Wolverine has appeared in a whole host of Marvel fiction including comic books and movies. Due to the nature of Wolverine’s mutations, his healing acceleration means his ageing is massively slowed down and he can live well beyond normal humans and some other mutants.
We’re going to explore Wolverine in the comics first, before examining his age in the movies, portrayed by Hugh Jackman.
Wolverine: How Old Is He In The Comic Books?
Wolverine in the comics is born as James Howlett in the latter half of the 1880s in the Howlett Estate in Alberta, Canada. As time goes on, Wolverine’s real father is revealed to be not John Howlett, but the groundskeeper; Thomas Logan.
Logan is promptly fired after this information comes to John’s attention and in a drunken rage – Logan murders John Howlett. This leads to a young James Howlett first revealing his bone claws in fury and despair and he murders his biological father.
This seems to have taken place as in X-Men lore, mutations may first reveal themselves at times of great trauma.
His mother commits suicide after what she has just seen and James decides to run away into the woods with his friend Rose. He decides to adopt the name Logan and moves to the Yukon.
James Howlett, now Logan, is involved in many large historical events that are shown in history class, such as World War One and World War Two (where he would meet Captain America).
Decades later, Logan accepts an offer of experimentation in the Weapon X program – his skeleton is covered in a rare metal known as adamantium, making him virtually indestructible, but it came at the cost of his memory.
At the time that Wolverine meets Professor Xavier, due to Wolverine’s loss of memory, we need to establish his age from informed guessing. If we assume Logan was born in 1888 – he would have been 130 by the time he first joins the X-Men.
How Old Is Wolverine In The Movies?
From the canon X-Men timelines, we know that Logan is older than his comic book version. The prequel movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, tells us that James Howlett was born in 1832 and when he killed his biological father Thomas, the year was 1845.
This would have made James 13 years old by the time he first displayed a mutant ability. Xavier says in a later movie that puberty may be the time when a mutant’s abilities are first shown.
X-Men Origins shows Wolverine leaving his property with his brother Victor, who would later become his enemy Sabretooth – who has similar abilities to Logan, including an accelerated healing ability. We see the pair involved in both World Wars, the Vietnam War and other special operations.
In fact, in a later movie – The Wolverine – we would see Logan protecting a Japanese soldier called Yoshida from being destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped by the United States Army in 1945.
In the prequel movie for Charles Xavier and Magneto, X-Men: First Class, we get a cameo of Wolverine in a bar who would (in nicer language) tell the pair to leave. This would have been in 1962, making Wolverine 130.
In the original timeframe – Wolverine would meet the X-Men in the 2000, making him 167. Interestingly, when Wolverine is being examined by Jean Gray – she says to Professor X that he could be “older than you”, to which Xavier responds he’s “never seen anything like this before”.
The events of X2 take place a short while after the (original first) movie, meaning Wolverine would be around the same age of 167 or 168.
In X-Men: The Last Stand, which is the third instalment in the original trilogy, he would have been around 174 as we know the events took place about 6 years from the time Wolverine first puts on the X-men suit.
However, due to other films which send Wolverine back and forth in time, his ages differ as he alters his, and everyone else’s pasts and therefore their histories.
What About Alternative Futures In Movies?
Prior to the events of Days Of Future Past, the timeline was pretty much chronological, but the movies were not without continuity errors in their timeframes.
In the Days Of Future Past movie, we see Wolverine finally looking his age. As it’s set in 2023, Logan would be 191 years old. We see his hair is beginning to grey and the ageing process is starting to play a role physically.
However, after the events of Days Of Future Past, Logan travels through multiple years – making his age when he returns pretty much impossible to judge. The final movie that Hugh Jackman portrayed Wolverine is the 2017 movie: Logan.This movie is set in 2029, making Wolverine 197.
The movie hones down on Logan’s age catching up with him. His healing factor is slowed which is why his ageing is appearing more obvious. However, it also means that he’s feeling much more pain when he draws his claws.
In the first X-Men movie, Logan is asked by Rogue if it hurts when they come out – to which he responds “every time.” Now, this pain is more obvious with his age – and this is part of the reason why Logan does not draw them as often.
By the time that (Spoiler Alert) Wolverine dies at the end of Logan, he is 197 – possibly 198. At this ripe old age of nearly 2 centuries, our favourite mutant has earned his place as a legendary marvel character.
Determining Wolverine’’s age is much easier to do so in most of his comic books than it is in the movies. Ever since the movies decided to retcon the events of the third movie by creating Days Of Future Past, there have been a variety of continuity errors.
The movies in between make it even more difficult to determine the age of Wolverine, such as Apocalypse or Dark Phoenix, so what we have explored above is the more explainable timelines and ages of Logan.