What do you get when you throw X-23, Daken, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Mystique together in a force field cage? The same thing that happens every time they encounter each other: snarky exchanges and a whole lot of fighting. Following Wolverine’s death, those tied closest to him — both friend and foe, though more the latter — are brought together under a sinister plot that involves secret neurological programming. Schlocky and far too contrived, Charles Soule and Oliver Nome’s “The Logan Legacy” #1 is a weak follow up to Soule’s nostalgic “Death of Wolverine” miniseries.
Where Soule’s “Death of Wolverine” provided a slow, even story with a solemn tone and pitch-perfect gravitas, “The Logan Legacy” is a jarring change of pace with an over-the-top story that swings between hokey and just plain silly; it quickly loses any of the weight its title implies by using trite twists and a forced setup that serves to get these particular characters in a room together as quickly as possible. What’s more, some of the characters’ present breaks continuity. For example, according to her “All-New X-Men” subplot, X-23 is currently deep inside the Ultimate universe, but her appearance in “The Logan Legacy” goes unmentioned and unexplained.
Further, the issue includes an overwhelming amount of questions. Although we do get a big bad reveal by the end of the issue, a lot is left in the dark beyond why the characters were brought there and how they are connected. The timeline careens between the present moment and a series of flash forwards before plot actually kicks into gear, which throws the pacing for a loop and complicates an already vague situation. The consistent jumps in time — complete with a “check out this future issue!” tag — make a bulk of the story read like one issue-long tease for the arc instead of one complete plot. Similarly, some of the plot points don’t hold up under further interrogation, most notably that Mystique would be able to maintain an appearance while in close quarters with three known trackers.
Nome’s artwork doesn’t do much to help the struggling story. His panel-to-panel movement is erratic; he skips big chunks of movement in an effort to speed the meager story forward. Where some of this action could fill in the largely blank backgrounds, he opts to forego it altogether, and the resulting jumpiness interrupts the narrative flow. Additionally, his figure work comes across as blocky. With big, often crossed eyes and sharp, angular bodies, their movements and expressions fluctuate between stiff and hyperbolic with no in between. Colorist John Kalisz turns out some solid work regardless, bathing the scenes in a nice blue glow as reflected by the force field that appears in just about every panel; likewise, letterer Joe Caramagna packs in a lot of dialogue in an easy-to-follow, winding way that flows across some of the more intense character moments.
Charles Soule and Oliver Nome don’t leave Wolverine a very strong testament in “The Logan Legacy” #1. In comparison to the carefully plotted “Death of Wolverine” series, it falters with a frustratingly ambiguous storyline and choppy artwork. On its own merit, it’s already entirely forgettable.