Old Man Logan has been getting a lot of attention recently, thanks to the recent reveal that Hugh Jackman’s eighth and final outing as Wolverine will pay homage to the mini-series. The final stand-alone Wolverine movie, titled simply Logan, will draw elements from various points in the mutant’s history – including the Reavers, X-23, and the Old Man Logan comics. While Logan will not be a direct adaptation of the eight-issue miniseries, we are sure to see a movie heavily influenced by this dark version of Logan’s future, and from what we’ve seen so far, the results are looking pretty phenomenal.
We’ll have to wait a few more months to see exactly what director James Mangold has in store for the feral mutant, and that just gives us time to re-read Old Man Logan again and again… and put together a few fun facts about the series. Long-time fans will probably be familiar with many of these, but if the Logan trailer has piqued your interest for the first time, you might be surprised!
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Old Man Logan.
15. It’s Written By Mark Millar…
Even casual comic book fans have probably heard of Mark Millar – if only because so many of his series have now been adapted for the big screen! Millar has written for both DC and Marvel, and is known for his work on a whole range of Marvel characters including the X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four. Millar eventually brought all of these properties (and more) together for the incredible Marvel event, Civil War.
Independently, Millar also wrote Wanted, Kick-Ass, and Kingsmen: Secret Service, all of which have since been adapted for the big screen and have dedicated fan followings. His company, Millarworld, published several of these books as well as many more creator-owned series, and he has worked alongside many of the biggest names in comics. In short, Mark Millar is a comic book powerhouse who more than deserves his fame in the industry, and his unique style is clearly seen throughout the Old Man Logan series.
14. …And Penciled By The Artist Behind Civil War
Steve McNiven might not be quite so well-known with casual comic fans, but this isn’t the first time that he’s teamed up with Mark Millar. McNiven and Millar also worked together on Marvel’s Civil War, the epic crossover event that brought almost all the superheroes of the Marvel universe together to choose sides and fight against each other. This event was also the inspiration for the most recent Captain America movie: Captain America: Civil War.
We say ‘inspiration’, because the film and the comic event were very different, as the film conducts itself on a much smaller scale and with far fewer heroes featured. Civil War was first published in 2006 and 2007, and Old Man Logan was published in 2008, meaning that Millar and McNiven worked on these two incredible events basically back-to-back. While these are obviously two very different story arcs, it’s easy to see the same approach in Old Man Logan that was featured in Civil War, along with the same kind of whole-universe crossover of characters.
13. There Is No Swearing
Mark Millar is definitely a comic writer who caters to a more adult audience, and his work is often dark in tone and brutally violent – and Old Man Logan is no exception. However, unlike most of Millar’s self-published offerings, there is no swearing in the Old Man Logan series. As comic readers know, there is a whole lot of cussing in Kingsman, Kick-Ass, Wanted and Millar’s other Millarworld work. It’s part of his style and his approach, and fans love it.
In Old Man Logan, the same approach is there, but the swearing isn’t. In a compromise between the Marvel style and the Millar style, dialogue is ‘bleeped out’, with asterisks replacing the letters. This is standard for Marvel, where profanity isn’t allowed in regular comic issues. Other options include replacing swear words with nonsensical symbols (%$&*!!), which is known as profanitype or grawlix. This may surprise Millar fans, who are used to seeing uncensored profanity in his work, but shouldn’t surprise Marvel fans – especially readers of Deadpool, who is constantly speaking in profanitype!
12. It’s Set 50 Years From Now
Both the comic series and the upcoming Logan movie are set in (an incredibly bleak) version of the future, approximately 50 years from now. In this future, the world is entirely different – the villains of the world finally banded together, and used their combined force to take over. The US is now divided into large areas ruled by various supervillains, and most of the heroes of the world are dead and gone.
From the Logan trailer, we know that the film will be set in its own version of this future, one where most of the mutants have disappeared. Of course, X-Men: Days of Future Past introduced the concept of time travel and multiple possible futures to the cinematic X-Men universe, so the future we see in Logan won’t necessarily be the one where the primary X-Men movies end up. In the same way that the comic mini-series was set in an alternate future, Logan is sure to be its own alternate timeline – which isn’t a bad thing, as it gives the writers a little more creative freedom with the story. This also means that they won’t likely be tasked with having to set up multiple heroes, villains, and story arcs for future sequels and spinoffs, which is welcome news for superhero fans thirsting for a more complete, standalone superhero film.
11. Wolverine Doesn’t Fight In This Future
Eventually, of course, Wolverine unsheathes his claws in Old Man Logan. It takes quite some time for him to unveil that signature “snikt”, however, as when the story begins, Logan has sworn off violence entirely. It’s a surprising turn for this particularly violent mutant, especially when his family is being threatened by the evil Hulk gang. Logan’s pacifism is eventually revealed to be the result of his own shame at what he did when the villains of this timeline first made their move.
