Old Man Logan #39 Review

by Charles Martin on May 09, 2018

Old Man Logan #39 Review
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Ibraim Roberson
Colourist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Ed Brisson is driving Old Man Logan into curious new territory with #39. We've seen OML the outcast, OML the Wolverine, OML the hardboiled investigator … are we ready for OML the mentor? 

In some ways, it's great that this script pulls Logan into the Xavier Institute. It affords Mr. Brisson the opportunity to write dialogue for characters far younger and more optimistic than the ever-glowering muggs OML usually snarls at. It gives artist Ibraim Roberson a ton of character portrayal challenges which he passes with flying colours. (Carlos Lopez's summery hues are pretty great, too.)

Logan is at the Institute to let Dr. Reyes look at his healing factor troubles, but on his way to the infirmary he stumbles past a "Glob's got a date" plotline. While these two stories are destined to cross in a dramatic way, they putter along all too separately through this issue. And Logan, alas, gets the worst of it.

Doctor Reyes's diagnosis is underwhelming. Logan is really really really for sure gonna lose the healing factor, pinkie swear. Besides ageing and healing factor loss already being tired beats for OML, they're also themes that the real Logan thoroughly explored before his death. The addition of MacGuffinex - excuse me, Regenix - to the mix is, so far, a non-starter.

While Logan's in a bit of a holding pattern, Glob is going through some solid (if just a touch generic) romantic anxiety. Rockslide, Shark Girl, and Anole are on deck to provide earnest moral support - with a minimum daily allowance of sass thrown in - as he prepares for a date arranged via the Mutant Mingle app. 

Yeah, mutant Tinder is a thing now. It makes a surprising amount of sense. But by the end of this issue, the potential drawbacks are also super clear.

OML #39 is free of combat, but it sets up a humdinger of a conflict for the next issue. Which is good … and also bad. The development lavished on Glob's date looks promising, but the same can't be said for Logan's story so far. The ultimate quality of this arc is going to depend too heavily on how the two stories cross in #40. This is clearly a one-shot story split into two issues; OML is once again powerless against his most implacable foe, the Decompression Monster.

If the quality of the script is a little hard to call on its own, one thing that's eminently clear in #39 is the value of Ibraim Roberson's art. This issue pops him up higher on my radar in an entirely positive way. 

X-scripts featuring mutants like Glob and Shark Girl are what drive Marvel artists to drink. Mr. Roberson delivers a tour de force performance on some of the Xavier Institute's weirdest, trickiest occupants. Glob looks magnificent here. He's splashed all across this issue like a living plate from Grey's Anatomy, and the amount of detail lavished on him in every panel is awe-inspiring.

I don't want to undersell Mr. Roberson's other artistic achievements, though. He puts a ton of detail into Old Man Logan himself, making him look obviously battle-damaged and wounded by more than just his age. And the amount of emotion he magics onto Shark-Girl's face without turning her into a cartoon is downright incredible. Final achievement: The antagonists popping up in the last act, while very familiar, look refreshingly new and impressive through Mr. Roberson's artistic lens.

Ed Brisson's slow-burn script drags its heels a little in establishing a connection between Old Man Logan's check-up and Glob Herman's Big Date. Though concentrating on some younger mutants is a refreshing change, it's hard to predict whether these two storylines are going to link up in a satisfying manner - and frustrating that they're insulated from each other so far. Ibraim Roberson's art delivers some much more concrete value and turns this issue into a feast for the eyes. I really hope the next installment lives up to the gorgeous visuals presented here!

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
I bet Ed Brisson is the kind of writer who sends his artist a bottle of Scotch along with a Glob-centric script as a way of saying "sorry."