So Peter Parker died. Again. (The Ultimate universe Peter Parker was killed off not all that long ago.) And there’s a new character parading around as Spider-Man. Again. And the announcement was made in the mainstream media before the comic shops opened. How many characters has Marvel killed off (and almost always brought back) in the last few years? Peter Parker (twice), Captain America, Human Torch, Professor X, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Wasp… am I missing someone?
Of course, the more recent trend is to send out a press release to the mainstream media and get some stunt sales on the death issue… and make it impossible for the issue not to be spoiled by anyone with a newspaper subscription or Internet access. Witness Spidey scribe, Dan Slott’s futile tweet on the subject:
If you can see this– and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 hasn’t been spoiled for you– GET OFF THE INTERNET! Spoilers are already out! Go! Shoo!
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) December 26, 2012
Marvel’s David Gabriel made some comments about killing off a character each quarter, back in 2011. That was supposed to be tongue in cheek, but a trend is a trend.
The real question is: who’s next?
If we had a betting pool, who would you bet on as the next major Marvel hero to get (temporarily) killed off and have the press release go out to the mainstream media? I expect it would have to be a character who’s been in the movies, so the general public knows who he is (so Black Bolt and Stingray aren’t getting a press release).
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.