Black Wednesday: Fantastic Four #587 - Bag me a copy, will ya?
I'm sure you have heard the news by now - that one of the Fantastic Four is not going to be so fantastic come January 26th, 2011. Marvel is killing off one of the original members of the "World's Greatest Comics Magazine."
Last issue's conclusion left the possibility open that any of four could be up for grabs. Reed is left facing Galactus, Sue with Namor "under the sea," and Ben and Johnny surrounded by the bugs of the Negative Zone.
This has gained the attention of the national media with news stories popping up in all sorts of places - just google it.
Our good buddy, VP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, had the following to say when questioned on the death having "meaning" in the Marvel U.:
“It’s a story that will have a transformative effect on these characters – virtually nothing will be the same after the events of this story,” he said.
“And that was the reason to go this route – to bring about these seismic changes to the characters and to the series.”
We know the seismic changes are already in order as Marvel released a teaser for "FF" - a new series from Fantastic Four writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Steve Epting. Fantastic Four ends with #588 in February; March sees the launch of "FF." On the cover, you can see the three hexagon shapes - which may give a clue as to which of the four survives.
Already, we have seen Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, in teasers for Marvel's next big event, "Fear Itself."
I'll go so far and say that Johnny Storm's death isn't big enough to cause the series to relaunch. Sorry, Human Torch fans.
That leaves two.
If we take the "FF" cover literally, the one hexagon looks invisible which means "Dear Ol' Dad" Reed Richards is going to offer up his services to Lady Death. This would be the most dramatic demise they could think of. This would be the one greatest felt across the Marvel U.
Of course, the death of the Invisible Woman would be close. This would escalate tensions between Namor and Reed. Plus, I would say, it would have more of an impact on not only the team's cohesion - but the family unit, as well. Certainly, the kids would be further impacted by the death of their mother. This might also add fuel to the fire regarding where the children's future lies. We know from the last couple issues that something is up with Franklin, per Galactus.
While Reed's death might impact the Marvel U. more in general, Sue's death would have a greater effect on the team and family. FF friend and former member, Spider-Man, is also jumping onboard to offer up his consolations. Last we saw Spidey in this book he attended Franklin's b-day party, I believe. From a teaser released at the SDCC, we see Spider-Man is going to become a member and that the death will also reach his own book in March's Amazing Spider-Man #657. What role could the wall-crawler play? Father? Mother? Friend?
Now, before I tell you who I think is going to be back in less than a year (FF#600 is 12 issues away!), this issue comes poly-bagged ala "The Death of Superman." Come on, Marvel - I still have 25 issues of X-Force #1 tucked away somewhere! I really don't want to see a return to this sort of marketing as this drove me away from comics in the 90s. Using the black bag as a reason to protect the identity is nonsense as it will be tweeted shortly after shops open - on Tuesday! Diamond is now shipping books early for sale on Wednesday.
Getting back to which member I think will be semi-permanently made to disappear - The Invisible Woman Susan Storm!
Who do you think?
Black-bagged "Fantastic Four #587" hits stores Jan. 26th.
"Fantastic Four #587" Spoiler Variant Cover on-sale Feb. 2nd.
Final issue, "Fantastic Four #588" lands Feb 23rd.
"FF#1" from Hickman and Epting debuts in March.