With Disney's acquisition of Fox nearly complete, Marvel's mutants are about to come home. While this leaves much of Fox's X-Men franchise in question, there's one thing that's certain: Hugh Jackman is done with Wolverine. The actor debuted in the role in the very first X-Men film, and continued portraying the character until 2017's Logan. He officially decided to retire after that. While Marvel Studios needs to decide whether or not to keep Ryan Reynolds on as Deadpool, they know they need to recast Wolverine. Jackman's take on the character was generally well received, although there were several missteps along the way.
Hugh Jackman and Fox helped turn comic book movies into the powerhouse genre they are today. When they were first bringing the character to life, however, nobody wanted to see comic book movies. They had to figure out a way to adapt the character for live-action and stay true to the comics while simultaneously not scaring off general audiences. In a lot of ways, they succeeded. Obviously, Fox's Wolverine wasn't perfect. A lot of changes had to be made to the character, and some of them definitely weren't improvements. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine isn't the best there is at what he does, but he's definitely very good at what he does. Hopefully, Marvel keeps what worked and drops the mistakes for their version of the character.
20 DID HIM JUSTICE: MENTORING YOUNG MUTANTS
Despite his gruff exterior, Logan seems to have a soft spot for the younger members of the X-Men. While he has no problems clashing with Cyclops and other authority figures, he built close relationships with both Kitty Pryde and Jubilee. The two teenage mutants looked up to Wolverine, and he usually seemed willing to give them whatever help or advice they needed.
In X-Men (2000), Rogue finds Logan at a bar in Canada after running away from home. He initially wants her to keep her distance, but slowly builds up a strong friendship with her. Logan even seems protective of her when she starts dating Iceman in the sequel.
19 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: NO ARCH ENEMIES
As previously stated, the films really downplayed the "Wolverine/Sabertooth" relationship. Even worse, none of Wolverine's villains ever seemed to stand out. Logan never really had an arch nemesis. This is a shame, because, in the comics, he has several.
X2 (2003) turned Lady Deathstrike into a bodyguard for Col. Stryker. In the comics, she and Logan have a deep history together. Silver Samurai was turned into a giant robot in The Wolverine (2013). Daken never appeared, Omega Red was just a cameo in Deadpool 2 (2018). The closest thing Logan has to a recurring villain is Col. Stryker, but even he spent most of his time focused on other mutants.
18 DID HIM JUSTICE: BERSERKER RAGE
Wolverine isn't just an angry guy, he's got real rage issues. In the comics, Wolverine is known for having a short temper. Still, for the most part, he's a pretty reasonable guy. That is until he gets pushed too far and then goes berserk. His rage takes control and he becomes a destroying machine.
Obviously, this was going to be hard to adapt for the movies, which were aiming for a PG-13 rating. While Logan (2017) showed Logan going full berserk, the earlier films did a good job of alluding to this part of his personality. In X2 (2003), Logan briefly loses his mind while fighting off the soldiers invading the mansion, although the results are still a bit tame.
17 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: DEADPOOL
Obviously, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) screwed up Deadpool. It took years for Fox to get the guts to release Deadpool (2016), which finally got the character right. In that movie, many references are made to both Wolverine and Hugh Jackman. Aside from a few quick scenes in Origins, the two characters never really interacted. Even then, Logan only seemed to regard Wade with minor annoyance.
In the comics, both men were victims of the Weapon X program, with vastly different results. Logan has a weird relationship with Deadpool. He doesn't like him, but he does feel a connection with him. They've teamed up, and it does seem like Logan cares about Wade.
16 DID HIM JUSTICE: A RELUCTANT HERO
Logan is a good guy, but he's also not Spider-Man. Logan isn't necessarily looking to be a hero, but he just can't sit back and let bad people get away with their behavior. There are plenty of times, however, where it seems like he'd be content just going off on his own and leaving the world behind.
When he's introduced in X-Men (2000), he's making a living as a cage fighter in Canada. He only joins the X-Men after he and Rogue are attacked by Magneto's henchmen. He isn't looking to save the world, but he ends up sticking around out of a sense of loyalty to Rogue (and maybe some other feelings for Jean Grey).
15 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: FEUD WITH SABERTOOTH
Based on their interactions in X-Men (2000), it seemed like Wolverine and Sabertooth had never met before. They didn't like each other, sure, but there didn't seem to be anything deeper to it than just two people on different sides of a fight. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) revealed that the two were brothers.
