Sunday, May 01, 2011

Pop culture icons - Logan´s run

Today I was doing research for a post on another blog and while writing the post and adding more and more stuff I realized that this would also be an interesting topic for my comicblog. So, on this Labor Day ( at least it is Labor Day in Germany ) I want to talk a bit about LOGAN´S RUN.


The movie LOGAN´S RUN is based on the bestselling novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton, the first part of a trilogy of which the following two ( written solely by William F. Nolan ) LOGAN´S WORLD and LOGAN´S SEARCH are not so well known. The classic sci fi flick explores the downside to the " youth cult " that´s so widespread nowadays where everybody is so fascinated with young people. The problem with this craze is that it totally ignores the fact that at that time you have no experience, you don´t think too far ahead, you don´t know how things really work and you make the worst decisions.

The basic plot ( I don´t think this is a spoiler since it´s from 1976 ) is that in a future people live in an utopia where they can have all they could ever whish for. Every desire or fancy lived out instantly without ever having to work. And New You can make you look however you want. The only catch ?

You are terminated - nicely - when you reach the age of 30. Which was altered from the original novel in which the age was 21. Some say this was changed because of actor Michael York.

He plays the main character, Logan 5 ( which could have been an influence in giving Wolverine his name ) a " sandman " who has to hunt down and terminate " runners " which are people who don´t want to die after turning 30. Well, life stops being funny when Logan turns 30 and finds himself at the receiving end of his fellow sandman´s raygun running for his life.

Before George Lucas's Star Wars ( 1977 ) changed the face and feel of cinematic science fiction forever, the Saturn Award - winning ( and Nebula - nominated ) Michael Anderson film, Logan's Run, was likely the standard - bearer for the genre in the malaise days of the 1970s.

In many ways, the bicentennial - released Logan's Run serves as a kind of critical " bridge " production of the turbulent disco - decade: blending the Dystopian qualities of such film predecessors as Soylent Green ( 1973 ) and Planet of the Apes ( 1968 ), with the elaborate, expensive visual effects of the Space : 1999 - Star Wars epoch.

This is from John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Film / TV article about Logan´s run that has an extensive comparision betweeb the novel and the movie and explains why those who watch Logan's Run and deride it as cheesy or outdated have missed the point. It´s a good cautionary science fiction film, one that reminds us to hold Big Brother accountable.

cult movie review logans run

I haven´t read much on the blog but it´s written by John Kenneth Muir, the award - winning author of 22 books including The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film & Television, An Analytical Guide to TV's Battlestar Galactica and Horror Films of the 1970s. This week he´s in the middle of the Lance Henriksen Blogathon spotlighting this brilliant actor who really deserves wider recognition.

But there are also great articles to found there about other cult classics like THE WARRIORS, JAWS, TRON or BLADE RUNNER. So head on over ( hey, AFTER you have read this post ) and check it out even if that might mean that you will be busy with reading the blog the next months.


Coming back to LOGAN´S RUN the movie also stars Peter Ustinov, Farah Fawcett and Jenny Agutter and I really have to give kudos to whoever picked that dress for her.

Now is it just me or can it be that the future used to be way cooler in the 70s and 80s ? At least the fashion was. And not only in movies, you remember the costumes of the girls on LEGION OF SUPER HEROES from that period ? Today they are rather dull and look more like biohazard suits that are 2 sizes too big but back at the disco aera, ay massita !

Another thing LOGAN´S RUN and the LEGION OF SUPER HEROES have in common is putting numbers behind names. We got Logan 5 and Brainiac 5 but I don´t know which one influenced which. Although it may have just been a thing at that time. Although as SUBZERO 2000 I really shouldn´t be the one to talk.


Speaking about comics and LOGAN´S RUN, it also spawned a comic comic adaption in 1997 that lasted 7 issues. Today the comic is best known for being one of the first works of comic legend George Perez who did the first 5 issues while issues 6 and 7 were drawn by Tom Sutton and continued the story from the movie.

I have to say I never read those issues because I haven´t seen them on any comic conventions but I´d really like to check them out. Having read the ESSENTIAL FANTASTIC FOUR 8 just this month I´m almost sure the art can still hold up. The inks are by Klaus Janson and it´s written by Gerry Conway ( issue 1 ), David Kraft ( issues 2 - 5 ) and John Warner ( issues 6 and 7 ).

Maybe Marvel will finally release the trade as there is a remake of the movie on the horizon and many seem either to remember the comic fondly or always wanted to read it. Sounds like a certified hit. I mean how can you not make money with a robot whose midsection looks like a giant diamond ?

And I especially like the big cross on his chest so the enemies have a good target. Speak about a flawed design.

There also was a 6 issue series in 1990 by Malibu and like the series by George Perez I haven´t read it. But this time I´m not sure that I want to judging from the cover. On the other side it has an introduction by one of the original novels authors so it may not be as bad as it looks.


In 2010 Bluewater Productions published LOGAN´S RUN - LAST DAY ( the last day is the day when you reach the critical age when you time runs out ) a 6 issue miniseries that has since then been collected in trade form. It´s a new adaption with a foreword by the other creator of LOGAN´S RUN written by Paul Salamoff and art by Daniel Gete.

It will be followed by LOGAN´S RUN AFTERMATH and Bluewater Production plans to adapt SEVEN FOR SPACE, another well known story by Nolan, as a comic. Additionally Nolan is slated to create a new comic property for Bluewater.

Now I don´t want to write negative things about comics but I have to say that I´m not as impressed by the art as Dominic at FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND . While Daniel Gete has good storytelling his action sequences are lacking real dynamic and the main characters faces look rather stoic and emotionless in a lot of instances. Which could be intentional given the story. I think what bugged me most is that nagging feeling that the creators wasted a lot of potential with having such decompressed storytelling. There are whole pages without text where the writer could have fleshed out the characters a bit more.

