Logan Returns From The Dead
The Maestro wins the day in Old Man Logan #48, pummeling the clawed hero into the pavement, but Issue #49 shows its a bit harder than that to kill the Wolverine. Well, actually... it isn't, since the attacks basically did kill him. It just took a matter of time for his body to recover from the injuries. And further proving how much Logan's system is failing, what once took mere hours to recover from has taken five days of real world time.
Waking up face down in a trench of the town's frozen bodies - former residents Maestro killed, or forced their friends to kill - makes Logan more certain than ever that killing Maestro must be the last mission he completes. But he needs help. Logan turns to the youth of the town, and one grieving mother eager to show Maestro that not everyone he rules is a coward. Logan tries his best to promise that 'The Wolverine' still has one last fight in him. And once he gets his hands on the Regenix and stands against Maestro... he proves it.
Logan's Last Fight as The Wolverine
The drugs take effect within seconds, with Logan tearing out of his chain restraints, and explaining that his newfound overload of healing factor "feels like my whole body is on fire. Every nerve jumping, sparking. Like a damn TNT factory going off inside my gut." I'm other words, just like he did decades earlier, before the adamantium poisoning and personal tragedy made him a shadow of the X-Man he used to be. And true to form, he takes the fight to Maestro just as recklessly as used to be his signature.
With all his griping about going years with nobody worthy of his strength, and being surrounded by weak, pathetic humans, Maestro seems to welcome the challenge. Something he might want to rethink, given how the Wolverine/Hulk fight turns out. Deciding his tiny kingdom is better than nothing, Maestro offers a truce, and to send Logan back in time and space to his original home, and family (using the same device Maestro used to come to this reality).
Wolverine hesitates, thinking of the townspeople he would continue to torment. And when Maestro responds by smashing the device to pieces, Logan sees only one acceptable outcome to their fight.
Wolverine's Last Stroke Takes Hulk's Head
The final slash is as decisive as it needs to be, with Logan channeling all of his fading strength into one attack, cleanly removing Maestro's head from his shoulders. And just that quickly, the menace of the villain is over. Wolverine is left to consider that his life of tragedies has yielded one more, standing over the beheaded Banner (whether it's the one born of his universe or not). The victory soon fades, as Logan understands the Regenix has cost as much as it seemed it would. Collapsing face first into the snow, and pleading under his breath for his story not to end here, alone, in the middle of nowhere. But it does... for now.
The ending would carry a but more sting if Marvel had not announced the coming 12-issue series Dead Man Logan, drawing the hero's story to its true close, and set to begin at the end of the month. It's still possible that the series won't actually begin after this apparent death of Logan, in which case this sacrifice will remain as important as it would otherwise seem. Either way, we can't see the greying, elderly Logan getting to fight as Wolverine ever again. But a strong finish, if he must have one.
Old Man Logan #50 is available now from Marvel Comics. Dead Man Logan #1 will begin its 12-issue run on November 28th, 2018.