"Death". Does it matter anymore?

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
Over at Newsarama, they have an article talking about death in comics and if it matters nowadays. They talk to some writers like Mike Carey (X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Crossing Midnight), Adam Beechen (Robin, Countdown, Teen Titans), Chris Gage (Law & Order, Union Jack, World War Hulk: X-Men) as well as some other writers to see what their take is on death in comic books during these times.

Mike Carey said:
I think it depends on context, like any other story element. If it's obvious that the death is just a blip and the character is going to come back, then I'd say it has no impact at all. But if it's made to seem real and irrevocable, it can still have power -- even if it's reversed later. As an example of a death being well used within a story context, I'd offer the way Peter David has Siryn react to Banshee's death. Her refusal to believe in it -- her conviction that he'll come back, like Jean Grey and Colossus and all the other supposedly dead X-Men -- is actually very poignant and painful to watch. It turns a cliché into something very human and believable and moving.

Click on the link above to read what the other writers have to say on this subject.
 
Last edited:

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
These guys pretty much all say the same thing, "it depends on how its done" I think that death should be final, there are other ways to get the same effect. Like Cap, he should just be in critical position, in surgury for 20 hours than on life support. You can still get the same reactions from the universe, showing Cap's mortality, how people think what they decide to do. I think that premise has a lot more potiential than another death and return.
 

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
These guys pretty much all say the same thing, "it depends on how its done" I think that death should be final, there are other ways to get the same effect. Like Cap, he should just be in critical position, in surgury for 20 hours than on life support. You can still get the same reactions from the universe, showing Cap's mortality, how people think what they decide to do. I think that premise has a lot more potiential than another death and return.
I agree, that would be much better. They could have him like in X-Men: Evolustion where he's held up in life support, though not sure if having him in a green bath thingy would be good or not. :p
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
I think death is a story event like any other. Like a comic turn or action or even swearing. Death is just a tool of story. The story you're telling dictates whether that tool is relevant or appropriate, and if so, how it should be used.
 

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
I have written lots of stories, and I have read lots of stories, and to me, Death, when I was a fledging writer, was simply used for shock value, and a way to write off a character.

Since then, I have respected death storywise. I hardly ever use it now. In my opinon, it's easier to have a character stop being involved in every day activities, like go to jail, or be captured, then have the character killed. It's sucks when you want to write the character again, and cannot, because he's been killed.

Killing a character should be treated with dignity and respect, because death itself should be viewed with respect and dignity.

I hope that makes sense
 

McCheese

Well-Known Member
Death means nothing in superhero comics. It's unfortunate, but true. The problem is that even with the deaths that aren't just a stunt (which most of them are), eventually someone else will come along and have a story to tell with a dead character. Marvel and DC don't know how to say no and we get Jason Todd back from the dead and Winter Soldier. The saying used to be "No one in comics stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben." Now it's "No one in comics stays dead except Uncle Ben." It will soon be "No one in comics stays dead." after someone comes along with some idiotic story about Ben coming back. It'll probably be some plot by Norman Osborn because by mandate of the Marvel editorial staff no one else is allowed to **** with Spider-man, ever. Ultimate Beast is coming back from the dead. So clearly the Ultimate Universe isn't as different as we hoped. Death is important to storytelling not just because of the emotional impact it has on the remaining characters (which seems to be the focus of most of these writers), but also because it is a great unconquerable force. No one can beat death, eventually it gets everyone. Especially if you put your life on the line day in and day out like superheroes do. If supers didn't have the net of immortality to fall back on the stories would be far more interesting.
 
Last edited:

TwilightEL

Well-Known Member
One of my favorite comic book deaths is Gert's death in Runaways. It's the death of a major character, but Runaways isn't mainstream enough to have a lot of editorial interference. Her death had a major and realistic impact on all of the characters. I hated that she died, but I loved the story that resulted from it.

And I agree that it's better to take characters out of the picture with comas or jail time.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
I also agree that it depends how it's done also I think the rebirth so to speak if they want to bring a character back from the dead also depends on the character.

Superman for example has died and returned and that is fine. The reason it is ok for that character is he is more of a Jesus type character to me at least in the way that he ascends from above to help save mankind. So a death and a resurrection adds more of a mythical / religious element to him and adds more to his character.

