Overall- The best thing about this blog is that it keeps track of what comics I've read, and when I read them. For example, when I took this comic out of it's wrapper, I couldn't remember for the life of me when I had last read an issue of Wolverine. A quick check of the ol' blog shows that I read Wolverine #69 back on November 18th... That was a while ago! Anyway, after breezing through my review of Wolvie #69, I figured I was prepared to give this comic a read. Mark Millar's work on the Fantastic Four recently has been great, so let's see if he keeps up the good work here on Wolverine.
First off, before I even touch on the story, I want to talk about the artwork. Steve McNiven did the pencils, and what a job he did! Usually, all I notice is the story and dialogue in a comic book. The artwork is secondary to me. I always say that the only time I notice the artwork is if it's really, really good or really, really bad. Steve's art here was spectacular! However, the artwork here was f###ing bloody! There was more blood in this comic than you'd find in a slasher flick!
In this issue, Logan tells Clint the story of the "death" of Wolverine and the birth of Old Man Logan. 50 years ago, while Wolvie was still with the X-Men(remember, this story is set 50 years in the future)the super-villains all banded together and attacked the heroes. A wave of about 40 super-villains attack X-Mansion and right off the bat, Jubilee is killed. Well, needless to say, Wolvie flips out and begins to literally tear into he villains. Wolverine fights through a who's who of super-villains while trying to evacuate the students from the mansion grounds. While ripping through the villains though, Wolverine begins to wonder where the hell the rest of the X-Men were. However, he can never dedicate enough time to figuring that out, as he is continuously engaged by various villains.
After a long(and bloody!)battle, it comes down to just Wolverine and Bullseye. Wolvie realizes that he's spent too much time fighting in the mansion, and really has to find the rest of the X-Men. With that, he finally manages to kill Bullseye, who asks Wolverine why he was killing everybody. Wolverine pauses, confused and looks down at "Bullseye" and realizes that it wasn't Bullseye he'd gutted, it was Jubilee! Wolverine then looks around in horror and sees the X-Men laying around him dead and dismembered. Mysterio stands in the midst of the carnage and tells Wolverine that the super-villains Wolvie thought he was fighting were all just illusions Mysterio created and that Wolverine had actually been slaughtering his teammates! Before vanishing, Mysterio thanks Wolverine for his "help" on behalf of the criminal community.
Wolverine runs out of the gory mansion and runs through the woods for several days, with his mind almost incapable of understanding that he had murdered his teammates. Finally, Wolvie arrives at a railroad crossing and lays his head on the tracks, allowing an oncoming freight train to run over his head! Steve's visual of this scene is really beautiful in a horrible way(if that makes any sense). Wolverine tells Clint that after that day, Wolverine died and he swore to himself that he would never pop the claws again or act out of anger. Logan would be a farmer and only use his hands to work the land, his days of fighting died with the X-Men.
After hearing Logan's story, Clint apologizes for getting Logan wrapped up in his trek out east, telling him he would have just left Logan alone to raise his family and try to forget about his ugly past if he'd have known what had happened with the X-Men. As the two old men talk, a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex, colored like Venom, begins to chase after their car.
Well... What can I say? I absolutely loved the artwork and the story was pretty damn good as well. Although the fact that Wolverine was able to kill the entire team of X-Men was a bit far-fetched, it WAS still kind of plausible. Mysterio explained that while Wolverine thought he was defending the mansion from a horde of villains, the X-Men were fighting a defensive battle, not understanding why Wolverine had snapped and not wanting to hurt him, while all Wolvie wanted to do was hurt/kill them. The two page spread with Wolverine surveying the gory remains of the X-Men was really a terrible sight, but was drawn magnificently.
The choice of Mysterio as the villain who caused Logan to kill the X-Men was an odd pick though... You'd think Mark would have chosen a villain out of the X-Men's list of foes(Stryfe, Mastermind, Maddie Pryor, even Sauron), as opposed to Mysterio, who is regularly trounced by Spider-Man, but I guess the fact that Wolverine was unfamiliar with Mysterio and his tactics made him the perfect opponent to take down Wolvie. Overall, this was another great issue in the "Old Man Logan" storyline, and I'd definitely recommend to anyone to pick up this storyline, or even just this comic book. The attention to detail in Steve McNiven's artwork was really amazing.
The story also did a great job in explaining why Logan has become the peace seeking man he is today. What he did to the X-Men was just plain horrible, and I couldn't fault Wolvie for laying his head on those train tracks. The worst part was that Wolverine wanted to punish himself in the worst way for the slaughter of his teammates, but thanks to his adamantium bones and his healing factor, not even a train running over his head was enough to kill him. Whew, what a deep comic. For a score, I'm going to give this comic a 9 out of 10. I'd have scored this comic even higher, but the fact that Mysterio was the villain responsible for Wolverine's rampage and the subsequent deaths of the X-Men really bothered me. Come on, it's Mysterio! The guy wears a fish bowl on his head! He was the guy responsible for the death of the X-Men??? Weird!