When I watched Logan, I realised that there were more differences between it and it’s comic book counterpart than pretty much any other Marvel movie out there, hence, I’ve decided to cover those differences.
WARNING: this post will be quite long, prepare yourself.
ANOTHER WARNING: this post will contain spoilers for the film Logan.
YET ANOTHER WARNING: this post will contain spoilers for the Old Man Logan comics, but they’ve been out for quite some time now, so they’re fair game
We’ll start with Laura/X23. Laura first appeared in the TV series X-Men Evolution, the producers were just like “lets make a clone of Wolverine!”, “make it a female!”, “make her a teenager!” and they just ran with it from there. Needless to say, she became a pretty popular character in no time flat, so popular that she was introduced into the comics not too long after her original debut, making her comic book debut in NYX #3.
The biggest difference between comic book Laura and film Laura is their apparent nationalities, or rather, the languages they speak. In the comics, Laura was taught English and that’s it, her mother, Doctor Sarah Kinney (the doctor who managed to reconstruct Wolverine’s DNA), would read stories to her in an attempt to spend quality time with her child (under the guise of reading her more advanced literature like The Art of War), instead of treating her as a weapon. Laura is supposed to be in her mid to late teens and is already a well-established assassin when she first meets Wolverine. In the film, however, she speaks Spanish instead of English (being able to construct only basic sentences in the latter language) and seems to be anywhere between ten and thirteen years of age (I’m leaning more towards thirteen).
The film doesn’t incorporate her mother in any way, replacing her actual mother with a teenage girl (who presumably died during giving birth to Laura, the film makes it seem like all the surrogate mothers died rather violent deaths). What the film also neglects to mention why X23 is called “X23”. The “X” is obviously derived from the fact that she is a clone of “Weapon X” (Wolverine), the “23” comes from the fact that she is the twenty-third attempt at cloning Wolverine (being the first clone to actually survive for any surmountable period of time).
Then there is the question “Why is X23 female?” Now I’m not being sexist but it’s logical to think that a clone of Wolverine would be male, considering that Wolverine himself is male. The comics hold the answer, but this answer will also lead us to the next major difference between film and comic; the very existence of X24. But back to X23 being female.
X23 is female because the Y-chromosome became damaged over the years (between Wolverine’s involvement in the Weapon X program and any attempt at cloning him), leaving only the first X-chromosome (XY-chromosome equals male, XX-chromosome equals female; in this case, the second X-chromosome came from X23’s surrogate, Sarah Kinney). The second X-chromosome could never be retrieved or rebuilt – DNA lasts for a very short period of time, and even degrades when frozen, DNA is usually considered useless after fifteen years on ice, due to the degradation. And therein lies the problem: how the hell does X24 even exist?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that X24 is an exact copy of Wolverine (in his more youthful years anyway), he clearly also has adamantium claws (the scene where he attacks the house and practically gets half his skull destroyed shows that he doesn’t have an adamantium skeleton). Dr. Zander Rice, at one point in the film, says that rage cannot be bred or raised, it has to be created. In the clips we see before X24’s actual introduction, we see detached limbs in large containers. This suggests that he was put together from scratch; the separate limbs cloned into existence (this is possible with today’s medical technology, by the way) and then put together in a sort of Frankenstein-esque manner. But that still leaves the problem of the damaged chromosomes, the very reason for X23 being female, in which the film contradicts itself quite heavily.
Ignoring all that, comes the fact that X23 plays no part in the Old Man Logan comics (pre-All-New, All-Different Marvel, of course).
Now then, there were other characters lacking from the movie that made appearances in the comics, Bruce Banner’s Hulk being one of them; but, of course, copyright laws are a thing and Fox doesn’t have access to the film rights for Banner (which I’m actually thankful for, The Avengers just wouldn’t feel right without the Hulk). In the Old Man Logan comics, Logan owns a small pig farm on which he lives with his wife and two children, but the land on which they live doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to the Banners. The comics hint at some apocalyptic war, during which a gamma bomb was used, this bomb made Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters (his cousin, She-Hulk) go insane; the two became incestuous and created the Banner Boys
But the brutish landlords still managed to make an appearance in the film, they certainly weren’t Hulks but they’re the closest Fox is ever going to get to the gamma-irradiated family.
