Old Man Logan versus The Maestro – Days of Anger Review (2018)

In case you weren’t aware, in 2018 Hulk and Wolverine clashed in a major way. But not exactly as they have before. In this particular series we see the future versions of them trading fists. Old Man Logan meets up with a crazed old Hulk from an alternate timeline, The Maestro. Marvel’s truly grumpy old men.

This storyline is titled ‘Days of Anger’ and is collected in two parts from within the Old Man Logan series. Part one is told in issues #25-30, while part two is completed in issues #48-50.

My overall opinion of this series is that it was intense, shocking, and glorious. Seeing these old rivals go at each other once more was entertaining as hell. Each both seasoned from life and years of battle. Both knowing exactly what they are capable of.

That being said I would say I enjoyed Part One the most. In many ways it was a sequel to the original Old Man Logan. We see the Maestro entering into Logan’s future timeline to find the Hulk clan all but extinct. He recruits the survivors promising a new world they could rule and brings them to present times where Logan is already living. Not sure how he is, but he is. This story basically deals with Maestro’s attempt to turn the world into a Hulk paradise. Of course, Logan disagrees with this course of action. I felt the art was better and five issues allowed time for the narrative to breathe and absorb the events in proper time.

Part Two dealt with Maestro controlling a small Canadian town as his own private kingdom. Logan comes along to save the day. But this doesn’t go as planned. Part two had some good art, but I felt like corners were cut at times. The story also moved along pretty quickly as it only had three issues. Which is a shame given the conclusion of this story being something totally unexpected, but ultimately badass.

So if you are wanting something to read involving the Hulk – don’t let this story pass you by. And especially if you love the Maestro – which I do – you won’t be disappointed with this. The writers took the character’s origins (created by Peter David/GeorgePerez) as the king of an apocalyptic wasteland kingdom and gave the character a more modern day environment. They made the character of Maestro a more sadistic, malicious and overall evil villain. A being whose power and malice could rival that of Thanos himself. Which made it all the more satisfying as Logan tore into him.

This story may not be a huge Marvel event, but it is definitely a huge step in the evolution of Logan and especially the Maestro.

 

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Incredible Hulk #340

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Writer: Peter David / Cover & Artist: Todd McFarlane w/ Bob Wiacek

This is probably one of the most iconic Hulk AND/OR Wolverine covers known to mankind.

Incredible Hulk #340 was released February, 1988 with the assistance of two creative powerhouses; Peter David (writer) and Todd McFarlane (artist).

The story features Hulk colliding with Wolverine (quite literally) leading to one of the most epic showdowns (in my opinion) of these two famous characters. Peter David’s writing is solid and give the interactions between these two a ferocity rarely seen. The art provided by Todd McFarlane is equally up to the task of delivering the ‘blow by blow’ and ‘slice and dice’ as Hulk and Wolverine dish it out.

Of all the “Versus” comics I own, pitting Hulk against another famous character, this is probably my most favorite.

Coming back to the cover this art has been one of the most re-used layouts for other comics, for both Marvel and DC – not to mention many other publishers. It was even referenced quickly in the animated film ‘HULK VS Wolverine’. The use of Wolverine’s blades to reflect the approaching Hulk is inspired and easily will be a classic cover well into the future.

It is just strange how cheap this comic is. On eBay, prices for it ranges from as low $25 to as high as $130. So if you want a copy (and trust me you do_ now is the time to grab it. Who knows if/when it will go up in value?

Variant Alert: (She-)Hulk #1 (Ed McGuinness)

I am late in posting on this variant as it has been circulating online since about late 2016/early 2017. I say online cause this variant is made in collaboration with Hall of Comics and sold exclusively online. So you won’t be finding this at your local comic shop. hoc_hulk_cvr_a_1024x1024

This cover is an homage to the classic Incredible Hulk #181 cover which was the first complete appearance of Wolverine and of their first epic meeting. This cover takes that composition and substitutes the new Wolverine (X-23) and the She-Hulk (who is looking a bit different due to emotional/mental factors).

Admittedly I have not been a fan of this new (She-) Hulk series. The overall concept was interesting, but its execution has left a lot to be desired. I bought this issue for the cover and that’s it. I felt it was unique enough to be worthy to join the collection; and to have some female Hulk representation included. Also, I like McGuinness’ work.

I think it’s an attractive piece of art, but I do kind of wish Ed utilized the background a bit more rather then settle on a flat red background.

I would be remiss in mentioning that there are not one, not two, but THREE versions of this cover. One is as seen here. The second version (dubbed the popcorn version) includes Deadpool eating popcorn while riding on the back of the Wendigo. The third version is the popcorn variant, but in black&white (except Deadpool).

The issue originally sold for $65 and is still available as of this writing. Though it does seem to have a limited printing. Looking at Ebay any issues being sold have spiked to $85 or higher.

If you like covers, especially homage covers featuring Wolverine or She-Hulk then this one is for you. Otherwise you might just wanna skip it.

