Marvel Comics' "Civil War II" is in full swing, and the summer event has already claimed one major victim. Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes, the Avenger known as War Machine fell at the hands of Thanos while on a mission that he and Captain Marvel's Ultimates team wouldn't have gone on were it not for the Inhuman Ulysses, a new player with the ability to see the future. War Machine's death has put Iron Man (Rhodey's best friend) and Captain Marvel (Rhodey's girlfriend) at odds. Now, a new superhero conflict has exploded, with Iron Man declaring war on the Inhumans and seeking to get to the bottom of Ulysses' abilities -- by any means necessary.
Thanks to solicit info and the events that have already unfolded, we know that the death toll will be at least two for the "Civil War" sequel series. One of them is War Machine, but who is the other hero destined to fall? We investigated a number of candidates back in April, before "Civil War II" had even started, and now that initial list has been narrowed down. Upcoming issues of "All-New, All-Different Avengers" feature the Vision, and he's on the cover of "Civil War II" #5. Hawkeye appears on the cover of "Civil War II: God of War" #3, and "Totally Awesome Hulk" #11's cover indicates that Amadeus Cho will fight the archer.
So, who's left? Let's once again run through the characters that are most likely safe. Odds are Marvel's not killing a character that's either a lead or co-lead of a book -- and that rules out a lot of A-listers. It's also likely that if a character is mentioned in a solicit for a book dropping in August or September, they're still alive; same goes for them appearing on an issue's cover (although covers aren't always totally indicative of a comic's content). So with all of those characters out of the way, who is left? Who is in danger? Who will fall in "Civil War II" #3?
Undeniable A-lister Janet Van Dyne is still missing in action when it comes to Marvel solicitations for the next few months. While there is an all-new Wasp (Nadia Pym) flying around now, and she has met her kinda-step-mother, Jan is absent from upcoming CWII promotions. And the original Wasp is a big deal character; she's an original Avenger and has close ties to pretty much every other major Marvel hero. But, as we pointed out the last time we investigated "Civil War II," Wasp's been killed in a major Marvel crossover before. Would Marvel repeat what already happened in "Secret Invasion?"
When last we saw Jennifer Walters in "Civil War II" #1, she was flat-lining from injuries suffered during a battle with Thanos -- the same battle that took Rhodey's life. But we haven't seen She-Hulk die on-panel just yet, and that's key to pronouncing a character dead when it comes to comics. (And sometimes, not even that's proof enough of a hero's demise!) But She-Hulk was a possibility back in April, and she's even more of a possibility now; she doesn't have a solo series, is absent from future solicits and is already at death's door. On top of that, solicits for "Totally Awesome Hulk" #9 and #10 mention that Amadeus Cho will lose someone close to him. Could that be She-Hulk? Or possibly another Hulk?
5 HULK/BRUCE BANNER
There's a new contender this time around, and he could easily be the character whose death causes Amadeus Cho to experience "blindsiding loss." "Civil War II" #2 features another one of Ulysses' visions, this one of Bruce Banner hulking out and killing everyone. The issue ends with Carol Danvers paying a presumably gamma-free Bruce Banner a visit. The cover for "Civil War II" #3 features Banner's rampaging Hulk, hinting that a showdown between the heroes and the jade giant is imminent. Furthermore, Banner plays no part in future solicits, is a major Marvel character, and, because Amadeus Cho is currently acting as the Hulk, Marvel could kill off a marquee name while not having to end an ongoing series. It's possible that She-Hulk's been placed in jeopardy as a misdirect for Bruce Banner's upcoming death -- or, maybe it's the other way around?
Another new possibility is Crystal. Considering how big of a role the Inhumans play in "Civil War II," it makes sense that one of their own might be the event's next victim. Crystal's a leading member of the group's royal family, and recent events have found Crystal geographically separated from her family more often than not as she tracks down Nuhumans. She's not featured on any covers or solicits following "Civil War II" #3, and upcoming issues of "Uncanny Inhumans" will feature a civil war within "Civil War II." But while Crystal's a major character (she was among the very first Inhumans introduced), it's a bit of a stretch to call her one of Marvel's "biggest" heroes.
3 BLACK BOLT
There is one major Inhuman whose death could be a big deal: Black Bolt. The former Inhuman king was briefly seen in "Civil War II" #1 among the assembled heroes that successfully took down the Celestial Destructor. Right now, Black Bolt's role in Inhuman affairs is more subtle than it's ever been; he's focused on running his bar, the Quiet Room, which is a covert meeting place for those seeking neutral territory. But he's not totally divorced from Inhuman happenings, as he's working with Medusa in a less prominent role. With Medusa now acting as the leader of the Inhumans, that means Black Bolt could be sacrificed to cement Medusa's role and ratchet up the stakes for the royal family.
Following a mystery fallout between mutants and Inhumans that took place in the gap between the end of "Secret Wars" and the launch of All-New All-Different Marvel, Hank McCoy jumped over to the Inhumans' side and has been working closely with the royal family in the hopes of finding a cure for the deadly M-Pox that's circling the globe. Like everyone else on this list, Beast is absent from future solicitations, which puts a target on his furry blue forehead. As an original X-Man and one of Marvel's most prominent mutants, Beast matches the criteria needed for "big death." And due to his membership with the X-Men, Avengers and Inhumans, his death would incense a number of the war's factions.
1 HUMAN TORCH
Johnny Storm's been pulling double duty ever since the Fantastic Four split apart in the wake of "Secret Wars." He's taken a more active role in "Uncanny Inhumans" and is currently a member of the Avengers Unity Squad in "Uncanny Avengers." But despite popping up in so many books, the Human Torch is oddly absent from the summer's solicits. Johnny Storm is undoubtedly one of the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe, and he's also one of two FF members still appearing in monthly comics (Thing's still all over the summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy" covers). If his flame were to be extinguished, it would send a shockwave through the Inhumans and Avengers on both sides of the civil war.