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Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

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User avatar

ElijahSnowFan

cheese

Postby ElijahSnowFan » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:27 pm

Not a trick question, just curious about the responses you guys might have.

You can specify how you feel about supporting characters getting the shiv, like Gwen Stacy from back in the day, and how often we might see it if you ran a comics company.

But moreso, I'm asking if you ran a comics company with a superhero line, would you opt to publish more timeless comics, like, say, Superman from the 70s to mid-80s, where he saved the day without much, if any, bloodshed.

Or if you ran a company, would you approach it like today's comics, with a Ted Kord here and a Sentry or Daken there, so on and so forth.
User avatar

Frag

REAL OFFICIAL President of the Outhouse

Postby Frag » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:29 pm

IMO, death can't be finite in comics no matter how much we'd like it to be. I would have death, but I would make sure there were consequences like not bringing the character back for x amount of years no matter what.
User avatar

Amoebas

Son of Stein

Postby Amoebas » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:05 pm

Seconding Frag - I'd have death... and consequences.

If a character dies - they stay dead for at least 10 years

In a character kills - they get get tried for murder when caught and, again, go away for at least five years. Characters like Wolverine, who have a massive body count, would be sentenced to life and effectively sent into comic limbo for as long as I ran the company.

My last statement pretty sums up your other question - I would keep it to as little bloodshed as possible - but if there is any - consequences will happen.
User avatar

holtom2000

dINGO

Postby holtom2000 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:12 pm

Death is so over rated... Best stories have the hero almost die or get defeated only to rally for the win
Which is why I hated stuff like raping and murdering sue dibny. Shock writing. Crap
User avatar

ElijahSnowFan

cheese

Postby ElijahSnowFan » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:20 pm

Thanks for the responses, you guys -- I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Follow-up question: For those who prefer as little death as possible -- and, for the record, I am firmly in that camp -- is there a story or two that did feature a death that you did like, as far as plot execution and/or fitting the "makes sense" standard?

Again, thanks for the responses.
User avatar

The Beast

Swedish Pinata of Death

Postby The Beast » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:25 pm

Yes, Death is good for business. I was a big fan of R rated movies by the time I was 12, I doubt things have changed that much with kids today. I think the Golden Age handled it best; death to henchmen and lots of presumed death for villains. Legacy heroes, like Flash and GL, should be killed off and replaced while iconic heroes, like Superman and WW should be immortal or rebooted.

As far as accountability for lethal force goes, some heroes get away with it, others may not and choose to suffer the consequences or refuse to allow themselves to be punished and continue with their work anyways. Not all the heroes have to have the same morality and if it creates conflict among the do-gooders, so be it.

More storylines for us. :smt026

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:53 pm

I'd only have major characters die if the creator who wants to do it can explain to me how permanently killing the character off would lead to better stories than if s/he were still alive.

As for stories with high body counts, I'd tend to avoid them as well, because the overuse of death dilutes its impact.
User avatar

MrBlack

WTF is this rank?

Postby MrBlack » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:08 pm

If I ran a comic book company, I would get rid of the perpetual continuity. The whole line would be rebooted every 5 years. Thus, death would be acceptable within the line so long as it served the story.
User avatar

Pink_Orchid

The Virgin Connie Swail

Postby Pink_Orchid » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:24 pm

With the exception of Deadpool, I prefer my comics death light.

As for a storyline where the death of a character was necessary, hmm. Not counting ones that I wanted dead like Sentry or Osiris. April in Spider-girl, Ted Kord in the pages of Booster Gold, Isis in 52, I can't think of more right now.

Basically the sacrifice for the fate of the universe type deaths. Or natural death like Pa Kent having a heart attack.
User avatar

Amoebas

Son of Stein

Postby Amoebas » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:32 pm

ElijahSnowFan wrote:Thanks for the responses, you guys -- I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Follow-up question: For those who prefer as little death as possible -- and, for the record, I am firmly in that camp -- is there a story or two that did feature a death that you did like, as far as plot execution and/or fitting the "makes sense" standard?

Again, thanks for the responses.



