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May 29

Old Man Logan #39-40 – “Glob Loves, Man Kills”

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by Paul in x-axis

Old Man Logan must surely be on its way to publishing graveyard, most likely by killing off its imminently redundant lead character.  From this book’s point of view, you might have thought it would make sense to tie him into the real Wolverine’s return; but in the bigger picture, the spare Wolverine is better kept to the margins, so that the return of Wolverine can feel a bit more returnish.

So we’re getting time-marking stories like this, in which Logan returns to the Xavier Institute to have his health problems checked out, and happens to be around for a two-part Glob Herman story.  Glob is one of those students who’s been around for years because the visual is so strong, but rarely gets much to do besides being a recognisable background figure.  Here, he’s going on a date.

And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where this is going.  Glob has met a girl called Sasha on a dating site for mutants called Mutant Mingle.  He is very nervous and doesn’t think she’ll really like him, what with him being a largely translucent man and all.  And there’s a whole issue of build-up, plus a bit of Logan talking with Dr Reyes, before Glob nervously arrives at Sasha’s house and what do you know, the Purifiers are waiting.

So their big idea is to strap a bomb to Glob and get him to blow up the Institute.  This is a pretty feeble plan, because although he doesn’t have the nerve to say no, he simply wanders in and sets off the bomb harmlessly when nobody’s around, which suggests it can’t have been much of a bomb, even given that the Institute’s probably reinforced.  The Purifiers show up, with Sasha, who was a Purifier all the time, and naturally they get quickly hammered by a bunch of students.  Glob thinks nobody will ever love him, but hey, his friends do.

This isn’t a Logan story; the title character gets almost nothing to do in the second part.  It is a decent idea for a Glob Herman story, since it makes sense that the big dumb guy would have understandable hang-ups about how people are going to see him, and you can play that quite happily as an exaggerated version of normal worries.

Unfortunately, the plot depends on a hopelessly obvious twist.  Let’s leave aside the odd idea that there are enough mutants out there to sustain their own dating site – Marvel never seem to have very clear ideas about how many mutants there actually are.  This is the sort of thing that could work in the Grant Morrison-era set-up where mutants are suddenly a highly visible minority, but that’s not how it’s generally played, and it seems a bit odd even on that level.

On any view, though, this is meant to be a world where loads of people hate mutants, and some of them want to kill mutants or do terrible things to them, and Glob’s plan is to wander off alone and meet a complete stranger that he found on  And if it was just Glob, that might work.  He’s kind of desperate.  He’s willing to convince himself that this could work.

But it’s not just Glob; it’s all his friends and Logan too.  And there’s your problem.  Nobody thinks this sounds a bit dodgy?  Nobody is taking the “I’m not sure meeting strange people from the internet on your own is a good idea” line?  Really?  This ought to be ringing all sorts of alarm bells, but everyone has to be an idiot so that the plot can work.  In fact, I was vaguely surprised at the end of part one when there turned out to be a real Sasha at all… but that’s just a set-up for her to turn out to be a fake after all in part two.

This is a shame, because Glob himself comes across very well in this story.  Ibraim Roberson’s art does a fantastic job of making him look hangdog and emotional despite the fact that his head is a skull and a couple of eyeballs surrounded by pink goo.  On that level, the art really impresses, and it does a lot of the hard work to sell the story.  It’s a little unfortunate that where the plot calls for all the kids to take shelter in the Danger Room during the fight, Roberson seems to have gone with a random selection of established students regardless of whether they’re the right ones for the plot – what’s Quentin Quire doing there, when Anole and Shark-Girl are out fighting the Purifiers? – but at least everyone looks good.

There’s a sound idea in here trying to get out, even if it’s more of a Glob Herman one-shot than a Logan story.  But when you have this many people all failing to spot the blindingly obvious, it’s not going to quite work.

Bring on the comments

  1. Rob London says:

    I feel this deserves a little extra credit for that groan-worthy pun title alone.

  2. Teo says:

    Um something similar has/is happening though so maybe not that implausible?:

  3. Mikey says:

    As far as working, it’s important to remember that people have used the hookup app Grindr to lure and kill gay men, so it’s definitely not unprecedented.

