Ever since Marvel announced they were killing one of the most used characters out of their house of ideas, people have been taking bets on when he would return and how.
Comics have been notorious for giving death the slip time and time again; sometimes with excellent stories and ideas, sometimes with the dumbest explanations ever and sometimes it's a damn skrull(Uncanny X-Men #375 )!
But I don't think the fan-base is ready for the bait and switch that comes next.
That's right! After being drug through the most emotional death the Marvel Universe has perpetrated on its readership, and also after inflicting them with a post-mortum gathering of the characters most effected by his death (aptly called Wolverines), Marvel is going to just do what comic companies have done time and time again. They're going to just sweep it under the rug and start from scratch.
Kind of reminds me of that whole CROSSING debacle where they brought young Tony Stark from the past to replace an traitorous Tony who sacrificed himself to save the world. Uh, yeah, THAT HAPPENED! But afterwards, just when you wondered how they were going to write their way out this one, they just got the editorial 409 out and wiped it away with HEROES REBORN. But let's not be so hard on Marvel. DC just did that with the NEW 52, didn't they?
SO, back to the Secret Wars. Why is this whole idea just a slap in the face to the whole Death of Wolverine story-line? Well, let's think about the premise of this super event. Everything Ends. All the titles are moving toward this event. And this event will pull from almost every great story and reality that Marvel has written. In the splash page above, we see multiple versions of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. The Battleworld map has been laid out and I will be going into that piece by piece in the weeks to come. All the great realities have been brought to Battleworld to participate in these Secret Wars. And with most of these alternate or past realities, there comes a Wolverine!
SECRET WARS MEANS NOT JUST THE RETURN OF WOLVERINE
BUT MANY WOLVERINES!
The most obvious version returning is the elder Wolverine set 50 years in a future that the bad guys have won. It will be interesting to see where they begin this. Are we to assume that all of these story-lines will take over where they left off or will we get set in the midst of the story?
I have to admit this is one of the few of the returning stories that I have not had the pleasure of reading. But, all of this makes me want to. I think that's the point. Marvel showing its marketing genius again. Unlike the NEW 52, this whole Secret Wars thing makes us want to revisit the originals. It may not be necessary, but we're driven to flip through the pages one more time.
There are so many cool things that can be pulled from this epic. But the one thing we're guaranteed is the possibility of Old Man Logan surviving the Wars and returning to the current reality.
Another of the obvious returns is Weapon X of Age of Apocalypse. The one-handed terror and wife of that reality's Jean Grey has to be one of the coolest renditions of Logan.
The only problem is where do they enter that reality? Will we see it at the end of the original story or will we start after Wolverine survives being Omega, the heir of Apocalypse? I bet Marvel rewinds to the original and begins rewriting. In fact, I would say that Marvel will probably do this wit all of their pet realities. This will give Marvel a chance to drop some of the later stories that may have not worked.
I don't see this Wolverine giving us any long term stories, but this world is full of great characters to revisit.
Another great story we're revisiting is the HOUSE OF M where the always helpful Scarlet Witch created a pocket reality where the Mutants took over and was in control of everything. It brought a great re-visioning that has to be one of the greatest events in Marvel history.
But notice who's on the cover of this latest revival...Wolverine!
This Logan is a part of the Mutant Regime, House of M's S.H.I.E.L.D. operation leading a group called the Red Guard. It is this Wolverine who began to realize that his world was a lie and unraveled all that the Scarlet Witch had done.
Have we about covered every decade of comics and their different versions of wolverine? Well, it can't be complete without a revisit to the 80s and 90s. In the eighties, the iconic story-line was DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Now this story just recently got a revision by FOX in the theaters but, in the end, it has nothing to do with the original story line where the X-Men raced to save Senator Kelly from assassination by the Brotherhood. I mean, Fox killed Kelly in the first movie, fer Logan's sake! So, I'm sure Marvel will ignore all of that and re-imagine what would happen if they had failed. Because we know what happened when they succeeded; The X-Men of the 90s!
Not sure where they're going with X-Men 92, but it was a powerfully popular era. This seems like a great revisioning of the animated X-men series that so many grew up on. It was one of the most powerful jumping on points for the X-Men fandom and is responsible for so many fans to this day.
I've never been a fan of the Ultimate Universe (too old school for my own good), so forgive me if I don't mourn the possibility of it dying. It's run it's course and now it's time to move on. But there are so many characters that people want to see survive (Miles Morales anyone?). But up front and center is young Jimmy Hudson, son of that realities Wolverine. So we have two possibilities of a Wolverine coming from this story.
Those are the most blatant ones but there are oh so many possibilities. We haven't touched on Zombie Wolverine, Civil War Wolverine, AVX Wolverine...the possibilities are endless. So, what have we learned? If you're going to kill a well loved character, do it before a reality wiping event so it turns out meaning nothing. Thanks Marvel. Once again, you've found a way to cheapen death and make a buck. But you're doing it better than the other guys. Congratulations.
To see a gallery of the mass of alternate Wolverines we may see next year: