While “Logan” is being praised for its down-to-earth and heartfelt approach to the genre, we at CBR applaud the feature film for its inclusion of some integral details from the source material. Actor Hugh Jackman made it clear early on (circa mid-2015) that he was interested in adapting the fan-favourite “Old Man Logan” storyline and many scoffed, as the plot involves a ton of characters and details Fox does not own the rights to.
Well, only two months and change into 2017 and Mangold and Jackman have delivered something special that takes the bones of “Old Man Logan,” the key elements from “X-23” and mixes in some flavor from ‘90s runs of “Uncanny X-Men” and “Wolverine.” Here we compare all the major characters and callouts in the movie to their comic book counterparts.
WARNING: The following list contains spoilers for “Logan.”
Everyone saw the “Deadpool” movie and we all know how well Ryan Reynolds embodies this off-kilter anti-hero. It’s like he walked right off the page, as they say. So, really all we need to tell you about the “bonus scene” prior to the film is that Pool continues to poke fun at the superhero movie genre in ways that only he can. The phone booth gag coupled with how he uses the victim’s dead body as a pillow should make it crystal clear: this is not your dad’s superhero. In fact, this is not really a superhero at all.
If you take a close look at the phone booth you will notice some graffiti that says: Nathan Summers cumming soon. Lewd spelling aside, this is just another confirmation we will see Cable in “Deadpool 2.” There are also some “Firefly” posters on a wall that are likely a sly reference to actress Morena Baccarin, who plays Vanessa Carlysle in “Deadpool.” Hopefully this marks the return of her character in “Deadpool 2.”
14. GREEN SERUM/MGH
There has been a wide variety of drugs that have either given powers or boosted powers significantly in “X-Men” comics over the years. From ZAP, which is extracted from the brains of Madripoorian spider monkeys, and Kick, which is actually a sentient bacteria, to MGH, which stands for Mutant Growth Hormone, the green serum in “Logan” could draw inspiration from any of these and more.
Nevertheless, the most likely is MGH, as it is derived from mutants and Transigen is clearly researching all aspects of homo superior. Also, how the serum seems to enhance mutant abilities but increase aggression lines up with MGH’s effects. Plus, they are both green. In the comics, notable mutants Magneto and the Blob have been MGH users, while Dazzler and Whirlwind have been sources of the narcotic. It was even retconned that the extract that made Hank McCoy hairy and clawed was MGH. In the Ultimate universe, the drug is called Banshee, and Colossus is its most infamous addict.
13. OYA (IDIE OKONKWO)
While none of the kids from Transigen’s “paediatric cancer study” have recognizable names other than Laura and Rictor, some of the powers they exhibit are familiar. It is explained that Dr. Zander Rice used various mutants’ DNA for his experiments. So, the little girl with the ice breath could easily be the result of experimenting with Iceman’s genetic material.
However, there is a young mutant with ice powers from the comics named Idie Okonkwo (aka Oya). Well, if you want to get specific, she has temperature control powers. Meaning she can also create and control fire. A 12 year-old Idie was found by the X-Men in “Uncanny X-Men” #528 (2010) after she accidentally burnt down her village in Nigeria when her abilities manifested. Another indication the young girl from “Logan” could be Oya has to do with the fact that she is one of only a handful of new mutants born in this dystopian future. In the comics, she is part of a group called the Lights, which are the first six mutants activated after a catastrophic event called M-Day that de-powered the majority of mutants on Earth-616 (the main Marvel universe).
12. NATURE GIRL (LIN LI)
Much like the last entry, we can only infer from what info we are given who another of the Transigen kids might be…or at least what mutant they might be inspired by. In the film, there is a child who can control plant life and uses it in unison with another child’s telekinesis to hold down Donald Pierce in the final battle. Now, the filmmakers may have come up with this power on their own, but if it is indeed from the comics, then it sounds like Lin Li.
Lin Li, also known as Nature Girl, is a rather new mutant who was created by writer Jason Latour and artist Mahmud Asrar, having debuted in “Wolverine and the X-Men” #1 (2014). Her power set includes botanopathy, which is the ability to communicate with plant life. She can also “talk” to and control animals. While she has antlers in the comics, in a more grounded movie like “Logan,” they would likely be dropped.
11. HULK GANG
While there was no chance Fox were going to get to use some of the coolest characters from the “Old Man Logan” (2008-2009) arc because of rights issues, the filmmakers seem to at least reference the most sorely missed villains of that story. You can cut out Mysterio and the Red Skull, but when you remove the Hulk Gang, you remove a little bit of the “Old Man Logan” DNA.
