The Dark Angel Saga
Wolverine – Ha, I doubt it.
Psylocke – Nah, she’s mentioned in the solicit for the very next issue (shipping in the exact same month).
Archangel – Well, it is a storyline where he goes bad. Rick Remender has mentioned (I believe on the iFanboy podcast) how crazy it is that the X-Men let this guy, an avatar of death for Apocalypse, roll with them while he’s still got these metal wings and blue skin. I would say he’s a pretty good lock to die in this issue. All signs point to it. It might not end up as surprising as the Fantastic Four death (which literally could have been anybody) but that’s not a problem because sales weren’t disadvantaged by ‘The Death of Spider-Man’ storyline which killed Spider-Man. A death doesn’t have to come out of left field to be shocking and sell well.
Oh, but it still can, right…?
Deadpool – Dig, if you will, Deadpool biting the dust in this issue as some sort of grand sacrifice. He’s not mentioned in the next solicit and he’s certainly not as safe as Wolverine is. Killing Deadpool would be a massive power play. It also wouldn’t affect the critically acclaimed Deadpool MAX series because it stands outside continuity. Hell, it doesn’t even need to affect Deadpool’s current ongoing series because if there’s one person that could carry a title through death, maybe into hell, and beyond, it would be Wade Wilson. I don’t see a little thing like no longer being alive as a barrier to telling good Deadpool stories (if, in fact, there are actually any GOOD Deadpool stories, ha).
We’ll have to wait until December to see who does die in the issue. We’ll also have to see if sales are improved at all.
From these sales, Marvel realised death in comics is a decent sales grab. And that most certainly is true. Whether it’s speculators still raising the flag high since they bought a Death of Superman comic and waiting for the glorious return or just rubberneckers who wants to know how these people get offed. Either way, people buy, and they read. Both of these things are what comic publishers want. This is why Marvel made the call, after the high selling issue of Fantastic Four dropped, to kill a character every quarter for the rest of the year.
Now, that last sentence sounds disingenuous to what’s most likely happening. Many people heard this news from Marvel and cried foul because they felt/worried it was reactive. It sounds like Marvel heard the sales of the death bag issue and then decided to shoehorn some deaths into comics for the rest of the year. I honestly doubt that is the case. I am sure (or as sure as an outsider looking into Marvel can be) Marvel storylines were already going to feature deaths this year and the announcement was just a little bit of anticipatory troll-bait to tease interest.
If the Fantastic Four death kicked things off then it was certainly and ably followed by “The Death of Spider-Man.’ Take into account, this wasn’t the ‘real' Spidey who died but rather the Ultimate Universe variation. Nevertheless, he was a much loved character and there was no cop out to that title. It was a big moment. Sales on that title also shot up as people wanted to know how Spidey was going out, and how the new Spidey was coming in to replace him.
At the same time, James 'Bucky' Barnes bought the bullet (or the hammer) in Fear Itself. It was in the midst of an event, and so sales were already kind of higher than usual, but it was certainly a high profile death. Many seemed to prefer Bucky in the role of Captain America over the original Steve Rogers, who vacated the role in a highly publicised and sold issue years ago.
It is now time for another death and I feel it’s going to be another big one. Scans will hit online pretty quickly, sales will spike. However, I doubt inter/national news will pick this one up. Be it Archangel or Deadpool most people won’t know/care. I’m sure avid Archangel fans certainly will, though.
I’m betting money Archangel will die, sales will spike and settle, and the world won’t take notice. Archangel fans will be in an uproar for about 5 days. Uncanny X-Force will continue to be awesome. As for death in comics, it’s going to be a constant and resurrection will always be an option. What are your thoughts about the year of Marvel deaths?