[WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for Old Man Logan #14.]
Since returning from his post-apocalyptic life, Old Man Logan has been on a mission to stop his future from ever happening. In his endeavors to alter the timeline, he’s kept an eye on the Extraordinary X-Men, dealt with the events of a second superhero Civil War (which could have some startling ramifications), searched for his future wife Maureen, and helped the X-Men deal with their own menaces while trying avoid accidentally killing them; the very tragedy that possibly kicked off his alternate future.
Recently, he spent some quality time in Japan, battling the spiritual leader of the Silent Order (another thread from from his unpleasant timeline), as well as running into his old nemesis Lady Deathstrike. Logan then returned to X-Haven just in time to stop the World Devourer (not Galactus, a different one) from wiping out Limbo. As Old Man Logan #14 kicks off, he tries to take a break on top of the school. Unfortunately, his downtime is cut short by a visit from Cerebra, who informs him that Jubilee is missing.
A Friend in Need
Old school fans are well aware of Wolverine and Jubilee’s storied friendship. The grizzled old mutant to her naïve teenager, they represented opposite ends of the X-Men's team spectrum. In that regard, Logan took the greenhorn under his wings, much like he does later with X-23, becoming a mentor and even a surrogate father. These days, though, Jubilee isn’t quite the same X-Woman she used to be.
A bit older and wiser, she lost her mutant powers during M-Day, before regaining them temporarily. Not long after, Jubilee was infected by a vampire bomb (a V-bomb?) during the "Curse of the Mutants" story arc and now struggles with her own blood-sucking tendencies. Of course, she also has adopted child, Shogo, to worry about, and seemed to have her vampiric tendencies under control. Her disappearance is disturbing, though, and brings Logan and Cerebra out of Limbo to her Brooklyn apartment. There, they finds little Shogo all by himself, with Jubilee nowhere to be found.
Naturally, Logan decides to track her down, and her trail leads straight into the darkest woods of Romania.
A Forsaken Place
Cerebra is able to track Jubilee to her last known destination in Romania, so Logan leaves Shogo in her capable but confused hands, dashing off to the heart of the Marvel Universe’s vampire country – only to bump into the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. (aka, S.T.A.K.E., if that isn’t enough acronyms for you). Mistaking one other for enemy combatants, in that inimitable comic book fashion, they duke it out until both sides realize…hey, we’re kind of on the same side here.
Logan discovers that Warwolf and his squad, consisting of Man-Thing, Manphibian, Hit-Monkey (yes!), Teen Abomination, and Glyph, are also missing a team member. It seems that Vampire by Night went missing, and the Commandos are engaged in a battle with Dracula and his vampires to retrieve her. After a few good zingers (on both sides), Logan allies with S.T.A.K.E. to take down Dracula and get both of their comrades back. The only trouble is, it doesn’t seem like either Jubilee or Vampire by Night are particularly interested in returning to active duty.
Staging a two-pronged assault, the Howling Commandos attack Castle Dracula, while Old Man Logan slips in through the back. Unfortunately, the unlikely team quickly discovers that both Jubilee and Vampire By Night are entranced by the Count. In fact, Jubilee has set a trap for him. While she distracts OML, Dracula sneaks up and sinks his teeth into Logan’s neck.
Now, some fans may say: at least Dracula didn’t try to convert a younger, more powerful Wolverine, with an even greater healing capacity and stamina. Sure, there is a bright side, and the glass of blood looks pretty half-full on that one. Needless to say, any version of Wolverine with a vampire's bloodlust is never a good thing.
Old Man Logan #14 offers a deadly-curious premise: will Logan, despite his enhanced abilities, transform into an honest-to-goodness bloodsucker? The promo for OML #15 certainly makes it look like a distinct possibility. Whether “Old Wolverine” (don’t call him that) actually becomes a vampire, if only for a moment, the coming issues of the “Monster War” arc should provide plenty of Hammer Horror-esque escapades and some bloody good action. Plus, it’s always fun to watch the Howling Commandos at work.
In the Blood?
Aside from a couple of silly superhero tropes (like the aforementioned 'confused-so-let's-fight' scenario), Old Man Logan #14 sets things up nicely for a good old-fashioned horror story arc. Writer Jeff Lemire (Death of X) plays with readers by melding classic scary movie motifs with crackling dialogue as the plot trots along to its cliffhanger conclusion. Although somewhat lacking without Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo, fill-in artist Felipe Andrade and colorist Jordie Bellaire set an appropriate tone with their gloomy highlights and shadows, as well as a palette consisting of muted green, red, and gray.
The House of Ideas’ staff even take another shot at Batman V Superman (and indulges in some vampire humor), as next issue's teaser reads: “Old Man Logan Vs Dracula: Dawn of Justice”. All joking aside, watching Logan get his vamp on (or avoid doing so) should be a fascinating turn of events. It will be curious to see how he manages to break the Count's hold over Jubilee. It's also a good bet that, win or lose, the Count will have something to do with Monsters Unleashed as it stomps into shops this January.
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Old Man Logan #14 is currently available. Old Man Logan #15 arrives on December 14th, 2016.