This clan of Hulk’s children and their decedents are your stereotypical hicks, but hicks with omega-level power. Did I mention they are inbreds and that it all started with Bruce and his cousin She-Hulk? They also run an extortion ring. Well, in “Logan” we get a gang of rural toughs that work for Canewood (a subsidiary of Alkali) and extort the Munson family. They might not be Hulks, but they are bullies nonetheless. From the image above it is plain to see they also recreated some of Wolvie’s more iconic Hulk Gang kills from the storyline.
10. GABRIELA/DR. SARAH KINNEY
In the comics, the story of trying to clone Wolverine is quite different from this movie. Out of the ashes of Weapon X, a new clandestine organization arose. Their goal was to not only recreate the success they had with Logan, but actually recreate Logan himself.
The problem was that the only sample of Wolvie’s DNA that survived the destruction of the Weapon X facility was incomplete. The project lead, Dr. Martin Sutter, brought in mutant geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney to build a viable clone embryo. After 22 attempts, she had a breakthrough with a female egg…but without approval. Sutter agrees to have a surrogate take the specimen to term but leaves finding a suitable candidate up to his protege Dr. Zander Rice. Rice, who feels threatened by Kinney, is dead set against a female clone. Therefore, he gives her an ultimatum and she responds by agreeing to surrogate the baby herself. Dr. Kinney tries to raise X-23 like a daughter, but her harsh training and genes make her a natural weapon. Kinney eventually frees X-23 and gives her the name Laura. Therefore, the nurse (Gabriella) who helped raise and then free Laura in “Logan” is evidently Kinney’s stand-in.
9. THE REAVERS
After being eviscerated by Wolverine, three of the Hellfire Club’s henchmen (Angelo Macon, Murray Reese and Wade Cole) are sent to Spiral’s Body Shop to be outfitted with alien cybernetic enhancements. Adamantium hunter Omaya Yuriko, a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike, also receives significant upgrades at this time. The foursome all agree to these major modifications to be able to exact revenge on Wolvie.
Out of this initial Reavers line-up, we only get Macon in “Logan.” On a side note, Yuriko did make a live-action appearance years ago in “X-Men 2” (2003) played by Kelly Hu (who also plays recurring guest-villain China White on “Arrow”). The other Reavers from the comics adapted in this film are Donald Pierce, Pretty Boy and Bonebreaker. The latter is even used for inspiration for two different Reavers as one gets his name and the other gets his trademark mohawk. While nobody gets his tank treads, there is a visual homage to them. In one scene, a Reaver jumps on the back of a pick-up truck to man the heavy artillery and the camera angle makes him look like classic comic version of Bonebreaker.
8. X-24/WOLVERINE CLONE
Ever since the after-credits scene that followed “X-Men: Apocalypse” showed us that Essex Corporation briefcase with a sample of Logan’s blood, fans thought we were getting Dr. Nathaniel Essex (a.k.a. Mister Sinister) in “Logan.” While we didn’t get the fan-favorite villain this time around, we did get his specialty: a mutant clone.
In the comics, he has cloned elite X-Men like Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine…in a number of different realities. The Wolverine clone Sinister produced on Earth-616 was introduced in “Spider-Man and the X-Men” #6 (2015). However, he was a flawed replica and died in the same issue due to cellular degeneration. The Wolverine clone we think X-24 is most likely based on is from Chris Claremont’s “X-Men Forever 2” (2010-2011) series. This clone wears a black wife-beater shirt and stays frothing-at-the-mouth angry. In this reality, a phasing accident with Logan has left Kitty Pride with one of his claws and his healing factor. Sounds kind of similar to X-23, to us.
In the comics, Rictor’s real name is Julio Richter. He was created by husband and wife comics duo Louise and Walt Simonson and was introduced in “X-Factor” #17 (1987). This powerful mutant has seismic powers that, when further explored, turned out to be connected to the Earth’s actual life force. Rictor accidentally decimated three city blocks when his abilities activated. He was initially used by an anti-mutant group to frame X-Factor for terrorist activities, but when they rescue him, he becomes one of the first trainees at the X-Factor Complex.
Actor Jason Genao definitely looks like the version of Rictor from the comics in more recent years. Although, in the ‘90s, this character sported a shoulder-padded costume and a flowing mane. He has been part of many X teams including the X-Terminators, New Mutants, X-Force and X-Factor Investigations. Julio has been openly gay since he and Shatterstar shared a kiss in “X-Factor” #45 (2009).
6. DR. ZANDER RICE
This was an important character to include as he is the main villain of the “X-23” (2005) series. Zander is also the perfect connective tissue to the last film, as his father (in the comics and in this film) was a scientist from the initial Weapon X program. In “X-23” #1 it shows that he is the one who manages to smuggle out the single remaining sample of Logan’s blood. However, he doesn’t get far before Wolvie shish-kabobs him.
