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Post By
Evil G:DR

In Reply To
H Man

Subj: Re: Someone always has to die. That's the law around here.
Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:50:06 pm EDT (Viewed 56 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Someone always has to die. That's the law around here.
Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:41:34 pm EDT (Viewed 3 times)

Previous Post


    Quote:
    I am almost-entirely agreed with you, other than from where I'm standing, Colossus' death was the last time the books really got it right...they managed to convince me that the other X-Men (and Magneto as well) DID care about Colossus, and their pain was real.


I do think Colossus' death was handled relatively well, all things considered. The guy had lost his entire family and been a sad sack for quite a while, and it was a noble, meaningful death. So I wouldn't put that on par with Nightcrawer's ridiculous death. I was actually okay with killing Colossus at the time, and he did get a full Kitty-centric send-off issue. There was just something about Joseph getting an entire funeral and that double-page spread of his shirtless ghost glowing in the heavens... it just struck me kind of queer considering what a (mostly reviled) blip on the radar he was.


    Quote:
    If I'm understanding what you're saying correctly, it's something like "you can kill Warlock off and bring him back and you don't really need to explain it beyond saying 'he's an alien robot', or Dracula, and you can just say 'he was already undead', but with Colossus or Nightcrawler, where, despite their powers, they were still just mortal humanoid guys, and having this whole death-and-resurrection saga being part of their backstory becomes this huge millstone around their necks",


That's it, more or less. And maybe they can just largely ignore it, but it's still there. To people who care about continuity, the events still happened. "Millstone" might be a strong word for it, but it's just one more nit to pick. The death story is negated, and there's this extra backstory there for no reason. I can hardly think of any truly worthwhile deaths, and I've read thousands upon thousands of comics.


    Quote:
    No, the problem there is that most resurrection storylines tend to just not be very good. The quick, painless "this character is back (or wasn't really dead in the first place), now here they are for Fighty Time" stuff tends to be reserved for villains, while dead heroes get brought back in storylines that are meant to be a big deal, and the deader they were, the more contrived the resurrection ends up needing to be, and all signs point towards the comics where this happens being bad ones.


I'm starting from the premise that it's almost always just plain an entirely bad idea to kill characters. If you have some important death and resurrection story that's going to be an important part of a character, so be it. But it's usually just to add artificial weight to a story that's too flimsy to stand up on its own. Like, almost always. I think Colossus is the last time I'll ever feel genuinely sad when a character dies. At this point it's just bothersome.


    Quote:
    An absolutist stance of "no-one should ever die in comics" is in it's own way as bad an idea as the current approach. It should just be something that's done less frequently, and the aftermath dealt with a lot more than anyone bothers to anymore.


Yeah, I think the problem is just that I don't trust basically anyone to do it right. I was recently flipping through Onslaught and chuckling to myself that the stakes are so high but nobody ever dies. So I get that. It's just done so wrong so often by a committee of people who are too close to the process to properly evaluate it. There's probably a nice balance to be struck somewhere, but it seems hopelessly elusive.

> > I am almost-entirely agreed with you, other than from where I'm standing, Colossus' death was the last time the books really got it right...they managed to convince me that the other X-Men (and Magneto as well) DID care about Colossus, and their pain was real.

> I do think Colossus' death was handled relatively well, all things considered. The guy had lost his entire family and been a sad sack for quite a while, and it was a noble, meaningful death. So I wouldn't put that on par with Nightcrawer's ridiculous death. I was actually okay with killing Colossus at the time, and he did get a full Kitty-centric send-off issue. There was just something about Joseph getting an entire funeral and that double-page spread of his shirtless ghost glowing in the heavens... it just struck me kind of queer considering what a (mostly reviled) blip on the radar he was.

Most people here who know me already knew this, but in case anyone doesn't know, I care about Joseph more than I care about the entire group of 7 mid-70s "all-new, all-different" X-Men put together. I can't put into words how excited I was when I heard he was coming back.

And then they brought him back as a brainwashed murderous psycho, and no-one has any interest in saving him.

