So the new trailer for Logan has shown us that they’ve got superhero comic books in the X-Men movieverse. And not just that, but they’ve got X-Men comics. Which you’ve gotta figure makes sense; we don’t even have real superheroes in our world, and we’ve got comic books. (Of course comics go well beyond superhero stories in our reality and probably Wolverine’s as well, but that’s a different article…) But here’s the thing: If you take a close look at the comics Hugh Jackman is flipping through in the Logan trailer, it appears that while Professor Xavier’s band of merry mutants have gotten the four-color treatment in that universe, Marvel Comics is nowhere to be found.
Marvel has always been the home to the X-Men dating back to their debut in 1963, and Marvel branding has always been present in the team’s books. But 20th Century Fox has the rights to the make the X-Men movies, and the behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt is that Fox and Marvel don’t necessarily have the greatest working relationship. So is it any surprise that Fox would choose to not focus on Marvel within the narrative confines of Logan? (The Marvel logo does appear in the trailer and the company will be credited in the final film, which is surely a contractual obligation.)
The first comic that Logan grabs is Uncanny X-Men #117. In the image above, you can see the Logan version and then the version of Uncanny X-Men #117 that exists in our world (and was published in January, 1979). Take a look at the Marvel Comics Group banner on the real comic, which has been changed to X-Men Comics Group in the Logan book. Could it be that in the X-Men movieverse Marvel Comics itself was never born out of Timely and Atlas Comics, but instead a company called X-Men Comics was?
It’s pretty tough to line up where these Logan comics fall in terms of a specific year. Logan is set in the year 2029, but the comics appear to be old, and the price tags give us a fair approximation that they’re from similar eras at 40 cents and 35 cents, respectively. (Man, those were the days in either universe.) Also of note: Gambit’s face is in the upper left-hand side of the Logan comic. We know Fox wants to make a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum, and of course Taylor Kitsch played the character in the first Wolverine movie, so it seems the character probably joined the team at some point in the movie universe.
Uncanny X-Men #115 featured the character Sauron (in our world anyway).
The character Sauron appears on the cover of the Logan comic, and actually the issues immediately preceding Uncanny X-Men #117 in the real world dealt with Sauron in his stomping grounds of the Savage Land. (Yep, he’s half-man, half-pteranodon. Long story.)
Artist Dan Panosian has confirmed that he created about 10 or 12 mock-up comics covers for Logan. He told Bleeding Cool that he also inked, colored and lettered the interior page seen in the trailer, which was penciled by artist and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. According to Bleeding Cool’s report, there were more pages created which may still show up in the final film.
“Maybe a quarter of it happened, and not like this,” Logan says as he looks through another issue. We see old friends including Storm (with Mohawk!), Rogue, and Cyclops as well as Professor Xavier and Wolverine himself in costume. Notice how you can actually see Wolvie’s eyes behind his cowl, whereas typically in our comics his eyes are just whited out. The cover of this issue depicts the X-Men wearing dark suits and attending a funeral, which is certainly the type of scene we’ve gotten from this team on multiple occasions over the years. But again, there’s no sign of Marvel on this cover.
So does Marvel Comics exist in the world of Logan and the X-Men movies? We’ll probably never really know. But then again, who are we to say which universe is the true reality anyway? Maybe we’re all just acting out some movie for Wolverine and his pals to watch over on their Earth.