so we’re never quite sure of his real agenda. All we know for certain is that both men have very different personalities and that sooner or later the animal inside of Logan will be called upon to decide if his contentedness is more valuable to him than his morality.

The last chapter goes OTT, it’s the kind of thing I normally associate with Millar, but everything prior to that is him restrained and his work is all the better for it.

A great story deserves a great artist. Steve McNiven’s depiction of the old, hardened ex-heroes is fantastic. He’s equally as good at evoking serenity as he is at framing explosive drama.

The book collects together Wolverine issues 66 - 72 and Wolverine: Giant-Size Old Man Logan.

5 skeletons out of 5

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