65

Wolverine is a tough man, his regeneration power makes him almost indestructible.

In the second X-men movie, Wolverine himself killed Deathstrike, a mutant that had the same regeneration power as him, by injecting her with adamantium. But I also learned recently that Magneto was able to rip all the adamantium out of Wolverine's body ([X-Men volume 2 #25, 1994), so I suppose her death is not final.

Apart from an extreme solution like Nuking him, throwing him into the sun or a black hole, is there a conventional way of killing him?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 3
    Deathstrike has a regenerative healing power, but it is cybernetic in nature and not nearly as efficient as Wolverine's. In the comics, she has been outfitted with a partially cybernetic body granting her that ability - this was not the case in the movie universe. – phantom42 Apr 5 '12 at 13:19
  • @phantom42 Maybe, anyway, there is now a question on the subject. My point was that I doubt you could use the same technique to permanently kill Wolverine. – DavRob60 Apr 5 '12 at 13:24
  • 1
    By the way, the Muramasa Blade is hardly a conventional way to kill Wolverine. Magical blades forged with the soul of their enemy with the power to negate regeneration hardly qualify as "conventional". I'm just saying... (joke) – Thaddeus Howze Oct 20 '12 at 20:11
  • 1
    Punisher accomplished it by electrocuting the heck out of him. I lost a lot of respect for Wolverine as a character once it was illustrated he could regenerate from brain death. He might as well be Deadpool now. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/25248/… – joshbirk Apr 7 '14 at 17:55
  • 9
    Declining comic book sales would do it. – Oldcat Jun 6 '14 at 22:48

15 Answers 15

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+50

The Muramasa Blade

The Muramasa Blade (the second, made specifically for Wolverine - not the Black Blade) has been shown to effectively negate healing factors entirely. It has been used to

scar Wolverine's chest, decapitate Sabertooth, negate Skaar's healing factor (while used by Daken), etc.

It was described by Wolverine as "the only thing in the world that could put him down."

Muramasa Blade, Wolverine, and Cyclops

At this point in time, Wolverine removed Daken's Muramasa-coated claws and buried them with the the remains of the broken Muramasa Blade in an unknown location. It has the ability to cut at a molecular level, so it should have no problem slicing through his adamantium. Pair that with the decapitation @phantom42 mentioned, and you'd likely have a dead Logan.

Carbonadium

It's possible Carbonadium, an unstable attempt at Adamantium made by the Russians (more malleable, but cheaper and radioactive) could slow down Wolverine's healing factor enough to kill him. Wolverine had Bucky shoot Daken with a Carbonadium bullet, and one shot was enough to keep Daken from healing temporarily.

Omega Red has Carbonadium tentacles, and Moon Knight's suit supposedly has Carbonadium incorporated in it, but I don't believe either has the volume needed to make a difference against Wolverine's healing factor.

Other Healing Factor Blockers

Considering Wolverine's healing factor is probably a mutant power (with Loeb's Lupine stuff who knows what's actually going on), anything that could suppress or remove that could interfere with his ability to heal (when paired with a way to kill somebody normally). For example, the Savage Land suppresses abilities to some extent. Additionally, other healing factors (Deadpool, recently) have been suppressed by a variety of methods - depending on the method and the writer, they may or may not be strong enough to work on Wolverine.

  • 2
    The blade's molecular properties will have no effect on his adamantium bones. However, the blade could easily fit between his vertebra, and if it separated his head from his body while suppressing regeneration of his nervous tissues, THAT would put him in a position to be possibly killed permanently. – Thaddeus Howze Apr 5 '12 at 18:40
  • What about the fact that Xavier Protocol states that even if Wolverine is decapitated that you would have to place his head and his body far apart from each other. – DoctorWho22 Apr 7 '14 at 18:57
  • 1
    Also this... Wolverine once regenerated from a single drop of his blood landing on an incredibly powerful MacGuffin that was making the villain of the month all powerful. As a result, his healing abilities were supercharged to the point that he could regenerate from a single cell. He was also still touching the item when he popped his claws, (to destroy it) making it reasonable to assume he either deliberately or subconsciously used its power to re-adamantiumize his skeleton. – DoctorWho22 Apr 7 '14 at 19:00
  • @DoctorWho22 Could I get the reference and citation for the comic book and issue? I would LOVE to see that issue! – Eliseo d'Annunzio Oct 2 '14 at 23:33
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    @Eliseod'Annunzio - it was Uncanny X-Men Annual Vol 1 (1987). The MacGuffin mentioned is the M'Krann Crystal. – Omegacron Feb 17 '15 at 16:42
28

The only surefire way would have to be complete instantaneous obliteration to remove the possibility of any cellular regeneration.

