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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: Which DC characters did you once believe would stay dead?
Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 02:00:44 pm CDT (Viewed 574 times)
Reply Subj: Which DC characters did you once believe would stay dead?
Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:31:04 pm CDT (Viewed 243 times)

    So let's hear it! Whom did you once believe was gone for good? Whom do you still believe is never coming back from the grave? (Or not if the people running things at DC have any sense, at least -- which may not prove to be a safe assumption?)

A good post. \(yes\)

The fundamental strength to DC Comics up until around 2005 is that dead really did mean dead. True, some of the original Doom Patrol were gradually revealed to have escaped what was a certain death, but it was balanced by those who did not make it out alive. The strict enforcement of this rule meant that I never really questioned the possibility of any character (barring Superman or Wonder Woman) being resurrected, indeed DCs inspired way around the issue was to simply create a new version of the deceased character by handing the name over to a more interesting successor - Karate Kid, Dove, Doctor Light, The Flash, Starman, Mr Terrific, Manhunter, Star Spangled Kid, and so on. Even Barbara Gordon might be included in this, as with the successor usually being popular the question of resurrecting the original became purely academic at best, and with the options of flashback stories and time-travel a writer could always open the door briefly to revisit the original.

I must say, before Dan Didio took up office, I never expected to see Barry Allen back in his own book. That was such an important and emblemic death, and Wally so successful in the role, that a full resurrection was pointless. Barry Allen died 20 years ago and belonged to another era. The End, and a natural one at that. I feel that returning him was and is a grievous act of disrespect to both the readers and the standing of the publisher, if such a long standing and high profile death meant so little then what is the point of the comicbook? Why should anything that occurs within matter?

The list of character who died notable deaths and inspired others is a long one. Sacrifice is an important art of the concept of Superhero death. But not all of DCs deaths were noble sacrifice - Hawk and Dove in the 90s was a brutal end to a successful pairing, so too was the death of Jason Todd violent without purpose, but this did nothing to change the stance DC had concerning dead characters. So when the rules are this stringent the question of who I thought would stay dead forever is largely an empty one, even when Hal Jordan died in the Final Night I was not at all positive about his chances in coming back to life, much less to Green Lantern status. With the benefit of hindsight it does seem quite clear that the success of his resurrection in 2005 by Geoff Johns is what blew open the previously airtight doors of DCs afterlife - because after this they virtually opened the doors to everyone to come back.

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