Dead Man Logan: Sins of the Father – Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson & Nolan Woodard (Panini /Marvel)

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 To date my only exposure to an older Wolverine has been through the film ‘Logan’. I knew its conceit was based on events in the comic books but only in reviewing Dead Man Logan: Sins of the Father did I come to grasp how far-ranging those events actually were. This, I admit, came mostly from this six-issue collection’s inner front cover’s catalogue of titles in the series’ predecessor, Old Man Logan, and – rather ridiculously to an old-school comics fan  – the suggestion of best order in which to read them, but beyond that guide and into the story it soon became clear that to fully jump on board with the here and now, there was a lot one needed to know.

I hold my hands up to being utterly lost among the alternate realities, timelines, universes and dimensions that abound in today’s sequential art storytelling – fervently I hope there’s an Earth 4683 where everything makes sense. Is it a good thing or bad thing? Has the comics’ multiverse become too complex for its own good? I’m not the first to ask the question, I know – there is a yearning out there for a return to classic comic storytelling, ie, single issue adventures rather than manufactured epics that require a commitment to multiple titles and the spending to keep up going on and on and on. But in the end it’s in the eye of the beholder, and I’m happy to report that on this occasion, and in the eye of this beholder, things work out fine. Dead Man Logan: Sins of the Father works because it’s essentially one man’s journey, a personal history/tragedy which, although littered with guest appearances and references to earlier occurrences here, there, everywhere and every when, styles itself with a refreshing tongue in cheek and acknowledgement of the absurdity of the endless variations the multiverse throws up. Thus, as an aged and Adamantium-poisoned Logan strives to prevent a repeat of his Mysterio-induced slaughter of the X-Men and the Avengers in another time and place, he goes about it with a worldsly weariness and acceptance of the humour of it all. Along for the ride come Forge, Glob, Miss Sinister and an alternate Quentin Beck, together with surviving X-Men and the Avengers themselves, whose Hawkeye herein both delivers and is the butt of some of the story’s funniest lines. Will the daughter of the Red Skull and Neo-Hydra prevail in their plan to have history repeat itself, or might Mysterio himself have something to say about that? I suppose your answer depends on which dimension/time/universe you’re in. Good fun. Mike Wild

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