Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months your bound to have heard that Wolverine is set to die come September. Whether we like it or not we’ll all have to live with this decision even though it’s one that happens in comics too often. Having been a huge fan of the character for most of my life I decided to use him as the subject matter for my latest rant talking about his evolution and upcoming death.
Loner Turned X-Man
As most die hard Wolverine fans (or die hard comic fans in general) will know Wolverine made his first appearance in November 1974 in the pages of Incredible Hulk #180 (cameo) and 181 (full) as a foe for the green giant. It wasn’t however until May the following year till Wolverine became a featured addition to the Marvel roster as a member of a new team of X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1. Over the years Logan has became more and more of a team player going from someone who avoided teamwork to someone who thrives on it.
In the pages of Marvel Comics Presents Barry Windsor-Smith wrote one of the most prolific Wolverine story to date Weapon X. It may not be my favourite story but it’s definitely among the most important showing a dark side to Logan’s past. Windsor-Smith’s fabulously written story sees Wolverine get kidnapped and given an adamantium skeleton in the attempts to make an unstoppable killing machine.
In 2001 Marvel made a bold decision by finally telling Wolverine’s origin in a series apply named Origin. Masterminded by Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada, written by Paul Jenkins and drawn by Andy Kubert Origin focused on the early days of the man named Logan showing a different side to the ruthless character. It also showed how these events from his childhood shaped him into the man he is today and that darkness has followed him his whole life. I personally found the story to be marvellous as though some felt that Wolverine’s origin should have stayed a mystery I personally felt that this risky decision from Jemas and Quesada more than paid off.
December of last year saw Origin receive a sequel written by Keiron Gillen with art from Andy Kubert’s brother Adam Kubert. The series continues Logan’s transformation into a wild animal showing how darkness still follows him. The series also featured well known X-Men characters Mr. Sinister and Sabretooth (though revelations from the latter really upset me). Overall I personally found Origin II to be rather disappointing as though I loved seeing more of Logan’s earlier years the execution of the story left a lot to be desired.
X-Men: Schism may not go down as one of the best X-Men stories but it’s one that caused a huge rift in the team. Following unfortunate events that see the birth of a new Hellfire Club and Sentinels attacking both mutants and humans alike the X-Men are pushed to their very limits. It’s these overwhelming odds that see Cyclops bring the children to the front line, a decision that Wolverine strongly objects to. Ultimately Wolverine feels that he can no longer be a part of a team that Cyclops’ a part off forming his own team of X-Men.
Following this Wolverine and Cyclops continued to come to blows with Cyclops’ harsh decisions in Avengers vs. X-Men and the unfortunate death of Charles Xavier turning these former friends into sworn enemies.
Killable and Loss of Healing Factor
British writer Paul Cornell has been the man in charge of Logan over the last year with the biggest development during his run being the loss of Wolverine’s mutant healing factor. Though a bold developing point for the character it isn’t the first time he’s lost his healing factor. It has however proven to be a more permanent change and is ultimately what has put him in the position to die.
As for Cornell’s run on the character itself I personally have mixed feelings. Most readers seem to have taken negatively to both series and I kind of see why. His writing has always shown promise, having brilliant set-up work but when it comes to execution it has left a lot to be desired.
Death of Wolverine
Finally I return to the subject matter that spawned this edition of Comic Rants and my thoughts on the Death of Wolverine which will be written by Charles Soule featuring art from Steve McNiven. Naturally I was slightly upset when I first heard the news but a part of me is also really intrigued to see how it’s handled.
It does however leave me with a few questions. Like what does this mean for stories like Wolverine: The End and Old Man Logan (also drawn by McNiven) both of which are set in the future? Will these stories now be from a what if point of view or is it still continuity (as I’d be surprised if Marvel don’t bring him back to life at some point)? One thing I do however hope is that he stays dead for a while as comic characters never seem to stay dead for long (unless your Uncle Ben or from a parallel universe).
Getting to the Point
So basically Wolverine will die and it’s probably a safe bet that he will come back to life in a year or two. One thing is for certain though, come September tons of comic book and Wolverine fans will be rushing to the stores to see how a character who appeared un-killable gets killed.