That said, Professor Xavier compiled a set of failsafes called "The Xavier Protocols" detailing how to defeat the X-Men in the chance that any of them became a threat.

As per Wikipedia:

It has been stated in the Xavier Protocols, a series of profiles created by Xavier that lists the strengths and weaknesses of the X-Men, that Wolverine's healing factor is increased to "incredible levels" and theorizes that the only way to stop him is to decapitate him and remove his head from the vicinity of his body.

  • 7
    The Xavier Protocols - sounds like a really bad idea. Wasn't there a Batman story about a villain who got hold of Batman's journal - which was full of plans for how he (Batman) would kill off his super-hero friends, in the event they ever turned evil? (Of course, the villain proceeded to do just that...) – John C Apr 11 '12 at 11:28
  • 1
    The protocols are very well protected. Each one requires a specific combination of three other X-Men to be unlock any entry and each entry requires a different combination. In order to read Wolverine's, for example, Archangel, Cyclops and Jean Grey must all be present. – phantom42 Apr 11 '12 at 11:44
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    Uh-oh. So now, Wolverine has two reasons to kill Cyclops. :) – John C Apr 11 '12 at 14:09
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    @JohnC: Worth pointing out that Batman's plans incapacitated the other heroes. With the exception of Diana's, they weren't going to be fatal (and hers would have taken days to kill her, during which he could have found a way to stop the mind control affecting her). – Jeff Nov 7 '12 at 13:09
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    @JohnC Yessir, that'd by Justice League: Doom. – Terrance Shaw Nov 8 '12 at 1:47
23

There was a part in Days of Future Past that actually showed Wolverine dying at the thought age of 75 (he looked late 40's early 50's) in which the Wolverine's body is instantly incinerated by a Sentinel's blast leaving only the Adamantium skeleton.

Here's an image of the event from Thaddeus Howze's answer:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • But didn't he come back from that one too? – Joshua Drake Apr 5 '12 at 19:52
  • I do not have the answer to that I read about his destruction from book I read almost a decade ago. The book never brought him back from this state. – chcuk Apr 5 '12 at 19:55
  • 3
    No he did not revive from that event. He stayed dead. – Thaddeus Howze Apr 7 '12 at 1:14
  • And then in Civil War: Wolverine, he came back from the same exact thing. Go figure. – Omegacron Feb 17 '15 at 16:57
  • This was from an alternate future, which doesn't end up happening, so he doesn't need to "come back". – Mary ML Mar 11 '15 at 6:02
14

You can't. Wolverine has been obliterated down to just his skeleton and then regenerated his entire body in mere moments.

In short, Wolverine is a fictional character, so no matter what method you devise to kill him, there will always be a way for him to survive.

There was a Sam Keith story called "The Many Deaths of Wolverine" that documented all the times that Wolverine has "died" and has then regenerated.

14

Yes, despite the hype of Wolverine surviving a nuclear weapon (this explains how he did it) there are explosives of a non-nuclear nature that would be capable of killing him.

enter image description here

Thermobaric bomb destroys an underground silo

A thermobaric explosion at point blank range would assuredly kill Logan. It has all of the explosive power of a nuclear weapon with none of the radioactive fallout. The weapon would instantly create a fireball of 6,000 degrees.

A thermobaric weapon, which includes the type known as a "fuel-air bomb", is an explosive weapon that produces a blast wave of a significantly longer duration than those produced by condensed explosives. This is useful in military applications where its longer duration increases the numbers of casualties and causes more damage to structures. There are many different variants of thermobaric weapons rounds that can be fitted to hand held launchers such as RPGs and antitank weapons.

Thermobaric explosives rely on oxygen from the surrounding air, whereas most conventional explosives consist of a fuel-oxidizer premix (for instance, gunpowder contains 25% fuel and 75% oxidizer). Thus, on a weight-for-weight basis they are significantly more energetic than normal condensed explosives. Their reliance on atmospheric oxygen makes them unsuitable for use underwater, at high altitude or in adverse weather.

