Mommy got me an exclusive.
This is Deathlok, part of a squadron. Along with some Deathlok pals, he/it has come back in time to kill various superpowered types before they can grow up and do all those various things that Deathloks don’t like. They don’t like babies, cops, wanna-be super-heroes, people on first dates, and, according to the end of the comic, they don’t like Steve Rogers either.
This is the Red Skull, chucking a baby boy out of a window. He’d given the kids mother a choice: she kills her husband “with a pair of old scissors”, or Skull kills the baby. The line, “the Skull is hardly a man of his word”, refers to the fact that the lady went ahead and killed her husband, but the kid still went out the window.
Although it has nothing to do with Brian Azzarello, these story points are part of Marvel’s secret “First Wave” initiative, which was accidently announced at one of Gareb Shamus’ Wizard conventions, either the Topeka one or Chesapeake Mountain. As Ed Brubaker described “First Wave” at that convention, during a video interview with the lovely ladies of the Samoan Pop Culture Explosion, “Let’s be honest, all of us at Marvel were caught a bit flat footed when DC revealed that they were going to follow up slaughtering homosexual characters in Cry For Justice with the death of an eight-year-old girl, also in Cry For Justice”, he said. “So we scrambled a team, and we gave them an assignment,” he added. Mopping his brow, he continued, “And that assignment was to kill some fucking babies.” Rubbing his lips with a copy of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, he then screamed, “We’ve assembled a fantastic teeeeeeeeem!”
As of this writing, it’s still unclear how soon DC got wind of their competitor’s plans–Brubaker’s interview disappeared within a scant few hours–but DC found out somehow, which is what pushed them to demand J.T. Krul insert a malicious baby slaughter into his script for the Blackest Night Titans miniseries. (Krul’s embarrassment over having to include a scene where Donna Troy pops her zombie son’s skull with her palms is well known across the industry, he’s turned it into a veritable barroom drama. As Heidi Macdonald so aptly described it to Dirk Deppey in last month’s three hour “Blogging: You’ll Need A Computer?” livechat, “No convention is complete until you’ve seen J.T. act out his Moment of Shame at the after-party. He has a whole box of props, you might even call it his second career.”)
It’s not difficult to understand why this explosive information hasn’t circulated before–both Marvel and DC have long embraced the strategy of burying their most controversial decisions in a sea of superfluous information, relying on their audiences natural tendency toward human exhaustion to hide the dirty laundry. (The Brubaker quotes came from Matt Fraction’s audio interview with the Comics Buyer’s Guide, but only after Fraction had spent four hours describing his preferred strategies for beating Desktop Tower Defense, and Macdonald’s remarks don’t appear until Deppey’s finished reading the names of every single professional wrestler he believes is a closeted homosexual, which, because it’s Deppey, is all of them.)
Of course, following yesterday’s release of the three comics, New York’s corporate comics scene exploded into a sea of tautly wrought terrorscapes. It’s a well-known fact that Dan Didio took a morning gig working the bagel cart outside of Joe Quesada’s apartment building sometime in 2008, after it was revealed that Quesada is incapable of walking by a bagel cart without stopping to purchase a Mountain Dew and six packs of sugar. "Pappy calls this my medicine!" This morning’s Marvel Vs. DCmeet-up was expected to be more of the same, plucky disagreements over how many people really care about Arsenal, but things have taking a horrible turn for the baroque. When Joe decided to show up for his morning fix carrying a plastic doll made up to appear like the dead body of Liam, the eight year old girl who died in yesterday’s Cry For Justice, he undoubtedly expected Didio to take it in good fun–after all, Blackest Night is still outselling Siege, and if the internet’s reaction was any indication, Marvel’s attempt to steal the spotlight from Cry For Justice by painting cartoon x's over the eyes of nature's greatest miracles haven’t worked.
Initial police reports, leaked to CNN by a policeman who kept calling CNN on his first generation iPhone while videotaping the crime with his second generation iPhone, which are both totally unlocked because only lame-o’s that don’t matter still use locked iPhones, describe a tableau of grindhouse carnage. Didio was enraged, failing to realize that Quesada was carrying a plastic doll. Grabbing a sixty cup coffee urn, he ran out into the early morning New York traffic and grabbed the first pansexual Canadian infant he could find, screaming “I’ll fucking show you decadence, you goddamned immigrant.” Apparently perplexed as to how to remove the top of the coffee urn–”You have to unscrew the top part, and that thing can get pretty hot”, Geoff Johns goofily explained–Didio began trying to situate the child underneath the urn’s spigot, planning to show up Quesada’s jibe by scalding a baby with hot coffee. Luckily, Dwayne McDuffie was there, and utilizing his well known forearm strength, beat Didio into the pavement with that stack of unpublished Justice League scripts he’s always carrying around with him. At the time of this publication, Didio’s bail hearing has reached its sixth ridiculous hour, following the man’s bizarrely inappropriate decision to hire Grant Morrison to represent him. (While not a trained lawyer, Morrison’s claims towards having a “spectral understanding of the law” whenever he overdoses on muscle relaxants have always impressed Dan.)
While Quesada has refused all direct questions regarding the incident, he did release the following statement, represented in full:
“We at Marvel have always worked to support the trend towards ultraviolence–our readers like it, we like it, and you’d have to be fucking terrified of money to put a leash on Mark Millar. But we’ve always tried to remember that, at the end of the day, we’re making a product, a bit of fun, and that if we take it too seriously, if we try to make some kind of philosophical statement about justice or heroism, we’re going to end up with a dour, boring slice of poorly written shit. You’re going to see plenty more children die in Marvel comics over the next few years, right up until it stops being a financially successful thing to do, but I can promise you this: unlike James Robinson, we’re never going to do it so we can teach you a moral lesson. We’ll leave that shit to the Huffington Post.”