When it comes to superheroes you just can’t kill, Wolverine is the first name that comes to mind. With his off-the-charts regenerative ability and virtually indestructible adamantium skeleton, it’s no wonder that Wolverine is one of the most resilient of the X-Men.
But, as it always happens in the comics, even Logan dies. And the Canadian superhero has passed away quite a few times since his first appearance back in 1974. He is tough as nails, but there are a number of villains out there who seem to have been specifically created to bring about his death (even if they weren't, of course - for example Magneto, the master of magnetism, could easily defeat and kill Logan).
Yes, Logan has died, and more than once. This is a list of the most memorable scenes during which the mutant met a grisly end. There are no spoilers here (as far as the movies are concerned, of course), so check it out!
Killed by the Punisher
There are numerous What If? stories in which Wolverine dies when he would otherwise have no problem regenerating. The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe is one of these stories.
In this alternate reality, the loss of Castle's family during a fight between superheroes and aliens is collateral damage. So the Punisher has all of the big superhero groups in his sights. From Avengers, to Fantastic Four, to X-Men, nobody is safe. And, as the title suggests, the Punisher is actually highly successful in this endeavor.
While Wolverine does survive for a longer period of time than others, Castle does eventually kill him – although, to be honest, there’s no way Logan could lose a fight against Punisher under normal circumstances. So, after a long and brutal fight, Wolverine stabs himself with his own claws. Castle then throws him into an electric transformer.
With all of his flesh burned away, there is nothing left to heal. What was once Wolverine is now just a smoking skeleton.
How could Wolverine die from a simple stabbing? To answer that question, you need to look into the future, when the Beast of Apocalypse is granted the powers of the Phoenix. And with such tremendous power, there is literally no stopping the villain.
In a story set 150 years in the future (Here Comes Tomorrow), Wolverine is looking good - as it appears, his healing factor does an impressive job at keeping him young. And, as he does in other confrontations, and thanks to his regenerative abilities, Logan manages to stay alive longer than other superheroes do.
However, after the Beast of Apocalypse gains Phoenix's powers, and is confronted by the mutant, everything goes down the drain. Logan's healing factor is simply switched off. Without that advantage, the Canadian is killed by something as simple as having his stomach sliced open.
Sure, Jean Grey travels back in time and prevents all of this from happening. But this comes to show where Logan's true power lies.
Destroyed Completely by Magneto
As previously mentioned, Magneto is the super villain who is best-equipped to defeat Wolverine. He’s able to manipulate all metals according to his desires, and he’d have a field day if Logan – with his adamantium skeleton – were stupid enough to confront him head on.
In Ultimatum, the master of magnetism takes control of Mjolnir and causes millions of deaths throughout the world (including those of Doctor Strange and other top-tier superheroes). However, the X-Men are the ones to suffer the most, especially since Magneto is their greatest foe of all.
Of all of the X-Men, Wolverine is the one with whom Magneto is the most thorough. Using Iron Man's repulsors and Cyclops' visor, he blasts the Canadian until there’s nothing left of him but than his skeleton, which is spotted here and there with goo. But Logan isn't quite dead yet, so Magneto crushes and shatters the adamantium that coats his bones, and this kills him.
Pretty horrific, right? It goes to show that even Magneto has a tough time killing Logan, even though he’s electrocuted at other times.
Regarded as a true soap opera, X-Men: Forever featured quite a few plot twists, including one that revealed that Sabretooth was Logan's father. But this came later in the story, after the Canadian proved again that he doesn't do so well with electricity.
After clashing with Magneto, Wolvie was already down on his luck. His luck ran out completely when Storm hit him with a massive lightning strike. Sure, it was later revealed that it was actually Perfect Storm who killed him, but the point is that Logan died just from that.
This is a bit weird, considering how resilient Wolverine is. After all, Magneto burned him to a crisp in Ultimatum, and he still didn't die.
Sure, this was just the beginning of Forever, and his death was used for other reveals, such as his relationship with Jean Grey, one of his claws fused in Kitty Pryde's arm, and so on. But still…Just a lightning strike?
Killing Himself Off-Panel
Who knows Wolverine’s weaknesses better than Wolverine himself? So the mutant must be pretty effective when it comes to offing himself, even if it happens off-panel. In 2013, Age of Ultron featured this manner of death – in addition to time travel, which just made everything even more confusing.
