November 20, 2010

No one cares

The AP via Four Color Media Monitor:

Has Spider-Man spun his final web?

Marvel Comics said Tuesday it will unveil a story line in Ultimate Spider-Man - a separate imprint from its other comics - with a title that may prove unsettling to the webslinger's fans: "Death of Spider-Man."

The publisher is playing coy about what fate may befall Peter Parker, but the story is likely to be groundbreaking given that the Ultimate Comics line has been less than kind to several characters in the past, killing off Magneto, Wasp, Wolverine and others for good.

"For good?" Has time stopped? You really think that (especially) Magneto and Wolverine were killed off "for good," Ultimate line or not?

Cheeyeah, right. NO character stays dead "for good," and especially not marquee heroes/villains. So, does anyone really believe that, if Spidey is killed in the Ultimate line, he won't be brought back at some point? Remember, he is the symbol of Marvel Comics.

Honestly, I can't think of any Marvel character that stayed dead "forever." Even fairly minor characters. Take a gander, just off the top of my head:

  • Captain America. Recently "killed" and brought back.
  • Bucky. Cap's partner from WWII was believed "killed" in the accident that threw Cap into suspended animation for some 20 years. Guess what? Bucky was too -- except that he was recovered by the Soviets.
  • Iron Man/Tony Stark. In a ridiculous attempt to attract younger readers, Marvel "killed" Iron Man in 1996 and had the Avengers bring forth a teenage Tony Stark to "replace" him. It was a marketing disaster of monumental proportions. So, the omnipotent Franklin Richards (son of the Fantastic Four's married couple) "reintegrated" adult Stark a couple years later.
  • Jean Grey/Phoenix. In one of the greatest comics stories ever, Jean Grey of the X-Men could not control the Phoenix power she inadvertantly inherited some 20 issues prior. She had already destroyed a solar system, and now the aliens wanted vengeance. Instead of risking Phoenix rising from her again, she committed suicide (see panels below). But ... she was brought back years later.

  • Wonder Man. Definitely a minor character, he was first killed way back in Avengers #9 but then resurfaced in the #150s -- apparently from a "latent state." He was "killed" again a couple decades later in Force Works #1, but a few years after that Kurt Busiek revived him -- again -- in the pages of volume three Avengers.
  • Gwen Stacy. Peter Parker's first true love was killed by the Green Goblin in the classic Amazing Spider-Man #122. She was brought back (usually as a clone ... or two or three or more) not to mention that so was ...
  • Norman Osborn. The original Green Goblin who "killed" Gwen apparently died when his glider, which he had hoped to impale Spider-Man with, missed and zapped him instead. But guess what? Right -- he wasn't dead! Most recently, Osborn has morphed into one of Marvel's most dastardly villains, even donning an Iron Man suit and leading a team of "heroes."
  • The Original Human Torch. Even one of Marvel's original superheroes couldn't be left in peace. Artist-writer John Byrne brought the Torch back in the 1980s and had him join the West Coast Avengers. He's since been "killed" again.
  • Kang the Conqueror. One of the Avengers' biggest nemeses has been "killed" and brought back too many times to shake a stick at. Perhaps the most head-shaking moment was in Avengers #143 when it was stated that, after Thor pummeled the living sh** out of him, his "atoms had been dispersed across time and space, never to be reintegrated" (or something like that!). But a few years later -- yep -- tantalizing Earth's Mightiest yet again.

Sales of comics are nowhere near what they were a decade ago. It's certainly just my opinion, but I think fans (like myself) have just grown weary of the endless gimmicks -- including "deaths" -- which they know ultimately mean nothing in the whole scheme of things. This is why I ceased purchasing new comics over two years ago. It just got plain ridiculous.

Just give me a good writer and a good story and I'll be happy as a clam. (Try "Superman: Secret Identity" by Kurt Busiek and "The Walking Dead" by Robert Kirkman, now an AMC original TV series.) No need for grandiose nonsense.

Posted by Hube at November 20, 2010 09:58 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Can anyone say, "Professor X"? X-men #42 and then later we discovered....

Posted by: Steve Newton at November 20, 2010 12:29 PM

Great call, Steve! I should've remembered that one!

Posted by: Hube at November 20, 2010 12:35 PM

No need for grandiose nonsense.

And Marvel Comics is nothing if not grandiose. Who do they market this stuff at anyway? I understand the temptation to attract young readers who are going to stay with you as regular customers for a while, but if you don't mature with your readers its a waste of time. How many alternate universes are there in Marvel Comics now? Good grief, they even have a universe where all the characters also exist in the Middle Ages. And one where all the characters are zombies. What are these people smoking?

Just concentrate on good stories and character development, and forget the ultimate wars in universes some godlike character creates in the blink of an eye, and other such nonsense.

They still haven't revived one of my favorite characters, Mastermind, at least so far as I know. I guess there's a few others, like Zemo, the original villainous Black Knight (with the black horse and beam shooting lance), and some others. Give them enough time and a bad batch of meth and they might even bring back the Stilt-Man.

Posted by: ThePaganTemple at November 20, 2010 09:56 PM

Precisely, PT. Gimme a good story with good character development and all's swell!

Posted by: Hube at November 21, 2010 07:03 AM