The Many Deaths of Wolverine
Now that Wolverine is returning to the Marvel Universe, we look at how Logan wasn't so killable after all.
Wolverine is coming back. About time. Then again, Marvel’s more than made up for his disappearance by having his daughter as the new Wolverine, having an old version of Logan hang around, and turn magically-a-good-guy Sabretooth into his thematic replacement. But now the status quo needs some rubber-banding and Wolverine needs to un-die.
Wolverine’s a hard mutant to kill, especially before he lost his healing factor. He maybe coming back from his first major death in main continuity, but across the various alternate futures and alternate realities, Wolverine’s bought the farm many times. It’s just that a lot of the time, they need to get a little more creative with it. Here are all the Logan deaths I can gather.
To make this a little easier to write, I’m only counting stories that are outright specific about him being dead. Just because the universe is vaporized doesn’t mean I’m going to mention it unless he happens to be shown in the mix. Similarly, I need to get some kind of context. There’s an alternate timeline in Marvel Team-Up where almost all of the world’s superheroes are wiped out by a time traveler and X-23 mentions how Wolverine died saving her but…that’s pretty much it. There’s also an issue of Exiles where an alternate Wolverine’s corpse is sent back to his home dimension, but who knows the circumstances of his death.
All righty, then. Let’s kill some Canadians.
Uncanny X-Men #142
Chris Claremont and John Byrne – 1981
Days of Future Past. Ever heard of it? It was kind of a big deal a few years ago. In the original comic, a dark, Sentinel-ruled future has the surviving X-Men trying their best to stop the Sentinels from nuking the rest of the planet. At one point, the aging trio of Storm, Colossus, and Wolverine sneak into a facility and wipe out a few Sentinels. They get out of an elevator and see a higher-ranking Sentinel. Wolverine has Colossus throw him for the Fastball Special, but the Sentinel reacts fast enough to zap Wolverine to death in mid-air.
The storyline was used in the 90’s cartoon, but this time Wolverine is killed in battle with Nimrod. While it’s never outright stated, we do see his trademark skeleton on display after the fact plenty of times.
Read X-Men: Days of Future Past on Amazon
What If Phoenix Had Not Died? (What If v.1 #27)
Mary Jo Duffy and Jerry Bingham – 1981
Rather than have Jean killed after her Dark Phoenix reign of terror, the Shi’Ar choose to have her lobotomized in the sense that she can be her normal self, but can’t tap into the power of the Phoenix. That lasts like…a day. At first, Jean is all about controlling the power, but she keeps sneaking out to blow up planetoids and stars in solar systems that aren’t inhabited. Kitty Pryde confronts her about it and Jean snaps. She vaporizes Kitty and kills the X-Men one-by-one. She turns Nightcrawler into a pyre of hellfire.
Colossus and Wolverine go for the old Fastball Special, but she deflects Wolverine back at Colossus and transforms the big Russian back to his flesh-and-blood form. Wolverine impales Colossus and is then telekinetically dragged into the big ball of flame that used to be Nightcrawler. Even if Wolverine were to survive that, a minute later, Phoenix – broken up over Cyclops’ death – blows up the universe. That’ll do it.
What If Wolverine Had Killed the Hulk? (What If v.1 #31)
Rich Margopoulos and Bob Budiansky – 1982
If you ever wanted to see the very definition of “power creep,” here’s your example. After killing the Hulk in his debut appearance, Logan’s machismo goes to his head and he accidentally kills a dude in a bar fight. He goes on the run, gets inducted into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and is hired by Magneto to be a mole in the X-Men. Due to his love for Jean, he turns against Magneto and claws him up.
Magneto uses the last of his strength to make Wolverine cut up his own throat. This actually kills him! Yeah, I’m just as surprised as you are. Go figure.
Uncanny X-Men #227
Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri – 1988
Existing as part of the Fall of the Mutants event, this arc mainly deals with a demonic trickster named the Adversary, who can only be defeated by being sealed away. Since Forge is ultimately responsible for him being unleashed, he needs to complete a spell that will send him back.
Problem is, he needs nine souls to do it. He has nine heroes there. They sacrifice themselves and allow him to transform them into pure energy to take out the Adversary. While the world thinks they’re dead (including Mystique angrily calling Forge a murderer because Rogue was one of the victims), the magical Roma is able to resurrect them in secret.
