Comic Book / Old Man Logan

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Old Man Logan is the name of a Marvel Comics storyline written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, featuring Wolverine and set in an Alternate Universe/Bad Future. The storyline was popular enough to later spawn a miniseries set during the Secret Wars (2015) event, and an ongoing series set in the main Marvel universe.

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     Original Storyline 

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Get ready for the ride of your life.

The original storyline is an eight-chapter story written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, set in an Alternate Universe/Bad Future where the villains of the Marvel Universe took over the United States and divided it up into territories. A now pacifist Logan lives with his new family in "Hulkland" (formerly, The Abomination's Territory, formerly California) where the inbred children of an evil Hulk are the lords of the land. Logan is short on the rent, and must team up with a now blind Hawkeye to deliver a mysterious cargo in order to help keep his Landlords from killing him and his family.

Hugh Jackman has suggested that the storyline is going to be used as the basis for the third Wolverine movie - although, given that the story greatly relies upon story elements that Fox does not own the film rights to, the movie will almost certainly be a Pragmatic Adaptation.


Tropes:

  • Affirmative Action Legacy: The new Spider-Girl is Ashley Barton, the mixed-race daughter of Hawkeye. Also the new Kingpin is black.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Hulk Gang, most notably Luke.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Logan adopts the Hulk's infant grandchild in the end as his sidekick.
  • Bad Future: Like you wouldn't believe. Nearly all of the superheroes are dead, and the villains rule America.
  • Badass Grandpa: Hawkeye, Wolverine, Black Bolt, Red Skull, and Bruce Banner.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wolverine wears one for only one panel, but it's one badass panel.
  • Bar Brawl: Defied by Logan, who is in no mood to deal with the idiots trying to pick a fight.
    Bar Jerk "Well excuse us, ladies. I didn't realize tonight was..." *tackled by Logan*
    Logan "Go ahead, Bub. Just try to make a joke!"
  • Big Damn Heroes: Black Bolt saves Wolverine and Hawkeye by shouting at a Venom-possessed T-Rex.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hawkeye's daughter becomes the new Kingpin, and he later gets killed when his delivery turns out to be a sting. And Logan's family have been killed by the Hulk Gang, but on a positive note the Hulk Gang and Red Skull are dead, and Wolverine is forming an Avengers team. If Old Man Logan does become the Hooded Man that appears in a Fantastic Four miniseries (as is heavily implied), then the future looks even better.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: You would think that Hawkeye being blind now would hamper his ability to shoot arrows. You'd be wrong.
    Hawkeye "That's right, bitches. Just keep making noises!"
  • Bloodier and Gorier: A lot of it.
  • Book Ends: For Wolverine overall. He was first introduced in an issue of Incredible Hulk, facing off with the titular green giant. This (possible) finale of his story and character development ends with him facing off against the Hulk and his inbred gang.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When Wolverine fights in the Red Skull's trophy room, the two use his collection of superhero relics.
  • Broken Hero: The reason Logan hasn't popped his claws in fifty years? "They broke me, Bub." They really, really did.
  • Cannibal Clan: You'll notice the Hulk Gang's food of choice is human limbs.
  • Canon Immigrant: Old Man Logan was introduced in a stand-alone storyline, and was later introduced into the mainstream Marvel Universe during Secret Wars.
  • Car Fu: "It's the Spider-Buggy, dude. She can take her share of knocks."
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: Wolverine and the Red Skull fight in a room full of trophies taken from dead superheroes. The latter wields Black Knight's sword, while Wolverine uses Captain America's shield and pieces of Iron Man's armour.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Without the hat. The Red Skull now always wears Captain America's mask, often combined with his Badass Longcoat.
  • Cool Old Guy: It's not called Old Man Logan for nothin'.
  • Corrupt Hick: The Hulk Gang counts as this very much, even though they are located in California. The Hulk himself is the corrupt hick leading them and in charge of a territory called Hulkland. They are violent and quite murderous, considering how they murdered Logan's family and left the bodies unburied while he was busy trying to pay off a debt he owed them. Why? Because they got bored. They are a family of cannibals. Oh, and they are also inbred, because Hulk raped his own cousin Jennifer more than once to form the Hulk Gang!
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of issue 2 shows Hammer Falls as being Thor's hammer surrounded by the costumed bodies of other heroes defeated there. In the actual issue it's just Thor's hammer, and most other heroes' remains are later shown to be in Red Skull's trophy room.
  • Crapsack World: Brought to you by President Red Skull! Not much is said about the world outside of the USA, but Red Skull implies that it's even worse off.
