Old Man Logan: The Wolverine story that could bring Hugh Jackman into the MCU

 Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine.
Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine.

The latest Deadpool & Wolverine trailer digs a little deeper into the upcoming film's story, showing off the apparent villain, Cassandra Nova, and several of the mutant cameos fans can expect along the way. But eagle-eyed viewers are also picking up on a trail of breadcrumbs in the trailer that may hint at Wolverine's place in the film, and even, perhaps, in the wider MCU beyond just Deadpool & Wolverine.

The trailer establishes that Deadpool is teaming up with an apparent Variant of Wolverine who is the last surviving X-Man of his universe, with both heroes recruited to take on Cassandra Nova, who threatens the entire Multiverse.

There are clues in the trailer pointing at a particular story from comics that may provide some direct influence on how Wolverine fits into Deadpool & Wolverine, and maybe even how Cassandra Nova could fit in - and that's the story of Old Man Logan, an aging version of Wolverine who is the last living X-Man, lost in a dystopian wasteland of a vastly altered Marvel Universe.

So what's the deal with Old Man Logan and his reality? And if that is the inspiration for Deadpool & Wolverine, how could that lead to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine potentially joining the larger MCU?

Who is Old Man Logan?

Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics
Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics

Old Man Logan is the version of Wolverine at the heart of the 2008 story of the same name by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven. Set in an alternate future reality, Old Man Logan tells the story of a much older Wolverine who lives with terrible guilt over the deaths of the other X-Men as he seeks some form of redemption for his violent past.

See, in the world of Old Man Logan, the bad guys actually won, and their victory managed to drag Wolverine down too.

As revealed in flashbacks throughout the story, Wolverine is the last living member of the X-Men, with the rest of the team dead at his own hands, with Logan having been tricked into killing his own teammates by Mysterio, who created an illusion so thorough it fooled all of his vaunted super-senses into believing he was actually fighting a group of supervillains.

Following the death of the X-Men, Logan retires the Wolverine moniker, sulking off to the Wastelands to hide from his sins and drown his guilt, refusing to use his claws or act as a hero ever again.

There in the Wastelands, Wolverine encounters the now blind archer Hawkeye, a group of inbred, monstrous Hulks, a Venom-possessed Tyrannosaurus Rex, and more strange, twisted, and changed versions of well-known Marvel characters, all while undertaking a journey that ends with him reclaiming his mantle as a hero.

If this is sounding a little bit familiar, aspects of Old Man Logan were adapted into the film Logan, which featured an older Wolverine as the last of the X-Men.

The trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine shows off a version of Logan who, as in Old Man Logan, is seemingly on the run from his past, with all his allies in the X-Men long dead and gone. And though we're not expecting to see Mysterio show up to explain what happened to the X-Men, Marvel has an easy way to make the story more X-Men centric by substituting in Cassandra Nova and her extensive psychic powers as the villain who tricks Wolverine into killing his friends.

While some folks are speculating that there could be a connection to X-Men '97 and its depiction of the Genoshan genocide, which was carried out by Cassandra Nova in comics, it's just as possible that she'll have a slightly different role in the MCU which could tie directly into the deaths of the X-Men.

How Old Man Logan came to the Marvel Universe

Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics
Old Man Logan in Marvel Comics

Old Man Logan's involvement in the Marvel Universe doesn't end with the original story. In fact, Old Man Logan has direct ties to 2015's Secret Wars, the same story that provides inspiration for the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars movie.

In fact, given what happens to Old Man Logan as a result of Secret Wars, adapting his comic book story could potentially even offer a window to bring him into the mainstream MCU when the Multiverse-spanning movie is all said and done.

In Secret Wars, Doctor Doom uses the combined power of his magic and science to save the Multiverse from omnipotent extra-terrestrials, remaking the Marvel Universe into a reality known as Battleworld, made up of bits and pieces of different worlds from around the Multiverse.

One of the realities that makes up Battleworld is the Wasteland of Old Man Logan, bringing the character back for a new adventure set in the timeline of Secret Wars. But at the end of the story, when the Multiverse is remade and set right, rather than returning to the Wasteland, Old Man Logan actually winds up in the core Marvel Universe reality.

At the time, the mainstream Wolverine was dead (or at least as dead as he gets, encased in adamantium), leaving a place on the X-Men for Old Man Logan to step in as the team's resident berserker, while Laura Kinney, Logan's clone, takes up the name Wolverine.

Old Man Logan wound up staying in the mainstream Marvel Universe for several years, working to prevent the events that could lead to his dystopian future from coming to pass, even starring in his own solo title that ran for 50 issues.

He then finally returns home in a time portal built by Forge, going on to assemble the few heroes who are left in the Wasteland into a new Avengers team, rekindling hope for the people of the dystopian world.

With Avengers: Secret Wars supposedly aiming to pay off the current Multiverse Saga era of the MCU, and rumors swirling about how it could rewrite or reboot aspects of the MCU, it doesn't seem far from the realm of possibility that Hugh Jackman's Wolverine could appear in Secret Wars, if not even beyond that.

We'll find out more when Deadpool & Wolverine releases in July.

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