As you can imagine, Zander plans to avenge his father. In the comics, he is not the lead scientist on the new Weapon X program. Therefore, when a lauded geneticist that specializes in mutants named Dr. Sarah Kinney is brought on board, he automatically feels threatened. He opposes the direction she takes the project in and, when she gets the okay to pursue a female Wolverine clone, he is dead set against it. So, when X-23 is born, he treats her like an object and begins her torturous physical and mental training almost immediately. He even subjects her to lethal levels of radiation in order to force her mutation to manifest before puberty.
Caliban is part of a group called the Morlocks in the comics. This community is made up of those whose mutations give them physical deformities and therefore choose to live in the sewers under New York in order to avoid being ostracized for their appearances. This area of the X-universe has been left all but untapped by Fox…unless you count the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Marrow in “Deadpool.”
When Caliban is introduced in “Uncanny X-Men” #148 (1981), he uses his mutant finding ability to find others like himself. In lonely desperation, he tries to kidnap Kitty Pride for companionship. Then in “Uncanny X-Men” #169 (1983) it is revealed that he is a harmless pacifist with a puppy love crush on Kitty. His innocence is quickly lost when he starts running with the X-Men. He has seen action as part of the X-Terminators and X-Force, as well as being one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen twice. Fun fact: Caliban also appeared in “X-Men: Apocalypse” but this slick, black market facilitator take on the character didn’t really line up with his comic book persona or look.
4. DONALD PIERCE
This supervillain is one of the X-Men’s most established and enduring foes. He first became a thorn in the X-Men’s side in “X-Men” #129 (1980) when he was White Bishop of the Hellfire Club. Sometime after Lady Deathstrike, Reese, Cole and Macon returned from being augmented at The Body Shop, Donald takes control of the newly formed Reavers, and sets his sights on Wolverine.
In the comics, Donald is mostly robotic but still appears to be human. At first, it seems only his arm is cybernetically enhanced, but eventually it is revealed that he has very little human tissue left. This, of course, explains how he survives so many fatal encounters. Therefore, what the “Logan” version of Pierce gets right is his distinct blonde hairdo, his fiery hatred of mutants and his powerful prosthetic hand. He may not be the grandiose leader the character is in the comics, but Holbrook’s portrayal is a good adaptation regardless.
3. PROFESSOR X
Charles Xavier serves multiple purposes in this film. First off, he fills Hawkeye’s role from the “Old Man Logan” storyline as Wolvie’s wingman on their cross-country mission. Secondly, he takes the burden of having accidentally killed the X-Men through one of his psychic tremors, rather than it being Logan like in the source material. Lastly, he has become senile and relies on ol’ Patch to take care of him and to protect others from him, which makes the viewer even more sympathetic to the weary Wolverine.
Professor X has never been a senile invalid who can’t control his powers in Earth-616 continuity, but at one point, his emotional duress did create a psychic entity (Onslaught) that threatened all of reality. Patrick Stewart has said this may be his last time he plays the mutant community’s de facto leader, but it’s hard to complain when he gives us such a sincere exit performance.
2. X-23 (LAURA)
Any mutant worth their weight in blue and gold tights has undergone a ton of major character changes and looks. X-23 is no exception. She first appeared as a teen in the “X-Men: Evolution” (2003) animated series and her comics debut was in the older-audiences-themed “NYX” (2004) comic series. However, her essential origin story is told in 2005’s “X-23.” This is evidently where the filmmakers behind “Logan” drew inspiration for their Laura.
In the six-issue miniseries, we learn of how a vile of Wolverine’s blood from the Weapon X project leads to X-23’s creation. We also find out that she is under the supervision of the sadistic Dr. Zander Rice, who’s father was killed by Logan. Laura being quiet, deadly and around 10 years-old are all key details from this run. Since Wolverine’s death in the comics in 2014, Laura became a part of a team called the Wolverines and then eventually assumed the actual Wolverine mantle.
1. OLD MAN LOGAN
The blame for the last two Wolverine films does not lie with Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character. It’s their scripts that don’t seem to convey the best of Wolvie. You know, that weariness and remorse that has come to define him. Well, that is, until “Logan.” Both of the previous movies tried to adapt arcs that carried emotional weight, but they fell flat. However, the way his family is ripped away from him in “Old Man Logan” and how he is responsible for the deaths of most of his friends is powerful source material to work with. The story doesn’t go down in the same way in the movie, but it captures the spirit of the revenge tale Mark Millar told.
We noticed that the license plate on Logan’s limo was WER 119, which we believe references “Wolverine” #119 (1988). This issue is the beginning of the “Not Dead Yet” four-parter, which concerns a mercenary that knows Logan’s strength and weaknesses and is trying to kill him. Adamantium bullets play a key role in the conclusion of this story, similarly to the finale of film.
What was your favorite comic book element to show up in the “Logan” film? Be sure to tell us in the comments!
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