Read X-Men: Fall of the Mutants on Amazon
Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe
Fred Hembeck – 1989
Fred Hembeck is a comedic writer/artist who did a one-shot where he talks up his desire to destroy the Marvel Universe for the sake of being remembered (until Stan Lee talks him out of it). The issue is filled with jokey depictions of how he would have all the heroes and villains killed.
His solution for the X-Men is easy. Sentinels are programmed to kill mutants, but they’re too big and noisy. Why not just send some ninja Sentinels to chop up the X-Men while they’re asleep? The whole team is done with in one page and he’s able to move on to figuring out how to kill Namor and Zzzax.
What If the X-Men Lost Inferno? (What If v.2 #6)
Danny Fingeroth and Ron Lim – 1989
The alliance of S’ym and Madelyne Pryor defeats the X-Men and kills them all except for Wolverine, who they decide to keep as a pet. Wolverine is a brainwashed demon who is at one point shown being fed a newborn baby. A small resistance group is put together that features Dr. Strange, Rachel Summers, Baron Mordo, and Kitty Pryde to try and save the day. Mordo predictably betrays them.
Out of reflex, Wolverine guts Kitty and it snaps him back to semi-normal. He claws Mordo and mortally wounds him, but Mordo decides to take Wolverine down with him with a magical flame spell that reduces him to a skeleton. Shortly after, S’ym’s spirit possesses the bones, but Rachel is able to vaporize it into nothing with the Phoenix Force.
What If the X-Men Died on Their First Mission? (What If v.2 #9)
Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler – 1990
With the original X-Men trapped on the living island Krakoa, Xavier sent a new team of X-Men to rescue them, which of course included Wolverine. In this reality, although the team is able to send Krakoa into space where it will no longer hurt a single soul, they fail to clear the area first. All 13 of them are killed via being hurled into the void of space. Xavier gets all depressed until scrounging up yet another X-Men team.
This is even darker and more messed up if you add in the Deadly Genesis retcon.
What If the Vision of the Avengers Conquered the World? (What If v.2 #19)
Roy Thomas, RJM Lofficier, and Ron Wilson — 1990
There was a time when Vision had gone full SkyNet and took over all computers before coming to his senses. In this issue, we got two alternate takes on what could have happened. In one world, all the major heroes have a big meeting where Vision offers the chance to help make the world a utopia. They take him up on the offer, things work out great, and the future brings endless peace. Wolverine even becomes the leader of several generations of New Mutants.
Unfortunately, another reality has the building get nuked by Genosha, figuring that this would somehow kill Vision. Because they’re idiots. That leads to a galaxy run by Dr. Doom, Mad Thinker, and Hydra. Way to go, Genosha.
Infinity Gauntlet #3
Jim Starlin, Ron Lim, and George Perez – 1991
Thanos has realized omnipotence due to wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. To help woo Death, he scales back his power a bit and goes to town on Earth’s heroes. It’s a valiant effort, but the good guys get stomped in all sorts of outlandish ways. Wolverine pops up out of nowhere and digs his claws right into Thanos’ chest.
Normally, this would be a killing blow, but this isn’t a very normal time for Thanos. With but a thought, he transforms Wolverine’s skeleton into spongy rubber and leaves him in a dying heap. Years later, a What If? issue would portray Wolverine as attacking the smart way: cut his damned arm off! No more Gauntlet!
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New Warriors #11
Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley – 1991
The Sphinx has been able to warp time and space in such a way that he’s ruled the world as the head of Egypt for a thousand years. The New Warriors are cornered by Sphinx’s Avengers, which includes Captain Assyria, Nova, Storm, Sceptre, Iron Man, and the powerful god Horus.
The kids are screwed, but luckily Wolverine shows up out of nowhere to create a diversion. Captain Assyria fights him off and Horus lets out a blast of power from his staff that completely fries the flesh from Wolverine’s bones. As the New Warriors escape, Iron Man inspects the body, intrigued at Wolverine’s skeleton.
What If Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires? (What If v.2 #24)
Roy Thomas, RJM Lofficier, and Tom Morgan – 1991
After being turned into a vampire by Dracula, Wolverine becomes strong-willed enough to fight back and kill him. He goes about killing or turning most of New York’s heroes and has quite the hold on the Big Apple. The only one who can stop him is the Punisher, wearing Dr. Strange’s magic knickknacks (complete with Strange’s ghost guiding him) and armed to the teeth with holy water and silver bullets.