While Sabertooth fought Logan throughout that movie, the finale saw them fighting together to stop Deadpool. In the comics, Sabertooth has spent years terrorizing Logan. He hunts the X-Man down every year on his birthday, just to toy with him. The films turned one of the greatest arch-rivalries in comics into just two guys that sometimes didn't get along.
14 DID HIM JUSTICE: HE ACTUALLY FELT PAIN
One of the hardest parts about writing Logan seems to be his healing factor. Some writers don't seem to understand that while Logan heals from almost any wound, he still feels pain. He isn't an unstoppable wrecking ball, although his adamantium skeleton does make him more durable.
In the movies, Hugh Jackman nailed this aspect of the character. When he got hurt, he reacted to it. He described popping his claws as painful every time. In X2 (2003), he puts out a cigar on his hand. While this might seem like a tough-guy move, he winces in pain as he does it, making it a little more realistic.
13 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: HE WAS DUMBED DOWN
Hugh Jackman's take on Wolverine wasn't necessarily unintelligent, but he wasn't a "smart" guy. Jackman played the character like he had a lot of street smarts, but was also kind of dumb. He'd just run into situations without thinking, and his fighting style was basically "I'm unstoppable, so I'll just run at enemies."
Logan isn't a genius, but he's smarter than most people realize. He's lived a long life and traveled the world. Also, he's a highly trained fighter and he speaks multiple languages. He may not be interested in appearing intelligent, but he's no dummy. In the films, however, he always seemed like he was a little behind all of the other characters.
12 DID HIM JUSTICE: CYCLOPS
Wolverine has a weird relationship with Cyclops. Scott Summers is a boy scout that does things by the book. This is basically the exact opposite of Wolverine. Logan can't stand how uptight Scott is, who can't believe how much of a loose cannon Logan is. Still, over the years, they've both developed a respect for each other, and were able to work together as teammates (until Marvel decided to make Cyclops a villain).
The movies nailed this relationship. The two initially clashed while competing for Jean Grey's attention, and Logan seemed to enjoy giving Scott a hard time (by stealing his bike, for example). Logan still respected the X-Man, however, and was even happy to see him resurrected in Days of Future Past (2014).
11 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: HIS HEIGHT
It might seem silly, but Wolverine is supposed to be a short guy. While Hugh Jackman definitely looked the part, he stands over six feet tall. In the films, he towered over almost all of the other characters. For people not familiar with the comics, this probably didn't seem like an issue. For longtime fans, however, it just never looked right.
In the comics, Logan is on 5'3". Once again, it might not seem like a big deal, but it's a big part of the character's personality. A lot of villains underestimate Logan based on his height. Also, it's a great visual when Wolverine looks up at a much larger adversary with no fear in his face at all.
10 DID HIM JUSTICE: LOYALTY TO XAVIER
Logan and Charles Xavier could not be further apart in terms of how they view the world. Professor X is a pacifist, who believes that humans and mutants can share the Earth in peace. Logan, meanwhile, is willing to pop his claws almost a little too often.
In the films, Logan initially teamed up with Xavier in order to find out about his past. Despite their differences, Logan quickly grew to respect the professor and his dream. In Days of Future Past (2014), he was willing to travel to the past and inspire Xavier during the darkest period of his life. Later on, in Logan (2017), he stood by Xavier as his brain failed and his powers went haywire.
9 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: NO COSTUME
The X-Men movies always struggled with the costumes. In the comics, the mutants wear colorful costumes (along with a lot of pouches). Many people assumed that costumes like this would never work in live action, so Fox replaced them with black leather outfits. Still, many of the mutants were shown wearing at least some aspect of their comic book look (Cyclops' visor, Gambit's trenchcoat, and Iceman's full ice body).
Aside from his hairstyle, Logan never really took on his comic book look in any way. While a 100% accurate costume was unlikely, he spent most of the movies just wearing a sleeveless tee or black leather. Fox could've tried a little harder.
8 DID HIM JUSTICE: HIS PAST IS A MYSTERY
For the first several decades of his existence, Marvel kept Wolverine's past a secret. They alluded to a history with Captain America and other government teams, but most of Logan's history was a mystery. It wasn't even known how old he was. This made him a tragic character, who was defined by his long, lonely existence.