  • Creepy Child: Dwight, the boy with the Ant-Man helmet who threatens death by ants for those who don't pay his bridge toll. Logan thinks it's a joke, but the bones at the bottom of the chasm prove otherwise.
  • Day of the Jackboot: The Red Skull has turned his section of the former U.S. (the east coast) into this, with a dash of Big Brother Is Watching for good measure.
  • Death by Cameo: Punisher and Daredevil, albeit as legacy characters.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Logan named his son Scotty, after his deceased team-mate.
  • Death by Irony: Logan offs Red Skull with Captain America's shield, despite the fact that it's original owner has been dead for the last 50 years.
  • Dug Too Deep: Moloids have become a not uncommon problem, as the subterranean dwellers have started digging up to the surface in order to get away from the things they awoke when they invoked this trope. Presumably, some heroes (probably the Fantastic Four) would have gone on an adventure to the Inner Earth and solved the problem for the Moloids when it started, but they were all, you know, dead...
  • Enfant Terrible: Dwight, who uses the Ant-Man helmet to extort a fare for crossing a bridge. Anyone who doesn't pay gets devoured by ants.
  • Evil All Along: Ashley Barton, the granddaughter of Spider-Man turns out to be as evil as her father thought she was and just wanted to kill the Kingpin so that she could replace him.
  • Evil Old Folks: Bruce Banner, Red Skull, Dr Doom and really any of the original supervillains who are still ruling.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: It's safe to assume a lot of this goes on. After all, there's a different Kingpin now who apparently didn't have much trouble killing Magneto.
    • Bitch got old.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Bruce Banner.
  • Fallen States of America: Life in Bad Future America is miserable in various degrees, with the most "well-off" being those living under the Red Skull's Nazi shadow.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: What the villains did to Wolverine on the day they took over: Mysterio created illusions to trick Wolverine into killing the entire X-Men team under the belief they were supervillains. Wolverine wanders in a Heroic B.S.O.D. for days before committing figurative suicide by train.
  • Feudal Future: Of sorts. While the Red Skull is technically the one in charge, in practice he and the other villains divided up America among themselves, with President Red Skull himself taking direct rule over the East Coast.
  • Glory Days: Pretty much all the remaining heroes can do to cope is to reminisce
  • Great Offscreen War: We don't see much of America's fall, apart from when Red Skull kills Cap.
  • Handicapped Badass: Hawkeye is now blind. He still kicks ass.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ultron went from genocidal robot to friendly car mechanic and father figure.
  • He's Back: "The name isn't Logan, bub. (DOUBLE PAGE SNIKT!) It's Wolverine."
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Even in the future, this is still Logan's preference, as evident by his wife.
  • Hope Spot: Discussed and Invoked, separately. Discussed that, while crossing through South Dakota, Logan brings up that even after all these years, Reed and Sue Richards are still unnacounted for. While he admits that the information me be less than trustworthy note , Logan argues that, if this were true, there may be a chance they could come back and fix everything. Hawkeye dismisses it, pointing out it's a little late for this. Invoked in Hammer Falls, Nevada. Thor's Hammer has become a sort of religious/tourist hotspot, a la Mecca. President Skull tolerates it only because of the revenue it produces to the economy. Hawkeye points out that the people crowding around pray to Mjolnir for the hope that the heroes might one day come back. For most of them, hope is all they have left.
    • Played straight with Hawkeye at two points as well. When he learns that his daughter went off to overthrow the new Kingpin, he assumes that his old war stories inspired her to free the people. After she kills the Kingpin, Ashley reveals that she was taking control of the area, and Wolverine's intervention was the only thing that stayed Hawkeye's execution. Secondly was near the halfway point, when Logan and Hawkeye finally arrive at New Babylon, it turns out the delivery was a briefcase with 99 vials of the super soldier serum. Hawkeye demanded a vial for himself, and a spot on the inner circle. Turns out it was a sting by S.H.I.E.L.D., and Hawkeye is quickly executed for his efforts.
  • Incest Is Relative: The Hulk Gang's descended from Bruce and his cousin, She-Hulk.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Logan has some uncharitable thoughts about the Hulk Gang.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Emma Frost's reason for marrying her husband, Doctor Doom.
  • Just Eat Him: Bruce tries that with Logan. Apparently, he forgot the Healing Factor.
  • Killed Off for Real: Before the story starts nearly all of the heroes are dead, including all of the X-Men, as are several villains including the original Kingpin, Magneto (by the second Kingpin), the Abomination and Loki.
