Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

Death Warmed Over

When you don't read a lot of mainstream superhero comics, certain things will just fly right by you.

People have been making fun of comics treating death as a plot device. Kill a character, revive them later, and act like ZOMG!!1! NO ONE SAW IT COMING!!1! Indeed, the losses that have defined many comic readers' memories have been reduced to moot concepts. Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy came back. Supergirl kept came back. Captain America and Batman are currently en route. Barry Allen, the one comic book death that actually affected me, came back. Consequences? What consequences? And then they wonder why people don't believe the plot twists.

This week, two comic book gimmick deaths occured. First, Kyle Rainer in Green Lantern. There isn't a single person on any message board who believes he's really dead and gone, and that he's going to continue to factor in to the Blackest Night story, where DC characters like Hawkman have been killed just to be revived as Black Lantern zombies. And, over in the Punisher, Frank Castle has been killed and chopped to little bits. There's a "Frankencastle" story coming up, so this ain't going to be permanent, either.

The remarkable survival of comic characters can be fun in the right hands. The Dirty Pair -- Fatal, But Not Serious was a gem in that regard. It explained that the reason Kei and Yuri could be in all these situations and still look perfect was thanks to genetically engineered grafts and limbs that could be reattached and remove any scars or replace lost body parts, keeping them in mint condition. A mad scientists then used this to engineer another Yuri and convinced her she was the real one and had to kill the other (to this day, we fans aren't certain which Yuri survives at the end of the book). If you're going to make death a plot device, get creative.

Go ahead, venture to the Other Side Of Life. We'll be waiting for you over here when you come back.
Tags: art, comic books, comics, stupidity
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