Marvel is Killing Off Wolverine in Comics

Published 1 year ago by

Death of Wolverine Cover Marvel is Killing Off Wolverine in Comics

For those of you just in from distant lands, here’s a brief overview of Marvel’s seminal X-Men character Wolverine. Also known as Logan, also known as James Howlett, Wolverine was first introduced in the November of 1974, in issue #180 of The Incredible Hulk. Logan is a mutant who possesses animal-like senses and reflexes, extraordinary regenerative capabilities, a set of claws and skeleton laced with the indestructible metal adamantium, and a nasty temper.

Wolverine was immortal, or close to it thanks to his regeneration and slow aging. He has escaped certain death countless times, and not even writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven’s disturbing, future-set Old Man Logan could finish him off. Today, however, Marvel has announced that the Ol’ Canuknuckle Head’s final card will be punched this September.

EW reports that Wolverine will be killed off in an upcoming 4-part Marvel limited series, appropriately title Death of Wolverine. Issue #1 will premiere September 3rd, 2014. The series will be written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven. The “3 Months to Live” arc of this June’s Wolverine solo series will culminate in the character’s demise on September 24th. According to Marvel executive editor Michael Marts:

“For a long time, no matter who Wolverine was battling, he’s been the eternal victor. He almost always comes out on top. Now he finally comes up against an adversary that he cannot win against, he cannot fight. What does that mean for this character who’s been around for hundred years?”

Check out the cover art for the first issue of Death of Wolverine, along with an official piece of art, courtesy of EW:

Death of Wolverine McNiven cover Marvel is Killing Off Wolverine in Comics

Death of Wolverine art EW Marvel is Killing Off Wolverine in Comics

According to Soule, who has worked on Marvel’s new Inhumans line and Thunderbolts, the final act of Wolverine’s saga “is meant, in part, as a retrospective for both the character and the audience.” Soules went on to say:

“He’s reflecting on his own life as he’s reflecting on his own death. We wanted to have the reader do that at the same time. In each issue, we’re focusing on a different aspect, or a different quintessential Wolverine.”

So what does this mean for the movie version of Wolverine, who has been portrayed by Hugh Jackman since 2000’s X-Men? Well, in a development which echoes last year’s second solo cinematic outing for the character, director James Mangold’s The Wolverine, the comic book version of Logan will lose his healing powers in this summer’s “3 Months to Live” arc.

Coupled with Hugh Jackman’s recent remarks about the “inevitable” recasting of his signature character – along with Jackman’s remarks about who could play the character next in this Yahoo! Screen Q&A video alongside X-Men: Days of Future Past co-stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender – this news appears to something both Marvel and Fox have been building towards for some time. The comics unsurprisingly touch on or tease what’s happening in the films, hence properties like Guardians of the Galaxy getting pushed to the forefront when the film began development. It’s all in the marketing.

Wolverine skeleton Marvel is Killing Off Wolverine in Comics

How permanent will the Death of Wolverine prove to be? Could this be a Death of Superman-esque attempt to not only revamp the character but make him relevant to the comic book audience in a new way? As impermanent as comic book deaths has proven to be in the past, Marts asserts that Marvel’s creative team has made this decision “from a standpoint of finality, of closure.” He elaborated about the ripple effect this will have, saying:

“You’re gonna be entering into a world without Wolverine. That affects not only his teammates, but also the Marvel Universe at large. We’ve got a lot of things in the works already.”

Stay tuned for the inevitable developments on how this will affect the film series.

The death of Wolverine, Screen Ranters! What do you think this portends? Sound off in the comments!


Marvel will release Death of Wolverine #1 on September 3rd, 2014.

Source: EW

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. I have to say that this has got to be a marketing ploy, just like the death of superman. In the words of the terminator he’ll be back!

  2. Hurray.

    • Why for Wolverine’s teeth ain’t got no adamantium grills?

  3. Whether its like supes “death” or more recently like Capt’s “death”, he’ll come back eventually. That to say is it only the marvel-616 continuity wolverine? What about all the other variants or the one in the ultimates version?

