Marvel decides there aren’t enough books starring Wolverine

There was a time when Wolverine could only be found in the pages of Uncanny X-Men. I know it’s shocking. Don’t be embarassed if you need to catch your breath. In the mid-80s, it was decided that the superstar X-Man could probably sustain adventures of his own, and thus Wolverine was launched (after a successful mini-series). Alright, that’s fine. A lot of team players have solo books (Iron Man and Captain America, for example).

But now, two decades later, Marvel has taken the pint-sized psychopath’s popularity and gone positively bat-shit crazy. Besides his role in the pages of Uncanny, he also is leading the black-ops strikeforce team in X-Force, has stayed with the unregistered team of New Avengers, has three books of his own (Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins, Wolverine: First Class), only one of which really telling an ongoing story, and has recently been the subject of an ungodly surge of one-shot stories and mini-series. Logan wrapped up last month, Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man and Other Bloody Tales came out a week later, Wolverine: Dangerous Games kicked off June, and last week’s X-Force: Ain’t No Dog‘s main story was – you guessed it – a Wolverine story.

August will feature Wolverine: Killing Made Simple that brings back (by no one’s demand) Nanny and the Orphan Maker and September has Wolverine: Roar and Wolverine: Saudade. To add with that, September’s issue of Wolverine: Origins kicks off a four issue crossover with X-Men: Legacy!

I don’t know what type of fan is so into Wolverine they’re willing to shill out their hard-earned dollars to get all of this drivel (in fairness, not all of it is) but they need to knock it off. Perhaps if sales tank enough on these things, Wolverine can get back down to a manageable level. But I can bitch about it all day long. How would I fix it?

First, stop the one-shots and the mini-series. Wolverine is appearing in at least six different ongoing titles a month, complete with two dedicated specifically to him in current continuity. There should not be anything that can be brought out in a one-shot or mini that can’t be handled in one or more of those titles. And if you actually read the issues in question, you’ll see that they’re actually isn’t anything brought out. They’re simply basic “milk-the-franchise” stories.

Second, cancel one of the current continuity books. While Wolverine: Origins (launched right after Wolverine discovered his entire past in House of M) features an ongoing plot dealing with the inner workings of the character, Wolverine is a book of rotating writers and artists whose stories really don’t match up together or with any other title for that matter, except for occasionally Origins. So get rid of Origins while moving the stories and creative team over to Wolverine. Focus, people. Focus.

Third, refine Wolverine’s presence in the Marvel Universe. It’s a running joke that he’s everywhere at once, and that shouldn’t be. Put him on the X-Men and keep him there. Yank him from the Avengers as they have their own massive list of characters that can fill the void. X-Force is a little trickier, as his presence is quite important, but since the characters involved don’t really fit and the concept goes against 40+ years of continuity, why not just scrap the whole book? I like that idea.

So what are we left with? Wolverine with solo adventures in Wolverine and team excursions in Uncanny X-Men and fun, nostalgic, out-of-continuity trips in Wolverine: First Class. With such a refined area, now you can reintroduce the one-shots but only few and far between! Even guest spots in New or Mighty Avengers won’t be too much of a problem. But with the saturation down, these books might actually receive the bump that Wolverine’s appearance should bring if they weren’t so plentiful.

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8 comments

  1. All three of the Wolverine books have a purpose, but only one of them is following it.Wolverine should be the main title, focusing on the character’s exploits in current continuity.Origins should be mostly (all in my opinion) stories told in flashback that reveal some of the character’s more than 130 years of history. Ideally, you’d have a story running through Wolverine and Origins running a story that backs that one up, adding some historical context.First Class is, of course, off in its own little world telling fun stories geared more toward younger readers.First Class is the only one doing what it should be doing. Origins’ “The Deep End” story with Deadpool was set in current continuity and featured no flashbacks or history at all. Wolverine’s “Get Mystique” storyline was loaded with flahsbacks to their exploits in the 1920s and shed some light on the history between Logan and Mystique. The stories should have been in opposite books. As for the one shots and minis, the only one I can offer a defense for is Logan, as it was a decent story. But it featured Wolverine going to Japan to settle an old score and flashbacks to WWII to set up that score. It was an Origins story and should’ve been in that book. The Amazing Immortal Man and Dangerous Games weren’t that great and served no greater purpose, so they didn’t need to happen. So if both of the in continuity books were on track, then there’s reason to have both. As it stands they would probably do better to focus on one. And although I enjoy Wolverine in New Avengers the book could most certainly survive without him. I can’t speak for the X-Force stuff since I don’t read it.

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  2. When put that way, I can see how both <>Wolverine<> and <>Origins<> could survive, if used properly. I think the rotating creators on the main title is hurting it badly.

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  3. True. Wolverine hasn’t had a steady writer since Mark Millar left and that was back before Civil War. Millar is coming back, but I believe it’s only for another six issue run.

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  4. Heh…oops. I read the review of it today. Starting in Wolverine #66 “Old Man Logan” takes place 50 years in the future, and something happened that killed all of the heroes, and he’s left, and has aged, and lives in Hulkland. That’s what I remember from the review.

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  5. The first issue of “Old Man Logan” came out yesterday. The story’s set fifty years after “the bad guys won” and Wolverine swore he’d never raise his hand in violence again. Logan’s an old man now (hence the title) with a wife and kids. He’s fairly content with his life, except when he can’t pay rent to the gang that runs where he lives. So he desperately needs money and one day crazy old Hawkeye comes along with a business proposition. I’m not sure what the purpose of this story is or where it’s going, but it’s Mark Millar and Steve McNiven so I’ll go along for the ride.

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