Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Dead Man Logan #6
It will be difficult for fans of Wolverine who don't know the story behind Marvel Comics' Old Man Logan to truly appreciate the build-up. And with Wolverine's return from the dead lining up with Marvel's final Dead Man Logan series, many assumed that the two versions of Logan might pass like ships in the night. But if fans thought that might be preferable - avoiding the conflicts and contradictions of having the two men actually meet - then Dead Man Logan #6 is even more of a must-read. Because 'living up to the hype' doesn't even come close.
Whether or not fans even know about the dark, villain-ruled wasteland future Old Man Logan comes from, the grizzled version of Wolverine became a familiar face when he was dropped into the main Marvel reality years ago (helping to fill the space after The Death of Wolverine series killed the iconic Logan). His solo series reached its own climax when he faced down an evil, future version of Hulk, in a bloody battle that almost killed them both. Old Logan survived, but he couldn't stop his healing from failing; thus beginning his farewell Dead Man Logan series from writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Henderson.
Issue #6 begins with Old Man Logan putting his affairs in order, and saying a heartfelt goodbye to Steve Rogers (his own version of Captain America was killed with the rest of the Avengers years into the future). But when Logan catches a scent on the wind, and knows what meeting comes next, he heads for the nearest bar to order something "cold and Canadian." He's expecting company, in the meeting Wolverine fans may not have believed would really happen.
Wolverine & Old Man Logan, Together At Last
Not many Marvel characters, be they heroes or villains, can leave Wolverine unsure of himself. But as the Wolverine returned to Marvel's Universe openly admits to his older self, he's not sure their sharing a drink, or words, is such a good idea. In hindsight it was only a matter of time until Wolverine learned that his Marvel friends weren't totally without him for the past several years, and had to find out for himself. But with both versions of Wolverine convinced that the other is absolutely not a Life Model Decoy, imposter, or facsimile, it's only right that they share a beer hello... and goodbye.
Given his gruff exterior, it's a surprisingly touching scene for Old Man Logan, internally admitting that he feels like he was just "keeping the seat warm" in Marvel's Universe until the true Wolverine, this reality's Wolverine, returned. Now that he has, the greatest dilemma Old Man Logan was destined to face finally arrives, when Wolverine can't help but ask how their future turns out. Because "not great" would be putting it lightly.
It's a long overdue moment for Old Logan, who has spent his final months working to prevent his own tragic future - in which his wife Maureen, and their kids Jade and Scottie are all murdered - from ever taking place in this parallel universe. When finally faced with the question, Logan accepts that his efforts to prevent the future will end his story, once and for all. And the final piece of insurance... is to advise his younger self to avoid the happiness, the love, and the family he eventually found (to spare the tragedy that followed).
Old Man Logan Warns Wolverine About The Future
Dead Man Logan doesn't offer too much insight into their possible future, out of concern that the ramifications may be beyond their understanding. As even Logan can appreciate, telling his younger self that there is a very real possibility that the villains of the world unite, murder all of the heroes, divide America up between the biggest gangs, and he and Hawkeye end up on a road trip to save a Hulk baby... is playing with fire. Even if it's possible, Marvel has been careful to not confirm that Old Man Logan's wasteland is the destiny of the Marvel Universe proper (there have even been hints that it's the future of the MCU Avengers, instead).
But for longtime fans of Wolverine as a hero and team member of Marvel's mutant community, his final words of advice will be welcome ones: "Finish whatever it is you're doing out here, then go back to the X-Men. They miss you. They need you." Their meeting is cut short when a barfight breaks out, which would certainly be a problem for any other set of superheroes. But for Wolverine and Old Man Logan, it's a chance to leap into a fight side by side, for the first time... and the last.
It remains to be seen if Wolverine will actually take Old Man Logan's advice to heart and return into the family he formed among the X-Men (in a certain sense, his own advice might be the last Logan would follow). But no matter what transpires in the future, the clawed hero will now have another voice reminding him that leaving his friends and family could be the path to ruin. At the very least, hearing that his works falls apart when he STOPS fighting will at least guarantee comic readers a future full of adventures.
For Old Man Logan's part, soon to be Dead Man Logan, a meeting which could have felt perfunctory truly feels like another branch of his story being trimmed as his last days approach. A victory in itself, since this head to head meeting is sure to leave fans satisfied (for now, at least). The final page of the issue sees Old Logan return home to his own wasteland future, so hopefully his realization that he is truly ending his story, and his universe will make the climax of Dead Man Logan that much more spectacular. Heartbreaking, certainly, but nevertheless filled with that Wolverine attitude.
Dead Man Logan #6 is available now from your local comic book store, or direct from Marvel Comics.