Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve done over the years.
Everyone knows that Marvel’s What If…? comics are filled to the brim with death. It seems like whatever decision the heroes didn’t make would have led to their deaths at every turn. Like, if Wolverine had a bagel instead of cereal for breakfast one day, the “What if…Wolverine had cereal?” story would have ended with all of the X-Men somehow dead. So let’s celebrate that odd trend by spotlighting the top five Wolverine “What If…?” deaths.
What If…Stryfe and Apocalypse Had Killed the X-Men? (What If…? #69)
Mariano Nicieza, Justiniano and Roy Richardson delivered this alternate take on how X-Cutinoner’s Song could have ended, with Wolverine in messed up shape…
What If…Phoenix Had Lived? (What If…? Vol.1 #27)
How could THAT ever happen? Heh. Anyhow, Phoenix lives and things are going well until she just snaps one day and basically wipes out the X-Men. This isn’t higher because Wolverine’s death (courtesy of writer Jo Duffy and artists Jerry Bingham and John Stuart) really isn’t all that interesting…
What If…Danger Had Become the Bride of Ultron (What If…? Astonishing X-Men #1)
Matteo Caselli and Mike Getty drew this short story where the personified Danger Room, Danger, becomes the Bride of Ultron, and turns on the X-Men, including wiping out Wolverine…
What If…Marvel’s Heroes Had Lost Atlantis Attacks? (What If…? Vol.2 #25)
Jim Valentino, Rik Levins and Ralph Cabrera had the Brides of Set remain in control of Set, and the powerful female heroes took on all comers, with Scarlet Witch having a clever way of handling Wolverine and Aquarian…
What if…Phoenix Had Fallen for Wolverine? (What If…? #60)
This Kurt Busiek/Ron Randall/Art Nichols bit is very clever. The idea is that Phoenix falls for Wolverine, but when we get to the big fight on the Blue Area of the Moon, Wolverine can’t come her down enough, so instead of sacrificing itself, the Phoenix decides to destroy the universe…
5. What if Hulk Had Killed Wolverine? (What If…? #50)
This one is kind of high if only for the foil cover!
John Arcudi and Armando Gil were the creative team for this story that was, well, just what it sounds like…
4. What If the X-Men Lost Inferno? (What If…? Vol.2 #6)
Danny Fingeroth, Ron Lim and Keith Williams tell a compelling story of Earth being conquered by demons, leaving just Doctor Strange, Kitty Pryde and Shadowcat to stem the tide of Baron Mordo and the Goblyn Queen working together. Wolverine has become demonically possessed, but when he kills Kitty Pryde, well, things change…
That’s a heartfelt ending.
3. What If Wolverine Had Become the Lord of the Vampires (What If…? Vol.2 #24)
This one, by Roy Thomas, R.J.M. Lofficier and Tom Morgan, is a lot like the prior one, only it also has the Punisher fighting vampires wearing Doctor Strange’s cloak and being guided by Strange’s ghost. In the end, though, once again it is Kitty’s death that breaks Wolverine free..
Great ending. Some impressive art from Morgan, too.
2. What If Wolverine Had Killed the Hulk? (What If…? Vol.1 #30)
I love how bleak this one is. Written by Rich Margopoulos and drawn by Bob Budiansky and Mike Esposito, Wolverine ends up so cocky after killing the Hulk that he ends up joining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He is then sent to infilitrate the X-Men, but he is turned to the side of the angels by the X-Men and ends up fighting against Magneto, only he is now convinced that killing is wrong…and it ends up getting him killed.
Oh man, that is so messed up. And what a great panel of the claws going in there!
1. What If Wolverine Was Never Deprogrammed? (What If…? Enemy of the State #1)
In this story by Jimmie Robinson, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Robert Campanella, it once again comes down to an ending involving Kitty Pryde, only now it is Kitty that must end Wolverine…
Robinson really earned that ending.
Okay, that’s my top five! But there are TONS of Wolverine deaths out there in the pages of What If…? so feel free to share with me YOUR picks!