Punisher almost kills Logan, but Kitty Pryde sacrifices herself to stop him. Wolverine kills Frank, but then realizes the monster he’s become. Under the guidance of Strange, he opens up a spell book and painfully recites a spell that wipes out all vampires, turning himself to dust.
What If the Marvel Superheroes Had Lost Atlantis Attacks? (What If v.2 #25)
Jim Valentino and Rik Levins – 1991
In this issue about a world where everything went wrong in a crossover story that nobody ever read, we watch as nearly every superhero gets killed on every page. The unstoppable god Set has taken over the world, Earth’s water supply has been infected in a way that turns nearly everyone into a brainless lizard person, and several superheroines are brainwashed into being Set’s brides. The only ones left are those heroes and villains who haven’t been affected by the water, such as Wolverine, Sabretooth, Thor, Cloak, Dr. Doom, Rachel Summers, Gray Hulk, and Wundarr the Aquarian. They split up with some going after the brides while the others go after Set himself. It’s an outright slaughter in both cases.
The mind-controlled Jean Grey throws Wolverine at Aquarian, who has his force field up. Scarlet Witch hexes Wolverine so that his body is made up of anti-matter and upon impact, the two explode, leaving only a metal skeleton behind. Certainly one of the more outlandish deaths on the list.
What If Captain America Had Formed the Avengers? (What If v.2 #29)
George Caragonne and Ron Wilson – 1991
This is a follow-up to an issue where Dr. Erksine is spared and the US military is filled with super soldiers during WWII. Long story short, Cap gets frozen again and Red Skull impersonates him, ultimately becoming President for Life. The world is very, very different and Cap’s Avengers team includes Logan, known also as “Hulk.” He has the power to transform himself into the creature Wendigo.
Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man (Frank Castle), Giant Man (Sam Wilson), Namor, and Thor proceed to stop Red Skull’s plans, but when faced with an army of enemy super soldiers, they all give their lives by charging into a fight they cannot win. Years later, the world is a better place and the Avengers are honored with a statue.
What If the Hulk had Killed Wolverine? (What If v.2 #50)
John Arcudi and Armando Gil – 1993
Back in the day, Grey Hulk got in a fight with Wolverine and Wolverine won by cutting open Hulk’s chest and slicing his heart open. Hulk survived, but Wolverine was still able to walk away.
Here, Hulk recovers and he isn’t very happy. Filled with endless rage, he beats the everloving hell out of Wolverine, who stays alive due to his skeleton and healing factor. This proceeds to frustrate Hulk even more until he stomps down on Wolverine’s back so hard that he severs his adamantium spine and kills him. Then Hulk kills like so many other X-Men and Freedom Force mooks once he’s got that momentum going.
What If the Avengers Lost Operation: Galactic Storm? (What If v.2 #55)
Len Kaminski and Craig Brasfield – 1993
While prisoners of the Kree military leader Ael-Dan, the Avengers prevent his assassination at the hands of Deathbird, which proves to be a very bad thing. Ael-Dan is a complete nutball and in the span of a few minutes kills Deathbird, the Supreme Intelligence, and blows up Earth. Using a Death Star-style doomsday weapon called the Omni-Wave Annihilator, the guy destroys the entire planet and makes Captain America watch.
We see various reaction shots of Earth-based heroes experiencing the planet’s final moments and one of those shows a skeleton engulfed in flames. The skeleton happens to have three razors jutting out the back of its hand, so try to heal from that, bub!
What If? X-Men Wedding Album (What If v.2 #60)
Kurt Busiek and Ron Randall – 1994
Taking place during the long-awaited wedding between Scott Summers and Jean Grey, this What If? issue features three different stories based on Jean’s love life. Each one has horrible consequences, ending in a story that shows what would have happened had Jean left Cyclops for Wolverine. Simply put, everything is exactly the same, up to the Dark Phoenix Saga.
When fighting the Shi’Ar, Jean goes mental and becomes the Dark Phoenix. With Wolverine, she doesn’t have the lengthy bond that she did with Cyclops, and also he isn’t exactly the most calming person in the world. She loses control and the Phoenix engulfs the entire universe.
