I was in elementary school when they killed Superman. It was big and dramatic; my mother ordered my brother and I separate copies of the black-bagged issue without even asking us because it seemed so culturally important. Being a villain-kid, I was just happy to see such an annoying icon scrubbed, but I was interested. The cafeteria buzzed with speculation about how it happened. It was a pop culture event.
It's been a stupid twenty-two years since then. The decreasing relevance of superhero comics has led the industry to many stunts, including killing characters whenever they get desperate for attention. I'm afraid you two are the most recent victims, and I sincerely apologize to you both that you had to share an announcement month. Archie, you're not even a superhero. You both worked hard enough to deserve better P.R. You're both iconic in such different ways that you getting stunt-murdered at the same time makes it all feel like… well, stunts.
And your announcements came only weeks after Marvel announced the who-dunnit murder of The Watcher. Oh, for a meta-comic about The Watcher observing this desperate trend.
Even as a villain kid, you were my hero, Wolverine. I was a runt like you. This is a perplexing week, as I should be upset that you're going to die, and yet, I'm not. If anything, I'm upset that I'm not upset. The problem is that you'll be back, probably in the next two years. Why, just last week Marvel resurrected Spider-Man after a year of being dead. He's alive again in time to make his own movie premiere.
Not only did Superman come back, but his killer, Doomsday? He's been killed and resurrected at least three times. In the last few years they've killed and resurrected Batman, the female Robin, Captain America, Nightcrawler, Superboy, Wasp, and Thor. Every dead Flash has come back. Marvel and D.C. brought back the perennial tragic sidekicks Bucky and Jason Todd almost in parallel, to identical drama with their mentors and antihero lives.
D.C. pulled "Blackest Night," a Green Lantern story that brought back every dead character in their universe, and boldly ended it with the characters surmising the dead could never return again and death was now permanent. A year later, D.C. rebooted its universe and brought back a bunch of those same dead characters.
Remember when Marvel killed Ultimate Spider-Man, a Spider-Man from another universe, and tried to convince the public they'd killed the one they actually knew about? Just to get on CNN? Later they killed the real one, but as you both know, he's back.
This has devalued death, which ought to be the greatest stakes in all the combat-based stories superhero comics keep telling. Archie, you've never been about fighting, so it's not fair that you're been sucked into this, but you have. I honestly wonder if you'll return, too, the next time your publisher needs attention.
And Wolverine? Death may be the rest you deserve, but it won't be permanent. In the last ten years Marvel has already killed and resurrected your nemeses, Sabretooth, Gorgon and Cyber. When Psylocke died, you yourself visited a friend in NYC for a method of bringing her back. That guy can probably hook you up if you want it.
You both have no control over your mortality, just like me. But if you could write for your own comics, don't you think the interesting story at this point would be about a universe where death isn't permanent and what it does to people's psyches? If C-list heroes routinely rise from the grave, does the public no longer fear death? How does religion change? What happens to the blood feuds between heroes and villains when bloodshed doesn't end anything?
There are stories there. There's an upheaval of the way I live, and the way you both will probably be living again in a few years.
I'm sorry that I'm not sorry you died. You deserved better.