Welcome, dear readers, to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that strives to answer the question: "What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?"
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books that come out that week, praise the things we like about them, and complain about the things we don't. This week, there are seven X-Books in stores, which will make a dent in your wallet. But are these comics worth taking out a second mortgage to read?
Let's look at Old Man Logan #36 and find out…
OLD MAN LOGAN #36
ED BRISSON (W)
DALIBOR TALAJIC (A)
Cover by MIKE DEODATO JR.
NEW MUTANTS VARIANT COVER BY DAVE JOHNSON
MOVING TARGET Part 1
• MAYOR FISK has banned vigilantes within New York!
• But LOGAN may have information to take down KINGPIN!
• KINGPIN won't go down without a fight. He'll do anything to hang on to his new political career!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
A new storyline kicks off in Old Man Logan this week, since the Madripoor/Japan storyline ended in the previous issue. Logan returns to New York City, where The Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk, has been elected mayor while he was gone. Fisk ran on issues like getting rid of superheroes and the X-Men, naturally.
Logan is in the world's biggest tourist trap, Times Square, where Logan reflects via internal monologue on how screwed up the world is. He smells something, so he enters a bar and grumpily demands a plain Canadian beer. A man sits down next to him and asks for a whiskey. Logan tells the man he knows he's been following him for hours, and he wants to know what the man wants. The man needs Wolverine's help because he has information that could take down Wilson Fisk.
We cut to a Fisk rally, where crowds are cheering for anti-superhero sentiment. Backstage, Fisk wants his men to locate the "junkie" who is presumably the guy Logan was talking to in the bar.
Speaking of whom, we cut back to that guy's cousin's apartment, where he brought Logan. He presents Logan with a USB thumb drive, but he doesn't know what's on it because it's encrypted, only that Fisk is willing to kill for it. He used to work for Fisk, and he saw that the drive was very important, so he stole it. As soon as he plugged it in though, he was attacked by Fisk goons and barely escaped. Logan reluctantly agrees to help, first by getting the guy somewhere safe.
They hop on the subway, but the guy is paranoid. Rightfully so. He gets shot in the head (and we never even learned his name). That's revealed as the thugs try to retrieve the drive from "Nicky." Logan attacks. The goons are surprised Wolverine is so old. They shoot him with handguns, but they make the machine gun sound effect, which is odd.
The fight spills outside onto the tracks, and Logan barely gets out of the way of an oncoming train. The goon he was fighting isn't so lucky and gets splatted. Wolverine heads to a pharmacy and buys some bandages and rubbing alcohol for his wounds. As we've seen previously in this series, his healing factor is getting weaker. The clerk tries to call the cops, but Wolverine threatens him. Logan decides he needs to find someone who knows more about Fisk. He has an idea, but it isn't revealed to us.
Meanwhile, back at Fisk HQ, Fisk's men inform him that Logan got away with the drive. Fisk tells them to get footage of the fighting and death on TV, blame it on Logan, and make sure it's not connected back to Fisk. After the goons leave, Fisk speaks to a man sitting in his office, throwing paper-clips with precision into his wall like darts. It must be Bullseye. Fisk tells him he wants him to find Logan and retrieve the drive. Bullseye says he'll do that, but he'll also kill Logan. TO BE CONTINUED!
This book has been consistent and solid, but it's hard to imagine it won't be a casualty of the next X-shakeup. We know the younger version of Wolverine is coming back, and All-New Wolverine has already been announced as getting rebooted as X-23. Until that happens, as Wolverine books go, this one is enjoyable enough. Certainly, a jaded old Logan with a slow healing factor is preferable to the younger version, who was already a Mary Sue before he got his hands on an Infinity Stone. So we'll continue to enjoy it while it's still around.