A couple months ago, I was really worried that Marvel was going to kill Strong Guy in their New Mutants comic. It just seemed inevitable. I don’t normally get to have nice things in comics.
But good news! The issue in question came out this week and Strong Guy lived! Isn’t that great?
Of course, somebody else died, so it sucks for fans of that character. But that’s not me. For once, I got what I wanted, and I was wrong earlier. I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong.
I don’t know this for a fact, but it’s the only conclusion to draw from the latest comic book solicitations: Marvel is going to kill Strong Guy in the June issue of New Mutants.
That’s the cover. Here’s the solicitation blurb:
- FUNERAL FOR A NEW MUTANT!
- Following the tragic events of last issue, THE NEW MUTANTS come together to bury one of their own.
- Can the team put aside their differences long enough to avenge their fallen teammate, or will this loss tear them apart?
- Featuring guest appearances by all your favorite X-MEN characters as they come to say goodbye… Or do they?
So somebody is going to die in an upcoming issue of New Mutants. There are only five members on the team: Strong Guy, Magik, Boom Boom, Rictor and Wolfsbane. Theoretically, any of them could die, but let’s look at the evidence.
On the cover, the skeletons of all the characters are in action poses — except for Strong Guy, who appears to be falling backwards. That’s a pretty big clue.
The second and most important factor is that I like Strong Guy, so of course he’s going to be the one to die. Remember, June is the month when the new Multiple Man comic is going to debut. I’m super excited about that.
But of course, in the same month where Multiple Man returns, his best friend, Strong Guy, has to die. That’s how the universe balances my comic fandom. I’m not allowed to have nice things. Even when the same writer is writing both the Multiple Man comic and New Mutants, and could bring together their reunion. That’s not going to happen.
Within a week of revealing Multiple Man was coming back from the dead, Marvel killed Phil Urich.
I am not allowed to have nice things in comics!
There’s a bunch of fun comics this week! From Detective Comics and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl to the launch of the new New Mutants mini-series! I would have done a Strong Guy Watch for the issue, but I figured Guido being part of a regular series again was enough of a watch!
Comic Book of the Week goes to another phenomenal issue of Mister Miracle! A new baby is born, and I’m growing more and more paranoid about how writer Tom King is going to destroy our very souls by the end!
What did everybody else think of Jessica Jones? If, like me, you weren’t a fan, I highly recommend The Tick on Amazon Prime! Now that was a fun superhero TV show!
Comic Reviews: All-New Wolverine #32, Detective Comics #976, Marvel Two-in-One #4, Mister Miracle #7, New Mutants: Dead Souls #1 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #30.
Strong Guy keeps getting invited to X-Men weddings. This is a minor update to my Strong Guy Watch because I saw that he gets a pretty prominent place on X-Men Gold #30, the big issue that will feature the wedding of Colossus and Kitty Pryde. How lucky for him that he gets to be a random background X-Man at such an auspicious occasion!
I’m glad that someone at Marvel remembered how great a visual Strong Guy is in crowd scenes.
I want somebody to write a day-in-the-life of Strong Guy short story at Marvel. What does this guy get up to? He’s not a member of any of the active X-Men squads, yet he’s always in team shots these days. Is he a teacher at the new school? Does he have a separate life and just gets called in for big X-Men events? It’s fascinating!
This is actually Strong Guy’s second X-Men wedding. He was invited to Scott and Jean’s wedding back in the 1990s, too!
Like I said, he keeps getting invited to X-Men weddings. I think it’s neat.
Though he didn’t get invited to Northstar’s wedding. Maybe he wasn’t a very prominent character back then.
Once upon a time, I noticed an odd trend in the pages of Inhumans vs. X-Men, wherein the superhero Strong Guy seemed randomly added to background scenes. As a fourth-tier, supporting X-Men character, Strong Guy has never really mattered much in the larger X-Men scheme of things. He was barely ever acknowledged outside of his home book of X-Factor.
But ever since Death of X, Strong Guy has been popping up as a member of the larger X-Men cast. And I found this rather weird. Out of all mutant characters, why was Strong Guy all of a sudden getting background supporting character slots? He was never a member of the X-Men before this, but now he’s clearly involved? Even if only in the background?
At first, my theory was that some editor passed a decree to start adding Strong Guy to X-Men scenes. I don’t know why or how, it just seemed like it had to have been a legitimate plan. There’s no way it was random coincidence. I started the Strong Guy Watch to keep track. But I backed off once it became clear that Strong Guy was definitely a member of the larger X-Men cast, as shown from his recent appearances in Phoenix Resurrection. The dude clearly belonged.
But a new Strong Guy appearance this week has reopened my original theory! What the heck is going on with Strong Guy that he would appear in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl?!
We’re through the looking glass here people.
In the panel in question, Strong Guy is among a wide variety of colorful characters summoned by Loki to help Squirrel Girl fight the Silver Surfer (it’s complicated, I know, but read the issue, because it’s great). The collected characters are immediately dispatched and sent back where they came from. So it was, at most, a two-page gag where artist Erica Henderson got to draw a bunch of wacky Marvel characters. They included Sleepwalker, for crying out loud!
But why use Strong Guy?
Out of all the characters that could have been chosen, why Strong Guy? Yes, he looks weird, and would therefore be perfect for the comic and Henderson’s art style. But she could have picked anybody. Was it even her choice? Did writer Ryan North tell her to include Strong Guy?
Or does my original theory hold: Was there some sort of editorial decision recently that Strong Guy would be used a lot more in the background of comics?!
It’s a mystery I will stay with all night, if I have to! But I will also take no steps to legitimately solve it. Just letting it simmer in my brain is good enough for me!