You’ve probably already seen the above image, which is apparently the cover of Marvel’s April-shipping Fallen (although Previews helpfully points out that that’s not actually the final title), by the red-hot creative team of artist Tom Raney and writer To Be Announced. The image, which will presumably have the black portion filled in before publication, is by Leinil Yu.
Whatever the book is called, whoever’s writing it and whoever’s on the cover, it’s a follow-up to Siege. The main site already posted this, but I’ll re-post the only partially “classified” solicit here:
The SIEGE has ended and taken its toll on both sides of the battle field. The event seven years in the making has claimed many lives, and in this, its final chapter, a universe comes together to mourn (CLASSIFIED). The shocking death that ended the fight and gave birth to a new Heroic Age is remembered as a writer (CLASSIFIED) returns to lead the farewells.
So who is the “shocking death” of this latest superhero event? I don’t know. Probably not Spider-Man, Thor, Mr. Fantastic, Doctor Doom or Black Widow (I think), as they’re handling the body.
I’m going to go ahead and guess Hank Pym because a) I don’t remember seeing him in any of the 500 teasers for the 14 Avengers titles that are coming up and, more importantly, b) no one anywhere likes him—not in our universe, and not in the Marvel Universe.
Oh, I know the solicit says the universe is mourning him, but the universe is probably just being polite. And yeah, all those hands do seem to be somehat lovingly handling the body on that cover, but context is everything—perhaps Spider-Man, Thor and the gang just got done throttling Hank Pym on the cover…?
Anyway, that’s my guess.
Meanwhile, the House of Ideas’ Distinguished Competition recently had a very serious, very dramatic shocking death scene demonstrating that—Bam! Biff! Pow!—comics aren’t just for kids anymore.
(Spoiler for Justice League: Cry for Justice, after the jump.)
So, have you been reading DC’s long-in-the-works, melodramatic, grand guignol super-soap opera Cry for Justice? No? Good for you. You haven’t missed out on much, other than, of course, unintentional laughs (I assume they’re unintentional, anyway; if not, writer James Robinson has produced the most subtle, deadpan parody of decadent superhero comics the world has ever seen).
If the off-panel deaths of minor characters throughout the series and the disfiguring of Roy Harper, AKA Red Arrow (Previously Arsenal, and, before that, Speedy) weren’t enough, they went ahead and killed off Lian Harper in this last issue. (If you’re not well-versed in the trivia of the second-string DC heroes, Lian was the young daughter of Roy Harper, produced during an ill-considered fling with supervillain Cheshire, but raised by Harper alone).
I’m not sure how old Lian is supposed to be now. She was young enough to be pronouncing Oracle “Owacle” at the start of the Devin Grayson/Mark Buckingham volume of Titans in 1999 (Time passes extremely slow in in the DC Universe, but kids tend to continue aging even if the adults never do).
At any rate, she’s got to be one of the youngest characters DC has “fridged” in a long while, joining Aquaman and Mera’s son and Donna Troy and her furry civilian consort‘s kid in the list of examples of Why DC Superheroes Probably Shouldn’t Ever Even Consider Reproducing.
I suppose it’s too early to get outraged—or, more likely, just roll one’s eyes and sigh—over the fact that killing little girls for gravitas and/or shock value is where the Justice League franchise is going, since a whole lot of follow up is planned for the near future. DC plugs Green Arrow, JLoA and a couple of specials as “THE CHARACTER DRIVEN EVENT OF THE SPRING!”
But it’s hard to get too excited about where this is going—Green Arrow going back to killing bad guys like he did regularly in the ’80s, Red Arrow taking back his codename from like three years ago and losing pretty much the only element that seperated him from other superheroes, Hal “Once Murdered Everyone In All of Creation” Jordan getting mad at his pal for killing a single terrorist supervillian—and even harder to see this appealing to anyone who wasn’t already excited about the goings-on of the DCU at the time Cry #1, #3 or #5 was published.