We live in a time when the superhero genre is at its peak. A few decades ago, only A-list superheroes like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and X-Men were popular enough for movie studios to invest in live-action adaptations. Today, any character appearing on the comic book pages can get his movie or a TV series. If it’s a movie with a Marvel or DC logo, you can be sure that someone will pay to see it in a theater. With so many characters getting their incarnations on the big screen, it became our habit to dig into the differences between a comic book and the live-action incarnation of a certain character. And today, we’re going to talk about Wolverine’s age in the comics and movies.
Wolverine is between 138 and 141 years old. The movie version of Wolverine is 191 years old. In both comics and movies, James Howlett was born in the 19th century, but there are significant differences between movies and comics when it comes to the year he was born. The comics never mentioned Wolverine’s exact birth year, but the fans assumed it was anywhere between 1882 and 1885. The movies are a different story altogether. According to the movies featuring Wolverine, he was born in 1832, and in 1845, when Wolverine was 13 years old, his powers began to manifest for the first time.
Wolverine’s mutation provided him with a healing factor that slowed his aging so he could live much longer than any regular human. So, the fans aren’t really surprised or shocked when they hear that one of their favorite characters is older than a century. Still, we know that Wolverine’s healing factor is slowing down his aging, but it does not make him immortal. It would be interesting to know the maximum age that Wolverine could reach if he died of old age. But we know Wolverine. When he dies, it’s always on the battlefield; he’s not the kind of person who would leave peacefully until the end of his days.
Key events of Wolverine’s life
Wolverine’s origin story is pretty much known to everybody who has either read comic books or watched the movies. The Wolverine was born as James Howlett in the 19th century in Alberta, Canada. When he was still a young boy, his mutation was triggered when his father, John Howlett, was murdered by Thomas Logan, the Howlett groundkeeper who was actually James’ biological father.
With his powers triggered, the claws protruded from James’ knuckles for the first time, and he furiously killed Thomas. After that, James left his family home and gave himself a new name — Logan.
In the movie, James was born in 1832. He manifested his powers and killed Thomas in 1845 when he was 13 years old. In the comics, however, James was born sometime between 1882 and 1885. The movie ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ showed how Logan fought in the Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War.
Logan was also a war veteran in the comics. He didn’t fight in the American Civil War, considering it happened way before the comic book Logan was born, but he fought in almost all the major conflicts of the 20th century: WWI, WWII, the Spanish Civil War, and the Vietnam War.
Eventually, as his origin story goes, Logan was taken over by a super soldier program called Weapon X due to his fast healing and endurance. The program fused an indestructible metal adamantium into his skeleton. There are more differences between the media now.
In the comics, the program was successful, but it also wiped out his memories of his life before. In the movies, however, William Stryker wanted to wipe out Logan’s memories to use him as his personal weapon. Still, Logan overheard the plan and escaped, but not before the adamantium was fused with his skeleton.
Wolverine’s origin story is known, so it’s easy to follow it in both movies and comic books. But comic books are a medium that provides much more Wolverine-related content during the character’s long history. At the same time, it’s easy to remember everything that happened to him in the movies since we watched all of them. Wolverine was introduced to the big screen in the original ‘X-Men’ movie in 2000. That movie took place in the present day at its release, so Wolverine was 168 years old in the original X-Men movie.
Hugh Jackman played the role of Logan for the last time in the homonymous movie in 2017. Although it was released in 2017, the Logan movie takes place in 2029, when Logan was 197 years old. The movie explored how the adamantium in his skeleton was there for so long that it started killing him. So, even if X-24 didn’t kill him, we can’t be sure for how long he’d live with adamantium poisoning him from the inside.
Even though Jackman initially announced Logan as his last movie in which he’d play the Wolverine, he and Ryan Reynolds announced last year that he’d return one more time in the upcoming Deadpool 3, which will introduce a Merc with a Mouth to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some fans were wondering how they pulled that off since Wolverine died in Logan, but we still need to remember that Logan died in 2029, and both Reynolds and Jackman promised they wouldn’t interfere with Logan’s death in any way.
It’s unknown when Deadpool 3 will take place in the MCU timeline. The franchise significantly jumped from 2018 to 2023 in Avengers: Endgame. So, every MCU movie and TV show we have watched since Endgame (except Black Widow, which is a prequel) was set sometime between 2023 and 2025.
Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman both starred as Wade Wilson and Logan in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now they will both return in 2024’s Deadpool 3. Directed by Shawn Levy, Deadpool 3 is set to be released on November 8, 2024.