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Eric: Right. That's it.

This is a spoiler. For Civil War, which just won't die. So if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read this.

Or CNN. Or any major news outlet, because congratulations, Marvel. You did it. You popped the rating. You have your fifteen minutes of fame, which is all you give a damn about any more.

Anyway. Here it is.

In an upcoming issue, Captain America, walking up the courthouse steps (because, see, he turned himself in for defying the Superhero Registration Act) is shot in the head by a sniper and killed.

When contacted, Joe Quesada -- Marvel's head -- said that Captain America "didn't live in the modern world," which is of course why he had to die. He went on to say:

"What happens with the costume? And what happens to the characters that are friends and enemies of Cap?" Quesada said with a smile. "You're going to have to read the books to find out."

Yeah.

Fuck you, Quesada.

I don't care what you do with Captain America's uniform. You've already pissed away his legacy. I don't know who you write comic books for, but it's not me.

I'm sure you don't care about that at all. After all, sales are high right now. They're peaking. And you have huge media buzz going on.

However, I remember when that was true of Superman, after they had him beaten to death. And then after they changed his costume. And when they made Hal Jordan a mass murderer and psychotic. I remember when they actually did do something significant and enduring to the Superman legend by marrying him to Lois Lane, and almost no one cared because they had cheap popped ratings stunts burn them out. I remember when the Green Lantern editors were pissed off at Comic Con because people were outraged at what they did to Jordan, and his response was "sorry for making the book popular."

It took over ten years before they brought Jordan back. It took less than one for them to bring Superman back. And it's not because their "stories lacked impact," like you said. It's because those were fucking stupid moves. And even Jordan's return hasn't really improved things for Green Lantern at DC -- it's just pissed off the Kyle Rayner fans. All they managed to do was damage the long term viability of Green Lantern as a brand and icon for a short term spike in interest which didn't pan out in story terms.

But hey. You don't care. You're smiling. This is just another comic book story, and we'll have to tune in next time to see what you do with a uniform that clearly doesn't mean anything to your company.

Well, my friend Mason Kramer said it best:

I mean, sure. Bucky was brought back, so he'll take up the shield. The Punisher has the mask, so he'll put it on. And then there'll be the guy in armor and the cyborg.

Fuck you, Marvel. I'm done. I no longer give a damn what you do in your comic books. Which is just fine, because you no longer give a damn about people like me anyway.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at March 7, 2007 10:27 AM

Comments

Comment from: Nentuaby [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:50 AM

And this...

Would be one of the writers who Doesn't Know Grit From ****.

*sigh*

I knew they'd be doing something at least this colossally stupid going into Civil War. At least he never installed spikes on the inside of the aforementioned costume.

Comment from: Elizabeth McCoy [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:56 AM

And there's another thing that sucks about reality -- people dying pointless deaths. Superheros should go out sacrificing themselves! Or in a gigantic earthshattering kaboom when some old enemy finally gets lucky!

Snipers taking down supers is for RPGs, where you don't want PC supers getting too uppity, and you don't want PC normals getting too depressed.

Comment from: Doug Wykstra [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:02 AM

God, this is the stuff that kept me out of comics for so long. I was about 9 the first time I read a comic. The first comic book I picked up was in a grocery store, and it was a Batman comic. I was kind of into Batman movies and cartoons at the time, so I decided to read a Batman comic book because I figured I would be getting similar stuff (keep in mind that the last Batman movie I saw was Joe Schumacher's Batman Forever, which I was too young to know was bad).

I read the book, and it's the one where Batman gets his back snapped by Bane. Not one of the ones that leads up to it, where Batman is exhausted and breaking down, but still managing to kick major ass. He gets thrown around by Bane for the entire comic, gets one good punch in, and in the last page Bane breaks Batman's back before Robin can arrive. "Broken. And done." Bane says, as he walks away. This final image frightened and disturbed me so much that I couldn't pick up another comic for 2 more years.

When I do, it's a trade for The Death of Superman. Rinse and repeat. At that point, I lost all interest in comic books. If they couldn't think of anything to do but find new ways to mutilate and destroy the heroes that graced their covers, they weren't worth my time.

But time passed, and I got over the first two comic books I read. Hell, as I became a teenager, I began to appreciate how they were sort of cool, in a dark way, because when you're a teenager, anything that's dark is cool. And then I got, as a gift from somebody, a bunch of mini-comics that show the origin and rise of Captain America. These comics were more like what I had imagined when I first tried them out. Captain America was generally victorious, and there was one issue where he died, but that turned out to be a trick he used to lure the Red Skull out of hiding.

I still don't completely get into comics, though, but 1-2 years ago, I see a rack of comics, and decide to pick up a Spiderman issue, because I thought that Spiderman 2 was the best superhero movie I've ever seen, and the comics seem a little brighter than Batman's, and I doubt they're going to kill Spiderman off in the middle of a 3-movie deal.

The issue I pick up happens to be the issue of "The Other" where some huge guy whose name I forget pummels Spiderman for the entire issue, then rips his eye out and eats it.

*Sigh*

I don't know why I have this sort of luck with choosing my own comics, but I'm glad I decided to stop reading Marvel after Civil War was officially over. That's all I need, is to see the one hero that gave me what I wanted from comics killed by a damn sniper. You know, until he's inevitably un-killed. Maybe someone will get to rewrite reality again! Oh boy! Say what you will about Millar, at least he had the decency not to kill off Captain America when it would have suited the plot best, in issue 7 of Civil War.

Comment from: Mr Myth [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:27 AM

I have to admit - the first time I really, thoroughly got into comics, it was with the death of Superman - though the only issue I bought in that arc itself was the final one, with the death scene itself.

After that, the return of Superman arc was were I was really drawn in, picking up all the connected issues, and following the plot throughout the entire event. That led to my connection with Superboy - and through that, to a lot of the comics about the younger generation of superheroes.

Comics which, by and large, were about having fun.

And I liked that. Not just because they were fun comics - but because that didn't mean they were meaningless. Sure, comics sold all over the place back when they were silly and pointless, and just 'good clean fun'. But I don't want that. I don't think that would do well in the modern day - there are too many other easy entertainments to engage the kids that cared about those comics years ago.

I want serious comics. I want real, solid stories, with character development, thought-provoking plots, and a sense of meaning to them.

Unfortunately, the editors at DC and Marvel have that confused with endless tragedy. They see the fast route to character development is to make them dark. Kill someone in their life. Turn them evil. Cripple them. Shatter their beliefs.

