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

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

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:06 pm

Agree with some here. Death is fine as long as it happens rarely enough for it to be special and resurrection is also fine as long as it happens after a long enough time that the death was consequential. And both should lead to good stories. For instance, Jean Grey.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby ElijahSnowFan » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:10 pm

Thanks for the responses everybody -- I appreciate the thought you guys put into these.

I've always tried really hard to view comics as...I don't know. I read war comics when I was a kid, Sgt. Rock and other DC Comics, and I believe Charlton reprints of war comics from the 50s, where planes would get shot down and people would get shot and killed, or blown up in tanks.

I read G.I. Combat, with the Losers and the Haunted Tank, and the Unknown Soldier, where again, there was certainly death. Jonah Hex and Scalphunter and Bat Lash and Gravedigger, stories where deaths were plentiful.

And I think that the Dark Phoenix Saga, and Flash and Supergirl in COIE, are the Gold Standard for mortality in comic books. I would never have brought Barry Allen back. Supergirl isn't really that Supergirl, so I was fine with that. Jean Grey had contacted a cosmic entity, so I wasn't horrified by her return in X-Factor, back in the day.

And I do understand Hawk's point of view -- if Thanos never kills anyone, or Darkseid, what's the point? The bad guys have skills, have powers, are ruthless. They would win too, at some point, right?

But at the same time...I always remember one of my favorite comic books from my youth: Turok, Son of Stone. In it, he and Andar, his brother...those stories were timeless. They fought dinosaurs and lived and survived in the Lost Valley, and I never grew tired of those stories, though I acknowledge that there weren't nearly as many issues of that series as, say, Batman.

In Batman, I always chose to believe that he was just smarter, and the best fighter, and the best detective, and that he would train his pupils to be very nearly his equal.

I asked this question because Forever Evil is coming from DC, and I don't really know what to expect, but I guess I'd be surprised if all the good guys walk away. And we're firmly in an era where, again, death in comics isn't how I would do it, but it has long been established that "event deaths" and "shock value deaths" are how comics are done now.

Sometimes, though...I just wish we were back in the days where Batman was always smarter than the Joker, where Superman always got there in time. Where someone would've saved Ted Kord at the last second.

I know that isn't as fun for some people -- maybe many people. But I never felt bad about it, at all. I know the bad guys "should" win sometimes. Most times, though, I'm still simple enough where I wish those occasions were few and far between.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby holtom2000 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:11 am

I notice a lot of the 'good' deaths are from a long time ago
now that it's done so often... who cares? It's only worthwhile when it doesn't happen that often.
Now you know these writers get together for their big 'event' and plan out who dies before the story is even crafted
here's another dumb example - wendy and marvin. They were introduced into the Teen Titans... and then, when they started hiring awful writers post Johns, one of them (can't recall who) was killed... for what? Who knows as they had barely been around for me to even care they were killed off.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby MikeinLA » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:58 am

holtom2000 wrote:I notice a lot of the 'good' deaths are from a long time ago
now that it's done so often... who cares? It's only worthwhile when it doesn't happen that often.
Now you know these writers get together for their big 'event' and plan out who dies before the story is even crafted
here's another dumb example - wendy and marvin. They were introduced into the Teen Titans... and then, when they started hiring awful writers post Johns, one of them (can't recall who) was killed... for what? Who knows as they had barely been around for me to even care they were killed off.


The problem now a days is comics have stiffer competition for people's time and money, so even with all the added media attention, they have to create stories that "matter" in order to hook the reader. What's an easy way to raise the stakes in your event story? Kill someone off.

Combine that with an attempt to make comic book universes more "real" and "mature" you're going to see more death and destruction to remind people that these books aren't just for kids anymore.

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

Postby Amoebas » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:15 am

chap22 wrote:
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.

It was late, I was tired and I while I ran the deaths I could think of in Avengers, FF, X, Hulk, Cap, Thor, Iron Man, DD, Doc Strange - my mind for some reason never wandered to Spidey :oops: . Of course Kraven and Aunt May are obvious choices. I wouldn't put Gwen up there because her death was just to make Pete single again (and she was 'back' within 2 years anyways). I'd put Captain Stacey's death as being 'better' than Gwen's any day. And (now that I'm awake) I'd put Jean DeWolff on the list as well.

Nice call on Forager - "Who would have thought the bug it in him?"

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

Postby holtom2000 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:16 am

MikeinLA wrote:
The problem now a days is comics have stiffer competition for people's time and money, so even with all the added media attention, they have to create stories that "matter" in order to hook the reader. What's an easy way to raise the stakes in your event story? Kill someone off.

