Death in the Marvel Universe is nothing if not fleeting, but two series have spent the better part of the past year truly savoring the moment: Dead Man Logan, a 12-issue maxi-series whose entire purpose was to kill off Old Man Logan now that the return of the original Wolverine has made him redundant, and Conan the Barbarian, a series whose first storyline is called The Life & Death of Conan. This week, in Dead Man Logan #12 and Conan the Barbarian #10 respectively, each of the titular characters finally met their doom. So which death was better?
In The Life & Death of Conan, we’ve seen that an encounter with The Crimson Witch earlier in his life has set Conan on a path toward his eventual demise, and though Conan escaped the witch’s first attempt to harvest his blood to raise the death god Razazel, her children spent years tracking him down and preparing for a second shot. In Conan the Barbarian #10, the trap is sprung, and though Conan does his best to escape once again, a cave-in buries the barbarian at last.
Meanwhile, in Dead Man Logan #12, Logan and his companions, Dani Cage and Bruce Banner Jr., battle Sabretooth and Mister Sinister in a final showdown in the Wastelands. Logan takes his last remaining dose of Regenix, a healing factor drug, and manages to take out Sabretooth, but he only has enough life left in him after that for a long car ride back to his farm followed by several pages of monologing about his dead wife and children. Ultimately, though, the stabby little runt dies, fulfilling the promise of the series’ title.
So which death was better? We’ll grade the deaths on three categories to see who comes out the winner: extravagance, sentimentality, and permanence.
Conan the Barbarian #1 launched both the Life & Death of Conan storyline and the character’s triumphant return to Marvel after several decades, which was certainly a big deal. And it took ten issues for Conan to finally die, which is a lot. However, Dead Man Logan had an entire 12-issue series dedicated to his death, and the death was right there in the title. The book went on for months after the entire X-Men universe it came from had been rendered defunct thanks to Jonathan Hickman’s HoXPoX reboot, and half of the series took place in an alternate universe no one really asked for a return to. To top it all off, Conan dies in the space of a few panels when some rocks fall on him, whereas Logan spends pages upon pages slowly drifting off after spending pretty much the entire series talking about it.
Winner: Old Man Logan
Conan isn’t much for sentimentality in the first place, and his death was pretty quick besides. Sure, the children of the Crimson Witch were sentimental in the issue toward their mother, fulfilling her life’s work by finally bringing about Conan’s end and successfully awakening Razazel, but Conan’s death itself didn’t really have much emotion to it. Logan, on the other hand, spends three pages talking to his dead wife and kids at their grave after a tearful goodbye with Dani and Bruce, and after that, Dani and Bruce spend three pages mourning him before a written newspaper editorial by Dani memorializes him once more. The winner is once again clear.
Winner: Old Man Logan
Conan’s death in Conan the Barbarian #10 doesn’t appear to be the actual end of the Life & Death of Conan storyline, as there’s literally a “to be continued” on the same page as we see his lifeless body. Furthermore, Conan is currently a member of several Marvel super-teams and has about seven monthly series related to him, so even if this issue depicts his actual death, which it probably doesn’t, it’s certainly not the last we’ll see of him. Logan is no stranger to multiple monthly appearances either, but in this particular case, we’re talking about a specific alternate-universe version of him that Marvel can afford to get rid of, especially since not only was the original Wolverine already capable of coming back from the dead, but now the X-Men have a way to bring dead characters back to life whenever they want thanks to the power of Goldballs.
Winner: Old Man Logan
It looks like Old Man Logan took this one in a sweep. Which characters do you want to see Marvel senselessly kill off next week? Let us know in the comments, true believers!