In the latest issue of Wolverine: Black, White, and Blood, a time-traveling Cosmic Ghost Rider talks about how the wild mutant will meet his end.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Wolverine’s “Burn” story: Black, White & Blood # 3 by VC’s Donny Cates, Chris Bachalo and Clayton Cowles, out now.
Throughout their superhero careers, Wolverine and Frank Castle have teamed up dozens of times. However, Logan’s last encounter with a Frank Castle, the one who became the Cosmic Ghost Rider in another timeline, included a joke about what the future of X-Man really has in store.
Wolverine realizes quite quickly that this is not the same Frank Castle from his world, and tells him that he smells of hatred, revenge, and sausage. The Comic Ghost Rider explains that he is traveling back in time to epic moments and wanted to see the event firsthand that Logan would talk about during poker nights. Unfortunately, Castle being present distracts Logan and the Juggernaut catches him off guard. Castle helps subdue the unstoppable villain before the two return to their drinks.
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After Castle explains to Logan how he is in possession of cosmic power along with the Spirit of Vengeance, Logan comes to the idea that he is from the future. He begins to ask Castle a question, which the latter stops in his tracks. He can’t say or offer any details about what the future holds for Logan, but he does offer some insights. In the final panel, Castle tells Logan that instead of just fading away he will burn, indicating that Wolverine’s eventual death will be filled with the fire that has dominated his life.
Although Wolverine has yet to meet his final end, he has died in some cases that could be alluded to by fire and burning. In Death of Wolverine by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven, Logan died after molten hot liquid adamantium was poured over himself, slowly enveloping him in solid metal. This led to his absence for quite some time, before returning to the fold years later.
Another fiery death for the mutant occurred in Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Laraz and Marte Gracia. House of X # 4 in which a team of X-Men ventures into space to destroy a Mother Mold. As things go south, Nightcrawler and Wolverine end up being cremated while dipping the Mother Mold in the sun. Fortunately, the fallen team was able to resurrect in Krakoa shortly after.
Cosmic Ghost Rider’s warning could even be a nod to Logan’s dealings with the Phoenix Force, which have brought him to the end of his life in some timelines.
However, Wolverine may be destined to perish in the same fires that forged this Punisher into the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Most of the heroes in his world were killed in one of Thanos’ attacks, and Castle himself was sent to Hell.
Castle made a deal with Mephisto to take the mantle of Ghost Rider and have a chance to punish Thanos, only to find all life on earth wiped out and Thanos returned. It was during this period of isolation that Castle began to lose his mind. When a wounded Galactus arrives on Earth seeking help against Thanos, Castle offers him the dead world in exchange for a chance to get revenge on Thanos. He imbues himself with cosmic power and becomes the Cosmic Ghost Rider, Herald of Galactus. For centuries, they traversed the cosmos until Galactus is beheaded by Thanos. Then the Mad Titan makes Castle an offer, telling him that he might have a chance to punish more evil than he could possibly see in a thousand lives by his side.
Since then, Cosmic Ghost Rider has been on a variety of adventures, joining both the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Dark Guardians for a short time. He even ended up in hell before he had a chance to get his soul back.
While that life of adventure has provided him with the opportunity to see many heroes fall in many different ways, Comic Ghost Rider has now taken it upon himself to travel through time observing some of the pivotal moments in Marvel history. And if a relatively minor skirmish between Juggernaut and Wolverine was worth visiting, it is quite possible that it was present in Logan’s final disappearance as well.
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