Old Man Logan #43 // Review
In Old Man Logan #43, by Ed Brisson, Juan Ferreyra, and Cory Petit, Bullseye returns for revenge against Logan. With the help of a new ally, can Logan stop the psychopath? The last time these two faced off, Logan left short one eye. What more can Bullseye take from him?
Bullseye goes after Sarah, the writer who helped Logan the last time the two clashed. Logan, about to leave New York City, finds out about it and goes to search her apartment to see what happened to her. He’s met there by a woman in high tech battle armor. Bullseye had previously killed her husband, and she had vowed revenge. Logan codenames her Vendetta, and she takes him to a man whose job it is to set up assassinations. He tells them he doesn’t know where Bullseye is, but then the villain attacks them from the building across the way, revealing he has planted a bomb inside. Logan and Vendetta escape and race to the building where Bullseye was. They’re too late to confront him, but find that he left a grisly message for Logan.
Brisson keeps an internal continuity in this book that’s sort of unheard of in today’s comic books. Stories nowadays are written for the trade paperback and have a minimal amount of connective tissue between them, but Brisson keeps reminding readers of past events in the book, giving them a sense of importance that other comics don’t really have very much. Logan’s adventures so far have had consequences, and it’s a refreshingly old school approach to comic writing. This issue has a call back to the Scarlet Samurai story, with Logan contemplating the case of Regenix Mariko gave him, and is a continuation of the Bullseye/Logan feud that started two story arcs back. He also throws in Joy Jones, the character Logan nicknames Vendetta, from Bullseye: The Colombian Connection, a Bullseye book he wrote. He’s weaving multiple threads together, using the shared universe of Marvel in a way that it’s not often used for nowadays.
It shows that he loves to write Bullseye as well. Bullseye is ahead of the heroes at every turn, leaving messages and setting traps, stringing them along. This is perfect Bullseye writing. After their last confrontation, Bullseye knows he can’t just throw himself at Logan and hope to win, so he sets the tune and makes Logan dance to it. Brisson understands that Bullseye is a dangerous psychopath, but he’s not an idiot. Brisson is also writing Logan as a smarter character as well. Vendetta keeps wanting to barrel forward, trying to get revenge on Bullseye for killing her husband, but Logan is all about being cautious and smart. His reduced healing factor has taught him that he has to fight more intelligently against someone as dangerous as Bullseye.
Juan Ferreyra’s art is a bit of a revelation. It’s stylistically similar to Clayton Crain’s, with a bit of Mark Texeira thrown in for good measure--but he gives the colors a softer focus. That seems like it shouldn’t work very well with this story, but it does. He also draws Logan’s face like the roadmap of scars that it would be. A lot of the artists who have drawn this book just draw regular Wolverine with white hair, but Ferreyra makes him look old and scarred, an aging warrior. There’s a few times in the comic when he draws faces that look a little off, but, other than that, his pages are crisp and detailed, the soft focus coloring adding a lushness to the whole thing that glossier coloring would lack.
Ed Brisson and Juan Ferreyra have succeeded in producing a comic that is more than the sum of its parts. Brisson’s writing on this book has brought it an old school sensibility that is lacking in a lot of comics today. He’s playing a long game in this book, keeping characterization consistent and calling back to past moments in his run. Juan Ferreyra’s art knocks it out of the park, combining detailed pencils with lush colors to make art that jumps off the page. Nothing in this issue is going to change the comic industry, but it’s all done with such skill and aplomb that it demands notice. It’s one easily one of the best installments of Brisson’s yet, and is a must-buy for fans of the book and those who just want to check out something new.