A Swan Song for a Hero: Logan

Poster for the Marvel movie Logan.
Poster for the Marvel movie Logan.

It isn’t everyday a comic book based movie hits you in the face with emotions. All movies want to make us feel something, even comic book movies. Usually, those feelings are joy, anger if your favorite character has a misstep or a giddiness that makes us want to pretend there is more to our natural world.

Logan IS NOT that kind of comic book movie.

When our favorite mutton chop hero appears on the screen it’s immediately known, this Wolverine is different. Logan is loosely based off the Old Man Logan comic book series envisioned by Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven. The similarities end mostly at looks, since central elements of that story can’t be used due to licensing, but the spirit is clearly in the movie version.

We find our hero grey haired, and slower. Mutants didn’t change the world and the world seems lesser for it.  Wolverine is tired not only physically, but of life in general. We find him as a glorified “app based” personal driver taking care of an aging father figure, personified in Professor X. This Wolverine isn’t interested in trying to save the world, find himself or get justice. He’s more human than ever before, reachable, vulnerable and just trying to muddle through life like the rest of us mere mortals.

Unlike previous X-men movies, Logan is R-rated and is also slated to be Hugh Jackman’s “last time” playing Wolverine. Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine 17 years and in this movie you see the full weight of what many years would like on a man with extraordinary powers. The pacing is slower, more measured, channeling a grounded realism of what it would be like to be an aging hero that has his best years behind him.  The film also directly channels Shane, a classic western; going as far as to show the characters watching the movie, which if you are familiar with the classic, is strong foreshadowing. The tone of the movie is more like a western drama than a popcorn commercialized comic based film. There is plenty of gore, fighting, and super powers for your love of such, but it’s the quiet moments that make this movie powerful. The moments that may find dampness in the corners of your eyes.

Logan has changed the possibilities of what comic book movies can offer viewers, just as Deadpool did last year. It makes me excited to see what the future of the genre will look like.  I highly encourage you to see this movie with an open mind and a pocket of tissues and check out Old Man Logan from the Library.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Wolverine: Old Man Logan. Warzones!

What did you think of Logan, the movie? Share below (without spoilers).

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