LOGAN-ArtposterIn 1935, at the rehearsals for his Symphony no. 4, composer Ralph Vaughn Williams said “I don’t know whether I like it, but it is what I meant.”

Artists of all stripes will find these to be words to live by. They’re also good words for those who critique all the stripey types of art, and they kind of describe how I feel about Logan. Paraphrasing with a twist: “I didn’t have fun, but I wasn’t supposed to.”

Logan is a powerful drama with elements of action and suspense. It earns its R-rating on all fronts, and with maybe one or two exceptions it only does so in strong service of the story. Everybody turns in brilliant performances, and they ground the fictional world of Wolverine and Professor X in a near-future that very much seems like ours.

If your only exposure to Marvel Comics has been through the Avengers cinematic franchise, Logan may leave you wondering when comic books started telling such deep stories. The answer is “since about the beginning of comic books.” Sequential art goes way back. Dialog bubbles and newsprint are new, relatively speaking, but we’ve been putting actual drama in those for a long time.

The salient point here is that if you’re hoping for something to whet your appetite for Spider-Man: Homecoming, or Thor: Ragnarok, Logan is not the hors d’oeuvres you’re looking for.