Posted by: Graeme McMillan on June 13, 2007
So, this was the solicit for NEW AVENGERS #31:
“No hype! No BS! The most important last page of any Marvel comic this year! Do not miss it!”
And this is the last page from that very issue – Wong and Jessica Jones talking about what has just happened to the team:
Jessica: Are they okay? Is my husband okay?
Wong: I think so.
Jessica: You think?
Wong: They’re alive.
Jessica: Okay, then.
And then Jessica and Luke’s baby opens his eyes in what may be shock and looks a bit green. The end.
Holy crap, that’s definitely the most important last page of anything I’ve read in a long time. I mean, jeez, a baby opens their eyes? I can’t stand the excitement!
(To be fair, there’s already a lot of speculation as to what the baby’s opening their eyes may mean, but a lot of it seems to be grasping at straws in order to make it seem important and meaningful, as opposed to a ridiculous tease. But who knows? It looks like it’ll be something down the road…)
Oh, alright; what the solicit is clearly referring to was something that happened a couple of pages earlier, and I’m not really going to spoil that even though I really want to. What that page shows is a “shocking” twist that has been rumored on these comic internets since New Avengers: Illuminati #1 came out, and despite said rumor being around for months, I’m still somewhat stunned that Marvel appears to be going for it purely because it’s such a dumb idea. Suffice to say, not only has the countdown to undoing Civil War probably just begun, but it also appears that Marvel has moved on from aping DC’s Legends miniseries to aping their Millennium miniseries instead (They apparently remembered the order of the ’80s crossovers badly; Invasion came after Millennium, but World War Hulk arrived in stores this week).
Surprisingly, though, the shitness of the most important ending of any Marvel book this year isn’t the most shocking thing in this issue, though. I don’t know if anyone noticed the anger at Marvel’s recent solicitation of a future issue of Captain America that showed a black man (the Falcon, for those who are wondering) on fire for being racially insensitive, but it appears that it’s just part of a current meme at the House of Ideas; this issue sees Luke Cage being set on fire by Elektra. Because, you know, Elektra is all about setting people on fire, being a ninja and all. The entire scene sticks out due to its strangeness – it’s a page long, and doesn’t seem to have any purpose or point within the larger story whatsoever; Elektra fights Luke, says “I’m going to light you on fire,” and then she does. Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of metatextual or pop-cultural reference that I’m unfamiliar with, or just tasteless?
Overall, the disconnected, uncertain, sloppiness of that scene feels indicative of the issue as a whole; after a strong run on the book from the Civil War tie-ins onwards, this is the first Eh issue in a while, and a sad signpost for where the Marvel Universe is going next.