According to Benjamin Franklin, only two things in this world are certain: death and taxes. In the superhero world, though, you can safely add another — resurrection! Although Marvel went to great effort to kill the character of Wolverine off back in 2014's Death of Wolverine miniseries, the evidence is building that everybody's favorite Canucklehead is about to return!
What's the Evidence?
#Marvel's May 2017 solictations have just revealed one very interesting cover, along with a simple summary:
I think we can all be forgiven for jumping to the obvious conclusion.
In actual fact, Marvel has been quite open about their plan to bring Wolverine back sooner or later. The X-Men have a longer history with death and resurrection than most franchises; major characters have famously quipped "I got better" as literally the only explanation for returning from the dead! So as soon as Marvel announced Death of Wolverine, they were facing questions about how long the Canucklehead would actually stay dead.
Speaking at Fan Expo Canada 2014, writer Charles Soule — who wrote the Death of Wolverine arc — tried to cool the speculation down:
"I will say for sure that I'm very involved in all the Wolverine-related discussions at Marvel right now and the thing we have not talked about at all is how to bring him back, and I'm involved in discussions for stuff out into 2016 at this point."
This was widely taken as indication that Wolverine would stay dead until at least 2016. That meant Wolverine fans were already primed to expect a resurrection arc this year — and then, Axel Alonso waded into it with a key quote.
Axel Alonso Looks Forward to 2017
Interviewed by CBR, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief talked about the stories set up by 2016's Civil War II event. In doing so, he raised the prospect of Wolverine's resurrection once again:
"In terms of the event’s impact on the Marvel Universe, it’s having the ripple effect that we wanted: the emergence of the Champions as a counterpoint to the Avengers, the repositioning of Tony Stark and Carol Danvers, and the huge Hulk-sized hole created by Hawkeye’s arrow. As the story unfolds across the entire line, we will start to seed clues about the future that will have our hardcore fans salivating. Could "O.G." Thor be worthy again? How long can Hydra Cap keep his secret? Did Bruce Banner have a contingency plan for his contingency plan? How dead is Logan? Is the Marvel Universe better off with Tony Stark off the board? [Laughs] These are the questions we have been contemplating."
As the quote makes clear, Marvel has a lot of plans for 2017 — but one sticks out above the others. The 'worthiness' of Thor, which prepared the ground for Jane Foster, is a major part of the new Unworthy Thor series. Captain America's Hydra secret is ongoing. Bruce Banner's death only happened during Civil War II, and Tony Stark was taken "off the board" at the end of that event. But Alonso also mentioned Wolverine's death — a long-term plot element that, until his quote, nobody was questioning at all.
As the interview progressed, Alonso openly discussed the shift to Marvel's Legacy Heroes — where characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Wolverine have all stepped aside (to different degrees), and been replaced by the likes of Riri Williams, Falcon, and X-23. According to Alonso, Marvel had a long-term strategy in mind for the originals as a result of these popular Legacy Heroes, and 2017 will see their plans realized:
"While we hoped and prayed these characters would connect with fans, we never lost sight of our classic characters. We always had a plan for each of them. In 2017, a lot of those plans will be revealed. Keep your eyes peeled for teasers and clues."
Given that Alonso himself brought Wolverine's death into the conversation, fans were already primed to expect a resurrection this year. Now, finally, the May solicits have revealed that we were right.
- It's Time To Get X-Cited For The X-Men's "ResurrXion"!
- From Riri Williams to Kamala Khan: Meet Marvel's 'Legacy Heroes'!
- Meet Marvel's Champions: The New Kids On The Block!
Comic book deaths are a curious tradition; in comics, death is more of a revolving door than anything else. Given that the next X-Men era is entitled "ResurrXion", it seems somewhat appropriate for Wolverine to return. I'll be fascinated to see how Marvel pull it off!
Do you want Wolverine to return?
(Source: CBR, Image Credits: Marvel Comics)