Sentinels, Magneto, ninjas and bad movies couldn’t do it – in the end, it was a relatively mundane item that killed our man Logan.
Life begins at 40… just not for Wolverine, as Mister The-Best-There-Is-At-What-I-Do finally met his maker last month! In the soon-to-be-forgotten Death Of Wolverine (DOW) four-parter, Marvel’s numero uno mutant “dies” … not from a Sentinel’s energy blast, not by Sabretooth’s claws and not by the Phoenix Force.
(Warning: major spoiler ahead for those who are planning to read DOW.)
After four decades of saving Xavier’s Mansion, Madripoor, the Big Apple and Earth, Wolverine surely deserved a more fitting end. Unfortunately, readers had to be contented with the Ol’ Canucklehead coming to an end in a somewhat unimpressive lab in Paradise Valley, done in by a canister of liquid adamantaium.
After witnessing so many classic Wolverine “deaths” – by Sentinel (Days Of Future Past), by magnetism (Ultimatum #5), by electrocution (Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe) and by broken neck (What If? #50 – The Hulk Killed Wolverine), the recent DOW left me feeling short-changed, even though I am convinced that his “resurrection” is inevitable and should be no later than May 2016, in time for the X-Men: Apocalypse movie opening.
Nevertheless, factoring in the man’s contribution to Marvel’s mutant mythos, surely the House of … Ideas could have come up with something better for this milestone miniseries!
For those who steered clear of this tale, Wolverine lost his healing factor after contracting a virus from the Microverse. He became easy prey for hordes of villains, ranging from Sabretooth to Vixen. Paying tribute (of sorts) to Wolverine’s roots, the honour of having the last dance went to Doctor Abraham Cornelius – the same scientist who infused Logan’s bones with adamantium. Their final confrontation brought Wolverine full circle, back to the beginning of his Weapon X stint.
Reflecting on the creative team behind this adamantium abomination, it is a further mockery that past great Wolverine scribes like Chris Claremont, Paul Jenkins, Peter David, Jason Aaron or Larry Hama were excluded from a project of such magnitude.
Their combined knowledge of the character’s mythos would have been invaluable to the relative newbie Charles Soule. What was Marvel thinking? Or is this yet another one of those immaterial “gimmick” events (like Wolverine Goes To Hell from four years back) aimed at cashing in on the character’s popularity? Don’t even think of answering.
No comics fan would believe that this is actually THE END for Wolverine, but I can’t help being curious as to how Marvel plans to bring him back.
At the same time, we’d like to play along with Marvel and fake-mourn along with the rest of the Marvel Universe at Logan’s “passing”. Let’s see how the others are taking it.
In case you haven’t been keeping up with current affairs at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, Wolverine and Storm – the headmaster and headmistress respectively – are an item! While I always thought Wolverine only had a thing for redheads or Oriental girls, Ororo is an acceptable exception, especially after everything they’ve been through as teammates.
In Storm # 4, we get to share her grief alongside another of Wolverine’s exes, Yukio aka Wild One. To get their minds off Logan’s demise, they find themselves entangled in an underground mutant fight club. But you can’t talk about mutant fight club, so we’ll leave it at that.
From the first day Wolverine set foot in 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Scott Summers has been at loggerheads with him and they’ve been desperately in need of a peace process.
Natural Survivor Vs Natural Born Leader, both mutants may have different principles but share many common interests – among them, defending mutantkind and romancing Jean Grey.
While Jean’s apparent passing has done little to forge a Logan-Scott bromance, there is still mutual respect between them.
This is evident from the barroom brawl/party Scott throws as a tribute to his feral friend (Life After Logan #1).
Colossus and Nightcrawler
While Cyclops finds an alcohol-filled environment as an appropriate setting in which to pay his last respects, both Colossus and Nightcrawler journey (also in Life After Logan #1) to the Land of the Rising Sun to place Wolverine’s blade at his late wife Mariko Yashida’s grave.
Their mission is obstructed by warriors from the Yashida Clan, but that’s no big deal … especially when you have the ability to BAMF! out of danger or execute a fastball special.
Captain America and Deadpool
The mere mention of these characters in the same sentence sounds contradictory, sacrilegious even, but they do have one thing in common with each other, and with Wolverine – all three are the result of super-soldier experiments. Cap turned out to be the ultimate role model, Deadpool more like the ultimate joke – with Wolverine (surprisingly) somewhere in the middle of the scale.
Rankings aside, Cap and Deadpool set off on one unorthodox mission (Death Of Wolverine – Deadpool & Captain America) to retrieve a dagger laced with Logan’s DNA, stashed in an AIM lab.
The mission’s success is never in doubt, but the burning question remains: what will the heroes do with Logan’s DNA – especially since the Merc With A Mouth happens to own a DNA incubator that can grow back body parts, or even a whole body, from a DNA sample. The main question now is, what will our heroes do with Logan’s DNA?
It’s gotta be him … when it comes to killing Wolverine, and nothing else matters. Their century-old rivalry cannot be resolved by anyone or anything else, leaving Victor Creed to ponder how he can satisfy that (momentarily) unfulfilled desire of killing the runt!
To temporarily soothe that unscratchable itch (The Logan Legacy), Sabretooth resorts to abducting people and dressing them up as Wolverine. Sick as it sounds, I will spare you the gory details of what the coup de grace entails; but suffice to say that Creed will be at the forefront of the welcoming brigade when Logan returns!
Laura Kinney, aka X-23
Despite the gender difference, Laura is biologically a clone of Logan who was programmed to be the perfect assassin. She was given a new lease of life when Logan rescued her and she is now a mainstay within the All New X-Men team. Apart from Joshua Middleton’s cool depiction of her (in the Nyx limited series), Ms X-23 has always looked to be a few notches shy of the big time.
The absence of a father figure (Wolverine) will further slow her progression. Her downtime (see Logan Legacy #2) has her opting for some soul-searching, only to return to the X-Men with a streak of yellow hair in tribute to the man. While a new hairstyle is not expected to boost her status in the mutant fraternity, Marvel needs to have some solid plans for her during Wolverine’s absence, or she’ll be just another clone with attitude.
Akihiro aka Daken is Logan and (the late) Itsu’s son, gifted with the same abilities as his father. Despite his irreconcilable differences with his dad, he is the most likely candidate to assume the mantle, unless X-23 proves that she is more worthy. There is also another contender in the guise of a clone of Logan (?) (Death Of Wolverine – The Weapon X Program #1).
Daken has the most to gain from his father’s absence, and hopefully Marvel will utilise him in a manner befitting Wolverine’s stature. Past efforts featuring Daken with the Dark Avengers, going against the Punisher and gory battles with his dad, did very little to elevate his popularity.
His portrayal as a “thinking warrior” (The Logan Legacy # 1) does depart from the berserker nature associated with his dad, and would add an interesting dimension if he decides to assume the mantle.