Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Post: The Mortality of Fiction (Or Vice-Versa)

Hello everyone. My name is David, and when I'm busy running my Kickstarter and Comic book themed blog, Caffeineforge, I spend a lot of time wandering the internet and learning new things. Not too long ago, I came across this fine blog here, and became a regular reader. If you are too, you might even see my name pop up now and then in the comments. Today our host (also) David, has given me the opportunity to chat with his great comic book audience about the comic book related subject of my choice. I was tempted to spend some time telling you how awesome my own comic book, The Wardenclyffe Horror. In that article I probably would have talked at length about the gripping story staring Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain, or the way the Lovecraftian Horror story hits all the right notes of any mythos fan; I might even have told you how it is funding on Kickstarter right now. 

But there is something more important that I think we need to discuss. 

Anyone that reads a loves a good dose of tension in their stories knows that the best way to really make one a page turner is to make the stakes high. In comic books there are several methods of doing this, but the most common one is to put an important character in jeopardy. The fact that a major character might never grace the stage again (except in flashbacks) is serious business. If you are unfamiliar with this concept though--you might be an X-Men reader. the world of Comic Books, only Uncle Ben truly stays dead, but those zany X-Men are a bit more flagrant than most. It's possible that some day they will leave an X-Man (or woman) dead. I admit that. One might just go down for the count and never come back - it could happen. It's possible that might even be a certain high-profile death in a recent highly publicized cross over. But at this point no one is likely to believe it. 

Stories need tension, and stakes, and with the Marvel universe as overcrowded as it is they could let stand to lose a couple of characters, but like any hoarder, they just can't seem to let any of it go. Jean Grey is certainly the most obvious example of characters being brought back to life after they perish at the hands of the plot, but she is not the only X-Men (or villain  to return from the dead, other notables include:
·  Apocalypse
·  Cable
·  Colossus
·  Havok
·  Legion
·  Magik
·  Mystique
·  Psylocke
·  Sabertooth

The list above doesn't include characters who merely lost their powers for a time, or were turned into a drooling vegetables for years like Magneto. It also doesn't include those few characters that end the plot time and time again in a state of 'almost dead' like Mr Sinister, only to re-emerge once more. These are just the ones that actually perished and were returned to life.

Of all of the above the one that bothers me the most is Colossus. He had a great death, saving his sister and the world from the legacy virus. It was noble and driven by story. It would have cemented him as a great character for all time, and left marvel free to develop new heroes. Sadly, this was not to be and they had to bring him back into an already crowded field and start the cycle over again. 

So how about the rest of you? Which resurrection disappointed you the most? Captain America? Super Man? The 14th Phoenix resurrection? 

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