After Ultron finally succeeds in his quest, Wolverine teams up with Invisible Woman to travel back in time and kill Ultron’s creator, Hank Pym. Upon doing so, Wolverine sees that the future is even worse without Ultron. So he travels back in time again, this time to stop himself from killing Hank Pym.
Which is great, since Pym comes up with the idea of inserting a virus into Ultron's program, just in case the AI goes rogue. So what happens next? Well, after stopping his past self from killing Pym and avoiding a terrible future, the main Wolvie (who travels back in time to stop himself) decides that he needs to die.
And this happens off panel.
Days of Future Past
Here’s another X-Men storyline that features time travel. This time around, the Mighty Sentinels, yet another type of robots, rule the Earth. The majority of the X-Men are already dead, with only a handful - Wolverine (obviously), Kitty Pryde, Franklin Richards, and Magneto - left to battle their foes. Their plan involves projecting Kitty’s consciousness into her 13-year-old self to stop an assassination that will lead to the creation of the first Sentinels.
The movie is similar, except for the fact that Logan is sent back in time in the Bryan Singer adaptation.
And, as it happened in the movie, there are plenty of deaths in the comics, including that of Wolverine. During a fight with the Sentinels, he is hit with a blast that literally melts his flesh from his adamantium skeleton, leaving nothing behind to start the regeneration.
It appears that this is the best way for Wolverine to be killed: Tear away his flesh, leaving nothing but his skeleton.
Wolverine's death in Lost in the Funhouse is another testament to how powerful his regenerative abilities are. Even when faced with the nigh-omnipotent alien Horde, he’s still able to return from the dead.
After they retrieve the Crystal of Ultimate Vision, Wolverine, Storm, Dazzler, Longshot, and Psylocke are confronted by the villain. In order to protect the others and the Crystal, Logan puts himself in harm's way (but, really, given his healing factor, he doesn't really believe he’s going to die). Impaled by the Horde's javelin, the mutant is incapacitated. The Horde then rips his heart out, killing him.
However, a drop of his blood falls on the Crystal, and this is enough for Wolverine to regenerate himself. But he destroys the artifact rather than taking advantage of the cosmic powers at his disposal. Horde is eventually defeated, which usually happens when superheroes face off with super villains.
Wolverine vs. the Hulk is one R-rated big-screen battle that would make any fan's fantasies come true. Sure, this is a What If? story, but does it really matter? We thought not.
In this Hulk storyline from 1988, the Wolverine gets the upper hand, and even stabs Hulk in the heart. Believing that the Jade Giant is dead, Logan turns his back, which is a huge mistake, since Hulk also has a healing factor.
After he recovers, the Green Goliath pummels Wolverine, punching him repeatedly in the head. All of this dislodges one of Logan's vertebrae and effectively breaks his neck and spine. As far as brutal deaths are concerned, there aren't too many that are more brutal than this one.
Of course, it ends this way because it’s a Hulk storyline. But who knows what would have happened if it were one of Wolverine's?
Wolverine's body can heal almost any wound. However, this healing factor needs a bit of warning before it’s activated. Apparently, Wolverine's foes from Enemy of the State know that.
As the Hand and HYDRA work together to kill and brainwash superheroes, Wolverine meets a swift death in a cemetery. Logan is stabbed even before he realizes that he’s in danger, and that’s all it takes. He does return from the dead, and works as an assassin for the villains, but he eventually turns on his masters and becomes the story’s hero (or at least one of them).
The What If? version never has Wolverine under the control of the Hand and HYDRA. And he meets another type of death: Kitty Pryde phases her hand into his brain and kills him, losing her hand in the process.
It was effective.
One of Wolverine's abilities may also be a weakness, especially when faced with people who can control it. Magneto is one of them – and the powerful supervillain used it against him – but there are others, as well.
In Death of Wolverine, the mutant is left without his healing factor, which also makes it possible for adamantium to bond with his skeleton. The story’s villain, Doctor Abraham Cornelius, needs his healing factor for his experiments (creating other Weapon Xs). He moves forward without the healing factor, but Wolverine stops him in time, slashing the adamantium containers and putting a stop to the experiments.
He’s covered in the metal, and suffocates when it hardens. It is a pretty horrific way to die, if you ask us.
But these are comics - and Wolverine’s been resurrected as many times he’s been killed. Could this happen in the movies as well? We bet it could.