For months, comic book fans have wondered who would die in this week’s Fantastic Four #587, the last issue of the “Three” story arc, purported to contain the death of one of the founding member’s of Marvel’s First Family — either Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch or the Thing. An Associated Press article published around midnight eastern time Monday night/Tuesday morning — approximately nine hours before the comic was set to go on sale on the east coast — appeared to have revealed the answer.
Do we need to say it? Spoilers after the jump. Big ones.
Heck, let’s just leave some extra spoiler space for those clicking through on Twitter. Full spoilers after the cover of #587.
THIS IS IT, FRIENDS! LAST CHANCE TO AVOID MASSIVE FANTASTIC FOUR #587 SPOILERS!
According to the AP, it’s the Human Torch who dies, though the news outlet was short on details, other than, “Johnny Storm’s life is taken amid a massive battle.”
The character was our pick for the issue’s death in a column published last month, and fan speculation, though mix, tended in the Human Torch’s direction — especially after reports that Amazing Spider-Man #657 would feature the title character attending a “very private wake” for the deceased Fantastic Four member. Spider-Man and the Human Torch have long been portrayed as allies and friendly rivals, and Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott wrote the two characters in the Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries.
The article contains quotes from Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada, senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort, and former Fantastic Four writer Roy Thomas. Brevoort didn’t provide any details as to what’s next for the title — or the March-debuting FF series from the current Fantastic Four creative team of writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Steve Epting — other than the story “will converge in a new thing that will be exciting and different and yet, very familiar and very much the same.” Quesada, acknowledging the tendency for comic book characters to come back from the dead, commented that while he won’t say when or if the Human Torch will come back, that what happens next will be “very, very interesting and not what anyone expects.”
Stay tuned to Newsarama for more details in the morning.
UPDATE- by Lucas Siegel
Well, now Marvel has re-spoiled it, this time in the title of their own press release. The title says “Marvel Entertainment Extinguishes Fantastic Four’s Human Torch” before then going into detail about the character’s death. Now, if I were a betting man, I’d tell you that the new series launching in March with FF #1 has about 11-12 issues in it. Why? Well, 12 issues of FF would then hit to a lovely Fantastic Four #600 (say with a big return?), that’s why. Full press release and a couple lovely covers and spoilery preview pages follow.
New York, NY – January 25, 2011 – “FLAME OFF!” In a move sure to shock comic fans worldwide, Marvel unveiled that its ever popular super hero the Human Torch will meet his demise and die heroically in Fantastic Four #587, hitting stores tomorrow (Wednesday, January 26th) [Newsarama Note: Many stores are selling this issue TODAY, Tuesday January 25, so check your LCS!]. Concluding the “Three” storyline that captivated the mainstream media and industry press alike, this issue and the death of such a renowned character from the First Family of comics signals the beginning of major changes for the Marvel Universe as the Fantastic Four lose one of their founding members.
“Jonathan Hickman [writer of Fantastic Four] came to us two years ago with a vision for evolving the characters and concepts introduced to fans 50 years ago in Fantastic Four #1 – and quite frankly his vision blew us away,” said Tom Brevoort, Marvel Entertainment SVP of Publishing. “The death of the Human Torch is the first major move in this incredibly exciting evolution of the legendary Fantastic Four franchise and a necessary part of the larger story we will be telling featuring the beloved characters moving forward.”
But the story doesn’t end there– February’s Fantastic Four #588 brings the long running series to a conclusion as the Fantastic Four disband and the surviving characters must discover their new roles in the Marvel Universe. Just what’s next for the surviving members of Marvel’s First Family?
Fantastic Four #1 debuted in 1961, kicking off the “Marvel Age” of comics and dramatically increasing the popularity of super heroes. As the progenitor of Marvel Universe, the Fantastic Four set a new tone for super hero comics with its nuanced characterization, reflection of real world fears and progressive depiction of super heroes. Through the years, the Fantastic Four have been involved in many of comics most important & memorable storylines, from the introduction of Galactus to the chart-topping Civil War and now the upcoming event Fear Itself.
It all begins with the shocking death of the Human Torch in Fantastic Four #587, in comic stores Wednesday, January 26th, 2011!