Wednesday, September 2, 2015


So I'm reading SIEGE: MIGHTY AVENGERS the other day. It's a Marvel Comics hardcover collection of MIGHTY AVENGERS #32-36. Published in 2010, it loosely ties into SIEGE, the cross-over event  flavor of the month at Marvel that year. It's not a bad collection of stories really. The line-up of the team is a bit wonky, but somehow, it works.

Henry Pym is now The Wasp (huh?). There's Hercules (yay!) and Amadeus Cho (boo!). Quicksilver (good). USAgent (not bad). Stature (aka Giant Girl). And the Vision (no, not that one, the other one). Oh, and Jocasta. A lot of Jocastas. The team resides in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, a place that has innumerable doorways to other places and times.

The first story arc collected herein finds the team disbanding after Pym tries to recruit, of all people, Loki as an Avenger. Thus ends issue #34. In the next issue, #35, we're told that "while there has been the odd time or two where we worked together again, and put on a brave face, for the sake of appearances, after the death of our teammate, Hercules, we finally went our separate ways."

Wait, what? Hercules died? When? How? I flipped back to make sure that this collection wasn't missing an issue. It wasn't. So the death of an Avenger, a member of this iteration of the Mighty Avengers, didn't even occur in the team's own book?

I've been a big Hercules fan ever since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had him meet Thor way back in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1 (1965). He's one of my favorite Marvel characters. I'd like to know when, where and how he died. Of course, I'm sure he's probably gotten better by now. After all this was five years ago.

But the "editor" of this comic book didn't bother to provide a footnote telling readers where they could find the story. That's lazy. That's wrong. That's disrespectful of the legacy of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for not only creating the character but to the long standing tradition (begun by Stan), of providing those oh-so- helpful footnotes. I don't know, maybe it's not entirely the editor's fault. Maybe the Marvel powers that be decreed that writers and editors could not use footnotes any more.

I know I can quickly find out via Google in which issue Hercules "dies". But I shouldn't have to do that. Marvel should point readers like me to that comic and others in which something major occurs whenever possible. It makes the readers happy and it sells some more comic books. How can that be a bad thing?

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