With the recent events in the X-Men franchise, I got to thinking about how deaths in comics have no effect any more.
There was a day when someone would die in a comic and you’d take notice. “Did you see they killed so and so in the last issue?” People were suprised and it had huge impacts on the story and readers.
Today, it’s turned into a way to make an event part of the head lines. How man ads did we see for Second Coming saying an X-Man was going to die? Did anyone read it to see who it was?
What about when Captain America died? I think more people were upset that Yahoo spoiled it on their main page rather than the fact that they “killed” one of the largest icons in comic history.
Why does no one care? Because they all come back. Captain America just came back, and everyone knew it was going to happen (especially with the movie in development). I don’t read many DC books, but we all knew that Bruce Wayne wasn’t going to stay dead. How about the resurrection of Colossus and Kitty Pride? Colossus sacrificed himself to save the mutant race from the Legacy Virus; it was a noble death that was fitting for the character. Instead they brought him back; I did enjoy the story, but I didn’t think it was worth it. Kitty followed suit by saving the world by becoming one with that giant bullet; it was a lame “death” to me. It really didn’t bother me though because you knew she was going to come back.
The fact that they even brought back Bucky shows that no one is safe. A few years ago, I was joking with a buddy about the only people that stay dead in comics were Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, and Bucky; I guess I was wrong.
Mathan last month asked about what got people into comics; I was busy at the time and didn’t submit mine with the rest of the forum goers; I picked up G.I. Joe 110, where a SAW Viper cut down a handful of Joes. I was amazed by it and picked up the next 10 or so issues (That led me to many other books, including the X-Men and Robin which I still read to this day). I was amazed because these characters I’d known for years from the cartoon and toys were cut down before my eyes; sure, I would have casualties in my G.I. Joe “wars”, but outside of Optimus Prime, none of the characters of my youth died.
As I read other comics, the effect of a character dying started to wear off since it was something used as a gimmick rather than a way to advance stories and build characters.
Now, we go through it again with Nightcrawler. Yes, his death was noble, but it loses all effect because we all know he’ll be back. Colossus in the most recent Uncanny X-Men even said something about him coming back from the dead. If they allow him to stay dead, maybe the book will have more meaning; until then, it’s just another character that’s going to get a little time off. It’s almost like wrestling where a wrestler will get “injured” to give him some time off. In comics, you get killed to get a break.
My thoughts on bringing him back…they’ll reference that horrible Chuck Austen origin story for him; I don’t have the details in front of me, but it was something about him being the son of a devil (I’ve tried hard to forget it). So, I’m expecting him to end up with Papa at some point and that will be the X-Editors saving grace for getting him back.
I’m going to be getting this up around the weekends in the future; it might not be weekly, but I’m try my hardest (I’m pretty busy with IP Sports, but I like comics as much as baseball). If you have an X-Men related request or a mutant topic, let me know and I’ll try to cover it.
Tags: Bruce Wayne, Bucky, Captain America, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Second Coming, X-Men