Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Logan's Run Marvel Movie Adaptation

Taking a little trip, and looking for the most wanted man of the 23rd Century, working in conjunction with the Super Blog Team Up, to cover adaptations into comics....

....this time, taking a journey to the domed City, and a look at the Marvel Comics adaptation of the MGM movie....

....Logan's Run!

Pre-History

Logan's Run began as a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson in 1967, dealing with a future of 2116, where life is ended at 21 on a person's Lastday in a Sleepshop, and those who don't follow the rules are eliminated by Sandmen.

This was changed a little for the movie released June 23rd, 1976 with Michael York and Jenny Agutter, produced by Saul David with screenplay by David Zeleg Goodman, with the age being 30 at which time life is suppose to end, and life is ended in a ritual called Carrousel.  But, it all starts with Logan, who is a Sandman, and his mission to hunt down runners.....until he has to run to find Sanctuary himself!

Part One

Logan's Run #1 (January, 1977) was written by Gerry Conway, with art by George Perez and Klaus Janson (and cover by George Perez and Al Milgrom), introducing comic book readers to Logan's world of the City, where life is one unending party, until you turn 30.  This issue came out October 19, 1976.


The story begins in the City under the dome, with a Sandman hunting down a runner and terminating him.  That Sandman is Francis-7, who goes to find his friend, fellow Sandman Logan-5, who is at the Nursery, checking on Logan-6, whom he will likely never meet unless Logan renews.  The two go to Carrousel (the ritual all citizens must go through when their palm life-clocks reach 30, to end their life or see if they renew).   Logan gets a notice that there was a runner around, and goes after him (with Francis following), and the two terminate the runner, with Logan finding an Ankh on the runner, as well as noticing the runner's face change, gotten at "New You 483".

Logan goes home  to relax, checking the "availability circuit", finding Jessica, who wasn't really available, but only there because she was upset a friend had died at Carrousel.  Jessica was quite put off with Logan being a Sandman, who killed runners, as Logan felt that people only Flame-Out at Carrousel, and he terminates runners, not kill.  Jessica leaves and Francis shows up with new entertainment for the night.  The Sandmen meet at headquarters, find of an attack by wild cubs ("yellows", pre-teens who live free) in the Cathedral area, watching the end of a run on the computer's Overscreen.

Logan goes to report to the main computer and gives it the items from the last run.  The computer scans the Ankh, and knows it relates to Sanctuary, and asks Logan about it, telling him of 1056 unnaccounted for runners.  Logan asks if they (or anyone) has renewed (doubt in his mind from Jessica), with no answer.  The computer wants to send him to search for runners, and accelerates his life clock from red to blinking, causing him to lose years, making him now want to run!

The letter's page explains how the comic will adapt the movie over four issues, and how Len Wein, Marv Wolfman and Gerry Conway met George Clayton Johnson at a sci-fi convention in 1971, and the long road from novel to movie (and to comic as well, as Marvel had also gotten the rights to adapt 2001: A Space Odyssey from MGM as well).


George Perez kept the location of the City close to what it was in the movie (the Texas mall they filmed it in, but was not capturing the likenesses of the actors....likely due to the licensing agreement).


Cathedral Kill

Logan's Run #2 (February, 1977) by David Kraft, George Perez and Klaus Janson (with cover by Perez and Milgrom), picked up the story, with an upset Logan meeting with Francis in the Sandman gym, trying to tell him of his accelerated life-clock, with Francis unconcerned, as Logan has "plenty of time".


Logan, feeling he has no time at all, tracks down Jessica, who has the same Ankh that the runner he found had, which is key to Sanctuary.  Logan shows her his Ankh, and asks her for help, as, though he is a Sandman, he has lost time, and now wants to run.



Jessica meets with her friends, who tell her to lure him in, but they plan to kill Logan.  Jessica starts to bring Logan to them, but gets an alert of a woman running, missing the assassination attempt, while Jessica goes with Logan.  Francis sees the call at HQ, and goes to help Logan against the runner in the rough Cathedral area.


