Pound for pound, one of the best written Wolverine stories ever collected into one graphic novel. Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar, artwork by Steve McNiven which should not go overlooked here, is a dark and foreboding view of the future of the Marvel Universe. The storyline was originally told in Wolverine 66-72 and the one-shot Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size back in 2003. Well before the current Death of Wolverine storyline.
“…Nobody knows what happened on the night the heroes fell. All we know is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of all. Some say they hurt him like no one ever hurt before. Others say he just grew tired of all the fighting and retired to a simpler life. Either way, he hasn’t raised his voice or popped his claws in close to fifty years. His old friends would barely recognize him now…”
Fifty years have passed since the night the superheroes fell. The night when the super-villains figured out the one thing that kept them from winning. The one thing that kept them from defeating the heroes. Working together. As a team. As an army. All of them and on one fateful night they all attacked. They didn’t just want to defeat the heroes. They came to kill them. To eradicate them and then to divide what remained among themselves. In the West Coast, what had been California, Oregon and Washington, has become the domain of the Hulk and his inbred family. Here a farmer, a man named Logan, lives.
Logan is a pacifist, sworn to never unleash his claws again. But times are hard and the rule of the Hulks is brutal. Late on his rent he takes a horrific beating in front of his family and as he lies recuperating, his healing factor kicking in, an old friend comes around with a job. The drug dealing smuggler who had once been the Avenger Hawkeye. The Avenger is delivering a package across the country and needs a driver, because the once sharp shooting archer is now blind. For the money, Logan agrees on the condition that Clint understands that under no conditions will Logan fight. He is only doing it to take car of his family. Clint agrees.
The cross country road trip opens Logan’s eyes to the country he had turned his back on. The desolation wrecked upon the land by the tyranny of the super villains. But it is not only the land and people that brings Logan back, but the buried memory of what happened on the night the Heroes fell. On what happened to the X-Men. On what happened to the Wolverine.
But it is upon his return home that Logan learns an even more painful truth of what has happened to the world he now lives in. What it means to live under the tyranny of an evil ruler. What the Hulks and his old friend Bruce Banner are truly capable of.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan is a serious story of loss and guilt and how one man must learn to live with the mistakes he has made. And what happens when a peaceful man gets pushed too far. The story and artwork are a cross between a classic western and the Mad Max movies. It is bloody. It is stark. Its is soul rendering. It is a damn good story.
This is one not to be missed. If you think you know Wolverine, you don’t know Wolverine.