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So, Logan is now officially a major hit. The third Wolverine film has been the second cheap and dirty, R-rated X-Men blockbuster to dominate the early months of a year following in the footsteps of 2016’s Deadpool and, much like Deadpool, Fox is almost certainly already plotting for a sequel deep within their corporate headquarters.
Even though Logan featured a decidedly final conclusion, spoilers to follow, it left a lot of elements open for a sequel, mostly centering around the film’s new character X-23, a little girl with Wolverine’s healing powers and claws. Given that the X-Men is still one of the largest single franchises in comic book history and the world of Logan was an interesting one worth delving into a little deeper I’ve cooked up 7 possible villains who might emerge from out of the woodwork to menace X-23 and her band of mutant rebels in the inevitable Wolverine 4.
MAGNETO & THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS
When I said spoilers to follow, I absolutely meant it, and this is where they start, don’t say you weren’t warned. In Logan, it’s established that while mutants are slowly becoming an endangered species due to no more of them being born the X-Men have also all died off. However, it’s revealed they didn’t die in some big climactic battle, but rather they were killed when Xavier suffered a deadly psychic seizure at the X-Mansion in Westchester.
That certainly explains why Beast, Cyclops, Storm, and the other usual suspects weren’t around to lend a hand in this particular film but it doesn’t answer what happened to all the other mutants of the X-universe, in particular, the bad guys. There’s no reason Magneto would be at the X-Mansion and even if he were his helmet would protect him from Xavier’s influence. In fact, Magneto’s protective helmet seems like the kind of thing Logan and Charles would seek out immediately given the deadly nature of Xavier’s seizures.
Now it’s completely possible that the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was hunted down by Donald Pierce’s anti-mutant squad as it was established they’d been tracking and hunting mutants previously. The same way it’s totally possible that Magneto has just died of old age by this point and while that might fit with Logan’s tone, it’s not exactly sequel material. It would actually be really cool and fitting if Magneto or the Brotherhood were the ones helping the young mutants escape to Canada in the film’s conclusion.
Magneto’s gone good guy plenty of times in the comics and even the films so having him as the new mentor of this child crop of mutants could be a nice place to take his character. Alternatively, the Brotherhood has had plenty of leaders in its time so if Fox were desperate to get Mystique into these films that’d be an option, though I get the sense the Jennifer Lawrence/Mystique ship has thoroughly sailed. Speaking of bad guys who would still be around.
For someone often considered Wolverine’s archenemy, it’s kind of amazing how completely absent Sabretooth is from the X-Men films. He’s only ever appeared in 2 of the movies so far, first in as an almost mute character in X-Men and then again as a meandering and bland villain for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s never gotten anywhere close to the menace and ferocity that’s always been the lone redeeming part of his character let alone wearing the iconic brown and orange costume from the comics.
However, Sabretooth’s healing factor means that he’s about as immortal as Wolverine and would still be around. What’s more, given that Sabretooth doesn’t have any adamantium bonded to his bones he’d probably be in better shape than Wolverine was at the start of Logan.
If Fox didn’t necessarily want to kick-off a new X-Men series revolving around the mutant clones from Logan, making the follow up a one-on-one fight to the death between X-23 and an aging Sabretooth somewhere in the Canadian wilderness would be a decent way to take things. It would actually fit nicely into the Western tone and style of the first film only trading the desert mesas of the southwest for the snowy plains of the north. You could also tie Sabretooth to the mutant hunting teams that Transingen had been using previously.
We know that the mutant hunters were using mutants as trackers and such on the team, like Caliban, so revealing that Sabretooth had hunted down some of the few surviving X-Men would go a long way to making him more threatening. Additionally, the Canadian wilderness has always held a lot of cool stuff in it in the X-Men universe, so if they maybe wanted a Wendigo to show up in this movie, I wouldn’t be opposed to that.
This is actually something that I’m really interested in how it was originally meant to be resolved. In case you don’t know Logan underwent several drafts and edits that chopped out down a lot of story elements and explanations, like the weird idea that an evil company was putting magic goop in corn syrup to screw with the entire world’s genetics. One major element that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle is the character of Nathaniel Essex- Mr. Sinister.
He was heavily teased in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse when agents of his company, Essex Industries, collected Wolverine’s blood for unknown reasons. Combine that with Sinister’s usual habit of cloning and other genetic shenanigans it was sort of assumed he was the big bad for Logan when in reality Logan didn’t really have a big bad beyond entropic disappointment.
That leaves the question of Mr. Sinister and his company somewhat up in the air. It’s certainly possible he was the secret CEO of Transingen, the evil corporation that did away with mutants in Logan, but that really doesn’t sound like his M.O. In fact, Sinister was actually a dominant force in the comic event Messiah Complex, which followed up a similar massive decline in the mutant population.
That story was about several factions trying to scoop up the first mutant child born after the population was decimated and could easily be adapted into a film for Wolverine 4. Sinister has always made sense as a villain for future settings all around as his main power is being immortal so he’s one of those bad guys you can just slot into whatever future setting and have it make sense.
For those of you not too familiar with comics meet Daken- Wolverine’s other kid. Daken was introduced a few years after X-23 and became kind of a major deal in the comics. Much like X-23, his primary role was to flitter around the margins and fill in for Wolverine in stories where Logan was unavailable. Unlike X-23 Daken was always more of a villainous character, initially seeking vengeance on Wolverine for the death of his mother and then later stealing Logan’s identity on a team of villains dressed up as heroes called the Dark Avengers.
