Artist Mike Deodato pops his claws in an exclusive sketchbook!

With OLD MAN LOGAN #25, a new creative team will take over the exploits of the time-displaced Wolverine from a horrible future. Writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato take over with the June 14 issue and launch the title hero right into trouble!

Deodato’s no stranger to the world of sharp-clawed mutants, having drawn covers for OLD MAN LOGAN and also Wolvie’s son Daken in the pages of DARK AVENGERS, but he’s a longtime fan who’s excited to chronicle the elder Wolverine’s exploits. We talked with the artist about shifting from occasional cover craftsman to interior artist, working with Brisson, and channeling Logan’s years of experience and torment into a more grizzled version of the ol’ Canucklehead.

Marvel.com: You’ve done a few covers for OLD MAN LOGAN already; does that help get you ready for tackling the ongoing series or is it different muscles?

Mike Deodato: It does, but I think what helps the most is the love I feel for the character. He was the only character [on] Marvel’s roster I ever campaigned to draw. I remember bothering [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso back in 2008 [until] he gave me a one-shot called WOLVERINE: ROAR, which [would have] led me to be the main artist on WOLVERINE: ORIGINS…until [writer Brian Michael] Bendis comes up with a book he created [especially] for me that I couldn’t refuse: DARK AVENGERS! I was happy and at the same time sad for leaving the book but then Axel promised I’d return to Wolvie someday. Nine years later, promise fulfilled. I am back!

Marvel.com: Wolverine’s one of the most well recognized characters around; how does the Old Man Logan version differentiate himself from his past self, aside from the obvious physical differences?

Mike Deodato: He is a way more experienced warrior and therefore, way more dangerous. He might have a bit slower reflexes, speed, and healing factor, but as with most of the great fighters, he developed a conscience about fighting that makes his timing almost flawless. On the other hand, he’s got much more anger inside because he has not only the scars from his past, but also from his future. His already tormented soul is now a purgatory nightmare.

Marvel.com: Old Man Logan has more of a look than a costume; will you be playing with that at all in the series?

Mike Deodato: You know Logan; his clothes will be shredded to rags most of the time. I’ll be lucky if I can draw them in one piece once in a while. Seriously, Logan is one of the few characters that looks interesting with or without a costume on.

Marvel.com: You and Ed are kicking off a new arc on this series. What new directions are you planning on going?

Mike Deodato: I see him back to his roots, a lonely hunter clawing his way out through his enemies. For me it is a good ol’ [Clint] Eastwood movie.

Marvel.com: Do you enjoy bouncing between the present and Old Man Logan’s future/past in the Wasteland?

Mike Deodato: Yes, I do! I love post-apocalyptic stories, and it is great to play with the environment [Old Man Logan co-creator Mark] Millar envisioned.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Ed on the series so far?

Mike Deodato: He is the greatest! He knows how to work suspense so well it gives me the creeps just by reading the script. I truly hope we stay together for the long run.

Brisson and Deodato kick off their OLD MAN LOGAN tenure with a snikt on June 14 with issue #25!

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Two time-displaced titans clash as Ed Brisson and Mike Deodato take over!

Hulk and Wolverine have never really gotten along. In fact, the Canuck with an Attitude’s first foray into the four color world involved him clashing with ol’ Jade Jaws.

Unfortunately, OLD MAN LOGAN #25 will show that age and wisdom do not always go together as Logan and Maestro—the alternate world fascistic genius Hulk introduced way back in HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT—meet up and decide that one truly can never be too old to take a poke at an old antagonist.

Writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato have come onboard the book to push these two aging titans into swinging at each other once more. We caught up with Brisson who gladly took a break from stirring the proverbial plot to tell us all about it.

Marvel.com: Given the history of antagonism between Wolverine and Hulk, bringing Maestro into the book is one of those choices that seems so right, one is surprised it never occurred. For you, what made the idea of bringing Maestro into the book creatively exciting? What made you believe it would “work” in the context of OLD MAN LOGAN’s tone and pacing?

