WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for War of the Realms #2 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson and VC's Joe Sabino, on sale now.
The newest Marvel Comics event, War of the Realms, may only be a few weeks old, but it's already managed to rack up a body count. The first issue saw Odin attacked in his home of Asgard by Dark Elf assassins sent by the evil Malekith, and Loki, the God of Lies and Mischief, was eaten alive by his own father, the Frost Giant King Laufey.
Whenever there is a huge comic book event or crossover, the odds of a main or supporting character dying are high. A death can add weight to the story and help give it some extra stakes, even if it doesn't permanently stick. This is why we shouldn't be too surprised to see another Asgardian fall in War of the Realms #2, even as Marvel's greatest superheroes begin to formulate a plan to stop the invasion of Midgard.
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Call In The Cavalry
New York City is being overrun by evil Frost Giants, Trolls, Dark Elves and Warrior Angels. The last remaining refugees of Asgard have joined with the Avengers and street-level heroes to put up a united front, but it's still not enough to turn the tide in their favor. But at least Punisher gets to reunite Wolverine, who is recently back from the dead himself.
The former Thor, Jane Foster, joins the fight in her mortal form, but right when it looks like she and Freyja are about to be squashed by Frost Giants, the cavalry arrives in the form of Odin, Brunnhilde and her Valkyries. It's an impressive entrance to say the least, as the warriors come flying in on winged horses with swords and spears at the ready. The reinforcements make enough of a difference to allow Doctor Strange to cast an evacuation spell to teleport civilians out of the line of fire. Unfortunately, the spell is too strong and takes all of the heroes, except for Valkyrie and her army, away to Avengers Mountain.
The final fight for New York comes down to Valkyrie and Malekith, with the Dark Elf getting the drop on Valkyrie from behind. The last image we see of her is a sword plunged into her chest and Malekith standing behind her, ready to deliver the killing blow.
Though it takes place off-panel, the bloody "SHNNK" sound effect is all you need to know in regards to Valkyrie's final fate. She recently reappeared in the Marvel Universe as a member of the Asgardians of the Galaxy, who are also taking part in War of the Realms. Asgardians of the Galaxy #8 was the first tie-in issue of the crossover and even hinted at Valkyrie's death. When the team met Heimdall on the ruins of Asgard, Heimdall tried to warn Valkyrie's human half, Annabelle Riggs, of what he saw in her immediate future, but she didn't want to hear it.
For now, the remaining members of the Asgardians of the Galaxy aren't aware of Valkyrie's death, but with them also on Midgard, it should only be a matter of time before they find out. However, Asgardians of the Galaxy #9 teases readers will learn the "strange fate" of Annabelle Riggs, meaning she possibly may not be dead as well. She has been using a Nova helmet in recent issues, so if she were to return to life, that could be a way to still remain a member of the team.
So far War of the Realms has killed Loki (who we know is going to return in his own Marvel series) and Valkyrie, with the likelihood of more casualties down the line. Thor is currently trapped in Jotunheim and Malekith has conquered New York, with the rest of the world under siege. All that's left is to wonder who will be the next hero to fall?