How Death Of Wolverine Comic Could Impact X-Men Films

Yahoo UK Movies Features

‘X-Men’ fans prepare yourself… for a world without Wolverine.

Comic book giants Marvel have announced the cult character will finally be “killed off” in a four-issue miniseries dubbed ‘Death Of Wolverine’ – likely to change to ‘X-Men’ series forever.

Marvel executive editor Michael Marts revealed the decision to finally lay to rest the apparently immortal mutant in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“For a long time, no matter who Wolverine was battling, he’s been the eternal victor. He almost always comes out on top. Now he finally comes up against an adversary that he cannot win against, he cannot fight. What does that mean for this character who’s been around for 100 years?”

Marvel writer Charles Soule also hinted that each instalment of the miniseries would allow readers to come to terms with ol’ Adamantium Claws’ death, saying:

“He’s reflecting on his own life as he’s reflecting on his own death. We wanted to have the reader do that at the same time. In each issue, we’re focusing on a different aspect, or a different quintessential Wolverine.”

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A new story arc titled ’3 Months To Die’ will rob Wolverine of his healing power this Summer, before the ‘Death Of Wolverine’ lands on 3 September,  climaxing with the character’s final demise on 24 September.

But how will Wolverine’s print death affect Hugh Jackman and the Twentieth Century Fox produced movies? Let’s find out…

Aren’t the comics different to the movies?
Well, yes they are. And individual comic book properties can feature multiple strands and storyline, entirely separate of each other. As a character, Wolverine first appeared in ‘Hulk’ #180 in 1974, and has since featured in countless narrative strands. The only one of those that's been directly adapted into a film is ‘The Wolverine’, directed by James Mangold in 2013.

Don’t characters die all the time?
Again, yes… and not just the bad guys or supporting characters either. Major Marvel figures to recently get the comic book chop include Spider-man (in 2011 and 2012), Captain America (three times, in 2005, 2007 and 2013) and Wolverine himself in a 2009 issue of ‘Ultimate Wolverine’. However all three characters continued to appear in both print and film since their deaths, showing just how fragmented comic book franchises can be.

So, why is ‘Death Of Wolverine’ different?
The fact Marvel is making a big fuss out of a series actually called ‘Death Of Wolverine’ implies this is a big deal for the comic book company. And, with the miniseries featuring nostalgic retrospectives on the character’s publication history, it hints that this may be a landmark moment for the Wolverine franchise.

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What does this mean for Wolverine on film?
It could be coincidence, but with constant rumours circulating that actor Hugh Jackman is close to hanging up the claws once and for all, some fans are already speculating that ‘Death Of Wolverine’ could be paving the way for the character’s upsetting on-screen death.

We also know that Marvel-inspired movies have recently been playing closer attention to their source comics too: Mangold's ‘The Wolverine’ took direct inspiration from the 1982 stand-alone series of the same name, a revamped comic storyline recently saw a major character killed off in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, and ‘X-Men Days: Of Future Past’ is the first ‘X-Men’ ensemble film to be explicitly based on a its graphic counterpart, published back in 1980.

Come on, they wouldn’t just stop making Wolverine movies…
No, they wouldn’t. Twentieth Century Fox are unlikely to simply cast off one of their most popular, and profitable, characters. But the fact is Jackman is getting on a bit, and the man himself has already courted the idea of being replaced – even tipping Channing Tatum for the part, in an interview last year.

However for most movie-goers Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine – and if we’re to ever going to believe another actor could play him, we need to say goodbye to the Aussie actor’s incarnation properly. A storyline like the one promised in ‘Death Of Wolverine’ would make the perfect send-off.

When could this happen?
We know Jackman has at least two more Wolverine movies in him: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (reportedly set in the 1980s) scheduled to land in 2016, and James Mangold’s ‘The Wolverine 2’, thought to be shooting immediately after, and liekly to see a release around 2018.

Jackman himself could be in his 50s by then – ripe for retirement from such a physically demanding role – and we already know precious hints dropped by director/writer Mangold that ‘The Wolverine 2’ will definitely be based on a specific Wolverine comic’s storyline. Just like the 2013 movie.

Could ‘Death Of Wolverine’ be that story? We’ll have to wait to find out…

Watch our exclusive UNCUT Q&A with 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' star Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, below...