Old Man Logan #3, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Andrea Sorrentino, picks up where issue #2 left off, with Logan at the mercy of Baron Apocalypse, ruler of the Domain of Apocalypse and as-per-usual Bendis wastes no time in this issue throwing Logan into a series of hellish encounters. This issues sees him thrown around like a ragdoll by Apocalypse, zapped by the horse-headed Thor’s thunderstrike (multiple times) and dropped from the sky hundreds of feet up, only to find himself in yet another chaotic domain of Battleworld.
When I first cracked open this issue, I expected to see Logan facing off in a huge battle against Apocalypse, aided by this domain’s version of the X-Men (who may or may not be under the rule of Baron Apocalypse). However, I quickly realized that this part of Battleworld, and the characters who resided in it, were pushed aside to make way for Bendis’s choice to focus on sending Logan through as many domains of Battleworld as possible. Although we’re given a great scene of Baron Apocalypse asserting his power and cockiness over the female Thor — and even his defiance toward Doom’s rule — these moments of dialogue and character building are brief.
Wolverine might have few weaknesses but Old Man Logan has trouble fleshing out its characters as it seems Bendis’s only goal is to fling Logan from one region of Battleworld to the next, only to have a brief and meaningless squabble with the ruler of that domain. In this particular issue that region is Technopolis — a domain of technological advancement, gripped by a debilitating airborne virus, that is ruled over by Baron Tony Stark. At this point in the series Bendis’s formula is quickly getting predictable: Logan gets to a domain, Logan says some pompous things toward the ruler, Logan is confused by the strange new setting, and Logan gets his butt kicked and leaves the domain.
The repetitive narrative of this series is slightly mitigated by the fact that the new settings are amazing, intriguing and beautifully drawn; Sorrentino and Mailo have been doing a fantastic job of fleshing out the world of Technopolis in vibrant shades of red and yellow. The problem lies in the lack of weight to Logan’s journey. I gave the last issue a very high score, because I thought Bendis would be leaving Logan in the Domain of Apocalypse, to aid them in taking down the Baron, while at the same time catching up with some of the X-Men of this realm — X-Men that Logan hasn’t seen since he unintentionally murdered them all in his timeline some 50+ years ago.
If the pattern of domain jumping continues for the next two issues, I have a hard time believing that anything that happens in this series will even matter in the grand scheme of “Secret Wars.” I’ve almost forgotten why Logan set out on his journey over the Wall in the first place. At one point I believed that Old Man Logan would be a must-read for this event, I now think that you could probably skip out on this tie-in, and wouldn’t miss anything of importance. Still, as a tour of Battleworld, few series have offered the variety of Old Man Logan.
The art, like I mentioned earlier, has been fantastic throughout these three issues, despite some strange and confusing panel layout choices in the first issue. Sorrentino is fantastic at choreographing action sequences throughout this issue, and I can’t say enough about Mailo’s use of colors and shading. This is a very vibrant series, but thanks to the dark shading and restrained color palette, it’s also a very somber.
Old Man Logan #3 isn’t a terrible comic by any standard, but it’s one that lacks any deep exploration of the characters within its pages. If you’re looking for a comic that puts Logan in some fun situations within the domains of Battleworld, you might find something of interest here. If you’re looking for something that works well as a stand-alone, and explores its characters in a deeper way, you might want to spend your $3.99 somewhere else.