12 Jul 2011

HE DIED?

The Human Torch: Now Deceased.
I don't know about you but personally, I like my heroes and main characters alive. It bugs me when (In the name of creativity and shock value) a writer decides to kill-off the main character. This goes for comic books as well as screen. I feel so cheated and upset like, why did I get on this journey with you if you were going to end up dead?
You might as well have died at the beginning and passed the torch to one of these guys who arrived at the conclusion with us.
I am still grieving the death of The Fantastic Four's Human Torch. He was one of my favourite comic book characters, period! As far as screen is concerned, I have mixed feelings towards Troy and Gladiator because they were brilliant films. Among my all time favourites in fact,  but in Troy, the untouchable hero met his demise at the hands of a snivelling little... Well let's just say I wasn't happy with that turn of events. Neither was I when Maximus Decimus Meridius went to the afterlife. Prison Break on the other hand was a total waste of my time. I invested more than two years of my life into that show with no reward or refund. He dies? Michael the god of all that is clever and scheme-ish  dies IN A PRISON??? The irony was not lost to me but neither was it entertained.
The reason I'm discussing this is that I'm not happy with the events at Marvel Comics where some of my favourite heroes are being killed-off by writers. I know the agenda was shock-value but I have to say, it really sucks. Right now I'm sure some readers are thinking, "Its reality. Battles have casualties and people don't live forever."
I find this funny because we are talking about flying men and people who read minds among a vast array of "special" creatures. Why do we get past the premise and buy into a crazy concept but refuse to overlook the little things?
Superman Rescuing a Crashing Plane.
Superman, making his long awaited return to Metropolis, flew into the sky and caught a plane preventing it from crashing into a sports stadium full of fans, players and the media. Wonderful coincidence; however, his catching of the plane by its nose and placing it down on the field was not realistic. The way the plane was held, it would not structurally be possible to "place it down" without it breaking in half due to the weight of the rest of the aircraft... Hmmm... DID YOU FORGET THE FLYING MAN THAT "CAUGHT" THE PLANE MID-AIR? Or is it fine because we all got past the premise of him being an alien with powers from another planet?
It's quite interesting, this science fiction thing. People are willing to buy into the looniest of concepts but demand realism afterwards. The popular anime show called Bleach has often suffered the same criticism. People wield swords with the power to level an entire city and powers beyond your imagination but the show is not realistic because the main characters never die. Really people? That's why the show is not realistic? Because I could think of a whole other list of reasons why. You should have gotten a clue when he got stabbed with a sword and there was a "power transfer" ritual which turned him into a Deathgod. Maybe if you were keen that would have been your first clue.
Typical Bleach Battle.
We embrace a world of fantasy with only the most basic elements of our reality but we want realism. I fail to understand why I should follow a comic book or series for three years only to conclude it with death. What did all the events before mean? What did all the fun, personal growth and life lessons mean to this character if it all ended in tragedy? I could get that from any history book without the distraction of visits by flying men. Well, except the Wright Brothers of course.
So where does science fiction end and reality begin? I'm genuinely curious.

9 comments:

  1. There's a whole host of criticism when it comes to Bleach, the people never dying thing is really the least of them (and not even one for me).
    But sometimes character death works like Cap being assassinated at the end of Civil War. What I really hate is how deaths in comics are cheapened by having characters come back a year later for the next great event.

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  2. All good heroes die...and that's probably why you enjoyed Troy and Gladiator as much as I did and still hold fond memories of it. Their death doesn't denigrate their lives, but consummates them with a conclusion. It may not be glorified as in the case of the Samurai or the Spartans, but it still serves its purpose: causing you take a retrospective glance and appreciate the value of their lives. Also, heroes are like the hydra: chop one head off and two more grow in its place. you enjoyed Troy and Gladiator as much as I did and still hold fond memories of it. Their death doesn't denigrate their lives, but consummates them with a conclusion. It may not be glorified as in the case of the Samurai or the Spartans, but it still serves its purpose: causing you take a retrospective glance and appreciate the value of their lives. Also, heroes are like the hydra: chop one head off and two more grow in its place.

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  3. Grey Rok I could agree with you but I really just want Johnny Storm back. Why didn't they take Reed instead? I hate Reed.

    Joel I agree with you as far as movies are concerned but when it comes to series and long running comic books it just doesn't add up. We spend too much time with these characters for them to wind up dead in the end.

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  4. You forget that the comic writers too have to surfer. After years of developing a character and then having them die is not something easy. If you think you have invested a lot of time in a character then just imagine how much time the writer has invested in the same character. Anyways people love tragic heroes. You know what they say. You don't know what you have until you loss it.

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  5. But I DO know what I have. An awesome book/series that I feel should never end. Why not do it like Brian M. Bendis did with New Avengers the first volume? When all was accomplished everyone went their separate ways and we got a flashback summery of everything they had done together. Makes you feel like, we started here, we came so far and now here is where we are. Bigger, better, wiser. Death is not fun to read.

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  6. I agree with the main character death. Its pointless, especially for something ongoing to kill one of the very core characters.

    However your realism comment skips over a major point. I'm a huge sci fi and fantasy fan, from when i could read i've loved it. Sci fi is a bit more rigid than fantasy, it all has to make some logical sense overall. You can determine the rules that you want your universe to run with, but after that, you have to keep to them or it cheapens your story. Fantasy follows the same idea but the original rules dont have to make much sense themselves.
    The reason it irks sci fi and fantasy fans so much is when you break the rules youve created for your own universe, the story becomes meaningless. Anything can happen from that point. It could be a cool epic break or you could just cause a gun wielding bunny to show up and save the day. Its why most DC stories are so bad, they have no rules as to what can happen. Ill accept a flying man, heck ill even accept that plane thing, what is weird is, kryptonite one day will render him unconscious from a distance, on another day direct contact has minimal effect.
    I loved Bendis' run on ultimate spider man because he understands this concept. Sure, feed us the spiderman premise, we'll accept it. But from there, he's still human, he has human problems. if he uses his webs to catch someone whiplash still applies. Logical progression, it makes the story better.If no rules apply, there's no story to tell. I dont wanna read spiderman knowing that if Uncle Ben died, spidey may somehow gain the power to resurrect him or some other stretch from what was presented.

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  7. Unfortunately or fortunately I know all this, I knew it even before I wrote this post. Just found it something to think about.

    I also know the boundaries beyond the premise, so I guess you caught me. This was secretly a dig at DC and Superman. The rules surrounding that character change so much its amazing. Today he will lift the weight of an island and tomorrow he will struggle to lift a truck or stop a train. It kinda brings confusion to the character or the understanding of his environment and how he relates to it.

    As far as the death is concerned, however, I stand by my opinion. It sucks.

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  8. The one thing that makes a hero or heroin is the fact they risk their 'lives' to save and protect innocent people. If a hero can't die then how are they risking their lives to save people. Which make them no longer a hero and takes them to the realm of gods.

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  9. But where do we go once we kill a character who has been loved for so long? Again, in movies it is ok, the story is completed but what of series? Where do we go after our hero dies?

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