What they don't understand is that a good story is about a hero triumphing over darkness. Overcoming and stopping evil, averting tragedy. It doesn't have to be silly and goofy and fun. It doesn't have to be mindless. And it doesn't even mean the hero has to always win.

They just shouldn't fall at every possible turn.

One reason why I can look back at the death of Superman and find it infinitely more acceptable than... well, than anything in the Civil War fiasco, is that he died with a measure of success. He stopped the bad guy. He sacrificed himself doing his job.

Whereas Captain America getting shot in the head, after having abandoned his beliefs, in the midst of going on trial for treason, or whatever... is meaningless. They've destroyed the hero in every possible way they could, and that isn't a story I want to read.

Now, to be fair, I haven't read the Marvel mainstream continuity for quite a while. So on the one hand, their grand experiment with Civil War is a success - it has me talking about it, and noticing it. But it certainly isn't introducing the feelings they want me to have. All it does is make me want to slink away from Marvel. Drop my subscriptions to every comic they put out that I do currently read, simply on the principle of sending them a message. Letting them know that this isn't what we want.

Because no matter how many angry the discussions get on the net, they aren't going to listen until it hits them in the wallet.

Comment from: ItsWalky [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:33 AM

Stupid bringing Hal back...

Comment from: Grayson Towler [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:33 AM

Fortunately, I'm not too emotionally invested in Marvel anymore, so this doesn't even sting. It's disappointing -- I'm always pleased to see the occasional (almost accidental) emergence of a good title or storyline out of the Marvel lineup. But it's hardly surprising.

As for the utterly stupid manner of Cap's "death," I can't help but think of the ongoing gag about guns in Girly.

"Oh no! He was shot with a bullet... from a GUN!"

"Not a gun! Why did it have to be a GUN?!"

Comment from: Plaid Phantom [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:34 AM

Holy bleep. No wait, let me rephrase that. Holy fuck. I've never been much for comics in the first place, but still. Captain America is an icon. You don't kill icons. Not like that.

If comic companies want new readers, why on earth would they scare them off? Their prime "new reader" source would probably be kids, and if they're willing to scare off the kids with stupidity like this, then maybe they deserve to go bankrupt.

Comment from: PatMan [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:49 AM

People still read Marvel comics? This reminds me of an issue of Wizard magazine I bouught for some reason. They had this huge article about some comic, and as near as I could tell, the only purpose for the article was to gush about how the hero (Captain America knock-off #113) punched another hero's jaw off.

That really summed up who superhero comics are meant for these days: middle-aged fanboys who are desperate for the next shock so they can blog about it.

Comment from: Copper Hamster [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:55 AM

You know, what they really need to do is have Cap's shooter get caught and be pointless. Some gang banger wannabe Cap stopped from robbing a store when he went out for milk or someone just deranged that thought Cap was the devil because his costume had red on it or something. Not a big villian, not a member of one of the factions, a great conspiracy (we can't let him stand trial) or anything else like that. Make it entirely unrelated to the actual Civil War storyline. I mean the whole thing already makes very little sense, why not make it completely senseless!

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:57 AM

That really summed up who superhero comics are meant for these days: middle-aged fanboys who are desperate for the next shock so they can blog about it.

Depressingly, PatMan just summed up my entire online existence.

Comment from: RAC [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:00 PM

I've been following the Civil War stuff for a while, and for the past month they've managed to spew out one truly, outrageously stupid plot point a week. And every week I've been truly and stupidly outraged. And every week it's worn off quicker. I was angry half an hour ago but now I'm shrugging, and just realizing that while I like Marvel's characters I'll have to go to the movies or play videogames or buy Essential books to get `em the way I want `em.

So if Joey Q wants to inspire apathy in a dude who has a box full of Marvel action figures sitting next to him right now, he's on the right track.

Comment from: Remus Shepherd [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:12 PM

Considering the events of Civil War, the shooter is probably someone hired by Tony Stark. That's right, Iron Man.

For those of you who haven't read Civil War yet, here are more spoilers, although I'll state it in a general way:

The bad guys won.

They set up the pro-registration side to be ruthless and fascist, and I'd go so far as to put the labels evil and villainous on them. And they won. Cap, and most of his army, gave up. The only 'heroes' left in the Marvel universe are a few working underground (Spiderman, Luke Cage and Doc Strange). The Marvel America is now a fascist state, where heroes are treated exactly like the villains they're now forced to work alongside.

The only way for Marvel to redeem themselves at this point is for the next big crossover -- World War Hulk -- to undo everything that's been done. And that means beating half the existing heroes into pulp, especially Iron Man, Fantastic Four (who make *no* sense as a team anymore), the Avengers, etc. And that means damaging those franchises...so I doubt that they'll do it. Simpler to off Captain America, and write Marvel Fascism stories from now on.

Still...the Hulk's my man, the hero I identify with the most. I'm still hoping.


Comment from: Joshua Macy [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:28 PM

Meh. I can't even muster a fuck you for Quesada. Although I would like to ask him, "So, when was it that you decided that you hated super-heroes?"

Comment from: djcoffman [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:36 PM

I also think it will hurt the comic industry when they bring him back, wrote about it here: http://yirmumah.net/death-nail/

Eric.. read Hero By Night. It's made for people like you who love comics and care enough about the next generation. Super Heroes aren't dead, we're just reinventing them online: http://www.drunkduck.com/Hero_By_Night_Diaries/

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:41 PM

I do read Hero By Night. :) For some of the reasons you're stating, but mostly because I like it.

One of my projects for the year, assuming I can get things working as I want, is to revamp my trawls so people can know these things.

Comment from: djcoffman [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:44 PM

I'm not saying I want Marvel of DC to die or anything, or that their icons are lame and old... on the contrary.

There's still awesome hope out there. In the mail today I receive Darwyn Cooke's NEW FRONTIER collection and it's amazing. Now, if only DC would have launched it as a daily webcomic... those companies and their corporate masters and shareholders don't really have a clue about "webcomics" or why they rule.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:49 PM

And now, I respond again to D.J. It's that kind of day!

New Frontiers is a thousand kinds of awesome.

Comment from: Polychrome [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:52 PM

Fuck Joe Quesada.
Fuck him in his stupid ass.

Comment from: djcoffman [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 12:59 PM

Could you imagine if New Frontiers were a fracking webcomic? Damn... I know I'd read it every day, AND buy the honking books. That's the sort of future i'm working towards for comics. They REALLY have to get away from their fear of upsetting the apple cart of the direct market and retailers. I mean, there's like TWO apples in that damn cart right now. They need to upset it.

