In the wake of Marvel mainstay Wolverine’s recent death, the publisher has put out several new one-shots and mini-series that both celebrate the character’s long history and his legacy and also show the aftermath and what kind of an effect his death has had on the Marvel universe. Many characters are grieving while others are joyful and ecstatic. It has been a right mix of reactions, and I think that’s for the best since he was a character who had an impact on pretty much every corner of the 616 universe and who forged relationships with most of the superhero community.
Life After Logan is one of the new books to come out this week that ties into the whole Death of Wolverine event, and it is one that celebrates Logan’s long life and his work for mutants. We start off with a story featuring none other than Cyclops, who reflects on his long association with Logan and their many differences. Then we go off with Colossus and Nightcrawler as they journey to Misako’s tomb in Japan in Logan’s place. And finally we touch base with Hisako, a young member of the X-Men who seemingly has had a long association with Logan. Each story is a heartwarming tale that really brings out the best in the characters and the artwork is mostly excellent too.
Jeff Loveness’ story with Cyclops is quite possibly the most reflective of all three stories. In the wake of Logan’s death, Cyclops goes to the Weapon X facility in Canada, and there he self-reminisces about all the good times and bad times the two of them shared over the many years. Theirs is a really complicated relationship defined by their differences and their rivalry with each other. And in this story, we see how Cyclops chooses to remember someone he once called his friend and ally. The way that he ultimately chooses to honour Logan’s memory with is something that I think Wolverine would have approved of, and it also helps to cast this jerk of an X-man into a very favourable light as well. This is the kind of Cyclops I would love to read more about for sure.
Mario Del Pennino is the artist on this story with David Curiel as the colourist. I have no negative criticism of this one. It is a short and sweet story that is visualized well by these two artists. They have to work only with Cyclops’ jaw and his body language most of the time, and they absolutely nail that in all respects. Plus the colours wax and wane with the beats of the story in a nice synergy, so that’s another point in its favour.
The second story is quite possibly my favourite of the three. This one has Kurt and Piotr journey to Agarashima, Japan to pay their respects to Mariko, who has been dead a number of years now. With Logan also dead, he can’t make the journey himself and so two of his closest friends among the X-Men have taken on the job and the dialogue between the two of them really gets to the heart of who Logan was and what his relationship with Mariko was like. Plus this is a really light-hearted tale and I think it is undoubtedly Joshua Hale Fialkov’s best story I’ve read in the last couple years.
Iban Coello is the artist here with Jim Charalampidis as the colourist. I really liked this one. It is an emotional story but also quite a positive and light-hearted one and the art reflects that, whether through facial expressions or body language or the colours. Everything is very… easy-going and positive and up-lifting.
The final story starts off with Hisako in the Danger Room at the Jean Grey School as she sits in a pretend bar with some of Logan’s worst enemies and provokes them into attacking her. It is kind of a weird story, mostly because I have no idea who Hisako is, or who her friend Julian is, for that matter. But I liked the thrust of the story, that Logan was always there for everybody and that he was a powerful presence in the lives of the X-Men, young and old alike. As moving as the other two, certainly.
Patrick Scherberger is the artist here with Marc Deering on inks and Rachelle Rosenberg on inks and VC’s Joe Caramagna on the letters (as he is for all previous two). Some of the art is really weird here, especially early on when Hisako is fighting off the mutant villains and in general the character designs and facials didn’t do much for me, but there’s a certain despondency and energy alike about it that I appreciated. And Hisako’s particular power manifests in some interesting ways, so that’s a point in its favour as well.
So, in the end, a pretty decent anthology altogether. Surprising in some ways, and nicely celebrative of who Logan was and what he meant to the people around him.