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #25 (Tom Grummett)

Here we go with an homage variant of the classic cover from Incredible Hulk #181. The very issue when Wolverine was introduced to the Marvel universe and his first act was to square off with the Hulk. Lucky guy. I typically enjoy variants that pay tribute to classic covers such as Incredible Hulk #1. But typically the internal story doesn’t reflect the cover. It’s a cash grab like most variants are. But this cover (though it doesn’t quite reflect the internal story) still resonates for me.

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Here we have Wolverine, much older, taking on his new persona as just Logan meeting up with an older Hulk, who is also donning his new persona, as the Maestro. In a sense they are meeting up for the first time all over again. This cover variant actually does make sense.

Maestro and Logan are in my opinion Marvel’s grumpy old men. This cover reflects where they started, as a rivalry, and where they are today (…or in the future).

When I saw this was being made I had to try and grab it. I don’t own Hulk 181, but I hope to some day. I really think having that comic sitting next to this one really shows an interesting character arc going on 43 years! Not to mention I really love the Maestro.

I managed to go to my local comic shop on it’s release date (June 14, 2017) and I was able to snag one for $8! Which was awesome as there were only two in the store at the time. Unfortunately both seemed to have been damaged either during printing or shipping as both had white markings in the top left corner. So I picked the one that seemed to have the least damage. A small issue as the rest of the comic was pristine. I don’t intend on selling it anytime soon, but I hope if I ever do it doesn’t impact the price too much.

Currently, if you were unlucky enough to get one in stores, you can find this variant online. On eBay the prices for this variant go for around $30. Which is still affordable if you really want it. Which, of course you do!

Get SMASHED!

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #22 (Chris Stevens)

This shall be the first of a new series I dub ‘Variant Alert’. As a collector I prefer to get my comics with their original covers (and I believe most variants are mere cash grabs). But on rare occasions a cover comes along that catches my eye and I must have it. Thus we begin…

With special thanks to Ratchet who alerted me to this cover I was able to grab one online for a reasonable price. I suggest you check out his site (it is Super Green 🙂 ). This is the Chris Steven’s Old Man Logan #22 cover. o2qs2h2kzxoy

This issue continues a story arc where Wolverine (Logan) is reliving certain key past moments of his life. In this issue it is his first encounter with both the Hulk and Wendigo (established in Incredible Hulk #181).

This cover just has so much going on with it. Not only does it subtly reference the fight scene on the cover of Hulk #181 (created by Herb Trimpe & John Romita), but also references the iconic cover design from Incredible Hulk #340 (created by Todd McFarlane).

The inclusion of a wild-looking Old Man Logan, a furious Hulk, and a more beastly Wendigo makes this all the more intense. I could not pass it up.

The comic is a 1:25 chance of being at your local comic store and was released April 26, 2017. So grab it if you can, otherwise you’ll have to go online. Prices online as of this writing are around $25.

Get Smashed!

Batch H: Secrets Revealed

So its been recently announced what the deal is with the teaser image of a supposed Hulk/Wolverine hybrid in the green tank.

Well it seems a new crossover titled “Weapons of Mutant Destruction” will be created and feature casts from Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk. Amadeus Cho (the “awesome” Hulk) will team up with characters like Old Man Logan, Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike. They will work together to stop a secret project meant to create hybrid mutants much like the Hulk/Wolverine creature teased in the earlier photo.

Now this does sound pretty cool, but I am TOTALLY not a fan of this new Hulk. So right off the bat I am sadly dismissing this series. If this was the old, more intense rage -filled Hulk you would be having me throw money at you. But alas Marvel…I will keep my money.

What also pisses me off is in reference to IGN’s coverage of this. They mention this is a “natural fit, given the long rivalry between Wolverine and Hulk..” THIS IS NOT THE SAME HULK! The rivalry is not there! At least I am not aware of Amadeus having issues with Logan.In any case it’s not the same thing. Old Man Logan and Amadeus are not in the same ballpark as far as I’m concerned.

But I can see what they are doing by making old and new characters match up. Doesn’t change my mind on this though.

Grumpy Old Men

Don’t you hate it when the elderly get angry about something? Get off my lawn. My food is cold! My back hurts! Well what if they could throw a bus or cut you in half before you could blink? Well that’s what’s happening. Marvel’s grumpiest old men are going to duke it out. And who other could they be then Old Man Logan and the Maestro.

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That’s right. It’s been confirmed that in the future issue of Old Man Logan #25 the scrapper with claws will encounter the green king himself. The Maestro decides to journey back in time to present day and take over the Hulk clan that Logan had decimated in his earlier adventure. This should prove to be a challenge for the retired Wolverine as the Maestro has even given the original Hulk issues on multiple occasions.

This story is also meant to begin the start of a new creative team taking over the title going forward. Being a Maestro fan this is definitely a comic I’ll be picking up when it comes out.

The issue should be released in June 2017.