Movie Reviews

Why Wolverine Started To Lose His Healing Power In Logan

Why was Logan dying in Logan? In a dark future, Wolverine is slowly losing his healing factor, and although Logan lays the groundwork for an explanation, the movie never explicitly reveals why Wolverine lost his healing power. Set in 2029, Logan’s hypothetical timeline sees most X-Men dead, no new mutants being born in 25 years, and the Transigen corporation hunting survivors for their genetic material. Logan finds James Howlett, the ex-mutant superhero known as Wolverine, eking out a living as a chauffeur and taking care of the aging Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is dying of degenerative brain disease. When a young mutant girl, Laura (Dafne Keene), is given to Wolverine to care for, the three flee in search of a fabled mutant sanctuary while being pursued by Transigen’s cybernetic mercenaries.

Aside from his trademark claws, Logan’s most notable ability is superhuman healing, as popularized by Wolverine in the Fox movies. He’s able to shrug off fatal injuries like they were nothing, including taking a bullet to the head and being vaporized by Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand. This isn’t the case in Logan, where Wolverine suffers considerably when injured, and his healing factor is so diminished that he’s only nominally more durable than a regular human. Logan even hurts himself when popping his claws. While the movie is set in the future, age isn’t a viable explanation, as Logan has lived for centuries. So why did Wolverine’s healing ability fail in Logan, only six years after his last appearance in the 2023 timeline at the end of X-Men: Days Of Future Past?

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Why was Logan dying despite his abilities? The reason why Wolverine lost his healing power in Logan is tragic. Logan begins with Wolverine as a shell of his former self. In the X-Men movie canon, Wolverine is even older than Captain America, having been born in Canada in 1832. This was only possible due to his mutant ability, which gave him an incredible healing factor that, for a long time, seemed to make him almost immortal – until the real cost of Adamantium-coated bones is revealed in Logan.

In Logan, scars and bullet holes that once would have vanished remain permanently visible on Wolverine, who is in constant physical agony in the movie, and it all comes down to a single fatal affliction: Adamantium poisoning. With his healing factor in decline, even his claws don’t come out as quickly or as reliably as they once did. After Wolverine is confronted with a mindless clone of himself who has killed Professor X, he is gravely wounded, and Laura takes him to a local doctor, who finally confirms what Logan has known since even before the movie.

The physician told him that something in his body was killing him as he was literally being poisoned from the inside out. Logan remained stoically unsurprised by this as he had already assumed the Adamantium that the Weapon X program coated his bones with had long been the cause of his ailment. The government’s experimentation on Wolverine made him a powerful weapon but also led to his eventual demise, and it is unclear how long he might have survived if not for the operation.

Wolverine’s inability to survive injury isn’t just to spin a good narrative with higher stakes. It also has heavy thematic weight. The decision on the filmmakers’ part also parallels real-world situations of governments experimenting with toxic substances on their own troops, which can make them more effective soldiers but can also be harmful or even fatal at the same time. While Logan didn’t elaborate on the grisly details of his Adamantium poisoning, it can be surmised that Wolverine’s very long and brutal life taxed his healing factor to its limits. Meanwhile, the Adamantium was constantly poisoning his insides; Logan’s healing factor initially kept the metal’s toxicity in check but, as it gradually failed, the poison began overwhelming his system and killing him. Adamantium poisoning may also have turned into the cause of his healing factor’s increasing failure.

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In the Fox X-Men universe at the time of Logan, there is no viable major medical resource for mutants, and even if there were, it is previously noted that the bonding process for the Adamantium to be on Wolverine’s bones cannot be undone. By the end of Logan, the long-suffering mutant’s depleted healing factor could no longer save him, and after a life of pain, he was ready for the end to come at last. With that, Logan died from his fatal injuries, and Hugh Jackman (supposedly) moved on from his role as Wolverine – but not before Logan performed one final, heroic act where he saved Laura and the future of the mutant race.

Why Logan was dying in Logan is interesting, but won’t factor into Hugh Jackman’s next outing as Wolverine. The fact is that this question doesn’t matter all that much for Wolverine’s MCU debut in the movie that opens MCU Phase 6, Deadpool 3, which takes place before Logan. This means that Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will be introduced into the MCU not as the decrepit, Old Man Logan-inspired mutant, but as the X-Men member whose healing factor and fighting prowess are intact. That said, as the plot of Deadpool 3 is being kept under wraps, it’s currently impossible to predict what Logan and Deadpool will be facing when they join the MCU in Phase 6.

Next: Deadpool 3 – Trailer, News, Story, Every Update

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