He eventually kind of reformed and, after the death of Wolverine in the comics, he became part of a team of heroes working to fill Logan’s shoes. Maybe in a different world, Daken would’ve ended up the man to replace Wolverine, but by this time X-23 had planted her flag as one of the most popular X-Men of the 21st century, so he ended up dead, and she ended up Wolverine.
All of that probably wouldn’t work for a film adaptation but Daken is probably the best way to combine the various henchmen villains of Logan into one guy. Like X-24 he’s got all of Logan’s powers, but his personality is closer to the film’s vision of Donald Pierce, kind of a charming douche bag who’s way too hot for his own good. What’s more, a lot of his back-story stuff ties into Wolverine’s time in Japan, which would provide an easy way to guide these new films back there and explore what happened to the world outside America in Logan’s dark vision of the future.
So this is a bit of a strange one to explain so listen up. Currently speaking Fox has a ton of different X-Men properties scattered throughout entirely unconnected films. There’s the upcoming X-Men: Supernova involving the Dark Phoenix, Deadpool 2 that will in turn set-up X-Force, X-23 hanging out in the Logan continuity, and whatever happens with New Mutants and Gambit.
The thing about this is that while this approach has proved lucrative, it’s substantially scattered Fox’s most profitable universe components, which is bad if they want to actually try and maximize this stuff beyond cheap and dirty R-rated movies in January and February. Basically what I’m saying is that Fox is going to have to move heaven and Earth if they ever want to arrange for Deadpool and X-23 to team-up with any other popular characters from the other films in this hodgepodge.
Aside from just using Supernova to hit the reboot button, which would be smart, what Fox might end up doing is using time traveler Cable to link together their most profitable assets. A lot of this goes back to the fact Cable has virtually no character outside of being a time traveler, but they’re also making a huge deal of bringing him into Deadpool 2 and X-Force. So it’d make more sense if the plan was for Cable to move into the Deadpool films then maybe use his abilities to slowly pull in the likes of X-23, Michael Fassbender Magneto, Gambit if he becomes popular, etc.
I mean, to put it bluntly, the insane amount of money Fox could make by just having X-23 team-up with Nega Sonic Teenage Warhead. So, if the plot of Wolverine 4 ends up X-23 and friends finding Cable to time travel out of their broken future, well I can’t say it wouldn’t make a certain amount of sense.
Okay, forget for a second that X-Men: Apocalypse was both a bad movie and a not terribly well-received film. That’s admittedly a poor start, but at the same time, the X-Men have built their entire film history on screwing up really cool, really simple ideas and then trying to get it right, later on, see the Sentinels and the Dark Phoenix. So yeah, even though Apocalypse was not a good initial attempt I have faith that a second go round in the universe of Logan could genuinely find something interesting for him to do.
At the very least, he’s another immortal bad guy like Mr. Sinister in that he’s perfect to throw into the future to cause havoc. Additionally, in a world where the mutants have been bred out of existence, it’d be interesting to see what exactly he’d get up to with his “only the strong shall survive” rhetoric.
Actually, Apocalypse would be a great way to explore the world of Logan outside the US and even fill in a few lingering questions. He’s usually based out of Egypt so it’d be interesting if the entire Middle East were just his kingdom or the like. I mean, Logan was already thoroughly cyberpunk-esc so having something like that wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Moreover, it’d make a lot of sense if Transingen had been developing their mutant children program to deal with the likes of Apocalypse. I mean, there’s no indication that there’s any situation they would realistically encounter that their Cyborg commandos couldn’t handle so introducing a powerful element like Apocalypse to the world would add a level of explanation to the X-23 project that was kind of missing.
In these kind of lists I like to include at least one entry that’s so weird or deep into comics lore, it would probably never happen, but I wouldn’t get the chance to talk about it otherwise. In this case, that entry is the U-Men, one of the coolest little corners of the X-Men universe. Introduced in Grant Morrison’s weird and sleazy New X-Men title, the U-Men were part of an initiative by him to develop mutant and human ideologies beyond the standard trifecta of Xavier’s pacifism, Magneto’s militant nature, and Senator Kelly’s bigotry.
The U-Men were a group of humans who form a sort of cult around a book entitled the Third Species. The book put forward the idea that there is to rise a third species after human and mutant, a recycled man known as Homo Perfectus. To achieve this goal, the U-Men go about stealing the power based organs of various mutants to gain their abilities.
That’s right, it’s basically a creepy cult of organ thieves, like a mutant-centric version of Get Out. They’re a really great villain concept that doesn't get used nearly enough, like most things from Morrison’s New X-Men comic run. They also already have one foot in the post-apocalyptic dystopia well as they were a cornerstone of that run’s final story, set in a fallen world where the U-Men made up a major surviving faction.
Logan was already big on the idea of violating bodily autonomy and treating people like objects, so the U-Men make perfect sense as a continuation of that idea. It’d also be a nice way to switch things up in terms of the kind of genetic shenanigans at hand. We’ve seen child clones and we’ve seen Cyborg clones, doing a more low-tech organ theft type story would be a great way to spice things up.
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