What If Iron Man Sold Out? (What If v.2 #64)
Simon Furman and Geoff Senior – 1994
This one’s a little hard to make out due to the art and Wolverine is little more than a background character who doesn’t even get a single line. This is a world where Tony Stark decided to go public with his tech instead of using it to be a superhero.
The world is armor-based, for better and worse, and everyone’s easy pickings when Magneto goes on a rampage. At one point, he and his Brotherhood fight the X-Men and mop the floor with them. Magneto kills most of them by taking control of a couple fighter planes and spiking them down onto his mutant enemies, blowing them up. Wolverine is one of those victims.
Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
Garth Ennis and Dougie Braithwaite – 1995
This is a story about a guy with guns being so unstoppably badass while superheroes are drooling idiots who poop their pants. In other words, it’s every Garth Ennis comic ever. Rather than being killed by the mob, Officer Frank Castle’s family is killed in the park in the crossfire of a fight between superheroes and alien invaders. He shoots up a handful of heroes in a fit of anger (including well-meaning teenage girls because he’s so cool, let’s root for him) and Wolverine stops him by slashing his face before being held back by Colossus. Frank is sprung from prison by a very rich benefactor who funds his war on all heroes. After killing Dr. Doom, Frank tricks the X-Men and all their villains onto the moon, where he takes them out with a Latverian nuke.
Wolverine was spared because Frank put him on a wild goose chase in Japan. Frank tracks him down so he can kill him one-on-one and get his revenge. He stabs Wolverine with his own claws and then throws him into an electric fence, where his skin fries off.
What If Stryfe Killed the X-Men? (What If v.2 #69)
Mariano Nicieza and JR Justiniano – 1995
Cable, Bishop, and Wolverine fight through Stryfe’s moon base. Wolverine chops up a bunch of Stryfe’s goons, but once Stryfe shows up, he has no problem telekinetically tossing Wolverine through the wall and onto the moon’s surface, where there’s no air. Healing factor or not, Wolverine needs to breathe.
Stryfe only takes out four X-Men total, which comes off as false advertising when Apocalypse is able to waste twice as many.
Judd Winick and Mike McKone – 2001
The reality-traveling troupe called the Exiles visit a dimension where the trial-through-battle between the X-Men and the Shi’Ar is fated to go in the X-Men’s favor. Shortly after, the Dark Phoenix (who is totally Jean in this reality and not the Phoenix thinking it’s Jean) will kill her friends and grow out of control. As the killing spree begins to happen, the Exiles are able to get through to Angel and Wolverine.
To save the universe, Angel carries Wolverine through a portal created by Blink. Wolverine impales Jean from behind and the resulting explosion kills them. The X-Men are all dead, but their reality is safe.
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New X-Men #154
Grant Morrison and Marc Silvestri – 2004
Grant Morrison’s brilliant New X-Men run ends with a story of a dystopian future ultimately caused by Cyclops closing the school out of his grief for Jean’s death. 150 years have passed and everything is too crazy and complicated for me to describe because Morrison. The short version is that Wolverine is up against Beast – now evil after being infected by the villain Sublime. Jean has come back from the dead in the form of Phoenix and warns Wolverine not to fight Beast.
Not heeding the warning, Wolverine has his healing factor shut down and is mortally wounded. As Jean defeats Beast, Wolverine shows relief in his death, finally getting the peace he’s craved for so long.
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Ultimate Fantastic Four #22
Mark Millar and Greg Land – 2005
The Marvel Zombies fad begins in this storyline and a flashback shows how an infected Superman Sentry punched his way into their reality and spread the disease. Fun fact: they never did explain whatever happened to him after that. Weird. Anyway, we get a sweet panel of Wolverine being bum-rushed by an overwhelming army of zombie superheroes.
It’s incredibly sad and hopeless, as Wolverine wants to fight them all so much, but he’s completely unable to do anything but succumb to their hunger and become one of them.
Tony Bedard and Paul Pelletier – 2006
We’ve hit the motherload here. As a bit of satire on Wolverine’s status of being on every team at once, they did a two-issue arc based on replacing the Exiles with a team made entirely out of Wolverines. On one Earth, Magneto had a son named Scarlet Warlock, who tried to give his father Wolverine’s skeleton via hexing. Something went wrong and Scarlet Warlock, Magneto, Quicksilver, Mesmero, and Wolverine merged into one insane being named Brother Mutant.
