Logan (2017) and the lost object of masculinity, or the trouble with Shane

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


James Mangold’s 2017 film, Logan, offers up a future world in which the X-Men are no more. All that remains are a few old and ravaged mutants, including Logan and Xavier whose worsening dementia is having a catastrophic impact on his psychic abilities that is becoming increasingly dangerous for others. Both of these former X-Men become roped into assisting a group of synthetic mutant children as they run from those who attempt to subdue and destroy them. Principal among these children is X-23, Laura, who has been created from Logan’s DNA. By staging this potential daughter along with a suggested queerness of the other mutant children the film seemingly offers up a critique of patriarchal ideologies often at the heart of the superhero genre. However, this article is concerned with the way the film intertextually references the 1953 Western film Shane, which creates an ambivalence in Logan’s meaning. The presence of Shane, the article argues, disturbs the surface gender critical storyline offering up instead the sense of a redemptive heroic masculinity that wrangles patriarchal ideology in through the backdoor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of American Culture
Issue number2-3
Early online date1 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2023


  • Logan
  • Shane
  • masculinity (toxic/ heroic)
  • nostalgia
  • paternalism
  • sentimentality

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