The title character of Marvel Comics’ Old Man Logan hails from a nightmarish potential future, a version of the Marvel Universe that’s been devastated by supervillains, which makes his current situation one that's continually taking some getting used to. Not only has he had to fight side by side with the counterparts of heroes he was duped into killing in his home dimension, he’s also had to attempt to fill the massive shoes of the Marvel U’s younger (and deceased) Wolverine. Series like X-Men Gold and Old Man Logan have chronicled the grizzled, elderly Wolverine’s attempts to find his way in this strange new reality, and now, just as he’s found his footing, his world is about to shift in two tumultuous and dangerous ways.
His first big challenge comes in November’s Old Man Logan #31 by writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato. The issue kicks off a Marvel Legacy arc titled “The Scarlet Samurai,” and will pit the former Wolverine against both foes and friends from his past. The other challenge will most likely arrive early next year when Old Man Logan finally crosses paths with his resurrected Marvel Universe counterpart, who was revealed to be back among the living in the recent Marvel Legacy one-shot.
CBR spoke with Brisson about the impact of Wolverine’s return, the inspiration for and identity of the Scarlet Samurai, and the role Wolverine’s old foes, the Hand, will play in this new arc.
CBR: Ed, let's start with the big news in the world of Wolverine, the fact that the Marvel Universe's Logan has returned. What can you tell us about the implications of Wolverine's resurrection on Old Man Logan? What's your sense of how your protagonist might react to Wolverine's return?
Ed Brisson: I suspect he won’t deal with it well. This isn’t really Old Man Logan’s timeline, and deep down, he knows that. He’s a proxy Wolverine for the X-Men. And, while the original Wolverine was gone, that was easy enough for everyone to forget.
Now, with Wolverine back, that doesn’t mean that the X-Men are going to put Logan out. Far from it. There’s plenty of room for Old Man Logan in their hearts, but I do think that this is something that Old Man Logan is going to internalize and have a good amount of grief over. He may not talk about his feelings, but he’s still got them. He’s the kind of old codger who doesn’t want to get in the way, but would probably just wonder off so that he doesn’t feel like a burden.
In Old Man Logan #31, you kick off a new Marvel Legacy arc titled "Scarlet Samurai." What can you tell us about this arc's title character?
Scarlet Samurai is a new identity for an existing character. She’s someone from Logan’s past, which is all I can say on that.
The idea to bring this character back, to reinvent her, was inspired by the Legacy push. We wanted someone who was familiar to readers, but presented in a way that still adds to Logan’s story. Something fresh.
This new arc also involves the Hand. Obviously, they have a long standing rivalry with Wolverine, but what do you find most interesting about them as an organization? Which aspects of the Hand are you interested in exploring in this story?
To me, The Hand have always been, more or less, cannon fodder (claw fodder?) against folks like Logan. What I wanted to do in this arc is upgrade them, make them more of a threat. What happens when The Hand become unkillable?
What else can you tell us about the supporting cast of this arc? Will Old Man Logan run into some other familiar friends and foes?
You know it! Along with The Hand, we’ve got Gorgon (Tomi Shishido), who has, in the past, successfully led The Hand in battle against Wolverine. And you know if you invite one samurai to the party, you gotta invite them all, so look for an appearance from Silver Samurai.
Another element that I'm excited about for this new arc is the fact that Mike Deodato will draw it. I've been a fan of the way he's drawn martial arts style action ever since his Shang-Chi arc of Secret Avengers. What's it like working with Mike on this story?
Mike is dream to work with. Every day I wake up and there’s a fresh page in my inbox, I swear to you, it’s better than a morning cup of coffee.
I think the thing that Mike really brings to the story is the larger than life feel. We have a scene with Hand ninja invading a building and he drew literally thousands of them (millions maybe!). He doesn’t back down from any challenge -- dude just gets in there and sells the hell out of everything I write. Everyone should be so lucky as to work with Deo.
Finally, what sort of hints and teases can you leave us with about how the first few months of 2018 will treat Old Man Logan? What kinds of stories can readers expect
Oh man. We have plans. I can’t get into it, but we’re starting to seed in a lot of stuff right now that will have long term consequences for Logan. Some of those consequences we’re going to see taking effect immediately after the “Scarlet Samurai” arc, and some will pay off a year down the line.
In terms of stories, I think we’re going to see more of Logan looking for a connection and, more importantly, trying to find his place in a world where this world’s Wolverine is back.