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Comic Book / The Wastelands

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"The Wastelands" (Earth-807128) is the setting of the comic book Old Man Logan, a Bad Future where supervillains united forced and killed all superheroes, turning the United States into a dystopia. The storyline was popular enough to later spawn a miniseries set during the Secret Wars (2015) event, an ongoing series set in the main Marvel universe, Old Man Hawkeye — a prequel set five years before the original story — and Old Man Quill, a miniseries focusing on what happened to Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy in this universe.

Late 2018 introduces the twelve-issue series Dead Man Logan, a Grand Finale where Logan's healing factor gives out on him, leaving him with twelve months to live, ensure his potential future is no longer a possibility for the Marvel Universe, and return to the Wastelands to rust in peace next to his late beloved wife.

A sequel/spinoff mini-series titled Avengers of the Wasteland began in early 2020, following Dani Cage, Bruce Jr. and Dwight Barret as the new Ant-Man, as they try to fight Doctor Doom and bring peace to the Wastelands.

It was announced that Marvel would make more related comics in December 2021. "The Wastelanders" will be a number of limited series, focused on Logan (a sequel to the first miniseries), Hawkeye (trained by Matt Murdock after he lost his sight), Doom, Starlord, and Black Widow.

Comics in the setting:

  • Old Man Logan: 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.
  • Old Man Logan (2015): In 2015, the storyline received a sequel as part of the Secret Wars crossover, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Andrea Sorrentino.
  • Old Man Logan (2016) A comic set in the 616 universe, with frequent flashbacks and references to the Wastelands.
  • Old Man Hawkeye: Prequel to Old Man Logan, starred by Hawkeye before he got blind, seeking revenge against the Thunderbolts.
  • Old Man Quill: Starred by Peter Quill, it shows us that things in the far outer space have not gone well either.
  • Dead Man Logan: A twelve-issue miniseries chronicling the final days of Old Man Logan.
  • Avengers of the Wastelands: The final comic in the setting, a final fight against Doctor Doom.
  • Wastelanders: Wolverine, released on December 1, 2021
  • Wastelanders: Hawkeye, released on December 8, 2021
  • Wastelanders: Star-Lord, released on December 15, 2021
  • Wastelanders: Doom, released on December 22, 2021
  • Wastelanders: Black Widow, released on December 29, 2021

These comics provide examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: Initially, the Logan seen in the 2015 Old Man Logan comic was the same version from the original, who's universe was designated as being Earth-807128. However as several differences and changes were made that conflicted with what was shown in the original comic, and Logan's later appearance in a Fantastic Four comic, this Logan was established as coming from a similar but distinct universe known as Earth-21923.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The basic premise is that the villains finally won in the old and distant uprising.
  • Comic-Book Time: The Wastelands were basically the same as the main Marvel Universe, until the point of divergence of the villain uprising. But exactly when in the timeline did it happen? The first series implied that it was during Civil War (2006). The 2016 series included Miles Morales amid a mountain of corpses in a flashback: Miles was created in 2011 in the Ultimate Marvel universe and moved to the main one in 2015. Old Man Quill and Avengers of the Wastelands introduced a survivor of the old days, Viv Vision (created in 2016).
  • Divided States of America: The villains took over the US and it got broken up into several pieces with the US being the original thirteen colonies.
  • Fallen Hero: Several of the surviving superheroes have become insane, including Multiple Man, who has become a gang of bandits who eventually fuse with the Venom Symbiote and then become feral. The biggest example is the Incredible Hulk, who has become a insane tyrannical landlord and patriarch of a group of gamma Hillbilly Horrors he sired with his cousin She-Hulk.
  • Fallen States of America: Since the villains took over, the US became a third world country, with poverty everywhere.
  • Great Offscreen War: The villain uprising took place several years in the past, and crafted the Wastelands as we see them. The uprising itself, however, is only seen in flashbacks.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The remaining superheroines and supervillainesses who were already Action Girl archetypes in the present day are still badass, even in old age, including Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Moonstone, Songbird, Emma Frost, Gamora, Mantis, Madame Masque, Elektra, and Black Widow (Yelena Belova). Enchantress averts this due to being an ageless Asgardian, and Viv Vision is also an aversion due to being an equally ageless robot.
  • Orcus on His Throne: The biggest Big Bad of all, the one who is behind them all is, of course, Doctor Doom. But he hardly did anything, or even appeared, during most of the comics. His first big appearance is in Old Man Quill, but it was always Madame Masque who got things going on (to the point that some fans initially suspected that Doom was dead and she was using a Doombot as a front). He only really started doing something at the end of that run and in Avengers of the Wastelands, the setting's finale.
  • President Evil: Many supervillains (and corrupt former heroes) have become tyrants, each ruling his/her own part of the United States.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The setting has always been a bleak and horrible place to live in. The villains won, and the very few heroes still standing can't do anything about it, just try to survive. This changed in Old Man Quill, with a huge setback for Doom, and Avengers of the Wastelands, where Doom kills all the villains before dying himself of cancer.
  • Twilight of the Supers: The Wastelands are all that is left after a truly apocalyptic and blood-soaked example of this trope.
  • Villain World: The Wastelands are a world where the villains have defeated the heroes and took over the world.
  • A World Half Full: It is an alternate universe where the villains won and most of the world's heroes were killed. That said, the efforts of Old Man Logan have not only led to the formation of a new team of Avengers but the evil overlords that took over the world were killed by Doom and the world is gradually moving towards a brighter, better future.