The Exiles’ higher-ups figured to send teams of Wolverines after them, but each time, they would be taken over by mind-control. The final team put together features variations of Zombie Wolverine, Albert and Elsie-Dee, Patch, young James Howlett, Weapon X, and Days of Future Past Wolverine. Upon being discovered by their brainwashed counterparts, lots of slicing happens.
Though Patch is captured and brainwashed, Zombie Wolverine succeeds on devouring several Wolverines, turning him obese. Patch later decapitates him (he’s still undead) and chops up Albert. Patch meets his end when the real Exiles show up and Sabretooth tears out his throat. Against Brother Mutant, Sabretooth throws Elsie-Dee and Zombie Wolverine’s head at the villain, with the zombie taking a bite out of his nose and Elsie-Dee self-destructing. Days of Future Past Wolverine tells Young James to be good and sacrifices himself by impaling Brother Mutant, letting loose a massive explosion. Young James loses his composure and completely mauls what’s left of Brother Mutant, presumably to death.
According to the Exiles, 17 Wolverines died in this adventure.
What If: Avengers Disassembled
Jeff Parker and Aaron Lopresti – 2006
After the events of Disassembled, Beast investigates and discovers that all along, Scarlet Witch was really working with Captain America, who has been insane due to being frozen way back when, but nobody’s seemed to ever notice. The world’s heroes rush to Genosha to stop whatever their plans are (create the House of M reality) and they’re split into two teams.
Cyclops leads a handful of heroes to take on Cap and Wanda, while Wolverine leads the others into fighting Magneto and his forces. Cyclops’ plan leads to Rogue touching Scarlet Witch, which causes everything to go haywire. All the heroes in that big brawl with Magneto simply vanish thanks to the chaos magic, Wolverine included.
What If: Wolverine: Enemy of the State
Jimmie Robinson and Carmine Di Giandomenico – 2007
This is one of the gnarlier deaths. Wolverine never came to his senses when under Hydra’s control and remains their bloodthirsty puppet. He’s actually a horrifying threat because not only does he have the usual bells and whistles, but when he’s in trouble, Hydra is able to just teleport him away. He’s been killing heroes and pulling off assassinations for quite a while and a team of Captain America (minus a couple limbs), Sue Storm, Magneto, and Kitty Pryde go after him.
Wolverine kills all of them until only he and Kitty are left. Kitty tries to talk sense into him, but no deal. With no other recourse, she phases her arm into his head and turns solid, right as he chops it off. With her arm lodged permanently into his head, he can’t heal and keels over.
Exiles: Days of Then and Now #1
Mike Raicht and Carlos Ferreira – 2008
Hulk was pretty fearsome during World War Hulk with his Warbound buddies, but in this reality, he’s a bit more ominous. He killed Annihilus and became the leader of the Annihilation Wave. He’s shown waging war on Earth by himself, fighting near a pile of dead heroes.
Wolverine is shown to be the last one standing and valiantly gives his all. Then he gets thrown into space as the Annihilation Wave comes for Earth. Welp.
New Exiles #12
Chris Claremeont and Paco Diaz Luque – 2008
A recurring villain duo in the Claremont run of Exiles is Madame Hydra (Sue Storm) and her right-hand man and lover Howlett. The green-clad Wolverine fights the Exiles a couple times and is last seen defeating the Exiles’ incarnation of Sabretooth. The team has a version of Kitty Pryde, who takes him on all by herself.
Unlike the What If? issue mentioned above, there is no desperation in Kitty’s survival. She’s more sadistic in her cleverness than Howlett expected. Since she can make things other than herself intangible, she simply gets selective. When Howlett claws at her midsection, not only does Kitty phase herself, but she also phases the joints in Howlett’s arm. The claws fall to the ground. Considering she can do that to his claws, we’re left to imagine what kind of havoc she can play on the rest of his body. She returns to Sabretooth’s side later with a handful of Wolverine claws.
Marvel Zombies Return #3
Jonathan Maberry and Jason Shawn Alexander – 2009
Here’s a Wolverine double play. The umpteenth installment of the Marvel Zombies franchise takes place after the events of Marvel Zombies 2, where the zombie heroes (who had come to their senses) were tossed into another dimension by Fabian Cortez’s crazed son. Unfortunately, the dimensional travel has caused them to regain their hunger. While Zombie Spider-Man dedicates himself to finding a cure for the plague, Zombie Wolverine goes on a killing and eating spree in Tokyo. While chasing Kitty Pryde, he kills a handful of heroes and Hand ninjas until that world’s Wolverine challenges him.