Then, of course, there was the distinct lack of Hawkeye (who’s film rights I’m also thankful Fox doesn’t have access to). In the comics, Hawkeye instigates a journey on which he drags Logan along as a bodyguard; transporting a mysterious suitcase from Point A to Point B (the suitcase is revealed to contain nearly a hundred vials of super-soldier serum, the same stuff used to turn Steve Rogers into Captain America). It is then revealed that even Hawkeye didn’t know who the case was actually going to, he delivered it to a couple of shady men who then knocked them out and delivered them, along with the vials of serum, to Red Skull (yet another character Fox thankfully doesn’t have access to, funny how that seems to be a running theme here). At this point in the comics, Red Skull technically already runs the country, but the place is in shambles, there isn’t really much to run. Logan is brought to Red Skull’s trophy room, where he meets with the red man himself and discovers what became of the heroes of old: Iron Man’s armour, Captain America’s Shield, Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation, Spider-Man’s mask and web-shooters and Thor’s helmet, among other artefacts, are all contained within the trophy room; Red Skull himself wearing Captain America’s suit underneath what appears to be the Punisher’s leather jacket.
Next difference: Professor Charles Xavier – he should be dead long before the movie takes place. Although, I must say I am happy to see him in the film, depressing as it was to see him die.
This brings us to the first similarity between film and comic: Eden. In the comics, Eden is a place run by Emma Frost, the White Queen, and is the only remaining safe-haven for mutants within the USA; that’s where the similarity ends regarding Eden. In the film, it seems Eden is actually across the border, in Canada; that and we have no idea who runs the place in the film universe. 20th Century Fox does own the film rights to Emma Frost, as she has appeared in prior X-Men films, so it is interesting to note that they chose not to actively include her in the film, the only hint is a female voice on the other end of the radio when the kids call ahead to check if they can still get into Eden.
The final similarity is that the other X-Men are all dead, in both Logan and the Old Man Logan storyline (I’m not including Secret Wars and All-New, All-Different Marvel when I mention the Old Man Logan arc). Charles makes mention to their deaths once or twice in the movie, at a later point it’s revealed that he had a seizure that killed most members of the X-Men. In the comics, seeing as Xavier was long dead by the time Old Man Logan took place, it happened very differently. In the comics, we find out that Mysterio gave Wolverine hallucinations, making him believe that the X-Mansion was being attacked by a large group of villains, after killing the villains, the hallucination ends and Wolverine realises that the ‘villains’ were actually his fellow X-Men.
The comics also feature Venom, but not with any host we’ve seen him attach to before; here, he’s decided on a Tyrannosaurus as his host. At some point in the timeline, the rest of the world decided that dinosaurs from the Savage Lands would make great pets (I feel like this is where the plot for Jurassic World 2 might be headed, besides the militarised hybrids we’ll doubtless be seeing).
Then there is the matter of Wolverine’s death. He doesn’t die in the Old Man Logan comics, matter of fact, he is one of the few characters to actually continue from their universe into the All-New, All-Different Marvel universe (which is an amalgamation of different continuities within the greater Marvel Comics Universe). He does die in the comic storyline Death of Wolverine, but his death in the film isn’t anything alike to his death in that particular story arc. In the Death of Wolverine comics, Wolvie has his healing factor taken away and ends up being completely coated in adamantium, suffocating him and thus, killing him.
In the film, he simply does not heal (due to adamantium poisoning, technically Wolverine’s healing factor was at it’s best just BEFORE he got his bones coated in adamantium). His lack of healing is due to the constant adamantium poisoning, the reason for his coughing in the movie.
And that about wraps up this comparison. There were a lot of differences, some of which I didn’t even go into (the ones I didn’t go into are also because of the ownership of film rights to certain characters; again, that seems to be a running theme these days).
Let me know if you enjoyed this comparison, if there is anything I missed but you feel I should have included, let me know.
Oh, and what do you think of the idea of a comparison between film and comic? Would you like me to do it again or rather not? Please do let me know, as I enjoyed researching this (seeing as I work in a comic book store, it’s a good excuse to buy and read more comics).