Comment from: lostandthedamned [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 1:24 PM

Do you know what would be interesting and fresh...
Captain America never being used as an identity ever again.

I can't help but wonder though whether this was intended from the beginning or if it's just a response to the positive reviews that D.C. have been getting for 52 and most of the 1 year later story arcs. I can just see someone at Marvel under pressure trying to think of the way he can generate the most buzz.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

lostandthedamned -- I think that has a lot to do with it. Along with a sense of "oh God -- Civil War is finished. They're going to stop buying our comic books in droves! Quick! Do something shocking!"

Comment from: Chris "Slarti" Pinard [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 2:02 PM

While I've considered "Civil War" to have been pretty much an ill- and inconsistently-conceived piece of shit, I've been fairly enjoying Matt Fraction's new CW-spun-off "Punisher War Journal" series, and am really hoping that Punisher picking up the mask was meant to give Fraction license to do a storyline or two of "Frank Castle: Captain America", in which he gave a serious try at living up to that standard, complete with non-lethal methods, because that could well be hilarious.

Of course, I also figured that Cap was just going to go to jail, looked down on for not keeping track of American Idol and NASCAR, until someone fucked something up and he got a phone call offering to drop all charges if he'd please just take the shield again and save the world. I didn't expect a freakin' sniper headshot.

Comment from: RAC [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 2:10 PM

I think this was probably part of the plan for Civil War. Quesada credited Joss Whedon with helping plan the ending to Civil War in another interview, and killing somebody five minutes after it would be most expected is pretty much his style.

I feel kind of silly. I've read this site and loved it for a couple years now and it's Marvel Nerd Rage of all things that finally convinces me to sign up and comment.

Comment from: miyaa [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 2:17 PM

It must be a slow news day when Captain America's death makes the CNN news crawl.

I just have one question: Why should I care? I've never really cared much for the mainstream comic book companies. Their plots seem to be regurgitated back and forth and an idiot could see what happens in the end. So this isn't surprising to me at all.

Well, I do have one other question. Why does Marvel and DC have to be so post-modern in their plots? But that's a question for a whole other post.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 2:18 PM

I looked at the Captain America art you reproduced for your commentary, D.J., and boy is it dark. Literally, I mean, muddy and hard to see. I had to look twice to be certain Cap's costume appeared in it anywhere, and on which of the figures in the scene. What's an artist like that doing on this character's book? It's as if there are the top suits who think Tim Burton could make a Superman movie.

owait

Comment from: aaronbourque [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 2:36 PM

After the . . . goddamn fucking IDIOCY of CIVIL WAR: FRONTLINE #11, where Cap is shown to be irrelevant because he doesn't have much of an online presence and because he (rightly) doesn't watch American Idol or NASCAR, I'm honestly not surprised that Marvel doesn't know what to do with their Superman.

I graduated from Marvel's grim'n'gritty after my teen-aged years. (The last thing they did that I cared for was Next Wave. Before that? Um. Oh, right. The G.I. Joe collections). DC doesn't get much right, but they get more right than Marvel (they made Batman not a dick! Come alone counts for a lot), these days, and I enjoy their characters more, so they'll continue to get my virtual dollar.

At least until Countdown starts sucking. Then I'll fair-weather them, too.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Comment from: Ford Dent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 3:00 PM

I can't say I'm surprised they killed off Captain America. He's the Marvel version of Superman, as someone has already pointed out--and God forbid we have an old fashioned superhero running around.

If they keep him dead, I'll actually gain a modicum of respect for them. But not really, because they shit all over one of their oldest and most...well, heroic heroes with how they ended the storyline. Come on, Captain America surrenders? Captain America decides that the government's fascist ideas are right, and he's wrong?

And now this. It doesn't have any meaning, and serves no purpose other than to raise sales--and make no mistake, they'll bring him back again somehow. It may take a year, or ten, but they'll bring back Captain America and when they do, it'll make the entire Civil War run seem utterly worthless.

I think I'm through reading Marvel comics.

Comment from: Snowspinner [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 3:01 PM

I'm torn.

I mean, it's not a storyline I want to see. If you told me "We're going to do the death of Captain America," it's not something that would get me to buy it.

But on the other hand...

It's Brubaker writing the main story. And Jeph Loeb doing "Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America." (And Loeb can be hit or miss, but he definitely can be hit, and this sounds like a good project for him.) And, well... I dunno. I'll withhold judgment for a month or two. Stupider premises have turned out gold.

Comment from: Rasselas [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 3:02 PM

Killing Captain America is unnecessary, crude (in a plot-device sense) and tasteless. Hence, perfect for the current Marvel administration.

Comment from: Benor [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 3:30 PM

Fucking Quesada. Fucking Bendis. Fucking Millar. They're all jackasses.

I really don't like the fact that I actually could write a better story than Civil War. Not "I would like this story more," but "that's a cheap plot trick, here's a better idea." Sure, I'd like to write a comic book, but this...ugh. It's just a fuck up.

I can't defend Marvel right now. Maybe in the future, but right now? They're run by a trinity of fuck ups.

*feels like curling up with JLA/Avengers so he can read some good, rollicking super hero action with a veneer of adult issues*

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 3:30 PM

It just goes back to one of your posts from a few days back... comic book companies are, for some reason, ashamed of super-heroes.

My three favorite comic book heroes have always been:

Green Lantern
Captain America
Superman

Now, in real life I'm rabidly anti-authoritarian, both in my personal and my political life. But Superman and Cap have always been portrayed as genuine, Honest-to-God *heroes* who were, you know, cognizant of the fact that they had these ridiculous abilities that could wreak havoc if misused and all that. It was rather nice to see establishment figures portrayed in the moral ideal, rather than the more depressing reality.

It was always nice to know that there were stories being told about people who were good guys not because they were traumatized as a child, or because they needed to settle an old score, or anything like that, but simply because it was the right thing to do.

Of course, these days I guess it's trendier to have the edgier heroes. Hey, I like edgy. But I can only take so much of the adventures of Captain Sullendark and Broodboy before my mind starts to wander...

Comment from: Tom Lynch [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 4:26 PM

This could all, I maintain, have been a good story, with tight editorial control, thought given to consequences, a general plan, and someone who is not Mark Millar directing it.

Sadly it lacked all four.

(I used to say there were some stories that could never be done well, and so should never be done. Then Ed Brubaker made the return of Bucky make sense.)

