Welcome, dear readers, to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that strives to answer the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?”
It’s been a rough decade or so for X-Men fans. As part of Ike Perlmutter‘s feud with Fox over the Fantastic Four movie rights, Marvel’s greatest franchise has suffered many an indignity. Cyclops turned into a villain by writers and editors with a Wolverine fetish. The worst crossover of all time, Avengers vs. X-Men. A serious attempt to replace mutants with the Inhumans, thankfully killed by the god-awful Inhumans TV show. But that’s all over now… supposedly. With a Marvel/Fox deal on the horizon, the Fantastic Four can return, but more importantly, Marvel can give a crap about the X-Men again!
But will they?!
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books, make a few jokes, and struggle to survive the experience as we reckon our love for our favorite characters with what can often feel like a “quantity-over-quality” approach to comic booking.
Old Man Logan has a USB thumb drive containing information that could damage Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime and Mayor of New York City. He’s also wounded, and his healing factor isn’t working as well as it used to because the original Wolverine has come back from the dead and this book has got to end sometime. Logan took the USB drive to the apartment of Sarah Dewey, and he’s bleeding all over her furniture. Sarah has just come home from a multi-day bender, so it takes here a few minutes to wonder why a wolverine has broken into her apartment.
Dewey worked with Fisk on his biography, and Logan needs some information from her. But Dewey doesn’t want to get involved. Working with Fisk made her relapse into alcoholism. We have no idea if this is stuff that happened in another comic (Daredevil?) because there’s no little caption boxing telling us where to look. Come on, editors! Logan tells Sarah that he might have information to take Fisk down, so she agrees to hear him out.
Meanwhile, at the mayor’s office, Fisk gets a phone call. An unseen person in sneakers is following Logan and Sarah. It’s probably Bullseye, who Fisk tasked last issue with getting the USB drive back (and probably killing Logan). Fisk tells him not to kill Sarah Dewey. Bullseye follows Logan and Sarah into an organic food market, where they’re getting some buffet lunch. Sarah wants Logan to tell her about the info he has on Fisk, but instead, she gets derailed with her own X-pository dialogue. She was broke and her life sucked before she met Fisk. She was about to lose custody of her kids. Working with Fisk gave her money which allowed her to worry less about stuff. She feels bad though – her book helped humanize Fisk and thus helped him become mayor.
While these two are chatting, Bullseye breaks a bunch of bottles. Then he kills a store clerk with a bottlecap. Logan’s senses must not be doing so hot either because he doesn’t even notice as Bullseye leaves a pile of bodies. Logan explains about the usb drive – that he doesn’t know what’s on it, but Fisk is willing to kill for it, so it must be important. Sarah knows a hacker who can get past the encryption, but it’s time for some action. Bullseye attacks… with herbal tea!
Bullseye critiques Logan’s dietary choices. Logan critiques the fact that Bullseye is still alive. He dies and comes back almost as often as an X-Man… is he a mutant or something? Logan takes a bottlecap to the eye. Ouch! Well, at least he can wear a patch again.
Logan is pissed, and unlike Daredevil (this status quo, at least), he’s willing to kill. He strangles Bullseye while he tells Sarah to evacuate the store. Bullseye gains the upper hand on Logan, but Sarah breaks a wooden table over his head, giving Logan another shot. They have the second-best grocery store battle of all time (the best was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Booker T). Bullseye flicks a toothpick into Logan’s ear and searches him for the drive, but Logan doesn’t have it; he gave it to Sarah. Bullseye leaves him to go after her.
Sarah has made it to the lair of her hacker friend, who is impressed by the encryption, though he can handle it. Or at least, he could have, if he didn’t get stabbed in the eyes with salad tongs.
The issue ends with Bullseye confronting Sarah. He knows Kingpin doesn’t want her hurt, but he’s a sadistic serial killer after all, so… TO BE CONTINUED!
Old Man Logan continues to be an enjoyable read, even if it’s a lame duck comic whose hero will soon be replaced by a younger model. Could it benefit from some caption boxes explaining a few things and providing helpful references for people who haven’t read Daredevil or Kingpin lately? Well, you know our thoughts on that.