The Marvel Universe receives a new Death after a classic Hulk character takes on the responsibility in Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel.
Marvel has a new Death.
In the Marvel Universe, Death is personified as a woman, but can bond with and take the form of others. While bonded with Marlo Chandler, the wife of Hulk ally Rick Jones, Death is captured by the Kree and later freed by Jones, Genis-Vell, Phyla-Vell and the Skrull Jazinda. However, in Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #5, Death has grown tired of being feared and responsible for everyone dying across worlds, causing Marlo to make an offer that she become the next Death and replace the former entity.
Previously in Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #4, a flashback sequence shows Marlo speaking with Death (bonded with Moondragon at the time) while Genis fights the Kree warrior Shatterax to defend the two. Marlo tells Death how she cares about the entity instead of fearing her, saying to Death, “Of course I care! You have the hardest job in the universe.” Marlo goes as far as to say, “I figure maybe you can use a friend,” which Death agrees with.
Death’s Relationship With Marlo Chandler, Explained
Death and Marlo have had a special connection ever since Marlo was killed and brought back to life. Death even attended Marlo and Rick’s wedding in The Incredible Hulk #418, appearing as The Sandman‘s “Death of the Endless.” Writer Peter David was given special permission from Neil Gaiman to have Death appear as The Sandman‘s version for a cameo, so long as her signature ankh wasn’t shown. In the Hulk issue, Death gifted Marlo a hairbrush, and she makes a callback to the wedding present in Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #2.
In the finale Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #5, Death expresses her frustrations to her newly-introduced sister Life, saying, “I don’t want to be in charge of death anymore.” Life responds with the rule that someone has to fulfill the role of Death, prompting Marlo to take on the responsibility. After giving Rick a kiss farewell and promising that she will always love him, Marlo lets Death’s power transfer into her, giving her a new black costume and cloak before she vanishes. While Death has been in many Marvel stories, where Marlo may go as the new Death remains to be seen.
Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #5 is written by Peter David, illustrated by Juanan Ramírez, colored by Federico Blee and lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher. Main cover art for the issue is done by Mike McKone and Antonio Fabela. The issue is now on sale from Marvel Comics.