Comment from: brasswatchman [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 4:42 PM

I can't really get too worked up about it, to be honest. Characters are ideas; you can't really kill them, despite editors' best efforts to the contrary. And like it or not, there's still good work coming out of Marvel, often in spite of the Civil War crap rather than because of it. And isn't that the way it's always been - the best work gets done under Editorial's nose, not because of it? And no doubt this is on everyone's minds already, but there's a reason they call it a "comic book death."

Comment from: Zeekar [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 5:08 PM

Preface: I don't much care about Marvel anymore. I tuned into Amazing Spider-Man briefly because I like Peter David's work, but quality writing wasn't enough to trump editorial asininity. I hate the armor, the new powers, the Civil war crapola.. lots of meh.

I'm saddened by the decision to kill off Cap, but not shocked. And who knows, maybe something good will come out of it someday. I mean, I loathed Identity Crisis, but in the pages of 52, Ralph Dibny has gained a lot of respect in my eyes... and if nothing else, after CoIE we once again have a Batman who's not an emotionally stunted psychopath...

But I'm following all this stuff from afar. I can't afford to buy the requisite number of comics per week to keep up with either company's goings-on directly. I read the occasional trade and pick up some nifty issues I read about online, like the Batman/GL teamup in Brave and Bold a couple weeks ago. Five kinds of awesome.

Comment from: siwangmu [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 5:33 PM

"
"That really summed up who superhero comics are meant for these days: middle-aged fanboys who are desperate for the next shock so they can blog about it."

Depressingly, PatMan just summed up my entire online existence.
"

Low-tech quoting, sorries, I gotta refigure out how to do all this. (1) I have been checking here every day hoping it's something new. I am a happy, happy girl.

(2) It's going to make me seem awesomely loser-y to follow that up with this, but I'm going to quibble with your self-deprecation, because defending your right to feel how you do is my way of commenting my own feelings. Anyway, the comparison is funny, but what makes your response substantive, to me, is that you are absolutely not desperate for the next shock. No part of you (as far as I know) wants something like this to happen, ever. On no essential level does it seem like you're enjoying laying into these companies and creators, because (italics) you love good comics and good stories and good characters (not italics). The thing about this is that you, perhaps as opposed to the shock-craving blog guys above, would be genuinely thrilled to blog about a good development that pleased and moved you. You would, I daresay, rather (pretend that was italicized too) post about the new development you love. So this matters, because you actually want to like things (again, the "not actually you and just guessing" disclaimer).
Me too.

Comment from: grendel-chan [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 5:45 PM

Of course, according to Wikipedia (I know, I know, we have issues with it, but still), the Captain's death is already made semi-moot:

"While entering a Federal Courthouse, Steve Rogers is shot in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by a sniper on his way up the steps to Federal Court. In the ensuing crowd chaos, he is shot three times with a shotgun, and later appears to die of his injuries.[39] It is later revealed that the plan was orchestrated by the Red Skull; the sniper was Crossbones, and Sharon Carter, under a hypnotic suggestion by Dr.Faustus, was the person who had shot Rogers in the stomach.

In Civil War: The Initiative, Ms. Marvel tells Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) that Captain America is not dead but '...tucked away safe on the Raft...' with doctors working to save him."

(Oh, and yes -- long time reader, and another person made to register by Marvel idiocy!)

Comment from: cartoonlad [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 5:58 PM

Despite the message that comics aren't just for kids, America thinks they are. If I had a twelve-year old son or daughter, a funny book about a national icon being shot twice and left to bleed to death is not something that I would want my hypothetical child reading. So I'm thinking that any bump in sales after this issue is going to come from adults.

The problem is there are people like me, people who like Cap and are going to be pissed off when he is killed with a smile. You know what, fuck you Marvel, I'd say. And they lost me.

But there's new blood coming in, right? From where? Can you pick up Captain America comics at the grocery store? 7-11? Barnes & Noble? Maybe. Do people reading the news and are interested in the death of Cap know where a comic book store is, or even that there are such things as comic book stores? So the new sales money is coming in from adults who already shop at comic book stores and want to check out the fallout of the murder and the few people that can actually find a comic book store. However, the storyline that follows is going to be focusing on the friends and enemies of Cap. These are characters that complete strangers to the book are not going to care about. Everyone knows about Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Lex Luthor. What supporting cast members of Captain America can the average man in the street name? (Let's see... Bucky. The Red Skull. Sharon Carter. Diamondback. That's all I can name, and I read comics.)

The sales spike will fall away and Marvel is left with a smaller readership and a dead comic book icon.

Comment from: djcoffman [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 7:44 PM

This is what makes me sad. My colorist IMs me to say his son was off the bus with a Hulk book today, and then it somehow came up that Cap is dead... and his son was visibly upset.

Way to fucking go Marvel.

It's not just that comics have grown up.... they've grown up a bit too much now.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 7:44 PM

Eh, Marvel lost me years ago.

You know, I could see doing a good Elseworlds-style story about this, and all the impact that it might have. That Marvel would do this in their 616 continuity... Not surprised, but I'd love to know what the hell they were thinking.

I could see someone making a deep and poignant story out of this. But I'm cynical and doubt it will be done. It's bad when I don't know what lacks more dignity - how Cap dies, or how they'll inevitably bring him back.

Comment from: Alexandra Erin [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 8:09 PM

Bleh.

Considering my chief time waster/artistic outlet, you'd think I'd have more to say on this subject, but that's all I can get out: bleh. I raged about this subject all day while stuck at work, but there was no way I was going to type my comments up on my Treo. Now I'm home, at my computer, and emotionally done with the issue.

Point of interest, though... from what I've read, the "Death (and Return) of Superman" plotline was contrived (the perfect word for it) purely because the top brass didn't want Lois and Clark to get married until TV's Lois and Clark were ready to get married so they could coordinate the publicity... so all of a sudden the Superman team had a year or so's worth of stories to come up with in no time.

Kind of adds a little ironic icing to the fact that everybody was suffering too much from "event burn" to notice when the wedding did happen.

Anyways, I've been known to whack a few of my characters a little hard with the ol' character development stick... in fact, one of the main jobs of my collaborators is to keep me focused on the story I actually want to tell and not the story that my spirit animal (a drunk and bitter turtle who sounds suspiciously like Frank Miller) wants me to tell... but this shit's got me rethinking some of my upcoming storylines. I'm starting to second guess whether my intended direction is actually all that great, or if it's just a response to me coming of age through the era of "event comics".

Anyway, you'd think I was going somewhere with that, but... bleh.

And to djcoffman, re: reinventing superheroes online... right on. :P I'm going to have to check your stuff out. Considering what a huge share of the print comics they occupy, superheroes seem under-represented online, to me. I don't know why that is... I think if more people took their stuff directly to the public instead of just jumping through the industry's hoops (or trying to), it could serve as a real wake up call to the Powers That Be.

