Dead Man Logan #9 // Review
Logan, Dani, and Bruce Jr find a safe haven with an old friend in Dead Man Logan #9, by writer Ed Brisson, artist Mike Henderson, colorist Nolan Woodard, and letterer Cory Petit. However, first, they have to deal with the Hulk-Killer that the Tranquility Temple sicced on them… and there’s big trouble following them.
Logan’s lungs have barely grown back after the Hulk-Killer ripped them out, but he jumps into battle to save Dani and a weakening Bruce Jr. He’s able to take out the Hulk-Killer and Dani breaks free. Bruce Jr is badly hurt and Logan says they should take him to South Dakota, where an old friend awaits. When they get there, they are confronted by combat mechs and Logan asks them to take the group to their leader. Back in Omaha, Sabretooth shows up to the site of the fight against the Tranquility Temple and posits that they ran into Logan. In South Dakota, Logan’s old friend is revealed to Forge, who says they’ll be able to heal Bruce Jr. Logan and Forge have a discussion where Forge reveals he knows that Logan killed the X-Men, but he also knows that it wasn’t Logan’s fault. Logan asks Forge if Dani and Bruce Jr can stay with Forge and he agrees. On their walk, they encounter Speedball, who’s built up so much kinetic energy over the years that he has to be kept in a special chamber or he’ll explode like a nuclear bomb. Logan reveals to Dani and Bruce Jr that he’s made arrangements for them to stay with Forge and his community when the alarm goes off. Sabretooth and his gang have shown up.
This issue is pretty much all set-up, but it does a good job of it. Brisson raps up the fight with the Tranquility Temple in an effective and entertaining manner and showcases Logan’s heroism. He’s in bad shape- his lungs are only working at 10% capacity. Every breath feels like he’s suffocating and exertion makes it worse, but he doesn’t give up or wait for things to get better. He makes his move and is able to take out the Hulk-Killer and give Dani time to make her escape. There’s a subtlety to the whole thing that makes it work so well. Logan doesn’t want to let Bruce Jr down again, doesn’t want to leave him to fend for himself and it doesn’t matter what the cost is, he’s going to do something. There are no caption boxes announcing him overcoming things for the sake of being a hero. There’s just the character’s hard-headed resolve to make things right.
The whole thing with Forge works very well, too. As one of the few surviving mutants, he could very well hold a grudge against Logan even knowing that he was under Mysterio’s control at the time. He doesn’t though and it speaks a lot to the concept of forgiveness. Logan may never be able to forgive himself for what he was made to do, but others have. Brisson also reveals how the Hulk-Killer would have actually killed Bruce Jr- as it fought him, it infected with nanites that would take him apart at a cellular level. It’s way more clever than things originally seemed. He also effectively uses Sabretooth in the issue. Sabretooth is a boogeyman, a monster following the heroes, inexorably getting closer. It works to whet the reader’s anticipation for the coming confrontation between him and Logan.
Mike Henderson’s art is top notch. He’s able to perfectly convey the pain Logan is going through as his lungs regrow and he pulls himself to the window. In fact, his facial work and character acting are great throughout the issue. All the characters are very expressive and it works very well. Nolan Woodard does a very unique thing throughout the issue as he colors Logan- at the beginning of the issue, his face is blue from hypoxia. Later, his skin has a grey pallor to it revealing his lungs are working better, but not at full capacity.
Dead Man Logan #9 does a great job of setting things up for the next few issues. Brisson is able to keep the set-up interesting, though, using it to do a bit of subtle character work. A lot of times, issues like this can be very boring, but Brisson keeps it all very entertaining throughout. Mike Henderson continues to express with his expressive, detailed pencils. While not the best issue of the book so far, it’s a solid, entertaining comic.