Old Man Logan by Mark Millar – A Review

Old Man Logan Mark Millar.jpg

Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released November 11th, 2009
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

I could easily sum this review up in one sentence: This collection was perfect.

I’ve been hearing about Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan for years, but never actually picked it up. However, I was at the library a couple of weeks ago and while there, decided to take a look at the graphic novels shelves. This collection immediately caught my eye, so I took it home.

And gosh darn, this series is amazing.

Old Man Logan is set in an alternate universe, Earth-807128, rather than Marvel’s normal Earth-616 universe. In this reality, the supervillains have won, and taken over the world. The United States has been split up between the Hulk Gang, Kingpin, Doctor Doom, and Red Skull.

Earth 807128 map

The supervillains were able to win after the “night the heroes fell,” although no one really knows the details of that night. What happened to Wolverine is just as mysterious, as he disappeared and no one has seen or heard from him in fifty years.

When we meet Logan in this series, he’s living on a farm with his wife and two children in Hulkland, just trying to survive. He’s retired as Wolverine and has made a vow to no longer fight.

One day Hawkeye approaches Logan and asks for his help transporting something across the country, a mission that will pay well enough for Logan to pay the rent on his farm for a long time. By this time, Hawkeye is nearly blind, and Logan tells him that he will not do any fighting. Together, they make the trip and encounter a lot of horrors along the way.

This story was incredible and kept me engaged the entire time. I’ve read some of Mark Millar’s other stuff and it’s all been good, but this collection really blew my mind. This version of Logan is the same as the one who eventually travels to Marvel’s Earth-616 universe, so anyone who reads the normal Marvel timeline comics needs to read this collection to get a better understanding of Old Man Logan’s backstory.

When we find out the truth about what happened the night Wolverine disappeared, it’s truly tragic and heartbreaking. It also explains why he’s decided to no longer fight. Even though this all takes place in an alternate reality, it carries over to Marvel’s “real world” and has a number of implications that affect those storylines.

The art, done by Steve McNiven, was also wonderful, and dark enough for this sort of story.

Old man logan.jpg

If you’re a fan of Marvel or Wolverine, this tragic story is a must-read. The story combines the depth of one of Marvel’s best characters with a Mad Max-setting to create something truly unique where the heroes fail and the villains have won.


Have you read Old Man Logan? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman – A Review

16794.jpg

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch
Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by Michael Zulli
Graphic Novel
Goodreads
Released April 1, 2008
Published by Dark Horse Books
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

I had never heard of this Neil Gaiman graphic novel until I came across it while perusing the comic book shelves at my local library. As I’ve mentioned so many times on this blog, I love Neil Gaiman’s writing, so I added it to my pile without looking at the synopsis or anything else.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is about a group of four people, including Miss Finch, who go to an urban underground circus together. A lot of bizarre things happen, and the acts of the circus are all over the place – from flying ghostly apparitions to a man hanging from the ceiling by his nipples to a guy in a fish costume motorcycling around the audience. Miss Finch disappears, and we’re left wondering what happened to her.

15442666.jpg

While this was an interesting graphic novel, it wasn’t one of my favorite Neil Gaiman works. It was difficult for me to get past how much I disliked the art. It wasn’t that the art was bad, it was just of a style that I personally don’t enjoy in comics or graphic novels. It was a little rough around the edges and had a watercolor quality to it. Again, I think the art is good and does seem to work for the story, I just wasn’t a fan of it.

My favorite books or stories are the type that leaves you guessing and thinking about it even after you close the book. This is not one of those. While the story was entertaining, after I finished it I found that I stopped thinking about it after setting it down. I didn’t realize this at the time I read it, but apparently, this is a graphic novel adaptation of one of Gaiman’s short stories. I feel that I may have appreciated it more in story format. The graphic novel format felt too short and rushed.

This was by no means a terrible graphic novel or story, and it was mildly entertaining, but it just wasn’t for me. I definitely favor Neil Gaiman’s novels more than his graphic novels. I’ve read three of them, and none of them lived up to my expectations.


Have you read The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch? What did you think?