And even if it doesn't serve as a wake up call to the PTB, at least we wouldn't need them To Be any more...

Comment from: dreamshade [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 8:17 PM

I've been reading posts from a certain comics community a lot, and there's a lot of talk about a comic called Nextwave: Agents of HATE, written by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, etc.). The comic took a bunch of C-grade, rarely mentioned Marvel heroes, wrote their dialogue humorously out-of-character, and just allowed their characters to beat up robots and pose for the camera and crack terrible one-liners. And it was glorious.

And it was directly compared to Civil War, and people wondered aloud, why are they giving us so much of this and so little of that? And yet, people keep buying the stuff. Who are these people? Where are the people that support these kinds of comics? I'm genuinely interested, because I haven't heard from a single one yet.

Comment from: Matt Blackwell [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 9:14 PM

Well, I hate to say it, but Civil War succeeded. I'm not a Marvel fan, I've always preferred the Distinguished Competition. The Marvel Characters that I did like were characters like Captain America, Spidey, the Fantastic Four, all of whom got ravaged by this crossover. Heck, I was a big fan of the New Warriors, and look how they got treated in CW. And frankly, I always cosidered the "Ah! Mutants/Supers! EVIL!!!" part of the Marvel Universe to be one of the sillier reoccurring themes. I haven't bought a single book from Marvel while Civil War was running, and I'm pretty happy that none of my money went to help Marvel's bottom line. But...

Now that it's over, I am interested in buying some Marvel books. I want to read Thunderbolts (another book that I liked back when it first stated.) Not because I want to see the good guys like Bullseye and the Green Goblin taking down the evil unregistered heroes (or because I always liked Suicide Squad) but because Warren Ellis is writing it. From his comments, he didn't seem to be a fan of Civil War, and from the interviews that I've seen, it looks like Ellis' view is "This is a really bad idea, and let me show you why..." I want to see the train wreck he causes. I want to read World War Hulk, just to see the Hulk reak havoc on the "heroes" from Civil War. (I also want to read Annihilation and Marvel Zombies vs. the Army of Darkness, but they had nothing to do with Civil War. Except brain eating Tony is a bit more likeable than 616 Tony is right now.) So, I've gone from buying zero books to possibly buying two, just beacuse of Civil War. That's a win on Marvel's part. And I'm not too happy about it. Thankfully, I can buy the stuff on ebay without directly rewarding Marvel.

Oh, and Dreamshade? Nextwave is indeed awesome.

Comment from: William_G [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:41 PM

Eric Burns, I'm surprised.

I thought you were above all of this fannish entitlement and demands upon the creators to make the creative decisions that YOU want.

I mean, I expect this sort of shrill, "I hate Creator X FOREVER!" foolishness from the fanboys and fangirls at Scans_Daily, but you Eric? You're the voice of comic-fan reason.

Comment from: Alun Clewe [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:45 PM

RAC:

Quesada credited Joss Whedon with helping plan the ending to Civil War in another interview, and killing somebody five minutes after it would be most expected is pretty much his style.

Nope. Apparently not. Joss Whedon addressed this in a comment on a weblog, and apparently his contribution to Civil War was only with regards to the final showdown between Iron Man and Captain America. Initially, the plan was for the fight to be broken up by "the woman whose son is killed" (haven't read Civil War myself, so I don't know what woman this is referring to), but Joss Whedon insisted that this would be a letdown and that somebody would have to win the fight:

I just pitched that Cap got past Tony's armor and started beating the poo out of him -- thus becoming exactly what Tony had called them all: a superpowered guy taking it out on a powerless human. Cap realizes this and lay [sic] down his arms. (But he wins. Eat that, Stark.) That is literally the tale. I said looking around at the destruction of Manhattan didn't have much resonance -- these guys destroy Manhattan all the time! It was the personal act of putting his fist into the face of his powerless one-time friend that would Make Cap feel like a bully, a monster, a Nazi and kiddies, I didn't say much else. (Except that a fight between titans broken up by the 'voice of reason' before it ends is a lame fight indeed.)

By his own account, he knew nothing about any future plans for Civil War:

I didn't know Civil War was gonna envelop the whole universe for a year. I didn't know the entire face of Marvel was changing, and though I heard pitches of what's to come, I don't know what stuck. I think I've been given too much credit for all this. Which is sweet, but I wanted to save you all endless speculation.

So it seems that, as much as he might enjoy unexpectedly killing off characters, Captain America's death can't be laid at Joss Whedon's feet.

Comment from: LurkerWithout [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:54 PM

"Shock" after annoying "shock" from Marvel has left me bitter and apathetic. I mean, sure Fuck Quesada and his cronies, but its more of a reflex now. Speedball to Penance? Cap gives up? The Sally Floyd rant on how Cap sucks for not being on MySpace? Yeah, fuck em. Sure. I guess...

But finding out McG is the new director for the movie version of "The Losers"? That left me banging my head on the desk and pleading for it not to be true...

Comment from: RAC [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 10:58 PM

Alun: Good to know, thanks!

(...and since I'm new to this format, how the heck do you make quotes appear in boxes like that?)

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:08 PM

W.G. -- which should say something about how far away from reason all of this has gotten.

I'm not making demands of them to change to suit me, though. I'm giving up in disgust. There's a qualitative difference. There's not much of anything they could do to get me back.

Which, as I said before, won't matter to them. They're not writing this for me. I'm not their target audience. I'm not entirely sure who their target audience is, but it sure as Hell isn't me.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:21 PM

RAC: Normal HTML blockquote tags render those classy boxes. On Websnark. Unless Wednesday changes it.

Comment from: William_G [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 7, 2007 11:55 PM

I'm not making demands of them to change to suit me, though. I'm giving up in disgust. There's a qualitative difference.

While I do think you're doing the correct thing by voting with your wallet, I can't see "Fuck you Joey Q for not writing for me." as much of a difference from, "... for not writing what I want".

Fannish entitlement, no matter how you slice it.

Comment from: Canis [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 12:09 AM

There is a substantive difference between "Fuck you Joey Q for not writing for me" and "Fuck you Joey Q for raising hackery to new, exciting levels."

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 12:18 AM

While I'm not completely on board with William_G's point, I do see what he means, and there's some logic to it.

