Okay we’re on vacation and don’t have time to dig into this with the complete abandon that it might require. So we’ll just point The Peanut Gallery in the right direction. It starts, apparently, with this post from John Byrne on his forum in answer to a reader’s question:
Wasn’t the ending to Alpha Flight #12 spoiled at a comic convention by another comic professional?
Peter David handed out xeroxes of Guardian’s death at a con about a month before the book shipped.
To which PAD replies:
Nnnnnno. A popular lie of John’s, but no. Number one, it wasn’t at a convention; it was at a get-together for retailers. Number two, it wasn’t Guardian’s death. It was an unlettered two page dream sequence in which Heather was seeing a dessicated Guardian tearing out the ground. Number three, it was part of a package of about two dozen photocopied highlights from assorted Marvel titles. Number four, the material in question was handed to me by Denny O’Neil, the book’s editor when I–in my capacity as sales manager at the time–was going around collecting material to put into the package. And when I said to him, “Are you sure you want me to include this in the material?” Denny replied, “Sure, what’s the harm?” Number five, retailers at the get together had no idea that the sequence actually indicated that Guardian really died. I know this because when John showed up at the get-together, he looked at the material, screamed at me at the top of his lungs, “How could you be showing this to retailers?!? It gives away the fact that Guardian dies!” and stormed out of the room, slowing only long enough to kick over a standing ashtray on his way out. At which point stunned retailers said, “Guardian DIES?,” started looking at the xeroxes again, and were muttering, “I thought it was just a dream sequence…”