Overview

Wolverine #68

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Wolverine #68

Credits

  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: Steve McNiven
  • Inks: Dexter Vines
  • Colors: Morry Hollowell
  • Story Title: Old Man Logan: Part 3
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2008

The cross country mission for 500 dollars turns into something far more dangerous as Wolverine helps to rescue Hawkeye's daughter.

If some mad scientist were able to fuse together The Dark Knight Returns, Stephen King's Gunslinger, and the Clint Eastwood movie Unforgiven, the result would look something like Old Man Logan. 50 years after a so far unclear cataclysm that involved the great victory of several super-villains, the United States has been cut into several provinces ruled by warlord descendants of the various villains. The common people have been reduced to peasant farmers, oppressed by rents and taxes into relative serfdom. Hawkeye convinces Logan to drive him across country in a courier capacity in exchange for a good deal of money that Logan needs to satisfy his debts.

Three issues into the story arc and Logan is still refraining from entering the action. The driving force behind the plot is the mysterious event that so scared the ultra-violent hero into this state of frightened inaction. Hawkeye is transformed into a blind, but still incredibly effective killing machine, superhero ethics seemingly lost in this dystopian future. But Logan still awaits that inevitable moment when the inner beast will be unleashed on the unwitting denizens of the post-apocalyptic world. And the wait is tedious.

Introducing elements with connections to the current Marvel Universe, such as a green skinned gang of "Banners" or a Ghost Rider inspired motorcycle group is derivative and unoriginal. I suppose for some readers, this kind of familiar imagery with new characters will be the first time they are subjected to the idea, but it has been done and overdone so many times, that it is stale. Mark Millar is known for his sometimes outrageous concepts, but he doesn't go too deep in the well for this water.

And on a more personal, patriotic note, Canada seems to have been excluded from the disaster. Or at least not important enough to be included on a map which only has the United States. Only us Canucks would truly care I suppose, but Wolverine is a Canadian, so you'd think at least an effort would be made to include the world's second largest country in the future.

As uninspired as the story is, the artwork is fantastic. Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, and Morry Hollowell create the dustbowl-like United States and populate it with characters whose miles are really showing on them. As disturbing as the similarity between Hawkeye and Oliver Queen from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is in the writing, he's still a wonderful character to behold as rendered by the art team. It's a brutally gory tale, with a violent decapitation and some horrible arrow wounds. The one thing that would bring me back for the next installment is the legendary "snikt" of Wolverine's claws and the carnage that will no doubt ensue.

An artistic triumph, Old Man Logan is an epic dud. All the references to current continuity characters in the future cannot save it, and in fact make it all the more annoying as they seem thrown in for the "cool" factor. If you've been reading comics for even a couple of years, you've seen this before. There's no real need to see it again.

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