Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and X-Men senior editor Mike Marts certainly want fans to believe so with June's arc of the just relaunched "Wolverine", titled "3 months to live". Comic Book Resources spoke with both Marvel bigwigs about this promotional push: Alonso stated, "This is not a bull**** title" while Marts added, "I'm actually a bit surprised that my publisher allowed us to do this".
Writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Stegman just relaunched Wolverine's solo title last month, with the premise that due to some sort of deal with some figures from the "Microverse", Wolverine's healing factor has been negated and he is now "killable". It could remind older readers of the six year stretch in the 90's where Wolverine's bones lost their adamantium lacing and were thus "breakable", causing him to become more vulnerable to attack. At any rate, Logan has taken to wearing armor (which makes perfect sense for a character trained in ninja stealth arts) and has seemingly gone him his own shocking path (except in all his other team books, where he's still with the X-Men). Artist Kris Anka takes over in June and it seems Marts was inspired by working on "Batman R.I.P." at DC Comics and the idea is to explore the ramifications across the universe were Wolverine to actually die.
In all fairness, Wolverine has been seemingly killed off before. Without counting alternate realities (such as "Days of Future Past"), in the late 90's he seemed to have been killed by Apocalypse's horseman, Death. It turned out to be a Skrull, and Death was in fact a brainwashed Wolverine himself. He also seemingly has died in the midst of Rick Remender's latest arc in "Uncanny Avengers" which is so chock full of time travel exposition that the writer had to all but plead online that his story still "counts". This time, it seems the only difference is that it will happen in Wolverine's solo series and there will likely be a "Mourning for a Midget" style banner on the covers of some crossover comics showing various characters reacting to it for however long it lasts.
If the title is to be believed, Wolverine's end would seemingly come on the twelfth issue of his latest reboot; if so, it doesn't bode well for the industry when not even Wolverine can go a year without a death stunt to spike up his sales. Despite selling far beneath his prime, Wolverine appeared in at least five comics last month ("Wolverine", "Wolverine & the X-Men", "Savage Wolverine, "Amazing X-Men", and "Marvel Knights: X-Men"); most of which are currently outsold by comics such as "The Walking Dead", "Harley Quinn", and "Superior Spider-Man". Although expecting any "death of Wolverine" story to last long is folly, Marvel might be rewarded for giving the character a much needed rest after a near quarter century of over-exposure. Marvel once "rested" Thor for roughly three years, and his subsequent return saw a huge bump in both sales and interest. It would also finally give spin-off heroine "X-23" an actual valid premise for another ongoing series.
The big loser in this may be legendary writer Chris Claremont. As he has revealed in past interviews as well as displayed in his "X-Men Forever" run, he once wanted to kill off Wolverine for a stretch during the height of his tenure on "Uncanny X-Men" in the late 80's and early 90's, but was denied. Considering how well Wolverine's solo title was selling at that time, one can hardly blame Marvel's stance back then. The fact that the publisher is game for such a story in 2014 at the very least suggests that although Wolverine may still be one of the publisher's most popular and well known characters, his franchise is far from its' peak.
Get ready for more angst from "Original Sin" teasers!
With the next crossover event starting in May, the promotional engine for Jason Aaron's "Original Sin" is underway. The first shows Captain America reeling in pain and says, "Original Sin - everyone has one". The series is set to have the heroes investigate the death of Uatu the Watcher and presumably uncover yet another dark secret from the past.
Marvel Comics have been publishing roughly one or two crossover events a year since 2004, and they seem to fluctuate between an event which has an actual villain versus an event where all the heroes essentially reveal what terrible people some of them are and punch it out for at least seven months. "Age of Ultron" (2013), "Infinity" (2013), "Fear Itself" (2011), and "Siege" (2010) had actual villains, while "Avengers vs. X-Men" (2012), "World War Hulk" (2007-2008), "Civil War" (2006-2007) and "House of M" (2005) relied on angst ridden superhero wrestling matches. "Secret Invasion" from 2008 combined a bit of both flavors, as it involved the shape-shifting alien Skrulls. Thus, expect "Original Sin" to shift back into the angst territory to balance the scales a bit.
In an interview with the Daily Beast as part of a media tour to promote this summer's "Amazing Spider-Man 2", director Marc Webb stated that despite Sony's desire to release one Spider-Man related film a year for the near future, his third web-slinging film will be his last. However, he didn't rule out remaining with Sony beyond "Amazing Spider-Man 3" (June 6th, 2016) in "a consultant" capacity.