The first two X-Men films held true to this. The first thing Logan remembered was waking up with his metal claws, with no idea where they came from. In X2 (2003), he meets Col. Stryker, who claims to know Logan's secrets. The hero is then forced to choose between siding with his teammates or saving Stryker and learning the truth about his life. Not surprisingly, he chose his teammates.
7 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: HIS BACKSTORY LACKED TRAGEDY
Before his history was fully revealed, it was hinted that he had been through some pretty dark stuff. The movies also alluded to this, and it made Wolverine interesting. The comics eventually revealed Logan's actual history, and then the movies revealed a completely different history for him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
The film version involved Logan being tricked into thinking that the love of his life had been taken out by Sabertooth. It was later revealed that she had been working the mutant, and her death was faked. This took all of the tragedy out of Logan's history, and just made him look like a bit of a fool.
6 DID HIM JUSTICE: HE'S A LONER
If it's not clear by this point, Logan isn't big on being a "team player." Because of his past, Logan's spent a lot of time on his own. During those periods, he learned not only to fend for himself, but that he's the only person he can truly depend on. When it comes to other heroes, like Spider-Man, he's even less enthusiastic about teaming up.
In the films, Wolverine often ended up going off on his own. At the end of the first movie, after building relationships with several members of the X-Men, he took off. He took off again after the events of the third movie, where he spent years by himself in the Canadian wilderness, instead of healing with his fellow teammates.
5 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: HE WAS A BIT OF A PUNCHING BAG
With his adamantium skeleton and healing factor, Wolverine can take a lot of damage. In the comics, writers take advantage of this to show off how powerful a villain is. It's easy to have someone knock Logan through a building or light him on fire, because there won't be any lasting consequences.
In order to keep the character from looking like a joke, however, he needs to redeem himself. In Days of Future Past (2014), Logan's is taken out of the final fight when Magneto ties him up and throws him into a nearby river. That's Logan's final action scene in the movie, and it leaves him looking a little useless (which he totally isn't).
4 DID HIM JUSTICE: THE FASTBALL SPECIAL
So, despite being a formidable fighter, Wolverine kind of has a reputation of being a "charge in claws first" kind of guy. This attitude is best exemplified by the "fastball special," which is when one of Wolverine's teammates just pick him up and throw him at the bad guys. Usually, Colossus is the thrower, but any hero strong enough to lift Logan can use this move.
This move initially seemed too cartoony for the movies. A version of it was used in X-Men (2000) when Storm and Jean Grey combined their powers to toss Logan at Magneto. The actual fastball special appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), however, when Colossus chucked Logan at a Sentinel during a Danger Room session.
3 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: THE JEAN THING IS A LITTLE WEIRD
In the comics, Logan is in love with Jean Grey. While she seems to have feelings for him, she's in love with Cyclops and Logan was left out in the cold. The movies followed this, although it didn't play out the same way. In the comics, Logan has known Jean for years (or decades, the timeline is confusing). The point is, they've spent a lot of time together.
In the movies, Logan only spent a couple of days with Jean before she died in X2 (2003). Then she returned in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but passed again by the end of the movie. So, it's a little strange that Logan spent years in isolation mourning a woman that he only just met.
2 DID HIM JUSTICE: HE'S FEARLESS
Considering that Logan's healing factor makes him almost invulnerable (depending on who's writing him at the time), it's not surprising that Wolverine isn't afraid of much. When there's something that needs to be done, he steps up. Even when he's facing something that could actually end him, Logan doesn't hesitate to join the fight.
In The Wolverine (2013), Logan briefly loses his healing factor. This doesn't stop him from protecting the daughter of a man he respected. In Days of Future Past (2014), he allows his consciousness thrown back in time, despite the fact that it will hurt and potentially destroy his mind.
1 BROUGHT HIM DOWN: NO LOVES OTHER THAN JEAN GREY
Another thing that made Logan's obsession with Jean weird was that he didn't seem to have any other love interests. In the comics, he's had many relationships, many with more impact than Jean Grey. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), he briefly lived with Silverfox, but the relationship turned out to be fake and he moved on from her pretty quickly.
The Wolverine (2013) attempted to alleviate this problem by introducing Mariko Yashida. In the comics, she's often considered his greatest love. The movie version, however, didn't have the same impact. The two definitely grew close, but the movie ended without any real romance occurring between the two.