Which brings me to my second complaint about the comic. For me, as a reader, it was very difficult to understand the motivation of the characters which kept me distant from them and make a lot of the actions and reactions seem totally arbitrary. The thing that interests me most in comics is how the protagonists think and since most comic writers have put a ban on thought balloons that can be difficult at times.

And speaking about difficult my third and last complaint about the book ( which is only a minor one ) is that in some of the flashback sequences that fills the reader in on the backstory of Logan´s world the yellow writing can be difficult to read. As long as it´s on black backgrounds it´s okay but if it´s against a light or yellow background it can be hard to read.

I know that this is an artistic decision since the prevalent color in the flasback sequences is yellow and this workd very well to set it apart from the sequences in present day but in some instances it would have helped to put a brown caption box around it.

Now, is it all bad ? No it isn´t. While the art has it´s flaws it´s easy to follow and at no time do you have problems to understand what is happening. I have read other comics with flashier art where you end up not knowing what exactly happened in the story. His layouts are effective and I really like his use of shadows and blacks.

In a lot of comics nowadays artists don´t use enough blacks and just let the colorist take care of that which in most cases looks like somebody just slapped 22 paged of anime cells together and sold them as a comic. No, I think that Daniel Gete will only become better from here. In fact his part is the better one in the series since the last two issues by Azim Akberal look just garish.

As for the writing, apart from having a lot of pages with little or no text Paul Salamoff really manages to introduce the reader to the complex society of the future pretty easily. And he also writes a fast paced story that even manages to intrigue somebody who knows the story from the movie. I have to add that it has been some time since I last saw the movie but I have to say I´m not sure if some of the plot twists were in the original novel or in the film. Or if they are new.

In any case I really liked the flashback sequences that give the reader the background on Logan´s world and there even were a few dramatic cliffhangers.

I wouldn´t give this trade to your average comic reader but for fans of the franchise it´s definitely of interest and I also would give it to civilians like my sister who might remember the movie.

And now to avoid any complaints about me being biased here are the reviews from FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND - as well as some other links - so you can make up your own opinion.

review of logans run last day 1 / review issue 1 on famous monsters

review issue 2 / review issue 3 / interview with writer paul j salamoff

issue 2 gets second printing / logans run last day at comic database

The topic of the movie is still relevant today so it´s no surprise that there is a remake slated for 2012. Maybe this time they stick to the original title in german as the first movie had the silly title ESCAPE INTO THE 23RD CENTURY. Which makes absolutely no sense since it´s NOT about time travel.


Besides the comic adaption there was also a shortlived tv series ( 14 episodes ).

Here´s intro clip from the tv series :

Normally I´m not too keen on including tv series in the posts but since I´m not sure if it ever was shown on german tv and it´s not available on DVD here I think some of my german readers might get a kick out of it.

Logan´s run - tv series

Episode 1 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / Episode 2 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Episode 3 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 4 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Episode 5 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 6 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /  Episode 7 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Episode 8 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 9 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Episode 10 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /  Episode 11 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 12 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 13 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / Episode 14 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

password : or


Which brings us to our fourth comic about LOGAN´S RUN which is the annual from 1978 by Brown Watson.

It´s a bit obscure ( at least I found it by accident since it wasn´t listed at the grand comic database ) and it´s not a traditional comic in the sense that it also contains interviews and articles about the actors, games and text pieces with illustrations.

Now the illustrations are wonderful pieces of art and the style might look familiar to a few readers out there since it was done by none other than famous V FOR VENDETTA artist David Lloyd.

Besides providing 12 illustrations David Lloyd has 3 proper comic stories in the annual. The 3 page LOGAN´S WORLD, the 8 page CITY OF THE NIGHTHAWKS and SUNRISE......MOONSET another 8 page story in which our heroes encounter samurais. While the other two comics have just one color ( the first one blue and the second one green ) David used the full palette on this one.

In my opinion the art by David Lloyd alone is worth the price of admission although I´m not too sure how easy it is to hunt down. It´s definitely of interest for pop culture afficionados.


Coming back to Jenny Agutter from the movie ( before finally ending this post ), she starred in a few other movies like THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK or - better known by Today´s audiences - John Landis´cult horror movie AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and it is with great pleasure that I can report that she is naked in quite a few of them.

As in LOGAN´S RUN which despite it´s PG rating has a breast count of 14 which is not bad. Jenny´s first costume was even skimpier but the movie company decided against it because the involved make up would have been too expensive. Sometimes you really wonder who makes these decisions.

Since the 1990s, Jenny has worked in sound recording, and she is a patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. After a break from acting she has appeared in several television series since 2000, including the British series Spooks.

Despite it all LOGAN´S RUN is quite an entertaining movie and while there are some people who don´t like it it´s one of my favorite sci fi flicks and you should definitely check it out on one of it´s many reruns. You really could pick worse.

Today´s research links are quite a long list and I want to thank all of them for helping me make this post.

the world of logans run website / logans run wikipedia

logans run movie imdb / logans run on the daily pop

logans run movie review with a bit of trivia

logans run tv series imdb / logans run tv series gallery

logans run comic database marvel / logans run comic database malibu

an american werewolf in london imdb

jenny agutter wikipedia / jenny agutter imdb / official website

As for Today´s clip that is - of course - the trailer to LOGAN´S RUN.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

A decade ago, I picked up the Marvel 7 issue Logan's Run. Issue 7 took a while to find. Well worth the effort for comic collectors. Also, Jack Kirby's 2001 done during the mid seventies is also essential collecting.