[Warning: Spoilers Ahead]
It’s been a crazy week for writer Brian Michael Bendis. First, the acclaimed writer made headlines for replacing Iron Man with a 15-year old black female in the pages of Invincible Iron Man. Now he takes aim at one of Marvel’s major heavy weights in the new Civil War II comic — literally!
As reported by the NY Daily News, the alter ego of the Incredible Hulk will meet his demise in Civil War II No. 3, in stores today. Bendis, the writer on the title, details how it all goes down, which finds fellow Avenger Hawkeye at the center of the killing.
“Fans may be outraged, and there are probably ‘Hawkeye’ writers who I’m very good friends with who will also be offended,” said Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of the Civil War II event series. “But the point is that everything that happens in this issue is in character when you discover the hows and whys and wheres.”
As detailed in the article, Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, plants an arrow straight through Dr. Banner’s skull on “the belief that Banner is about to turn into the Hulk and unleash massive death and destruction.” It will also be revealed that Banner had recently given Hawkeye the special arrow and “asked for a mercy killing in case of disaster” even though Banner had been successfully medicating his anger management over the past year.
So is this for real? As many fans of the comics can attest to, death is not permenant in the Marvel and DC Universe. As far back as the 1970s, when Jean Grey took her own life to save her friends, comic book characters have found miraculous ways to return. In a similar exercise, Spider-Man’s alter ego was swapped with the consciousness of his nemesis, Dr. Octopus, effectively “killing” Peter Parker off for two years worth of stories.
And who can forget the spectacle that was “The Death of Superman” in 1992, a story line that has now found its way onto the silver screen thanks to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. So is Banner really dead? Bendis isn’t saying.
“Right now I can tell you this is the real deal,” says Bendis. “I can’t speak for the future, I honestly can’t, who knows what will happen? But I already have plans for the body (in upcoming issues.)”
And it’s not as if Marvel is killing off the Hulk itself. The Green Goliath currently can be found in his own ongoing series, where Marvel introduced the first ever Asian-American Hulk alter-ego in Amadeus Cho, as reported by Slate.
The move has been part of Marvel’s “all new, all different” initiative, where the comic book behemoth has made it a point to introduce more characters of diversity into their universe. In addition to Cho, and the aforementioned Riri Wiliams, Marvel also has made Thor a woman, introduced a half-black, half-hispanic Spider-Man with Miles Morales, and has seen Falcon assume the mantle of Captain America.
Ironically enough, Brian Bendis is also the writer on Spider-Man and the man who helped usher in the multi-racial fan favorite. As Brian told TIME Magazine, following the Iron Man announcement, it’s given him a certain amount of cache with the fans.
“Thankfully because of my involvement in the creation of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones and some other characters, it’s getting [me] the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans,” Bendis said, though he was quick to point out that not everyone is on board with the moves.
“There are fans who say, ‘Show us the new stuff,’ and then there are fans who say, ‘Don’t do anything different from when I was a kid.’ So when you’re introducing new characters, you’re always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.”
What do you think? Has Marvel, and Brian Michael Bendis gone too far in Civil War II?
[Image via Movie Pilot]