Whenever there’s a big comic book event, it’s basically to be expected that some character—either a big name or a nobody—will get killed off. Combine that with the fact that death in a comic book is about as permanent as an ice cube and it’s pretty obvious why the idea of a superhero dying isn’t as exciting as it used to be. However, some superhero deaths are still an important event, like when Captain America was assassinated at the end of Marvel’s Civil War event in 2007. Sure, it was undone pretty quickly, but it was still pretty shocking.
Now, with a movie loosely adapted from the Civil War comic coming later this year, Marvel is capitalizing on the name with a sequel series that, unsurprisingly, is going to kill somebody else off. The New York Daily News has a big exclusive all about this, because Marvel gave it access to a secret editorial retreat that was held primarily so the publisher’s top writers and editors could help plan out Civil War II. The basic premise of the event is that a previously unknown super-person will pop up who has the ability to “calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy.” Captain Marvel (eventually getting a movie of her own) decides that this power should be used to stop future crimes, while Iron Man flips his position from the first Civil War and becomes a champion of freedom.
Going into this retreat, Spider-Man and the Human Torch were the top candidates for being killed (although the latter was just brought back to life a few years ago), and one writer even suggested the possibility of a hero committing suicide, which he suggested would be “a good way to draw attention to the scourge of cyber-bullying.” Eventually, writer Brian Michael Bendis and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso came up with “the perfect superhero to sacrifice and an even better candidate to murder him,” and the idea even got “a loud ovation from the crowd.”
The Daily News obviously doesn’t reveal who is going to get axed, but Marvel’s Dan Buckley points out that “the death is the marketing hook” and that the actual content of the story is what really matters. That being said, it’ll probably be Iron Man. Or Sam Wilson, the current Captain America. Or Lockjaw, the pet dog thing of the Inhuman royal family.
Civil War II comes from Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Justin Ponsor, and the first issue will go on sale later this year.