Superhero deaths have become a bit of a sigh-inducing trope over the last couple of decades. A big event, a big death, a few years pass and that death is reversed. At one point, Marvel Comics implemented a dead-is-dead edict to try and counter this but it didn't take. Recently Jonathan Hickman baked the revolving door into the structure of House Of X, with all mutants now able to be reborn and revived (aside from Kitty Pryde).
So, as well as the big finale reveal of Empyre #4 today, the comic book has been promising a 'big death' for some time. The solicitation put it thus:
EMPYRE #4 (OF 6)
(W) Al Ewing, Dan Slott (A) Valerio Schiti (CA) Jim Cheung
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER…
• Tensions mount as the action heats up!
• As the attack on Wakanda intensifies, the heroes find themselves under attack from their enemies – and their allies!
• In a war where nobody can be fully trusted, betrayal cuts deep – as the alien invasion claims its first casualty!
• In this issue: The shock ending you never expected! You'll want to frame it for your wall, True Believer! Rated T+In Shops: Aug 05, 2020 SRP: $4.99
But it turns out that this death doesn't actually appear in Empyre #4. It happened a short while ago…
Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk, has been presenting a more monstrous, brutish form of late. It has been revealed that she dies in Civil War II after all, and was reborn, as all Hulks are now, coming back from the dead when the moon rises.
Of course, in Empyre: Avengers #0, she actually went to the moon, with the rest of the Avengers, where she palled around with the Cotati, transforming her.
Her speech patterns were more normal, her frame had reduced – but there was something about her eye. As the Cotati were revealed to be the real enemy, and the Skrull/Kree trying to save the galaxy from them, she was seen defending or equivocating for the Cotati.
And in Empyre #4, takes that over the top, as she advises the Cotati to make their assault on the Kree and Skrulls.
Turns out that this is not She-Hulk – not in any way that matters.
She-Hulk is dead, and this Cotati has just been wearing her body as a skin, explaining those earlier changes. Of course, this is not the first time that She-Hulk has died in an event, and she is now one of the many gamma-irradiated immortal beings who rise from the dead, as played out in the Immortal Hulk comic book. And we also know what is coming after Empyre. Immortal She-Hulk #1 starring Jennifer Walters. Written by Al Ewing, drawn by Jon Davis-Hunt with a cover by Joe Bennett, coming in September…
Killing off a character you have already dubbed 'Immortal' does make things look even more temporary than usual. What happens to a dead She-Hulk possessed by a Cotati when the moon rises?
IMMORTAL SHE-HULK #1
(W) Al Ewing (A) Jon Davis-Hunt (CA) Joe Bennett
N THE WAKE OF EMPYRE, JEN WALTERS GOES IMMORTAL!
The Cotati invasion has changed everything for Jennifer Walters. Now she seems to have a new lease on life…but things are never that simple for the gamma-powered. Al Ewing gives She-Hulk the "IMMORTAL" treatment with a horrifying stand-alone tale! Rated T+ In Shops: Sep 23, 2020 SRP: $4.99
I bought mine from Piranha Comics in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Piranha Comics is a small south London comic store chain with a small south-east store in Kingston-Upon Thames's market centre, which runs Magic The Gathering nights on Fridays, and a larger south-west store in Bromley, which also runs Magic nights and has an extensive back issue collection and online store. If you are in the neighbourhood, check them out.