Logan has been in Cinemas for a few weeks now and received many positive reviews in delivering a more R-Rated Wolverine. But the one thing that keeps coming up in reviews is saying Logan (the Movie) is Old Man Logan (the Comic). So is it?
Before going any further, this is a trip to spoiler town. If you haven’t seen Logan or read Old Man Logan and don’t want either spoilt then go no further. But if you haven’t done either, we recommend you do.
So is Logan a 1:1 for Old Man Logan? Short answer, no.
The parts they have in common are Logan is old in the movie & the X-Men are dead (hey we told you there were spoilers). We could go through the movie step by step and compare frames to show things that are the same to convince you the movie is the big screen version of the comics (there are plenty of those articles online already). However, we really want to talk about why you should read the original Old Man Logan.
Logan the Movie
Logan is the latest and last outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, being the 3rd solo movie and intended to wrap up the character. Set in the near future Logan is worse for wear with Adamanium poisoning overwhelming his healing factor. With him the only other survivor of the original movie X-Men is Charles Xaiver who is responsible for their demise.
While acting as a final arc for Wolverine the movies, it introduces the big screen X-23 Laura who was artificially inseminated from Logan’s DNA. Or to put it another way, Logan’s daughter.
Ok got it?
Old Man Logan the Comic
Old Man Logan is an alternate reality story line written by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Kingsmen, Civil War) and published in 2008 as part of the Wolverine ongoing series run. Set in a future where almost all the Superheroes are dead due to the Supervillians getting organised before carving up the world into territories.
Wolverine, living in the wastelands (ruled by the Hulk Gang – Bruce Banner and his inbred children) is one of the few living heroes left. While Wolverine is alive due to his healing factor making him near impossible to kill, it is slowing down as this is a far future. Also in this version Logan has a family and is just trying to stay out of trouble. This is the Clint Eastwood, haunted past version of Logan.
One of the few similarities between Logan the movie and Old Man Logan the comic. In Logan, the X-Men have died due to Xavier not being able to control his powers. In Old Man Logan, the X-Men have died due to Wolverine. Being near impossible to kill during the Villain uprising, instead of trying to destroy Logan they messed with his mind and resulting in all of the X-Men being killed by Wolverine.
That is the haunted past we mentioned.
Old Man Logan follows the tortured retired gunslinger type story line with the Hulk Gang taking retribution on Logan for not paying tribute by killing the new family that Logan had made. What follows is the traditional western revenge story line with Logan returning to his Wolverine ways to take on the Hulk Gang then working his way up the food chain which put them in power.
On the way you see glimpses of what occurred to set the world down the path that it is on as well as meet some former players who help Logan on his vendetta. Not to spoil absolutely everything but, blind as a bat old Clint Barton Hawkeye driving the Spider-Buggy across the side of a skyscraper.
Yeah, no cross licensing problems in the comics.
What about X-23?
We mentioned X-23 as a major point of Logan and you might wonder where she is in Old Man Logan. Well, she isn’t in it.
X-23 (or Laura) has something in common with Harley Quinn, in being originally created for the animated series (X-Men Evolution in 2004) before being brought into the comics. A clone of Wolverine grown by Hydra (or later in the comics by a group recreating the original Weapon X program) who then escapes and tracks down the original for help. She also eventually becomes a hero in her own right. The relationship in the comics is more younger sister than movie daughter.
Just prior to Secret Wars, the original Wolverine from the main Marvel 616 Universe was killed and X-23 picked up the mantle to be the new Wolverine.
Where to go from here?
The original Old Man Logan story line is from 2008-2009, so you can pick it up in trade paperback form of in your favourite comic store. It is also available on Comixology, if you don’t want to track down the original issues plus the annual for the final chapter.
Most recently, the same Old Man Logan character made a return in limited Brian Michael Bendis (Guardians of the Galaxy, Scarlet, Powers) series continuing the story line as part of the 2016 Marvel Secret Wars event. It has been followed by the currently ongoing series ‘Old Man Logan’ by Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Moon Knight) in stories now.
If you want to follow Laura/X-23’s story, you can in the ongoing Wolverine series (which is excellent) currently in stores by Australian writer Tom Taylor (Injustice, The Deep).