In the maze car, Jessica wonders why the cubs are so wild (perhaps by being born in breeders, not natural mothers), as her friends follow.

Logan gets access to the Cathedral area, and explains part of the reason the cubs are locked in because the pre-teens use Muscle (a drug which enhances their speed and strength, but burns out those older).  Jessica is impressed by the area (though it is in ruins), when the cubs attack.  The cub leader, Billy, shows up (having led the earlier attack that wounded another Sandman), where they debate their fates as Billy tries to expose the two to Muscle, but Logan blasts it, and tells Billy how he is doomed as the cubs will kill him when he goes from yellow to green (pre-teen to teen).

How different is that from dying at 30, Billy asks Logan, triggering more doubt.  Logan and Jessica find the runner, and Logan gives her his Ankh so she can find Sanctuary, and a capsule of blind gas to help her fight foes, but the girl dies soon after, with Jessica's friends thinking Logan killed her (when it was really Francis).

New writer David Kraft fills the letter's page, talking of his science fiction credentials, including a story in Amazing Stories, a review of 2001 in the Marvel Treasury, and in Worlds Unknown, and a love of sci-fi popping up everywhere, from David Bowie, to Star Trek and more!

George Perez continues his work as well, with the adaptation changing things from the movie a bit, with the introduction of Muscle, as well as not having Jessica's encounter with the cub girl, Mary-2 (and Logan giving the runner his Ankh).

Sanctuary!?

Logan's Run #3 (March, 1977) by David Kraft, George Perez and Klaus Janson (cover by George Perez and Tom Palmer) picks up the run from the Cathedral, with Logan taking Jessica to the New You facility he had heard of earlier (a place that can change your face and body).


This is where runners run to, searching for Sanctuary.  They are greeted by Holly-13, with Holly noticing the face wound the cubs gave him.  Jessica explains he's a runner now, and needs a new face.  Holly takes him to Doc, who shows him the machine that will give him his new face.  Jessica tells Doc that Logan is sincere about running, but Doc gets a phone call while using the machine to heal Logan, which changes Doc's mood.

Demonstrating the healing side to fix Logan's wound, the Doc then sets the lasers to cut only, trying to kill Logan, which sets Jessica against Doc, then Holly, as Doc tries to keep Logan near the lasers.  Logan saves himself, but Doc dies under the lasers.  Logan and Jessica try to leave, with Francis showing up, asking why Logan let the runner go in Cathedral. 
Logan knocks Francis aside, with Jessica taking Logan in the direction of Sanctuary (with Francis and Holly surveying the damage in Logan's wake).  Jessica reveals to Logan she was taking him to be killed before he got the call on the runner.  The two find Jessica's friends who take people to the gateway to Sanctuary (but they are suspicious of Logan; who, by instinct, hits his Sandman transmitter).  Holly shows up, telling that Logan is a runner (and that Doc is dead), with Jessica again championing Logan.  Jessica is to use her key to the lock, as Sandman start arriving and terminating Jessica's friends, their Power Rods being no match for Sandman Sleeper Guns.

Holly dies, as do many others.  Logan tells Jessica he transmitted their location by instinct, that the computer did send him, but that meeting her has given him the bigger picture.  Logan saves Jessica from another Sandman, then has a confrontation with Francis, saying he hasn't reported Logan, and if he kills Jessica, he will cover for him.  Logan blasts away, going with Jessica to the gateway to Sanctuary (as far as Jessica has gone).  They use her Ankh as the key, and head on to the next stage, with Logan throwing his transmitter in the water.  Logan and Jessica end up under the city, where there are breeding pens for food, which they declare to be savage.

Francis finds the gateway, and using the Ankh he took from the female runner he killed, follows.  Logan didn't want to kill Francis, but as Francis shows up again, they shoot again, breaking one of the water filled pens, washing Logan and Jessica to a freight elevator, which Logan accidentally triggers, taking them down....to the ice world of Box!   

