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Marvel Comics to kill off your favorite mutant this September

Apr. 25, 2014by: Paul Shirey

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?

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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1:24AM on 04/28/2014

The brought back Bucky, they brought back Jason.

Old rule: Everyone comes back, except for Bucky. Run out of ideas, bring back Bucky. I called four times to kill off Jason. Run out of ideas...bring back world's shittiest Robin. Gwen's death rocks the comic industry and the world. Bring her back, let her slam Normon, good times. etc etc. Supes was a badass death and the actual stories about the four different supermen etc were pretty entertaining. The MCU and New 52 are just shitfests to me (again, I'm not here to dictate a superior opinion,
Old rule: Everyone comes back, except for Bucky. Run out of ideas, bring back Bucky. I called four times to kill off Jason. Run out of ideas...bring back world's shittiest Robin. Gwen's death rocks the comic industry and the world. Bring her back, let her slam Normon, good times. etc etc. Supes was a badass death and the actual stories about the four different supermen etc were pretty entertaining. The MCU and New 52 are just shitfests to me (again, I'm not here to dictate a superior opinion, just venting). Like someone said below when in doubt change their race or orientation (or do BOTH Miles). These newer 'bold, angst ridden, dark and NEW' stories remind me of Guy Gardner (BEST GL EVER! well for comedic reasons). He's loud, obnoxious and thinks he's superior to his predecessors. Which rightfully got him a punch in the face by Batman. Hard. Out. One punch.

Would love Lobo. Would have to be R. Won't be R. So make it PG13, all light and whimsical with half ass violence, comedy, and bad CGI and then have the real main man break the fourth wall, kill the actor, director, audience, few city blocks, hell most of LA. Especially the Kardashians.
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11:56PM on 04/26/2014
Stupid stupid stupid. There are plenty of heroes and comics that have been around longer than wolverine. Instead of "killing" him off, get some good freaking writers in there.
Stupid stupid stupid. There are plenty of heroes and comics that have been around longer than wolverine. Instead of "killing" him off, get some good freaking writers in there.
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3:49PM on 04/26/2014
He'll be back.

As long as their are continuum reboots and alternate universes to explore he'll be back.
He'll be back.

As long as their are continuum reboots and alternate universes to explore he'll be back.
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8:47AM on 04/26/2014
Seems like the perfect opportunity to launch my comic character Wolferine - he's half wolf, half tangerine. Teeth, claws and a zingy orange skin.
Seems like the perfect opportunity to launch my comic character Wolferine - he's half wolf, half tangerine. Teeth, claws and a zingy orange skin.
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1:45AM on 04/26/2014
I for one can get behind this. Granted, I don't really read Marvel or DC, but the occassional death does reinvigorate the character/comic line at certain points. The death of Superman and Spiderman did that. That said, it would be kind of nice to see them actually, permanently kill off some characters. I'm sure they have in the past, but someone major would really shake things up and be good for the comic lines they're in.
I for one can get behind this. Granted, I don't really read Marvel or DC, but the occassional death does reinvigorate the character/comic line at certain points. The death of Superman and Spiderman did that. That said, it would be kind of nice to see them actually, permanently kill off some characters. I'm sure they have in the past, but someone major would really shake things up and be good for the comic lines they're in.
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11:48PM on 04/25/2014
Comic book deaths. What a joke. You a-holes announcing the death of this and that character as if it's a huge, never been done before event. then bringing the poor fool back for more misery. How about killing a character permanently? As in Game of Thrones permanent? Watch the sales go through the roof.
Comic book deaths. What a joke. You a-holes announcing the death of this and that character as if it's a huge, never been done before event. then bringing the poor fool back for more misery. How about killing a character permanently? As in Game of Thrones permanent? Watch the sales go through the roof.
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1:42AM on 04/26/2014
Because these characters are beloved and make the company money. Death events are still a pretty huge deal, so killing them off becomes an event, but it's often more about the fact that the characters lose more than them dying. Just look at Spiderman and Superman. Spiderman's death in each of his comic lines was fairly big, even though he was brought back in at least one and Superman came back, but his death was one of the biggest events in comic history. Guaranteed, this will be a big deal too.
Because these characters are beloved and make the company money. Death events are still a pretty huge deal, so killing them off becomes an event, but it's often more about the fact that the characters lose more than them dying. Just look at Spiderman and Superman. Spiderman's death in each of his comic lines was fairly big, even though he was brought back in at least one and Superman came back, but his death was one of the biggest events in comic history. Guaranteed, this will be a big deal too.
2:11AM on 04/26/2014
it's just that when they can't come up with anything else to make a tired old character relevant they make him go through the death routine. so the sales go up. before the fans lose their interest they bring him back for that same effect. which really cheapens the character and the idea of death in comics. and really the human imagination has been exhausted with the number of ways they can die and be be brought back. you know, clones, time travel, alternate versions, robot versions..."oh! it
it's just that when they can't come up with anything else to make a tired old character relevant they make him go through the death routine. so the sales go up. before the fans lose their interest they bring him back for that same effect. which really cheapens the character and the idea of death in comics. and really the human imagination has been exhausted with the number of ways they can die and be be brought back. you know, clones, time travel, alternate versions, robot versions..."oh! it wasn't really wolverine but his long lost brother bob!". i say let it be permanent and move on with fresh characters.
4:11AM on 04/26/2014
I can think of at least one character in Game of Thrones who doesn't die permanently.
I can think of at least one character in Game of Thrones who doesn't die permanently.
9:36PM on 04/25/2014
Cheap stunt, Bub.
Cheap stunt, Bub.
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9:02PM on 04/25/2014

WHAT?!

You mean death like... Superman, Batman, The Flash, Spiderman, most of the entire XMen roster, The Punisher, DareDevil, Captain America, shall I continue....? What's next? New sexual orientations for random comic characters to show equality and increase sales? Wait a second...

By the way, I am totally for equality. I just hate cheap gimmicks to raise sales.
You mean death like... Superman, Batman, The Flash, Spiderman, most of the entire XMen roster, The Punisher, DareDevil, Captain America, shall I continue....? What's next? New sexual orientations for random comic characters to show equality and increase sales? Wait a second...

By the way, I am totally for equality. I just hate cheap gimmicks to raise sales.
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6:40PM on 04/25/2014

Soap Operas

You are all forgetting that comic books are basically teen soap operas. There will always be stupid gimmicks they will always kill and resurrect characters for money or do something SHOCKING, just so people buy more comics. Then things will pretty much go back to normal until the next big event, its just an endless cycle. These are serialized stories that they want to continue forever, so they are going to get stupid after a while.
You are all forgetting that comic books are basically teen soap operas. There will always be stupid gimmicks they will always kill and resurrect characters for money or do something SHOCKING, just so people buy more comics. Then things will pretty much go back to normal until the next big event, its just an endless cycle. These are serialized stories that they want to continue forever, so they are going to get stupid after a while.
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6:25PM on 04/25/2014
It's just a sales tactic. Case in point: We also have The Death of Superman but a year or two later he came back with that blue solar suit. Like James Bond, Wolverine Will Return.
It's just a sales tactic. Case in point: We also have The Death of Superman but a year or two later he came back with that blue solar suit. Like James Bond, Wolverine Will Return.
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5:03PM on 04/25/2014
I think what they should do is have him really old, like in an old folks home, with bladder problems, maybe in a wheelchair eating soft foods without his dentures, spends most of his time sleeping or yelling at people to get off the lawn...Then he dies of old age...The End!
I think what they should do is have him really old, like in an old folks home, with bladder problems, maybe in a wheelchair eating soft foods without his dentures, spends most of his time sleeping or yelling at people to get off the lawn...Then he dies of old age...The End!
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4:40PM on 04/25/2014
I know he lives again or survives cause I have seen him in Old man Logan.
They'll probably bring him as a clone, or he'll regenerate after sometimes or the best one yet they'll say that Wolverine of some another universe was killed whereas the wolverine of the prime universe is still alive. If you wanna kill ...kill of some other marvel character which is famous but not as popular and then don't bring it back.ever.
I know he lives again or survives cause I have seen him in Old man Logan.
They'll probably bring him as a clone, or he'll regenerate after sometimes or the best one yet they'll say that Wolverine of some another universe was killed whereas the wolverine of the prime universe is still alive. If you wanna kill ...kill of some other marvel character which is famous but not as popular and then don't bring it back.ever.
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4:23PM on 04/25/2014

