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Post By
H Man

In Reply To
Evil G:DR

Subj: Re: Someone always has to die. That's the law around here.
Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:28:56 pm EDT (Viewed 9 times)
Reply Subj: Someone always has to die. That's the law around here.
Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:35:21 pm EDT (Viewed 181 times)

    While most half-decent villains will (and should) eventually came back, back in the day, you could kill off a supporting-cast character or a lower-tier superhero, and stand a reasonable chance of the death sticking, especially if it had significant emotional impact, or "historical importance" as a moment in the stories of more important characters.

Right. And I have no problem with these little deaths. I understand the idea that these deaths can/should be about how the characters react and change, etc. The execution is just fundamentally flawed almost 100% of the time. I was flipping through back issues the other day, and I came across the funeral of Joseph. Now this was a different time, but I swear that guy got a more momentous send-off than Colossus and Nightcrawler put together. And he was both a clone and a blip on the radar. But to me, that's how you handle it, if at all.

    But on the other hand, it's all in the quality of how well it's done, isn't it? And if no-one ever died and there was no sense that anyone was in any actual danger, there'd be no sense of threat, nothing really at stake in any of the super-battles. So it's not "stop doing that", it's "do better".

Yes and no, for me. Maybe not quite "stop doing that" but more "do that a lot more judiciously" as well as doing it better. They just botch and botch. My biggest complaint is the baggage. The simplest characters are usually the best and tacking on deaths and resurrections only hurts characters unless those elements are woven into the character's new lives. Not like with Colossus and Nightcrawler, who will just go about their business as usual.

I specifically referenced Erik Larsen because he made a public stance against killing characters, describing them as "story engines" and arguing that no one death story is worth destroying an engine that can produce infinite stories. The stakes are so high, and so few characters die anyways, that we can suspend disbelief if almost nobody ever died ever.

Theoretically, a character's arc could close, and they served their purpose, and their death meant something. But the collaborative, ongoing nature of corporate comics makes it so easy to negate all that stuff. Furthermore, a rule of keeping deaths RARE and IMPACTFUL would make sense, except for the fact that Marvel would probably tell you Nightcrawler's death was both of those things, when in fact it was neither. Too much human error, too much collaboration, and too much self-importance of the creators for it to work in effect.

There's nothing to be done about it but talk in circles, but o well.