Spoilers ahead for this week's Old Man Logan #1.
Wolverine has always been a survivor, pulling through the worst the world can throw at him -- but this week's new Old Man Logan series, he's pushed to his limits. Scarred from the "Old Man Logan" arc of Wolverine and now carrying a new wave of trauma from Secret Wars's Old Man Logan series, Logan is put face-to-face with the world he lost as he enters the "All-New All-Different" Marvel Universe with writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino.
With Old Man Logan #1 on-stands now, Newsarama spoke to Lemire about his long-term plans for the guy who used to be the best there is at what he does, including how he plans to take on the list of people who wronged him in his past – which is also technically the Marvel Universe’s possible future.
Newsarama: Jeff, let’s set the stage for Old Man Logan. This version of Logan – not Wolverine, as he’s often quick to point out – is from a dystopian future. What lead to him living in the present, mainstream Marvel Universe?
Lemire: Logan was brought here during Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino's Secret Wars mini-series. What’s important is that when we meet him in this week's #1 he is very disoriented. He’s not sure where "here" is and things quickly escalate.
Nrama: When we join Logan in this issue, he’s just waking up in the present day, and a flashback to his time in the Wasteland sends him on a new mission to prevent his future. Will we see more of his time in the Wasteland as the series progresses?
Lemire: Absolutely. I felt there was still a lot of uncovered ground in the Wastelands. In the original Old Man Logan series there is a big gap between Logan being tricked into killing the X-Men and him starting a family. Those years in particular will be explored. I also want to explore Logan’s relationship with his wife and kids in the weeks leading up to the events of the original Mark Millar story as well. So we will continue to tell a story set in the present day Marvel Universe, but also see more of the Wasteland Tales to help give the present day stuff context and weight.
Nrama: Old Man Logan #1 takes place prior to his joining the team in Extraordinary X-Men, which you're also writing. How does he get from being the somewhat savage Logan we see here to the marginally kinder, gentler version in X-Men?
Lemire: That is part of the story I'm telling, so I don’t want to spoil it here. But we will indeed see exactly how Logan gets to where Storm and the X-Men find him in Extraordinary X-Men #1.
Nrama: Logan’s on a mission to take out the villains that orchestrated his dark future. He’s already killed the minor villain Black Butcher – will Old Man Logan stay relatively gritty, or is there some actual superheroing in the works?
Lemire: One of the things I love about Wolverine in general is that you can tell so many different kinds of stories with the character. You can do straight up super hero stuff, you can do action adventure, horror, thriller. So what I want to do in this series is keep the story arcs shorter and give each of them its own feeling and tone. This first arc will be four issues and will be a gritty revenge tale, then our second arc, titled “Bordertown” will be three issues and have more of a horror/thriller vibe.
After that...well, I can’t say what’s after that, but it's going to be really fun. That one will have a bit more of a super heroic feel.
Nrama: We’ve seen that Logan’s going to revive one of his oldest rivalries when he takes on the Hulk – but this isn’t the Hulk he knows. How will his relationship with Amadeus Cho differ from the one he had with Banner?
Lemire: You'll have to read Old Man Logan #2 to find out. Obviously this is not the Hulk Logan hates so much so how that will affect his mindset and his mission will be a big part of the arc. Old Man Logan vs. Totally Awesome Hulk was a lot of fun to write though, and Andrea did some really innovative things visually as well.
Nrama: From future solicits, we also know Logan will be reunited with Hawkeye, and in #4, he’ll encounter his “oldest friend.” Can you give us any hints about that?
Lemire: Well, as we saw in the original “Old Man Logan” story by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. Logan and Clint Barton have a lot of history. So when things get back for Logan, it seemed natural that he'd turn to his old buddy Clint for help. Of course, little does he know there are two Hawkeyes in the "All-New All-Different" Marvel Universe. So, that might not go quite as planned either.
Nrama: You’ve reunited with Andrea Sorrentino for Old Man Logan. You previously enjoyed a long run on Green Arrow together. How has your working relationship evolved since then?
Lemire: I think Andrea just keeps getting better. He is a restless artist. He likes to innovate and experiment and push himself so this work is the next step in his evolution as an artist for sure. He and I seem to have a great chemistry together. We are both very big fans of one another and push each other to do better work. I love working with him and am really thrilled to be back partnering with him.
Nrama: Was it providence that put you and Andrea back together, or was that a partnership you wanted to reprise?
Lemire: Knowing Andrea was involved with Old Man Logan is what attracted me to the project initially. I wanted to work with Andrea again from the minute we finished our last Green Arrow issue. But there was a little gap, as I was still with DC when he moved to Marvel. Then a young upstart writer named Brian Michael Bendis got a hold of Andrea, delaying our reunion even more. But finally things lined up. It was a not matter of “if” but “when” we would work together again.
Nrama: Once Logan’s cycled through his list of targets, will Old Man Logan catch up to Extraordinary X-Men?
Lemire: Who says he will cycle through the list? He may die in the Hulk fight. The series may only be two issues long. But if he does pull through, as I said, we will indeed see things line up with Extraordinary X-Men #1.
Nrama: What’s the long-term plan for Old Man Logan? At this point, he’s the only version of Logan actually running around – could he ever be convinced to become the Wolverine again?
Lemire: Laura/X-23 is Wolverine now, so there's no need for Old Man Logan to take up the name or costume again - which is great for him and for me. He gets to become something else, something new. He gets a fresh start. And I'm lucky enough to get to write that story!