Click to viewApparently, Marvel Comics took the success of The Dark Knight pretty badly, if this recently-released teaser image is anything to go by. Maybe a little too badly - I mean, killing Iron Man because his movie wasn't the biggest hit of the summer? Isn't that going a little too far? While the publisher isn't saying what comic this image is from, we're wondering if it has something to do with Dark Reign, the next stage of superhero drama for Marvel's heroes following the end of Secret Invasion.
As is Marvel's way, Dark Reign exists as little more than a name and a tease right now. Announced at last week's Diamond Retailers Summit in Las Vegas, all that's really known about it is that it's a brand that indicates that any comic using it will reflect the post-Secret Invasion status quo for the Marvel Universe... even though we don't really know what that status quo actually is. It's all the brainchild of Secret Invasion and New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis:
This was an invasion, and from the invasion, certain people take the hit, certain people rise up as the heroes who you wouldn't expect, and from that comes a new power status in the Marvel Universe that some would consider a dark reign and some would consider heaven. One man's dark reign is another man's 'Finally!' ...There's going to be new alliances. There's going to be new teams and team dynamics. A new world dynamic. What people said about [Marvel's 2006 series] Civil War is that it really changed the dynamic between the super heroes and the rest of the Marvel Universe, and this is even a newer dynamic between the Marvel characters and the world they live in.
Such talk brings up some interesting possibilities: One of the recent twists in Secret Invasion has been a portion of humanity turning towards accepting the alien invader's "embrace change" occupation philosophy, so does that mean that Dark Reign will feature a Skrull-occupied Earth? And given the image of a fallen Iron Man above, it's looking likely that Tony Stark will be one of the people taking a hit... but how much of one? Well, the Iron Man: Director of SHIELD book is going to be replaced with an ongoing series starring Jim Rhodes as kick-ass cyborg War Machine, but does that mean that Tony's losing a series, a job, or his life altogether (His other series, The Invincible Iron Man, is continuing - but that doesn't mean that Tony will still be the one wearing the armor, necessarily)? They did kill off the original Captain America, after all... Of course, if this other untitled teaser image is anything to go by, the Skrulls may be a red herring. Maybe it's Doctor Doom who gets to Reign, Darkly or otherwise, with his new cosmic-powered bling?
(Bonus points to people who can work out why the Kirby and Secret Wars shout-outs are in there.) Prepare for a Dark Reign [Marvel.com]