Courtesy of Mysterio, Wolverine believed that a cadre of villains had broken into the X-Mansion, and he killed them all to protect his friends. When the illusion shattered, Wolverine saw that the ‘villains’ were actually the X-Men themselves, and that he had slaughtered the very teammates he was trying to protect. The villains had sent Mysterio to set this up because they knew it would be near-impossible to take down the X-Men, but that Wolverine’s friends would hesitate to fight back against one of their own. Their plan worked, and brokenhearted, Wolverine put his claws away as penance for what he did.
10. Wolverine Loses His Loved Ones. Again.
As though Wolverine didn’t have enough tragedy in his life, Old Man Logan continues the life-long cycle of Logan finally finding someone to love… and losing them horribly. From the death of his childhood friend Rose, to the loss of Silver Fox in the wilderness, to the death of Mariko before they could marry, Logan just keeps losing the people he loves. In Old Man Logan, not only does Logan slaughter the X-Men himself (which would be tragic enough), he ends up losing his new family too.
When the series starts, our non-violent Logan is living on a farm with a wife and children. Despite their poverty and the constant threat of the Hulk gang who rules over their part of the world, he has found a measure of happiness. No prizes for guessing that that doesn’t last. After going on a headlong mission across the country to try and earn the rent money his family needs to survive, Wolverine returns to find that the Hulk Gang got tired of waiting, and murdered his family before their deadline was up.
9. It’s Basically A Western
Westerns are becoming increasingly popular once again, and Old Man Logan has a definite Western aesthetic. A lot of this has to do with the ruined wastelands that Wolverine travels through – they evoke the same feelings as the wide open desert used to in classic Westerns. America descended into near lawlessness, the lone hero on a mission to save his family, the epic journey across the badlands… there is a whole lot for a Western fan to love, from the overarching story to the smaller details. Starting off on arid farmland also helps with the cowboy feel, although these poor farmers also happen to have a Playstation…
With the resurgence of Western style in live-action (Westworld, The Magnificent Seven, the upcoming Dark Tower), we’re sure to see a lot of this carry over into Logan. Of course, the character also lends himself to a Western aesthetic, as a brooding, tragic, and gruff warrior of few words.
8. It’s Not The Only Time Logan Gets Old
Although Wolverine is functionally immortal (thanks to that handy dandy healing factor) and largely ageless, Old Man Logan isn’t the only time that the character has appeared as a grey-haired old man. Logan does age, albeit extremely slowly, so it’s not surprising that a different version of the future would find him looking a little more than grizzled.
Wolverine: The End finds Logan in a different alternate future, where he is two hundred and ten years old. In this future, he is white haired, slowing down, dealing with arthritis, and nowhere near as fast as he used to be. He also starts out living alone in Canada, before setting out on a journey to try and discover more about his past. Written in 2003, The End predates Old Man Logan and is a very different story – one where few other characters from the larger X-Men universe appear, and which is heavily connected to Wolverine: Origins (the comic, not that awful Wolverine solo flick we’ve all done our best to forget).
7. The Story Didn’t End With The Series
Old Man Logan began in June 2008, and ended with “Giant Size Old Man Logan”, released in September 2009. The adventure concluded with Logan finally popping his claws to take down the entire Hulk family in a brutal battle. He murders the elderly (and insane) Bruce Banner by allowing himself to be eaten, healing within the green goliath’s stomach, and ripping him apart from the inside. In the end, only one Hulk is left – the baby. Wolverine takes Baby Bruce and rides off to try and save the world… but the story doesn’t end there.
Many fans wanted to see what Logan did next, and how his quest to save the world turned out. He did reappear last year, but his story was a slightly different one than expected. Old Man Logan reappeared (with Baby Bruce) in the 2015 crossover event Secret Wars. In this storyline, Logan ends up bouncing around the Battleworld, understandably confused to find multiple different worlds so close together, and even ends up reuniting with the X-Men that he had slaughtered in the original Old Man Logan arc.
6. He Also Appeared in Fantastic Four
Before the events of Secret Wars, Old Man Logan and Baby Bruce made a brief appearance in the pages of Fantastic Four, where Millar was also writing. Here, the New Defenders appear from the future, one where the world is in grave danger. (Old Man Logan’s world, even further in the future.) Led by Sue Storm, the team has traveled back in time to attempt to bring the inhabitants of their Earth back in time to safety – and that team includes Old Man Logan and Baby Bruce.
Now much older, Wolverine has taken up the name of Hooded Man, and Baby Bruce has become Hulk Jr. These two characters are not officially named as Old Man Logan and Baby Bruce, but the connection is heavily implied and accepted by the majority of comic fans. This is a brief appearance, and while it’s an interesting one, it still doesn’t give us too much information about what happened between Logan walking away with Baby Bruce and them returning to Earth’s past with the New Defenders.
