There's no such thing as a civil war free of some bloodshed, and in this year's "Civil War II", by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, one of Marvel's most famous heroes will die by the hand of another.
The New York Daily News reports that Bendis and company settled on the fate of the high-profile characters at a recent Marvel editorial retreat, and that when they decided who would go to comic book superhero-heaven, and who would be left with blood on their hands, the gathered writers and editors cheered at the dramatic choice.
The original 2006-07 "Civil War" miniseries, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, was noted for its character deaths, as well as the questions it posed about civil liberties and national security in a post-9/11 landscape. Bendis says that the latest series is similarly rooted in the controversial news headlines of today. "People's personal accountability is the theme of this one," he tells the New York Daily News. "From the way cops are acting on camera, to the way people talk to each other online."
Marvel's last hero-vs-hero blockbuster, soon to be adapted on the big screen in "Captain America: Civil War," pitted Iron Man against the Star-Spangled Avenger, but this time it'll be Ol' Shellhead vs. Captain Marvel, with other heroes taking sides.
The official "Civil War" synopsis reads, "A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy. This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime."
There are a couple names readers can check off their list already. According to the report, it will not be Human Torch or Peter Parker/Spider-Man that end up six-feet-under, although Bendis was using the Web-Head as a placeholder during discussions, until he and Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso came up with their ultimate choice during a break between meetings.
The gathered Marvel higher-ups acknowledged the slippery nature of character deaths in licensed, ongoing stories, with Marvel publisher Dan Buckley admitting that first death will merely serve as the series' "marketing hook," explaining, "The thing that's really compelling is whether or not there's a story afterwards that's going to connect with readers," and expressing confidence that the full story will resonate with invested fans.
With "Captain America: Civil War" hitting theaters May 6, and "Civil War II" reaching comic book shelves the month after, company leadership suggest that the comic story could prove essential to the Marvel canon down the line.
"If you want to really see a road map of where our movies will be (going) in the next five, 10 or 20 years, read the comics," Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada says. "They're almost always a precursor to what's on the horizon in our [Marvel] Cinematic Universe."
What do you think? Who do you trust Marvel to murder?