Old Man Logan #42 // Review
In Old Man Logan #42, by Ed Brisson, Francesco Manna, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit, a diminished Logan must figure out a way to beat Kraven the Hunter while also surviving the dangers of the Savage Land. On the surface, this whole book seems like some superficial fun, but there’s more going on in this one than meets the eye.
Picking up from last issue as a dinosaur attacks Kraven and Logan, Kraven stabs Logan. With this distraction, the dinosaur is able to injure Logan badly, but he’s able to get away, leaving Kraven to deal with the creature. Logan finds a cave to hide in and heal. While there, he has a vision of his deceased family from the Wastelands. Kraven finds him, but Logan is able to outfight him. Ka-Zar shows up and Logan leaves Kraven, who is forbidden from hunting in the Savage Land, to his mercy. As he’s leaving, Logan has an important realization about himself and how he’s been living.
This one is way less cliche than it seems. The way the last last issue ended, it looked like Logan and Kraven were going to have to work together to get out of the Savage Land while also watching the other, but Kraven immediately stabs Logan, stopping this from being a Savage Land story readers have read a bunch of times before and keeping the focus on the battle between the two of them. It also fits with Kraven and the type of character. Logan makes a good point about big game hunters during the fight, that they always find ways to rig the hunt and then talk a big game about how skilled they are and this fits Kraven’s actions to a tee in the last two issues. Even though he’s dealing with a weakened, broken down Logan, he still does everything he can to keep it from being fair fight. He talks a big game about putting himself against the best because he’s the best, but he knows he’s not, so like others of his ilk, he rigs things in his favor.
The other thing that keeps this from being a cliche Savage Land story is the conclusion Logan comes to after the fight and it’s one that’s emblematic of Brisson’s run so far. Logan knows that he can’t keep going on the way he has been lately. Fighting people like Bullseye and Kraven is a good way to get dead fast, and Logan keeps throwing himself into these fights as if he’s still his younger self. He also misses his family, and everything is starting to wear on him. Brisson has been presenting Logan as a world-weary warrior, a man breaking down, who knows he’s heading down the path to his death, but continues to fight. Logan isn’t going to give up, though, and makes a decision that could lead to either some interesting stories or something that we’ve seen before. It could go either way, but for now, it’s an interesting decision.
Francesco Manna’s art isn’t as detailed as it was last issue. There’s a few places where his line work looks sparse, the characters look weird when they’re farther from the foreground than usual, and his proportions are still a little small. The art isn’t terrible, though. It just looks a little rushed.
Old Man Logan #42 looked like it was going to be a same old, same old, hero-and-villain-forced-to work-together-to-survive-the-Savage-Land story that readers have gotten multiple iterations of. Instead, Brisson and company give readers something with a little more meat on his bones. The art could be better, but Brisson is moving ahead with the story he’s been telling in the book since he came on and making some smart choices with where he’s going. If he’s executes them as he has in this issue, then readers are in for a treat.