SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Old Man Logan #48 by Ed Brisson, Ibraim Roberson, Carlos Lopez and VC’s Cory Petit, on sale now.
Old Man Logan has had quite the ride ever since he came over to the Marvel Prime Universe at the end of Secret Wars. He redeemed himself and walked a heroic path once more, but not all sins can be put to bed, no matter how many good deeds are intended to balance them out. Those demons have caught up with Logan again as he goes head-to-head with one of the most torturous aspects of his entire existence: The Hulk -- or rather, a Hulk.
In this case, it's the Maestro, and not the one that caused him so much pain from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's story. Still, let's just say any Hulk represents death and misery to him. As Old Man Logan nears its conclusion, the mutant faces off against his latest archnemesis, but it quickly becomes apparent what started off as a hero trying to finish one last mission is really a cleverly-disguised suicide attempt.
Before understanding what the veteran's going through, we have to remember the journey so far. Logan lost his family to the Hulk Gang in his universe, which culminated in him slaughtering them and then killing the Hulk (Bruce Banner in full-on villain mode). In addition to burying his loved ones, part of his soul was further damaged when he had to unsheathe his claws for revenge, something he swore off after being tricked into killing the X-Men by Mysterio.
Eventually, the weary warrior ended up making amends on this new world, helping the X-Men stave off extinction and even reconnecting with old faces, such as Puck, Hawkeye and Alpha Flight. Sadly, he was never meant for a peaceful life, as the Maestro brought over the remaining Hulks Logan didn't kill from his universe and tricked them into trying to detonate nukes all over the world. Logan foiled them, but in the process he was reminded of the gamma horror that brought him so much tragedy.
The Maestro escaped, but, with several new Hulks killed, Logan couldn't help but feel responsible, as he did leave their bloodline intact to survive on his world, not knowing they'd turn evil too. It reminded him of when he spared them decades before, leaving the Hulk kids to their own devices, only for them to murder his family for fun. Basically, he feels like his inaction back then keeps leading to disaster after disaster now. Well, he's looking to close this book out, hunting the Maestro to the snowy landscape of Canada, where it seems he wants to finish their first fight. But, as we recently found out, Logan's resigned to death and has a short time left.
He's being poisoned by the adamantium in his bones and there's no cure, similar to what happened in James Mangold's Logan. He admitted to Puck he welcomes death, as he wants to meet the people he loved in the afterlife. He doesn't see the Maestro as a case to solve, but as a poetic piece that brings his story full-circle. A Hulk killed his family and he wants to die by the same hand, even if it's due to a Hulk from a different world. Logan feels like he was meant to die with them that day and now he's fed up with wandering.
In the opening stages of their second round here, he admits he knows he'll lose to the Jade Giant, but it's obvious he'll go down swinging. In fact, he makes it clear he hopes to kill the Maestro in the process, as daunting as it seems.
It's death by suicide, but you can bet your bottom dollar Logan will give it his best shot. After all, he is the best at what he does and it's safe to say that, in his last hurrah, he'll find a way to dole out some justice on the way out. Issue #48 ends with him bloodied and battered, but the Maestro knows not to count him out just yet.