However, they have significant advantages when deployed inside confined environments such as tunnels, caves, and bunkers. High-impulse thermobaric fuel-air explosive consists of a two-stage aerosol ignition which produces a blast wave of significantly greater power and duration than any other known explosive except nuclear. The vacuum-pressure effect ignites the oxygen between 5,000 and 6,000 degrees.

  • The thermal superheated explosion area, if he were at ground zero, would vaporize all of the cellular matter of Wolverine's body, instantly, beyond his ability to regenerate. If he has his adamantium skeleton, this would certain add to the certainty of his demise as the skeleton severely compromises his regeneration in comparison to his ability without the skeleton.

  • Giving it some further thought I could see exploding, thermal rounds (designed to burn and explode on impact) delivering devastating amounts of damage to his flesh and igniting and continuing to burn inside of his body, overwhelming his ability to regenerate. While he is under assault, with sufficient ammunition he could be driven into unconsciousness until he could be subdued or captured.

This gun video shows the kind of explosive ammo that could be used to good effect with the right number of trained agents. You can see this particular ammo at 1:47.

  • While we are at it, we could also use VX nerve agents, which once in contact with his skin would severely limit his ability to regenerate as it shut down his nervous system completely. Only a tiny dose is necessary, micrograms at best, it would inhibit nerve transmission, shutting down his nervous system, and in normal humans, fatally in mere minutes. In Wolverine's case he body would begin to try and reconstruct his cellular tissues but the agent would also need to be flushed from his body, first.

  • Having no normal cellular or biological agents to interact with (unlike alcohol which CAN be processed by the body) this would require a significant amount of his regenerative capacity, wearing him down and making him easier to tackle. Yes, he would regenerate, but again the goal is to slow him down enough to capture him and then take the time required to kill him.

  • This might also work with or depleted uranium rounds which in addition to their incredible damage dealing capacity (used to punch holes in armored vehicles) they could poison with radiation, killing him at the cellular level at a rate that could overwhelm his ability to regenerate. Wolverine is not unable to be killed, it simply requires technology or damage-dealing capacity capable of overwhelming his ability to recover effectively.

  • 3
    I never thought of the nerve agent angle. Thats a good one. But on a side note for DU rounds; there is no issue of contamination, as A) they are jacketed and B) past about 3 half-lifes to where normal exposure isn't a critical threat. Barring the hippie crying, I've Giegered DU rounds before; though a bit higher than background radiation, they are still within the safe level of Greys for handling. How else would we load them into our tanks and artillary pieces without full lead-lined suits? I wouldn't want to swallow one, but the threat of being shot by one is much worse than the aftereffects. – Jersey May 31 '13 at 20:11
  • For any pound of newly-grown tissue, the body might churn through between 3 and 10 pounds of nutrients (excluding water). So when he regenerates from a nuclear fireball or a "speck of dust", this is a magical process and not just an extraordinary one. Thus, he cannot be killed. Even more than his magical regeneration though, are his box office receipts. These are enough to cause most Hollywood executives to be willing to fellate the actor who portrays him, and thus he is even more immune to death than what the magic provides. – John O Feb 10 '14 at 17:56
13

Even complete obliteration won't kill him.

Observe:

enter image description here

Note: He survives this, but it takes him considerably longer than normal to regenerate.

  • 9
    What kind of explosive is this? If it's nuclear, it is a writer epic fail. If it's napalm and he is hit with a clear strike, he should simply be dead. 5000 degrees is sufficient to destroy ALL cellular matter within his body, so there wouldn't be ANYTHING left to regenerate. I wish writers actually read the comics they write. I wish they had editor guidelines. I wish my wishes were fishes. I could repopulate the oceans. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 7 '12 at 9:44
  • 4
    This was when the Mutant Nitro blew himself up at full power at point plank range. Nitro, if you dont remember, is the mutant who blew up an elementary school, killing hundreds of children and sparking off the marvel Civil War story arc. Wolverine chases him down and confronts him, then gets blown to hell for his trouble. This panel doesn't show it but the explosion is intense enough to even grind his adamantium skelly to dust. he grows back from one of the dust particles... – Jared Tritsch Nov 7 '12 at 11:04
  • 1
    Yes, I know who Nitro is. The problem is two-fold. They had Nitro whose power was previously scaled to about 350 pounds of TNT to well over a 1000 pounds of TNT (about a kiloton, give or take). No explanation was given for this major boost and even die-hard Wolverine fans were pissed about this. The only rational explanation is while the outer flesh was destroyed, some parts of his flesh was protected enough to allow for regeneration, no matter how flesh-less it appeared. Nitro was also not known for burning hot, just exploding big. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 7 '12 at 18:20
  • So this does not count as complete obliteration, his skeleton was not destroyed, merely baked and blasted clean of all apparent flesh. There was also some notation about Nitro having an inability to complete destroy things close to him. This is just another sign of bad writing. Let's call it anecdotal evidence and leave it at that. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 7 '12 at 18:23
  • @Thaddeus I included the backstory notes for people unfamiliar with the story. That being said I see your point, but this does show just how far his healing factor can bring him back from the brink, if anything. – Jared Tritsch Nov 8 '12 at 1:15
10

