Wolverine is the best he is at what he does. And what he does is appear in as many Marvel Comics as physically possible in order to Canadian goose sales.
Heck, even when Marvel killed Wolverine off for over two years, they quickly introduced multiple Wolverines to take his place, including Old Man Logan, a time-displaced alternate future version of Wolverine, All-New Wolverine, the Wolverine clone formerly (and presently) known as X-23, Honey Badger, a clone of All-New Wolverine, and Jonathan, an actual Wolverine. Arguably, there were more Wolverine solo titles, team books, and guest appearances while Wolverine was dead than when he was alive, and that’s not even counting the five mini-series and multiple one-shots it took to bring him back to life.
But now that the original Wolverine is back to being alive again, he can go right back to appearing in as many Marvel titles as he wants. Even though Jonathan Hickman convinced Marvel to cancel all of the X-Men titles during House of X and Powers of X, both of which star Wolverine, Dead Man Logan was the only one to continue, with a new issue out just last week, and this week Marvel will release Wolverine Annual #1. Wolverine even appears in this week’s issue of Fearless, an anthology comic ostensibly meant to showcase Marvel’s female heroes.
And it looks like Marvel has no plans to slow things down. In this week’s edition of X-Men Monday at Adventures in Poor Taste, power-mad X-editor Jordan White was asked about the issue and responded.
AiPT!: Among many X-Fans, one of the biggest complaints is that Logan is overexposed and used in too many books, Ross is just here for the geekery (@RPHutch1975) said. However, Wolverine’s still wildly popular. Is X-Editorial aware of all this and does it determine how and where he shows up?
Jordan: This is the first I am hearing about this.
No, seriously, of course we know this. But I think there is a pretty straightforward system in place to determine when a character is in too many books—the readers get sick of them and stop buying their comics. If having Wolverine in a book doesn’t boost sales, he’s not gonna show up as much. I don’t think we’ve gotten there.
I get it—there are a zillion stories with Wolverine in them, and only a handful with Maggott in them, so Maggott fans are like, “Why Wolverine when he is taking up space for my guy?!?” But I think I wrote about this in a previous week—characters snowball in exponential ways. Wolverine is popular so he is in more stories, being in more stories means more chances that those stories click with readers, clicking with readers makes him more popular. More readers liking him also means more writers like him because they liked him as readers. And I guess if you don’t like a character who is surging in that way, you’re gonna be grumpy about it, and I get that. But I think nearly 45 years into Wolverine’s time as one of the main X-Men, I think we can be pretty confident he’s not going away any time soon.
So there you have it. As long as people keep buying books with Wolverine in them, Marvel will keep making them. And the more books Wolverine appears in, the more people will buy them; it’s a sheer numbers game. So we can look forward to the stabby little runt permeating Marvel’s publishing line for many years to come.