Logan’s Run: Last Day #1
Writer: Paul J. Salamoff
Penciler: Daniel Gete
Colorist: Joseph Baker
Letterer: Johnny Lowe
Story: Jason Brock, William F. Nolan & Paul J. Salamoff
Publisher: Bluewater Comics
When I saw the solicitations for this comic a few months ago, I had recently watched the classic 1976 film again. Afterwards, I immediately reread the Marvel Comics movie adaptation that was wonderfully illustrated by George Perez. Those first five issues stand in my mind as the single best movie adaptation in the history of comics (Maybe one day, I’ll attempt to prove it to you.). I’ve loved Logan’s Run since I was a kid watching the short-lived TV series back in 1977 (I’m sure I saw that before the film). I even dressed up as Logan for Halloween one year. However, I’ve never read the original novel and I was definitely going to take a wait-and-see attitude before getting too excited about this comic book based on the novel, not the film.
Anyway, I saw on my store’s website that it was coming out this week and when I arrived, there was one lone copy sitting on the bottom shelf (the store had only ordered 2 copies). I flipped through it quickly to see if it was worth my $4. The cover didn’t exactly “wow” me and the art was certainly less detailed than a Perez comic (isn’t everything), but something about it sparked my interest, so I decided to purchase at least the first issue…I’m glad I did, because I really, really enjoyed it!
First of all, the terminology is different from the film and it will help to show some of the changes (from film to comic) to get you up to speed:
Logan 5 is now Logan 6.
The palm life-clock is now the palm flower.
Sandmen are now Deep Sleep Agents.
Life doesn’t end at 30, instead it now ends at 21.
There is no Carousel ritual, now you just report to Deep Sleep for self-termination.
Obviously, most of these changes were probably in the original novel. However, since the comic’s writer, Paul J. Salamoff, also has a story credit too, he’s probably revamping things slightly. So, this isn’t a direct adaptation like Boom’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – it appears to be more like a modern spin that’s faithful to the original source material (if that makes any sense). I would have appreciated some backmatter, so I wouldn’t have to guess at these things. The nice thing is that the new terms are explained naturally in the flow of the story.
The first page consists of five stacked “widescreen” panels. The first panel shows the feet of a runner. All of the surrounding legs are a different color to match the color of the individual’s palm flower. The next panel is an aerial shot of an elevated walkway, which is followed by a torso shot of the runner (his head is not totally shown yet). The runner then jumps off the skyway (his foot actually extends off the panel). Finally, we see the back of Logan as he faces a crowd of people that are parting like the Red Sea before him. Logan and Francis-7 are talking to each other over their radios in these panels’ captions. Turn to page 2…
BLAM! Full splash of Logan running (full figure) toward you, wearing this really cool black skull mask. It’s AWESOME!!! (How much for the original art, Daniel?). To me, the art by Daniel Gete seems to be a cross between Mike Allred and Steve Conley. It’s definitely a simpler style (and I think the hands seem a bit too small – minor nit-pick), but the inks give it is a very polished look. Combine that with the spectacular colors by Joseph Baker and it all really pops off the page. I don’t know if this book is drawn from a detailed script or if it’s done the Marvel-way (I would guess it’s a detailed script), but the panel layouts and pacing of this book is really engaging. The lettering by Johnny Lowe is also top-notch, especially the scene where Logan dispatches the runner with a “homer” bullet (The “homer” bullet is one of those things that they explain later in a flashback scene).
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go into too much detail, but there is a LOT to like in this story. I will say that since Last Day is at age 21, you find out that Logan has been on active duty from a very young age. He was literally selected at birth to be a Deep Sleep agent. This Logan-6 (so far) seems very cold and is not at all like the questioning Logan-5 from the movie. In fact, when he investigates the domicile of the runner he dispatched, Jessica comes in and thinks that Logan is her runner “pairup” with a New You face job. Logan saw images of Jessica from a video recording from the dead runner’s palm flower (really cool idea), so he knows this is his chance to find out more about Sanctuary. The way Logan’s eyes glow out of the shadows after he pretends to be her boyfriend is downright chilling and that’s how the issue ends.
This is the first Bluewater comic that I’ve ever purchased and I really like the package. It has the heft of an IDW comic (thicker paper), but without all those annoying Ads padded in the back, meaning, when you get to the end, you’re really at the end.
Overall Grade A. An unexpected surprise with excellent pacing and brilliant colors – an awesome interpretation of a favorite classic. I was hooked on page 2 and I can’t wait for the next issue!