Logan is one of the most painful X-Men movies ever to grace the silver screen. It takes the sole member of the X-Men who can survive a nuclear explosion, the one character that is literally unkillable – and shows you that even he isn’t safe from the ravages of old age.

In case you forgot, here’s Wolverine getting burnt to a crisp by an atomic bomb and then healing right after that.

Wolverine still has his healing factor in Logan, so he survives being stabbed and shot and cut and being stabbed again. However, since he’s old now, it means that he doesn’t heal quite as fast – or as well. So here are the painful consequences of being old and having your mutant healing powers get thrown out of whack.

1. Ugly scars

Wolverine's face is badly scarred in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Wolverine’s face is badly scarred in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The first thing you might have noticed is that Wolverine has scars in all the posters. But that shouldn’t be possible – he managed to heal perfectly well from cuts previously. Why do wounds suddenly leave their mark now? James Mangold, director of Logan, explains why in an interview. Wolverine’s healing factor still works, but the skin that grows back isn’t as baby-soft as before – it’s rough and coarse, just like when we humans heal from cuts.

And if most of your skin becomes rough and coarse (because Wolverine, unlike the other X-Men, is very bad at dodging bullets and knives and laser blasts), that means…

2. Reduced flexibility

It's difficult for Wolverine to get up in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

It’s difficult for Wolverine to get up in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Imagine you’ve got hardened scar tissue like Wolverine. This means that if you bend or stretch, those hardened parts are going to be poking into your softer, uninjured skin. If your entire body is covered with hardened skin, it means that every movement will feel like multiple stabs all over your body. That means whatever Wolverine does entails a great of pain, since he moves quite a fair bit. That also means that…

3. Constant pain

Wolverine is always in pain. Maybe that's why he's always angry in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Wolverine is always in pain. Maybe that’s why he’s always angry in Logan. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

His hardened skin is a constant, never-ending source of pain. In fact, James Mangold has explained that Wolverine is constantly imbibing alcohol to stave off the pain (in case you think he was randomly taking alcohol for fun). His healing factor does mean that he metabolises it faster, so he probably doesn’t get high – just that he needs the booze to work as painkillers for his dysfunctional healing factor.

4. Cancer

If Wolverine had cancer in Logan, he would be old and ugly. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

If Wolverine had cancer in Logan, he would be old and ugly. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Another possible side effect is cancer. Remember that healing is essentially our body rebuilding the cells that have been lost by reproducing more cells. Cancer is when the body doesn’t know to stop cell reproduction, and certain parts just keep growing until they become deadly. Wolverine’s healing powers are getting problematic, so it’s not a stretch to say that they might malfunction and become cancerous.

Which is kind of what Deadpool’s powers are. He can heal fast, but his face has turned into a cancerous mess. Imagine Wolverine having Deadpool’s face. Ick.

5. Eternal life without eternal youth

Imagine if Wolverine never aged - that would mean Logan would last forever. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Imagine if Wolverine never aged – that would mean Logan would last forever. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The fact that Wolverine has survived until now means that it’s quite possible that he could live forever if he doesn’t get into constant fights with other mutants. However, the fact that Wolverine can age means that his body will continue deteriorating, even if he doesn’t die. This means that he would just keep getting older and feebler and weaker, but he wouldn’t die.

For literature fans: that means he could very well end up like the struldbrugs in “Gulliver’s Travels” – immortals who will continue aging forever.

Logan. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Logan. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So now that Wolverine’s time has come, what exactly will happen? Find out in Logan, which sees Wolverine and Professor X embarking on a quest to save the first mutant that has been born in 25 years. Will the two old men be able to work together and control their powers long enough to save mutantkind, or will this mean that the mutants’ time has come?

By the way, Logan is not Wolverine’s real name – his real name is James Howlett. But Professor X still calls him Logan anyway.

 

Credits: Twentieth Century Fox, Golden Village Cinemas