    I wonder if they could have played up Logan’s unfamiliarity with technology (really stress the Old Man) in order for this to be a believable blind spot for him.

  4. LiamKav says:

    OML isn’t unfamiliar with technology though, is he? If I got zapped back to my uni days I’d still understand what a dial-up modem is.

    And yeah, there have been stories of this happening on gay dating sites, but in those cases you would also assume they haven’t got a large number of friends sat there saying “it’ll be cool. Go alone. Don’t worry about safety precautions.”

  5. Brendan says:

    “– what’s Quentin Quire doing there, when Anole and Shark-Girl are out fighting the Purifiers?”

    I imagine the mansion is attacked so often by now that fighting off invaders is just part of their chore roster on the X-fridge.

  6. CyberV says:

    Even the joke title is basically stolen from Adventure Time, where God is now known as Glob.

    So it doesn’t even get points for THAT.

  7. Si says:

    Old Man Logan lived in Mad Max times for years, he probably forgot everything he once knew about catfishing.

    More importantly though, we know for a fact that Herman has no genitals. What does he care about dating?

  8. Paul says:

    My issue isn’t that Glob falls for it. It’s that everyone takes it at face value, and that in a world where people are trying to murder them on a weekly basis.

  9. Moo says:

    So, Sasha is still available then?

  10. Voord 99 says:

    Leaving aside anti-mutant haters, and even leaving aside the real experiences of gay people — it is absolutely standard advice for straight people meeting people using a dating app that the first date is always something like meeting for coffee in a very public place. This is a mistake that I think a woman writer might have found it harder to make.

    It’s easily gotten round, too. Just have Glob not tell anyone, because he’s a teenager who expects to be rejected and can’t stand the thought of people knowing about it. Or (although I don’t think this is as appropriate to the story) montage a series of dates before the Purifiers implement their plan.

  11. Anya says:

    Lol, I thought of that too when reading the summary -always go somewhere public, and take a picture of the liscense plate, etc… would be an awesome website name, though.

  12. Brian says:

    This seems to be another story calling out for some broader X-Men anthology title, simply so you can get a Glob Herman story without somehow packaging it into an Old Man Logan book for no seeming reason. Honestly, are there even parallels to OML’s future-past in play here, or is this literally just a Glob Herman story fit into this book to kill time (I haven’t hit it yet on Marvel Unlimited)? I suppose that it’s the “being used by villains to kill the X-Men” bit?

  13. Dazzler says:

    1) Ah, nothing like marking time in the tenth X-book with one of the six extra Wolverines running around. This book really shouldn’t exist if this is what it’s going to be doing, right?

    2) Beast got himself catfished (by Blob, no less) in Millar’s Ultimate X-Men. Yeah it must have been ~15 years ago, but I feel like that’s a story you get to do once.

  14. Mikey says:

    I wish there was ALWAYS a regular X-teen book. If and when one is canceled, Marvel should immediately be publishing one with a different angle/creative team until they find one that sticks.

    Hopefully – mercifully – with the Original Five finally shipping off to the past, there will be more room for some of the X-kids.

  15. Moo says:

    I don’t like X-Teen books. I’d be okay with one if all of the adult X-Men were suddenly killed off, but that’s not going to happen. The school is supposed to be (in theory) a place of safety and learning for mutant kids and the teachers are meant to be the ones doing the fighting. The students getting caught up in the occasional skirmish here and there is fine, but a regular series calls for regular adventures, which means the X-Men would have to regularly suck at their jobs.

    Maybe something in an entirely different context. Like a group of mutant teens who aren’t students at the school, for whatever reason. Saves from having to come up with contrived reasons for children attending a boarding school overseen by adult superheroes to be constantly having adventures outside of school.

  16. Moo says:

    I’ll put it this way: If I’m the parent of a mutant teen enrolled at Xavier’s and later find out that the reason my kid isn’t returning my texts is because he/she is fighting for his/her life in Asgard or’ Limbo, then I’m going to friggin’ sue.

    But I wouldn’t enroll my kid at Xavier’s. That kid is getting home educated in Boringtown, USA. With the number of times Xavier’s has been attacked, destroyed, abandoned, rebuilt, attacked, destroyed, relocated, etc., over the years? It kind of makes you wonder what’s written in the brochure.

  17. Thom H. says:

    “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is a dynamic learning environment best suited for students who value applied learning opportunities…”

  18. Moo says:

    Well, I suppose that’s simultaneously factual and reassuring. Didn’t think that was possible. Well done, Thom.

  19. Mikey says:

    Thom’s PR skills are astonishing.

  20. Chris says:

    Clearly students at Xavier’s are not protected by Title IX

  21. Moo says:

    It’s amazing the school has been in business for this long, really. The jig should have been up way back in the Silver Age. Back when it was just Xavier and the O5.

    I mean, think about it. Of the original five students, four of them had parents who entrusted Xavier with their care. So what did Xavier do? Dressed them up in costumes and routinely sent them out on missions that could have killed them! Because Xavier was a deranged sociopath and a child-abuser.

  22. Thom H. says:

    I dunno. You’ve got a weird kid you want nothing to do with? (Hands and feet too big? Giant wings he can’t hide? Makes the room frighteningly cold whenever he feels anxious?) Send him to boarding school and forget all about him!

    Makes sense to me. I think the boarding school theme mirrors the “hated and feared” shtick pretty closely, actually.

    And Marvel Girl even more than the boys, really — talking to her dead friend all the time? Creepy.

  23. SanityOrMadness says:

    Well, canonically, that’s what happened with Jean, yes? Her parents sent her to Xavier because she was going crazy.

    And Angel went to “normal” boarding school pre-Xavier.

    And Iceman’s parents are established bigots, especially his father.

    And Cyclops, of course, was an orphan with no family (even if he “actually” had grandparents and Havok, he had no apparent contact with them).

    That leaves pretty much only Beast. Who was apparently getting in trouble at school for reducing tractors to their component parts to see how they worked…

  24. Suzene says:

    And some parents just plain want to get rid of their freak kids. Heck, after the Academy X kill-off, some parents couldn’t even be bothered to claim the bodies.

  25. Taibak says:

    I always like the way the movies handled the school. It was implied that most of the students were there because they were runaways, like Rogue, had serious trauma from their mutations, like Jean, or had parents who didn’t know they were mutants, like Iceman.

  26. Moo says:

    I liked the way the films handled the school as well. Although I’m still annoyed that they’re responsible for Rogue’s real name being Anna-Marie in the comics. She doesn’t look like an Anna to me. I always saw her as a Jolene. In fact, I thought her real name should have been Jolene Claremont.

    I have this scene imagined in my mind where Rogue reconnects with her parents and brings Bobby with her (for some reason, I always preferred the idea of her dating Bobby, even before the films came out). So, she brings Bobby to her parents house and out onto the porch steps you-know-who, who upon meeting Bobby says: “Pleased to meet you, Bobby. I am… CHRIS!!” And while Rogue and Bobby are wondering why the hell Rogue’s father is yelling like that, Rogue’s mother politely points out that his hearing aid is turned all the way down,

  27. Taibak says:

    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    I’m begging of you please don’t take my hand
    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    Please don’t take my memories because you can….

  28. Moo says:

    See? Dolly Parton knows.

  29. Taibak says:

    Speaking of Claremont, he’s really the only person who’s made the teen X-Men concept work. Yes, the New Mutants were superheroes in training, but from what I understand it, they weren’t actually supposed to be out having adventures. Either trouble found them – and this is a case where Claremont’s passive approach to superheroing worked well – or they snuck out of the mansion after Magneto told them not to. Their main rivals were just the kids from the superpowered boarding school down the street. Basically, he emphasized the fact that they were kids.

  30. Kreniigh says:

    Putting Quentin Quire in a Gen X book after Jason Aaron supermagnified him in his Thor run seemed like a bad idea to me at the time, and here’s a good reason why. His power set and personality are too big to be consigned to a face in a crowd. It’s not that hard — if you don’t want to deal with it, just don’t put him in the story.

    (Same reason it bugs me when a non-speaking face-in-the-crowd role goes to crap villain Mandrill, who (while still being crap) would vastly change the dynamics of most fight scenes instead of just playing a third rate Beast. I KNOW YOU LIKE HIM BRIAN BUT JUST LEAVE HIM OUT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH WHAT HE DOES.) ahem

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