Archive for the ‘comic book’ Tag

Death in Comics (and the eventual return)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

So I’ve been reading about the return of Peter Parker to the Spider-Man comics.  The stories I’ve seen on the geek sites is that Peter Parker will make his inevitable return to his body in the newly relaunched Amazing Spider-Man #1 and my first reaction was, “Well of course he’s coming back.  He’s got a movie coming out roughly a month after that and Peter Parker is Spider-Man in that.”  There was a time where I would have been more excited and it’s not to say I’m not interested or curious to see how Peter comes back but from the moment that he lost his body to Otto Octavius, (aka Dr. Octopus) and became the Superior Spider-Man, I was already wondering how long this was going to last before Peter took back his body and Spider-Man went back to becoming Amazing.  Well it was roughly a year and I don’t know how I feel about it.  I’m not excited or angry or anything.  It’s just a thing that’s happening.

I remember reading the story “Kraven’s Last Hunt” and being so enthralled.  I was in summer camp at the time and my mom was sending me my comic books and at the time I was reading all of the Spider-Man comics and this story starts out and in it, it appears that Kraven has killed Spider-Man.  He then buries him and then puts on Spider-Man costume.  I remember reading the issue and freaking out.  Did Marvel just kill Spider-Man?  What?!  I needed the next issue as soon as I could get it.  Of course, Spider-Man wasn’t dead but for that brief moment, I was actually nervous as to what was coming next.  I don’t completely get that so much anymore.

Comic deaths aren’t a regular occurrence.  It doesn’t always happen every month but when you do read them, it’s supposed to be a game changer.  I don’t know if this is the first death in comics I experienced but it’s the first one I remember reading and it was the death of the Wasp in an issue of Secret Wars.  I couldn’t believe that Marvel was killing off a character I thought was pretty popular and just as I was wondering what was going to happen next, she’s brought back to life.  Even back then, (I was 10 or 11) I thought that it was cool but why was she brought back so quick?  Then I read Crisis On Infinite Earths and that really shock me to my core as a young comic geek.  I still remember reading issue #7 and being very  nervous when it came to the cover.  Then I read the issue and I was so tense throughout the whole issue.  When it got to the moment where Supergirl comes in and attacks the Anti-Monitor to save her cousin Superman, I was feeling so tense, wondering what was going to happen next and then it happened.  Supergirl was killed.  I was so upset about that and then as if I wasn’t sad enough, in the next issue, Barry Allen (the Silver Age Flash) was also killed off and I screamed out a “NOOO” that probably put Darth Vader’s to shame.  

I have read a lot of deaths over the years when it comes to comics.  Characters such as Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, Colussus, Jason Todd, Steve Rogers, Wonder Woman and Superman to name a few and the one thing they all have in common when it comes to death is that they have all returned.  Some took longer than others but eventually, somehow they have all returned from the dead and over the years I began looking at deaths in comics and just thinking to myself, “Oh, I wonder when that person will be back?”  It’s not that I’m not invested in the character’s death.  It’s just that with so many deaths in comics and then having that sacrifice overturned by bringing that character back, I then take the next death I read with a bit more skepticism.  As of now, the only deaths in comics that really make me feel anything is the Walking Dead simply because as of this blog, the only way you come back from death in that world is by becoming a zombie so dead is indeed dead which I both love and hate.

I’m reading Nightwing and seeing how he’s being used in DC’s event story “Forever Evil”, I am getting a bad feeling that Dick Grayson may not be long for this fictional world.  It doesn’t really surprise me too much.  Dan Didio hinted in 2006 that he wanted to kill of NIghtwing in a story that took place in 2005 and he’s made the joke a lot since then.  I could see the character being offed in this “Forever Evil” story and while I’m wondering how and even if the powers-that-be over at DC would do that, I’m not as worried about it because as we have learned over the years when it comes to death in comics, dead does not mean dead.  Unless your Uncle Ben and then, well, you’re still dead.

I’m looking forward to Peter Parker’s return.  He’s always been one of my favorite comic book characters and he’s probably my favorite Marvel character but as I said, I’m not surprised about the return.  It’s never been about “If he comes back” but “When he comes back” and so seeing the return talked about on the geek news sites isn’t surprising to me.  I’ll be curious to see how he comes back and what the creative team does with the character once he’s back but the death and return of too many characters in the past has me looking at this as just another thing that’s going to happen and it makes me wonder about my comic book fandom but that’s probably a blog in itself.  So until next time, stay amazing.

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