This week, Wolverine has an all-new volume by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman (check out the review here) and the X-Man's in a pretty rough spot. He's suffered a big defeat and, to make matters even worse, he doesn't have his healing factor anymore. Seeing as the dude isn't exactly having the best week ever, we thought we'd reflect on his long history with Marvel and give praise to his "must read" stories and titles where he's had key moments. Well, we made a poll with a bunch of 'em and over 200 Viners have voted. The results are in and one relatively recent story sliced apart the competition: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's OLD MAN LOGAN!
Released back in 2009, this story is all about a bleak future where the villains have won and Wolverine has lost the will to fight. Having Logan refuse to pop his claws and give in to what the bad guys say is definitely a surprising approach and eventually, the shocking reason behind his new attitude is revealed. However, this book offers so much more than an interesting approach to Logan. The famous X-Man teams up with a now blind Hawkeye and they travel across this twisted and dangerous version of the United States. It's a read you simply won't want to put down. One Viner, specialmonkey7, decided to go above and beyond and made a terrific post explaining why they love Millar and McNiven's story.
"Old Man Logan" is, all things considered, the creme de la creme of Wolverine stories. Sure, the parallels to "The Dark Knight Returns" is there what with an aged main character forced to return to his super hero roots in the midst of a chaotic future but there is personality, there is depth and there is an overall greatness that Mark Millar exudes in his narrative that makes the reader acknowledge the "Dark Knight..." comparisons and still accept Old Man Logan as it's own monster.
We're first given Logan, a broken man, set in his ways, unwilling to fight even in the face of the strictest adversity. Now, from a Wolverine fan's perspective, seeing this character go from "The Best at What he Does" to "Do what you have to do but don't hurt my family" makes the reader realize just how much they don't know about this world. What happened to our berzerker raging canucklehead? Why won't he pop a claw on these freaky mutants?
Next, we're given the foil: Blind man Hawkeye needs Wolverine to accompany him across the wastelands of America with a mystery case to be delivered. So, we have a reluctant hero, the old friend in need, the down on their luck situation (Wolvie's gotta' find rent money before the inbred Hulk family that rents out his land comes a calling), and the general quest that will play out. Here, Mark Millar gives us a look at what kind of world we find ourselves in, where, somehow, the bad guys won and all of the good guys are either dead, retired or, in Hawkeye's case, horribly disabled. We get to see familiar faces, situations and ideas suddenly perverted, changed and utterly re-imagined in this disturbing world without a hero.
The quest alone of Wolverine and Hawkeye could pretty much keep you interested in a story such as this but, at the end of the day, its the realizations that come along about just why Wolverine is the way he is that truly become the crown jewels of the story. One of the main focuses Millar uses is the idea of loss and, in Logan's case, we get to see just how he lost pretty much everything that he was when he was a super hero. We see a man broken to his very core, unable to function in that same mindset being forced to become this peaceful farmer who only daydreams of letting the beast out again.
As I said, the quest to get the case across the broken Americas would be enough for a story but Millar gives us a shocker of an ending, showing that, no matter what you do, no matter how changed you think you may be, in the end, you have to acknowledge the beast within, embrace the monster and, when the world takes everything from you, show once again why you are "the Best at What you Do". That is the genesis of "Old Man Logan" and the genesis of everything that Wolverine is, making this the best Wolverine story ever written."
This storyline takes place in WOLVERINE #66-72 and concludes with WOLVERINE GIANT-SIZE OLD MAN LOGAN. There's also a trade available and, as you can tell, many people strongly recommend reading it. OLD MAN LOGAN took an impressive lead over the competition, but check out how the other stories fared below.
- Old Man Logan 32%
- Uncanny X-Force 15%
- Enemy of the State 10%
- Wolverine 8%
- Other (specify below) 7%
- Origin 5%
- Weapon X 5%
- Wolverine Origins 3%
- Astonishing X-Men 3%
- Days of Future Past 3%
- Fatal Attractions 3%
- Dark Phoenix Saga 2%
- Get Mystique 1%
- Kitty Pryde & Wolverine 1%
- New X-Men 1%
- Madripoor Knights 0%
- Vicious Circle 0%
Check back next Tuesday for an all-new Question of the Week. In the meantime, you're welcome to post question ideas below or some them to Gregg via Twitter.