Earlier this month, X-Men fans were treated to Logan, a Wolverine movie … without Wolverine. A sort of adaptation of the comic Old Man Logan (although more in tone than plot), the movie imagines a future where mutants are nearly all dead, and a barely hanging on Logan is low-key doing chauffeur work to take care of a decrepit Charles Xavier. When some bad guys go after a young girl named Laura suddenly in Logan’s care, the ex X-Man takes a road trip to get her to safety --- while killing a lot of people who get in their way.’
While some are comparing Logan to Deadpool, the other R-rated film starring a Marvel hero from the past year, we should be looking at its similarities to another superhero film from 2017 instead; The Lego Batman Movie.
Just when you think you've seen everything Mezco had to offer --- thanks to visiting with them at Toy Fair just a few weeks ago --- the company goes ahead and sneaks a surprise out into the wild. Though Mezco's One:12 Collective already has quite a packed slate for 2017, it turns out there's still room in the schedule for an all-new Wolverine. Or should we say, an Old Man Logan.
When you learn about writing, there’s one mantra that you’ll hear over and over: Kill your darlings. Sometimes, the only way to make a scene in a book or a paragraph in an article work best is to take out the part of it you love the most, just because hanging onto it isn’t worth the clunkiness it creates. The same is true for film, and oftentimes directors will have to take out really great scenes because they don’t work with the flow of the rest of the movie. Logan is pretty seamlessly put together, but even James Mangold ran into that problem once or twice. He revealed that there was a tribute to Wolverine’s fellow X-Man Jean Grey in the middle of the movie that he had to cut for story reasons. [Some SPOILERS follow for Logan, so if you haven’t seen it yet, run far away.
By now, everyone knows that Logan is Hugh Jackman’s last go-round as Wolverine. It’s tough to see him go — he’s arguably the protagonist of the original X-Men trilogy and was always a welcome presence in the new crop of movies, but he’s a big star now, and Logan is a tone-perfect way to round out his career as that character. Now, the question becomes: who, if anyone, will take his place? The X-Men series will still continue for at least one more movie, and there are a number of spinoffs in the works, so Wolverine will have to reappear somehow, right?
My recent list of the most dated parts of the original X-Men movie included things like Hugh Jackman’s comparatively non-huge, non-jacked-man physique, Wolverine’s non-stop smoking, and the heroes’ black leather costumes. The list also included the relative lack of Easter eggs; even with about ten major roles in the film, the first X-Men movie is, at least by contemporary standards, a small movie. There’s no sense of a wider Marvel Universe beyond the edges of the frame, there’re few appearances by (or references to) other mutants, and there’s no post-credits scene to tease future films. It is a movie unto itself.
You probably know that Logan is based on the Marvel Comics series “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. But did you know that Logan really came together when Hugh Jackman woke up in the middle of the night after a long conversation (and a few drinks) about Wolverine with Chappie director Neill Blomkamp? Jackman recorded a voice memo on his phone of what he wanted the movie to look like and eventually that became Logan. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
The internet’s movie rumormongers did get a few things right about Logan, Hugh Jackman’s third and supposedly final solo Wolverine movie. They did correctly predict that Logan’ female clone, X-23, would co-star in the film. They also anticipated that the movie would be loosely based on a Marvel Comics storyline called “Old Man Logan.” Of course, after that rumor was initially posted, it was also publicly debunked by one site. You win some, you lose some.
Since arriving in the mainstream Marvel Universe following Secret Wars, Old Man Logan has taken on a life of his own as a standout solo star, and his adventures beyond the original eight issues have been expanded upon in great detail.
However, what a lot of people forget is that Mark Millar actually wrote a sequel to "Old Man Logan" at the same time as he was writing the original, as part of an experimental attempt to link his work-for-hire superhero comics with his own creator-owned franchises.
Superheroes are usually all about flying around, big fights, and being larger than life. In Old Man Logan, the outgoing creative team of Andrea Sorrentino, Jeff Lemire and Marcelo Maiolo mixes that with a slightly different approach.
In this series, Logan remains pretty grounded. His costume becomes a brown leather jacket, and most of the time his fights are pretty brutal, and mostly involve people getting straight up punched in the face. And it all hinges on Sorrentino's take on Wolverine. It's leaning heavily on realism, with sharp blacks that add a noirish vibe.
When Logan finally fades to black, it brings Hugh Jackman’s 17-year run as Wolverine to a close. It is an emphatic and definitive ending, not just to Jackman’s Wolverine series, but also to the X-Men franchise as a whole.
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