Wolverine’s been dying for some time. At least that’s how it seemed. When it was first announced in 2013 that Wolverine would be losing his healing factor, we all knew that meant he was more susceptible to dying. He was now Killable. It took some time but his death has finally come.
There has likely been some debate over whether or not his death was a fitting one in DEATH OF WOLVERINE #4. Because we’ve waited so long, there was bound to be certain expectations. We all knew the death was coming, we just didn’t know how it would happen. After reading the issue, I was a little unsure how I felt about it. Giving it some thought, I’m okay with it. I think it works and is fitting for who Logan is.
There will be spoilers for DEATH OF WOLVERINE #4 so be sure to read the issue now.
Throughout this miniseries, Logan quickly discovered someone put out a bounty for him. He figured now that he didn’t have his healing factor, an enemy wanted him dead. It turned out to be a different story. He was actually wanted alive and the reason why was revealed in this final issue.
Wolverine’s final confrontation was, in a way, with his creator. Doctor Abraham Cornelius. Cornelius believed he could make the world a better place.
In trying to atone for creating a “killer,” he had been experimenting on people in the hopes of creating the perfect soldiers or super-heroes, conditioned to do as ordered. He had obtained plenty of Adamantium but simply needed Wolverine’s healing factor since the bonding process of adding Adamantium was “invasive.”
Cornelius mentioned he tried to duplicate the healing factor but it was flawed. Logan revealed he no longer his healing factor and, thus, was no longer needed. As Cornelius attempted to flee, he started the bonding process on three individuals he had in his lab.
Logan, ever the hero, slashed at the container of Adamantium as it was about to be injected in the test subjects and was rewarded with liquid Adamantium covering his body. Wolverine made his way out and died, watching the sunset, having saved the lives of three innocent people.
Most of us expected Wolverine to go out in a blaze of glory. We assumed he’d take on insane odds against a horde of villains and save the entire world. Logan didn’t need all of that. He knew what he was doing and what would happen in trying to save just three innocent lives. That’s what made him a hero, and not the cold-hearted killer Cornelius pegged him as. Having him die in a big spectacular and bloody death against an army of deadly enemies would have been a cool sight, but you have to admit it'd be a little cliché.
But is he really dead?
We all know in comic books, death isn’t forever. While there has been news of a weekly WOLVERINES title dealing with other clawed characters from Logan’s life, it doesn’t appear Logan will be returning in the immediate future.
Looking at the scene in the lab several times, it seems like there could be an eventual way out. Cornelius had some vials of the healing factor he tried to create. We see Wolverine reach for some but it appears it was so he could use it on the patients.
What if he used the single vial shown on a tray on himself? The healing factor might not have been perfect but what if it could work for a longer period on him because deep down there could still be some trace of his healing factor buried in his DNA. He may be stuck in statue form in an Adamantium prison but what if the formula could sustain him and maybe the Adamantium is in a porous state that would allow him to breath. Maybe his healing factor could prevent him from starving to death, etc. All that would remain is for someone to figure out how to extract the Adamantium encasing Logan.
Wolverine's dead. We'll see what the LOGAN LEGACY has in store for those in his lives. Marvel might do the unexpected and keep Logan dead for some time. But we have to believe he'll be back eventually. For now, we can celebrate the life he lead as a hero, bub.