Marvel doesn't have a lot of tricks up its sleeve when it comes to selling comic books. While "The House of Ideas" is technically an accurate moniker, Marvel could more precisely be described as "The House of Exactly Four Ideas." Those comic-selling ideas are, in no particular order:
- Super-Mega-Crossover event that will shake the Marvel Universe to its foundations and leave nothing the same
- Relaunch a series that has barely hit double digits with a new number one issue
- Add a crapload of variant covers
- Kill off and then bring back a beloved character
Sure, Marvel may mix things up sometimes by combining the four concepts above. For example: slapping a crapload of variants on the first issue of a newly relaunched title, or killing off characters during a super-mega-crossover event. But one way or another, those four concepts find their way into every Marvel marketing plan, over and over and over and over and over and over again.
So it's somewhat shocking to learn that Marvel would remove one of those tools from its box, at least, that is if we're to believe Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. According to a report from ComicBook.com recapping an appearance by Cebulski at a Sweedish comic convention, Cebulski has pledged to use shocking character deaths to spike sales less often in the future.
"I don't want death to be used to boost sales or to use as a shock value so people go 'Oh my God, Johnny Storm is dead!' or 'Wolverine is dead!' knowing that they're going to be coming back," said Cebulski. "If we choose to do it now, we're going to add a little more weight and permanence to the situation."
Of course, it's a low bar to claim that there will be more restraining in killing off characters, considering Marvel is seemingly killing them off at a faster rate than ever before. The way things are going over in Uncanny X-Men, Jonathan Hickman will be lucky if there are any X-Men left alive by the time he relaunches the title with his own event (featuring multiple variant covers). And that's not to mention the various deaths in War of the Realms, where Marvel has literally killed off all of the Valkyries, including the character named Valkyrie. They killed off Loki too, but he'll be starring in his own new series after the event is over. And Thor will be "missing" once the War of the Realms ends, whatever that means. Perhaps most devastatingly, Throg, the frog version of Thor, died in a War of the Realms tie-in.
Still, we do hope Cebulski is telling the truth… even if he's been known to behave less than honestly before. What do you think? Would you like to see Marvel murder its characters less? Let us know down below.