Characters from Logan with more meaning than you realized

Logan is a breathtaking (and breathtakingly violent) film that immediately captivated audiences. It serves as a kind of road trip story, featuring Wolverine and his young female clone, X-23, as they try to stay one step ahead of the Reavers and the evil scientist trying to capture our mutant heroes. Because of the movie's relentless pace, it's easy to miss out on the significance of some of its characters. And, of course, their brief appearance in a single movie cannot underscore their complex comics history. Here, then, is a guide to the characters from Logan with more meaning than you realized. Beware, though, as this article assumes you have seen the movie and is full of spoilers.

Donald Pierce

In Logan, Donald Pierce serves as the primary antagonist. While there are villains who are more powerful (such as X-24, the imperfect mutant clone of Logan) and those who are more diabolical (such as Dr. Rice, the architect of mutant extinction), it is Pierce who relentlessly hunts Logan and X-23 down wherever they go. In fact, the movie essentially presents Pierce as the counterpart to Caliban. Caliban is the tracker of mutants, while Pierce is the hunter.

However, in Marvel's comic universe, there is so much more to Pierce. First, he is a cybernetic member of the Hellfire Club, and with this group, he has previously defeated all of the X-Men and helped bring out the Dark Phoenix aspect of Jean Grey, who later destroyed an entire planet. He was eventually kicked out of the Hellfire Club and discovered the Reavers (more on them shortly), souping all of them up with cybernetic enhancements. With this group, Pierce has defeated (and crucified) Wolverine, and has proven very hard to defeat. This is because in his comics incarnation, everything about him is cybernetic except his head, and he can survive even if everything else has been destroyed! All in all, this is much more impressive than the simple robotic hand of the movie.

Caliban

Caliban is a character that continues to pop up in unexpected places within the cinematic universe of the X-Men. We last saw him in X-men: Apocalypse, where he charges Mystique money to find mutants and help ferry them to safety. He pops up again in Logan as someone who once used his mutant tracking abilities to help Pierce and others hunt and kill mutants, but now serves as an assistant (and occasional housekeeper) to Charles Xavier and Logan. While he is given a moving arc in Logan, Caliban's comic incarnation has a rich and in-depth backstory.

We first see Caliban in the comics living and working alongside the Morlocks, a group of mutants who cannot easily pass as human and choose to live in the sewers. He has a creepy misadventure where he abducts a teenage Kitty Pryde, but he eventually lets her go. Later, most of the Morlocks are killed by The Marauders, and Caliban ends up living with X-Factor (a group made of the original five X-Men). Caliban, frustrated that his tracking power doesn't give him real power, ends up becoming one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse. The villain Apocalypse makes Caliban both stronger and smarter, but Caliban is somewhat rehabilitated later on, losing his newfound powers and intelligence and eventually becoming an ally of the X-Men once more. He eventually joins X-Force and dies on a mission, but like most comic protagonists who die, he manages to come back to life. His return is short-lived, however, since he's later sacrificed to the mutant Selene.

The Reavers

The Reavers in the movie Logan served a very specific function: they were the nameless evil soldiers that Wolverine and X-23 kept cutting into ribbons. In the comics, however, the Reavers have distinctive names (in Logan, they are only really named via the credits) and much more distinctive abilities. One amusing note about the Reavers of the comics is that they have a specific reason to hate Wolverine. It all starts when the X-Men are captured by the Hellfire Club. Wolverine tries to rescue his team and encounters Hellfire Club goons, whom he proceeds to tear to pieces. They would have died, but the Hellfire Club gave them cybernetic limbs and enhancements. Later, Pierce encounters a different group of thugs that were previously beaten by the X-Men and gives them cybernetic upgrades as well, eventually bringing the two groups together.

Collectively, they've had some weird adventures. Before meeting Pierce, some of them used the teleporting mutant Gateway to commit bold robberies all over the world. Once they were all a cybernetic team, they captured and crucified Wolverine, who only escaped thanks to the mutant Jubilee. They've also tangled with the Punisher. One amusing note about the group is that the comics Reavers have really crazy upgrades—some of them have tank treads for legs, while others have fully robotic limbs and built-in weapons that range from machine guns to rocket launchers. They're basically an '80s cyberpunk vision brought to life, which probably explains why their look was toned down for Logan.

Rictor

Perhaps one of the most surprising faces we see in Logan is Rictor. At first, Wolverine is highly skeptical of X-23's destination, assuming that the notion of a mutant haven was something either she or her nurse had made up. However, upon arrival, they find a group of fellow young mutants who have escaped experimentation, including the mutant Rictor. He has seismic powers and shows natural leadership abilities, but that's about it; however, the Rictor of the comics has quite a few stories to tell.

The comics Rictor was initially brought in by X-Factor back when the group posed as mutant hunters so they could secretly care for the mutants they were supposed to be apprehending. He eventually befriends more of these rescued mutants and later joins The New Mutants, a group of mutants Xavier began training when he thought his X-Men had died during one of their many space adventures. When this group eventually disbands, Rictor joins the much more militant X-Force, which is led by the time-hopping mutant soldier Cable. Later, however, Rictor is one of many mutants who lose their powers because of the Scarlet Witch, but this doesn't stop him from joining X-Factor and continuing to help out his team – and mutants in general – before eventually regaining his powers.

X-24

One of the more interesting film throwbacks in Logan is the presence of X-24. This is an imperfect mutant clone of Logan that mostly exists so we can watch Wolverine in a mirror match against himself. The idea of the hero fighting a dark mirror image of themselves was once a staple of superhero movies (Spider-Man fights Venom in his third movie; Iron Man fights Iron Monger in his premiere movie), and Logan utilizes it to top form. However, X-24 is also a callback to two very different characters and stories from Marvel's comics.

Spiritually, the clone dubbed X-24 seems to be a reference to Albert, a robotic duplicate of Wolverine that was built by Donald Pierce in order to kill his mutant nemesis. Along with another robot, Elsie-Dee, Albert eventually gets over his programming and becomes an ally of Wolverine. However, the movie makes it clear that X-24 is a clone rather than a robotic duplicate, which seems to hearken to more recent comics centering around X-23's adventures as the new Wolverine. In those comics, she encounters different clone versions of herself who have escaped the laboratory and are now seeking vengeance on their creators. These clones have different ages and personalities, which seems to be a major step above the mindless killing machine portrayed in Logan.

Dr. Rice

The film shows us surprisingly little of Dr. Rice. He is the man behind the program that is cloning and training young mutants, and Pierce even credits him for making the original mutant race extinct. However, he's only in a few scenes and is rather hilariously shot to death by Wolverine while in the middle of a villainous monologue. This means that we don't get to see the full depth and breadth of his relationship to the young mutants. However, the Dr. Rice of the comics is much more significant to X-23.

In Marvel's comics, we first glimpse Dr. Zander Rice as a younger scientist. His father had worked on the Weapon X program and was killed by Wolverine (something that is also hinted at in the film). The younger Rice is later charged with recreating Weapon X, and he is especially cruel during this process. He tortures the young Laura to bring out her mutant abilities, and he goes out of his way to do things like extracting her claws without anesthesia in order to cause her maximum pain. Perhaps the worst thing he did to young Laura was to build in a trigger scent that will drive her into a Wolverine-esque berserker rage whenever she smells it. Rice uses a brainwashed Laura to slaughter his fellow scientist, Dr. Sutter. Under orders from her "mother," Dr. Kinney, Laura ends up killing Dr. Rice and destroying the Weapon X facility, but Rice gets his final revenge: he manages to slip the trigger scent in Dr. Kinney's hair, so Laura ends up murdering the one person who ever loved her.