Ed Brisson: What makes it immediately interesting for me is that you have these two future versions of big Marvel characters who’ve both seen the world go to pot in similar ways, but have adapted to those changes very differently. For one, the future is nothing but pain and loss; the other, the future is his playground.

Now, they’re both here in the present and about to come face-to-face.

Because Maestro appears to be rolling with his own Hulk Gang, including at least one member that Logan has dealt with before, Logan’s chief concern is that the future that he thought he had been prevented—his own future—may be coming to fruition. Once we learn of Maestro’s plans, it becomes clear that he might not be wrong. It soon becomes a battle between them: one man trying to prevent his future, while another tries to bring his into being.

Marvel.com: We’ve seen how being in the mainstream Marvel Universe has affected Logan over the course of the previous 24 issues, but we’ve only really seen Maestro in the pocket of CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS. How does his transition affect him? How, if at all, does it change his perspective or attitude?

Ed Brisson: When Maestro shows up, he’s a man with a plan. He’s been displaced from his own future and timeline and, for reasons to be explained, can’t go back. He’s now in the mainstream Marvel Universe, present day, but has 100 years of baggage and memories regarding humanity and how they treated him and how they eventually undid themselves. To him, man doesn’t deserve this planet. He’s ruled it—in his timeline anyway—for years just fine and doesn’t see any reason why he can’t do the same again.

So, that’s his goal here. But, he’s not going to come in guns-a-blazing. He’s looking to do this on the low. He’s trying to stay off the radar and play the chess pieces so that man, once again, undoes himself.

Marvel.com: For Logan, the Hulks he’s most used to are the Hulk offspring from his future. What is Logan’s experience of encountering this smarter, more singularly ruthless version of the Jade Giant from a psychological standpoint? How would you say this conflict between these two compares to the mainstream Hulk vs. Wolverine throw downs we’ve seen before?

Ed Brisson: Both of them have seen the future—albeit two different, though equally depressing futures. For each, the future hangs in the balance and they’re fighting to prevent it, in Logan’s case, or bring it about, in Maestro’s.

Maestro is also larger and smarter than the Banner that Logan is used to dealing with. He’s not some hillbilly hiding out in a cave pumping out Hulk babies. He’s got laser focus and the drive to bring about what he wants. And, he’s not going to be stupid about it. He’s not just a couple of fists, smashing everything in sight. He’s got a plan and knows that the best way of carrying out that plan is by keeping a low profile. Or trying to, anyway.

As mentioned, Maestro has a Wasteland Hulk Gang with him. At the end of the original [“Old Man Logan” story], it appears Logan has wiped them all out, so it comes as a bit of a shock when they pop up here. People are going to have to read the series to find out the whys and the hows of it, but I think that we’ve come up with a very logical reason for how they’ve come to exist here. They may initially seem to be very much like the old Hulk Gang, [but] there are a few behind-the-scenes complexities that will come out to show how different they really are.

Marvel.com: How has working with artist Mike Deodato helped you to realize the tone and atmosphere of the book you were hoping for? How, if at all, did his style inform your approach to the title?

Ed Brisson: When they told me that Mike was going to be on the book, my head nearly exploded. I’ve been a fan of his work for years now.

Mike’s a very smart artist and was able to come on board and nail down the feel we were going for right away. Just about every day a new page pops into my inbox and I just sit there and soak it up over my morning coffee. Everything is just so brilliantly laid out and acted.

In terms of informing how I approach the book, I think that working with him has made me pull back on a few pages, in terms of panel count, so that Mike has some room to do some really big and incredible action sequences. There are some pretty spectacular scenes in the first issue that I think are really going to sing because he’s got that room to breathe.

Marvel.com: Looking beyond the conflict itself, what can you tell readers about what you have planned for the book when you take over? What are some of the plot points you want fans to know to ensure they make the book one of their can’t misses?

