Warning: SPOILERS For Old Man Logan Annual #1
Wolverine fans are gearing up to bid farewell to Old Man Logan, so there's no better time to revisit the past in Old Man Logan Annual #1 - and introduce Old Man Punisher to the future wasteland.
In the primary Marvel Universe, Old Man Logan (trapped here after leaving his own universe behind) has recently discovered that his healing factor is finally failing. And while there have been plenty of times when comic book characters have been brought back from the brink, Marvel's announcement of a 12 part limited series titled Dead Man Logan suggests that this truly is the end for the character.
However, as Old Man Logan Annual #1 goes back in time to expand on the original Old Man Logan world, it shows that there is still the possibility of returning to the wasteland to tell more stories, starting with that of Old Man Punisher.
Old Man Logan Annual #1 takes place at the point in the original Old Man Logan story when Logan is traveling the Wasteland with a baby Hulk, dealing with various villains as he sees fit. While his destruction of the violent Hulks wasn't a bad thing, it's opened up the ruins of Carson City to new threats - including The Punishers. This gang of violent Frank-Castle-wannabes is terrorizing the town and kidnapping children, so Logan heads out to investigate.
Unsurprisingly, the Punishers shoot him on sight. But surprisingly, he is rescued by none other than the original Frank Castle... out for revenge on the criminals who are using his name and his symbol.
These two aging heroes bond over the state of the world they are now living in, and the misdeeds of the Punishers, before setting out to take them down once and for all. Old Man Logan wants to save the children, while Frank Castle wants to retrieve his stolen War Journal and avenge his name. And although there are plenty of Punishers standing up to them, this is Wolverine and Punisher we are talking about - of course the two heroes (old as they are) obliterate the gang in an epic battle.
Old Man Punisher, however, dies in the process... although he is happy to die having done what he needed to, with his journal of memories open on his chest. In many ways, Old Man Logan Annual #1 is simply a great foray back into the world of the Wasteland, one that lets fans see what has happened to more of the heroes of the Marvel universe. However, it's also a useful reminder that while Old Man Logan may be dying, that doesn't mean that this is truly the end of his story.
There's plenty of scope in the Wastelands for other stories to be told, so we may not be seeing the last of this version of Wolverine, despite his upcoming death.
Old Man Logan Annual #1 is now available from Marvel Comics.