Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Giant-Size Wolverine Old Man Logan #1
Millar, McNiven, Vines & Hollowell
Old Man Logan wraps up, late, expensive and with a ton of blood. The finale of the eight issue series gets its own one-shot and gets a nice $2 bump to a hefty $5 cover charge. Your return on investment is about 32 pages of terrific violence that holds nothing back in terms of gore and graphic fighting combined with about six pages of sketches and a cover gallery. It’s a fine issue but it makes me question the direction of the mini series and its conclusion. It could have been magnificent, but it falls short for a variety of reasons. The artwork may be amazing, but can only make a comic book so good and then it needs help from a story.
Logan returns to being Wolverine and hunts down the Hulk Gang. This takes a lot of time because there are simply so many Hulks. Apparently Banner has been producing children without anything and everything from ex-Playmates to his own relatives. As Wolverine cuts his way through the town of Hulks he isn’t really met with any challenges. The creativity with the Hulk Gang characters is a true highlight that gets lost in the massive amount of slashing and blood. Wolverine never seems to run out of cool ways to kill people.
Eventually Wolverine makes it to Banner and they fight it out for the last time. Banner, old and bored, is just a freak of nature at this stage in his life and Wolverine seems overmatched. It’s a good fight but it could have lasted a little longer. It has a conclusion that may seem familiar to some and I loved watching it unfold.
The artwork completely steals the show. Wolverine rips a cow in half. Wolverine pops his claws through a Hulk-boy’s jaw. Banner, as the Hulk, takes up the entire splash page and appears to be ten times the size of Wolverine. Page after page the artwork overwhelms the reader with details and terrific shading and coloring. It’s an unbelievable issue that displays a killing machine making his way through the overwhelmed Hulk Gang.
There are two central problems with the comic book. One of them has to do with the story itself and the other has to do with the overall plot of this arc.
This comic book has very little dialogue. Is it needed when all the fighting is taking place? Mostly, no, but it would have been a lot more interesting if the Hulk had more to reveal to Wolverine. Maybe Hulk would have had a story about his role in the villain takeover or perhaps they did fight during the final battle and that gets a reference. The possibility to make the match more than physical was there for the taking and the comic book completely passed on it.
The overall story arc relies on the idea that Wolverine stopped being Wolverine because he was led to believe he was killing villains when in fact they were his fellow X-Men. The entire series hinges on convincing the audience that he couldn’t pop his claws again because he was never sure who or what he would be killing. This comic gives zero indication that Wolverine understands, without doubt, that his family is actually dead and that he is actually battling the Hulks. If he was just going to go berserk on the idea that his family was dead then he simply would have never stopped fighting back when he discovered all of the X-Men were dead. He would have kept fighting believing he could just never be sure. In the context of why Wolverine stopped fighting fifty years and why he decided to start fighting again, this story makes no sense. There needed to be a convincing reason to Wolverine that he wasn’t hallucinating again and that just wasn’t presented.
With all things considered this comic would have been a terrific one-shot if it were the only issue in the series. However, when stacked up with the rest of the arc, story wise and price wise, it disappoints and is out of place. If you like fighting then pick this up. It’s a stiff price but it could be worse. I found the resolution to the story to be lackluster and would have preferred it was just an issue of old Hulk fighting old Wolverine with no previous issues to the arc trying to lay down a coherent story. You can’t go wrong with the artwork though.
3.5 out of 5 geek goggles