Robot 6

The Middle Ground #39 | Four more Fantastic comic deaths to make mainstream headlines

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.

Archie: Jughead
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.



I would also read that Jughead story. Especially if it was drawn in the abandoned Dynamic New Artstyle. It just seems appropriate.

Having been reading the series throughout the 1990s, the fact that a member of the Fantastic Four “dying” is now receiving national press coverage is just… strange, I suppose. :-)

It is not a slow news day, though. It’s more that real news is so easily bumped aside for non-news.

This post is genius! Thanks for this.

Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown indeed!

I sorta want Buffy as a concept to die. I still like it to an extent, but season 8 really sucked, starting around Jeph Loeb’s one-off issue.

Loving the Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown Jughead “death comic.”

As that one guy on the television said in Paul Verhoven’s 1987 manic crime action socio-economic media satire: “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

When I saw this issue in stores, I immediately was reminded of that “oh too similar” ridicuous marketing gimmick DC did for “The Death of Superman.”

Actually, killing Snake Eyes is a great idea and I wonder why it hasn’t been done. Don’t get me wrong, I love Snake Eyes but if you kill him you have the potential of a lot great story telling avenues. Within 3 years time, you have this mysterious armor clad ninja showing up rescuing the Joes and disappearing then reappearing here and there then you got something. Have him show up when Scarlett hooks up with Quick-Kick or somebody for the love triangle aspect (I kid! I kid!).

i would so read that jughead story if nothing else to see Archie and the gang wracked with guilt for not trying to help jugghead eat better. gijoe snake eyes death would be interesting. buffy the character died on the tv its been . and would have Scarlet hook up with storm shadow while she mourns snake eyes. and would add dc killing the joker to deaths that would wind up getting the same talk as the ff one.

Here’s an idea better than all those:

How about comic book companies take a LOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGGG break from comic book deaths. For a change. Really. Is that so hard?

How about a Star Wars: Death of The Alliance where Leia dies? Or, how about Constantine: John Constantine Must Die!?

People are actually making a big deal about the whole Fantastic Four death thing? Must be a slow news day.

I might be the only comic geek to have not read Scott Pilgrim (must do that soon).
Buffy has already died…twice *(or is it three times now?).
Jughead I too would totally read. Forget the 32 page poly-bagged. Instead I see it as a 4 issue, 80 page, weekly mini, each with 2 regular covers (one by the series artist and the other a painted cover by Alex Ross) as well as two variant covers (one of which will also be available in a Virgin and sketch variant) by such artists J. Scott Campbell, Amanda Connor, Todd McFarlane, and Art Adams (maybe Gisele Lagace of “Menage a 3″ and” Penny and Aggie”). Each issue will look back over the history of the character from Little Archie through Married Archie. Each issue will also reprint a classic Jughead story, in addition to the requisite tribute pin-ups. The Michael Chabon text piece should be reserved for the Hardcover Slip-cased collected edition.

Bring in 4 mysterious new characters who may or may not be Jughead reborn and I am sold!

I find it very telling that Marvel are killing of Captain America, then Spiderman, the the F4 member who must not be named. Then everyone else? Then what? It’s lame and lazy.

I love the over dramatic title of the Jughead comic.

Someones got a crush on polybagged thirty two page one-shots.

WTF – Miss Grundy is dead? Man. It’s funny how these things work. I was reading the comic sites on the FF news and realized I hadn’t bought an issue of the title since Walt Simonson’s run. But, this almost got me into a store to buy a copy, so it obviously has some pull. I’d imagine regular readers of new books all bought it and if Marvel is killing Cap, Spider-Man, an FF member, and it’s boosting sales — keep at it. Comics are made to sell – not sit in the $0.25 bins!

I would love Death of Jughead. You’re missing two key components to sell it to me though – Chromium cover (with multiple variants, of course!) and that 8-page prologue HAS to be Barry Windsor-Smith art. Let’s get this thing done.


January 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Buffy has died three times in the television series. She first died in the first season finale, “Prophecy Girl,” when she drowned after being bitten by the Master, but was resuscitated by Xander (but not before Buffy’s successor, Kendra, was activated). She died a second time in the fifth season finale, “The Gift,” when she sacrificed herself to save her sister, Dawn, only to be resurrected by Willow in the sixth season premiere. Her most recent death happened in the sixth season episode “Villains” when she briefly flatlined on the operating table after being shot by Warren, only to be saved when Willow magically removes the bullet from her chest.

I’d like to see Richie Rich go on a three week coke bender that ends with him sticking a gun in his mouth. ‘the one thing he couldn’t buy…was love.’

This article is freaking hilarious! Loved the Jughead and Scott Pilgrim items. Archie actually did a story recently where Jughead’s speedy metabolism was stolen/traded by a witch and he got obese quickly. Sabrina had to come in and save the day.

Stuart: When did Marvel kill Spider-Man?

JimmyDee, it’s happening in Feb or March, but don’t worry, it’s only the Ultimate Spider-Man.

Plus, the Storyline is called The Death Of Spider-Man, so who knows if he’ll actually die, it might be like the Fantastic Four story line from Mark Miller’s run a couple of years back, “Death of the Invisible Woman” in which an Invisible Woman did die, just not our Invisible Woman…

dannywetts, that is hilarious!

oh, and I meant to say, great article, I’m enjoying it.
If I read Archie vs. The Punisher, I would damn sure read Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown!

JimmyDee (and therealjoeben) : they actually killed Peter Parker in one issue during the Clone Saga (one issue, just one, he was all right by the following week). Oh, and people in the comic industry have killed off so many characters that people should be wondering whether or not cemeteries do have any meaning nowadays (Aunt May, Mary Jane, Steve Rogers, Professor X, Magneto, Reed Richards, Jean Grey, Flash, Superman, Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn…at least Batman was another story, thanks to Grant Morrison, the same with Swamp Thing, thanks to Alan Moore).

Sir Manley Johnson

January 27, 2011 at 4:41 am

If you don’t die at least once you aren’t a real super-hero.

They already killed off Snake-Eyes in the previous continuity, but then they brought him back as a brainwashed zombie ninja. Yeah.

I love that every one of these specials would be a polybagged 32-page one-shot. Not even a holographic cover on lenticular cardstock dipped in bronze?

Who is Marvel going to kill next? Or I guess I should ask who are they going to bring back to life. LOL. To add to what Sir Manley said, if you haven’t been brought back to life at least once you’re not a super-hero. Cheers.

Are they REALLY gonna kill Scott Pilgrim? That would suck, man. But you know, maybe O’Malley really doesn’t wanna be known for all eternity as “That guy who does the Scott Pilgrim comics.”. Curse me for jumping on the bandwagon too late!
“You know what sucks? Everything.”
-Scott Pilgrim

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