John Byrne, on the death of Guardian, from his website earlier this evening:
Of course, you all know the story of how Marvel somehow managed to keep Mac’s death a secret for MONTHS — or, that is, until Peter David handed out xeroxes of the death scene at a New York con a few weeks before the issue came out.
Just “doing his job” as the promotions guy.
It doesn’t take long to find a response from Peter David on this.
A popular lie of John’s, but no. Number one, it wasn’t at a convention; it was at a get-together for retailers. Number two, it wasn’t Guardian’s death. It was an unlettered two page dream sequence in which Heather was seeing a dessicated Guardian tearing out the ground. Number three, it was part of a package of about two dozen photocopied highlights from assorted Marvel titles. Number four, the material in question was handed to me by Denny O’Neil, the book’s editor when I–in my capacity as sales manager at the time–was going around collecting material to put into the package. And when I said to him, “Are you sure you want me to include this in the material?” Denny replied, “Sure, what’s the harm?” Number five, retailers at the get together had no idea that the sequence actually indicated that Guardian really died. I know this because when John showed up at the get-together, he looked at the material, screamed at me at the top of his lungs, “How could you be showing this to retailers?!? It gives away the fact that Guardian dies!” and stormed out of the room, slowing only long enough to kick over a standing ashtray on his way out. At which point stunned retailers said, “Guardian DIES?,” started looking at the xeroxes again, and were muttering, “I thought it was just a dream sequence…”
We’ll keep these links handy for the next time it comes up in 2016.