Anghus Houvouras on the impending Death of Wolverine…
People who work in the comic book industry are a funny lot. Creative, interesting, often quite witty individuals who produce a lot of entertaining tweets and quotes. Social media is abuzz this week with the upcoming ‘death’ of Wolverine. That and a seemingly endless stream of naked celebrity photos. As Wolverine prepares to meet his maker, various creators and contributors are commenting on this epic event.
Here’s a quote courtesy of writer Charles Soule:
“The idea is not to bring him back. This isn’t one of those stories where he’s back in two weeks. The point is to tell an awesome ending story for Wolverine.”
I gagged, I choked, I did a spit take. Not because I believed for a moment that Wolverine wouldn’t eventually be resuscitated. Comic books are the very foundation of our ‘Zombie Culture’ i.e. no one ever really dies. Eventually every comic book character will be killed and then somehow freed from the icy grip of Lady Death.
My first thought was ‘either writer Charles Soule is a liar or a moron’. How could anyone who works in the comics industry be that dumb or disingenuous? The quote continued:
“I’m not gonna say he will never be brought back. I will say for sure that I’m very involved in all the Wolverine related discussions at Marvel right now and the thing we have not talked about at all is how to bring him back and I’m involved in discussions for stuff out into 2016 at this point.”
Oh. I see. There are ‘no plans to bring him back’ for AT LEAST the next 16 months. Well that’s certainly a game changer. Marvel is going to kill off another character but not bring him back at least until the first fiscal quarter of 2016.
I love that Soule thinks that killing a character for an extended period of time before engineering their turn is somehow novel As if it’s not a gimmick because they’re not bringing him back two weeks later.
As a medium, comic books have become so stale. At least from the two largest publishers (DC and Marvel). The playbook is so tired. When there’s nowhere left to take a character editors and writers have three moves: kill them, send them to an alternative universe, or re-visit the origin story and add a new wrinkle.
To me, killing Wolverine isn’t news. Neither is delaying the inevitable return for 16 months or so. This is textbook mainstream comic book bullshit. Even using the words ‘no plans to bring him back’ before the qualifier feels like hyperbole to try and sell a few extra copies. Sometimes I wonder if serialized stories have the ability to surprise us anymore. The Death of Wolverine isn’t doing much to inspire me with confidence.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.