Best Variant Comic Book Covers This Week

One of my favorite parts of comic book collecting is seeking out the variant covers of my favorite issues. For those of you who are either not familiar with or new to the comic book world, variant covers are essentially special or limited edition covers.

These are the best for the week of December 12, 2018.


Defenders Doctor Strange #1

Art by Christian Ward

This is 100% my favorite for this week, and as much as I’m trying to talk myself out of buying it when I get paid Friday, I have a strong suspicion it’s going to end up in my collection. I’ve mentioned before that Christian Ward is my favorite comic book artist, and this cover would look perfect among my other Doctor Strange covers.

1786795_ful.jpg


Head Lopper #10

Art by Jeanne D’Angelo

1784959_ful.jpg


Black Hammer Cthu-Louise

Art by Jill Thompson

1785158_ful.jpg


Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #3

Art by Carlos Pacheco

1785115_ful.jpg


Wonder Woman Vol 5 #60

Art by Jenny Frison

1784913_ful


Quantum Age From the World of Black Hammer #5

Art by Tula Lotay

1775861_ful.jpg

 


Flash Vol 5 #60

Art by Derrick Chew

1784858_ful


Bitter Root #2

Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

1784921_ful

New Comic Book Releases for December 12, 2018

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s comic book release day! Here are some of the most exciting issues coming out. For a complete list, head over to Midtown Comics.

Not sure where to buy your comics? Check out Comic Shop Locator for shops near you. If you don’t live in an area with a local shop, you can purchase from Midtown Comics, directly from the publisher, or through Comixology if you prefer digital copies.

Marvel

  • Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #11 by Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley
  • Asgardians of the Galaxy #4 by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli
  • Avengers Vol 7 #11 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness
  • Black Order #2 by Derek Landy and Philip Tan
  • Black Panther Vol 7 #7 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jen Bartel
  • Champions Vol 2 #27 by Jim Zub and Max Dunbar
  • Defenders Doctor Strange #1 by Gerry Duggan and Greg Smallwood
  • Defenders Silver Surfer #1 by Jason Latour
  • Fantastic Four Wedding Special #1 by various authors/artists
  • Infinity Wars Ghost Panther by Jed MacKay and Jefte Palo
  • Infinity Wars Sleepwalker #4 by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, and Todd Nauck
  • Miles Morales Spider-Man #1 by Saladin Ahmed and Javi Garron
  • Mr & Mrs X #6 by Kelly Thompson and Oscar Bazaldua
  • Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #313 by Sean Ryan and Juan Frigeri
  • Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #3 by Seanan McGuire and Rosi Kampe
  • Typhoid Fever Iron Fist #1 by Clay McLeod Chapman and Paolo Villanelli
  • Uncanny X-Men Vol 5 #5 by Ed Brisson and R. B. Silva
  • Weapon X Vol 3 #27 by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Luca Pizzari
  • X-23 Vol 3 #7 by Mariko Tamaki and Georges Duarte
  • X-Men Red #11 by Tom Taylor and Paolo Villanelli

DC

  • Batman Vol 3 Annual #3 by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt
  • Batman Who Laughs #1 by Scott Snyder and Jock
  • Detective Comics Vol 2 #994 by Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, and Jaime Mendoza
  • Electric Warriors #2 by Steve Orlando and Travel Foreman
  • Flash Vol 5 #60 by Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarrogona
  • Hawkman Vol 5 #7 by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch
  • Justice League Dark Vol 2 #6 by James Tynion IV and Dominike “Domo” Stanton
  • Sideways #11 by Dan Didio and Kenneth Rocafort
  • Suicide Squad Vol 4 #49 by Rob Williams and Diogenes Neves
  • Supergirl Vol 7 #25 by Marc Andreyko and Emanuela Lupacchino
  • Superman Vol 6 #6 by Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Prado, and Ivan Reis
  • Titans Vol 3 #31 by Dan Abnett and Minkyu Jung
  • Wonder Woman Vol 5 #60 by G. Willow Wilson, Cary Nord, Mick Gray
  • Batman Damned #2 by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo
  • Goddess Mode #1 by Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez
  • House of Whispers #4 by Nalo Hopkinson and Dominike “Domo” Stanon