After all, isn't "raising hackery to new, exciting levels" a really fun way of saying "not writing for me"? I mean, admittedly, the story as presented does sound positively hack-tastic and like something I don't want to read. But what if we're wrong? What if, miracle of miracles, it somehow turns out to work (I mean, I've been hearing people rave about Bucky's return to Marvel Comics, and if there was any plot I'd swear wouldn't work, it'd be that)? I'm not saying Eric would change his mind - maybe he'd still want to give up in disgust. But then Joey Q would be not writing for Eric *and* not raising hackery to new, exciting levels.

And anyhow, I think we all know that the levels of hackery that Joey Q could possibly reach are merely pale imitations of what demagogues who bloviate about politics on the far ends in either direction of the political spectrum.

Comment from: Nate [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 12:40 AM

Nextwave, sadly, got canceled.

The most annoying and stupid thing about all these EVENTS! is how they all get undone by another EVENT! within such a short time. Which completely takes the punch out of any EVENT!

Like Hal, since it was mentioned. I know a lot of people who didn't like that, and I can understand why. But the thing about bringing Hal back? They brought him back to tell a bunch of mediocre stories that don't really need Hal to be Earth's Green Lantern. It could be Kyle or John or anybody doing most of them. But they brought Hal back and then blamed all of the last Big EVENT! on a cosmic yellow bug. Seriously.

So now this thing with Cap, on top of all the other inanity of the whole Civil War. I can't really make myself care beyond thinking it's stupid, because I'm pretty sure it'll all quietly (or not so quietly) get undone soon.

So I guess I'll just stick to reading the various Ultimate TPBs at B&N. Though I might be tempted to at least read that aftermath one Warren Ellis is writing, because I'm a fanboy like that.

Comment from: RoboYuji [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 1:04 AM

Marvel wanted Ellis to keep doing Nextwave, but wanted to replace the artist, who apparently was too expensive for them. Ellis didn't want to keep doing it with a different artist (he felt the one he had was just right) and decided to end it instead.

Oddly enough, with all this hate for Civil War, I remember telling my younger brother, who never reads superhero comics, the basic concept, and it made him actually want to read it, because he found the idea to be interesting. He didn't read it, but that's more because of not wanting to blow all that money on overpriced single issues.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 1:04 AM

William -- understand first that I don't really disagree with you. Of course this derives -- at least in part -- out of a sense of entitlement. Out of not wanting something I find important to change.

My disgust -- and let us not pretend otherwise. I am disgusted at these people -- derives as much, however, from the sense that they are mismanaging an icon that our culture has legitimate reasons to feel invested in. This is Captain America -- a seventy year old icon that represents the highest ideals America is supposed to stand for. Liberty. A fair shake. Standing up for what's right.

Shooting him in the head -- and clearly considering this a light, casual act, dismissable with a smile and a casual "so what happens next? I guess you'll have to buy the next issue" shows a callous disregard for the legacy of this icon, much less those who believe in the idealism behind that icon. To justify it by saying that he didn't fit in with this modern world, as stated above, states that the people who do think that Captain America fits in today's world are simply not who they're trying to target for sales.

So yeah, I'm feeling fannish entitlement. But just as much, I'm feeling stunned at the cavalier nature they seem to be doing this. In the end, it becomes a hamfisted allegory at best, a cheap means of perpetuating a sales trend at worst. It is symptomatic of a trend away from... well, from Superheroes and towards whatever they think is "realistic" about stories starring women in leotards beating up other women in leotards. This is a disservice to a character who is older than they are, who has belonged to every generation since he first punched Hitler in the jaw, and who means something beyond a plot point and a balance sheet.

If that disappoints you, I'm sorry to hear it. But I neither apologize for feeling this way nor retract a single word of my post. I stand by them. I embrace them. And I do not feel wrong for doing so.

Comment from: RoboYuji [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 1:31 AM

According to what I've been reading about it, he wasn't actually shot in the head. He was shot in the shoulder and the stomach-ish area. Apparently he doesn't even die on camera, which pretty much means that he didn't actually do so.

I don't want to belittle your being upset about it, but you're kind of giving wrong facts by repeating that he was shot in the head, when he wasn't. Which is something we should leave to the news networks.

Comment from: Chaomancer Omega [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:02 AM

Apparently he doesn't even die on camera, which pretty much means that he didn't actually do so.

In a way, considering that they're having this big "Fallen Son: Death of Captain America" miniseries coming up, that would almost make the whole thing even more disgusting. If it were all a stunt where they have the undoing of it planned out to occur shortly afterwards after going through all that... yeah. No, for better or worse, and I definitely think it's worse, I think Quesada's telling the truth about Cap being dead.

Don't get me wrong, of course. I think it's a crass ratings stunt no matter what, and I don't think it'll last past a year. I just don't think that Cap's hiding away alive somewhere at the moment.

And I'm solidly in Eric's camp on this. They tell us in Civil War that Cap's ideals don't fit, and that the main who believes in liberty would give up in the name of safety, after being shown he's "wrong". Well, that doesn't ring true to me. Benjamin Franklin wouldn't trade in liberty for arguable safety, and it doesn't seem consistent for Cap to do so either.

And yes, there's no small amount of fannish "entitlement" creeping into my sentiments here. I'll not deny that. But as Eric's essay on Entitlement and the Modern Fandom says, there are times when outrage is legitimate. The treatment of Captain America here may not quite be the "Dottie getting raped and Marmaduke spiked to the floor" example he describes, but I have to say it doesn't feel a whole heck of a lot better to me. They tore down Captain America's ideals, the same ideals this country was founded on, the ideals which define this country, and then to drive the point home, they kill off the man who symbolizes those ideals in their stories. That's pretty low.

And yes, they own Captain America. I don't. They are under no obligation to listen to me, to write for me, or anything else. But I'm under no obligation to cut them any slack. They can tell whatever stories they like, but if I don't think it's a good story, I'll not buy it. And I don't think this was a good story... or more precisely, I don't think it was a good superhero story. One of the key things to writing a good superhero story is to understand what heroism is, and I no longer get that feeling from Marvel.

There are a few of their books I'll still buy. A few. But no more of this. No more Civil War/Fallen Son tie-ins. No more Avengers. No more events. I'll finish up the Whedon run on Astonishing X-Men, and read a few of their "funnier" books (She-Hulk, Cable/Deadpool) so long as they remain good. But it's going to be hard to not let this color my view of their work as a company right now. They threw out the ideals that make superheroes great. It's hard to expect them to handle the rest correctly.

Comment from: RoboYuji [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:11 AM

I'm just wondering how many people here have actually read the issue. I know I haven't myself, but the synopsis I read of it sounds much different from "Captain America goes down like a punk, getting sniped in the head". Apparently he gets hit while pushing someone else out of the way of the bullet, after noticing the laser sight, which seems fairly heroic to me.

