Wolverine is Dead. Long Live Wolverine.
The immortal Wolverine was finally forced to face his own mortality after losing his healing factor a few years ago. During that span, he had many close calls and time to think about what awaits him on the other side. Last October, the inevitable happened, as Logan finally kicked the bucket in the four-part Death of Wolverine mini-series.
He’s one of my favourites, but I was alright with seeing him go. Even as a new comic book reader, I felt like he was in way too many books and he as a character kind of lost his identity. Furthermore, stories he was the focal point in were mostly bad, including the tale of his own demise. Death is rarely permanent in comics, and a character of Wolverine’s stature is guaranteed to come back eventually. But are we even getting a chance to miss him?
Right now, Marvel is in the midst of running a weekly series called The Wolverines. Directly following the events of Wolverine’s death, a number of characters that live in his shadow work together to investigate his death. This series is set to end in the summer when continuity-rattling Secret Wars hits and…
…surprise! Wolverine is back! Sort of. Marvel has said that the fallout of this crossover event will shake-up the continuity as we know it, and we already know that at least two different versions of Wolverine will appear in X-Men ’92 and Old Man Logan. On top of that, not much has been said about the X-Men: Years of Future Past teaser from last year, which could introduce a third Wolverine into the mix. We went from wanting him to go, to talking about him in a new series every week, to having two or three different Wolverines enter the Marvel universe at the same time.
Furthermore, Marvel hasn’t really talked much about what will happen after Secret Wars. But when they said that this even would allow them to noodle with the continuity, that just so happens to be a very convenient opportunity to bring Weapon X back from the dead, doesn’t it? Whether its one of the Wolverines entering the fray this summer as part of the spin-off series’ or the resurrection of the original character, my gut says a Wolverine of some sort sticks around for the long haul.
If Wolverine’s death was triggered to give fans a break, then it’s failed horribly. If it was to give the creative folks at the house of ideas time to re-imagine the character for the future, that remains to be seen. When he ultimately comes back, I really hope he’ll be worth the non-wait.