Where Will Wolverine Die?

Confirming the worst kept secret in comics, Marvel has released the teaser art for a new mini-series coming in September called The Death of Wolverine. The series will be written by Charles Soule with art by Steve McNiven.

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Comic Book Resources has a good interview with Charles Soule. Check it out.

Interestingly, Soule was asked how important Paul Cornell’s current run on Wolverine was to Wolverine’s September swan song. Soule replied:

Paul has been doing some killer work on the main series, particular in his development of the idea that Wolverine has lost his healing factor. That concept also plays a significant role in the “Death of Wolverine” story. That said, that is literally all you need to know in order to read this story. While I’m going to be weaving in a bunch of Wolverine’s history from the past 40 years of publishing (and 100+years or so that he’s been alive in fictional terms), I’m taking great pains to ensure that anything I bring up, whether it’s a character familiar from Logan’s history or a location that has some meaning to him, is explained within this story.

So… My take on this is that the guts of Cornell’s story, all the stupid Wolverine “finding” himself by teaming up with a team of forgettable C-List bad guys will not at all feature in Soule’s mini-series. The only common element is that, in both stories, Wolverine has no healing power.

But… what are we to make of the reports about Wolverine #12 used to hype Cornell’s series a few months ago.

Here’s a quote from a CBR story written back in December:

In an update released to retailers, Marvel announced an “exchangeability” program where unsold copies of the upcoming new “Wolverine” #1 could be exchanged for an exclusive “Mortal Variant” of “Wolverine” #12,” an issue scheduled to go on sale in September 2014. While that comic is still months down the road, Marvel described it as a “double-sized landmark issue” they expect to receive “national attention for its game-changing story.”

Cornell’s series wraps up right around the same time Soule’s mini-series does, in September. The end of Cornell’s series is a “double-sized landmark issue” that should receive “national [media?] attention,” but Soule’s series is called “The Death of Wolverine” and apparently has very little to do with Cornell’s series. So, where and when is Wolverine actually going to die?

Look, obviously, Marvel is going to try and milk Logan’s death for all it’s worth. Why tell a story in one issue when they can make you shell out money for five (one double-sized)? But the continuity disconnect is curious? I wonder if Cornell is actually going to be the one to kill Wolverine off, while Soule provides a kind of “narrative retrospective” on the career of Marvel’s most popular X-man.

As of right now, I’d guess that Wolverine #12 is going to be the equivalent of Superman #75 (which kind of kills me, because I hate this arc).

And before people go crazy, can we all just accept the fact that Wolverine is not really going to “die”? This is what happens in comic books people. Deal. Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Not only is he not going to stay dead. He’s not even going to stay off the shelves for a month, let alone two or three. Expect to see Logan’s adventures in the underworld in October.

Another thing to keep an eye on from a story perspective (and perhaps from a collector perspective) is that, come September, Wolverine, Professor X, and Jean Grey will all be dead. That’s three of the top five or six most popular X-Men right there. Is Marvel going to bring them back one at a time, or all at once? At the very least, I imagine the Phoenix will play a part in Wolverine’s resurrection. Maybe she and Chuck will hitch a ride.

Copper and Chrome

 

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It’s The 90s All Over Again

So, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. When I was a young teenager, first getting into comics, Superman was dead and Image Comics was just getting started. Anti-heroes were everywhere, and Spawn was the coolest thing that had ever happened to comic books (at least in my estimation). Grant Morrison was writing JLA, Kurt Busiek was writing The Avengers. I fell in love with comics as a teenager, and I happened to be a teenager during the 90s. So, I loved 90s comics.

That’s why it’s a bit funny for me to read people hyperbolically slagging 90s comics. I’ll regularly see somebody online saying “The 90s was the worst decade in the history of comics!” Or: “The 90s nearly destroyed the comics industry!”

Look, I was there. I read a lot of Extreme Studios stuff during the 90s (Glory, Team Youngblood, Maximage, etc.). I know there was some garbage published during the decade, but honestly, there’s always garbage on the shelves. There’s garbage now.

What I find especially strange is that some of the most reviled aspects of 90s comics – the crossovers, the superfluous #1 “Collector’s Item” issues, and the variant covers – are all back in a big way, and no one seems to be batting an eye.

Between the New 52 and All New Marvel Now! How many #1 issues have we seen in the past couple of years? How many of those #1 issues came with variant covers? Forget that. How many random #4 and #15 issues have variant covers?

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Image Comics is once again the hot publisher, although now instead of a lot of copycat superheroes they’re publishing genre-bending sci-fi and horror stuff for mature readers.

Remember what a crime it was in the mid-90s when Marvel decided Peter Parker would no longer be the real Spider-Man and instead someone else would be Spider-Man? Yeah…

In September, DC took a month off of publishing their normal fare in order to publish approximately 200 terrible one-shots wrapped in fancy 3-D lenticular covers. That was more 90s than anything that happened in the 90s.

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Crossover events? They’re the backbone of the industry. DC and Marvel use crossovers to get their loyal fans to buy just a few more comics every couple of months. What’s that, you buy Action Comics? Well what about if, for the next two months, you buy Action Comics, and Supergirl, and Superboy? 

When I started buying comics again (about a year ago) I thought that maybe Marvel would have learned its lesson about watering down their properties. Maybe they would have quit publishing 17 different X-books just to take advantage of fan enthusiasm. Nope. Now they’re still publishing 17 different X-books, and they’ve applied the same model to the Avengers.

DC always published too many Superman and Batman books, but now the same thing is happening with the Justice League and Green F#$*ing Lantern! Seriously, how many Green Lantern books do we need? By my count there are now six different coloured power rings and each of those rings requires no fewer than three monthly titles(1.). Who the heck is Larfleeze?

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Anyway, to those of you that have a hate-on for 90s comics, I’m sorry about your luck, because you’re living in the 1990s.

In other news Rai #1 is due out from Valiant in May.

Copper and Chrome

  1. *All math is exaggerated.

What’s Wrong With Reboots?

An hour ago I was in a discussion forum reading some fan reaction to the All New Marvel Now! reboot.

People posting over there were decidedly pissed. There was no ambiguity. No “let’s wait and see” comments. The odd thing to me is that a lot of people seemed to be saying, “Marvel is rebooting things again. This is bullshit!”

But why? Honest question. What’s the big deal? Why, for example, is it a problem if Marvel restarts Wolverine every time a new creative team signs on to do the book? Seriously, why the knee-jerk, reboots are bad reaction?

I explored this a bit in a post on Ret-Con Anxiety awhile back. I get that people don’t like to see favourite characters and character mythologies rebooted out of existence. But this message board angst seemed like something else.

To be honest it seemed a bit like stereotypical hipster speak: “Everything new sucks! Everything old was way better!” Do comic book fans suffer from some of that?

Look, reboots are obviously about capitalism. Maybe at the root of it, that’s what people are uncomfortable with. I sympathize with that (I’m pissed off about “The Trial of Jean Grey,” for example). But let’s not pretend that comics were ever not about money. They’ve always been about money. The industry has just figured out that reboots are an effective way to make money. And listen, sue me, but I don’t think that necessarily gets in the way of telling a good story.

Lots of people hate the New 52, but everybody loves Snyder’s Batman, right? So maybe reboots aren’t automatically bad. It’s about whether or not you tell a good story. Always has been; always will be.