Totally agree with the below statement

I would bet my Swiss bank account (if I had one) that this will last less than a year and then OMFG!? Wolverine comes back from the dead!!!!
I would bet my Swiss bank account (if I had one) that this will last less than a year and then OMFG!? Wolverine comes back from the dead!!!!
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3:50PM on 04/25/2014
I give it 6 months. I hate these stupid gimmicks.
I give it 6 months. I hate these stupid gimmicks.
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3:39PM on 04/25/2014
I stopped collecting comics...all of them... because of the clone saga. The whole thing including the gazillions of 4 part limited issues that followed just sucked all my love for comics...right out of me. I only started reading them again in the last year. Stunts like this annoy me. That said, I did like the Death of Superman and World without Superman story lines...though I got rather bored with the return of Superman.
I stopped collecting comics...all of them... because of the clone saga. The whole thing including the gazillions of 4 part limited issues that followed just sucked all my love for comics...right out of me. I only started reading them again in the last year. Stunts like this annoy me. That said, I did like the Death of Superman and World without Superman story lines...though I got rather bored with the return of Superman.
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4:21PM on 04/25/2014
Then maybe start collecting better comics, ones that aren't DC or marvel, that haven't been doing the same characters for decades and don't rely on gimmicks such as this.
Then maybe start collecting better comics, ones that aren't DC or marvel, that haven't been doing the same characters for decades and don't rely on gimmicks such as this.
3:17PM on 04/25/2014
Somewhere Hugh Jackman is doing a jig
Somewhere Hugh Jackman is doing a jig
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3:12PM on 04/25/2014
He'll be back. You can never keep Wolverine down.
He'll be back. You can never keep Wolverine down.
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3:02PM on 04/25/2014

Stopped Reading Last Year

I became obsessed with Wolverine at 5 and am currently 29. Last year I finally admitted to myself that his comics sucked and that, in general, I no longer enjoyed any comics. I felt like all the stories were the same and we'd lost two important elements of the character's success, mystery and fun. With his past no longer a mystery, there went 50% of his own series. The remainder of his stories were uber-angsty and resorted to torture porn to keep themselves interesting. Each issue became
I became obsessed with Wolverine at 5 and am currently 29. Last year I finally admitted to myself that his comics sucked and that, in general, I no longer enjoyed any comics. I felt like all the stories were the same and we'd lost two important elements of the character's success, mystery and fun. With his past no longer a mystery, there went 50% of his own series. The remainder of his stories were uber-angsty and resorted to torture porn to keep themselves interesting. Each issue became "what CAN"T we do to Wolvie?" Also, they've killed almost all of his villains. Where is there to go?