Comment from: Chaomancer Omega [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:34 AM

I'll admit, I haven't read it myself. It was sold out by the time I got to the shop. But the description I've seen around, from enough separate sources to believe, is that after the sniper shot, he was then gutshot at close range by Sharon Carter.

Comment from: RoboYuji [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:56 AM

Apparently she didn't do it on purpose though. She was unknowingly brainwashed by Dr. Faustus. The whole thing was set up by the Red Skull. Nick Fury was trying to keep Cap from going to jail, and apparently plans to adapt the plan to the new development. Cap's primary concern as he's in the ambulance is whether or not the civilians are ok. A good portion of the book is apparently dedicated to showing how awesome and wonderful Captain America is/was.

This was a quote in the synopsis I read, I think it's from the actual book "Even though he was a soldier, you could almost feel the kindess behind those eyes, hardened by war. He'd fought through the worst days of the 20th century and he was still the most decent man you could ever meet."

Honestly, despite the fact that it killed him, the issue doesn't really sound like it's all "HUR HUR CAP IS DUMB".

Comment from: siwangmu [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 3:07 AM

Okay, so a new wrinkle has presented itself (new for me at least) that I want to put out there into this discussion. It's become clear that the cavalier attitude is a big part of what makes this so messed up, and, well, this has probably already occurred to everyone else but: we may not really have an accurate idea of the attitude, here. This is the press and it's the internet and I'm not sure what-all else. But remember that now, after it's all in motion, isn't it pretty much Joe Q.'s literal job to talk about it with a smile? Even if he hated this decision wouldn't it be part of his job to make sure his discussions end with "tune in next week?" I mean, I could even see where he would push that harder if he Did think it was a bad move, as if to say "Okay, this is ridiculous, but hey I think maybe the aftermath will be well handled and there'll be some good to come out of it?"

Now, theorizing that he doesn't like it is less plausible than the reverse, but I'm starting to feel like... well, I'm not sure. Now I haven't read Civil War, so I have no sense of the growing climate that fails to respect Cap and his legacy and his symbolism, and that may make its own editorial statement, which would tend to either establish their attitude authentically or incompetently, one.

So I don't know.

Comment from: leons1701 [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 5:48 AM

Say what you will, but Quesada is and always has been a second rate hack. So something like this from him doesn't surprise me at all. And Millar just loves to screw with icons, sometimes the results are good, sometimes they aren't.

Bendis though, him I thought better of.

I'm still taking a wait and see attitude though.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 7:49 AM

William: Obviously Eric is criticizing something that failed to meet his expectations. But isn't that what criticism is? Can you criticize without having had expectations, standards, to compare against? I see a difference between what Eric is doing and what Eric describes in the entitlement essay: Eric isn't demanding of the creator(s), with a genuine expectation of capitulation, that his disappointed standards be met in the future. I point other internet discussion forums to that essay all the time because I see people actually doing that, and I can tell the difference.

The gripping hand is, I agree that this example falls under the proviso in Eric's essay for legitimate gripes. If killing Cap off isn't inherently cheap, it's still being done in a cheap manner, especially if he's only in hiding.

Comment from: jason [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 9:12 AM

Thank GOD Joe Q isn't editing for D.C. Otherwise we'ld likely get a desperate ploy for publicity by having Superman molest a five year old.

Comment from: LurkerWithout [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 9:51 AM

Yes, instead you get Dan Didio and the Blood and Horror Pack giving you fun comics where alligator men graphically tear apart teen heroes. Or going back a year, watching a whole mess of c-listers get fed into the meat grinder of Infinite Crisis. I'm so happy that they went for a heroic Black Adam again, with wife and kid, only to kill them off using villians that were created for no other reason. Luckily this means he'll be just like the rest of the Marvel family in mainstream DC. Fucked up and depressing...

*hugs Jeff Smith's Shazam!*

I'm all about the Marvel bashing, but DC churns more than its share of shit comics onto the racks...

Comment from: Nate [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 10:26 AM

So, you know, I remember when kids used to read comics. When there was actually a review board like the one they have for video games to approve comics with less violence and sensationalist ZOMG WE KILL U storylines. I was getting into comics, as a kid, around the Death of Superman storyline (I think I was about 5 or 6 at the time). Comics I read? My uncle's "The Best Of" volumes of Superman and Batman. While I agree that comics can tell an amazing story (See: The Watchmen and Return of the Dark Knight) and aren't just for kids anymore, I really think they're going a bit overboard with it. I mean, what comics are aimed at kids anymore? Archie? They used to stock comics in racks at the end of the toy aisle in grocery stores, could it be there's a reason I never see that anymore?

I really think the comic industry is missing it's target here. New readers aren't getting drawn in because ffs, who's going to let their kids read comics about someone's eye being eaten? And who wants to say "Holy crap, Spiderman's cool-- JESUS WHAT THE HELL". Good game all around.

Comment from: Andrew Grilz [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 10:42 AM

Quesada needs to be stuffed in burlap sack, beaten with hammers, set on fires, and thrown off a bridge.

That being said, I'm not that irked at them 'killing' Steve Rogers (note I say Steve, not Cap. You Know they're gonna have both Bucky/Winter Soldier/"Youthful Sidekicks Can't Stay Dead in '06!" guy and the Punisher both try on the costume for some stupid 'Reign of the Supermen' stories, then have a self satisfying "the real Cap is back" story arc. Not only has Marvel already said they're bringing him back eventually (probably to keep Joe Simon, the man who created Cap who is STILL ALIVE at 92, from walking in front of a bus) but the whole thing smells so terribly of set up I have to open a window.

After all, don't LMDs bleed, and isn't Nick Fury still MIA?

So don't worry about Cap. Civil War sucked for so many other reasons, and the one that's killing me is the one I'm certain no writer is ever going to address. And that's the characgter rape of Reed Richards.

Reed Richard's personality, as firmly established over the last 40 years, was simply shredded in this story arc. I've always seen Reed as the smartest man in the world, smart enough to know when NOT to be ruled by sjeer intellect. But now, Reed reduces everything to pure math, and he realizes had to become Doctor Mengele to save the world? Sorry, but if the Reed I knew and admired all these years would have had looked at that kind of equation, conluded that Earth was too effed up to continue, he either would have re-worked the math until it said what he wanted (or figured in a variable that gave his the answer.

Or, after weeks of being locked in his lab and finding no answer than to destroy the Marvel U, reached for the ultimate nullifier he keeps hidden in the pantry behind the Nutter Butters and put us all out of our misery.

