Although Wolverine may be 'dead,' one of his most memorable incarnations lives on in a new series launching out of the all-rules-are-off Secret Wars.
Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino are reviving the end-times scenario of aged Wolverine and a land full of villains in the new Old Man Logan series debuting May 27. Based on the story-arc by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, this new series resets the "Old Man Logan" premise as one of the many lands in Secret Wars' Battleworld.
Can the self-imposed hermit who was once one of Marvel's preemminent heroes pull it together for one last run? Newsarama talked with series artist Andrea Sorrentino about depicting an grey-haired Wolverine, following after Steve McNiven, and how he's balancing the action with something more intimate.
Newsarama: Andrea, what made you sign up to do Old Man Logan?
Andrea Sorrentino: Oh well, I’d say there was no way I could ever say no to it, honestly. The original “Old Man Logan” story is one of my favorite Marvel stories ever and when editor Mike Marts come to me with the proposal to work on it; it was like Christmas had come early for me. Add in the fact that it would have been written by a superstar like Brian Michael Bendis, and you can imagine that I really couldn’t wait to start working on it.
As I said one other time, I’m working on my favorite take of one of my favorite Marvel characters, and I really can’t wait for the first issue to be out and hear readers’ comments.
Nrama: You're following in the footsteps of an artist with a very different rendering style but what I see as some similar framing choices in Steve McNiven. Comics aren't just about writing -- how has McNiven's work in the original "Old Man Logan" arc influencing you here?
Sorrentino: Let me start by telling you that I love Steve McNiven’s art. He’s the one that, with “Old Man Logan” (and more recently, Death of Wolverine) defined my image of the modern Wolverine some years ago (believe it or not, “Old Man Logan” is the first Wolverine solo story I ever read) so of course I feel the pressure of a possible comparison between his incredible work on the original story and mine.
Saying that, I think that with the very defined style McNiven brings to his stories, the only way to get out of this impasse was to simply aim for something different and try to bring my style to the story and create something new for the character.
Anyways, for those who’re waiting for some harsh, bloody action, it’s still there!
Nrama: How are you going about making Logan look sufficiently old enough without being too frail?
Sorrentino: I think it will be all in Logan’s behavior, talk and actions rather than in his actual look. See Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby and you’ll get what I mean. He can look old, but you know that he could probably still kick your ass if he wants. And our Logan is going to kick some serious ass, believe me!
Nrama: Besides Logan of course, what other Marvel characters in this are you looking forward doing a dystopian future version of?
Sorrentino: I’m not sure I can spoil much about the story, honestly, but there’s a female character on the main cover of Old Man Logan #1 that is a future version of a character many Marvel readers for sure know, and I’m curious about what the readers will think about her. Then we’ll have the always beautiful Emma Frost and a brand new version of Gladiator someone has probably seen in the preview pages Marvel showed some weeks ago.
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of what you’ll see inside the series… and that’s just in the first issue.
It’s also important to say that the story is pretty much integrated in the Secret Wars scenario so I think I can be safe to say that the Wasteland characters will not be the only ones that will cross through Logan’s path…
Nrama: How do you view Logan as "Old Man Logan" as opposed to his modern Wolverine persona in most comics?
Sorrentino: Actually, to me, any version of Logan is an Old Man Logan. Even in his ‘young’ version of 616 Universe he’s a man who lived for more than a century. Yeah, he forgot a part of it, but the scars, the horrors, the loss he lived are still right there hidden in his mind. That’s probably why I love the Old Man Logan concept so much; because it’s something I really consider the most sincere take on the character.
It’s not the rage or the feral nature of him that makes the difference; it’s the fact that he’s a survivor… a man that, despite how cruel the life has been with him, is keeping on the right path, and trying to change the world for the better.
Nrama: With every project, I notice you tweak your style a little or attempt to do something new -- especially when you jumped on Green Arrow, and now jumping to Marvel. What are you looking to improve on while doing Old Man Logan?
Sorrentino: For Old Man Logan I’m trying to make a step back to the moody side of my personality. That’s not to mean that you’ll not find a creative approach in terms of layouts or double spread pages (as it was in Green Arrow or in my last X-Men issues), but here ’m trying to apply everything to a more cadenced and paced storytelling.
It’s a way to try to reflect as it would probably be like to live in the Wastelands. Like a Coen Brothers movie, everything is slow paced; apparently calm yet a bit disturbing. And then everything explodes in a flurry, uncontrolled, brutal action.
Nrama: And last question -- why should readers pick up this book?
Sorrentino: Because it’s intimate, yet action packed. Because it gives you what is, in my opinion, the true essence of the man called Logan. Seriously, I was delighted when I read Brian’s script for the first time, so be sure to not miss it when it will hit the shelves last week of May!