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Ryan Reynolds Won’t Let Wolverine Stay Dead

Ryan Reynolds Won’t Let Wolverine Stay Dead

Superheroes come back to life. It’s what they’re best at. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with superheroes knows that death is a more or less temporary inconvenience. This is true in the Marvel movies, where fully half of the MCU was killed off before being brought back over the course of Infinity War and Endgame. This is true in the DC movies, where Henry Cavill’s Superman faced a similar sequence of fates. And it’s certainly true in the comics, which have long been a revolving door of death and resurrection. You can’t really get very attached to superhero fiction if you’re going to be bothered by the impermanence of death.

That said, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was given the rare gift of a dignified farewell. 2017’s Logan saw the unkillable grouch off with a lot of melancholy style, completing his arc with an ending that wasn’t exactly happy but felt right and, most of all, complete.

But death does not become an X-Man and it sounds like Ryan Reynolds has managed to rope Jackman into one(?) last(??) ride, suiting up in the old salad forks again for Deadpool 3.

As Reynolds notes here, this is his character’s first appearance in the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a follow-up post, Jackman and Reynolds explained that Wolverine’s departure in Logan takes place in a future date, after the events of their Deadpool movie, so that takes care of that little wrinkle. But as noted, even if Wolverine was supposed to be dead, he’d come back. They always do.

Your mileage may vary on the Deadpool franchise’s winky, self-aware smarm, but add Jackman’s grumpy, stabby Canadian to the mix (likely alongside Josh Brolin’s Cable, Zazie Beetz’s Domino and Stefan Kapičić’s Colossus), and you can see why nerds are excited.

Look. It makes sense. In the comics, Wolverine and Deadpool are well-established frenemies. In real life, Jackman and Reynolds are pals. Also in real life, Disney has unlimited money and Jackman could probably ask for as many zeroes as he wanted to the end of the paycheck. It’s understandable.

But Reynolds and Deadpool 3 director Sean Levy are playing a dangerous game here. Fox’s X-Men franchise has been uneven, but it did manage to give its biggest star a stellar final bow. Jackman’s return doesn’t jeopardize the quality of Logan, but it does threaten to spoil the send off with an encore that doesn’t live up to the actual goodbye. Tread lightly, Ryan.

But that doesn’t matter. Because when a culture’s stories become mingled with consumerism, they can never end. Any society survives on stories, but our country also runs on unfettered capitalism, and those two impulses have united to ensure that people who love stories keep feeding the meter to keep those stories going long after they’ve reached their satisfying conclusion.

Superheroes never die. That’s a given. But in America, no story will be allowed to die either because stories are a business, and what business would end of its own accord?

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