I blame an inconsistent string of writers who never had the chance to establish continuity of their own, but ultimately, over exposure does a lot. It's fair to put him on the shelf.
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2:59PM on 04/25/2014
I'm sorry, now it'll a company wide event to be called "The Return of Wolverine".
Robot Chicken did it best in the DC Special 2 where Batman refuses to give a eulogy or even pretend to be sad for Green Arrow because he'll be back.
I'm sorry, now it'll a company wide event to be called "The Return of Wolverine".
Robot Chicken did it best in the DC Special 2 where Batman refuses to give a eulogy or even pretend to be sad for Green Arrow because he'll be back.
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2:55PM on 04/25/2014
Marvel is the company that the phrase "It doesn't matter who dies, it's how long they stay dead" was created for.
All deaths in comics are just so that down the line they can put a blurb on the cover saying HE'S BACK!
Marvel is the company that the phrase "It doesn't matter who dies, it's how long they stay dead" was created for.
All deaths in comics are just so that down the line they can put a blurb on the cover saying HE'S BACK!
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2:25PM on 04/25/2014
Sometimes I wonder if Marvel refuses to believe why they lose readers. It isn't stunts that bring IN readers, it's stunts like this that push them AWAY. I'm tired of characters being killed off, new number one issues, annual events that don't end, the next event being the sequel to an old event, relaunched titles, universe crossovers, new number ones again, variant covers, price hikes, characters being resurrected later on then killed and resurrected again, continuity being forgotten,
Sometimes I wonder if Marvel refuses to believe why they lose readers. It isn't stunts that bring IN readers, it's stunts like this that push them AWAY. I'm tired of characters being killed off, new number one issues, annual events that don't end, the next event being the sequel to an old event, relaunched titles, universe crossovers, new number ones again, variant covers, price hikes, characters being resurrected later on then killed and resurrected again, continuity being forgotten, continuity suddenly being remembered and the other storyline being forgotten again, another number one relaunch, another price hike, the death of another character and blah blah blah blah. Without the movies keeping their characters popular, Marvel would be dead in the water. They seem to value that quick dollar of a casual customer who buys one book after seeing a movie over the lifelong spending of a loyal customer who buys them anyway. If they were still telling good stories, they wouldn't need bullshit like this.
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2:06PM on 04/25/2014
Sometimes, I feel like taking a thick roll of newspaper and wacking these people on the side of their heads.
Sometimes, I feel like taking a thick roll of newspaper and wacking these people on the side of their heads.
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2:00PM on 04/25/2014
Don't Fox have a slated sequel to The Wolverine coming in 2017? Which will probably be Hugh Jackman's last movie outing - who wants to place bets on the film now being called 'Death of Wolverine' ;-)
Don't Fox have a slated sequel to The Wolverine coming in 2017? Which will probably be Hugh Jackman's last movie outing - who wants to place bets on the film now being called 'Death of Wolverine' ;-)
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1:48PM on 04/25/2014

sales tactic

these things happen so often and are so ridiculously explained away later (see Batman, Cap, Superman, Spiderman) that its lost all credibility. I dont know any other reason other than sales boosts that drives these "deaths". A drop of Logan's blood will land on an Infinity gem and he will knit himself back together but have an emo haircut.
these things happen so often and are so ridiculously explained away later (see Batman, Cap, Superman, Spiderman) that its lost all credibility. I dont know any other reason other than sales boosts that drives these "deaths". A drop of Logan's blood will land on an Infinity gem and he will knit himself back together but have an emo haircut.
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1:43PM on 04/25/2014
AGAIN???
AGAIN???
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1:33PM on 04/25/2014
Should be a good read, and it's impossible to rid of Wolverine. So whoever is worried, shouldn't be. I keep telling myself that, Hehe! Can't wait to read this. Love McNiven's work.
Should be a good read, and it's impossible to rid of Wolverine. So whoever is worried, shouldn't be. I keep telling myself that, Hehe! Can't wait to read this. Love McNiven's work.
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1:24PM on 04/25/2014
Hugh Jackman just ordered his first pizza in like 14 years.
Hugh Jackman just ordered his first pizza in like 14 years.
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1:48PM on 04/25/2014
You guys crack me up. Thanks for the laugh.
You guys crack me up. Thanks for the laugh.
2:16PM on 04/25/2014
Eat the donut Hugh...it has sprinkles... :-)
Eat the donut Hugh...it has sprinkles... :-)
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