If there's one thing that today's mainstream media coverage of the death of a Fantastic Four member proves, it's that slow news days are great for Marvel Comics. But if there's another, then it's that Death = Attention in the crazy, depressing world of comic book math. Bearing that in mind, here are some new candidates for the Grim Reaper, to goose some other publishers' coffers.
Oni Press: Scott Pilgrim
Why? Because the world clamors for new Pilgrim, even though Bryan Lee O'Malley has finished the series and said all he wants to say with the character. What better way to ensure that people stop asking for more than killing off the character?
How? A polybagged 32 page oneshot, of which at least half is actually made up of pin-up "tributes" by big name artists featuring Ramona crying while wearing uncharacteristically revealing clothing, with ghost Scott faces made up of the clouds behind her. The actual story will consist mostly of showing us a middle-aged, fat and content Scott before he dies in an extremely uninteresting accident, hinting at a golden age of further adventures between Finest Hour and his death, just to tease fans at all those untold stories.
IDW: Snake Eyes
Why? Because killing Cobra Commander worked so well - No, really, GI Joe: Cobra II #12 was genuinely really good - and because, if you kill Snake Eyes, then follow his soul to hell and then revive him, you have finally cemented the idea that Snake Eyes is really Wolverine in the Joeverse. Because, let's face it, he really is.
How? A polybagged 32 page oneshot, preceded by at least six months of press ahead of release teasing the death of a beloved character, preferably including some variation on the phrase "The death of Cobra Commander was only the beginning." The actual story should put Snake Eyes in a position where he's never been before while still fulfilling fan expectations for awesomeness, so let's see him fight a dinosaur. With laser guns. That'd work, right?
Dark Horse: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Why? Because, never mind [member of the Fantastic Four that I am purposefully not naming because I want to keep JK as spoiler free as possible], killing off Buffy would break the internet in half and then invite the denizens of Whedonesque in to stomp all over the pieces. Also, if it's timed with the release of the rumored new Buffy reboot movie, all the better.
How? A polybagged 32 page oneshot, with additional text pieces from Joss Whedon (about the death of his creation), Sarah Michelle Gellar (pretending that she's been reading the comic all along) and editor Scott Allie backing up a story where Buffy is finally brought low by some mundane thing to act as a metaphor for the fact that life will always bring challenges that we have not prepared for. Plus, some character will acknowledge that Buffy has died before, but comment about how this time is different, before the issue ends with a tease that nothing will ever be the same for at least a year before the series reboots as Season 10.
Why? Because killing Miss Grundy clearly didn't work. No, a Major Comics Death has to be one of the core characters but one that doesn't really break any of the franchise's major concepts irrevocably. You can't kill Archie, Betty or Veronica, but that guy who likes burgers and wears a paper crown? Your days are clearly numbered, my friend.
How? A polybagged 32 page oneshot, with an 8 page lead story in which Juggie's poor diet catches up with him in superfast style, causing a fatal heart attack that he could've recovered from if only his cholesterol hadn't been so unnaturally high. That's backed with pin-up tributes, a text piece on the historical importance of the sidekick by Michael Chabon, and at least seven one-page PSAs on why everyone should have a good diet from cast members including, but not limited to, Archie, Veronica, Betty, Kevin Keller and one of the Pussycats that isn't Josie. Also: A tease for the sequel oneshot, wherein Sabrina The Teenage Witch attempts to bring Jughead back to life while four new characters try to take his place, World Without Jughead: Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown.
Shamefully, I would totally read that Jughead story.