Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino use “Old Man Logan” #3 to take readers on a mini-tour of Battleworld, and one of the stops is the domain of Apocalypse, as seen from the continuation of last issue, but — oddly enough — not the domain where this incarnation of Logan came from. That’s just fine, though, as Logan’s travels give readers a peek into these domains with almost the same kind of shock and overwhelmed feeling that a displaced Logan experiences and, even though the issue meanders a bit, it’s still a fun walkabout through these mysterious and relatively unexplored realms.
This old man plays dumb, but that’s understandable, as it’s Logan’s first exposure to these other territories and, in fact, his first awareness that such other domains even exist. Bendis and Sorrentino made a welcome return to Logan’s bleak future originally established by Mark Millar in past issues, but now make an equally welcoming venture into the even bleaker “Age of Apocalypse” continuity established two decades ago. Sorrentino’s usage of heavy shadowing and broken lines convincingly establish a very dark and despondent world, greatly enhanced by colorist Marcelo Maiolo’s reliance on orange and crimson to make a land ruled by Apocalypse even more hellish.
Sorrentino and Maiolo’s technique is also oddly fitting for the much shinier but technologically corrupt Technopolis, Tony Stark’s vision of a futuristic metropolitan city. The cold, sterile confines of this city are captured well by Sorrentino’s darker outlines and Mariano’s reddish tones, which evoke a perversely light-polluted sky. In this sequence, Bendis’ characterization of Stark contains the usual pompous Stark audacity but also has a refreshing splash of more old fashioned scientific curiosity. Stark and Logan engage in a conversation rooted more in natural and mutual inquisitiveness and the expected antagonistic angle, although the encounter does eventually turn physical and leads to Logan being dumped into yet another part of Battleworld, which keeps Bendis’ story moving along right up through the end of the issue.
Bendis also provides strong characterization when Logan encounters an alternate version of the X-Men in Apocalypse’s province, particularly in a brief encounter between Logan and Tabitha, aka Boom Boom. Aside from these alternate reality meet-‘n’-greets, though, Logan is largely a spectator in his own comic, drifting like a feather across the multiverse, but it’s a workable blend of Old Man Logan making his way through an altered world while pausing long enough at each stop to smell the figurative roses. There’s a bit of aimlessness to this chapter of the story, but it’s a fun ride despite all the detours.
“Old Man Logan” #3 benefits from Bendis’ decompressed storytelling style, giving sufficient time to explore new landscapes as well as providing Sorrentino and Maiolo the time to render them. It’s the kind of issue that takes advantage of the scope of “Secret Wars” and the diverse world that houses it.