Resurrection Universe

May 2nd, 2009 by | Tags: , , ,

Barry’s back, Bart’s back, Ice is back, and now, in the Legion of 3 WorldsConner Kent is back.  I am just waiting for Thomas and Martha Wayne to pop back to life.  (Ever notice there seems to be a theme to which of the Wayne’s appears?  Martha always seems to show up in fever dreams and near-death states, and Thomas always seems to appear in flashbacks doing things that influence the physical present.  He’s hung out with Jor-El, joined a Secret Society that, against his wishes, drugged the Gotham water supply, and healed the hell out of tons of mobsters.)  And we haven’t even gotten to Blackest Night with the Black Lanterns yet.

The reaction to all of these resurrections has been mixed, but I am all for it.  Bring them all back, I say.  Why?  Because I like characters to be alive, that’s why.  A dead character makes for some pretty angst from the survivors, and a few Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahn!-type moments whenever the survivors meet up with the person who killed off their loved ones.  Other than that, they’ve been neutralized.  All the potential for more stories and unique character moments is lost for one big, dramatic moment, and a few echoes down the line. 

Some people say that bringing all these characters back to life lessens the impact of a character’s death.  Although I can see their point, I disagree.  I think death itself lessens the impact of death.  Recently, every big event had to come complete with a dead character.  Some one’s head was on the block, or it couldn’t really be called an event.  Something had to ‘change forever.’  Not only was death a guarantee in event books, more often than not it was announced.  It was hinted at half-a-year before the issue came out, solicits for the months after were littered with references to some big loss.  We all saw it coming.  Death stopped being a shock, and because one more required dramatic beat. 

Not that most resurrections aren’t hinted at as well.  Perhaps I just welcome these hints because they mean new potential and not grim inevitability.  I like them.  I look forward to them.  Why?  More characters, more stories.  Less deaths, more happy stories.  The combination: a big universe overfilled with happy stories.  That’s my kind of place.

For fun:  Which comic-book character’s death would you reverse?  (For me it has to be The Question.)

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15 comments to “Resurrection Universe”

  1. The Question? Really? I thought his death was drawn out very nicely, with the Renee Montoya set-up feeling very complete to me. I wouldn’t want him to come back because that was, for me at least, the most important and effective subplot of ’52’. I don’t like to invest in things that are erased/forgotten within a few years (that being why I’ve pretty much dropped Marvel).
    I only like resurrections when the deaths are handled badly (Batman, if you can call that a death) or are unnecessary (Bart, who was thrown under a bus with hardly any build-up or reason).

  2. I take it you’re only sarcastically suggesting the Waynes be brought back to life? Because that is a terrible idea.

  3. Boston Brand

  4. I’m just glad Bart is back, with the way he died they could have said magic sunshine unicorns brought him back and I would have accepted it. maybe.

  5. @duckface: I want the questionb back because I like Montoya as Montoya, and the original Question as the Question. Her attitude doesn’t really suit The Question persona, and the guy himself is an irreplaceable character.

    @Jbird: I like terrible ideas, but I neither want nor expect the Waynes to come back to life.

    @Nathan: I would have, too. Definitely.

  6. I’m not the type to throw around resurrections for anybody. I’d only do it Geoff Johns style, to “fix” bad continuity/stories, or OH SHIT! style, to kick off a story that requires a certain over-the-top tone.

    “Trickster? I heard you got hit by a train and Pied Piper talked to your corpse and then went to Apokolips somehow?”
    “That’s what I wanted you to think. It was actually a bus!”

    “Jim? Jim Corrigan!?”
    “Heaven’s under attack, boys. We need the JSA.

    “Next time you kill Weapon XIV, don’t leave enough parts for AIM to salvage.”
    “Sure, bub, but next time you bottle up that kid Quire, make sure AIM isn’t making an ultra-sentinel body he can steal.”
    “Hey, shut up you two! I think Skids has talked Rusty into giving up the Phoenix Force.”

  7. Conner and Bart’s deaths were definitely the ones I would have been calling for before Legion of Three Worlds. Both were stupid editorial edict deaths, and they contributed to the DCU’s tendency to kill the young in droves and leave the old (I mean Jay Garrick/Alan Scott old) alone. Conner’s death also pretty much ruined Wondergirl. Wah I’m gonna join a resurrection cult. Wah I’m going to make out with his best friend in a room full of his failed clones. Okay, obviously not over him, I’m going to befriend Supergirl and date Robin to fill the void. Oh wait but wah I’m going to let an evil future version of myself mess with my head and alienate Supergirl and Robin because of it.

  8. @Esther – Fair enough. Maybe Charlie will be back in Blackest Night? Not that I think the Zombie Heroes will last very long.
    I’m not passing judgment on Montoya’s Question until I see her in Detective Comics this June, as I’ve only really seen her in 52 and Final Crapsis.

  9. @Graq: well Conner’s wasn’t editorially mandated, he was a sacrificial lamb by Johns to keep Dick alive, which makes sense since I can buy Connor coming back from the dead a lot more than I could a batfamily member

  10. I love the Charlie Szacz Question (as distinct from Ditko’s Question and the generic DC Question) as portrayed by Denny O’Neil; it’s probably my favourite comic book. But it gained so much from the scripting and the setting that I don’t think the character himself — philosophical, furious, introspective, determined — had particularly much to do with it.

    O’Neil made The Question (the series) shine, not The Question himself. Give Montoya her own series and see if she sinks or swims as a character before passing judgement.

  11. @Nathan: I though Connor was killed off because of the hazy legal status of Superboy.

    I’d reverse Sue Dibny’s death. As in make that whole Identity Crisis trainwreck not happen.

  12. I agree: O’Neil’s Question was a brilliant book, and without him, without Hub City, the character just isn’t the same. I have mourned him since the O’Neil/Cowan book ended, not since 52. Leave him dead.

    Undo Identity Crisis and all its cynical, craptastic ruination? Hell yes.

    Bart & Connor? Bring them back as a big fuck-you to the creators or meddling editors who conceived their deaths as crass stunts.

    Thomas and/or Martha Wayne: Let them stay dead, forever and in all senses, and that includes not having them be soothing ghosts reading night-night stories to Bruce.

    I’d like to see Cassandra Cain brought back from the life that’s been grafted onto her in recent years. If I were magicking away Spider-Man’s marriage, (and I would NOT have been magicking away Spider-Man’s marriage), I’d have considered bringing back Gwen Stacy. I can’t decide whether she’s Where It All Went Wrong or a proper landmark in the Spider-Man story.

  13. […] Esther Inglis-Arkell considers the resurrection trend in comics, and likes it — “Because I like characters to be alive.” Photon Torpedoes, […]

  14. Count me as wanting to reverse Sue Dibny and her stretchable husband Ralph’s deaths. And to exonerate Jean Loring and Ray Palmer, and fix the damage that was done to them in the wake of that repugnant Identity Crisis miniseries.

    Lest I forget, Blue Beetle, Jade, Hector and Lyta Hall, Yolanda Montez (2nd Wildcat), Beth Chapel (2nd Dr. Mid-Nite), and Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) are among those whose deaths I’d like to reverse too.

  15. Yolanda Montez (2nd Wildcat), Beth Chapel (2nd Dr. Mid-Nite)