Zombie Wolverine is ultimately done in when Kitty phases a stake into his brain and Living Wolverine impales him in the chest as an exclamation point. Unfortunately, shortly after, we see that that world’s Wolverine has a nasty bite mark on the back of his arm…
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Marvel Zombies Return #5
Fred Van Lente and Wellinton Alves – 2009
The events of World War Hulk get apocalyptic when an infected Hulk passes the infection to the Sentry. Years pass and Earth is lifeless, ruled by a group of zombie stand-ins for the Justice League: Sentry, Thundra, Moon Knight, Quasar, Quicksilver, Namor, and Super-Skrull. The group is lured to the Savage Land, where they meet up with the New Avengers: Zombie Spider-Man, Zombie Hulk, Zombie Wolverine, and Jim Rhodes, who had cut off any infected body parts and replaced them with cybernetics.
Wolverine’s pissed about the Zombie League having devoured Kitty and sides with Spider-Man’s desire to wipe out their entire race. Spider-Man unleashes the Sandman at their enemies, merged with a nanites designed to devour undead flesh. Friends and foe alike are converted to skeletons, Wolverine included.
What If: Secret Wars
Karl Bollers and Jorge Molina – 2009
In the original Secret Wars, Dr. Doom steals away the Beyonder’s powers and becomes virtually omnipotent. The heroes talk it out amongst themselves and decide to oppose him. Suddenly, a large bolt of energy crashes down and kills them all. What remains of the Beyonder is able to possess Doom’s sidekick Klaw and spins a possibility of the heroes surviving that gets under Doom’s skin so much that Doom inadvertently causes that possibility to become reality.
In this version of the story, the Enchantress points out that Klaw is the Beyonder before he can do any damage and Doom destroys him for good. There is no unconscious resurrection this time. Dead means dead.
Jeph Loeb and David Finch – 2009
Ultimate Wolverine meets his end when the X-Men and Ultimates take a shot at Magneto, who screwed up Earth something fierce by moving it off its axis. Wolverine slashes at him, but Magneto controls Iron Man’s armor and Cyclops’ visor, causing them to blast him in unison. Way to not close your eyes, Slim.
Wolverine’s all charred up, but he’s still capable of impaling Magneto through the chest. In retaliation, Magneto blasts the adamantium from his skeleton, leaving nothing but charred bones.
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X-Men Forever #1-3
Chris Claremont and Tom Grummett – 2009
The concept of X-Men Forever is Claremont continuing where he left off on his endless X-Men run in the ’80s and ’90s. In the first issue, Jean has a psychic conversation with Wolverine as he’s in the middle of a secret solo mission. He discovers something shocking and is suddenly killed, causing Jean to scream his name and go into a coma. Later on, his spark-covered skeleton is discovered in a Manhattan park by some cops. Xavier tries to read Jean’s memory, Sabretooth sneaks into the mansion to pick a fight, and Jean wakes up from the coma.
All three of those situations flat out state that Storm is the killer. Storm attacks the team and then escapes, revealing that she’s working with a shadowy organization called the Consortium, but the details of why she did what she did and if she’s even the real Storm are never answered prior to the comic’s cancellation. Regardless, Sabretooth joins the team to get vengeance for his “son.”
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Young X-Men #11
Marc Guggenheim and Daniel Acuna – 2009
In a story called “End of Days,” Young X-Men member Dust is dying due to her unique biology. She briefly considers joining up with mutant-hating villain Donald Pierce for the sake of keeping her alive, but turns against him and dies. She’s resurrected by teammate Ink, which should normally be considered a good thing. A possible future depicts Dust as insane and corrupted by the resurrection and she takes out her frustrations on what passes for the X-Men so many years later.
She confronts Wolverine in his home as he gets a beer. He’s very casual about his impending death, knowing that there’s nothing he can do against her. When she blames him for letting her die in the first place, his final words are, “Get bent, sweetheart.” Dust envelops him and leaves only his metal skeleton.
