William F. Nolan's Logan's Run Last Day #1

I have never read William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's "Logan Run," the novel upon which the 1976 sci-fi-chic film was based. But since this first issue of the comic book series bares one of the author's names in the title, and since the plot already diverges from what we saw in the maybe-not-so-classic film, I'm going to assume that this is some kind of adaptation of the novel. Whether it is or not doesn't really matter, I suppose, as the big question with these kinds of projects is always: does it work on its own merits?

The answer here is: mostly.

One of the problems with this opening issue -- the thing that keeps it from being a great comic -- is the utter simplicity of the story. The utter sincerity of it. It has a flashback plopped right into the middle of the first issue, a flashback in which we learn the secret origin of protagonist Logan 6, but it's basically one unsubtle sequence after another. Logan, the Sandman, chases down a runner. A struggle. Plenty of exposition. A discovery scene. A twist.

Actually, the twist at the end is the best part of the plotting, not because it is a twist, but because it hints at some deeper layers with Logan 6. It hints that this straightforward, bland character has a dangerous side willing to take more risks than just hunting some over-the-hill hippies.

The dialogue is flavorless, but that might be a feature of this futuristic world, the world of tomorrow that executes everyone over a certain age (it doesn't specify how old in the first issue) unless they submit to deep sleep. The entire world is bland, from the generic, vanilla sci-fi scenery to the jumpsuits worn by the citizens. Sure, the jumpsuits come in all the colors of a package of Skittles, but, as a fashion statement, they don't say much.

In this world, Logan 6 must do his job -- and we learn he's close to the end of his life as well, with impending deep sleep coming his way soon -- and his job is to stop people from getting to Sanctuary, whatever that is.

Gete's artwork is serviceable throughout the story, but it's highly effective in the flashback sequences, where he actually draws children who look like children. And the children he draws are lethal. There's a brutality in the proceedings. A cold, harsh brutality that's a sharp contrast to the innocent-looking characters drawn by Gete.

This is a slick, professional-looking effort by the team at Bluewater. It might be mostly by-the-numbers, but it's produced with skill. And there might be just enough here to make me curious about where the story's headed next.

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