This letter's page has actual letters, discussing, among other things, Logan's Run #1, the movie, the 2001 adaption, and George Perez attending a comic convention in Detroit and Toronto.

George Perez still does a wonderful job of adapting the world of Logan's Run (really using the "Kirby Krackle" in this issue), and David Kraft has a few minor changes here (with Logan throwing his transmitter in the water; Francis getting his Ankh from the runner instead of Logan dropping one there for Francis to find, and no trip through the Lust Shop....).

Enter The Eternal Ice-World Of Box!

Logan's Run #4 (April, 1977) has a cover by George Perez and Klaus Janson, and they provide the art inside as well to David Kraft's adaptation, with his issue starting with the pair of new runners (the couple of Logan and Jessica) meeting Box in his Ice World!


Jessica thinks this must be Sanctuary, so Logan asks him if runners had come through here.  Box is enchanted by the pair, asking them to disrobe and put on furs to keep warm and dry off.  Box wants to sculpt their beauty.  Taking them to sculpt them, Box shows them his bird sculptures, and then the fate of the runners....whom Box froze when the other stuff (fish, plankton, protein and greens from the sea) stopped coming.

As Box sculpts, Logan finds that there are 1056 frozen people, and Jessica is happy that at least they will die together, cold, and not in a flame out.  As Box goes to freeze them, Logan opens fire on Box, destroying him and much of his art (with Box bemoaning he was only doing his job as he perishes).  Leaving behind the ice wall they now created, the running duo find...outside (including a glowing orb in the sky that provides warmth....the sun, though they know it not).  In the world outside, Logan and Jessica find each other, and find that their life clocks are now clear.

Francis comes across the dying Box, and blasts through the ice wall, but he is less impressed with outside then Logan and Jessica were.

Eating berries along the way, they follow a large monument (the Washington Monument) through a overgrown area including smaller monuments with names and numbers on them (graves in a graveyard), passing through the Lincoln Memorial as well (also not knowing it, and commenting on his look, how sad he was, and that perhaps he was sad because he was old).  Then, in what was once the Capitol Building (again, they know not), Jessica thinks of it as Sanctuary, as Logan doubts.

They are set upon by a small furry animal as they open the door (a cat).  They see an old man in the room, using a gavel to open nuts.  The Old Man then sees them, and they ask him his name, which he cannot remember.  Jessica is enthralled by the cracks on his face, and they ask what the creatures are.  The Old Man rambles about the cats, and tells them there are no other people here, but that this was a house of the people.  The Old Man has no life clock, but is enchanted by theirs.  The Old Man says he was born here, and raised by his mother and father, and shows them pictures of them.

The Old Man takes Logan to show him pictures of other of his relatives (really Presidents), as Jessica looks through the room, musing about knowing her parents.  Logan recognizes Lincoln, and calls out to Jessica....who has been grabbed by Francis, who plans to carry out his duty to terminate them both!

The letter's page talks of issues one and two, noticing that Logan had four years until 30 in #1, and five years in issue #2, that some dialogue is altered (due to David Kraft's choice, adding stuff from the screenplay as well) and that George Perez draws the life clocks on the right hand, while the movie had them on the left.

Here, George Perez took advantage of the comic format, expanding out a two pager (an exceptional beautiful cinematic shot, showing Perez was allowing a movie makers eye into his art), and using panels even more to evoke a feeling that the scene required.


End-Run

Logan's Run #5 (May, 1977) is the last issue of the adaption of the movie, and the last written by David Kraft (aided by Ed Hannigan) and drawn by George Perez and Klaus Janson (with a cover by George Perez and Frank Giacoia), depicting the final battle between Logan and Francis!


Logan tries to convince his friend they have no reason to fight...and gets him to look at his life clock, which is now clear.  This unnerves Francis, allowing Jessica to knock away his Sleeper Gun.  Francis strikes Jessica, and blames her for costing him his friend, then jumps from the balcony to attack Logan.  The two fight, with the Old Man remembering that people had brought violence when together in the old days.

