Running from the hype that is Logan, there are two other stories that come to mind after watching the movie. The games The Last of Us and The Walking Dead: Season One tell a similar story and one could argue that there are elements that these two games share with the final chapter of the Wolverine saga.
At its core, these stories revolve around a tough man with some issues forced to look after a young female child in a post-apocalyptic world and eventually become their father-figure. What I want to highlight is how Logan parallels to these games – even if it’s a stretch. Because why not.
Firstly, let’s focus on the important defining feature of these stories: our main character. The common thread that ties the lead characters together is their strong yet broken personalities. Over time, we’ve gotten to know and understand Wolverine as a character through the films. In the games, this is from the time we spend actually playing the characters and, in the case of The Walking Dead: Season One, making their decisions. So we grow along with these characters and experience that relationship they share with the children alongside them.
But how does Logan relate to Joel and Lee?
Let’s first look at Joel from The Last of Us. One of the defining features of the character is his previous experience as a father himself. Joel understands what it’s like to have and to lose a child. And it’s the latter experience that haunts him throughout the game as he struggles to accept the fact that he considers Ellie his second daughter.
Logan, on the other hand, doesn’t want to accept the fact that Laura is genetically his daughter. He constantly attempts to shun her away but by the final act, he still wants her to survive and become better. Joel reflects Logan’s resistance as a father. Neither man wanted this but they inevitably accept it by the end – even if there were repercussions.
Lee from The Walking Dead: Season One is a lesser extreme to both Logan and Joel. However, that doesn’t mean he’s scot-free. After murdering the man his wife cheated on in a fit of rage, Lee is haunted by his past decisions and leaving us, the player, to craft a better one for him in the zombie-infested world. While Lee has never had a child, he seems to struggle with bearing the responsibility for Clementine – as if he feels he isn’t worth being that father-figure to her.
Even if Logan has killed more people, both Lee and Logan are haunted by their pasts and are held back by their struggles. Though Lee accepts his father-figure role a lot more earlier and more willingly than Logan. Logan knows he’s not the father-figure that Charles or Laura expect him to be – in fact, he’s far from it. And he pushes this “duty” aside until it’s far too late. Lee, surprisingly, is more relatable to Logan than meets the eye. Checkered pasts and reluctant beginnings to reach an end where they can pass on their knowledge and legacy to someone more deserving.
All three children are young females who experience a dysfunctional childhood. Laura (or X-23) is immediately different from her counterparts in The Last of Us and The Walking Dead as she is Logan’s genetic offspring. However, her personality is embodied in both Ellie and Clementine for vastly different reasons.
Clementine is nothing like Laura or Ellie during the course of TWD: Season One. She does develop and grow in the sequel games however, I want to focus on her in Season One as it is the game that revolves around the relationship between her and Lee. Clem is innocent and scared about the world around her. She relies on Lee to survive as she doesn’t know how to survive on her own or survive in a world inhabited by zombies.
This is very similar to Laura as she doesn’t understand how to survive in a world outside of the hospital she was kept in. She may not be as pure and innocent as Clem but Laura has a child-like innocence that signals to the viewers that she’s still a kid. Where Clementine struggles to survive as a warrior, Laura struggles to survive out in the real world and live like a “normal” person.
And this is where Ellie comes in. Both females are strong and determined, both were experimented on, and both never experienced a proper typical childhood. In The Last of Us, Ellie has learnt to rely on herself and (at times) acts irrationally, placing her in the face of danger. She’s been independent for so long that it takes time for her to care for and trust Joel. Ellie understands the harsh reality she lives in and knows she carries something important inside her – the cure for mankind.
While Laura isn’t the last of her kind, she carries Logan’s legacy as both his child and in terms of abilities. She understands the repercussions of her actions, especially when it comes to killing others for her own protection. However, she lives with it. Laura has already lost the innocence of killing someone else that it comes second nature to her. She’s extremely different from both Ellie and Clem who experience their first kill in their respective stories. She knows the world is dangerous but also knows there’s good in it. Laura is a stronger and more dangerous version of Ellie but their similarities lie in the relationship development: it took time for them to trust someone outside of themselves to survive.
The final point I want to make is about the setting of all these stories. All three are set in a post-apocalyptic world, two revolve around zombies while one is centred on mutants. On one hand, zombies are fill the world with fear and its numbers continued to increase. On the other hand, mutants are misunderstood with few left in the world. The struggles that the characters go through are not those of supernatural nature but rather the struggle with humanity. Something that I think appeals the most to all audiences.
If you take away these supernatural elements, you end up with three similar stories with different characters. Their demons and struggles may be different but one thing remains the same: the love and bond between two people.
And that’s what makes these stories so successful.
There is so much more that can be connected with these three stories and other stories if they’re out there. However, I’ll save some time and leave that for you to ponder yourself. If you’ve gotten this far, I commend you for your commitment. Now go watch something fun to relieve yourself from this mess of a post.
I know I will.
TL;DR: There’s a lot in common with these stories. Despite their differences, there are echoes of The Last of Us and The Walking Dead: Season One within Logan. In the end, humanity is the key for good stories and I babble way too much.
Previously titled: “Logan” as Told by “The Last of Us” and “The Walking Dead: Season One”