Andrea Sorrentino, about whom we already talk about in All New X-Men, is currently working on a Secret Wars tie-in, Old Man Logan, with Brian Michael Bendis. Both of them are resuming the character’s journey where his creators, Marc Millar and Steve McNiven, left him. This character will not disappear from our comic-books shelves as soon as his series end. We will find him again on his own regular comic-book series in the mainstream Marvel universe, starting this October. Andrea Sorentino will still be the artist, but Jeff Lemire will take over Brian Michael Bendis. Besides, Jeff Lemire is also the author of Extraordinary X-Men, a new X-Men comic-books, in which we will find … Old Man Logan himself. The same author for two related series is everything I like, and something I’d like to see more.
This series is a journey across the different realms of Battleworld, a journey Logan began to understand where a Ultron helmet come from. He found this on his way home, back from New Vegas where he killed Gladiator and his buddies. This two-spread page is the first one in the comic-book where we see Logan’s face. Like in a movie, the star is not the first character we see, and his appearance is delayed until the last moment. The violence of this action is strengthened by Andrea Sorrentino’s crude style. Everything is either black or white, there is no shades of grey. It reminds me a little of Mike Deodato‘s style with the large uses of black shadows. The readability gets a little hard around Logan’s coat because of the flying dollars, tokens and one bottle. Despite this confused area, this first fighting scene is masterly drawn. Violence and rage are all over this page. I particularly love the two close-ups on Logan’s and Gladiator’s face, in the bottom of the layout. The first one is still angry, his mouth widely open, whereas the second one is coughing up some blood. I just love this black and white page without any gradient, like Logan’s emotions. It’s either right or wrong, white or black.
Scratching off the lamp, Logan blinded partially his enemies, preventing them to hurt him to much. The lamp, on and off, creates a strobing that Andrea Sorrentino‘s drawings make beautifully. We don’t see all of the actions, all of the moves in this fight, and it’s a little bit scary. The characters themselves are white, surrounded by the red of the blood and an orange background, giving the scene an anxious atmosphere. Once again there is only a few speech bubble, and no onomatopoeia. Andrea Sorrentino‘s drawings are expressive enough to go without dialogues.
Luckily for him, Logan has some ally in his journey, like Emma Frost who was already in the original Old Man Logan series. Unlike the previous pages, this is a peaceful one. The all page is grided, like many others in this comic-book. The grid is always there, even when two panels are directly linked. It give a certain rhythm to the page. Emma Frost’s hiding behind a Jean Grey disguise, just like she used to do with Scott in Earth 616 – moreover Logan pointed it out. We don’t have any large view of the scene, only close-up – like the previous page. We see Logan, then Emma-Jean, then back to Logan, then Emma again. This alternation, just as the grid, give a rhythm to the dialogue scene.
During his journey, Logan fell into many realms. Amongst them was the Domain of Apocalypse (Earth 295), and Logan had the chance – or the bad luck – to cross Apocalypse’s himself path. His giant head with four little scenes form an X, like the one from the X-Men logo – even the color red is respected. Apocalypse looks bored, like if this new mutant wasn’t a challenge for him. Strangely, he seems curious about this version of Logan, old and white-haired. He doesn’t understand how this Logan can even exist, because there is already a Wolverine in this part of Battleworld. The mighty Apocalypse is not so mighty after all, he does not understand that the same person can exist in different versions of herself. This two-spread page reminds me of an other double page Andrea Sorrentino drew for All New X-Men #39 (p.1-2) representing the young enhanced Angel.
Finally, after a trip across the Domain of Apocalypse, Technopolis and the Deadlands, Logan find himself in a brand new city, apparently New-York. On the same page, Andrea Sorrentino drew six times the same background and the same dump in which Logan landed. This makes me think about a movie’s storyboard : gradually the character appears on the screen, after a long time of only watching the dump. This reminds me also about the Pop art’s artists, like Andy Warhol : like him, Andrea Sorrentino repeated the same pattern, changing just some elements. The last panel is completely different from the others. It’s a sudden close-up on Logan’s bloody face, questioning himself on his actual location. The contrast between the peaceful cityscape and the wounded Logan is impressive. This is a reminder of Logan’s true violent nature.
If this series is not over yet – we are still waiting for Old Man Logan #5 – I can’t wait to see the man in the new mainstream universe among the other X-Men. How will he adapt to his new life ? What will happen to him on this new Earth ? October is just around the corner, and I can’t wait to see it coming.