  4. Whoa. Marvel is so ahead of us.

  5. He’ll be back. There’ll be too much uproar at one of the more popular Marvel characters being killed off, plus they have time travel, multiverse and other ways to bring him back to life.

    I’d assume it’s to boost flagging sales/interest but honestly, I have no idea what Marvel’s sales figures are (nor care to know) so it’s just a guess based on past experience and similar events happening over the years.

  6. i really doubt that it will colide with the movie wolverine is fox golden egg if it happen expect a reboot really soon of wilverine

  7. I hope X23 features prominently in this story.

  8. The whole thing is gimmick, that’s why they are announcing it ahead of time. There was no announcement for Amazing Spider-Man 121 when they killed Gwen Stacey or 122 when the killed Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin. It will happen, and then it will unhappen. So is the way of the comic book universe.

  9. Meh. It will be like Superman’s, or Captain America’s Death. Or possibly similar to Spider-Man’s recent “death” 2 years time and he’ll be back in full swing.

  10. And technically Hulk 180 is considered a cameo with the full 1st appearance in 181. That’s why 180 is worth $400 and 181 is worth $2000.

    • Wow. And I’ve got reprints of both issues in a monthly collection for £20.00 (about $35.00) :)

      • Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection, by any chance?

        I’m waiting for my “Venom” and “Ghost Rider: Road To Damnation” issues to arrive in the mail. Only comic book related thing I received this month was Harley Quinn #5 earlier today.

        Have to say, out of the 60+ books I’ve received in that collection so far, I’ve only liked The Ultimates and the stories that came after (unless those stories involve Cap telepathically encouraging a soldier to keep going because “Captain America is inside all of us”….god, that story sucked….also didn’t enjoy Joss Whedon’s X-Men story), the rest was either dull or had me rolling my eyes, sometimes even both.

        I’d cancel but the completionist in me wants all the books to form that pretty cool artwork that forms on the spines when you put the collection together.

    • I always found this funny. I own Incredible Hulk 180, 181, and 182. Its funny that technically Wolverine’s first appearance was in 180 yet the full appearance in 181 makes the comic worth more?

    • Not without his healing factor, no. I remember he was incinerated once and all that was left was really just the bones, yet his healing factor managed to revive him. Starving him wouldn’t work since the healing factor would undo the damage caused from starvation. Drowning him wouldn’t mean killing him, more likely leaving him stranded at the bottom of the ocean to suffer perpetual drowning. And if adamantium prevents him to swim, he could always walk on the ocean floor.

      That list is stupid. The author is trying to apply logic to a power that has defied logic countless times.

  11. He won’t stay dead for longer than a year, if that.

    They always spout that “final closure” line when trying to kill off some important character only to reanimate him/her/it before the grave gets green.

    • Spiderman just recently came back from the dead, kinda depending on how you look at, only 2 years after his death. How funny would it be if on the day of his funeral every character is just placing bets to see how long wolvie will stay dead? But honeslty the worst they could do is pull a jason todd, which is kill him off and bring him back as a tortued soul.

  12. Let’s mix it up a little, huh? How about instead of killing off a hero just to bring him back in six months, maybe they could leave the character dead. Indefinitely. That’s what I’d like to see. A world where once Wolverine is dead, he stays dead.

    • Nobody wants to not see Wolvie ever again.

  13. LOL…it’s comics…no one truly ever stays dead

  14. They’ll bring him back when they need to increase their sales, I guarantee it.

    • as popular as he is, he’s not the face of marvel comics. There are other popular characters in marvel’s roster, and with marvel realeasing new issues for every title every 2 weeks money is no problem.

  15. I always though magneto should just pull him apart and put his arms legs torso and head in different countries. pretty simple

    • What many people don’t seem realize or acknowledge, is that just about any of marvel’s heavy hitter could kill wolverine. Storm could strike him with lighting until no flesh is left to regernate, Jean Grey could rip him apart just like magneto. Hulk and thor could launch him into space with just one punch.

