Right around the end of Civil War II a number of us in the Institute’s comic book studies department wagered on which character Marvel would bring back to print first: The Hulk, Iron Man, Professor X, Logan, or Mr. Fantastic. Right away there was debate as to whether Tony Stark ever really left comics, what with his A.I. ghost still haunting the pages of Riri’s monthly; whether or not the Hulk samurai zombie in Uncanny Avengers constituted a return; and whether or not Reed & Sue’s disappearance at the end of the recent Secret Wars was anything more than an acknowledgement that they were written off because of the evil machinations of 20th Century Fox, and not a Beyonder-level Doctor Doom.
Less than two years later, four of the five are back (in one form or another), with the Fantastic Four set to re-emerge as part of Marvel’s fresh start later this summer. The point is, superheroes and supervillains never stay dead, and while the significance surrounding their extended sabbaticals from comics becomes less and less newsworthy, we’re increasingly more interested in how the storytellers choose to resurrect them. Honestly, these are the stories that seem far more compelling.
Case in point, Logan, the original Wolverine, is back in the Marvel U. And writer Charles Soule follows up his Death of Wolverine mini-series from 2014 with this week’s Hunt for Wolverine #1, part of a multi-series event that will occupy far more rack real estate in the coming months than his demise ever did.