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Foreshadowing / Comic Books

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  • ElfQuest comics have a lot of foreshadowing. One of the best examples is in the original series. In ElfQuest #2, the Wolfriders are resting up during a grueling desert journey, having managed to find a little water. Cutter, however, wants to do some more exploring, and his friend Skywise reluctantly agrees, complaining that "you won't sit still 'til you've found us a blasted waterfall". Several years later (in both real and comic time), in ElfQuest #9, Cutter and Skywise are involved in a literal Cliffhanger beside - you guessed it - a giant waterfall.
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  • Castle Waiting: The evil witch proclaims to the Opinicus — a griffin-like creature that she was riding — that after today, she'll ride the Devil himself as her steed and he'll thank her for the privilege. It turns out to be exactly correct, but not in the way she meant — her wickedness was worse than the standards the Devil considers acceptable and he disguised himself as the Opinicus on her return trip to personally carry her off to Hell.
  • Superman:
  • Watchmen: If we made a complete list it'd be longer than the rest of this page. Just from the first three panels (read here): the blood on the smiley recalls the five-minutes-to-midnight Doomsday Clock that'll appear again, and then there's the red-headed guy being Rorschach.
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  • In V for Vendetta, there's This Vicious Cabaret. It's a song performed by V, complete with accompanying sheet music, whose lyrics lay out V's entire plan squarely in the middle of the story, when all of the pieces are about to fall into place. If you haven't finished the story, though, it just seems to be a summary of the previous chapters.
  • In Alpha Flight, Northstar's sexuality was foreshadowed for years - right back to the beginning of the series - before he came out in #106.
  • A clever one foreshadowed a death in Fantastic Four, where the team are visited by the future Invisible Woman, who mentions that future Reed Richards and Ben Grimm died to get her there, but she doesn't mention Johnny Storm. This is a good way to do so as Johnny died about twenty issues later. Foreshadowing far ahead, but making the death more effective.
  • Another one in Fantastic Four. In an issue waaaaaayyy back in the 1960's, Ben and Reed were arguing and Susan told Ben he was being "obdurate", to which Ben replied "my religion's got nothing to do with it!" Fast-forward to the present day, when Ben is revealed to be Jewish. In other words, Orthodox. Also a Shout-Out, as comic book legend and artist Jack Kirby, who frequently drew Ben Grimm and based much of Ben's personality on himself, was Jewish himself.
  • The era of Grant Morrison's Justice League of America started with Midsummer's Nightmare, where a villain gave all of humanity super-powers, leading to chaos and mayhem, in order to prepare them for a nebulous apocalyptic threat. When that threat finally appeared in the form of the "anti-sun" Mageddon, the League was only able to beat it by... giving everyone on Earth superpowers.
    • In the first proper arc of Morrison's run, the White Martians also mentioned that they'd experimented on humanity in the distant past, with the result that a species who should have been superhuman ended up only human. The anti-Mageddon plan pushed human evolution to the super-race it was destined to become.
  • In a Batman one-shot, a museum owner meets two female members of a rock star's entourage, and states that the musician is probably unable to keep track of all his groupies. Turns out he's right; the women from the entourage are Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in disguise, and the real groupies are Bound and Gagged somewhere else.
  • Blaze of Glory: After the shootout in Issue #3, the narration describes Red Wolf descending into the gorge into which Reno Jones fell. This is to set up his return as the Ghost Rider.
  • All Fall Down - On his first trip to the moon, Pronto complains about being "boxed in." In issue five, he is in a crate, arriving at the same destination, as AIQ Squared's secret weapon.
  • Issue 1 from Transformers: More than Meets the Eye ends with a message from the future trying to warn the crew of the Lost Light about... something. It says not to do four things: don't take Skids, don't go to Delphi, don't look in the basement, and don't open the coffin. This becomes Fridge Horror when the reader realizes that as of issue 6, the crew has already done three of the things the message says not to do.
    • Ultimately subverted; after the message is finally sent, another character yells at everyone concerned because ultimately all of the warnings they sent were about things that had, in the long term, positive outcomes.
    • Brainstorm is passed over by the sparkeater; Dark Cybertron reveals that he's actually technically undead, having been infected with the Dead Universe shortly before the season began, neatly explaining why the sparkeater might not find him appetising.
