How do you follow up the first issue of a five-part mini-series that’s already brimming with questions and mystery? Well, if you’re Brian Michael Bendis writing Secret Wars: Old Man Logan, you might want to deepen the mystery further. In issue 2, he’s managed to do this by adding to the list of questions that were already raised in the curtain raiser.
The second issue of this Secret Wars tie-in mirrors the first in that readers are given more clues about the whereabouts and when-abouts of everyone’s favourite adamantium-clawed mutant. But should Bendis be criticised for doing so? Was this an issue that offered a balance between what lies under the sheet and what’s yet to come? I count myself fortunate that I’m able to appreciate a comic not only on the merit of its story. But like many of you, I’m not someone who’ll call a book the best comic they’ve ever read simply because of the pretty colours and beautifully rendered images that it contains.
As it stands, issue 2 is another showcase of brilliant artwork by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. Right from the start, fans can absorb the desolation and hopelessness of a vast deserted wasteland on the outskirts of a city. The story’s array of locations gives Sorrentino the opportunity to present masterful depictions of varied flora and fauna, with shapes that have been tastefully detailed to create a wonderful effect.
Maiolo flavours the pages with his arsenal of colours to convey different moods. Just a few pages in and we experience a captivating palette of lush greens, bright, iridescent yellows and golds and white-hot electric blues. The colourist’s use of placid and tranquil greens in the jungle scene create a sense of silence and serenity, until panels of alarming red indicate action unfolding as the stakes get higher.
Wolverine fan or not, anyone with even a remote interest in art would take a moment to admire the breath-taking cover art on issue 2. Sorrentino and Maiolo have kept things simple and effective – two players, two sides, and pieces of each in the other. We see old adamantium and new adamantium, conflicting in their brilliance against the unsettling crimson backdrop that is some unknown terrain. The cliffhanger at the end of this issue had me aching for more, which justifies Bendis’ use of pacing to heighten curiosity and interest in what is to follow.
What I Dug:– There was plenty to enjoy apart from the artwork, including some insight into the astonishing prowess and potential of Wolverine’s healing factor. Bendis even manages to pay homage to the original Old Man Logan series with a concise speech bubble courtesy of Emma Frost. Other interesting elements were Iceman’s evident sense of humour complete with wisecracks about osteoporosis, and, the X-Men’s sense of youthful ineptitude that is often seen in various team line-ups. As a bonus, a keen eye might notice that even a scrambling little monkey has a speech bubble to his credit.
What I didn’t dig:- Reading issue 2 left me mostly with a sense of dejavu, but isnt that what one has to expect this early on in the run? We’re talking about the relatively early stages of a five-part series, so we wouldn’t really just blaze through the story. Bendis takes his time, raising questions, whilst slowly revealing other pertinent information. To summarise the contents of issue 2, we see Logan encounter an old acquaintance whilst discovering the truth of the world he now finds himself in. His quest for answers leads him to new ground, but for the moment, he seems largely engulfed in a storm of more questions and confusion. On more than one occasion, we are presented with scenes of impending conflict only to see the danger quickly dissolve, just as it appears to escalate.
Afterword:- Am I worried that the following issues of this title will turn out to be a let-down? We’re in the hands of an award-winning writer, so I’m optimistic. Besides, there’s all those pretty colours and beautifully rendered images to enjoy.
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist- Andrea Sorrentino
Colourist- Marcelo Maiolo