Dark Horse

  • Black Hammer Cthu-Louise by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox
  • Joe Golem Occult Detective Drowning City #4 by Mike Mignola, Chris Golden, and Peter Bergting
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 #3 by Joel Hodgson and Todd Nauck
  • Quantum Age from the World of Black Hammer #5 by Jeff Lemire and Wilfredo Torres
  • War Bears #3 by Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy
  • William Gibson’s Alien 3 #2 by Johnnie Christmas, William Gibson, and Tamra Bonvillain

Image

  • Auntie Agathas Home for Wayward Rabbits #2 by Keith Giffen and Benjamin Roman
  • Birthright #34 by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, and Adriano Lucas
  • Bitter Root #2 by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sandford Greene
  • Cemetery Beach #4 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard
  • Head Lopper #10 by Andrew MacLean
  • Hit-Girl Vol 2 #11 by Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone
  • Infinite Dark #3 by Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, and K. Michael Russell
  • Mage the Hero Denied #14 by Matt Wagner
  • Magic Order #5 by Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel
  • Oblivion Song #10 by Robert Kirman, Lorenzo De Felici, and Annalisa Leoni
  • Outer Darkness by John Layman and Afu Chan
  • Redlands #9 by Jordie Bellaire and Vanessa R. Del Rey
  • Rose #15 by Meredith Finch and Ig Guara
  • Skyward #9 by Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, and Antonio Fabela
  • Sleepless #10 by Sarah Vaughn, Leila Del Duca, and Alissa Sallah

What comic books are you excited about? Let me know in the comments!

Doctor Strange: The Oath – A Comic Series Review

“The firm footing of rational thought has its place, Watson, but when dealing with the enchanted one must take the occasional leap of faith.”

The Series

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Marcos Martin
Published in 2007 by Marvel
Read through Marvel Unlimited
Amazon | Goodreads

What It Is

Capture3

The Oath is a five-part comic series that was released in 2007 and was written by Brian K. Vaughn (most recently known for his work on Saga), with art by Marcos Martin.

Doctor Strange discovers that his faithful assistant and best friend, Wong, has a very rare and untreatable brain tumor, and is determined to use every resource at his disposal to find a cure. During his quest, he discovers a powerful, magical potion, known as Otkid’s Elixir.

Before he can administer the potion to Wong, Doctor Strange is shot and the potion is stolen. Wong drags Doctor Strange to the office of Night Nurse, who is actually a doctor, where she works to save Strange’s life while being pestered by his astral form.

Brigand is the name of the petty criminal-for-hire who shot Strange and stole the elixir, but Doctor Strange can sense that something’s not quite right. He shouldn’t have been taken down by someone as weak as Brigand, so who’s helping him? Mephisto, Nightmare, Mordo, Dormammu… there are so many people that could be behind this.

Doctor Strange, Wong, and Night Nurse team up to try to get the elixir back, discovering it’s true nature, and being forced to make a life-or-death decision.

My Thoughts

Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character, and since discovering Marvel Unlimited (which is amazing), I’ve been catching up on his backstory. I’m disappointed that it took me so long to get to this particular series because I really enjoyed it.

This series is one of the prime examples of what I love so much about Doctor Strange. He’s brilliant but rash and has learned from the mistakes of his past. There are plenty of quirky, funny moments, and Doctor Strange easily makes a name for himself as one of the most powerful figures in the Marvel universe.

capture8.png
One of my favorite panels

The art by Marcos Martin is wonderful, and below are a few of my favorite panels. I particularly love the way Nightmare is drawn in this series:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One aspect of the story that I liked was the commentary on the evils of the pharmaceutical industry. Much of the story is Doctor Strange fighting a representative of Timely Pharmaceuticals, who may have a bit more up his sleeve than just a medical degree.

Most comic books, especially those published by Marvel, start with a general introduction to the story, summarizing the previous few issues and a very brief biography of the character. Much of the time, it’s basically the same page in each individual issue, with a few minor adjustments made here and there as the story unfolds, but I really appreciated that in The Oath each issue has a unique introduction page. In most comic series I actually skip over that page, especially if I’ve been following the story since issue 1, but for this one, I ended up reading and enjoying the introductions.

