Wolverine has now been dead for hundred and five weeks. So I thought I would weigh up the pros and cons of bringing him back.
Lets start with the elephant in the room. Marvels apparent dislike for characters in movies produced by Fox. I myself have never brought into it. It was a deal Marvel had to make at the time and if I was head of Fox I too would be reluctant to give up the franchise. Whilst recent films in the X-Men line might not be as well received as The Avengers movies they still bring in millions! I imagine Marvel still received a substantial wedge of this as after all the X-Men is their property to begin with. I remember around the time Wolverine died there was a possible death of Deadpool story arc, the Fantastic Four were off the map and the Inhumans were on the rise. Do people still think the Inhumans would or could ever replace the X-Men as Marvels premier born this way team?
Look at the evidence. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hardly portrayed them in a shining light. It was very made for TV, they didn’t have the X-Men’s gravitas. The Inhumans movie has been removed from the schedule indefinitely has it not? When was the last time Inhumans could hold a monthly title? The X-Men was Marvels powerhouse title from Claremont in the late 60’s right through to Morrison on the 00’s. To some this opening paragraph may seem like a thinly veiled disguise for my real thoughts on the Marvel/Fox debate. But I honestly believe so many bloggers or podcasters are so misinformed when talking on the subject I think sometimes they are just doing it for effect. They talk as though Fox owns the X-Men and Marvel give them the service of printing comics. That red Marvel logo still comes up on the X-Men movies doesn’t it? Like I said for a long time the X-Men were Marvels premier book. There is no way they will ever stop making X-Men comics because they can’t get the movie rights back.
So why would Marvel and the X-Men editors especially bring classic Wolverine back anytime soon? The obvious answer is to coincide with the release of Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Logan next March. With the release of Marvels early movies be it at Fox or their own it was seen as paramount that the comics should reflect what the movie goers see. A sense of the familiar for potential new fans as it were. Recently there seems to be a more relaxed approach to this. Since Secret Wars The Avengers line up is very far from the movies. The obvious reason is to launch a new number one. Something Marvel loves doing! Lets face it classic Wolverine returning to the blue and yellow, with a new creative in a new on going would fly off the shelves. Wolverine sells comics. Admittedly a few years before his death he was everywhere!
Leading up to his death he probably had been replaced as the mutant money maker by Deadpool. Oh he has a Fox movie and about three monthly comics in case you were wandering. Since the relaunch coming after the Secret Wars event All New Wolverine and Old Man Logan have been two very consistent books. It would be interesting to see how they do sales wise against other X-Books and books featuring MCU characters. Tom Taylor and Jeff Lemire are telling very different but equally interesting and entertaining stories. They do both feel very familiar to distinct eras of the old Wolverine ongoing. Old Man Logan does feel it can’t go on forever though.
The iteration of the character is very specific. I don’t know how many times they can return to the well before it starts to feel old. If they ended All New Wolverine it would undermine diversity in top titles. Should classic Wolverine return there is always the potential he could share an ongoing title with X-23 much like Clint Barton and Kate Bishop in Hawkeye. To us mere mortals we don’t have a real idea as to how far Marvel have stories planned out in advance. Obviously they new Wolverine was going to die. They knew Secret Wars was on the horizon so that gave them a chance to play with the Wolverine titles. I wonder if the editors thought there would be a break out star from ‘Wolverines’ series they could spin into their own title and maybe take over the mantle. I’ve only read the first TPB there are some interesting ideas with out it being a great story. I would like to pick up the other volumes and finish it some time.
What we don’t know as readers is the longevity the editors see for Old Man Logan and All New Wolverine. Or do we? Recently we have had news for coming soon IVX, which is to be followed by Resurrxion. Spelt with an X you’ll see. One of the first books announced under the Resurrxion banner is Weapon X! The teaser image released with the news depicts classic Weapon X alumni. So could this series herald the return of classic Wolverine?
My philosophy is a character is only worth bringing back from the dead for two reasons. Firstly the story of their return has to be worth telling. I’m not one for a character returning to save the day in battle. The same goes for the stories that follow the return. There has to be a change to the status quo to keep things fresh. I don’t just want retreads of old story arcs just for the nostalgia that they are back. If Wolverine were to return next year it would be an idea to use a Wolverine from pre House of M so the memories are gone again and he doesn’t believe those who tell him it is possible to kill him one day.
I think it would be equally cool if the Logan inside the adamantium husk he died in is slowly, slowly healing. Eventually freeing himself. We could get harrowing flashbacks to his mind healing in the husk. Then coming out the other side we would have a Logan who now knows he can die. Hence sharing responsibility (ongoing title) with X-23. What happens to Old Man Logan though? To get him off the map you would need time travel type shit. He could simply die, but he is Wolverine its just been done. Maybe he will just go live deep in the woods. Only called upon when Wolverine needs a sales boost.
What are your thoughts on any possible return of Wolverine? Like I said I’m enjoying both titles on the shelves right now. After todays news I will read anything titled Weapon X. But really I would love classic Wolverine back sooner rather than later.
About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
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Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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