Written By Desi LaSalle
In November of 1974, artist Herb Trimpe and Writer Len Wein, with the help of artist John Romita Sr., created a character for The Incredible Hulk #181 that would be known as ‘Wolverine’. Little did they know just how popular and iconic this mutant superhero would become! Afterwards he would join the superhero group known as ‘The Uncanny X-Men’. Wolverine would reach levels of fame that no one dreamed of, becoming Marvel’s most popular mutant character. Who knew he would become part of a mutant team that acted as the number one comic in sales for many, many years. Wolverine was visually stunning with an equally fantastic costume, including adamantium claws, a healing factor, enhanced senses, a violent look, a mysterious origin and a very bad attitude. In the pages of The Uncanny X-Men artist, John Byrne, not only developed Wolverine’s character masterfully, but still to this day, performed the greatest artwork on wolverine that I have ever seen since I started reading comics. The name ‘Spider-Man’ is synonymous to Marvel Comics, but there was a time when Wolverine was Marvel Comics too. Fans simply just couldn’t get enough of him. Wolverine’s first and greatest solo limited series was produced in 1982 by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. It remains a timeless classic that took the Wolverine character to new heights.
All through the 1980s and 90s, Wolverine could be found guest starring in virtually every Marvel comic book title. A new violent type of hero, the beast would kill his enemy if it it came to it. Wolverine would constantly struggle internally to control his berserker rage. When he wasn’t fighting, he would drink beer and smoke a cigar in his down time. Years later, little by little, we would also discover his true origins. He was a soldier, a samurai, a spy, a member of the mutant super team Alpha Flight of Canada, joined The Avengers and eventually the X-Men, X-force and Xaviers School of gifted youngsters. Quite a list. Eventually due to overexposure, both in comics and in the X-Men movies, Wolverine would lose some his luster to such characters as Deadpool, Gambit and Venom. Yet, just when you think that you have seen and read everything that you possibly can in regards to Wolverine, Marvel has come back to the character recently with a new series titled Old Man Logan, brought to us by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino.
This gem of a series, that I highly recommend you pick up immediately, is not only one of Marvels best selling series right now, but has also become a breath of fresh air and given new life for the character. Its premise is of a time displaced Logan who no longer calls himself Wolverine. The series takes place in a alternate reality, different to our own, in which the Marvel Universe villains have banded together and rid the world of heroes. This superior gang of villains is led by a family of hillbilly Hulks, fathered by Bruce Banner, that slaughter everything and everyone in their path, including now retired Logan’s wife and children. Logan’s best friend in this reality is the former Avenger, Hawkeye. Clint is murdered in cold blood right before his eyes in this new ‘Hulk Gang dominated’ reality, then mysteriously Logan finds himself in the present, in another reality where these events have not yet happened (welcome back to the 616 universe). As a result of his experience, Logan becomes hellbent on preventing that particular future from coming to pass again.
Old Man Logan has been a very enjoyable read, with a great story-line packed with endless possibilities, good art and proves just how you can reinvigorate a character that you, as a reader, thought that there was no other direction in which he could be taken. In modern terms, you could say that Wolverine has been ‘refreshed’ and I for one am enjoying one hell of a ride and one hell of a read, check it out! You are missing out on a very good comic book. Enough said!