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[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the end of Logan.]
The ending of James Mangold’s Logan brings Hugh Jackman’s career as the onscreen Wolverine to its close in the only fitting manner.
It killed off the hero once and for all, with Logan sacrificing himself to save his daughter Lara (Dafne Keen) and her band of young mutants. It was undoubtedly the most affecting death in a comic book movie ever. It felt final — and comes 17 years after audiences first saw Jackman in the role (that’s a lot of time to get attached).
Except, of course, this is far from the first time that Wolverine has died. Even ignoring the character’s high-profile demise in 2014, the fan-favorite X-Man actually has a long history of meeting his maker stretching all the way back to 1981. If you’re distraught over the latest loss of Logan, perhaps revisiting his comic book deaths would make it sting just a little bit less. (Who are we kidding? Nothing can dampen the pain of that beautifully tragic ending.)
Days of Future Past
Uncanny X-Men No. 142 (1981)
Cause of death: An energy blast from a Sentinel.
The first death of the character took place in an alternate timeline, when he was part of a mutant uprising against the robotic Sentinels that had taken over the United States. Things didn’t go well; Wolverine was just one of a number of casualties, which also included the rest of the X-Men.
Lost in the Funhouse
Uncanny X-Men Annual No. 11 (1987)
Cause of death: Stabbed through the chest by a near-omnipotent alien.
In what remains the most unlikely resurrection of Wolverine yet, the character immediately came back to life after his death because a drop of his blood hit an object filled with cosmic energy, which temporarily gave him the power of a god. You know, as happens.
Fall of the Mutants
Uncanny X-Men No. 227 (1988)
Cause of death: Sacrificed his life as part of a magical ritual.
Cosmic matters brought the hero — and the rest of the X-Men — back to life after they all sacrificed their lives to seal a mystical portal into another dimension. In recognition of their good deeds, a cosmic being called Roma immediately resurrected them, but there was a cost: They had to live in Australia as a result.
The Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet No. 4 (1991)
Cause of death: Murdered by Thanos, who transforms his skeleton into rubber and leaves his body to collapse upon itself.
Wolverine was just one of a number of superheroes to die at the hands of Thanos in the massive comic book storyline that’s being adapted into the 2018 Avengers: Infinity War movie. Like all of them, he was brought back to life when the universe was reset at the end of the tale.
Here Comes Tomorrow
NewXMen No. 154 (2004)
Cause of death: Murdered by a possessed version of his teammate Beast after his healing factor has been turned off.
There was no coming back for Wolverine this time, although this particular death occurred in a future timeline that was immediately undone at the story’s end. Worth noting: Beast was possessed by an intelligent virus called Sublime, because, of course, he was.
Enemy of the State
Wolverine No. 20 (2004)
Cause of death: Murdered (and subsequently resurrected) by ninja assassin guild The Hand in an attempt to brainwash him.
This is another murder that actually took, although he was, once again, immediately resurrected. This time, it wasn’t his healing power that did the trick — murder-then-resurrection was the tool by which The Hand brainwashed all its new members. And you thought previous hazing tricks you’d heard about were bad.
Ultimatum No. 5 (2009)
Cause of death: Ultimately (no pun intended) killed by Magneto stripping his bones of their adamantium covering, which rips his body to shreds.
Technically speaking, this wasn’t the regular Wolverine who died, but the one that lived in the universe featured in Marvel’s Ultimate imprint. His death was even more over the top than it seems above: Magneto also shot him with Cyclops’ visor and Iron Man’s armor before pulling the metal from his bones.
Love — and Loss!
X-Men Forever No. 1 (2009)
Cause of death: Struck by lightning by Storm in a plotline that’s never fully explained.
An out-of-regular-continuity series written by longtime X-Men writer Chris Claremont, X-Men Forever started with the murder of Wolverine, a plot that the writer has originally intended to happen almost 20 years earlier, before editorial forces overruled him. The title was canceled before Claremont could bring him back to life … if, indeed, he even intended to.
Age of Ultron
Age of Ultron No. 9 (2013)
Cause of death: Killed by an earlier version of himself via time travel (suicide by proxy takes on a whole new meaning).
The time-traveling Age of Ultron series saw the Wolverine of an alternate future go back to the past in order to prevent the present Wolverine, who had also gone back to the past, from changing history — only for them to change history in a different way. When returning to the present, the Wolverine from the alternate timeline suggests he die in order to not confuse people about why there are suddenly two of him. Yes, the actual comic is about that complicated.
Death of Wolverine
Death of Wolverine No. 4 (2014)
Cause of death: Suffocated by a vat of adamantium being poured over him.
After losing his healing power, Wolverine confronts the director of the Weapon X program that gave him his adamantium bones. During the confrontation, Wolverine tries to sabotage the creation of other adamantium-boned soldiers, but in the process, accidentally ends up being coated by the metal in its liquid form. As it hardens around him, he dies … and, to this day, remains dead. At least until Marvel decides to toy with readers’ emotions by resurrecting him again.
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