Old Man Logan #46 // Review
Old Man Logan #46, by writer Ed Brisson, artist Damian Couceiro, color artist Carlos Lopez, and letterer Cory Petit, has Logan and Alpha Flight investigating some strange happenings in a Canadian town. What horrors await them? After the the last story line’s pulse-pounding pace, this one slows it down a bit, but unfortunately doesn’t have the same “it” factor the last tale had.
Logan meets up with Alpha Flight to help them with a mission and hoping to get a second opinion on his healing factor situation from Shaman. Shaman confirms everything the other doctors have told Logan, and tells him that there is also no mystical solution for what’s happening to him either. They arrive at the town and split up. At first they don’t find anyone alive, only weird purple vines everywhere, but Puck and Logan are able to locate some survivors. The vines go haywire, and suddenly things get very dangerous for all involved.
This issue is a bit of a mixed bag. Brisson does some character stuff with Logan, revealing a certain fatalism about his situation that fits the character. Logan is ready for the fight to end, and his actions lately underscore that, as he’s thrown himself into fight after fight. This version of Logan has lost everything he’s come to care about, mostly by his own actions, so a certain bit of suicidal thought fits exactly who he is. As well as everyone treats him, this world isn’t his world, and the people in it are just versions of his friends. That said, it’s those friendships that also play into his world weariness. As he’s weakened, he’s had to depend on others to help him with his battles, putting them in danger. Logan, no matter what version of the character, isn’t a person to put his friends in danger; if anything, he’s always been the one to throw himself into the fray to protect his friends. This development shows how well Brisson understands the character. Another strong point in the book is the relationship between Puck and Logan. They may be from two separate worlds, but their friendship is such that nothing could change it. Brisson uses their conversation as a way to let characters in on what’s happening in Logan’s head, and it’s perfect.
Unfortunately, the problem with this issue is the plot itself. A strange alien organism invading a town is very cliche, and this book hits all the plot points that these types of stories are known for: deserted town, creepy growths, a group of survivors holed up somewhere, and the lifeform upping the threat. It plays out exactly as expected, with the group splitting up and one of them going away to investigate samples in a lab. Plots like this work because they allow for drama to unfold, but from the standpoint of a bunch of superheroes who have dealt with these kind of things before, it makes no sense that they wouldn’t stay together. It’s cheap drama. Brisson has proved that he can use situations like this effectively, but this one seems like it’s going to be a by-the-numbers story.
The art doesn’t do the book any favors either. It’s not bad, but after Juan Ferreyra’s three stellar issues, it’s a definite step down in quality. Damian Couceiro’s character work isn’t very detailed, especially on wide shots. However, he is able to capture the creepy atmospherics of an empty town besieged by an alien life form. There are a few pages where the purple vines that have overrun the town make up the panel borders and it’s a very cool effect. Carlos Lopez’s color art works very well on the sequences in the town, helping set the right atmosphere. Other than that, the art is very basic.
Old Man Logan #46 does some nice character work, expanding on some of the themes that Brisson has been setting up in this books. Unfortunately, the plot and art aren’t anything special and Brisson’s solid characterization can’t buoy them up very much. There’s a chance he’ll turn it around in later issues, but this an extremely average comic. It fits into Brisson’s overarching story, but it’s not going to wow anyone.