Logan wants Francis to accept the truth of the world, with Francis bitter that Logan has shown him his whole life was a lie.  Jessica fears that Logan cannot win as he is holding back against Francis, his friend, who is seeing that Francis will not stop.  So, Logan takes the American flag (which Francis was using as a weapon), and kills him with it.  Sad, Logan and Jessica listen to Francis' last words....."You really renewed.".  Jessica tries to comfort Logan, in that it was the system that killed Francis, not Logan.  The Old Man suggests they bury Francis (which they don't know about), and they learn the meaning of the small monuments in the ground.

Logan, still feeling the guilt over killing Francis, wants to return to the domed city to free them from the tyranny of living with the life-clocks, while Jessica (who awoke his concern for fellow men) would be happy for them to live out their lives together here.  Logan wins her over, and, wanting to have proof, ask the Old Man to come along as well (as they duo do fear they will be killed outright before any truth could be revealed).  The trio trek back to the city (bringing along some of the Old Man's cats as well), fearing going back through the Ice World of Box, and instead find the entry point for the water which drives the city's hydro-electric power system, choosing to enter there.

They leave the Old Man and cats behind (as it is a strenuous way to enter), promising to bring the youth to him.  Logan and Jessica do find there way in, and find the city empty, as its inhabitants are going through another round of Carrousel.  Logan, taking Francis' "act before thinking" motto, yells at the populace how renewal is a lie, and that no one has to die at 30.  This causes people to halt, as the Sandmen come to take him to the computer.  The computer begins to probe Logan, who continues to defy the computer who will not believe him when he tells it that "there is no sanctuary", as he questions all the beliefs the computer had been teaching its society.

That belief shatters the computer, and, along with a few blasts from Logan, causes the computer to break down, and explosions to rock the city.

Logan and Jessica lead a group of the populace out of the city to meet the Old Man, who remembers the love of a family, yet Logan is concerned about how Francis would have felt to be free, how will people learn to adapt to their new lives now that their old ones have ended, and wonders if the cure will be worse than the original disease.

In the letter's page, David Kraft says he and George Perez will not be continuing with the title now that the adaptation is done, but that the title will continue (and a few letters bemoan that Logan's Run is not a part of Marvel continuity).

Perez's art calmed down after the wild experimentation of the last issue, but still was a joy to behold!

Aftermath

There was a Logan's Run #6 and #7 in June/July 1977, continuing the story after the destruction of the city's computer, and with Logan and Jessica at odds with the cubs and the Sandman, and how the population would not leave the mostly non-functional city as told by John Warner, Tom Sutton, Terry Austin and Klaus Janson (with covers by Paul Gulacy and Gil Kane/Al Milgrom).  But, due to a dispute with MGM (who believed it was only licensing the adaptation to Marvel), the title came to an end without every resolving the storyline, with Logan destroying the system, but failing to deal with the ramifications of what he had done.

Even worse, problems in producing the sixth issue necessitated a partial fill in (which they had yet to produce any back stock stories), so they used a try-out story by Scott Edelman and Mike Zeck, covering Thanos fighting Drax the Destroyer instead (and commissioned a series of back up stories planned for Logan's Run #9 and #10, which never happened, though Marvel adapted the story for use in Bizarre Adventures #28 by Archie Goodwin, Michael Golden and Steve Mitchell in October, 1981.
  
Don't feel sorry for Marvel, they had a new movie adaption starting, with something called Star Wars (which seemed to be a huge movie and comic success) that started as Logan's Run #7 came out (and 2001: A Space Odyssey was introducing X-51 that month as well, he who would be Machine Man).

