January 25th, 2011
04:01 PM ET
[WARNING! Major spoilers here - Do not read if you don't want to know what happens in "Fantastic Four" #587.]
"Everything has led to this moment," "Fantastic Four" writer Jonathan Hickman told CNN in December about the impending death of a member of the classic comic book superhero team.
The biggest mystery and the best-kept secret in the world of comics over the past few months has been revealed: Johnny Storm, better known as the Human Torch, dies in issue #587, released in stores a day early on Tuesday.
The Johnny Storm version of the character (a "Human Torch" actually goes back to 1939 for Marvel) is nearly a half-century old, and the literally hot-headed hero was portrayed on-screen by Chris Evans in two "Fantastic Four" movies (Evans will be playing Captain America in this summer's big-budget adaptation of that character).
“The death of the Human Torch is the first major move in this incredibly exciting evolution of the legendary Fantastic Four franchise and a necessary part of the larger story we will be telling featuring the beloved characters moving forward," Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said in a press release Tuesday.
"Johnny was, in simplistic terms, the ‘id’ of the team. He represented the child-like, more innocent view of the world," Hickman said on Marvel's website. "He stood in direct contrast to the world ‘as it really is.’ Now, with him gone, and with everything underlined by Reed [Richard]’s vision of ‘how the world should be,’ his demise both heightens the need for that future to come to pass as well as leaves it in doubt."
Brevoort hinted at the team's future in December: "What we're actually doing is completely transmogrifying the 'FF' as a thing. At the end of this story, there won't even be a book called 'Fantastic Four' anymore; there will be something new that will be interesting and exciting. Out of this moment, a new thing will be born." (A book called "FF" is scheduled for release in March.)
Indeed, Hickman confirmed that the next issue of "Fantastic Four" in February will be the last one, but "This is not an ending."
What do you think of this development, and this particular member of the Fantastic Four leaving this mortal coil (and do you think he'll return one day, as is comic book tradition)? Share your view below.
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