The Civil War Machine: The “End” is Here

Tomorrow, February 21, after nine and a half long months, Civil War finally comes to an end. Well, except for the 3+ months of specials about the fallout of Civil War that Marvel’s putting out. But the main story comes to an end tomorrow in Civil War #7 and Amazing Spider-Man #538.

Amazing 539Amazing Spider-Man will finally reveal whom Joe Quesada hates more: Mary Jane, Aunt May, or comic fans. It seems painfully obvious that Mary Jane is going to die in this issue, prompting Spider-Man to don the black costume while he mourns her death. So obvious, in fact, that I’m sort of expecting her not to die. Which is going to make it that much worse when Mary Jane does die. Because deep down in my heart I know Joe Quesada will not rest until that woman is dead. Even though she and Peter are together in the movies and Marvel is doing everything else in their power to make their comics identical to the movies that are based on them. By the way, Word said it should be “whom,” I’m not just a grammar nazi.

But the big story is in Civil War #7, which Marvel promises will feature the death of a major character. Because there’s nothing fans like more than when their favorite characters are killed. And now for the speculation:

There aren’t many major characters that aren’t already advertised to appear in comics in the immediate future. Iron Man, Wasp, Ms. Marvel, Wonder Man, the Sentry and Black Widow will be in Mighty Avengers. Wolverine, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and Spider-Woman will be in New Avengers. Thing, Human Torch, Black Panther and Storm will be in Fantastic Four. The X-Men and Daredevil are steering clear of Civil War. Joe Quesada has stated in Newsarama’s New Joe Fridays that Captain America will not die. Hulk’s in outer space. Thor’s “dead.” That doesn’t leave a whole lot of major characters, unless you count Cloak & Dagger or Ultragirl as major characters. The way I figure, that leaves us four possibilities:

Civil War 71) Hank Pym. The current Yellowjacket was one of the Big Three in the pro-registration movement. He was right there alongside Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man until they built Clor and killed Goliath. But Pym has been pretty much a non-entity in the Marvel Universe since he quit the Avengers after they disassembled, so his death wouldn’t seem like a major event even though he’s been an important part of Marvel’s past.

2) Mr. Fantastic. He and Iron Man have been responsible for some pretty horrible acts as leaders of the pro-reg movement. Even though Mr. Fantastic has a very logical reason to support Iron Man, he still comes off as a pretty bad guy. Killing him off as a result of Civil War would certainly generate some sympathy for the recently hated character. But Mr. Fantastic has died and came back before, so doing it again wouldn’t have the same impact. Plus, they need him in July…

3) The Invisible Woman. She left her husband and children during Civil War to fight for what she believes in, which would certainly make for a heroic death. She hasn’t died before in-continuity, so it wouldn’t seem like a re-hashing of old material. And she’s not a member of the FF post-CW. Sue Storm seems to be the perfect candidate for a major character to bite it as a result of Civil War. If only she didn’t have to be around in July when the Fantastic Four comic inevitably mirrors the status quo of the Fantastic Four movie.

4) Tony Stark. Iron Man’s around post-CW, but who’s to say whether it’s Tony or someone else under the armor? I don’t pay attention to the Iron Man solicits, so that might have already been addressed, but how in the hell do you justify the things Tony Stark has done during Civil War so he’s even remotely likeable in a solo book? Killing him seems to be the only option, unless Marvel just wants to go full-on with the heel turn.

With the movie coming out this summer, neither member of the Fantastic Four seems likely to take a dirt nap. Hank Pym seems to be the most likely, especially knowing Marvel’s tendency to over-hype and under deliver. But Tony Stark seems to be the best choice to me, as Marvel can spend two years building towards his triumphant return. Just in time for ol’ Shellhead to hit the silver screen, naturally.