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Marvel Comics to kill off your favorite mutant this September

04.25.2014

Get ready to say goodbye to your favorite adamantium-clawed mutant! (and save the SPOILER! alerts. It's a comic. It's called "DEATH of Wolverine." There's no mystery to it.)

Created by Len Wein and John Romita, Sr., the character made his first appearance in The Incredible Hulk no. 181 in 1974 and has been a staple in Marvel lore for more than four decades and crossing over into multiple comic titles, movies, toys, etc., becoming a cultural icon. "Death of Wolverine" will be a 4-issue mini-series written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven (Old Man Logan, Civil War), set to kick off this September. So, why on earth would Marvel want to kill off this ever-popular mutant? We could speculate for hours, but the company has been building to it for the last year, having stripped Logan of his mutant healing factor and forced him to contend with his violent ways, but without the benefit of being able to mend quickly, putting him face-to-face with his own mortality.

“For a long time, no matter who Wolverine was battling, he’s been the eternal victor,” says Mike Marts, Senior Editor at Marvel. “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?”

For anyone who reads comics, this "death" is likely not something that will stand forever. Death and resurrection go hand-in-hand in the comics world, so tossing that term around has about as much weight as a paper clip. Still, the company is standing its ground on the latest character demise, approaching the event  “from a standpoint of finality, of closure" that will "have ramifications throughout Marvel’s line."

“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," says Marts.

My feeling is that the brain trust at Marvel's latest writer's retreat took a hard look at the character (and book sales) and felt he needed a bit of a "time out." I've been reading Wolverine comics (as well as his appearances in the X-books and Avengers books) and have dropped all of his titles in the last few months as they've gotten a bit tedious. You can feel the struggle to reinvent his character, which for years hinged on his mysterious past (of which he couldn't remember) as the backbone of his arc. However, much of that has been resolved, leaving him without the familiar territory to drive him forward. While I'm certain he'll be back within a year of his "death" I'm thinking it may be a good thing for ol' Wolvie to take a breather.

"Death of Wolverine" hits comic shelves starting September 3rd, 2014. You can see Wolverine in his cinematic form next month in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST out on May 23rd, 2014.

How long do you give Wolvie before he's back?

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Extra Tidbit: What do you think? Could this be a good thing for the character or are chalking this up to a sales tactic? Maybe both?

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