WRITER: ED BRISSON | ART: JUAN JOSE RYP | PUBLISHER: MARVEL | FORMAT: SINGLE ISSUE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
There’s no getting around it, Old Man Logan was a bit of a Debbie Downer. Set in a bleak future USA, fractured by in-fighting and populated by twisted takes on the superheroes we thought we knew, Old Man Logan was a vision of a world where the baddies had won, not just the physical battle, but the heart and souls of a cynical and beaten down Marvel universe (what the hell is up with Mark Millar, eh? Cheer up, mate!).
As such, the prospect of returning to this world in serial format (starting with Dead Man Logan) may seem a bit forbidding and, perhaps to make it clear just what world we’re returning to, Avengers of the Wasteland does start with some suitably harsh bleakness, with Doctor Doom on a seemingly unstoppable path of conquest and ripping off heads and extinguishing the lives of highly valued franchise characters without breaking a sweat.
However, an escaping Dwight Barrett, technological heir to both Ant-Man and the Wasp, survives, seeking out the help of Dani Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones (who also happens to be the bearer of Mjolnir and thus this future’s Thor), and a good-hearted descendant of Bruce Banner (in a world populated by a dynasty of evil Hulks) also called Bruce Banner, the only people he can think of that might be willing to stand with him against Doom’s march to triumph.
With an injection of cynicism-less moral courage, Avengers of the Wasteland both manages to cheer up the Old Man Logan universe and also make it feel a bit thin. Imagine Mad Max, but one of the characters has God-like powers and a strong moral compass. It doesn’t sound great, does it?
The art is functional and pretty enough and the pacing solid, and so, as a start to an ongoing series, Avengers of the Wasteland is fine (like, passing grade fine), but it will need a healthy reinjection of treachery, failure, cynicism, and defeat to feel like an Old Man Logan located story and, more importantly, something other than a regular Marvel goody versus baddy fest with a slightly different coloured background.