The first image is a character shot done by the inimitable John Romita Jr. Our heroes stand weary, battered after a difficult fight against mythical gods. Staring at the image, you begin to notice a couple of interesting things. The first thing you notice is that Iron Man is standing far off from the group, leaving me to imagine that the toll the battle took on him is higher than the rest of the heroes. Does Tony’s sacrifice during Fear Itself affect his decision to go on being Iron Man? Is he taking a sabbatical to get his life back on track again? (Also, what’s going on with Hulk’s disco look?)
Secondly, who is that shadowed figure in the background? There isn’t much to go by to identify him, but he’s clearly a tall man with slicked-back hair. I stared at it for a while but I can’t figure out who it is, but it’s clear that it’s a prominent character is Shattered Heroes.
Finally, where is Thor? Well, this question leads us into the third and final teaser image from Marvel.
Thor’s hammer, destroyed. This image is the one that really made me say “Whoa.” Does Thor survive Fear Itself? Or is this some sort of punishment he needs to face for defying Odin and siding with Midgard? (Some of Marvel’s covers and solicits for their November releases help to shed light on the fate of Thor.)
When I first heard about Shattered Heroes, I was really unimpressed. Lately, Marvel’s modus operandi has been to create a huge, universe-spanning storyline, then follow it up with a huge, universe-spanning aftermath story, which leads directly into another huge, universe-spanning storyline. However, these teaser images have really piqued my interest in Shattered Heroes. How long with Thor and Iron Man be out of commission? Will the Avengers need to shuffle around their ranks to make up for the absent members (which may help to explain Valkyrie’s presence in the second image)? The effects of destroying Thor’s hammer to that extent deserve to be explored, so I’m glad Marvel is taking the time to do so.
Shattered Heroes begins in October.