      • Cyclops could over-cook him on a laserbeam rotisserre.

        • Cyclops’ energy beam is not heat, it’s sheer power that rips the flesh off. It basicslly just pushes the objects or flesh you direct it at, that’s how cyclops can bounce it off walls etc.

  16. Now if only they would kill off Wolverine in the movies..

  17. Death in the comic book world is the equivalent of taking a vacation. There is no drama left in death anymore, because they ruined its impact forever by performing countless resurrections. It has become a joke, a cliché even. Every superhero has to die at least once to be a real member of the club. 😉

    • Pretty much what Feige said when Empire asked him about death in the MCU.

  18. I bet they try and make Daken have a big redemption story and try and make him more popular and when that fails they will bring him back.

    • No, I want to see more X-23. I want her to have her own comic. I love a good hardcore female superhero. I want to see more of that on shelfs

  19. Could Ghost Rider kill him?

  20. As long as Marvel continues to make money off the Wolverine trademark, they’ll continue to publish him. If they stopped, they’d lose the trademark rights after a period of time, and somebody else could happily take it from them. That’s the main reason for all these “resurrections”; established names are too valuable!
    That said; I agree with the theory that this is a long term plan of rebooting the series with a new face (and possibly new origin). Marvel seems to love their synergy between the movies, tv and printed media.
    Btw; for those people who indicated that he’s not that hard to kill; there were times where all his flesh was blasted off his skeleton and he still came back. Mind you, I seem to recall there was some sort of existential story line around that time where he’d fought “death” and and somehow ended up being unkillablle. And I think they closed that concept off at the end of that story arc (not much suspense if a character is truly unkillable).

    • I wish Marvel would kill all its major players for their new crossover(whatever that will be). Countless great characters can shine, Moon Knight, Taskmaster etc.

      I remember Wolverine fighting death(but it wasn’t the “death” that Thanos loves, but a guy Azrael or something), in Wolverine:Origins(the comicbook).

    • Copyright law also protects Wolvie, not simply trademark.

  21. Wolverine is one of my favorite super heroes, but I think that ending his story could be monumental, memorable, and emotional. The only problem is that he won’t be dead for good. This is Marvel comics after all, DC has the same problem. I don’t WANT him to die, but I wouldn’t mind if Marvel had the courage to kill off one of their characters for good. That would have so much impact. But I doubt it, and I’m sure it will just be for marketing. Maybe it will take several years, but eventually we’ll be getting “The Return of Wolverine” or “Wolverine Lives”, which is a shame.

  22. Wolverine is the most popular X-Men character. He makes Marvel millions of dollars a year. If I were a betting man, I’d wager there’s 0% chance that this is permanent.

  23. What if marvel kills off all the major players in the x-men and Spider-man universes thus the story’s will die down for fox a
    And Sony allowing for them to drop there grasps on the movie rights?
    Seriously unlikely but would be somewhat funny, mind you they still have shirt loads of comics to make stories from, so unless marvels waiting for the next 20 or 30 years I seriously doubt it.
    Anyways I want wolverine to be decapitated like then they can have a whole story ark about retrieving his head and his body it like re combine it, unless of course he could just grow a new body from his head and a new head from his body lol

  24. Wolverine dying on the movie franchise actually would mean good things for the other X-Men…. but that wont happen. Not until 2019. at least.

  25. I hope he “dies” but then Ultimate Wolverine and normal Wolverine actually get switched from their home universes and he has this whole story-arc and has made a disruption in all the universes

  26. There was a riot when they killed Nightcrawler and the brought him back, so Logans death will only be short.

  27. Don’t worry wolvie fans, Logan will return again to help increase Marvel’s comic book sales.

    There are no permanent deaths in comic books. Especially for X-Men characters. Just ask Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Prof.X, Magneto, Psylocke, Blink, Doug Lock, Magik

  28. Yeah this always works…..

    • Oh, Bulwinkle…that trick never works!

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