Comics

Royals: Who Won’t Make it Back?

Writer Al Ewing handicaps which Royal won’t return from space.

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It has been promised from the beginning. Seven go out into space… only six return. With ROYALS #11 hitting stands on November 22, that reality draws ever closer.

Still, we just hate waiting so we barged in on ROYALS writer Al Ewing and demanded he tell us everything. He would not, but he did drop some hints.

Why it might be Medusa:

“Medusa is currently the most dying out of any of the cast,” Ewing points out. “At this stage, she’s lost most of her hair and what’s left has gone grey and lifeless, and she’s effectively been operating without powers since the end of the first issue. While she can keep the coughing fits at bay with forward motion and positive action, what happens when she runs out of road?”

Why it might not be Medusa:

“She plays a very major role in JUDGEMENT DAY, the one-off special which brings the current cycle of INHUMANS comics to some sort of crescendo,” reveals the writer. “Then again, maybe part of JUDGEMENT DAY is set in the afterlife, or some other non-physical realm? In which case, there’s a pretty good chance it’s Medusa who pops her clogs after all.”

Why it might be Maximus:

“It doesn’t look like it’s Maximus, admittedly–he’s the Last Inhuman, 5000 years in the future–but then, it’s not a question of who dies, it’s a question of who doesn’t come back from the voyage,” says the writer. “And Maximus has a very good reason not to come back–he caused his brother, Black Bolt, to be incarcerated in the hellish space prison he was due to go to for his many crimes. And rumor has it Black Bolt got out which means he’s probably looking for revenge. Where better to hide out than beyond the known galaxies?”

Why it might not be Maximus:

“Well, he is the Last Inhuman,” he recalls. “And Maximus, being a notorious coward, probably doesn’t want to be hunted by godlike alien creatures for the rest of his short life. If there’s a ticket home, Maximus wants it.”

Why it might be Noh-Varr:

“Similarly, just because we know he doesn’t die–he’s the Accuser, 5000 years in the future–doesn’t mean he can’t miss the boat home,” asserts Ewing. “When we first saw Noh-Varr the Accuser, 5000 years from #5, he was in suspended animation in a crashed ship–did that ship fly to Earth from the Progenitor system, long after the events of ROYALS? Is that what made Noh-Varr into the big, bitter-looking badass we see in the far future? He had to get that duster coat from somewhere.”

Why it might not be Noh-Varr:

“Not being an Inhuman, exactly–although it turns out the Kree have a lot in common with them–Marvel Boy might not be inclined to stay behind in Progenitor-space for the cause,” states the writer. “He’s got his own cause to get involved with–seeing as the new Supreme Intelligence of the Kree is his old buddy Plex, on a mission to spread the Meaning of Love throughout the Marvel cosmos. So he might get on with that instead. Or not. Who knows?”

Why it might be Gorgon:

“Gorgon’s established himself at this point as the fighter, the one who leaps headlong into danger–whether it’s fighting Chitauri by the million on the outside of a speeding spaceship, or charging, powerless, at reptilian aliens who’ve stolen the abilities of the whole crew,” declares Ewing. “But he’s getting older–he’s still as strong as he ever was, but not as quick or vital, and the wounds of previous battles have taken their toll on him. What happens when he’s thrown at something bigger than he can handle?”

Why it might not be Gorgon:

“Gorgon’s not just a hammer to throw at problems–he’s family,” he explains. “If he’s in trouble, we can count on the whole team–well, except Maximus–to fight in his corner, with their own lives if need be. Not to mention that he and Medusa–his long-time friend and ex-Queen–have fallen into an unlikely relationship. Since Medusa’s giving the orders, that would probably make her a little less likely to send him to his death. Right?”

Why it might be Swain:

“Swain’s lost her ship, she’s billions of light years from her girlfriend, and she’s been questioning herself and her motives since Ronan trapped her in a reality of pure judgement back in the first arc,” the writer affirms. “She’s been known to idolize the Royals–would she try to prove herself to herself by giving up her life for them?”

Why it might not be Swain:

“I like Swain, and a better way to sort out her internal struggles would be, well, to go home and sort them out,” says Ewing. “Plus, she’s the pilot–can they get back without her? I hope not, because if they can, it puts her right back in the running.”

Why it might be Crystal:

“I’ll just come right out with it: Crystal takes on a Progenitor in #10,” teases Ewing. “She’s in battle with one of them–one of these spaceship-destroying, universe-shaping creatures–in an attempt to stop it killing the whole cast, and well… let’s just say she doesn’t make it out of that one without a scratch.”

Why it might not be Crystal:

“Crystal has a lot of motivation to stay alive,” he proclaims. “Like Gorgon and Medusa, she has a child she’s going to want to see again–Luna–and she left things very up in the air with Ronan. Plus, with her elemental powers, she’s one of the most powerful Inhumans. Powerful enough to fight an impossible foe? You’ll have to pick up ROYALS to find out.”

Why it might be Flint:

“Something is definitely going on with Flint, and it may not be a good something,” the writer reveals. “His arm’s turned to crystal–the same crystal that’s in the Skyspears–and he seems to be increasingly attuned to the Progenitor system, and the Progenitors themselves, to the extent that when he first saw the World Farm he called it ‘home.’ Given that Flint’s been searching for a place he feels at home, that’s troubling. Will he want to leave?”

Why it might not be Flint:

“I mean, looking at that, it’s probably Flint, isn’t it?” offers Ewing. “I think it’s Flint. It’d be a bit of a left turn if it wasn’t Flint–I mean, there’d have to be a pretty good reason, within the story, for it not to be Flint. Like, there’d have to be an in-story reason why Flint was the one person it actually couldn’t be. So yeah, it’s probably Flint. Unless it’s Crystal.”