Ed Brisson: Jeff Lemire has been writing an incredible series here, so I’m assuming that it’s already on everyone’s pull list!

Through this first arc, we really wanted to play on Logan’s anxieties. His greatest fear is that his future will somehow still rear its ugly head, but, over the past 24 issues, we’ve seen him getting comfortable in his new setting. He’s never going to be completely at home, but still…bit-by-bit, he’s settling into the new life. He’s letting people get close to him again. So, we wanted to bring his past—our alternate future—and drop the very possibility of it happening again right in his lap.

Aside from Maestro being here, we’re going to see a lot of echoes from Logan’s time in the Wasteland. A few familiar faces will be popping up.

Beyond the first arc, we’ve got a few plans to keep Logan in this state of agitation. Keeping him in a place where he can never be fully comfortable for fear of his past catching up with him.

Ed Brisson and Mike Deodato take control of OLD MAN LOGAN with issue #25 this June!

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Get further insight into this version of Wolverine with his classic debut tale!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

With the end of the OLD MAN LOGAN story “Return to the Wasteland” hitting this week, it seems like just the right time to do the same ourselves and look at his first appearance!

This alternate future version of the character first debuted in 2008’s WOLVERINE #66 thanks to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. That issue showed a take of the ol’ Canucklehead who had survived the villains’ attempt to take out the heroes and divide up the country. He’d even settled down with a woman named Maureen and they’d had a pair of kids: Scotty and Jade.

Logan had become so focused on keeping his family safe that he refused to pop his claws and take out members of the Hulk gang when they came to collect the rent he didn’t have. Instead, he took a beating in front of his kin and found their very survival threatened if he didn’t come up with the money by the next month.

As he healed, another survivor paid Logan a visit: Clint Barton. The now-blind archer proposed a delivery job to raise some capital, in which the former X-Man would help get the one-time Avenger to the east coast in two weeks. Logan agreed and the two took off in the old Spider-Mobile with Hawkeye at the wheel!

The rest of the story ran until issue #72 and concluded in the WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN GIANT-SIZE one-shot; along the way the heroic duo ran into Ghost Riders, killer Moloids, Venom-covered dinosaurs, and the massive skeleton of Hank Pym.

Of course, this being Wolverine, plenty of skeletons still rattled in the old closet. Eventually he told Hawkeye why he never wanted to pop his claws again. Back during the villain uprising, Mysterio tricked him into killing all of the X-Men. To punish himself, he put his head on the tracks where he waited until a train smashed into him.

Wolverine (2003) #66

Wolverine (2003) #66

  • Published: June 18, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2010
  • Rating: Parental Advisory
  • Writer: Mark Millar
  • Penciller: Steve McNiven
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Upon arriving in New Babylon, the pair soon learned that the samples of Super Soldier Serum they’d carried all across the country weren’t meant to start a new hero team, but to be given to The Red Skull—the President of the United States!

Hawkeye’s fake contacts blasted both of them, but Logan got better and dealt with President Skull by cutting his head off with Captain America’s shield before blasting off for home in part of an Iron Man armor with a briefcase full of money. Unfortunately, the Hulk gang got bored, came for the rent early and killed Logan’s family in the meantime. Enraged, Logan rechristened himself Wolverine and exacted bloody revenge on his family’s killers before moving on to the head honcho himself: Bruce Banner.

Flash Forward

Old Man Logan came back to the forefront as Secret Wars reintroduced a variety of alternate reality characters to readers before integrating a lot of them into the main Marvel Universe. Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino handled that five issue story which saw Logan clawing his way from one part of Battleworld to another before eventually landing naked in the Marvel U’s Times Square. The ongoing adventures have been handled by Jeff Lemire and Sorrentino, with Lemire also bringing Logan into the fold of EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN. With our version of Wolverine still in the dirt, this one helps fill the void while he also travels the world trying to ensure his world never comes about.

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