Welcome to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly column that answers the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?” This week there are five X-Books on the stands, which will cost you a total of $20 to buy and, thanks to modern decompression techniques, take roughly ten minutes to read (if you read slowly). If that seems like a waste of time and money, you can keep your money by reading our recaps for free. We make no promises about the use of your time, however.
On stands this week are Weapon X #14, X-Men Blue #21, Despicable Deadpool #294, Cable #154, and Old Man Logan #35.
Old Man Logan #35
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Ibraim Roberson
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover: Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin
This is the second part of Moon over Madripoor, which sees Logan in Madripoor with his dead-but-now-alive ex-girlfriend, Mariko Yashida, who was resurrected by The Hand as The Scarlet Samurai. They’re chasing down a healing factor drug called Regenix, and in the course of a battle in the last issue, Logan’s healing factor was overcome and he collapsed.
The issue opens up with Logan on the floor, waiting for his healing factor to kick in, while Mariko fights the Hand. Hand leader Gorgon is also on the floor. Gorgon gets to his feet first and challenges Mariko. Gorgon grabs Logan and tells Mariko to surrender or the Wolverine gets it. Logan tells her not to listen. In a rare twist on this cliche, Mariko agrees. So Gorgon stabs Logan through the chest with a sword. Logan slashes him as he goes down, giving Mariko the opportunity to attack.
As Mariko attacks, she explains that she’s tired of being bossed around by men like Gorgon. Even Gorgon’s powers, which allow him to see what Mariko is going to do before she does it, are useless against the ferocity of her attack. She’s about to kill him when the hand pull him out and escape. Mariko looks concerned for Logan. He’s not healing, and Mariko is annoyed that she went through all the trouble of coming back from the dead only for him to die now. Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Mariko. Hope you survive the experience.
Some time later, Logan wakes up, shocked, on a ferry with Mariko on the way back to Japan. Mariko gave him Regenix to recover because he looked like he was going to die. Logan makes peace with that, and Mariko says she destroyed the rest of the Regenix.
Later in Japan, at Yashida corporate headquarters, Shingen, the Silver Samurai, arrives on the scene to stop intruders, only to learn it’s Logan and Mariko. They tell Shingen that they held up their end of the bargain in destroying the Regenix in Madripoor, but he didn’t hold up his because he kept making more. They took care of it for him, destroying his lab and his files. But Shingen says that he did stop making Regenix, and the lab they destroyed contained a lotion to cure plantar fasciitis, an issue that causes foot pain. They also want to know about the child of the scientist Shingen killed along with his wife in the last story arc, and Shingen says he took care of that too, setting her up for life.
Outside, Logan tests the waters for rekindling his relationship with Mariko, but she avoids the question, saying that she intends to make her own decisions from now on after being used as a pawn in life and second life. Mariko gives him a gift to open later and a kiss on the cheek, and then she leaves. Logan reflects on feeling lonely as the story ends.
Old Man Logan’s trip to Japan and Madripoor was a fun walk down memory lane for Logan, which seems to be an ongoing theme of the comic. Even so, it feels like the further we get from the Logan movie and the closer we get to the mainstream MCU return of the original Wolverine, the less need Marvel will have to have an ongoing Old Man Logan book. So you should enjoy it while it lasts, because this version of Logan is much better.
That being said, we do have a complaint about the cover, which shows Logan about to be executed by Mariko. This point in the story, when Logan was fighting a mind-controlled Mariko, took place in the previous story arc. Here, they’re working together, and that scene doesn’t pay off inside the book. It’s good that the cover actually depicts a scene because so many modern comic book covers don’t bother to do that, instead just throwing the characters into a random action pose and giving potential readers absolutely no reason to want to know what’s inside the book. That’s a pet peeve of ours, and we’re glad this cover doesn’t do that. However, the cover should depict a scene that’s actually inside this book, not one from several issues ago. It’s a step in the right direction though.
See you next week!