Despite the rather high quality of the work itself, the Marvel Comics event “Death of Wolverine” has often been criticized for not having any real weight. One of the biggest reasons for this critique is Marvel’s decision to bring Logan back four years later, which honestly should not come to anyone’s surprise seeing as how no one is ever really dead in comic books. But another facet that really declaws “Death of Wolverine” is the decision to spackle the hole left behind after Logan made his exit with myriad replacements.
Almost as soon as Wolverine “died,” Marvel wrapped readers up in a security blanket knitted from Wolverines by Wolverines. Laura Kinney slid right into taking up her clone dad’s moniker, and thankfully, it worked really well. Meanwhile, Old Man Logan (from the depressing world of the Wastelands created by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven) made his way into the primary Marvel Universe (Earth-616), after Secret Wars.
This, more or less, allowed for the X-Men books to have their own Wolverine to play with, while the former X-23 ran her own solo missions in her own title, which definitely spreads around the love within the comics successfully.
But Wait, There’s More!
Of course, two Wolverines just wasn’t enough for Marvel. More clones of Logan would be revealed to exist in All-New Wolverine (we love Honey Badger, and so should you), giving us enough clawed mutants to fill the starting lineup of a basketball team (the Westchester Wolverines does have a nice ring to it). And putting the proverbial icing on the cake, the son of Wolverine from the Ultimate Marvel Universe (Earth- 1610), Jimmy Hudson was absorbed by the primary Marvel timeline without any memory of his past, now giving the hypothetical Wolverine basketball team another alternate (aaaand the sports jokes are spent).
Now, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with the character of Jimmy Hudson, but thus far his inclusion in the Earth-616 has seemed fairly unnecessary, which is unfortunate. The five issues limited series Ultimate X by Jeph Loeb and Art Adams did a stellar job of making Jimmy a likable character. The series took a hero who, in virtually every other incarnation has had their childhood robbed, and gave them the Spider-Man treatment. And while Jimmy is different in terms of demeanor from his dad, his powers and their surprising manifestation are very much in tune with the original Wolverine’s origin. Jimmy was basically playing the role of Peter Parker, but if Pete was Wolverine... sort of.
What’s A Boy To Do?
Now that Jimmy Hudson is part of the crowded-by-Wolverines landscape of Earth-616, a lot of the things that made him special have been stripped away. While the other two prominent Wolverines are leading strong, compelling titles (Old Man Logan is a great comic about loss and regret, and All-New Wolverine is always fantastic and proves that Laura Kinney deserves to bear her father’s moniker and costume), Jimmy is left to play second fiddle to the time-displaced original five X-Men in X-Men: Blue. Series writer Cullen Bunn obviously has an affinity for Jimmy, which is great, but it seems like he doesn’t quite know what to do with him.
There may be some grand plan with Marvel’s upcoming “fresh start” that might involve Jimmy; we know he'll be getting an actual costume and codename soon, after all. Hopefully that won't be a prelude to simply relaunching The Ultimate Universe and tossing him back in his original yard like a lost Frisbee. As awesome as it would be to bring back a new Marvel Universe where anything goes (and goes too far sometimes; e.g. Ultimatum), Jimmy is in the here and now, and should remain.