What If: Astonishing X-Men
Matteo Casali and Mike Getty – 2010
It turns out the events of the X-Men fighting Danger – the AI being that they used as the Danger Room – happen at the same time as the Runaways fighting Ultron. Normally, the X-Men win thanks to the help of Xavier, but as Ultron finishes off the Runaways, he gets a signal and becomes aware of Danger’s existence. He goes to the mansion to help her out and try to woo her into becoming his bride. They kill a whole lot of mutants together, including Ultron shrugging off Wolverine’s claws and vaporizing him on the spot.
Or, at the very least, vaporizing his brain.
What If: Father
Rob Williams and Greg Tocchini – 2011
In a world where Logan is aware of his son, he proves to be a pretty terrible father. He shelters John (known as Daken in regular continuity) by never mentioning his old, violent life, nor the nature of what they are. When Xavier stops by to ask for help in saving his X-Men team from Krakoa, Logan yells at him to leave them alone and then refuses to tell John what that’s all about. John ends up leaving their home and becomes a big name in the yakuza. Logan confronts him and begs him to come home. John goes on a rant about how the two of them are nothing but monsters and killers and proves the point by killing his entire entourage during his yelling.
Logan impales him with the Muramasa Blade, which negates the healing factor. He tells his dying son that he only blames himself for what happened and turns the blade on himself.
What If: Siege (What If #200)
Marc Guggenheim and Dave Wilkins – 2011
According to Guggenheim, the main reason the Sentry/Void lost during the climax of Siege was because he was weakened from killing Ares. If he had to do that a day earlier instead of in the midst of battle, he would have been completely unstoppable. In this version, Osborn’s battle is a complete slaughter with the Sentry as his MVP.
Amongst the bodycount, Sentry decapitates Wolverine and X-23 with a single karate chop. Don’t be confused by that panel of Daken cutting up Thing.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #3
Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic – 2012
Cullen Bunn apparently read Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe and thought to himself, “Hm, this is pretty dumb, but I bet I can make an even stupider comic!” Despite Castle’s plot armor, at least he didn’t recover from an exploded head in mere seconds. In this reality, the evil Psycho Man tries to rewire Deadpool’s brain for his own purposes, but all it does is awaken a dark, sadistic personality that is well aware that Deadpool is a fictional character and lashes out by wanting to kill everyone and destroy all reality.
His killing spree brings him to Avengers Mansion and although he blows the place up, Wolverine survives to fight another day. Forcing Arcade to be his lackey, Deadpool kills off the X-Men, leaving Wolverine for last. Wolverine discovers a room where Daken and X-23 are bound and repeatedly torched. Deadpool fights with Wolverine and uses a carbonadium katana to offset his healing factor. A clean decapitation is all it takes for Deadpool to come out the winner.
Despite there being another take on this concept called Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again, Wolverine is spared due to the subtle reveal that the comic takes place in the same universe as Old Man Logan.
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Fantastic Four #605.1
Jonathan Hickman and Mike Choi – 2012
This issue gives us a look at the founder of the Council of Reeds, the multiversal team of Reed Richards’ who wanted to bring order to the universe.
Unfortunately, this Reed is a Nazi. Through his plotting, he kills Victor Von Doom, his teammates, and Hitler himself. He rules Germany and somehow gets his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet. Many heroes try to stop him, including Wolverine. Wolverine is vaporized by a blast from the Gauntlet. The heroes keep pouring on and Nazi Reed loses control, destroying the planet in a fit of rage.
Age of Ultron #9
Brian Michael Bendis and Brandon Peterson – 2013
Time travel gets out of hand when Wolverine and Sue Storm go back in time to kill Henry Pym. The new present is even worse, so Wolverine goes back again to stop himself from killing Pym. They talk it out and a new solution arises.
Unfortunately, there are now two Wolverines, which will likely screw up the timeline even more. The two sneak off into a cave with the older Wolverine volunteering to die because he doesn’t want to live with the horrors he caused with the Pymless reality. The younger Wolverine goes along with it and shocks Sue when he leaves the cave with bloody claws.
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Deadpool Kills Deadpool #3
Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin – 2013
Building off of the Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe comic, a multiversal war explodes of the good Deadpools vs. the evil Deadpools in an excuse to kill off all the spinoff characters like Lady Deadpool and Headpool. Many of the alternate Deadpools are hybrids of him and other characters, such as a Deadpool-style Galactus and a Deadpool-style Spiral.