MGM also did well, as it was adapting Logan's Run into a TV series first airing in September 16, 1977, with a pilot by William F. Nolan, Saul David and Leonard Katzman, with D.C. Fontana serving as story editor, having brought in Star Trek writers Harlan Ellison and David Gerrold (as Noah Ward, as he was unhappy with the rewrite of his script), as well as Batman writer (and later editor) Denny O'Neil, with the series adding a robot, Rem (Donald Moffat) to go with Logan and Jessica (Gregory Harrison and Heather Menzies), as well as having them travel the United States looking for Sanctuary, being pursued by Francis (Randy Powell; who survived, and was working for a cabal of elders).  It lasted 14 episodes.

The Artist

A special note about artist George Perez, who was still working on Fantastic Four and Avengers at the time.  The Logan's Run series allowed him a chance to stretch his artistic abilities as he had never done before, and that served him well during the rest of those runs, as well as when he moved over to DC, to work on the New Teen Titans, and later on Crisis On Infinite Earths, eventually doubling back to Marvel for a time to work on the Infinity Gauntlet (with that Thanos guy being involved.  Thanos sure seemed to take on some importance, but even with a "finger snap", not sure why....).


Thank you for following my little run through of Marvel's Logan's Run comic.  

Welcome if you are a new reader that has found your way here (or even an old reader who comes here because) of my columns.  


This column was part of the Super-Blog Team-Up (also hashtag #SBTU for those so inclined), wherein a group of comic bloggers gather and run with a theme, this time around the idea of Expanded Universe, where comics follow licensed properties (usually movies, toys, novels, animation or TV shows).  

We bloggers want to help each other by showcasing each other's work as well.  Here are the other associated blogs, and hope you have a chance to check them out as they cover some of the theme.



Participants include:

Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu
Marvel’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Issues 3 & 6


Super-Hero Satellite: 
M.A.S.K.: The Road To Revolution 


Cavalcade of Awesome:  
Jumper Universe




Between The Pages Blog: 
Fantastic Forgotten Star Wars Characters



Comic Reviews By Walt: 


Comics Comics Comics . blog: 
Marvel series The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. 


MichaelMay.Online:  
Treasure Island Universe 



Pop Culture Retrorama: 
The Phantom Universe




The Telltale Mind
Archie Andrews Superstar



Unspoken Issues: 
Mad-Dog (Marvel Comics, 1992)


The Daily Rios: 
Little Shop of Horrors



Radulich In Broadcasting: 
Flash Gordon Universe 


DC In The 80s: 
The TSR Universe (DC comics) 



Bronze Age Babies: 
Seven Decades of Apes-mania
...and We’re Afflicted! 


Echoes from the Satellite: 
Tales from the Forbidden Zone 
- The Pacing Place  



Black & White and Bronze Comics:  
Beast on the Planet of the Apes
- a Review  


The Source Material Comics Podcast:
TMNT/Ghostbusters



Lost N Comics Youtube: 
Expanding the medium 
by delving into the world 
of motion/audio comics.





...and, if you got this far, a reminder that George Perez did come back for a cover of a science fiction meeting of two great franchises, with the Star Trek/Planet Of The Apes team-up (which would have been a runner up for this article, had not the focus went on Logan and the runners!).



5 comments:

  1. Very good post Dave! I now have to go reread those Marvel books. I LOVED this article! Good photo combinations as well with the covers. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read the comics and saw the tv series before i saw the movie. Must have been 12 when i saw the movie on video, and i must have almost worn out parts of the tape due to jenny agutter. Will definitely have to try to find the comics and rewatch the movie, excellent stuff sparking a lot of nostalgia for me

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice rundown. I absolutely love the comic adaptation of the movie, and that's not coming from nostalgia - I came to it last, as a middle-aged adult (I just missed seeing it on the spinner racks as a young comics reader). I saw the aforementioned TV series first, and then the movie when I was a teen.
    Personally, I think this comics version is actually better than the movie. I like it so much, once I gathered up all of the original issues (including the admittedly inferior issues 6-7) I had them bound. So it's always nice to see the series get some love...
    Edo Bosnar

    ReplyDelete
  4. Perez did some amazing storytelling on these issues. This is far above the quality of most Bronze Age movie adaptations.

    I posted a link to this on the group The Art of George Perez on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete