Old Man Logan (2nd series) #46

Issue Date: 
October 2018

Ed Brisson (writer), Damian Couceiro (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Andrea Sorrentino (cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Christina Harrington & Jordan D White (editors), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

One month ago, something fiery crashed from the sky into the ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia. Three weeks ago, in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, a fish walked from the water on strange purple vines and killed a dog. Now, Old Man Logan is in Prince Edward County, and drops his motorcycle off at a garage for repairs. After buying some Coffee Crunch bars, Logan is met by Alpha Flight. The reunion is a happy one. Logan meets with Shaman to discuss his ailing health. Shaman's conclusion is that the Regenix that Logan added to his system is taxing his body beyond what it is capable of recovering from. Logan asks Shaman if he has some non-medical solutions, but the only advice Shaman can offer is that he needs to find a way back to his own world so that his spirit can rest where it belongs. Alpha Flight arrive in Shag Harbour, where Guardian reveals that several emergency response crews had been sent here over the last month, but no reports were filed back, and it's taken the team this long to get here for various reasons. Exploring the town, they find it covered in the alien vines, and seemingly abandoned. Logan confides to Puck that he is dying, but that he is okay with that as he misses his wife and kids. They regroup at the church, where a particularly large mass of the alien vines is feeding off remains of people and animals. Guardian extracts part of the vine to run some tests on it, and heads back to the jet, leaving Shaman and Snowbird at the church, and sending Logan and Puck to search for the townspeople. As they search, they are attacked by the alien vines, but rescued by one of the locals who uses weed killer to fend the alien off. Logan and Puck join the locals who are holed up in a safehouse, they have been there for a month, fighting the alien off with weed killer. Back at the church, the alien begins to attack Shaman and Snowbird, who flee, and make their way to the safehouse, and just in time, as Logan radios Guardian, who looks out of the jet, and sees the mass of alien vines rising up to form a large purple monstrosity.

Full Summary: 

One month ago:
The dark sky hangs over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Scotland. A beam of light suddenly appears, breaking the darkness, before it disappears, plummeting into the dark waters.

Three weeks ago:
Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada: it is night once again, and several fishing boats are docked near shore – where a fish swims to the edge of the water – then walks out onto the water on strange purple tentacles.

A dog barks at the creature and runs towards it – but the fish opens its mouth, and purple tentacles appear, wrapping around the dog, who yelps. A man's voice can be heard, calling the dog Cooper. 'Where'd that damn dog run off to?' he wonders, as the dog is covered in the strange purple tentacles.

Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada:

It's nighttime as Old Man Logan pulls up to a gas station on his motorcycle. 'Evening' the middle-aged woman behind the counter remarks as Logan enters the store. 'Garage closed?' Logan asks. The woman asks him if he is having problems with his bike. Logan explains that he was looking to drop it off for a tune-up and then pick it up in a day or two. The woman informs Logan that the mechanic, Dougie, is in until the morning, and that he can bring his bike in by around nine. Logan pours himself some coffee and tells the woman that he won't be here, and asks if there is any chance he can leave it with her, adding that he will pay up front if that makes it easier. 'I don't see why not' the woman responds as she rings up the coffee and some coffee crunch bars that Logan takes to the counter. 'Appreciate it' Logan replies. As Logan heads towards the door, the woman asks him if he needs her to call him a cab or anything. Logan tells her no thanks, as he has a ride.

The woman looks out the gas station window in shock as Logan walks towards a jet that hovers low to the ground.

'Evening, Logan' James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian greets him as he hovers alongside the jet, waiting for Logan. 'Mac' Logan calls back.

Inside the jet, Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck sits at the controls, while the goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird leans against the control panel. 'You bring me my chocolate bars?' Judd asks as Logan approaches him, handing him a bag containing twelve Coffee Crunch bars, just like he asked. 'Don't eat 'em all at once, Puck. You're likely to give yourself diabetes' Logan remarks. 'Worth it' Judd smiles as he opens one of the bars.

Snowbird and Logan embrace, and Snowbird tells him that it has been too long 'You have no idea' Logan replies, before Mac thanks Logan for meeting them along the way. Logan and Mac shake hands and Logan points out that it is easier for him, adding that he doesn't even know where Alpha Flight are based out of these days. 'Yeah, it's a little complicated' Mac mumbles. 'It always is' Logan agrees, before asking if Shaman is around, as he had some business with him.

'Right here, Logan' Dr Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman calls out, before announcing that he has prepared the lab. Logan follows Shaman into the lab, and sits on an examination table as Shaman informs him that he talked to Cecilia Reyes about his condition. 'Thought the point of a second opinion was a fresh set of eyes' Logan replies. Shaman consults a clipboard and explains that the more he knows, the better informed his second opinion will be. He informs Logan that he concurs with Cecilia Reyes' diagnosis that the adamantium coating of his bones is poisoning his system. Shaman explains that the adamantium has surpassed its half-life and is breaking down at an increasing pace and is releasing more toxins into Logan's system, which alone should be enough to kill him. 'But?' Logan asks. 'There is no but. This new agent that you have introduced into your system... this... Regenix... it's taxing your body beyond what it is capable of recovering from. Bending it to the point that it will, at any day, break' Shaman tells Logan.

'And there's no way to reverse it?' Logan asks, hanging his head. Shaman sits down on a chair opposite Logan and tells him that other than stripping the adamantium from his body, which is something he doubts Logan could survive in his condition, he is afraid not. 'Any non-science, non-traditional medicine options? If someone could look at this in another way, it would be you' Logan points out. But Shaman tells Logan that this is not a problem that can be solved with Sarcee medicine, that this is a problem that was created by science and then made worse by more science – so mysticism cannot repair it, as much as he wishes it might. Shaman reveals that he has meditated on this and that he has communed with his ancestors, hoping in his heart of hearts that he might have been wrong – but they all tell him the same – that it is time for Logan to prepare for what comes next. Shaman reminds Logan that he does not belong in this world, so he must find his way home so that when the time comes his spirit can find its way to where it belongs. 'Though... as I tell you this... I suspect this might be what you wanted' Shaman adds, but Logan says nothing.

Shortly, the jet descends in a field at Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia. Mac leads everyone out of the jet as he reports that last month they received reports of an unidentified flying object that landed just off the coast, but unfortunately at the time, most of the team was tied up with another mission, but as there were no further alerts, it was not treated as an emergency. Alpha Flight and Logan walk down the street which is covered in the strange alien purple tentacles. Houses and cars lay wrecked under the purple mess as Mac reveals that in that time, all 500 residents of  Shag Harbour vanished, with no calls for help and no reports from within the city, so police were sent to investigate and they vanished, too. 'Every responder has disappeared. That's when they finally decided to call us in' Mac declares. Mac points out that they are obviously dealing with some sort of plant invasion here, but how that relates to the missing, they don't know yet. He adds that the best case is, they find those 500-plus missing people and go home – worst case is they find out what happened to them and put an end to whatever this threat is. He instructs the others to split up and search, and to report anything they find via comms.

Logan and Puck walk towards a house, covered in the tentacle-like substance, and Logan asks Puck how space is going for him. 'It's all a little up in the air right now. Pun intended' Puck replies, adding that he has no idea what is going on with the space program, which is fine by him, as he is happy to be back and have his feet on the ground 'Yeah, space was never my cup of tea, either' Logan replies. Puck adds that the whole time he was up there, the one thing he missed – more than Coffee Crunch – was being close to nature, the trees and the grass. 'The smell of it. Breathe it in and you just feel... alive. That's something they were never able to replicate up there with their recirculated air. I missed it' Puck remarks. As they start exploring the house, Judd adds that right at this moment, he isn't so sure. 'How about you? You been holding up ok?' Judd asks as he shines his flashlight around in the darkness, missing a dog that is tied up under the purple tentacles. 'No. I'm dying' Logan replies.

Puck looks at Logan in shock, and asks 'Wait... you mean dying dying?' Logan tells him that it looks like that, adding that he wasn't completely sure, but Shaman confirmed it for him on the way over here. 'You can fight it, can't you?' Puck asks, putting a hand on Logan's shoulder, he remarks that he has access to some of the most brilliant minds in science. 'There's gotta be a cure for whatever -' Puck begins, but Logan interrupts him and points out that there is no cure for being old. 'You're kidding me? You know how many times Steve Rogers -' Puck begins, to which Logan points out that he has been around a lot longer that Steve, before admitting that he is not interested in fixing this, and that it is a relief.

Logan looks down as he tells Puck that he ain't been himself lately, that he ain't got the fight, his stamina has bottomed out and he keeps trying to push himself, but he is just so tired. 'And people around me have been paying the price because of it' he remarks, before telling Puck that he misses his wife and kids, and he just wants to be with them. Logan walks out of the house and Puck looks concerned – but before he can act, Guardian speaks to him over the comm-system, and reports that they have found something at the church.

The church and graveyard around it are covered in a mess of purple vines, or tentacles. Logan and Judd join Mac, Snowbird and Shaman inside the church, where Mac points at a circular mass, made out of the purple matter, with bones and other remains floating in it. Guardian declares that every since vine that runs through the town leads here, so whatever is happening, this is what is causing it. 'Guess we know what happened to the people of Shag Harbour' Judd remarks, before Logan asks if there is any way of getting them out. 'Shaman, you can control plants. Can't you -' Logan begins, but Shaman points out that it is extraterrestrial in origin, so his powers do not work on it. He adds that the people, the animals, seem to be its food source, and that it needs organic material, so it is too late to dave them 'Those poor creatures' Snowbird gasps, looking at the remains of a moose.

Guardian burns part of the tentacle away, and collects the specimen in a vial. He instructs Shaman and Snowbird to keep an eye on this, whatever it is, and for Logan and Puck to keep looking, to increase their perimeter, as he is not ready to give up on finding survivors. Guardian heads towards the door and reports that he will analyze this sample on the ship's lab, as he doesn't want to start blasting this thing before they have an idea of what it is they are blasting – for all they know, destroying it could release spores, and Lord knows how far that could spread. 'Radio if you need anything' he adds. Puck waves goodbye to Shaman and Snowbird. 'Have fun babysitting the Little Shop of Horrors' he jokes.

Outside, Puck and Logan follow another trail of vines, and Logan tells Puck 'What I told you earlier, keep it to yourself'. He adds that the last thing he needs is everyone treating him differently, pushing him to find a way to fix this – he doesn't want that, he wants to do this on his own terms. 'It's my time' Puck adds. Flashlights beaming through the night, Puck suggests to Logan that they could be fussing over him because they care. 'You can't take that from them' he points out. 'Just... keep it to yourself. This is my choice' Logan points out. They stop at a building, and Puck tells him to table the death talk for a second. 'You seeing this?' he asks, as they notice none of the vines have entered the building. 'Yeah… this is the only building that the vines avoided' Logan declares, asking why. 'Only one way to find out' Puck suggests as he starts to open the door. 'Puck!' Logan exclaims, as he is suddenly dragged upwards by  one of the vines, which wraps around him. 'The hell?' Puck asks as he is suddenly caught by one of the tentacles as well.

'It burns. Why the hell does it burn?' Puck calls out as he struggles to break free. Logan pops his claws and, calling Puck “Short Stuff” tells him to hold on, that he will get him out. Logan slices his claws through the vines, and frees himself. He slashes his way through more vines as he rushes over to Puck, who is still struggling to break free. 'Promise me...if I get killed by these plants...tell everyone that I died...fighting Thanos' Puck calls out. 'No one's dying' Logan assures Puck, when suddenly, 'Stand back!' someone shouts. 'Who -' Logan begins as he turns to see a man emerging from the building, blasting the vines with some sort of foam. 'Cutting it won't do no good!' the man calls out, as the foam reaches the tentacles holding Puck back, and he falls to the ground. Logan helps Puck up, 'I swear...I live through this...I'm becoming vegetarian' Puck mutters, adding that he will get his revenge by eating all the plants. 'Hurry!' the man shouts, beckoning for Logan and Puck to follow him. Logan helps Puck across to the building, and they enter after the man.

Logan closes the door behind him and finds over a dozen civilians inside the building. He thanks them for the save, and asks them if they have been hiding out here the last month. 'Yeah' the man who rescued them confirms. An older man explains that the thing came at night and started attacking them, that some of them tried running, but it was no use, as it got them, so the rest id in here, and they have been fighting it off with weed killer. 'That's what this is? Weed killer?' Logan asks, looking at the cannister the man who rescued him was using. 'Figures' Logan mutters, before the man tells him that it only keeps the vines away, it doesn't kill it, just slows it – and he just used the last of it to save them. 'Great' Logan hangs his head, before the old man tells him that he hopes they have an alternate plan, because he thinks they just pissed it off, as the vines start to rise upwards.

Back in the church, the vines begin to move as well.  'What's...' Snowbird begins, as Shaman declares that they need to move. They run towards the exit, but several vines ensare Snowbird. To free herself, she shifts her form into hundreds of arctic moths, while the vines take Shaman as well, he struggles, unable to free himself. Snowbird switches to a polar bear form and lunges  forward, tearing through the vines, she frees Shaman, then carries him across the church, while calling out to Guardian, Logan and Puck over the comm, telling them that if they can read her, this thing is live, it is moving.

'Is that a polar bear?' the old man inside the building asks as he sees the polar bear run across the field. 'That polar bear's a friend' Logan tells him. Puck opens the door, and calls out to Snowbird: 'This way!' he shouts. Snowbird dodges more vines, then falls in through the open door, reverting to her default form in the process, safe along with Shaman. Logan looks back out the window, 'What's it doing?' he asks. The old man tells him that he doesn't know, that he has never seen it do this before.

Suddenly, the vines inside the church burst upwards, their mass increased, they break through the church. Logan radios Guardian, telling him that if he is still in his lab, he might want to drag himself away from the microscope. Mac looks up from his microscope and asks Logan what is happening. 'Take a look out the window and see for yourself. Looks like we got ourselves...a problem' Logan tells Mac, who looks out of the jet, and utters 'My God' as he sees the church has been completely engulfed by the strange alien plant....

Characters Involved: 

Old Man Logan
Guardian, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)

Gas station worker

Story Notes: 

Puck is presently based on the Alpha Flight Space Station, while Guardian, Snowbird and Shaman are active as the Canadian-based Alpha Flight team.

The other mission Guardian refers most of the team being tied up with was seen in Champions (2nd series) #20-21.

Little Shop of Horrors refers to a horror movie and its better known musical version about a bloodthirsty alien plant.

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