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.
*Sniff, sniff* "Damn it, Diana...If I'd known they would trade us in for a JT Krul-written Captain Atom and "The Savage Hawkman," I'd have let Superboy-Prime destroy all reality.""Superman flies and is really strong...what the fuck else do you need to know?!"
-- Hitler, expressing his displeasure about DC rebooting and complaints about continuity