    • Rung being an Amnesiac God is hinted at as early as the Sparkeater incident, where he's used as bait because of his unusually bright spark, something of an oddity given that Rung is also one of the oldest characters in the series and sparks tend to dim with age. He also survives having his head blown off, which is pretty rare.
    • That Tailgate has a serious illness is hinted at when he tries to leave a vial of his innermost energon for Cyclonus; every vial left by Rewind is pink, but Tailgate's vial is a sickly green.
    • Ultra Magnus gets some lines and plot points, such as him passing out after one dose of hard liquor despite being absolutely gigantic, hinting that he's actually a very small but powerful Autobot wearing a giant suit of Powered Armor.
  • During issue #4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW), Chrysalis comments that while she can drain emotions or take new forms, Twilight posses an ability and knowledge she doesn't have. Love? No, it's the power of devastation.
    • A possible one can be seen on the first issue, when the mysterious stallion that always appears to watch important events can be seen watching Time Turner, who's holding a fob watch and looking at it with an alarmed expression.
    • When Applejack asks why the Nightmare Forces are even interested in the Mane Six, Princess Luna has a brief flashback to an ominous throne room, shakes her head, and then tells them they basically want revenge and make sure the Elements of Harmony don't cause any problems this time around. Issue #5 ends with Rarity tied up to this very same throne.
    • #6 includes several instances of Luna thinking to herself that there's some information she has deliberately held back from the mane 5.
    • Issues #5 and #6 have both shown that, for whatever reason, Spike is neither targeted or even affected by the Nightmare forces. In issue #7, Nightmare Rarity can manipulate his dreams (preying on his desires instead of his fears), but Spike is able to break free after catching on to dream!Rarity's uncharacteristic behavior. Nightmare Rarity is not pleased by this.
  • In Avengers Academy #13, Veil states that Casanova Wannabe Striker only ever seems to hit on girls who are sure to spurn his advances. Not much is made of it at the time, but near the end of the series, Striker comes out of the closet and reveals that his constant attempts at picking up women were a desperate ploy to hide the fact that he was gay.
  • Avengers Forever mentions the Avengers daring to challenge the Infinities, foreshadowing Avengers: Infinity. The alternate future where Songbird and Genis-Vell join the Avengers was not a reality until both joined the Thunderbolts, and eventually, the New Avengers.
  • In Violine, Violine and her father can read thoughts by looking people in their eyes. They both occasionally seem to read each other's thoughts without looking at each other. At the end of the story, she is revealed to be able to telepathically call to her pet mouse, Klaas.
  • During Matt Fraction's run on the Invincible Iron Man, several characters repeatedly see tangerines in their dreams. Tangerines are a species of mandarin orange, foreshadowing the return of Tony's age-old nemesis, The Mandarin, near the end of the run.
  • In the Robin Issue #166 Tim saying, "No one's dead until you see the body. and sometimes not even then." in response to Dodge flickering out of existence foreshadows Stephanie’s return and Tim’s reaction to Bruce’s death where they have a body (it’s a clone) but Tim still eventually realizes that Bruce isn’t dead.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate X-Men
      • Xavier has info about a mutant detained by the military. He clarified that it's not Magneto: "Magneto would have leveled half the city before they managed to bring him down". At the end of the arc, Magneto attacks Washington, and guess how does that end.
      • Wraith mentions at one point that there are people working on the super-soldier serum, to create a new Captain America, but who did not get any result since 1942. This subplot would be one of the starting points of The Ultimates, also by Millar, one year later.
    • The Ultimates: During the meeting in Marrakesh, the butler offers ice to Captain America, for his soda. "No. No, thanks. No ice".
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra:
    • When Aphra is first introduced in Star Wars: Darth Vader, Inspector Thanoth notes that her doctorate is of a dubious credibility. Come the first issue of her spinoff, and her doctorate gets suspended when evidence comes forward that she achieved it through less than ethical means.
    • A subtle yet major example occurs during the Catastrophe Con arc. When Aphra and her new ally Lopsat are scanned by a guard droid, it mentions detecting three lifeforms, which everyone writes off as just a result of the substandard equipment that the Imperial Prison Ship they're on is using. Come the end of the arc, and we find out that "Lopsat" is actually Dr. Cornelius Evazan wearing a shapeshifting creature as a living disguise.
