Justice League of America: 5 Reasons This Death Won't Last

JLA_Cv5_02Warning: Spoilers Ahead for this week's issue of Justice League of America...

...just in case you hadn't already been spoiled by all the other coverage, here and abroad.

This week's issue of Justice League of America, #4, took a decidedly strange turn when one of the principal cast was killed abruptly. Of course, comic book death is comic book death and nobody expects it to last forever...but this particular death, to us, has all the hallmarks of not even lasting past the end of the current calendar year--maybe not the current story arc.

Why? Read on...

She could be a double-double-agent.

With a rumored "villains month" event on the horizon and DC co-publisher Geoff Johns behind the wheel, if there were ever a time to return Catwoman--a beloved character with her own ongoing title--back to the dark side it would be now.

Could this be an elaborate ruse to set her up as a sympathetic character to the heroes, only to destabilize the team and make them more vulnerable when she reappears needing "help" but actually working for the Society?

It's possible, although admittedly unlikely given the fact that nobody was there (that we know of) to see her shot.

That said, Catwoman also appears in a couple of collected editions in August focusing specifically on the villains of the DC Universe.

jokers-daughterShe could be rebranding.

There's "The Joker's Daughter" to think of--who is she? What's her game? Nobody's quite sure yet, but don't be surprised to see her pop up in Justice League of America. There was a decidedly Joker-esque aspect to the person who pulled the trigger, with the purple suit and the cane.

Could this be Selina's way of re-branding herself to keep the illusion of her death going until she's ready to pounce?

In any event, the teaser “Something evil lurks under Gotham City and it wears the Joker’s face” is certainly an interesting one with future solicitations for Catwoman's solo title claiming that she's staring down death beneath the streets of that great city.

Oh and hey! Look! Joker's daughter has a cane, not unlike the shooter...

Batman will probably go save her soul.

TRIPHSTR_Cv11_2sk83s07ds_Okay, so a lot gets made of it whenever one of the fully mortal heroes gets killed--namely, that it's near-impossible to bring them back by just using some as-yet-unseen aspect of their powers or origin story to do so.

But there's a big, supernatural crossover story going on right now, and one of the finale issues shows Catwoman's on-again, off-again boyfriend Batman joined up with her teammate Katana and Deadman to go hunt for lost souls. What do we mean? Check out the solicitation text for yourself...

TRINITY OF SIN: PHANTOM STRANGER #11 The key to ending “Trinity War” may be the soul of a murdered Justice League member, so the Phantom Stranger must lead a covert team—including Batman, Deadman and Katana—into the afterlife to try to retrieve it! But the Stranger made a promise never to return to the afterlife— and when he breaks that promise, he’ll find that the Hosts of Heaven are all too eager to dish out his punishment!

Don't discount the "nine lives" thing.

Yeah, it's a little silly and on the nose--and as far as we know it's not canon in the New 52...

...but the idea that Catwoman has "nine lives" also something that was played with in Batman Returns, meaning that it's got a grounding in the public imagination. And Geoff Johns isn't above using that kind of thing to give characters a little extra "oomph" when he thinks it's cool. Could it be that she really is dead here--but that won't matter? One never knows.

Practically speaking, this isn't how it's done.

I'm not talking about the bullet-to-the-head thing. That happened to Ted Kord in a scenario that played out almost identically to the one we saw in JL of A today. What I'm saying is, Ted Kord isn't the same level of player in the DC Universe that Catwoman is, especially from a merchandising point of view.

You don't kill a character of this caliber and expect anybody to believe it anymore if you haven't announced it that morning to the mainstream press.

Even Captain America, when they managed to keep his death quiet, got media coverage the morning of. Ditto The Flash when DC managed to hoodwink everyone using fake solicitations into thinking that Bart Allen was longer for this world than he really was.

Bonus round: J'Onn

Would anyone put it past the ultra-secretive, shape-shifting and psychic former StormWatch member to pretend he was Selina, break in, and pretend to be killed?

I didn't think so.