Marvel Comics Just Killed Off One of Its Biggest Characters

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The scene of the crime. Photo: David Marquez and Justin Ponsor/Marvel Entertainment

Poor Bruce Banner. Things were never easy for the man best known as the eternally tortured alter ego of Marvel's Incredible Hulk. But for his comics incarnation, life had been looking up as of late: After saving a bunch of lives and disappearing from the public eye, he had somehow figured out how to live life free of his emerald half. His bliss was not to last, though. In today's third issue of Marvel's Civil War II, Banner is confronted by a crowd of heroes who have reason to suspect he might Hulk out again and kill a bunch of folks (this suspicion came from the predictions of a superpowered kid who can predict the future and who is trusted by Captain Marvel and distrusted by Iron Man ... look, it's a long story). When Banner starts to freak out at them, he is abruptly arrow'd by none other than purple-mounted Avenger Hawkeye, who (as we learn in a flashback) was previously ordered by Banner to kill him if he ever came close to going green again.

There's still a Hulk out there in the Marvel Comics universe, though: boy genius and Banner associate Amadeus Cho, who absorbed a bunch of Banner's gamma radiation awhile back and became the so-called "Totally Awesome Hulk." And, of course, this is a superhero-comics story we're talking about here, so you can all start tallying up the number of days Bruce stays dead before he's resurrected, or the dead body is revealed as a clone, or his consciousness is downloaded into a robot simulacrum, et cetera.