Category Archives: mark millar

Review – Nemesis #1 (Marvel, 2010)

Mark Millar writes big blockbuster comics like Michael Bay made big, dumb, fun action movies in the ’90s. The fact that Nemesis is big and fun does not mean that it is also dumb. Far from it. It has a wicked sense of humour, aided by the fantastic Steve McNiven on art.

Millar & McNiven last teamed up for the superb ‘Old Man Logan’. They are a great partnership. Nemesis will not alter this fact. Nemesis is breathless, action-packed, fun and funny, with some superb action sequences, a truly monstrous and evil bad-guy and an opponent up for the fight. This is a great opening issue. What’s the betting we see this out in the cinemas in 2012?

The Top Comics of 2009 countdown! Number 4 – Old Man Logan (in the main Wolverine title) (Marvel)

Okay – it started way back in June of 2008, and there seemed to be gigantic pauses on the way to its titanic, fantastic climax, but I don’t care – Old Man Logan deservedly gets a top 5 placing in my list of the years best comics. I don’t read too much Marvel nowadays, just lost interest in the whole Marvel Universe save for a few characters, who, with the right creative team, pique my interest. Old Man Logan was one of those stories that really grabbed me. 50 years in the future, America is a broken country, with the majority of Super Heroes dead, felled by a union of Super Villains who came together with a single purpose – to defeat their hated rivals.

Wolverine survived the cull, but is now simply Logan, living with his wife Maureen and children Scotty and Jade on a plot of land in California, on territory owned by Bruce Banner and his kin. Banner was one of the winners in the land grab after the Super Heroes were victorious, and Logan struggles to pay his rent to live in ‘Hulkland’.

What starts off as a typical wasteland courier / Damnation Alley / Cursed Earth adventure where Logan teams up with Hawkeye, eventually turns into a grim, gripping tale of revenge. It all comes together in Septembers finale, the Giant Size Old Man Logan #1, where the Banner clan are faced with a resurrected Wolverine, fuelled by hatred, blood lust and the need to avenge the fallen. The action is thrilling, the art is sombre and evokes the Wild West and Spaghetti Westerns (and at the end, Lone Wolf & Cub / the babycart films).

Mark Millar keeps the story simple enough to let the story breathe, the anger simmer and rise, the fury unleashed with Giant Sized Old Man Logan…

For post apocalyptic revenge thrillers, this one takes some beating. Probably non-canonical, definitely non-continuity in the Marvel Universe, which means it is not tied down with all the attendant baggage, this is a simple comic book story told very well. It entertained me so much I read it through again, and I have just re-read Old Man Logan #1 tonight for a fourth time. It does not lose any of its power or ability to absorb you. And the ending is fantastic, one that makes you want to stand up and cheer.

Review – Giant Size Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel, 2009)

Finally – after a year, and numerous delays between each issue, and none longer than the wait for this finale – we get to the conclusion of Old Man Logan. It does not disappoint. The saying goes that ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’, but to be honest, I prefer my revenge fiction to be played out in the heat of anger and rage, subsuming the grief by spilling the blood of the enemy, smiting the perpetrators. Logan does a lot of this in this oversize edition, as he takes out the dreadful progeny of Bruce Banner in a post-apocalyptic hell where all the Heroes are dead, and the innocent are prey to the hunger and desires of the corrupted. The pages are awash with the slashing fury of Wolverine as the panels are sprayed with blood, like a Lone Wolf and Cub movie transferred to blood soaked print. The influences abound – you can see the debt to the Spaghetti Western, to Mad Max, to Lone Wolf and Cub. The fact is though, that it takes all these influences and makes the story one of the better Wolverine stories, and that is a considerable compliment when you consider the sheer weight of stories about this character that have been produced in the last 25 years. Old Man Logan is fun, furious, bloody and brutal. It’s like the best B-Movie revenge thriller that was never made (think Mad Max 2 meets The Exterminator) and I will be getting the Hardcover collection of this when it gets released towards the end of the year. Apart from the disjointed release schedule, Old Man Logan has been a total success as far as I am concerned, and this final issue did justice to the tale as a whole, which was something of a relief, and made for a fearsome few minutes of reading.

Finally, Mark Millar has written a great revenge tale and a re imagining of the Wolverine story, but thanks and tributes have to go to McNiven (pencils), Vines and Morales (inkers) and Hollowell (colours) – your work was splendid, bringing life to this tale with your vision of a fallen America.

Review – Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 (Marvel, 2009)

Mark Millar and Carlos Pacheco kick off the rebooted Ultimate Universe with a lot of style – this is essentially one big action scene, with a nice twist at the end, and the result of all of it is that Nick Fury is back in the fold and Captain America goes AWOL.

Hawkeye is the star of the show, dealing with terrorists (including the Red Skull – re imagined for the 21st century and looking better for it) and saving a superheroes life in one issue. The art (courtesy of Carlos Pacheco) is lovely, lovely, lovely – your eyes dart from panel to panel with the exhilaration of watching a great movie action scene. Saying that, the whole experience of reading Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 is over in about 5 minutes, but it is a highly enjoyable few minutes. There is little hand-wringing or soul searching following the end if Ultimatum (this issue takes place 3 weeks after the end of Ultimatum #5), and that is a good thing – this new Avengers title seems fresh and full of life, so much more welcome than the nihilistic, petty Ultimatum title.

I think the Ultimate Universe could benefit from the slimmed down title roster, and if the quality of Avengers is maintained, I believe Ultimatum may be forgotten (though probably not forgiven).