The best conventional way. Make Rogue touch him for long and he will die certainly. Professor X himself told this fact to Wolverine in the very first movie..

8

I think that, in one of the X-23 books, a strategy X-23 used was to cut Wolverine then put something into the cuts to the wounds couldn't close. Logan seemed to behave like this resulted in a legitimate threat of bleeding out.

8

The element water can kill Wolverine. Continued submergence in water would drown him. You'd just have to keep his corpse under water forever. From the answers to this question, it appears you would have to ensure his adamantium carcass is safe from severe heat, such as a nuclear blast, to prevent recomposition.

6

In a What If comic (which are widely considered non-canon), detailed in this question, punisher stabs an intoxicated wolverine, and throws him onto a high-voltage electricity transformer, which ends up destroying his cells and melting his flesh to the point he is no longer able to regenerate, and dies.

Whilst this is only shown in a What If, it's not inconceivable that this could happen in Canon.

  • What-Ifs are not generally considered canon. – Gabe Willard Nov 7 '12 at 14:35
6

If we're talking conventional means, drowning seems the likeliest. I thought starving would, too, but I think that one was answered in Amazing X-men, when Wolverine was trapped and resorted to eating his own flesh for sustainence. Autocannibalism nonwithstanding, I think we can add starvation and dehydration to the list, though it would be difficult to hamper the Old Canucklehead to do this.

Unconventional means seems to me like a government/paramilitary resort. Like, what would SHIELD do? I have some ideas...

Lava/Magma - While the nuclear device thing seemed a little extreme, lava is exteremly hot, not to mention much longer lasting if one were to, say, drop Wolverine into the heart of an active, but not exploding, volcano. His skeleton may or may not float, but the extreme heat and molten rock would definately hamper any cellular regeneration.

Vacuum - No oxygen means no breathing... and no brain activity. While this may or may not be a permament death for Wolverine, this could be a way to stop him for a extended period of time, possibly permamently. I don't know if anyone's ever tried suffocating Wolverine, but a oxygenless atmosphere for a certain period of time would cause cellular death.

Pressure - We exist at 1 bar, 1 atmosphere, or 14.7 psi. While multiple bars in a hypobaric chamber could crush him, it might not get the desired result. On the opposite end, lack of pressure could cause massive blood loss, organ ruptures, and a nice horrible condition simply known as 'the bends'. Again, perhaps not a death, but definately a way to stop him for an extended period of time. He may not regenerate from this one as the total lack of pressure would most likely prevent him from regenerating normally.

Cryogenically Frozen - At a certain temperature, cellular activity stops. No moving cells, no regeneration. Admittedly, this could have Wolverine preserved like Captain America or the Ice Man (of real life) yet as a mean of stopping our favorite Canadian, get some liquid Nitrogen and reenact Terminator 2!

Outer Space - The best of the three points directly above, plus some! The lack of air, pressure, and temperature in outer space would put Wolverine out permamently. Shuttle him past Lagrange Point 3 and you got yourself Wolverine on Ice!

A Shotgun Slug Under The Chin - I came up with this one a while back, devising a way on how to kill an invulnerable man. Using Wolverine's skeleton to your advantage, take a shotgun barrel underneath his chin (no bones in the way) and put a slug in his skull. His skeleton will prevent the slug from leaving, leaving it into his brain. Yes, he'll heal... with a slug in his skull. Pump a few more for good effect, and you just might have a vegetable. Of course, getting that close to Wolverine with a gun... better hire out Wade Wilson or Frank Castle. I'm opting out.

Acid - There are several acids that are incredibly dangerous. Some will melt you completely. So, an acid bath H.H. Holmes-style (the acid bath murderer of Chicago in 1898, for your viewing pleasure) could do the job. It's easier to set up than the volcano, surely. Hydrocloric is more than strong enough to eat flesh quitle quickly, but not, interestingly enough, glass.

