It’s somewhat a comic book cover cliché for heroes to be seen fallen dead or near dead at the feet of supervillains. The covers are a hyperbolic but a time-honored form of promotional creative license. What’s not-so-usual is for the hyperbole to extend to specific irrevocable injury, and Thursday’s newly-revealed cover to DC Comics’ Batman: The Murder Machine #1 seems to have crossed that line.
A closer look at artist Jason Fabok’s cover (including his inked original), seems to suggest Hal Jordan is missing most of his right arm.
While an interpretation of the image could also be that most of Jordan’s right arm is hidden behind the plume of smoke coming from the Murder Machine, keep in mind that Hal Jordan almost-always wears his Green Lantern ring on his right hand. The most notable time he's worn a ring on his left hand was when he carried a Sinestro Corps ring... and well, now, on this cover released Thursday
For their part, neither DC or the one-shot's writer Frank Tieri would comment on the image in any way.
The image also features other members of the Justice League seemingly being impaled by frickin’ laser beams, including Cyborg, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash, but nobody else seems to be possibly missing body parts like Green Lantern.
Jordan also seems to be sporting some sort of new leg brace on his left leg, and we’ll assume his right leg is just bent behind his body out of sight in a tradtional superhero pose, although at this stage all bets are off.
Batman: The Murder Machine #1 is scheduled to go on sale September 27, but a Hal Jordan appears - seemingly two arms and all - in October's solicited Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #30 - but remember, DC has changed a solicited cover to avoid spoiling a story before.
And don't forget DC's history of dismembering its heroes - from Aquaman in the 1990s to Speedy in the 2000s, and even Green Arrow in The Dark Knight Returns.