This week Old Man Logan enters Battleworld, and Tyler Durden lives in Fight Club 2!
Old Man Logan #1 (of 4) (Marvel Comics)
Old Man Logan is widely regarded as not only one of the greatest Wolverine stories of all time, but one of the best Marvel stories as well. The Mark Millar and Steve McNiven storyline is my favorite Wolverine story, and hearing that this version of ol’ Canucklehead would be receiving a Secret Wars spin off filled me with both hope and dread. With Brian Michael Bendis taking over for Millar and Green Arrow artist Andrea Sorrentino stepping in for McNiven, the pieces are there for something special, and as I opened the cover I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of book I’d be getting. Well, after reading this opening issue, I’m relieved to see that this is not only a great opening issue, but also a pretty worthy addition to the Old Man Logan story.
Old Man Logan #1 picks up after the events of the Millar and McNiven story, and finds Logan traversing the Wastelands, righting the wrongs that need to be righted. Mainly this means he has to stab scumbags. A lot. After taking out a bunch of human traffickers, Logan comes across an Ultron head, something he hasn’t seen in decades. Realizing that this version of Ultron isn’t from “his” world, Logan goes to see Emma Frost, who unfortunately isn’t as well off as she seems to be. Realizing that he’ll have to leave his territory for answers, the man who used to be Wolverine decides to head out into Battleworld for answers.
Brian Michael Bendis’ script doesn’t waste any time getting into the story, which is a welcome change after his glacial Guardians of the Galaxy and All-New X-Men storylines. Bendis does a good job of presenting the Old Man Logan world so people who haven’t read the original story won’t be completely lost (but if you haven’t read it, seriously, what are you doing?). Bendis delivers some awesome character work in this issue, and gives Wolverine a world-weariness that is both sad and mesmerizing. He also adds some excellent new areas and characters to the world Millar envisioned in the original story. However, this great sense of character and world adding takes a hit when Bendis reminds us of Battleworld and the territories (something that still hasn’t really been covered in the main Secret Wars series).
The art for the Old Man Logan is being handled by Andrea Sorrentino, who’s best known for his run on Green Arrow last year with Jeff Lemire. Now, comparing Sorrentino and Steve McNiven’s art is like comparing night and day, and while it takes a little getting used to, Sorrentino does a bang up job. His panel layouts are really interesting, and he brings a suitably depressing and desolate mood to the world of Logan. His art may not be as detailed as McNiven’s was, but Sorrentino’s reputation as an artist won’t be taking any hits with Old Man Logan.
Of the Secret Wars tie-ins, Old Man Logan was both my most anticipated and the one that made me the most nervous. Thankfully though the end result ended up being pretty entertaining. While I wish Bendis and Sorrentino were able to spend more time in Logan’s world than taking him out into Battleworld, I’d be lying if I said I’m not curious to see who he’ll come across on his journey. It’s impossible to surpass the original Old Man Logan in my eyes, but this new mini series proves that sometimes revisiting an old favorite isn’t always bad thing.
Fight Club 2 #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Comics present interesting avenues for creators. While many properties that weren’t huge hits at the box office or on TV find second lives on the paneled page, it was surprising to me when I learned that Chuck Pahalianuk decided to turn to Dark Horse comics for his sequel to Fight Club. Surely he could’ve called up David Fincher and churned out a part 2 book and movie for next summer, right? However, teamed with artist Cameron Stewart, Pahalianuk’s story uses the comic book medium surprisingly well, and crafts an intriguing opening issue for our “hero”.
Tyler Durden is dead, and the Narrator (now named “Sebastian”) is living a quiet life with his wife Marla and nine year old son. He’s taking medication to help him with his “insomnia”/Tyler Durden manifestation, and living a life he’s only dreamed of. But Marla isn’t happy. She misses the life she used to have, when Tyler Durden showed her what it meant to truly be alive. So when she starts switching out Sebastian’s pills with Advil, Tyler starts to make his slow return. But, Tyler Durden coming back may be more than even Marla bargained for.
Fight Club 2 is a sequel to the novel, but Pahalianuk’s script is easy to follow if you’ve only seen the movie. For someone who (to my knowledge) has never written a comic script before, Pahalianuk’s story and scripting skills are superb, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. He also does a great job of really showing you just how boring and mundane Sebastian’s life is, and how Tyler Durden’s legacy still leaves a mark on him. In fact, it makes you question if this kind of life is truly healthy for Sebastian, or if he’s better off with Tyler Durden in his life.
Cameron Stewart was not the artist I would’ve expected for this project, but after reading this debut issue, I have to say, he’s pretty awesome. His art fits the story surprisingly well, and the moments of violence that pepper this issue are pretty shocking under his pencils. However, the real shining moment for Stewart is with his layouts, which feature optical illusions of Sebastian’s pills sitting on the page and sound effects obscuring parts of the narrative. These little touches really add to the story, and pull you into Sebastian’s remerging psychosis.
Fight Club 2 will definitely intrigue fans of the film and book. Hell, it might even bring some new faces into some comic shops. Really the only negative about the book is that it’s over too quickly. Fight Club 2 #1 could’ve easily been a double sized issue and I’d be fine with it. Despite this, it’s still a great debut issue, and a great showcase for Chuck Pahalianuk’s skills as a comic writer. Hopefully this is the start of more comics from the author. Choke 2 anyone?