Welcome to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly column that answers the question: "What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?" This week there are five X-Books on the stands, which will cost you a total of $21 to buy and, thanks to modern decompression techniques, take roughly ten minutes to read. If that seems like a waste of time and money, you can keep your money by reading our recaps for free. We make no promises about the use of your time, however.
This week we've got Phoenix Resurrection #5, All-New Wolverine #30, Despicable Deadpool #293, Old Man Logan #34, and Jean Grey #11. Let's have a look at Old Man Logan…
Old Man Logan #34
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Ibraim Roberson
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Cory Petit
Previously, Logan traveled to Japan where his ex-girlfriend Mariko, newly raised from the dead by The Hand, tried to kill him. They sorted things out, and Logan and Mariko have traveled to Madripoor to track down and destroy the remaining supply of Regenix, a dangerous drug that mimics Wolverine's healing factor.
We start by getting a history lesson on Clan Yashida and The Hand on Madripoor. Mariko's great great grandfather, Renchi Harada, once kicked The Hand out of Madripoor, but Clan Yashida lost interest in the island when Renchi Harada was exposed as being just a pseudonym for the great-great-grandfather of Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. Now, Mariko thinks The Hand plans to use Regenix to take over Madripoor again.
Mariko wants to stop them and get revenge for all that resurrection and mind control business, but she gets annoyed because Old Man Logan doesn't heal as quickly as he used to. She's about to go off on her own, but Logan downs some Canadian alcohol and says he's good to go. The pair begin roughing up random street thugs looking for tips on locating the Crazy Thunder Clan, who are in possession of the drugs. They finally find someone willing to help. This'll go well.
Meanwhile, Crazy Thunder Clan leader Kenji has scientists working on replicating the formula for Regenix from samples. As a boss, he's a real micro-manager, and when one scientist accidentally blows up one of the samples, Kenji stomps him to death. Suddenly, there's a big explosion, and Gorgon and The Hand bust in. Everyone wants the Regenix! People, there are easier ways to get high. Try eating Tide pods!
Back on the mean streets of Madripoor, Logan and Mariko hear the explosion, but decide to follow the street thug anyway, who leads them into a Hand ambush. Oh noes! The Hand slices the thug in half as payment betraying Logan and Mariko, and then lots of Hand ninjas get sliced up by Logan's claws and Mariko's sword.
Back at the drug lab, The Hand kills everyone except Kenji. They want the Regenix. Meanwhile, Logan and Mariko decide to go check out that explosion after all now that there are no Hand ninjas to kill. At the lab, Kenji tries to form a partnership with The Hand, but once he reveals where the remaining samples are, Gorgon kills him. The Hand are about to take the Regenix when Logan and Mariko arrive.
Logan takes on all the ninjas while Mariko battles, and defeats, Gorgon. Her victory is short-lived, however, because Logan collapses. The poor guy is all tuckered out! Senior citizens need their naps.
This story will be continued. The teaser for the next issue shows Mariko about to slice Logan's head off. Personally, we think she should do it.
As far as Wolverine books go, Old Man Logan under the current creative team has been pretty enjoyable. It's easily the second best Wolverine book being published right now. Unfortunately, the original Wolverine is coming back soon, and there's not really a need for an older, even more sentimental version of Wolverine when the perfectly good young version is running around. It'll be a shame if Young Man Logan replaces Old Man Logan though, because at least Old Man Logan has been chilling out in Japan and Madripoor, which keeps him too busy to participate in multiple super-mega-crossover events and join every Avengers team and whatnot. It'll be back to the same old crap once the original Logan takes over again.