We talk to writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven about the four-issue miniseries set to be released this September

By Darren Franich
Updated July 18, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

A runty Canadian named Logan with claws and muttonchops — that’s the elevator pitch on Wolverine, which makes his eclectic history all the more impressive. ”He’s been a soldier, a victim of terrible experiments, a teacher,” says Marvel executive editor Michael Marts. ”He’s been in logging camps!” In a four-issue miniseries released weekly this September, writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven tap all those aspects of the character’s 40-year backstory — just in time to kill him off. But isn’t the most famous X-Man supposed to be immortal? ”Wolverine has lost his healing factor that lets him heal rapidly from any injury,” Soule explains. Naturally, the hirsute hero faces mortality in his own way. ”He’s been portrayed as a failed samurai,” says Soule. ”I wanted to make the story about a man being able to go to death with grace and honor.” Death has claimed major comic-book characters before — Superman, Batman, Captain America — but Marvel promises that Logan’s passing will have immediate ramifications. ”Wolverine casts a long shadow,” says Marts. ”When that shadow is gone, a lot of things crawl into the light.”