Wolverine 66 Review
Wolverine 66 review by Hugo Bravo
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
Cover Art by Michael Turner
With his epic villain miniseries Wanted on the big screen by the time you read this, Kick-Ass about to start filming before the first arc is even over, and his writing duties for Marvel, Mark Millar might be the busiest man in comics today. Like Geoff Johns in DC, he has a deep understanding of what makes the characters in their respective universes tick. He understands heroes so well, in fact, he can effortlessly put them in new and strange surroundings and make a convincing, entertaining storyline whether in continuity or not. Millar made Captain America go against the U.S. government in Civil War, and turned the Man of Steel into a Stalin-worshipping communist in one of the best Superman stories ever, Red Son.
Which brings us to Wolverine: Old Man Logan. Reteaming with artist Steve McNiven, the artist who made Marvel's Civil war such a treat to the eyes, Mark Millar takes us 50 years into the future, where the heroes have all mysteriously disappeared, and the country is divided into territories owned by Doom, the Kingpin, and others. Living in the desert of Sacramento, Logan is now a family man, and has denounced his past life, lying to his children when they inquire about his days as Wolverine. Knowing that he still has the ability to dish out the pain he used to, he feels guilt over what the world has become, and willingly takes the beatings when his family can't afford rent to his landlords, the Hulk's inbred offspring.
Mark Millar borrows (sometimes heavily) from movies like Unforgiven and crafts what could be the best future Wolverine tale to date. The story sets a road trip up with Logan and a fellow Avenger to a brand new Marvel Universe, and Millar is kind enough to provide a map of this new North America, with town names that will stir up the curiosity of any reader. McNiven's character designs are, as always, flawless. Logan has aged gracefully; with his faced scarred, his short hair and sideburns completely whitened, this may be the best that Wolverine has ever looked. The most notable character design, by far, are the grandchildren of Bruce Banner. There always seems to be design problems when the Hulk persona is implemented on other beings. Anyone who saw the first Hulk movie will undoubtedly remember how ridiculous the "Hulk poodles" looked. Here, these three hicks look excellent and downright intimidating. Riding around in the Fantastic 4's old means of transportation (spray painted "Gone and 4Gotten"), this trio is what the Hulk's offspring should look like. Take a look at the hideous female of the "greennecks", with her yellow stained teeth and a Hulk baby suckling at her chest. Never has ugly looked so pretty.
What is it about stories that place characters in bleak futures that have such appeal to readers? Stories like The Dark Knight Returns, Silver Surfer: Requiem and Spider-Man: Reign had great success by showing the hero at his futuristic worst. It's too early to tell if Old Man Logan will be added to that list, but Millar and McNiven are off to a fantastic start. They have set the groundwork for what could be a classic 12-issue run, accessible enough for new readers, but also for old ones who will undoubtedly be curious to know what happened to Wolverine to have him turn into a shell of his former self.