Logan ending explained: What to remember before Hugh Jackman's return in Deadpool 3

It's almost time to see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine return to the big screen. But first, let's recap the ending of his last movie, Logan.
DF-04338 - Hugh Jackman stars as Logan in LOGAN. Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein.
DF-04338 - Hugh Jackman stars as Logan in LOGAN. Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein. /

It may be hard to believe, but we're closer to the year of the dystopian future in which Logan takes place (2029) than that of the movie's premiere (2017). Much time has passed since we last saw Hugh Jackman grow Adamantium claws on the big screen, and to say we've missed him would be an understatement. Fortunately, his long-awaited return in Deadpool & Wolverine is just around the corner. So before we see him wear a comic-bock accurate yellow costume in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let's recap the ending of his last movie.

Logan is widely regarded as one of the best X-Men (if not superhero) movies ever made, and with good reason. It got an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, the performances from Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen are powerful enough to make anyone cry, and its set pieces are some of the most violent in the franchise. However, amidst all the blood there is a personal story about a dad growing fond of his daughter and giving his life away to protect her. At the time, not only was Logan a perfect sendoff to one of the most iconic characters in superhero cinema (right next to Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man), but also a great film on its own.

But even if Logan does many, many things right, its story is a bit enigmatic. After all, it raises many questions that don't seem to have a direct explanation at first glance. So now it's the perfect time to recap everything that happened to Wolverine in its last adventure and find some much-needed answers.

(Most) Mutants are gone

The first question in audiences' minds when they watch Logan for the first time is: what happened to the rest of the Mutants? Why are Logan, Charles Xavier, and Caliban (seemingly) the only survivors? Well, there are two reasons for this.

First, it's explained that Professor X's mind was classified as a weapon of Mass destruction after he developed a degenerative brain disease. Audiences see how he often suffers from seizures which not only affect him but seriously endanger everyone around him. A radio host notes that one of those incidents occurred in 2028 in Westchester - the home of the X-Mansion - and ended up killing seven Mutants in the process as well as injuring 600 people. While that certainly helped eradicate the Mutant kind, it was only the cherry on top of the cake.

Dr. Zander Rice explains near the end of the movie that he was the man responsible for wiping out the Mutants. That wasn't his initial goal, however, as he only wanted to "control" them by distributing gene therapy through genetically engineered foods. But his plan accomplished more than expected as, after a few years, no new Mutants were born and most existing ones died as a result too.

So how did Logan, Charles, and Caliban survive this massacre? Well, that's never clearly explained (or even hinted at) but that won't stop us from speculating. There's a case to be made that the trio could've unintentionally avoided eating this poisonous food by hiding from the rest of the world. After all, why risk being spotted at a supermarket when Wolverine could easily hunt for natural food?

Granted, hiding only for one year may not seem like a lot of time to avoid being the victim of a widespread massacre. But we know for a fact that at least seven other Mutants were alive before Charles' seizure forced him and Logan to separate themselves from the rest of the world. So perhaps all remaining Mutants died through the course of that year as Alkali-Transigen had multiple breakthroughs in its Research & Development department (such as creating X-24). It could also be speculated that Logan's healing factor helped him push through Alkali-Transigen's contaminated food, but that theory could be somewhat disproven due to one little detail...

Logan's healing factor is wearing off

Wolverine is well-known for his healing factor. Through the course of nine different movies (including cameos), we've seen him survive bullet shots, a disintegration attempt by Jean Grey, being poisoned by Viper, and countless other tragedies. So the question has to be asked: why did he meet his end in Logan? And why was his healing factor not working as intended from the film's opening?

Well, it turns out we have a little Iron Man 2 scenario here in that the very same thing that "powers" our heroes is what's slowly killing them. Unfortunately, the Adamantium in Logan's body was responsible for his poisoning. That's why certain wounds don't heal and why he doesn't seem to see well without his glasses. The Wolverine as we knew it was a little weaker than usual, which culminated in his eventual death in the movie's climax.

Logan's passing next to his daughter was a fitting yet heartbreaking end to his character (until Deadpool & Wolverine premieres, that is). None of that wouldn't have been possible without the Adamantium poisoning, so I'm not sure whether to thank it or be insanely saddened by it. Perhaps a bit of both is the way to go.

Logan takes place in an alternate timeline

The X-Men overarching story is a little bit complicated. Due to the time travels, retcons, recasts, and history rewrites, it becomes difficult to keep track of where each movie is placed on a single timeline. However, that's an especially daunting task with Logan as the movie seems to be its own thing by stating no new Mutants have been born in over 25 years, while also acknowledging events in previous projects (such as the battle in the Statue of Liberty).

While the film doesn't give us a direct answer to this mystery, a compelling explanation was given behind the scenes. Hugh Jackman revealed in an interview with Digital Spy that Logan takes place in a different universe from other X-Men films before it:

"Not only is it different in terms of timeline and tone, it is a slightly different universe. It is actually a different paradigm and that will become clear."

Hugh Jackman

It's often said that Logan should be appreciated as its own unique thing separate from any other superhero movie before it. After all, both Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold wanted a blank canvas to tell Wolverine's "final" story before his return to the big screen was eventually confirmed. So we're better off watching the movie without wondering about a timeline placement, especially now that a new version of the character will take over the spotlight alongside Deadpool in the MCU.

What to watch after Logan

Logan is a fantastic film that will leave you wanting more, even if its main character perishes during its final moments. Fortunately, there has been no shortage of superhero and X-Men movies over the years that are just one click away on Disney+. While few of them manage to capture the same grim and violent tone of Wolverine's latest adventure, it doesn't mean they aren't worth a watch. So let's break down some of the best, shall we?

Deadpool & Wolverine: If you rewatched Logan near the time of writing this (June 2024) then chances are it was to prepare yourself for Deadpool & Wolverine. So naturally the upcoming multiversal crossover can't be missed. The movie seems like a fun, violent, and whacky ride that will feature the long-awaited return of Logan to the big screen. It is set to have no shortage of mind-blowing cameos and iconic action scenes. Best of all: we're just a few weeks away from finally watching it. Will the MCU return to its previous, beloved form? Or are they going to have another "miss" on their hands? Well, we'll finally figure it out on July 26, 2024.

The Wolverine: Logan, The Wolverine, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine all have stories that revolve around the iconic Marvel hero. However, it's hard to recommend the latter when... it is not that good at all, to put it very lightly. So your go-to option aside from Logan should be The Wolverine. This 2013 adventure, also directed by James Mangold, takes its main character on a journey to Japan. While the movie may not be as mature or violent as James' recent work, it still manages to be an entertaining flick that reminds us why Wolverine is such a special character.

Many other (good) X-Men movies: The Fox X-Men universe may be no more, but it left us with a good amount of amazing movies to watch. While they all followed the same overarching story in the beginning, things started to get a little bit messy with the introduction of the prequels and branched timelines. But if you want to try and follow along with the loose continuation of events, then here are some good X-Men movies in chronological order:

  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men
  • X2: X-Men United
  • Deadpool
  • Deadpool 2

Deadpool & Wolverine releases in theaters on July 26, 2024

Next. Dafne Keen stuns as X-23 in jaw-dropping Deadpool 3 concept art. Dafne Keen stuns as X-23 in jaw-dropping Deadpool 3 concept art. dark