In 1845, James Howlett, a boy living in Canada, witlnesses his father being killed by groundskeeper Thomas Logan. The trauma activates the boy’s mutation: bone claws protrude from his knuckles, and he impales Thomas, who reveals that he is James’s real father before dying. James flees along with Thomas’s other son Victor Creed, who is thus James’s half-brother and has a healing factor mutation like James. They spend the next century as soldiers, fighting in the American Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, the increasingly violent Victor attempts to rape a Vietnamese woman, and kills a senior officer who tries to stop him. James happens upon the fight and defends Victor, resulting in the pair being sentenced to execution by firing squad, which they survive due to their mutant healing abilities. Major William Stryker approaches them in military custody and offers them membership in Team X, a group of mutants including Agent Zero, Wade Wilson, John Wraith, Fred Dukes, and Chris Bradley. They join the team for a few years, with James now using the alias Logan, but Victor and the group’s overall disregard for human life causes Logan to leave.
Six years later, Logan is working as a lumberjack in Canada, where he lives with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox. Stryker and Zero approach Logan at work. Stryker reports that Wade and Bradley have been killed, and he thinks someone is targeting the team’s members. Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker, but after finding Kayla’s bloodied body in the woods, Logan realizes Victor is responsible. He finds him at a local bar, but Logan loses the subsequent fight. Afterward, Stryker explains that Victor has gone rogue, and offers Logan a way to become strong enough to get his revenge. Logan undergoes a painful operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. Once the procedure is complete, Stryker attempts to betray Logan by ordering that his memory be erased so he can be used as Stryker’s personal weapon, but Logan overhears this and escapes to a nearby farm, where an elderly couple take him in. Zero kills them the following morning and tries to kill Logan, but Logan takes down Zero’s helicopter and swears to kill both Stryker and Victor.