My favorite thing about this series is that it’s a story of the friendship between Doctor Strange and Wong, and Strange’s promises to his friends and patients. Wong has always been an integral part of every Doctor Strange series, but this particular one does a great job of showing that.

Verdict

I’m giving this series a 5 out of 5 stars. I loved so much about it, and since it’s only five issues, it’s short enough to re-read frequently. This is a wonderful place to start if you’re new to Doctor Strange comics.

Are you a Doctor Strange fan? What’s your favorite issue or series?

New Comic Book Releases for October 3, 2018

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s comic book release day! Here are some of the most exciting issues coming out. For a complete list, head over to Midtown Comics.

Not sure where to buy your comics? Check out Comic Shop Locator for shops near you. If you don’t live in an area with a local shop, you can purchase from Midtown Comics, directly from the publisher, or through Comixology if you prefer digital copies.

Marvel

  • Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #2 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn
  • Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli
  • Champions Vol 2 #25 by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Max Dunbar
  • Cosmic Ghost Rider #4 by Donny Cates and Dylan Burnett
  • Deadpool Vol 6 #5 by Skottie Young and Scott Hepburn
  • Death of the Inhumans #4 by Donny Cates and Ariel Olivetti
  • Doctor Strange Vol 5 #6 by Mark Waid and Javier Pina
  • Infinity Wars Sleepwalker #1 by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Todd Nauck
  • Shatterstar #1 by Tim Seeley, Carlos Villa, Gerardo Sandoval
  • Star Wars Vol 4 #55 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Lorroca
  • Superior Octopus #1 by Christos Gage and Mike Hawthorne
  • Tony Stark Iron Man #4 by Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti
  • Typhoid Fever Spider-Man #1 by Clay Chapman and Stefano Landini
  • Weapon H #8 by Greg Pak and Guiu Vilanova
  • Weapon X Vol 3 #24 by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Luca Pizzari

 

  • What If Spider-Man #1 by Gerry Conway and Diego Olortegui
  • What If X-Men #1 by Bryan Hill, Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis
  • X-Men Black Magneto #1 by Chris Claremont and Dalibor Talajic

 

DC

  • Adventures of the Super Sons #3 by Peter J. Tomasi, Carlo Barberi, Art Thibert
  • Batman Vol 3 #56 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel
  • Deathstroke Vol 4 #36 by Christopher Priest, Ed Benes, Fernando Pasarin
  • Green Arrow Vol 7 #45 by Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Javi Fernandez
  • Green Lanterns #56 by Dan Jurgens and Marco Santucci
  • Harley Quinn Vol 3 #51 by Sam Humphries and Sami Basri
  • Injustice 2 #35 by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere
  • Justice League Vol 4 #9 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez
  • Nightwing Vol 4 #50 by Ben Percy, Chris Mooneyham, Travis Moore
  • Unexpected Vol 2 #5 by Steve Orlando and Ronan Cliquet
  • United States vs Murder Inc #2 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
  • Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark Witching Hour #1 by James Tynion IV and Jesus Merino
  • Border Town #2 by Eric M Esquivel and Ramon Villalobos
  • Dreaming Vol. 2 #2 by Simon Spurrier and Bilquis Evely

Image

  • Blackbird #1 by Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel
  • Dead Rabbit #1 by Gerry Duggan and John McCrea
  • Errand Boys #1 by D.J. Kirkbride and Nikos Koutsis
  • Jook Joint #1 by Tee Franklin and Alitha Martinez
  • Last Siege #5 by Landry Q. Walker and Justin Greenwood
  • Magic Order #4 by Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel
  • New Lieutenants of Metal #4 by Joe Casey and Ulises Farinas
  • Paper Girls #25 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson
  • Paradiso #8 by Ram V. and Dev Pramanik
  • Redlands #7 by Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa R. Del Rey
  • Thief of Thieves #41 by Brett Lewis and Shawn Martinbrough
  • Walking Dead #184 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
  • Spawn #290 by Todd McFarlane and Jason Shawn Alexander
  • Eclipse #11 by Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano

IDW

  • Batman the MAXX Arkham Dreams #1 by John Layman and Sam Kieth
  • Euthanauts #3 by Tini Howard and Nick Robles
  • House Amok #2 by Christopher Sebela and Shawn McManus
  • Star Wars Adventures from Vader’s Castle #1 by Cavan Scott and Derek Charm

Dark Horse

  • Death Orb #1 by Ryan Ferrier, Alejandro Aragon, Chris O’Halloran
  • Tomb Raider Inferno #4 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Phillip Sevy, Michael Atiyeh
  • Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion #1 by Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba, Nick Filardi
  • War Bears #2 by Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy

Dynamite Entertainment

  • Barbarella #10 by Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar
  • James Bond Origin #2 by Jeff Parker and Bob Q
  • Lone Ranger Vol 6 #1 by Mark Russell and Bob Q
  • Rainbow Brite #1 by Jeremy Whitley and Brittney Williams

Comic Book Review: Black Bolt by Saladin Ahmed & Christian Ward

The Comic Book

Black Bolt (Issues 1-12), collected in Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Written by Saladin Ahmed (Twitter | Patreon)
Art by Christian Ward (Website |Twitter | Tumblr) & Frazer Irving (Tumblr |Instagram)
Goodreads (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2)
Marvel Unlimited
Published by Marvel, 2018

What It Is

Black Bolt is the King of the Inhumans. Well, actually, he was King, but he abdicated his throne and now finds himself in an ancient Inhuman prison out among the stars. He had meant to place his brother, Maximus the Mad, in the prison, but Maximus used his technology and wits to change places with Black Bolt.

The prison would be terrifying by anyone’s standards. Black Bolt’s powers are gone, and he has died many times at the hands of the mysterious Jailer, only to be brought back to life. He meets some of the other prisoners and befriends them, and they work together to escape. Their escape comes at a cost though.

This series explores Black Bolt’s history, his relationship with his son, Ahura, and who he is versus who he wants to be.

In case you’re not familiar with Black Bolt or the Inhumans, here’s a quick refresher:

My Thoughts

I loved everything about this series, from the writing to the art. Especially the art. I remember picking the first few issues of this series up in my local comic book shop months and months ago. I wasn’t a big Inhumans fan, but Black Bolt seemed like a pretty interesting character. After all, writing a character that cannot speak takes talent (Black Bolt’s power is the ability to topple enemies and even entire cities with just his voice). The reason I ended up buying all of these issues, however, was due to Christian Ward’s spectacular art. Every time I open up one of these issues, I’m blown away by the characters and the vibrant colors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Those are a few of my favorite examples, but it’s all good. Good art is vital for a comic book series; I can’t tell you how many issues I’ve picked up and abandoned because of how terrible the art was. After reading this Black Bolt series, however, I have found myself seeking out all of Christian Ward’s art.

I need to talk about Saladin Ahmed’s talent as a writer as well. As I mentioned before, a writer needs to get creative when telling the story of a character who cannot speak. Granted, there are parts of this series, such as in the prison, when Black Bolt loses his powers and is able to safely talk with his friends, but for the most part, he’s still the same Black Bolt we’ve come to know. With creative storytelling and the art to back it up, Black Bolt is an incredibly dynamic character who wants to save his friends and return to the world he knows.

I appreciated the character of Blinky a lot. She’s a child who was thrown into the prison after stealing at a bazaar and can use her Inner Eye to communicate with others and share memories. I love the childlike innocence her character brings to the story.

Blinky - Black Bolt, Marvel Comics
Blinky

Another aspect of the story I enjoyed was the peek into Black Bolt’s past, where he was completely isolated and experimented on by his parents. His son, Ahura, gets to relive his father’s memories alongside Blinky, and the last couple of issues deals with Black Bolt’s fragile relationship with his son, and Ahura learning about some of the reasons his father acts the way he does.

The last thing I’ll say about this series has to do with a panel that made me laugh. For those of you who might not know, Black Bolt is short for the masterpiece that is his real name: Blackagar Boltagon. Seriously. His real name always makes me giggle, but I lost it when I came across this panel:

Blackagar Boltagon - Black Bolt - Marvel

Verdict (Buy/Borrow/Skip)

Buy. This is an amazing series, and a great introduction to Black Bolt if you’re new to comics.