The 2008 Old Man Logan story arc by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven changed the way we looked at Wolverine. Set 50 years in the future, we saw an aged and beaten Logan who tried to live a peaceful and nonviolent life. With a wife and kids, he was under the mercy of Bruce Banner's offspring, the Hulk Gang, as they ruthlessly tormented farm tenants in Northern California.
Old Man Logan was the inspiration for the latest Wolverine movie, simply titled Logan--you can read our review here. The current ongoing comic series took Logan from his future time period into the present day Marvel Universe. Until now, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino handled the writing and art. Marvel has revealed to us that Ed Brisson is taking over the writing, with Mike Deodato Jr. providing the art beginning in issue #25. We talked to Brisson to find out what he has planned and how the Maestro fits in.
Comic Vine: Will Logan be in his own/future time or in the present? Or both?
Ed Brisson: This series will all be set present day, in regular Prime Marvel Universe continuity--although pulling bits from other realities as well. We'll get to see some flashes of Logan's past (our future), but all the action is here and now.
What made you decide to bring in the Maestro?
Logan's already battled a future version of Banner who'd gone full hillbilly, and I think the dynamic of him battling against a different, smarter, and more motivated Bruce Banner would be an interesting fight.
What if the Wasteland Banner had set a higher bar for himself? What if instead of hiding in a cave, pumping out Hulk babies and acting like a slumlord, he'd instead set his sights on ruling ALL of America? The world? He certainly had the muscle to make it a very real possibility.
Maestro, on the other hand, comes from a future where he DID run everything, even without his very own army of Hulks. So, this is a chance to see how Maestro would utilize that. He's a man with a plan.
From Logan's perspective, there's now a threat of Hulks from the future who're here, who shouldn't be here, which sets his own anxieties and fears off. He's only recently begun to accept that his future isn't this world's future. And now that future has landed right on his doorstep. How does he cope?
For Logan, it's as though he's got to relive the same nightmare over and over.
Will we see Maestro's connection to Banner from the original Old Man Logan?
We'll see how he got to be in the Prime Universe and why he's rolling with the Hulk Gang. Maestro is NOT a fan of Wasteland Banner. To him, that Banner is the worst possible outcome for Bruce Banner. And that wasted potential fuels his anger.
Even though the Hulk Gang are not the Maestro's children, he's taken them on as though they were. As we've seen in Future Imperfect, Maestro is ready to take on Hulks to help him run things. He's willing to share the glory--or at least claims he is. Not everything is always initially as seems when it comes to the Maestro.
What can you tell us about the return of the Hulk Gang if they were all wiped out by Logan?
Reading over the original Old Man Logan (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ANYONE WHO HAS NOT READ THE ORIGINAL), you'll see that Logan left one of the Hulk Gang, Billy Bob, alive. Or at least left him in a position where we can reasonably assume he's still alive. So, we've already got him, living with the knowledge of what Logan has done to his family.
But, The Hulk Gang ran the WHOLE of California, beyond their HQ in Sacramento. What if there were more in…San Diego? Lake City?
Without getting into more spoiler territory, there's a reason there are other Hulks out there who might not have been present at the time that Logan killed Wasteland Bruce Banner and brood.
It's a fine line to walk, but I think that we've managed to bring the Hulk Gang into this in a way that doesn't detract from the original series and doesn't step on the toes of anything that's happened since. Who they are and what they want is all a very natural extension from the original series.
There will be some familiar faces, but I don't want to spoil anything!
Will you be pushing Mike Deodato by having him draw huge epic scenes?
I don't think I need to push Mike to draw epically. That's his bread and butter. If anything, I feel I need to keep that in mind while writing and ensure that he's got a lot of big action scenes to work with. It's one of my favorite parts of scripting this series. Writing scenes that I know Mike will just kill it on.
What are you most excited about in taking over the series?
I'm thrilled to be writing Logan. Growing up, I had a Wolverine poster on my wall. As a kid, I won a contest at my local comic shop for a drawing I'd done of Wolverine. I'm a lifelong fan. He's one of my bucket list characters. Plus, I'm Canadian and Wolverine is our national hero.
Old Man Logan is, to me, probably the most interesting incarnation of Logan. His struggle with what he's done (he killed the X-Men!) and what he's lost (his wife and two children) is an intense one. Even though he's now got the X-Men back in this timeline, that doesn't change what he did to them in his. That's got to leave him with serious PTSD, which isn't something that goes away. And, there are those differences that keep popping up to remind him that this isn't his world, even if he's trying to make it his home.
But, it's also a little anxiety-inducing, I won't lie. I'm following in the footsteps of Jeff Lemire, who is an incredible writer and done great things with Logan over the past two years. Coming after Millar, Bendis, and then Lemire means that I've got some Galactus-sized shoes to fill. Thank god I have Mike Deodato along to make me look good!