There are SPOILERS regarding the most recent issues of Punisher and Green Lantern Corps #42. If you haven’t read said issues, and you actually care, then tread carefully. In fact, go away, read them, then come back again.
Because in the most recent issue of Green Lantern Corps, Kyle Rayner dies. Yes, I know this is the Blackest Night, a series involving the revival of dead comic book characters and the realisation that a few of them will remain in the land of the living after the end of this storyline. But even so this is a proper in-continuity death and not a peep from the HEAT guys.
Equally, in Punisher: Dark Reign: The List, Frank Castle dies. Properly. Chopped up into bits by Daken. Okay, a preview for future issues sees his body parts collected and shipped out, and the next arc is called Franken-Castle and we’ve seen previews of him being stitched together, but still. Death of Frank Castle. And not a rifle salute in sight.
Is this final proof that we don’t care about character death anymore? Batman and Captain America are, slowly, coming back in a scarily parallel fashion and both Blackest Night and Necrosha are bringing back scads of dead characters. And it’s not like superhero comics haven’t always had a revolving door. But at least we preteneded to be surprised, shocked and horrified. If only not to spoil it for the new comic readers, intrigued by a newspaper article and believing that a bagged black Superman #75 could buy them happiness. And hey, if they never read it, it probably could.
So farewell Frank Castle, farewell Kyle Rayner, we hardly knew you. See you next issue.