    • In story, Red Skull, the second Kingpin, Hawkeye, Bruce Banner, Logan's family, and most of the Hulk Gang.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Played straight with the Hulk Gang, which is made up of Hulk's inbred offspring, but averted when it comes to mutants. Apparently, mutants in this continuity weren't the promised next stage in human evolution, just a "brief genetic anomaly". Notably, Logan's children lack a Healing Factor.
  • Legacy Character: Peter Parker's granddaughter, who becomes Spider-Girl and the third Kingpin. Her allies Punisher and Daredevil are probably not the originals too.
    • The Ghost Riders are a biker gang with skulls painted on their faces and flaming wheels on their bikes.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Logan was really trying to hold back his Berserker Rage for most of the arc since it led to his greatest failure...then they killed his family. The remainder of the comic goes to show why you shouldn't piss off the Wolverine.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Black Bolt makes an appearance.
  • Master of Illusion: Mysterio (duh) plays an important role in the story. Also Emma Frost looks good for her age.
    Logan I don't get it, how come you're still so young?
    Emma I'm the most powerful psychic in the world, Logan. Even this place isn't as pretty as it looks.
  • Meaningful Name: The area known as "Pym Falls". Also Logan's son Scotty.
    • Likewise, one guess as to what is at Hammer Falls
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Venom. Symbiote. Bonded. With. a Freaking. T. Rex.
  • No Doubt The Years Have Changed Me: Most of the remaining super heroes of the old days aren't what they used to be, and neither are some of the villains. Double subverted with Emma Frost, who appears the same age, but is actually using her telepathy to hide her aging. Averted with Red Skull; he hasn't changed a bit.
  • Noodle Incident: Hawkeye doesn't bother giving any context to the strange or awe-inspiring remains of the Great Offscreen War.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Who was the one who broke Logan and effectively destroyed the X-Men? Fucking Mysterio. And it's implied it wasn't even the original, but the third.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: So many from the war the villains won. Highlights include Magneto and Absorbing Man killing Thor, and a giant-sized Loki somehow being crushed under the Baxter building a few thousand miles away from its New York address! Hawkeye even lampshades the latter one.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Spider-Girl takes off the second Kingpin's head with a shotgun handle.
    • Also how Logan finishes off the Red Skull, with Cap's shield no less.
  • Oh Crap!: Hulk when he remembers that one of Logan's mutant abilities is regeneration after eating him. Needless to say, it did not end well for Hulk.
  • Old Superhero: Wolverine, Hawkeye.
  • President Evil: The Red Skull
  • Putting on the Reich: The parts of America under the Red Skull's direct rule as "President" are a twisted, futuristic take on the Third Reich.
  • The Quiet One: Black Bolt, for obvious reasons.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: One of Daredevil's eyes glows red.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The codename given for Peter Parker's granddaughter: Spider-Bitch.
  • Retired Badass: Logan has given up on heroics and taken a vow of pacifism, spending his days raising livestock with his family. The loss of that family sees him come out of retirement.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After the Hulks kill Logan's family for fun, you could expect this to be the only outcome. Bruce seems to have invoked this trope to have a good fight again because Victory Is Boring
  • Rushmore Refacement: The Red Skull added himself.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    Red Skull: Don't make me laugh. You haven't got the guts. (Wolverine decapitates him)
  • Stronger with Age: Bruce Banner can now wield some of the Hulk's strength without transforming. The Hulk seems to have weakened a bit though, if Wolverine can kill him by clawing out of his stomach.
  • Superpowerful Genetics:
    • The Hulk gang all have weakened versions of Bruce's powers.
    • Spider-Man's granddaughter has also at least inherited some Super Strength.
  • Super Serum: The contents of Hawkeye's package. Ninety-nine vials of it, in fact.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Logan adopts the policy, and it's eventually explained why (see Not-So-Harmless Villain).
  • Tragic Villain: How Bruce turned evil in the first place. When California was bombed, the gamma radiation warped Bruce's mind and drove him mad as a result.
  • That Man Is Dead: After Wolverine finds out he murdered the X-Men, he runs for a railroad track and lets a train run over him. Since adamantium skeleton and healing factor are still there, he's still alive, but he considers himself dead.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When the Hulk Gang kill Logan's family. He proceeds to unleash hell on them.
  • Trophy Room: The President's Office is adorned with items taken from fallen super heroes (Captain America's shield, Iron Man's armor, Spider-Man's mask, etc.)
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The Venom symbiote found a new host.
  • Villain World: The villains, together, have conquered the world, killing most of the heroes in the process and splitting America (known as "Amerika") into sectors for each villain in charge.
  • Wolverine Claws: It's a given, but they don't get shown for most of the main story.


