Clark Kent. Hal Jordan. Oliver Queen. Barry Allen. Steve Rogers. Bruce Wayne. Princess Diana (no not THAT one!)
The list of names who have been killed by a writer looking to effect a serious boost in sales for his book (or seeking to hit the note of a major storyline) has grown to almost unlimited proportions. The problem though is that nobody stays dead anymore. Barry Allen was dead for over twenty years. Twenty. His replacement had done the unthinkable and supplanted him in terms of comic sales and success as a character. There was no "need" to bring him back in the way that there was a very concerted need to bring back Clark Kent. Yet they brought him back anyways.
Recently, over in Marvel, Steve Rogers came back from the dead. I won't ruin the story for you if you're a fan of Cap, but I don't think I'm letting anything out of the bag by telling you that they're not leaving Steve dead. Which is the part that bothers me. As evidenced by Geoff Johns need to write Final Night over in DC (which you SHOULD read) as a way of explaining what he has come to term the revolving door of death in the DCU, it has become all too cheap a writing tactic to kill of a character that fans know you never intend to leave dead. Killing Bruce seemed to be the epic climax of Final Crisis, but nobody actually believed that they would leave him dead. Same for Cap, who's death took him out of the conflict with Iron Man (Stark was soooooooo wrong about that) over in Marvel.
Death has become nothing more than a cheap sales bump in comic companies, and I'm getting more than a little bit tired of it, because it strikes me as offensive to my intelligence that they think they've sold me on their "big story" when in actuality all they've done is piss me off. They need to stop killing characters they're not going to leave dead. I don't care what the reasons are. I've had enough.
I've had an early vote for Doctor Doom as one of the all-time greatest villains, and I can't say he won't get some major consideration from me. Doom is one of those special cases where his villainy truly transcends the book he was created for. Heck Doom has moved out of the books of his protagonists and achieved books all his own. That's an impressive feat for a villain, although not quite as impressive as him figuring out how to steal the power of god from The Beyonder. Man, who doesn't miss the eighties!
Alright, that's it.
Just a short one tonight.