That's about all I could come up with.

  • Throw him into the sun. Even if he can survive that (unlikely), he's kind of trapped there anyhow. – ThePopMachine Mar 8 '17 at 16:56
4

In Uncanny X-Men Annual #11, he regenerated from a single drop of blood. As long as there's a cell of him with intact DNA (X-factor gene and all), he can regenerate.

In short, all his cells are stem cells.

  • So, given that fact - how would one kill Wolverine? That's what the question was asking. – phantom42 Dec 9 '12 at 5:54
  • 1
    @phantom42 Destroy all his cells. Don't leave a single one. Anything which can pulverize all his body down to the atoms should theoretically do it. – MPelletier Dec 9 '12 at 19:53
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    This begs the question though, if Logan bled or even just shed skin like a normal person, would each cell that lived create a new Logan? The world would be full of them by this point. – Dragus Apr 28 '13 at 16:42
  • @Dragus... great point, but i dont think every cell has to regenerate a body the largest mass probably is the only part that needs to regenerate so at some point a drop of blood could be the largest mass left in the worst case sinario – giacomo casanova Apr 7 '14 at 2:45
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    However, if the metal is indeed porous, then the cells would be able to escape. If not, then he would simply live on as a skeletal husk until someone came along like magneto and allowed cells to escape. In all honesty, we're both probably over thinking this – Robert Dec 16 '14 at 20:04
3

There's an old (1935) short story named "The Adaptive Ultimate", by Stanley G. Weinbaum, that had a similar dilemma. The problem there was how to incapacitate a person that can instantly adapt to anything in their environment. The solution was to use carbon dioxide to knock them out, because "no organism can adapt to its own waste products". Maybe the way to off Wolverine is just to shut him up in a hermetically sealed container and let his own waste products kill him.

  • 3
    Mr Weinbaum, like so many fiction authors, couldn't be bothered to know what he was talking about. Every organism must adapt to its own waste products or face rapid extinction, and very many real ones have taken the approach to this of developing resistances or immunities to the substances in question. – Matthew Najmon Oct 2 '14 at 1:17
1

I was recently reading the Age of Ultron comics, collected into a book, and in them Wolvie gets involved in a crazy time paradox thing and actually breaks time somehow(temporarily). Anyway, after he finishes fixing the past, there are two of him because of crazy time travel stuff, and neither is the present one, so the decide that only one will go back to the future.

They easily reach a decision on which one will live, and the other is killed, but we aren't shown how it happened. They(the Wolverienes) also don't need to discuss how it is to be done, which is interesting.

The reader is left to assume it is claw-related, or perhaps we see the surviving Wolvie walking away with bloody claws, I don't recall.

This shows us that he can in fact be killed, and he knows how to do it, though the fact that dead Wolvie didn't want to survive might be important.

  • 1
    Although good information, the question is "is there a conventional way of killing him", which this does not answer; this just states that it's been shown that a way exists, but not what it is. Flagged as a non-answer, with the suggestion that it should probably be converted to a comment. – K-H-W Mar 8 '17 at 16:59
  • @K-H-W Actually, this does answer the question "is there a way of killing him", and the answer is "yes" (although it's not clear if it's a "conventional" way). It does not, however, answer the actual question "How to kill Wolverine?" – tobiasvl Mar 8 '17 at 18:58
  • @tobiasvl - Technically true, but it's basically comparable to a 'Yes' with no back up, and, since (per the answer) it happens 'off-stage' we don't actually know if it happens or not -- we are told it will/does, but, this being a comic, that doesn't necessarily say that it actually happened. (How many times have we seen 'dead' characters end up not having actually died.. Or not fully, etc.) I would suggest this info may help someone find a good answer, but doesn't conclusively answer anything, itself -- it just suggests an answer as likely. – K-H-W Mar 8 '17 at 19:30
1

In Logan, you can kill Wolverine by waiting until 2029, all the time using some combination of one or more of :

  • long-term alcohol poisoning,
  • long-term adamantium poisoning,
  • a global pathogen or chemical that affects mutants, and
  • just waiting enough decades for his healing factor to weaken

followed by

  • creating a relatively mindless clone of him who can match him on a physical level
  • attacking him repeatedly
  • impaling him on a tree branch

That should work.

protected by user56 Apr 5 '12 at 22:53

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