Spoiler Ahead – A Death in the Fantastic Four


It has been a little more than a couple of weeks since the death of a particular member in Fantastic Four #587.

Spoilers Ahead

Admittedly, I thought the death would have been Sue Storm – however, that is all now in the past.

Johnny Storm – the Human Torch’s death, although unexpected by me and I am sure millions of others, came with mass media hype, as well as controversy. “Why did Johnny get chosen to die?” “Is this just another Marvel cop-out?” “Do deaths in comics mean anything anymore?”

Fantastic Three

All of those are excellent questions and may spawn debate in later posts here. All of these questions came up after Johnny’s death was announced to the world – first by the Associated Press, followed by Marvel a couple of hours later. For me, the day of the comics release, I was warned on my Twitter that the AP leaked who passed in the book. I vowed to not look at the internet all day in order to avoid finding out Johnny’s death.

But do you know what? That seemed impossible. Not to avoid the internet, but that it was everywhere. On the radio, on the television – this “death” was announced world-wide.

You’re Spoiled

Admittedly, this is great for Marvel, but what about the little guy? Me. I did not own a copy of the book yet, and here the whole world was spilling the ending to me. Of course, I found out before reading the book – but I felt plagued by the fact that it was spoiled to me.

Unfortunately, and as I posted in an earlier blog, it seems as if no one cares about comic books unless they are in movie format. And although that is fine, it seems when some event as BIG to the comic reader’s comes out, the rest of the world boosts in excitement to tell everyone. What happens in result are all of the questions with the media hype and controversy which I listed above.

But my biggest question has to be, “Why is it okay to spoil comic book endings and not endings to anything else?”

Treated Unfairly?

To compare, when Harry Potter novels came out, sure – there were internet spoilers everywhere. The last thing the news did though, was promote the ending to the book. No one announced on television that Snape killed Dumbledore.

As for another example, any movie critic or person who, well, sees a movie does not immediately make press releases or discuss the ending to the movie. They hold enough respect to the unsure reader or viewer to not reveal any major plot points. I can give this example to almost any movie (unlike Titanic).

But I, the individual amongst millions who actually read comic books was spoiled by everyone who hardly ever reads comic books. Is it “fair game” to talk about something publically once it is released? Probably. However, given all other mediums of entertainment, comic books once again got the butt-end of the deal.

I cry foul and ask again:Why?

Keep on Space Truckin’!

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2 thoughts on “Spoiler Ahead – A Death in the Fantastic Four

  1. Ray

    It’s all up to Marvel to be honest. The difference being that they would send a release in advance to the news outlets with the hook that the Human Torch had died, but place it under embargo until the day the comic came out. So the news outlets released the news in the morning, they probably didn’t “leak it” they just reported the news that Marvel sent them without regard to the fact that people hadn’t had time to hit the store and grab the issue. They can’t wait until 6ish to give fans fair time because someone else will have reported it already.

    In comparison, while I’m sure there were plenty of media releases around the last Harry Potter book, and possibly even sample chapters sent out, the news hook most likely wasn’t “X dies!” but instead “LAST POTTER BOOK” (but well written) without the spoilers contained in the release itself.

    I can’t comment fully on movies due to a lack of knowledge, maybe people just don’t want to be jerks and ruin them. For really advanced screenings there can be non-disclosure waivers. You see it all the time on websites that did a set visit 2 months ago, but can’t run what they saw or the interviews until well after the trailer is out and what would have been a huge scoop is now just a simple update.

    So I guess you have to look at Marvel for how this was handled.

    By the way, solid blog sir.

    1. Thank you for the comments, Ray!

      You’re right about Harry Potter. However, I could argue the same for any book as I do with any movie. Take “The Da Vinci Code” – a book which was out before a movie – yet neither “endings” were spoiled to the public. I could argue the same for plenty of books and what-not. It just boggles my mind a bit.

      But then you’re probably right about how Marvel mis-handled the media release of the death. If Marvel did indeed allow the “leak,” then by all means they’re possibly just wanting the attention. However, that could have been handled a lot better and should be reconsidered in the future.

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