     Miniseries 

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Over the wall...
In 2015, the storyline received a sequel as part of the Secret Wars (2015) crossover, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Andrea Sorrentino. Living in his own Battleworld domain following the events of the original story, trying to bring law to the people, Logan's life is upended when an Ultron head falls out of the sky. Feeling a need to investigate, Logan scales the wall separating his domain from the others, and from there on, things only get weirder.


The second series contains examples of:

  • Author Appeal: Danielle Cage, the daughter of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, makes an appearance, despite not being mentioned in the previous storyline at all. This is probably because Bendis has a well-known love for the two characters and created Danielle.
  • Continuity Snarl: In the first issue, Logan specifically refers to the Thors, the police force of Battleworld. But in the next, he doesn't know what the Thors are.
  • Fish out of Water: Logan's journeys into Apocalypse's domain have a hint of this, since while he's experienced that kind of stuff before, he's out of practice. A more straight-up example when he visits Iron Man's domain.
  • Killed Off for Real: Emma Frost, by the Punishers. Wolverine even carries a conversation with their ghost, shortly before the reveal that they've been dead for presumably weeks...
  • Wolverine Claws: Logan's not shy about using them anymore.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Issue 2's cover depicts Old Man Logan fighting a version of Wolverine (almost all characters from Secret Wars (2015) are just versions of the original) who looks exactly like the mainstream incarnation. That Wolverine appears nowhere in the issue, nor does Logan meet any other Wolverine. So yes, it technically counts because the cover lies to us about the amount of Wolverines.
  • You Killed My Father: The Gladiator's son's motivation for shooting at Logan. Logan says he did the kid a favour, and says if the kid is still pissed when he's an adult, he can find Logan and they'll finish things.

     Ongoing Series 

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Some things have changed...

After finding himself in the mainstream Marvel Universe, and finding that his past has not come to fruition, Logan is left to his own devices. He appears in both Extraordinary X-Men and his own Old Man Logan ongoing, both written by Jeff Lemire. Old Man Logan will feature art by Lemire's previous Green Arrow collaborator, and returning Old Man Logan artist Andrea Sorrentino.


The third series provides examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Storm implies she still has feelings for Logan, but he doesn't seem to feel the same. In his timeline, which is basically the same as regular Logan's until a big after Civil War, he and Storm were never a couple.
  • Anti-Hero: Logan, to incredible degrees. He kills a no-name villain for something he didn't even do, and outright admits that the guy wouldn't have amounted to anything if the villains never rose up.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Because Old Man Logan is set immediately after Secret Wars, but the rest of All-New All-Different is set eight months later, that Logan's attempts to hunt down Bruce Banner, Mysterio, and Red Skull in the first arc will fail was spoiled before Old Man Logan's first issue was even released. Logan is ultimately told this in issue #4 when Old Man Steve Rogers shows Logan the grave of the mainstream Wolverine and tells him that this isn't his future.
  • Fish out of Water: Is not used to the world. It's less harsh than he's used to, never mind it being completely different than what he remembers.
  • How We Got Here: The first arc of Old Man Logan sets up the stage for his encounter with the X-Men over in Extraordinary.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Logan seeks out the young Maureen of the main Marvel universe, in order to protect her from the hardships his Maureen experienced as a child. In the end he actually draws trouble to her when Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers follow him to her home in an attempt to kill him.
  • Retcon:
    • Some very clear ones from the original story, which had the villains rise up a few years after Civil War.
    • In flashback, we see Sam Wilson's Captain America uniform on display in the desert. However, the original story very specifically shows that Bucky was Captain America when the villains rose up.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • Logan's main goal is to prevent the villain uprising. While Logan eventually works out that this isn't exactly the past he remembers, he's still set on making sure his future never comes to fruition. One of the first things on his list? Killing the Hulk, believing that it's Bruce Banner when the Hulk at the time is Amadeus Cho. However, eventually Steve Rogers talks out of it.
    • However, he does resolve to protect Maureen, his future wife, from any crap happening to her. Oops.
  • Shaggy Dog Story:
    • The first arc in general. Logan sets out to kill the villains who destroyed his world, and he specifically targets Banner, Mysterio, and Red Skull. However we already know Logan is Failure Is the Only Option by other All-New All-Different books, so essentially nothing he does in the first arc matters.
    • The second arc as well. Logan goes to live in the town where his future wife Maureen grew up. He knows they can never be together, but he's willing to make sure nothing bad ever happens to her... and its his presence that draws the Reavers to the town and lead tot hem slaughtering civilians.
  • Shout-Out: There's a reference to The Dark Knight Returns in the first issue. Logan jumps from a rooftop, with lightning striking behind him, making a silhouette of him pouncing.
  • Status Quo Is God: Lady Deathstrike falls victim to this in issue 7. The last time she appeared in the books was in The Logan Legacy and its spinoff, Wolverines. In the former she made her peace with Logan, and even undertook a mission in his name to recover the Honor Blade of Clan Yashida after it was stolen by Yakuza. In the latter she entered into a relationship with Shogun, grew conflicted over the nature of her feelings for his two personalities, and began demonstrating actual complexity. However when she resurfaces in Old Man Logan, all of that development was discarded and Deathstrike reverted to a vicious psychopath hunting Logan down merely because he existed.
  • Trapped in Another World: While Logan is stuck in the past, it's not the past of the timeline he came from.

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