Page 45 Review by Stephen
One of the satellite series to Marvel's 2015 SECRET WARS, consider this a tour guide to its environs, negotiated by someone who won't take no for an answer.
It's a sequel of sorts to Mark Millar & Steve McNiven's original OLD MAN LOGAN which, unlike this, is completely self-contained and highly recommended as the finest Wolverine solo series of all time.
It was set in an arid future where the heroes had lost with most of them dead, the villains had carved up America between them and something so traumatic had happened to Logan that he'd become a pacifist, refusing to pop his claws for anyone or anything. When you learn what that was, you will understand why. Half the fun was wondering - then discovering - what had become of those you once loved.
To a certain extent the same is true here, not in the Marvel Universe's future but in its alternate SECRET WARS incarnation composed of various composite domains all ruled over by Vicky von Doom, each playing out alternate versions of key Marvel crossovers from the past or whatever else the writers came up with. It's kind of difficult to explain, sorry.
"AT LEAST YOU TRIED, STEPHEN!" Thank you.
These domains are all walled off and trespassing from one to another is strictly verboten by the Doctor of Doom himself.
It is into this baffling environment that Logan wakes up after all that has happened to him in the original OLD MAN LOGAN. This is important as I'll try to explain for both now and later.
For the now: Logan has seen almost all his fellow X-Men die; other friends too. Yet here they are: different but alive if not very well. He travels from domain to domain. Now other versions of his former friends present themselves and if you think you're getting a headache, imagine that you're Logan encountering all this for yourself. His mates are equally flummoxed for this appears to be the Logan they knew and yet he has aged.
Just like the original, this is a journey. I liked that: it was in keeping.
It's also completely incomprehensible if you haven't read the 2015 SECRET WARS which we hope to have for you shortly as a collected edition.
What I admired regardless was Sorrentino's lines and Maiolo's colours.
The sound effects for a start are an integral part of the art, fusing sound and vision into a single sensory experience worthy of Dave Sim himself in CEREBUS. Its visuals come steeped in the shadow of Jae Lee on Paul Jenkins' INHUMANS, though it's closer in colour and texture to his more neo-Gothic outing in Grant Morrison's FANTASTIC FOUR 1234. Both of those come highly commended as singularly eloquent, self-contained superhero graphic novels.
Moreover, some of the sequences are presented with Jim Steranko flourishes, like Logan's assault on a gambling den of child-thieves, the lights going on / off in swift, staccato succession as if there were a strobe in the room. The figures fighting are lit up in stark black and white against a blood-orange background then each narrow window is brush-flecked in blood.
Blood. There is an awful lot of blood, but then this is a Wolverine comic so, you know...
I also adored the colours by Marcelo Maiolo which on occasions look like you're travelling through a zoo's tropical nocturnal house whilst under the influence of LSD.
For the later: this leads directly into the reconstituted Marvel Universe on the other side of SECRET WARS. Why is this important? As far as his friends are concerned, Logan died in the DEATH OF WOLVERINE. But albeit ancient and battered and having endured the events of the original OLD MAN LOGAN, Wolverine is back. How on Earth will he fit in? Find out in OLD MAN LOGAN #1 due in January 2016.
This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the befuddled.