LOGAN’S RUN LAST DAY #1
Writer: Paul Salamoff; plots by William Nolan, Jason Brock and Salamoff
Artist: Daniel Gete
Available: February 03, 2010As perhaps the only member of the Newsarama team who (deep breath) read William Noland and George Clayton Johnson’s original book; saw the 1976 movie in the theatre; watched the TV show (most of you have mercifully forgotten about that one, but not I;) stalked the quarter bins for the forgotten seven-issue comic series put out by Marvel (George Perez! Klaus Janson!); and even hunted down an eccentric series in the British TV magazine Look-In, I am in a unique position to review this new book.
That position is: Obsessed, monomaniacal Logan’s Run fan. (In fact, I leapt so quickly at the chance to review this book that I think I trampled Michael Lorah.)
Why Logan’s Run? I don’t know. Some of you love Star Wars, some of you collect lunch boxes: I happen to adore a mildly campy genre book that has somehow enjoyed a greater afterlife than it ever truly deserved. I know that Logan’s Run isn’t Jules Verne. It’s not even Blake’s Seven. I still love it. Sue me.
But: I have to mention all this because that means this review is completely tainted by critical bias. If that bothers you, stop reading now.
For those of you who don’t know the mise-en-scene: In the near future, the human race lives in mega-cities run by a sentient computer. Population control is draconian: You’re bumped off as soon as you hit 21. Those who don’t willingly report for Sleepshop are hunted down and terminated by the Sandmen. Logan 6, the anti-hero of the book, is the best of these killers — yet will soon be tempted to run himself.
This new comic book starts exactly where the original novel and the movie did, with a quick review of who and what Logan is, but in the comic book, we get to see a bit of a flashback to just how much attention the society’s computer paid to young Logan in his training to become a serial, cold-blooded killer.
This is a departure that opens up some other threads I hope will be explored later on — in the movie and other spin-off media, the Thinker has been played as the straight genre mad-computer; perhaps after seeing what Joss Whedon did on the X-Men with the Danger Room, Nolan and Salamoff were inspired to give the machine a bit more complex backstory.
The writing is pretty taut and immersive, making the book a speedy yet satisfying read. A lot of this is due to Salamoff: He’s a long-time horror and sci-fi movie writer and effects man with at least 40 film credits. While he’s a newcomer to comics, his dialogue is snappy and tense, as well as professional.
As for the art — well, Bluewater’s books, in general, haven’t really found the mark yet on that score. It isn’t going to make you forget Perez and Janson’s run on the short-lived Marvel book… unless, uh, you already did. (Note to Marvel: Reprint this one.) Having said that, this isn’t a bad-looking book; based on what I’ve seen, I think it’s the best looking one from the studio yet. Daniel Gete’s art is serviceable and crisp, and looks as good in black and white as it does in colour.
Bottom line: I loved it. And I hope that those of you folks who don’t have the crippling Logan’s Run-related issues I do will enjoy it as well. As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t world-changing literature. But it is a sturdy example of the genre, and it’s a lot of fun.