This year, a legacy came to an end. For almost two decades, Hugh Jackman graced our screens as Wolverine, a mutant member of the X-Men. Wolverine’s powers stemmed from the claws he could expose and retract from his hands. He also had an intense healing factor – one so powerful that he’s been known to survive bullets to the head. In honor of the end of an era, let’s review the years! (These are by no means meant to be considered a full synopsis per movie, they mostly focus on what what Logan was up to during each film.)
In the first of an epic series, we’re introduced to Logan, who plays a central part in the story. Unwillingly, he gets caught up in the long-standing battle between Magneto and Professor Xavier. While reluctant to help, he learns that Xavier can unlock the memories of his past – things he himself can’t remember. Ultimately, he decides to stay and aid the Professor.
X2: X-Men United (2003)
In the sequel, it gets personal for Logan when a man named Stryker kidnaps most of the students from Xavier’s mansion; Not only because of the missing children, but because Stryker seems to know who Wolverine is, which entices the mutant further to track him down and potentially learn more about himself and his history.
X-Men: Last Stand (2006)
Wolverine is forced to make a decision that will haunt him in X-Men: Last Stand, when Jean Grey – previously thought to be dead – returns with a new, more dangerous mentality. When they realize that Jean, now Phoenix, is unstable and uncontrollable, he realizes that the only way to ensure the world’s safety is by killing her. For Logan personally, it’s a hard decision because over the course of the first few movies, we learn that he’s in love with Jean.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
While the films up to this point have had Logan pose as a key part of their own plots, this is the FIRST movie that focuses solely on Wolverine as the main character. This movie is also set in an era that is Pre-X-Men for Logan, and shows every central point in his life – From the day he discovered his powers to the day he loses his memories.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Alright, I’ll be honest, Logan shows up for a brisk total of ten seconds in this movie, but it’s the BEST part of the film. For reasons I won’t explain, a young Xavier and Magneto are recruiting mutants. They attempt to recruit Logan, but after briefly examining his cigar, he tells the duo to “Go fuck themselves,” which has been praised as one of his most in character moments ever.
The Wolverine (2013)
Now, this is the first movie with Wolverine in it to take place directly after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Logan has isolated himself, struggling to live with the fact that he’d murdered the woman he loved. He’s forced into the world when an “old friend” seeks him out for his help. Unfortunately, that friend sought only to siphon Logan’s youthfulness and healing abilities away. The post-credits scene of this movie lead us directly into the next in the franchise.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
This movie may or may not confuse fans when it comes to the timeline, but bear with me. In the future, mutants are being hunted down by machines. Wolverine is among the few that survive, but in order to save the world, he must re-write history. Through the help of another mutant, Wolverine travels to the past, specifically the 1960s-70s, to enlist the help of both Xavier AND Magneto, whom both prove to be troublesome in that era.
This brings us to the FINAL installment involving Wolverine. Logan is set in 2029, and provides an epic conclusion to one of the most favored Marvel characters to date. I won’t get into any details on this movie, but I will let you know that we recently reviewed the movie after seeing it in theaters, and I can only describe it as the PERFECT conclusion.
If you’re confused regarding the timeline, I found a website that can help you out. Check it out here! In any case, for seventeen years, Hugh Jackman gave us one of the best character performances in existence. For seventeen years, Wolverine has been kicking ass, taking names, and showing us the ONLY being in existence that looks cool with mutton chops. While they may re-cast the character, there will never be another actor to portray him like Mr. Jackman did, and I can only wish him luck as he pursues other characters. Check out Logan in theaters now!