5. The older Wolverine has returned in a major way
Most recently, Old Man Logan makes another appearance in All New, All Different Marvel. The ongoing series brings the Wolverine of Old Man Logan back in time, a few years before the villains took over. He doesn’t know why he has been sent back, but uses this chance to try and take out the major players in the villain uprising before they can band together and create the future that he knows. The series primarily takes place in the present, but does also include flashbacks to Old Man Logan’s future. These flashbacks usually tell the story of something that happened in Logan’s life before the events of Old Man Logan, and how the various villains that he is hunting down have wronged him.
The inclusion is a way for Marvel to keep Logan in their current universe without undoing his death entirely – alternate future Old Man Logan! All New, All Different Marvel also features the new Wolverine (formerly X-23) in her own stand-alone title. More on her in a bit!
4. It Taught Comic Fans To Swear In German
One of the major villains in the Old Man Logan storyline is Red Skull, known to casual fans from the early days of the MCU, when he was the main antagonist of Captain America: The First Avenger. In this time, Red Skull was one of the ringleaders of the villain uprising, and now rules over his own chunk of the US. When Wolverine is captured and ‘killed’ by Red Skull’s men, he heals himself only to wake up in the villain’s trophy room, surrounded by memorabilia of his dead friends.
Wolverine battles Red Skull, and during their fight, comic fans learned a fun new word in German, arschkriecher, when the villain tells Logan, “You should have stayed in whatever hole you crawled into, arschkrieher.” The word itself translates to “ass-kisser”, and you can bet that pretty much every reader checked that one in Google! First Firefly teaches nerds to swear in Mandarin, and now Marvel is adding German curses…
3. X-23 Isn’t In The Series (But She’s In The Movie)
X-23 (now the current Wolverine in the Marvel universe) is going to be a major part of Logan. We’ve seen the Weapon X clone in the trailer and the movie posters, and it appears that she could be a catalyst pf sorts for the events of the upcoming movie. Charles Xavier (as played by Sir Patrick Stewart) is also going to be a major player in the movie, but neither of these characters even appears in the original Old Man Logan series. X-23 isn’t so much as referenced, and Charles himself only gets a brief mention, and no actual appearance.
It will be interesting to see how X-23 plays into this new film, especially as it takes place so far in the future – which could (unfortunately) mean that we won’t be seeing Laura Kinney joining the main X-Men universe. Several other X-Men appear in the Old Man Logan series, including a brief shot of the major players (Storm, Cyclops, Beast, etc) as Wolverine remembers killing them, and a couple of panels (in the same sequence) involving Jubilee. If this scene makes it to the movie, it will be interesting to see who makes an appearance.
2. Hawkeye, Not Xavier, Is The Other Main Character In The Comic
In Logan, Wolverine will be teaming up with an aged Charles Xavier, but in the original series, he partners with a very different Marvel character. In Old Man Logan, it’s Hawkeye who convinces Logan to leave his family and travel across the country. The old sharp-shooter is now blind, and needs Logan’s eyes on his smuggling mission. It’s the promise of enough money to appease the Hulk gang that makes Logan accept, although their mission goes horribly wrong (more than once). Hawkeye, sadly, doesn’t survive the trip – which may not bode well for Charles Xavier in the movie!
The comic-to-screen switch is clearly due to rights-sharing issues, of course. Marvel/Disney owns Hawkeye and the Avengers, while Fox owns the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and a handful of other characters. It wouldn’t be possible for Hawkeye to appear in this universe (although they did manage it with Quicksilver…).
One character from Old Man Logan that could pop up in Logan would be Emma Frost, although this is highly unlikely. Fox may have the rights to the character, but they have already killed her off in the universe.
1. Much Of What We See In The Comics Won’t Be In Logan
Emma Frost and Hawkeye aren’t the only Old Man Logan characters who are unlikely to be making an appearance in Logan. The comic brings together a huge number of characters from across the Marvel universe – Bruce Banner (and his Hulk Gang who terrorize Logan and his family) and Red Skull are very much the villains of the story, but multiple other villains (like Mysterio) appear, and most of the major Marvel heroes are mentioned at the very least (Captain America, Thor, the Fantastic Four, etc etc).
Logan, like Captain America: Civil War, will have to pare down the cast list considerably. In addition, there are several more ‘out there’ elements that probably won’t be appearing either. We don’t expect to see the vast number of dinosaurs that roam this future version of the United States (including the Venom T-Rex pictures above) on the silver screen for hopefully obvious reasons, and even the central mission that Wolverine and Hawkeye are on – to bring a super-soldier serum to an underground superhero resistance — will likely be left on the cutting room floor. What we will hopefully see is the heart and soul of the Old Man Logan story brought to life, which should be more than enough to give Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine a fitting big screen sendoff.
What ‘out there’ element from the comics do you want to see in Logan? Do you think this really will be Hugh Jackman’s last outing in the role, or could he come back a few years down the road as, like, Really Old Man Logan? Sound off in the comments.
Logan hits theaters on March 3rd, 2017.