January 31, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: To Kill or Not to Kill?

Welcome back to this week’s edition of Marvel Snapshot. In this week’s column, I’ll be discussing character deaths and resurrections. I know this is a great topic for debate considering how often it seems to happen, so let’s get the ball rolling.

Let us start off with the latest nonsensical resurrection: Steve Rogers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s back. He is Captain America in my mind and always will be. No this isn’t a slam on Bucky-Cap either, because I think he’s also doing a great job as the star-spangled Avenger, he’s just not Cap! Steve’s morality and just down right huge heart in or out of a battle is the main reason Bucky just isn’t the same in my eyes. So why kill off Steve in the first place if only to have him reappear just a few short years later? Obviously Marvel needed a big bang to the end of Civil War, and what a way to get that bang, right?  I did buy a couple issues of Cap Reborn and they were mildly interesting, but I can definitely see why people get upset over Marvel doing this. They basically took the oomph away from Cap’s “death” back in Civil War. I for one am glad he’s back, but it seems as though Bucky might continue on wearing the stars and stripes, while Steve takes on an entirely different role. Only time will tell on this one!

Long time Marvel fans or X-fans in particular, will tell you of a bigger atrocity. Her name is Jean Grey, and she’s beaten death more times than a cockroach. Much to the chagrin of Marvelites around the world mind you. Me, I think Marvel killing her off back in the Phoenix Saga was the one and only time it made sense. With Jean though, you also have to take into consideration all the “Jean-esque” characters. Madelyne Pryor, Rachel Summers, Psylocke, and yes even Emma Frost. All hot chicks with death issues and/or mental powers as their calling card. These common factors in multiple characters doesn’t really help Jean’s cause one bit. It seems like the same old recycled crap over and over again. I’m really interested to see what the upcoming storyline Second Coming brings to the X-titles, and Hope Summers’s connection to Jean as well.

A couple more recent examples are Mockingbird (Clint Barton’s ex-wife and Avenger), The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thanos. Yes, if you haven’t read the newest issue of Guardians (#22) yet, you might want to turn away now. It would appear that the members thought dead, along with Adam Warlock’s alter ego Magus, are alive inside of cocoons of some sort. The latest issue of Marvel Previews(#78) has also revealed that none other than Thanos himself is returning in April’s issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos was believed to have been killed by Drax back in Annihilation. I don’t quite know how Marvel is going to explain these returns, but I do know one thing. If Marvel continues to “cry wolf,” or dead in this situation, they might be doing it at the risk of losing some of that book’s, or more importantly the company’s fan base.

I do feel if it’s done the right way and not very often, deaths and resurrections can be good stories. I also think going to the well one too many times can be very detrimental for any medium too. Well, that’s it for this week, but please weigh in with your opinion in the comment section to tell the comic book world how you feel!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Kristin

    I was one of those people quite upset with the whole Captain America fiasco. I felt that it was a terrible way to end Civil War. It made me feel like the entire event was for nothing, and Cap’s death was one big cop-out. It really disillusioned me and I haven’t bought into a big Marvel event since. Now that he’s back, after so short a time, I feel even worse about it. Never mind the fact that according to the new storyline, he wasn’t even dead to begin with. It’s like…then what was the point of all that mess?
    Spidey’s little deal with the devil didn’t help matters either.
    I pretty much don’t even care about American comics anymore with all that shit, except for a couple titles.

  2. Billy

    @Kris-I definitely feel torn about Cap’s return. I’m a huge Cap fan but I definitely feel like I’ve been slapped in the face by this whole Reborn story line by Marvel.

  3. marie

    The death of Cap was upsetting. He was one hero who should never die.

  4. Eli

    Thanos coming back shouldn’t be any surprise, and it makes perfectly logical sense. This is because of his relations with death. He loves “her”, she loves him, they love each other. Thanos is one of the few characters in all of comicdom whose resurrection shouldn’t really raise any eyebrows. I mean, when he dies, he’s basically going to see his love. It’s more like taking a vacation than dying.

  5. Infinite Speech

    Still a viable question

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