Thrill of the Hunt: Marvel’s Old Man Logan

Thrill of the Hunt: Marvel’s Old Man Logan

Thrill of the Hunt is Nerdgoblin’s weekly look at comic books that are heating up on the back issue market. This time around we’re looking at the classic Wolverine story “Old Man old_man_logan_1-minLogan” published by Marvel Comics.

Future versions of the X-Men have been a recurring plotline and characteristic of Marvel’s X-Men comics since at least the 1970’s. Perhaps the best known is writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne’s “Days of Future Past” storyline from 1981. In that tale, a small band of surviving mutants in a dystopian future send X-Man Kitty Pryde back in time to try to rewrite history, an approach to plotting that allowed Marvel to showcase both current and future versions of their popular characters. The approach was a hit, and has shaped X-Men history since that time. Bryan Singer’s 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past movie borrowed this original storyline (though substituting Wolverine for Kitty Pryde as the time-travelling mutant), and for decades now, Marvel writers have been sprinkling X-Men characters across the timeline.9d63e440cddeb35d95f9ebb27df8392d_xl-min

In 2008, Scottish writer Mark Millar picked up on this theme with his story “Old Man Logan.” Although it is not a time travel story, it does take us forward into another possible X-Men future. In this timeline, a post-apocalyptic America is a fractured series of failed states, and an aged Wolverine accepts a mysterious contract to transport a secret package across the continent to its destination in New Babylon. If you imagine a Mad Max movie featuring an aging John McClane with healing powers, you’ll have a sense of how the story functions…

The story originally ran in Wolverine (Vol. 3) #66-72, and was concluded in Giant-Size Old Man Logan #1, though it has been collected into trade 250px-OldManLogan-minpaperback format as well. Millar’s tale was an immediate hit, going through multiple printings, and earning a reputation as a classic Wolverine story. Recently, though, interest has begun to rise even more…

In 2015, Marvel published a new Old Man Logan miniseries, which led to a new ongoing series in early 2016. But what really began to bring attention to ten storyline was the announcement that the next Wolverine movie – to be released in 2017 – will be based on the original tale.

In general terms, this has prompted all of the original “Old Man Logan” issues from 2008 to jump in value, including a number of scarce 2nd and 3rd prints of some issues. The biggest beneficiary of the increase, however, has been Wolverine #66, the first part of the story and the introduction of the aged Logan. Just a couple of months ago, the book could be found for about $10. Today, a copy will likely set you back almost $50, and prices are continuing to rise.

Like many movie-focused comics, this one may decline a little in price once the film has come and gone. However, it seems likely that the movie will cement Old Man Logan’s place as a “must-have” story for collector’s, which may sustain a higher value for many years to come.

 


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