  • Star Trek: Early Voyages:
    • In "Our Dearest Blood", Nurse Gabrielle Carlotti witnesses Dr. Boyce doubled over in pain and talking to someone who isn't there during the Rigellian Festival of Light. Shortly after she comes aboard in "Nor Iron Bars a Cage", Yeoman Colt witnesses Boyce behave in the same manner in Sickbay. In "Cloak and Dagger, Part Two", Matriarch T'Kell warns Sutek to keep an eye on Boyce as she can tell that he is "more than he appears." It is revealed in "Immortal Wounds" that Dr. Boyce possesses the consciousness of three Jultha Free Men who frequently spoke to him and to each other, causing his mental state to appear erratic.
    • In the two-part story "The Fallen", the Tholian Assembly begins another of their periodic territorial expansions, which typically consist of attacks on Federation colonies and outposts by their shock troops, the Chakuun. The Federation's history of conflict with the Tholians was mentioned in several previous issues. "Flesh of My Flesh" established that Gabrielle Carlotti lost almost her entire family when the New Milan colony was destroyed during a previous Tholian expansion programs. Her backstory is essential to "The Fallen". In "Nor Iron Bars a Cage", the Talosians presented Yeoman Colt with an illusory version of her Starfleet Academy boyfriend Alex Dumant, who was killed aboard the Crazy Horse when the Tholians broke the truce at Kakrafoon. In "Cloak and Dagger, Part Two", Spock believes the Vulcans of Darien 224 could be an even greater threat to the Federation than the Klingons and the Tholians. In "The Flat, Gold Forever", Clare Thorn tells Captain Pike that her ship was destroyed in battle with the Chakuun, though at that point their connection to the Tholians wasn't made clear.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: Early on in their relationship, immediately following Immodest Orgasm, Clémentine jokes about Emma giving her a heart attack, saying that her cause of death will be stated as "death by orgasm". Fast-forward 15 years, and Clémentine and Emma are having makeup sex on a beach, when Clem's orgasm gives way to a sudden heart attack. She lands in the hospital and dies within 10 pages.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016):
      • Steve Trevor seems to remember a lot more of his life than he should while on Themyscira due to the amnesiac field around the place. After leaving Themyscira he should have no memory of his time there but he is revealed to have retained hazy memories of Diana rescuing him, and eventually regains those memories in full.
      • Despite Diana's very strict no killing rule she has no problem whatsoever with the fact that being lassoed with her lasso of truth causes the Nazi Zombies to give up the ghost. When the source of those ghosts is revealed to be the Titan, a robotic thing animated by the congealed and twisted souls of a dying planet she has no problem destroying and "killing" the thing.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Thomas Randolph has a Horned Hairdo, and in his final form after making a Deal with the Devil and delving a little too deeply into Dark Magic he ends up as a twisted demonic figure with actual horns.
  • Asterix:
    • Brutus is always playing with knives. "He's starting to annoy me with those classical references of his! One of these days I'm going to up and..."note 
    • In Asterix And The Olympic Games one Greek says to another that the Romans' arrogance really irritates him. The other Greek responds: "Ah, just wait, what will be left of their civilization in a few centuries!"
  • Green Lantern: One of the main concepts of Geoff Johns' run is the "Emotional Spectrum", whose existence was first mentioned in passing by Kyle Rayner in Green Lantern: Rebirth, the series which kicked off Johns' run.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes storyline The Great Darkness Saga, several subtle clues hinted at the identity of the enigmatic Master of Darkness, long before the reveal:
    • In the first issue, readers are introduced to a Servant of Darkness that rides Orion's flying gear while shooting Astro-Force blasts. Said Servant is called a broken imitation of the Master of Darkness' son.
    • A subtle one, but the Master of Darkness is surrounded by Kirby Dots during his first scene. Said visual effect is named after Darkseid's creator, Jack Kirby.
    • When the Zeroxian wizards summon a baby to counter the Master of Darkness, Dream Girl states she feels he's the Alpha to the enemy's Omega. Darkseid's Omega Beams are his most terrible weapon.


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