The release of the first trailer for #Logan this past week was the beginning of the end for Wolverine and, apparently, the X-Men. After having watched the trailer several times, I feel both morbidly curious and somewhat betrayed. As an avid X-Men fan, I am excited to see what happens in that universe, but I felt cheated by the idea of no more mutants, or at least, very few of them.
After years of succeeding in the fight to save mutant kind, how did Wolverine, Professor Xavier and the X-Men wind up in a world like this?
Goodbye Days Of Future Past?
"Mutants, they're gone now," Logan reminds Professor Xavier. Wait, what? The film is set in 2024, just a year after we last saw the future X-Men in Days of Future Past. DOFP never showed us a world filled with mutants after Logan saved the day, but it did show the Xavier Institute brimming with students. No one seemed worried about extinction at that point. Mutant kind has survived so much: genocidal military scientists, mutant terrorists, Brett Ratner, mutant-hunting robots. What was it that finally did our heroes in? Whatever it was, it didn't just kill off mutants — it also killed any gratification we got from the ending of Days of Future Past.
How Did A World Without Mutants Happen?
There are multiple story arcs in the X-Men comics that resulted in the near demise of mutants. Whatever happened to them in Logan, it happened fast. Did humans finally outsmart the X-Men? Perhaps it was the Legacy Virus (Marvel's version of AIDS for mutants). Maybe it was a House of M situation where someone as powerful as the Scarlet Witch depowered mutants on a global scale. Of course, it couldn't be the Scarlet Witch herself given that Fox does not own the movie rights to her character. Whatever the cause, the end of mutants — while devastating — is also a big point of interest and speculation among fans.
Did Professor Xavier Destroy Mutant Kind?
While the X-Men may have been wiped out, we know for sure that Professor Xavier has survived. It is curious to see how much Xavier aged in the year that took place between DOFP and Logan. It is unclear if Professor X, suffering at the hands of Alzheimer's, still has his powers. Given the progressive nature of the disease, it is possible that it caused Xavier to lose control of his powers, allowing him to accidentally kill off almost all mutants in a manner reminiscent of Stryker's plan in X2. Let's not forget that Apocalypse enhanced Xavier's mutation in the new timeline, leaving him more powerful than we have seen in a film to date.
Will We Ever See Mutants Return?
Given the success of the X-Men and Wolverine franchises, the short answer seems like an obvious "yes." The question is: How would a revival of the mutant race come about? The arrival of Hope Summers, though unlikely, would fit well into the House of M theory. In the comics, Hope is the mutant messiah who restored the other mutants to their pre-House of M state. Assuming that the mutant Cable has his abilities in the upcoming Deadpool sequel, we can hope (see what I did there) that something like this happens, and that the X-Men are not dead, but simply depowered.
Whatever our theories, hopes and disappointments, we will have to wait until March 3, 2017 to see what will happen in the final Wolverine film, Logan.
What are your Logan theories? Share them in the comments below!