But no. He imprisons his colleagues in an dangerous alternate dimension that makes you want to kill yourself, turns his wife and brother in law in fugitives, chases his best friend out of the country, and creates FrankenThor. No goddamn way. And now he and Sue are off trying to reconcile? Unless she's planning to shiv him with an invisible knife in his sleep, I can't buy it. But you just know they're going to make all nicey nicey again soon.

And I lay even money that nobody ever brings up Reed's (or Hank Pym's for that matter) ethically reprehisible behavior ever again.

No wonder I'm buying zombie comics these days. At least you know where you stand with a zombie.

(At arms length, fool.)

Comment from: Canis [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 1:15 PM

32-"After all, isn't "raising hackery to new, exciting levels" a really fun way of saying "not writing for me"?"

There is a region of overlap, sure. But I know hackery even when it happens to fall into the positive end of my biases. I just feel conflicted about it in those cases.

In this one, I can feel comfortable knowing that it is both hackery AND against my grain. Every once in a while good taste and my personal biases DO in fact occupy the same space.

Am I slightly heartened by what I'm hearing about the actual treatment of his death? Yes. Am I even MORE disheartened by the fact that it is apparently yet another transient, ratings-stunt death. HELL YES.

The [i]character[/i] is better than that, and his custodians, bipedal weasels though most of them be, should damn well know better.

Comment from: Canis [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 1:22 PM

Ack. My Websnark-fu is weak. This is what I get for hanging out on the wrong kind of forum.... bad habits.

Comment from: jason [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:25 PM

Lurker,

I'm not saying that DC is giving us anything to write home about either. I dug Infinte Crisis up untill Issue 3...because I THOUGHT they were going to bring the heroes back into the DC universe. Honest to God HEROES. Guys you could look up to, guys you could feel SAFE leaving the world in their hands. Flawed...yes...but at least they could BE HEROES.

I was HOPING to see Earth II Superman come in and show us just WHY that character has been around for 80 years. WHY the world needs a Superman, and why a pouting "It's just too much to bare" man of steel just isn't ...Super.

I was hoping that we'ld see that Batman could see the error of his ways, and that being a psychotic schoid just wasn't BATMAN anymore.

Sadly, it wasn't the case.

I think BOTH DC and Marvel have forgotten what it means to be a Hero. I think that writers are just too wrapped up in crafting a "Character changing run" that they don't even know what these characters stand for.

Marvel took the idealization of the spirit of America. The idealization of just what every hero in the Marvel Universe should strive fore, and whored it out...

...to make assloads of money...

...TWICE...

...In under a year...

And it's selling books.

Strangely, the more I think about it, the more Plausable the idea seems of DC making Superman a pedophile seems.


Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 2:59 PM

Perhaps every generation gets the Superman it deserves.

Mine's was the one Christopher Reeve played.

Comment from: leons1701 [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 6:20 PM

Nah, DC won't make Superman a pedophile. They've got other things in mind. Things that are almost as bad. They brought back the kryptonite rainbow.

Yes, even gold. You know, the one form of kryptonite that cannot ever be meaningfully used. Because it's entire reason for existing is to have a permanent effect that would destroy the character.

And the hack writers favorite crutch, red kryptonite. Hey wait, maybe they are going to make him a pedophile...

Comment from: Wistful Dreamer [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 8, 2007 7:39 PM

Oh William, that's because you're working under the flawed logic that the artist owns the art. Sure, the artist owns the intellectual property, and can determine who should lawfully view it for what price, but it is the AUDIENCE that makes it art, that gives meaning to the form, and most importantly, decides whether it is good or not. Just like George Lucas can tell his entitled fans, "I'm sorry that you fell in love with the wrong movies." Joe Q can tell us that this is what Captain America is supposed to be about, and they're both wrong.

As to Civil War, I'm all for antiUtopian storylines and political allegories for the most part. I've heard that CW is supposed to be an allegory to post 9/11 America and the Patriot Act. Stark is the ultimate big business military industrial figure short of SHIELD. A tragedy happens and it is suggested that civil liberties are suspended. Some people fight it and no one sides with them. Sound familiar? I get it. The good guys lose because that's what happened -- GWB is out there suspending habeus corpus and monitoring phone calls with no oversight. You'd think I'd be sympathetic to that story, but I'm not. Why? Because it is Captain America. He's above that. He fights to the end. He rages against the dying of the light and saves everyone. He fights Stark and wins in a way that makes everyone realize that he isn't the supermonster beating up on a weak man, because Stark isn't a weak man, but a man with an army, guns, and sentinals aimed at the weak and deminished superhumans of Marvel earth. Why? Because he's THE Hero. In a continuity where a savage with claws and a wizecracking reporter dressed as a spider are the guys that beat the bad guys, and even the "sacrifice yourself for the greater good" role has been taken this year by a purple clad Green Arrow knockoff, true heroism is basically all Cap has got. Instead he gives up, surrenders, was wrong. That's just awful.

And once he's been degraded like this, what was the point of killing him? I am sick of the big two thinking the only way they can shock us is to kill a hero. We're on our third Blue Beetle. Firestorm was replaced with, well an identical kid working with the doctor, only this one is black and his dad is missing a hand, yay. Scott Summers is dating Jean Grey light instead of Jean Grey. Why? Because apparently characters need to die to sell books, but we can't actually have those costumes sit fallow. I for one blame the Pheonix saga. It was so well received, and people went along with the rediculous ressurection such that the writers realized that if people really didn't want said character to die, it could be undone. Thus its free for all on the killing every time a new set of writers is brought in. Unfortunately Cap is just a mortal man with strength juice in his blood. No alternate worlds to recombine. So his ressurectin will either be a blue beatle like "someone else picks up the mask" line, or a "it never really happened" line, one of which disrespects the character behind the mask, and the other invalidates the pathos the death had in the first place.

Comment from: Aulayan [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 9, 2007 6:21 AM

Eric...Read it.

This can't be compared to Civil War, as while this is a logical outcome of that it is not that.

This is actually well written. The news coverage is making it all the hyped more, and causing angry dissension due to what happened. But it's well written.

Ed Brubaker's a good writer, give him a chance.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at March 9, 2007 9:49 AM

Eric...Read it.

I have.

I stand by my essay as written.

That Ed Brubaker can write a good story doesn't change any of the above, from the cynical reasoning behind doing this in the first place through Joe Quesada's clear ambivalence through the multiple examples of how shocking stunts like this are long term bad ideas.

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