"Logan," premiering Friday, is set in 2029, but not in a fabulous, high-tech future. Instead, the movie begins in a shabby area on the U.S.-Mexican border, where an aging (but not dying, thanks to his healing factor) Wolverine works as a driver for hire to support the remainder of the X-Men, his makeshift family. This life changes when a young mutant named Laura shows up, pursued by powerful, evil forces.
The premise has roots in various X-comics:
Q: Where did the idea for Old Man Logan come from?
A: A story titled "Old Man Logan" by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven that ran in "Wolverine" comics in 2008-09. The story is set in a dystopic future 50 years after the world's supervillains teamed up and beat all the superheroes. The United States has been carved up into various fiefdoms, with the Red Skull as the president. "Old Man Logan" begins in a territory run by the Hulk Gang. These are the children and grandchildren of Bruce "Hulk" Banner and Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters, who are a cannibalistic, redneck family running a statewide protection racket on the subsistence farmers who live there. One of the preyed-upon farmers is Logan, who used to be Wolverine. Whatever happened to him 50 years ago turned him into a pacifist. He lives with his wife and kids, and allows himself to be bullied rather than raise a hand (or claw) in violence.
Behind on the "rent," Logan is desperate when a very old, blind Hawkeye shows up with a lucrative job offer — help him deliver a package to the East Coast. Reluctantly, Logan agrees, going on a road trip where readers get a look at the rest of the tortured U.S., learn the fate of various superheroes and discover what experience was so devastating it turned the berserker Wolverine into the pacifist Logan.
Q: Does Laura come from the comics, too?
A: Given that the trailers have shown Laura popping claws, I don't think it's a spoiler to say she's based on the same Laura who is Wolverine in the current comics. That character is a female clone of Wolverine. She is still a teen and has had perhaps a worse life than her namesake, including being raised without human contact, going on multiple missions as an involuntary assassin and spending her early teens as a prostitute. Laura is also referred to as X-23.
Q: Will Hugh Jackman continue as Old Man Logan in future X-Men movies?
A: Jackman says this is his last performance as the feral X-Man.
Q: How does this movie fit in with the other X-Men movies?
A: Director James Mangold told comicbook.com he chose the year 2029 so he wouldn't have to deal with continuity from previous movies. And since everybody from the previous movies is (probably) dead (except Logan and Xavier), you don't need to worry about any other characters or timelines. "Logan" pretty much stands alone. And I can't imagine a better farewell to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.