John Byrne's execution of the Phantom Zone Three. Superman's guilt afterwards made for some great stuff.
Supergirl in Crisis - she was handled better in those few pages than she had been for most of her existence.
The Flash in Crisis - like Supergirl, he died saving the universe. Unlike Supergirl, he died alone - but still - a hero.
Jim's Shooter editor mandated death of Phoenix was handled superbly (her return (and the subsequent dozen other returns - not so much).
Miss America in The Golden Age - Her taking the place for Hourman on the podium and getting killed for it - again, like Supergirl, her finest moment ever was also her last.
Superman in The Death of Superman (the first one from 1961) - It was just an Imaginary Story, but once Superman died, he stayed dead.
Ferro Lad - he may only have been around for a short time, but his sacrifice displayed more courage and heroism than all the other heroes of the time.

Probably more I could list - and I don't know if it's my bias or not, but the amount of 'well done' deaths by DC severely outweigh the ones I can think of for Marvel.
User avatar

LoganRSA

FROGMAN

Postby LoganRSA » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:53 pm

Death has its place. I would have it if it really enhances the story, builds character, and stays permanent.

Good deaths: the Dark Phoenix, Barry Allen in CoIE, Gwen Stacy, Captain Mar-Vell, Spock in Wrath of Khan. (All resurrected now, I know, but they were intended to be permanent, and that's all you can really can expect in franchise style storytelling.)

Bad deaths: every other Jean Grey death, Bill Foster, the Human Torch, Captain Kirk in Generations, and so many more.

Saying no death is silly and artificial. Having it everywhere is pointless and misanthropic. There is a happy medium.
User avatar

john lewis hawk

Founder of The Outhouse

Postby john lewis hawk » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:26 pm

I would have a lot of death in comics. I don't understand how I'm supposed to take Thanos, Darkseid, and every other Marvel and DC villain seriously if they are not winning on some level. At the same time, the deaths wouldn't be gratuitous or simply for shock value which is something a lot of deaths in comic books are.
User avatar

chap22

Rain Partier

Postby chap22 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:58 pm

Log-Man wrote:
Saying no death is silly and artificial. Having it everywhere is pointless and misanthropic. There is a happy medium.

i think this sums up my feelings to a tee. Deaths in comics haven't become meaningless because they keep resurrecting people...it's because once they started resurrecting anybody, they started killin' urrbody up in hurr. Seriously, it's now become a medium where a story takes 6 months to tell, an "event" happens every 9-12 months, and at least one hero has to die to validate te "seriousness" of the event. It's ridiculous, especially in a medium buit on continuing the characters.

That said, some good death/death stories:
Terra
Barry Allen
Supergirl
Jean
Mar-Vell
"His name was Forager!"
Illyana
Gwen
Harry Osborn
Aunt May
Jean DeWolff
Kraven
User avatar

chap22

Rain Partier

Postby chap22 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Amoebas wrote:

John Byrne's execution of the Phantom Zone Three. Superman's guilt afterwards made for some great stuff.
Supergirl in Crisis - she was handled better in those few pages than she had been for most of her existence.
The Flash in Crisis - like Supergirl, he died saving the universe. Unlike Supergirl, he died alone - but still - a hero.
Jim's Shooter editor mandated death of Phoenix was handled superbly (her return (and the subsequent dozen other returns - not so much).
Miss America in The Golden Age - Her taking the place for Hourman on the podium and getting killed for it - again, like Supergirl, her finest moment ever was also her last.
Superman in The Death of Superman (the first one from 1961) - It was just an Imaginary Story, but once Superman died, he stayed dead.
Ferro Lad - he may only have been around for a short time, but his sacrifice displayed more courage and heroism than all the other heroes of the time.

Probably more I could list - and I don't know if it's my bias or not, but the amount of 'well done' deaths by DC severely outweigh the ones I can think of for Marvel.


Yeah I think it is your bias. :-D I'd almost say that the Spidey books alone have as many or more good deaths/death stories as DC.

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:38 pm

A death that always stuck with me (even though it was eventually undone) was Iron Fist's. Such a weird, pathetic way* to go out.


*He was beaten to death by "Captain Hero", who at the time was a sort of Shazam homage whose powers were slowly killing him. Danny had tried healing him by focusing his chi or some such comic book contrivance, and, unconscious from the effort, never even woke up to defend himself. This was all eventually retconned by John Byrne into a convoluted plot involving Master Khan, the Super Skrull, and some plant monsters from the dimension Danny got his powers from.

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