Saturday, May 06, 2006

Everyone has a favorite.

I was going to blog about my latest convention experience, but reading around the forums (mostly in English) about Civil War #1 made me change my mind.

I still haven’t bought my copy of CW, and I was not going to buy it, until I found out that the team that was going to ignite the whole thing were the New Warriors.

Confession time? I’m a big, big fan of the New Warriors, and am still trying to get the whole original run.

But I’m not a fan of the Warriors for Night Trasher (Who I always saw as the stereotypical angry street hero), or Nova, or Firestar (Who will always be in my mind as part of Spiderman’s Amazing Friends, sorry), or Marvel Boy or any of the others.

I became a fan because of Speedball, who was my favorite since his original series.

Now, if you guys read my last blog, you will see I apparently have the touch of death to my favorite characters (Other favorites? Doug Ramsey, dead. I loved Jason Todd since he was the Robin I knew from the Mexican editions, so I was devastated when I found out he died for fan voting. Ted Kord, dead. Sun Boy, who is not dead but has the awful tendency to end up exiled or de-powered. Rictor, depowered. Maddrox, who thankfully is alive but spend some time dead. Magick, dead. Synch, dead. Skin, dead. Chamber, depowered. Jubilee, depowered. Linda Danvers, erased from continuity. Hawk and Dove ver.2, one became a villain, killed the other and then was killed by Hal Jordan. Joy), but to be fair, I’m used to it. I love the less popular characters, and less popular characters tend to die easier than the big ones. (I’m still holding my breath for Chase, from Runaways, but he seems to be popular enough to survive)

The thing is, in superhero stories at least, you can’t win. No matter how obscure, useless, an annoying a character seems, someone, somewhere, loves that character. I’ll admit I was surprised at seeing in forums that I wasn’t the only Speedball fan, since he seemed to be universally disliked. But there was even someone saying that Microbe was his favorite character.

When Blue Beetle died, and the fans came out of the woodwork, there were accusations that we were only liking him because he had died. That if he *hadn’t* died, we wouldn’t care. I never argued with the guys making those accusations because, frankly? Nothing I said about my love for the character would make them change their mind over that.

The same thing happened over the outcry for Sue Dibny’s death (When they were not busy denying that it had been an atrocious show of misogyny and bad writing).

And with Kon’s death.

To be perfectly frank here, I have been guilty of that. When they killed Superman, I couldn’t care less. Hawkseye? Meh. Jean Grey? What? You think I believe for a second she’ll stay dead this time? Jade? Who was that?

But that doesn’t change that someone, out there, loves them and was profoundly hit by their deaths.

With the rumor of a death in Runaways, the fans seem divided. I’ve seen people posting in outrage that they better not dare to lay a finger on Molly, on Gert –and by extension, Old Lace-, on Katarina even if she hasn’t been around for a while, or on Nico. There’s a vocal number of fans for Chase too, but even those seem convinced that Chase is going to die. Everyone is sure that Victor is not going to die since he has to be in the future.

I would hate that Chase died, sure. And I’m rooting for Nico to bite the dust. But I’m pretty sure someone wants exactly the opposite.

And since it’s superhero comics… we know that they can come back. There have been weird cases of people staying dead after dying, sure. Gwen Stacy comes to mind. Moira McTaggert seems to be underground too. My list of favorites has that tendency. But in ten, twenty years? They could come back. Hell, I’ll be honest. If I got a job writing for Marvel? I have ten possible ways to bring the Warriors back already. Same for Kon. Ted is a bit harder, but give me a couple of free hours and I can think of a way. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one. We can moan and whine about how much we hate the revolving doors in superhero heaven, but we don’t want to see our favorites dead.

And everyone is someone’s favorite.

Manga, and independent comics don’t have that problem. Since the story is lineal and have an end, when a character dies is because he or she has filled a role in the story and his/her death is a fitting end. There are exceptions, of course, but in general if someone dies is because it’s needed for the story. And so, those who held the character dear to their hearts can be content in the knowledge that the characters died for the right reason.

The possibility of resurrection takes that away. Because what good is anyone’s sacrifice, if next year there will be another big event and they’ll come back, or their deaths will be written away in five years time?

I like my sacrifices to have meaning. I like my comics to have impact. But I think we need to find something besides ‘death’ and ‘rape’ since it’s obvious that rape is almost never treated like something more than a cheap plot devise, and death has become a joke among readers.


Anonymous said...

Check World War Hulk Aftersmash: Damage Control. Bart has a nice interaction with Robbie Baldwin (seguro te tocó ver los números de Control de Daños que publicó Novedades, que es donde se conocieron).

And a line after Robbie leaves makes it oh so much better, hahahahahaha.