Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Kyle Venditti, Staff Writer
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With the recent release of the Logan trailer and its inspiration from the “Old Man Logan” 2008 comic book arc apparent, the question is just how much can James Mangold and his team borrow from the arc that inspired the film’s direction? While there are some heavy strokes from the book present in the film version, there are some wacky extended universe decisions that just will not work for the film.
- 1) Hulkland: In print, Logan lived with his family on a blighted piece of land in California now known as “Hulkland”. More on the supervillain overlords will be explained later, but at some point in the future, the Hulk overthrows Abomination’s rule, taking over his territory of the United States. In the time since, Hulk has inbred with She-Hulk and created an entire incestuous hillbilly clan of Hulk-people, some of whom are Logan’s landlords. Hulk is a Marvel owned property under Disney’s control, and one that Fox won’t be able to access, so he’s out. Aside from that, their incestuous family is just something I don’t think most viewers would accept in film.
- 2) Old Hawkeye: Hawkeye was a key character in the book, giving Logan a mission to escort the now blind superhero across the country to New Babylon to deliver a mysterious package. Hawkeye runs into the same property issue as Hulk since he is owned by Marvel, not Fox, though it seems his role has been filled by another character: Professor X. Now old and battered, it seems Professor X and Logan are all that’s left of the X-Men, and as such, they take care of each other and try to stay out of the public eye. For the films, this makes more sense since Logan and Charles have had a relationship throughout the X-Men film universe (retconned timeline and all), so it seems fitting to end Jackman’s final portrayal of the character with one who ultimately is his most trusted friend.
- 3) Venomsaurus Rex: Remember the wacky part I mentioned? Along Hawkeye and Logan’s journeys to New Babylon, they get chased by a massive T-Rex with the Venom symbiote bonded to it. Venom, who hasn’t been on the big screen since 2007’s Spider-Man 3, is a Sony property and could not show up alongside the X-Men property owned by Fox. That aside, this is just an odd science-fiction plot point that would kill the dramatic character driven approach the film is going for. This could never work in the film adaptation, though a direct to video cartoon adaptation might be able to pick this element up easier.
- 4) Supervillain Overlords: This is one of the elements I feel will be slightly present, though changed from the comics. The comic arc featured villains, such as Dr. Doom and Red Skull, conquering the United States and dividing the territory amongst themselves. While Marvel properties like Red Skull and Kingpin could not be used, I could see Magneto eliminating most of the X-Men and taking control of the territory Logan and Charles live in. However, Magneto has not been confirmed to be in the film, so this will probably not happen. Of all the plot points Mangold could adapt, this is one of the more realistic.
“The comic arc featured villains, such as Dr. Doom and Red Skull, conquering the United States and dividing the territory amongst themselves. While Marvel properties like Red Skull and Kingpin could not be used…”
- 5) Death of the X-Men: Under the influence of Mysterio, Wolverine kills all the X-Men in the X-Mansion thinking they were villains attacking the heroes. Distraught from his actions, Logan attempts suicide by getting run-over by a train, vowing to never use his claws again and shelving his “Wolverine” persona. While I don’t think Logan will be responsible for the death of the X-Men in the film, I do think something will happen to disband or kill many of them. Logan is not the first person Charles would go to for support, so something severe must have happened to drive the two together. We do see claws in the trailer, so it seems Logan is not totally averse to using his powers. Conversely, Logan’s healing factor is weaker as seen in his open wounds and scars, so perhaps both Logan and Xavier are finally feeling disease and old age hitting them. Either way, the X-Men are gone, and Charles and Logan are all that’s left.
“Logan seems to be a grounded, dramatic film centering on Logan’s last days.”
Logan seems to be a grounded, dramatic film centering on Logan’s last days. While many of the elements from the “Old Man Logan” comic will be dropped because they’re ridiculous, some of the broader themes from the book seem to be present in the film, notably Logan’s retirement and the end of the X-Men. Logan releases in theaters on March 3, 2017.