Combine that with an attempt to make comic book universes more "real" and "mature" you're going to see more death and destruction to remind people that these books aren't just for kids anymore.


they're not for jaded readers anymore either.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby chap22 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:40 am

MikeinLA wrote: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.

one of my favorite retcons ever. :-D

I will say this about Fist's death though, it hit me when it happened. I didn't see it coming, it was pretty weird and pathetic, and the post-death reaction was tremendous. that final panel of Cage's one tear and simple exclamation of "Christmas." is one powerful freaking panel.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby chap22 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:42 am

ElijahSnowFan wrote:Thanks for the responses everybody -- I appreciate the thought you guys put into these.

I've always tried really hard to view comics as...I don't know. I read war comics when I was a kid, Sgt. Rock and other DC Comics, and I believe Charlton reprints of war comics from the 50s, where planes would get shot down and people would get shot and killed, or blown up in tanks.

I read G.I. Combat, with the Losers and the Haunted Tank, and the Unknown Soldier, where again, there was certainly death. Jonah Hex and Scalphunter and Bat Lash and Gravedigger, stories where deaths were plentiful.

And I think that the Dark Phoenix Saga, and Flash and Supergirl in COIE, are the Gold Standard for mortality in comic books. I would never have brought Barry Allen back. Supergirl isn't really that Supergirl, so I was fine with that. Jean Grey had contacted a cosmic entity, so I wasn't horrified by her return in X-Factor, back in the day.

And I do understand Hawk's point of view -- if Thanos never kills anyone, or Darkseid, what's the point? The bad guys have skills, have powers, are ruthless. They would win too, at some point, right?

But at the same time...I always remember one of my favorite comic books from my youth: Turok, Son of Stone. In it, he and Andar, his brother...those stories were timeless. They fought dinosaurs and lived and survived in the Lost Valley, and I never grew tired of those stories, though I acknowledge that there weren't nearly as many issues of that series as, say, Batman.

In Batman, I always chose to believe that he was just smarter, and the best fighter, and the best detective, and that he would train his pupils to be very nearly his equal.

I asked this question because Forever Evil is coming from DC, and I don't really know what to expect, but I guess I'd be surprised if all the good guys walk away. And we're firmly in an era where, again, death in comics isn't how I would do it, but it has long been established that "event deaths" and "shock value deaths" are how comics are done now.

Sometimes, though...I just wish we were back in the days where Batman was always smarter than the Joker, where Superman always got there in time. Where someone would've saved Ted Kord at the last second.

I know that isn't as fun for some people -- maybe many people. But I never felt bad about it, at all. I know the bad guys "should" win sometimes. Most times, though, I'm still simple enough where I wish those occasions were few and far between.


i'm right there with you, ESF. right there.
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rdrsfn82 wrote:Chap is right.

john lewis wrote:I got nothing but respect for [Chap]

jsalwen wrote:You're the man, Chap.

DMM wrote:Chap knows what he's talking about.

MoneyMelon wrote:chap is right about pretty much everything

GOSD wrote:chap FTW!

Ntikrst wrote:Chap's right

oogy wrote:All those quotes in your sig ain't lying.

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

Postby PDH » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:31 pm

My main worry would be that I couldn't trust all the other people involved (like my eventual successors) from just undoing it all for no fucking reason. I'd rather not have anyone die at all than have people die only for some idiot resurrect them in the stupidest way they can think of.

Generally speaking, if I can't believe on some level the characters are in at least a little bit of danger then there's no story.

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

Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Nostalgia is a helluva thing.

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

Postby bkthomson » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:11 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:Nostalgia is a helluva thing.

I remember it like it was yesterday.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby Spektre » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:45 am

Death?

Yes. Sparingly. Permanent.

Continuity!
- Continuity is or it is not. There is no such thing as soft continuity.
- A character IS his continuity.
- Continuity is consistency of the characteristics of people, plot, objects, and places seen by the reader or viewer.

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

Postby outsider » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:54 am

Spektre wrote:Death?

Yes. Sparingly. Permanent.
This.

Minus the inherent crazybones, natch.
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Re: Quick, random question: Would you have death in comics?

Postby Victorian Squid » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:39 pm

If I ran your superhero comics, there would be death, all right. Lots and lots of it. So much that the panels would be clogged with the bodies of the dead, and the panel gutters would run red (or sometimes possibly green) with their blood.

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

Postby Herald » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:53 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:If I ran your superhero comics, there would be death, all right. Lots and lots of it. So much that the panels would be clogged with the bodies of the dead, and the panel gutters would run red (or sometimes possibly green) with their blood.


So Spock and other Vulcans would be in your version of the DC or Marvel Universe... Fascinating...

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