One Marvel #1 Issue On Sale Today Kills Off A Major Marvel Character


(Note: As the title of this post suggests, it includes spoilers for the death of a major Marvel character in Squadron Supreme #1. If you’re planning on reading it and want to be surprised, please stop reading now. We won’t be upset!)

Among the numerous team books to spring up in the wake of Secret Wars, Squadron Supreme sounded like the hardest sell. Though the name has some value to longtime comic fans, the actual group we’re getting in All-New, All-Different Marvel is made up of survivors from five different worlds. And while the team is going to be a “proactive, do whatever it takes” bunch, that sort of seems like what The Ultimates are doing too.

So how did writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk decide to prove that thus Squadron means business? By killing off one of the oldest Marvel superheroes there is.

One last spoiler warning seems appropriate here …

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Please say adieu to Namor, the Sub-Mariner. The sometime hero, sometime villain — he could have been a pro wrestler with all the turns he made over the decades — was relieved of his head by Hyperion. He seems pretty dead, even for a superhero.

His execution came after the Squadron Supreme first raised and then destroyed the city of Atlantis, though they at least gave its citizens a chance to abandon the place with their lives first. For some team members, it was personal, as Namor helped the Cabal destroy some of their worlds. For others, it was simply an acknowledgement of the fact that the Atlanteans had invaded the surface world numerous times and it was thus unwise to leave them alone.

Robinson added some context to the philosophical debate over whether the Squadron was in the right by having Namor point out that he ordered his people to attack only out of a sense of self-preservation, though the Blur responded that his side was doing the same thing. It was a nice effort to at least frame the debate over the team’s actions as something more complicated than simple black and white morality. The reaction from various regular citizens of Marvel Earth at the end also showed it was a divisive act.

Next: Marvel Confirms End of Secret Wars on January 13

In other words, it was more than just shock value, and there’s no doubt that given Namor’s actions leading up to Secret Wars, it wouldn’t surprise me if many readers felt the Sub-Mariner had it coming. Given what appears to be a sizable role for Namor in Secret Wars #9, let’s hope his death doesn’t spoil anything for that issue, but any redemption he might gain for helping to ensure the survival of all that is can now only be described as short-lived.