And Ronin is…

New Avengers #13, which goes on sale this morning, November 30th, finally reveals the identity of the mystert character who has benn running around the book recently. As if you couldn’t tell by the title, I’m planning to spoil it in a bit. If you don’t want to know who it is, stop reading. Please enjoy this excellent panel from Infinite Crisis #1…the spoilers are beneath it.

When You Were Dead 450

Still here? Okay. Ronin is Echo. Who’s Echo, you ask? No, it’s not one of the new characters on Lost (well, it is, but this is a different Echo). It’s a character that appeared in a handful of issues of Daredevil a few years ago. Yes, the huge mystery character from Marvel’s highest selling ongoing series has been revealed as a somewhat obscure character from a mid-level book that sells less than half the copies of the aformentioned title.

In October, New Avengers sold 127,949 copies. Daredevil sold 45,071*. That means there are at least 82,878 fewer people reading Daredevil than New Avengers. So there’s a good chance about 65% of the New Avengers readers have no idea who Echo is. What kind of a payoff is that? Granted, Daredevil sold about 7,000 more copies back when Echo was appearing, but there’s still a huge discrepancy between the people who read New Avengers (the people invested in the identity reveal) and the people who read the Echo stories (the people who know who the character was once she was revealed).

Now, you may be asking yourself “Why is such an obscure character getting such a high profile story in New Avengers?” Simply put, because Brian Michael Bendis is in love with himself, and Joe Quesada thinks every single word he puts to paper is gold.

It’d be one thing if the mystery character storyline was part of the Daredevil title, and then spun off into New Avengers. Or if the secret identity of Ronin wasn’t the focal point of the story and marketing campaign. Or even if Echo had any connection to any character in New Avengers.

But when the only connection between Echo and New Avengers is that Bendis wrote them both, it becomes nothing more than self-masturbatory BS.

*Sales figures taken from Paul O’Brien’s Month-to-Month Sales Comparisons,;f=36;t=004463