One of the evil Deadpools is a Deadpool/Wolverine amalgam who speaks in simplistic Wolverine speech, such as only talking about beer and mentioning that he’s the best at what he does. There are lots of weapons specifically created to offset healing factors brought into play and to take care of Poolverine, Regular Deadpool throws a grenade filled with flesh-eating beetles. They cover Poolverine and devour him down to the bone.
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Death of Wolverine #4
Charles Soule and Steve McNiven – 2014
In a time when his healing factor has long stopped working, Wolverine falls knee-deep into a “greatest hits” storyline where there’s a conspiracy/mystery that happens to feature a bunch of his main villains. Ultimately, his quest brings him to Dr. Cornelius, one of the scientists behind his creation. Wolverine finds that Cornelius is still doing horrible experiments and goes on a tear in an attempt to stop him. During the incident, a big tube of liquid adamantium pours onto Logan and covers him from head to toe.
Wolverine still chases Cornelius to the rooftop, where Cornelius collapses and dies from his injuries. Before dying, Cornelius yells at Logan for being nothing but a murderer and asks what he’s even done in his life. As the adamantium hardens, he stands as a statue in the sun and reflects on his many adventures. He’s done enough.
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Secret Wars: 1602: Witch Hunter Angela
Marguerite Bennett and Stephanie Hans – 2015
We move on to the ridiculous, but fantastic event Secret Wars. Er, the more recent one. Through the event, we see various sectors of a patchwork Earth that are representatives of different alternate realities. One such sector is based on the 1602 continuity. In it, Angela is a witch hunter whose initial adventure shows her trying to kill a corrupt King James.
James survives being impaled and gets back up, revealing his claws. Nonplussed, Angela catches him with her spear and casually uses it to drown him in a nearby moat.
Secret Wars: Age of Apocalypse
Fabian Nicieza and Iban Coello – 2015
There are so many damn Age of Apocalypse sequels and thanks to Secret Wars, there’s one more thrown onto the fire. In this version, Dr. Nemesis goes mad and becomes an all-powerful villain. What remains of the X-Men attacks him and while he is ultimately defeated, the duo of Sabretooth and one-handed Wolverine don’t exactly do so well.
The two make a run at him and are tossed off into space, where they die from asphyxiation.
Secret Wars: MODOK: Assassin
Christopher Yost and Amilcar Pinna – 2015
In the sector known as Killville, one of the greatest killers is MODOK. As protector of the land, he becomes a target of endless assassins. Alongside a Mjolnir-wielding Angela (who MODOK has fallen for), the two murder a whole lot of enemies.
One of the hired assassins sent against them is Wolverine. MODOK easily survives being clawed from behind and gets ready to fight Wolverine head-on. Heh. Head-on. Anyway, at the last second, Wolverine is fried to death and MODOK is quick to mention that it isn’t his doing. Instead, he and the others find an army of Mindless Ones closing in…
Secret Wars Too
Ryan Browne – 2015
In the comedy one-shot about Secret Wars, we see Sector XXX where three versions of Cyclops get in a fight with Wolverine over him stealing Jean from them. He makes short work of the trio by deflecting an optic blast with his claws and hitting all three of them in the crotch.
Talking animal vigilante Beardevil flips over and takes care of Wolverine in an attempt to befriend the three Scotts. They seem pleased at first, but then the bear mauls Wolverine to the point that he’s just a skeleton. As Beardevil throws the skull over his shoulder, he doesn’t understand why everyone’s so freaked out.
This is when the story gets weird.
directed by James Mangold (2017)
Arguably the best X-Men related movie, and one of the best superhero movies ever made, Logan takes place in a future where mutants are dying off, and an aging Wolverine finds that his healing factor is beginning to fail him. As if that’s not enough, he has to protect the young X-23 and an elderly Charles Xavier, whose mind has been ravaged by dementia.
Imagine all the punishment you’re used to seeing Wolverine take in the course of his adventures revealed in full, R-rated glory on screen. And then imagine that it’s not so easy for him to recover anymore. Logan puts its title character through a Stations of the Cross of brutal mutant violence, and Logan expires at the end, exhausted but victorious, and secure in the knowledge that his final effort will help Charles Xavier’s dream live on long beyond him.
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Gavin Jasper wishes they wouldn’t remove Wolverine from his adamantium statue shell. It ruins his collector’s value! Follow Gavin on Twitter!