Batman on the other hand is just human. Therefore when he dies he should stay dead. There are a few exceptions to this thou. E.g Buffy died but when she was brought back it was in a magical way and had a lot of consequences showing people should not be brought back that was good.


I think if a comic book company plans to kill of a character and then bring them back they need it to be more than just a clever publicity stunt. Let's say they kill off spider-man. He should stay dead unless when they bring him back it is a damn good story and has him be darker or very different for at least a year before slowly adjusting to been back.

Marvel did the captain America thing. Keep him dead. Do not bring him back until you have had the marvel universe live with out him for a long period of time if at all.

To kill off a main hero and keep him dead as they have not done that yet it's all been death and return or stay dead only if a minor character. To me it would be much better if they had the guts to keep them dead.
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
Since I have been killed off and resurrected 42 times myself, the whole "dead/return" thing isn't so much of a cliche to me anymore as a part of everyday life (so to speak, of course...I've been alive much longer than 42 days).
 

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
Death means nothing in superhero comics. It's unfortunate, but true. The problem is that even with the deaths that aren't just a stunt (which most of them are), eventually someone else will come along and have a story to tell with a dead character. Marvel and DC don't know how to say no and we get Jason Todd back from the dead and Winter Soldier. The saying used to be "No one in comics stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben." Now it's "No one in comics stays dead except Uncle Ben." It will soon be "No one in comics stays dead." after someone comes along with some idiotic story about Ben coming back. It'll probably be some plot by Norman Osborn because by mandate of the Marvel editorial staff no one else is allowed to **** with Spider-man, ever. Ultimate Beast is coming back from the dead. So clearly the Ultimate Universe isn't as different as we hoped. Death is important to storytelling not just because of the emotional impact it has on the remaining characters (which seems to be the focus of most of these writers), but also because it is a great unconquerable force. No one can beat death, eventually it gets everyone. Especially if you put your life on the line day in and day out like superheroes do. If supers didn't have the net of immortality to fall back on the stories would be far more interesting.
Though it's true for what you say, I kind of agree with Quesada that when he said a character like Bucky could be brought back with the proper story. Unlike Uncle Ben, Bucky isn't a character that made Captain America who he is. Uncle Ben's death made Spider-Man who he is today. But, even that basically can be almost washed down the drain because people find the loopholes and bring back characters from other dimensions and think it's alright, which really those stories tend to be meh or not good at all.
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
I didn't mind the Winter Soldier or Jason Todd. Bucky has been out of the picture for 60 years, and as I recall his body was lost at seas kinda like Cap, so its not like there was a corpse. Jason Todd didnt bother cause the story sounds pretty good and there are interesting stories with it. But mostly because he didnt come back and said "Hey I'm back I'll be Robin again" it was "Hey I'm back, and I'm ****ing pissed off!". Because that is new ground and new possiblities. I really hate the returns where things just go back to normal like we are all caught in some kinda of universal loop, which is how I fear Cap will end up.
 

Goodwill

Well-Known Member
Deaths would be final if they, meaning writers, could come up with characters just as compelling as the last. Wouldn't it be something if each generation had their own hero to behold?
 

TwilightEL

Well-Known Member
Deaths would be final if they, meaning writers, could come up with characters just as compelling as the last. Wouldn't it be something if each generation had their own hero to behold?

I remember reading somewhere that the reason characters like Donna Troy in DC got screwed over was because the DC universe's massive mythology was so perfectly set up for a new generation to take over and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to "pass the torch", but instead they clung to their positions forever and never moved on.
 

Gideon Stargrave

Well-Known Member
If you die, you're dead. That's it. If I ever end up in charge at a big comic publisher I am going to make a strict rule about characters not coming back from the dead. Character death is a literary tool that should be used wisely. Now it's just a ploy to increase sales and get media attention.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Big deaths usually don't matter.

Little deaths?

I love them.

Le petit mort!
:lol:

i totaly luv teh shakespeare pr0n:

RomeoandBoobulet.jpg

If you die, you're dead.
Wow, really?
 

Latest posts

Top