Dead Man Logan #1
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Henderson and Nolan Woodard
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
It’s time to close the casket on Old Man Logan in the prime Marvel Universe, and Ed Brisson and Mike Henderson are more than up for the task. Comic book superheroes rarely get the chance to have legitimate endings, but Brisson has built towards a possible end with his work on Old Man Logan and he gets the chance to execute it here. Logan is dying, but there’s one last thing he has to do before he goes: kill Mysterio. Henderson is onboard to revisit the character he last worked on in Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan, and despite the severity of the situation, he’s able to effectively punch up the humor alongside the action beats in the script. It might be odd to call a character’s curtain call “fun,” but that’s what Brisson and Henderson have cooked up here, bub.
On some level, killing Mysterio seems like the only way to end Old Man Logan’s story. The villain is representative of Logan’s greatest failure as a hero, even if the supposed time for Mysterio's deception has come and gone. The way Logan sees it, if Mysterio’s alive, it's only a matter of time before he tricks someone into committing the atrocities that Logan inflicted on his own friends. But I like the way Brisson goes about seeding this story out, adding enough levity to keep this script from becoming a dour revenge story. Logan’s assault on the Bar with No Name, for example, is fairly measured compared to his past berserker tendencies, as one villain bemoans that this is the third time the bouncer has been knocked out this week.
More than anything, the supporting cast does a lot to flesh out the emotional stakes of the story. Glob Herman’s genuine care and respect for Logan comes through immediately, even if he’s one of the goofiest looking characters in the Marvel Universe. He doesn’t want to lose his hero. And given his grisly demise in Mark Millar’s original series, Hawkeye’s inclusion gives the book a real sense of finality. We’ve seen something like this before and repeating the refrain gives the story weight.
Henderson does his part, too. Obviously, this book isn't going to have the Looney Tunes-esque slapstick feel of Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan, but the artist’s rendering of Glob Herman alone is good for a few laughs no matter what the character is doing. Henderson has a knack for good character work and we see it repeatedly throughout the issue with Glob, Logan and Mysterio, even as his work with Miss Sinister really falls flat. Henderson doesn’t lean into to the glamorously evil excess that defines Mister Sinister with his design, and so we’re left with what looks like an Emma Frost/Sinister mashup cosplay in ill-fitting clothes. But overall, good expression work pulls some of Brisson’s less necessary dialogue work through and makes the beginning of this ending look pretty good.
A lot of your enjoyment of this title will hinge on your feelings about Brisson as a writer. His own personal quirks are fully on display here and when they work (i.e. a side-splitting Glob Herman/Forge scene), they’re streets ahead of the duds (i.e. “Really? Was ‘Lady Bad Guy’ already taken?”). Henderson delivers some really solid cartooning that for the most parts weaves together well with the script he’s been given. It’s strange that a book like this doesn’t feel like more of an event, but readers looking for a conclusion to four years of Old Man Logan appearances will almost definitely find something they like here.