Deaths in comic books are always kind of a tricky thing. When done right, the story can be very effective. When done wrong, it will seriously affect the credibility of the title. Wolverine is the rare character who should remain dead after a great run. Here are the reasons why James Logan Howlett should remain dead. (Yes, in case you didn’t know, Wolverine is going to die. (10/8/2014)
10. Wolverine’s Death Will Inspire Heroes
In the world of comic books, deaths are almost a necessary part of the motivation for heroes to continue. The trouble is that we are generally not allowed to really meet the people who died. Spider-Man‘s entire story is inspired by the death of Ben Parker. The problem is that we don’t know Ben Parker any more than we know Bruce Wayne’s parents. The impact as well as the heroism only grows when there is a long history with the deceased. Wolverine’s death can become a rallying cry for all of Marvel’s heroes. Can you think of a better end for a superhero that was once referred to as a sociopath.
9. It Could Be The Dawn of a New Comic Age
Marvel has shown expertly how the death of one man can change the course of its universe. The problem is that they essentially made the whole thing an alternate universe. However, the Age of Apocalypse storyline showed that one death at one juncture in history can reverberate with worldwide effects. Professor X’s death as a young man created a Butterfly Effect (Not a horrible time travel movie). Heroes could become villains. Villains could become heroes. People intended to be heroes and villains could live normal lives. When Superman died, a platoon stepped in to take his place.
8. The “Captain America Precedent”
The only people who ever truly die in comics have to be sincerely loved by Peter Parker. However, Marvel has established a precedent of a major character dying or being lost signaling a major change in the direction of the company. For instance, you cannot tell the story of Captain America without freezing him in World War 2. You also cannot tell the story of Captain America without Steve Rogers being a time displaced throwback struggling to learn the modern age.
That is the only possible direction that Wolverine’s story can go in at this point. There should be at least a two decade minimum on Wolverine’s death. After that point, you can give him a John Spartan resurrection in whatever the modern world is in the mid 2030’s or beyond. Logan’s return would then signal a new Comic Age. Also, you could never again tell the story without the story of his death.
7. Wolverine’s Death Raises the Profile of the Deadpool Movie.
Comic book fan boys love Deadpool. Non-comic book fans could not be cattle prodded in every major and minor orifice into knowing the ” merc with a mouth ” at all. This is a problem. This is a bigger problem when you consider the box office for the first Punisher film, the second Punisher film, or the third Punisher film. However, Wolverine’s death will raise Deadpool’s visibility. Deadpool will essentially take the Wolverine role in upcoming story lines. Also, the box office will be significantly improved for a Deadpool Movie with a Wolverine appearance. Wolverine would be nearly an exclusive big screen property. Mutant movies are enhanced at the box office by a Hugh Jackman appearance. The best part is that Jackman sounds like he would be receptive to the idea. Deadpool comes to theaters in 2016. Of course, none of this benefits the company that actually owns the character of Deadpool.
6. Reign of the Wolverines
Wolverine’s death will leave a vacuum in the Marvel Universe. This will be similar to the DC Reign of the Supermen and Battle for the Cowl storyline. In the Marvel Universe, Wolverine is an iconic hero. Iconic heroes get replaced. Replacing an iconic hero can lead to epic story lines. There are already a few possible ” replacement Wolverines ” out there. This could be the tipping point that makes Wolverine’s son Daken realize the hero he was meant to be all along. With a gender switched Thor, then it might be time for Logan’s female clone X-23 to take center stage. Want a real dark horse candidate? How about Wolverine’s own mortal enemy Victor Creed aka Sabertooth?
5. Too Much Was Told About Wolverine
The best part about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was that you never knew where his scars came from. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was given a backstory that intertwined with Bruce Wayne’s origin. The Heath Ledger version seemed to be much closer to the original vision of the Joker. The Joker works better as a character when the reader knows less about him. The same holds true with Wolverine. Wolverine did not need an origin story or a complete name. The best thing that could happen to Wolverine is less stories written about him. Wolverine works when he is a dark mysterious gun fighter with no memory. He also works well as a legend. Since his popularity never allowed him to be contained, then maybe his death will finally give the character his true focus.
4. The Love Triangle With Cyclops and Jean Grey Never Made Sense
On some level, Jean Grey is a hot prep school girl. However, have you moved noticed that nearly every female at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters has less than five percent body fat? They also house warrior women as well as other than telepaths. People may argue that Scott Summers is a massive douchebag, but Cyclops is a much better fit for Jean than Logan. If size matters, Wolverine is actually only 5’3″ and Jean Grey is listed at 5’6″ and while relationships involving shorter men and taller females are not unheard of, Jean would never be able to wear heels. The whole thing was forced and painful to watch. The triangle was almost as painful to watch as reading Rogue tell Gambit ” Remy, I love ya but I can’t touch ya. ” As a matter of fact, an adult Rogue was a much better companion for Wolverine than Jean. For the record, the best possible match was ninja telepathic Brit Betsy ” Psylocke ” Braddock.
3. Death Makes Wolverine A Class Myth
The way that a hero dies is every bit as important as the way a hero lives. Beowulf died taking one last swipe at a dragon. With this death, Wolverine is becoming one of Joseph Campbell’s heroes ” with a thousand faces. ” Comic book characters are the modern myths of our times. The best stories are added to the canon and retold, with minor wrinkles, much like the works of Homer. There are obviously religious connotations, but heroic deaths as well as possible resurrections captivate audiences.
2. Wolverine Stories Are Now Free of Continuity
In the Silver Age of Comics, Superman could push the moon back into orbit as well as face a Jimmy Olsen supervillain in the same month. Post-mortem Wolverine stories will be, by definition, flashbacks or out of the constraints of continuity. This is not a bad thing. Some of the best Wolverine stories are either out of continuity or flashbacks. This type of storytelling does not hurt Wolverine’s cinematic prospects either. There is significant discussion about the possibility of an Old Man Logan style movie. Wolverine stories are myths. No one even wants continuity to interfere with them. In a world where the term ” shared universe ” reigns supreme, Logan is a singularity in which people don’t even want him in a shared universe.
1. It Makes Financial Sense For Disney
The fact of the matter is that it makes zero sense for Disney / Marvel to continue to make comic books promoting a character who is in movies for a rival studio. It is a bitter pill. Swallow it. Choke on that pill if you have to. Wolverine should not be revived until until Disney can back it up by putting him in a movie. For the record, they should seriously consider wasting the Fantastic Four as well. However, there is an excellent chance Fox might do that on their own. Marvel Comics should head in a direction where it looks exactly like the Marvel Cinematic Universe until all the characters are under Disney Studios umbrella. The only exception is Spider-Man. Spidey remains the face of the comic empire. Wolverine should remain dead.