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Wolverine Healing Factor

“Just hand me the Bactine. I’ll be fine.”

 

Wolverine has gone through a lot of changes over the years. He’s been a Samurai, he’s been possessed by demons, he’s been a Canadian operative (Alpha Flight forever!), he’s been stripped of his adamantium, transformed into one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen, rendered noseless, and now, under the pen of writer Paul Cornell, Wolverine will become “Killable.”

Ignoring the fact that nearly every major hero in the Marvel Universe is effectively immortal (how many times has Thor “died” now? How about Captain America?), Wolverine’s healing factor has always marked the character out as one of Marvel’s most formidable opponents. Heck, at one point he was destroyed via NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, leaving him stripped to the skeleton, and yet still capable of rebounding after some R&R and a couple of brewskis. It’s fair to say that once you’ve rung that particular bell it’s at least moderately difficult to make the character’s vulnerability plausible. What makes this newest story different? Albert Ching at Newsarama zeroed in on that precise question:

Nrama: Turning to the upcoming story, it looks like Wolverine is going to suddenly find himself very vulnerable. Fair or not, that can be the kind of thing that some readers might hear and not take especially seriously, along the lines of “Wolverine is in a dozen comics a month, he’ll be fine.” Does that type of attitude affect your approach at all? What’s the challenge in constructing a major, credible threat for a character like Wolverine — both given his healing factor, and in his stature at Marvel?

Cornell: That was actually my central aim when I suggested this story, and I’m delighted that the ramifications of it have been taken up by the other titles too. Because of a historical accident (Wolverine getting a solo title very late on, relatively speaking), important things happening to Logan have tended to happen in team books. We all agreed that a major event in his life should happen in his own title.

Well that certainly…doesn’t answer the question at all, actually. However, the rest of Newsarama’s interview with Cornell implies that the stakes of the storyline may be moral rather than mortal, and it’s a recommended read if you’re a fan. Cornell sounds excited and engaged.

The “Killable” story line begins with August’s Wolverine #7. Snark aside, Paul Cornell is a talented writer. His involvement usually promises an engaging tale and penciler Alan Davis, who will be joining him for the arc, is always a solid and welcome presence in any book.

Without his healing factor, how can Wolverine hope to survive a fatal confrontation once he becomes “Killable”? Other than, oh, let’s say, the Infinity Gauntlet. Or some shadowy offshoot of the Weapon X program. Or that mutant who can bring back the dead. Or the assistance of Doctor Strange. Or a couple of rounds of fisticuffs with the Angel of Death. Other than those things, how can Wolverine possibly hope to survive being rendered “Killable”?

Find out beginning in Wolverine #7, available in August.

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