And as X-Men deaths go, then there's Skrullverine, who died saving his team-mates, died believing he WAS the real Wolverine, and what did he get? An alien autopsy.

> > If I'm understanding what you're saying correctly, it's something like "you can kill Warlock off and bring him back and you don't really need to explain it beyond saying 'he's an alien robot', or Dracula, and you can just say 'he was already undead', but with Colossus or Nightcrawler, where, despite their powers, they were still just mortal humanoid guys, and having this whole death-and-resurrection saga being part of their backstory becomes this huge millstone around their necks",

> That's it, more or less. And maybe they can just largely ignore it, but it's still there. To people who care about continuity, the events still happened. "Millstone" might be a strong word for it, but it's just one more nit to pick. The death story is negated, and there's this extra backstory there for no reason. I can hardly think of any truly worthwhile deaths, and I've read thousands upon thousands of comics.

I think this sounds more like a call for "stop writing crap stories" than specifically "death and resurrection stories". If you're taking an overview of his entire history, is Nightcrawler's death and return really a bigger stain on his backstory than when he became a priest and was part of the Supreme Pontiff's master plan to destroy the Catholic church?

> > No, the problem there is that most resurrection storylines tend to just not be very good. The quick, painless "this character is back (or wasn't really dead in the first place), now here they are for Fighty Time" stuff tends to be reserved for villains, while dead heroes get brought back in storylines that are meant to be a big deal, and the deader they were, the more contrived the resurrection ends up needing to be, and all signs point towards the comics where this happens being bad ones.

> I'm starting from the premise that it's almost always just plain an entirely bad idea to kill characters. If you have some important death and resurrection story that's going to be an important part of a character, so be it. But it's usually just to add artificial weight to a story that's too flimsy to stand up on its own. Like, almost always. I think Colossus is the last time I'll ever feel genuinely sad when a character dies. At this point it's just bothersome.

I can remember some "obviously never going to last" deaths like Steve Rogers where it was done well enough that they managed to make me feel sad, but when it's some Z-list hero that I liked, or some minor villain, I just get angry because Colossus can do the sum total of absolutely nothing in years, yet still can't be allowed to stay dead, but it doesn't matter that he didn't do anything, he was there all that time, and thus he has fans and in enough numbers that he can't stay dead. But Maggott and Caliban? They aren't coming back. Mammomax, Fabian Cortez, Senyaka, Holocaust and Genesis? We aren't getting them back.

Also, Xavier's death angers me because it's the culmination of a decade of trying to destroy him, seemingly born out of "Morrison said that Xavier and Magneto were old, out-of-touch and irrelevant, so it has to be true".

On the other hand, very occasionally a character dies and it feels like the story and/or the character has earned it, like it's the way things are supposed to go (and I'm talking about [anti-]heroes here. You could argue that most villains have 'earned' it, but 'permanently' throwing away good villains is bad business). Naturally, these deaths never seem to last either.

> > An absolutist stance of "no-one should ever die in comics" is in it's own way as bad an idea as the current approach. It should just be something that's done less frequently, and the aftermath dealt with a lot more than anyone bothers to anymore.

> Yeah, I think the problem is just that I don't trust basically anyone to do it right. I was recently flipping through Onslaught and chuckling to myself that the stakes are so high but nobody ever dies. So I get that. It's just done so wrong so often by a committee of people who are too close to the process to properly evaluate it. There's probably a nice balance to be struck somewhere, but it seems hopelessly elusive.

Well, as Onslaught goes, he may not have scorched all life from the Earth with that second Sun that shows up at the end, but it ends with a load of characters believed to be dead. And those two back-to-back Reborn/Return reboots did effectively destroy years of development for a number of them, some never really recovered.

But you're right that these deaths tend to be decided by committee, and the story seldom feels like it's earned it, and more like the death is an obligatory thing because it'll make the story 'matter'. I can remember back when DC started building to Infinite Crisis, and they killed Blue Beetle, the description of this as him being "the most important character they could afford to kill off". And that's not the right way to go about it.


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