Marvel: Killing Fewer Characters Than Previously Thought

The prevailing logic on comic book death is that it never lasts too long, but after a Friday evening presentation at the ComicsPRO trade meeting in Dallas, TX, Marvel Comics had some wondering if death would last all year.

Word spread quick after Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales David Gabriel spoke to the assembled comic retailers that the publisher would be "killing a character every quarter this year" as New Orleans retailer BSI Comics put it, but CBR found after contacting Gabriel that the announcement was more tongue-in-cheek than straightforward sales platform.

"It's partially true and said as a humorous response to the question 'What can you do to bring more outside folks into comic shops?'" Gabriel explained with a laugh. The SVP added that after the recent chart-topping death of the Human Torch in "Fantastic Four" #587 and an expected increase in national publicity for the Ultimate line's "Death of Spider-Man" event, he made the comment. Though fans may not want to hold their breaths to see who would get knocked off come quarter three.

"The actual point made was that these stories should not be seen as merely death stories, but more important is the aftermath," Gabriel explained of Marvel's position on killing characters. He noted of the "killing a character a quarter" comment "It was hyperbole...we've already promoted the big 'deaths.' So that part was true."

Stay tuned to CBR News next week for more word on the products and plans announced during the ComicsPRO summit.

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