Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sensational Reactions

I'm not naming names, I'm not linking links. I saw it today, and I've seen it way too muc over the past year. I know that DC has pulled a lot of freaky stunts recently with your favorite characters, and some of you are on edge because of this. I have seen the "I am Queasy" lists on people's sites as reasoning for why they believe that obvious sensationalistic marketing ploys might be serious.

However, it is a necessity of the genre for superheroes to be in danger. There will be cliffhanger endings. There will be wicked writers dropping hints. There will be bloggers and message board posters speculating. There will be covers that show people in life-threatening situations, at the mercy of evil villains, and even with their names on gravestones. This has been going on for 60 years. It doesn't necessarily mean anything. More often than not, these are fake-outs. Half the time, the serious deaths are reversed anyway.

It's one thing to get upset and sad when your hero actually dies. It's another entirely to see a cover, or a solicit, or a cliffhanger ending and freak out as though they are.

If you can't take seeing "This Issue -- [Your Favorite Character] DIES!" on a cover four months in advance you are a wuss.

Find a new fandom, you aren't cut out for superhero comics.


  1. I'm a huge fan of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane relationship, in no small part because that has been the status quo ever since I first picked up a comic (Amazing Spidey 316!). The cover to Kaare Andrews's Reign, with MJ's name on the grave was a real "Oh, snap!" moment.

    Not because I'm scared that she might die in this Days of Future Past tale, but because I want to see what happens. What's with the grave? Look at how he's hugging it! What is going on?!

    Same thing with that (incredible) Dave Johnson cover for the new 100 Bullets. My gut tells me that that outline with the bloody rose for a heart is Cole Burns, and with Azz apologizing in interviews for what he wrote in this story arc, I am worried and excited. Cole is one of my favorite comic characters and I want to see what's oging to happen to him now more than ever.

    That's what solicits should do. Give you just enough rope to hang yourself with and keep you guessing for three months (or more I guess), so that when the issue finally hits you go "Oh! Oh man!" and grin and buy the next issue.

    I love the anticipation. The speculation and anticipation are half the fun. I think that a lot of people enjoy... having a soapbox, I guess, from which they can attack the Great Evil Corporation who dared kill their beloved Blue Beetle/Hawkeye/Aquarian/Dove/whoever. taking a character's death, or hint thereof, as a personal affront.

    Judging by some blogs, Dan Didio and Joe Quesada tour the neighborhoods of comics fans with steel toed boots, kicking puppies and taking candy from babies.

    In other/shorter words, you're pretty much absolutely right.

  2. Oh, crap...Rob S stole my comment...except mine was going to be "A-friggin'-men."

    Oh, well...

    I totally agree with you.

  3. I just didn't want to incur the wrath of Frigg, is all.

  4. Ah, did you see the hint that Hippy might be alive in DC Nation? Now there's the flip side of your entry!

  5. Sandicomm -- Not exactly. More often than not, that sort of thing turns out to be true. The Beauty of Comics.

  6. Unless there's some Superman character who's been dead for years. Hm.