Why Resurrection is a Wonderful Idea

August 8, 2005

By Avi Green

I canít understand why some comics readers are so fussy about characters being brought back to life, especially if they complained about their being put to death in the first place!

This is something Iíve noticed in a few places, and while it may be only a minor bunch that seems to do that, I must say that Iím really surprised. I mean, for heavenís sake, as they themselves sometimes say, itís only comics!

(Quite a few PC-advocates seem to exploit the argument of ďitís only entertainmentĒ for the purpose of trying to delegitimize arguments of anyone who protests against discrimination in comics, and then go along and throw it away when it comes to their own personal positions! Not very clever, eh?)

And whatever the no-resurrections crowd, which is similar in some ways to the no-Mary Jane Watson crowd (and may even be comprised of the same people! If so, look out!), I just want to say here and now that Iím glad that itís possible to do resurrections, and that some that Iíd be very happy if they were done, were.

For example, Psylocke. Her death was unfairly mandated by the Joe Quesada/Bill Jemas regime, which tricked Chris Claremont into ďkilling her offĒ before he even realized what they were up to at the time.

Psylocke is Betsy Braddock, twin sister of the former (?) Captain Britain, Brian Braddock. She first began as a simple white girl with blonde hair in 1976, then, in the mid-1980s, she was turned into an Asian girl with brunette hair, the result of an experiment run by Spiral, who had captured both her and a Chinese ninja named Kwannon, mistress of a leader of one of the members of the Hand, the ninja group Daredevil and Elektra trained with, in which both girls had their body essences switched with one another, and were then brainwashed into serving the enemy. But they both broke free of their brainwashing, and turned on the captors, and went back to the good side again, serving with the X-Men as Psylocke did before, and Kwannon to join as a reserve member, if anything, under the codename Revanche.

Some people have argued that the history of the character is very complicated. But personally, I wouldnít let it concern me a bit. Because considering that this is the day and the age of the internet, is it really that hard to research the characters, and, if entertainment is the main reason we read comic books, well then, does it matter that much?

I think not.

So Iím very glad that Marvel came to their senses on that, if anything, ditto Colossus, who was brought back in Astonishing X-Men a few months earlier. The X-Menís strongman deserved much better than to be offed solely for the purpose of trying to ďproveĒ that Marvel can make a convincing death in comic books, when a better question might be: is anyone really asking for characters to be killed off?

And the best answer I have to that is: I donít think so.

If what the public is looking for is simple entertainment, why should they want anyone to die? Thatís not what entertainment is all about.

And Iím also glad that, while Iím not happy with the circumstances through which Donna Troy and Lilith Clay were offed in 2003 in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day, Iím certainly glad that they too are being brought back from their undeserved and needless deaths. And you know what that means?

It means that, if Donna and Lilith can return, so can Sue Dibny, and Jean Loring can be exonerated from that obscene frame-up in Identity Crisis. And likewise, even Agatha Harkness, Hawkeye, and the Vision will return, as will even Mockingbird, and Scarlet Witch will be exonerated too. In fact, Peter Sanderson once said it this way on IGN:

ďIt took nearly two decades, but finally Supergirl's death has effectively been undone. (Any bets on how long it will take to reverse the damage done to Sue Dibny and Jean Loring in Identity Crisis?)Ē

And, towards the end of column #75:

ďYet today, even as the Creepy and Cynical movement in comics snuffs and degrades yet more longrunning characters, there are signs of a new appreciation of the superhero genre's classic traditions. Hal Jordan was turned evil, then dead, and then into the Spectre, as DC compounded each mistake with another, yet now, in Geoff Johns' Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan is back, alive, as the Silver Age Green Lantern. Jeph Loeb has in effect resurrected Supergirl, making her demise in Crisis not so much a landmark but an irrelevance.

So, to come full circle, the third point I made to CBS News about the replacement of Bugs Bunny with Buzz Bunny is this: it won't last. For all I know, Loonatics may be a hit for a year or two, since it feeds off current trends, like the popularity of superhero movies, the booming American infatuation with anime and manga, and so forth. But what if these trends prove to be merely fads? Tiny Toon Adventures was a variant on Looney Tunes, and it was actually successful and good, but it has faded from sight.Ē

Sanderson is absolutely correct. Mainly because: not only are many of these shock value deaths are becoming worse and worse in their execution, but to leave the characters dead/villified and thatís that only makes it worse. Not to mention that, by just keeping on with all of these silly deaths just destroys credibility of the companies and makes it seem as if theyíre uninterested in developing the characters, which would be far more welcome than killing them off, or turning them into villains, another cheap idea that some would-be comic writers seem to do, because evil is supposedly more interesting, and easier to depict the characters as.

Not so. It is quite possible to make goodness interesting and to depict the goodies very well indeed without even killing them off, if thereís a talented writer involved, and if the company provides the right freedom to do so. Of course, itís not just the publishing companies that are the problem. Even readers who side with the pessimistic option are, and the reason why good and life arenít interesting to them is becauseÖthey donít want it to be.

I really wish therefore that readers who seem to have a pessimistís viewpoint would please try to understand that itís just what they themselves say it is, that being comics, and that goodness and life can be just as interesting, even more so, than death and evil. But then, who knows, maybe in time, they will.

Farewell to the Lionís DenÖfor now

This is to be the last entry on my Lionís Den website for now. Not forever, so I guess you could say that Iíll just be going on hiatus for awhile, but for now, I feel the need to take a rest from this part of my freelance career in writing and deal with some personal/family matters.

Ever since when I first began to build websites three years ago, beginning first with Geocities as the place where I first established this site, Iíve really enjoyed it very much, writing away, and realizing in time that I wasnít the only one. Even Arthur Chrenkoff, the Australian blogger, as I learned, loves writing too, and man, does he have some very good stuff in his turn too.

I suppose I may try some blogging myself too for a time. But Iíll never abandon the amazing world of web-building, thatís for sure. While Iíve never specialized in serious bells and whistles, I can say this: Iíve really enjoyed what Iíve learned, and Iím going to keep on trying. You can be quite sure of that. Iíve already built at least three comic book fansites, as a matter of fact, and I intend to make sure to keep going with those too.

And if thereís something that I learned over the years, itís that, while I may have enjoyed reading the works of people like ďCaptain ComicsĒ years ago, that doesnít mean that I should be relying on them alone for things like good comics opinions and coverage. Nope, itís the internet and the blogosphere that I should.

And now that I think back on it, it wasnít Captain Comics that helped me to really appreciate comic books for what they were, whether from DC, Marvel, or even the sadly short-lived CrossGen, nor in fact was it Paperback Reader or Hero Realm either. Rather and quite the opposite:

It was me.

When comic books stores began to open up better in Israel in the past few years, and I was able to get myself both pamphlets and trades more easily, and to check out all the wonderous, amazing stuff produced over the years more clearly, I realized then and there that, even if they were well-meaning in what they said, and even if they lauded good stuff in what they wrote, Captain Comics, especially Captain Comics, simply didnít do the stuff he/they talked about justice.

Reading all those great pamphlets both old and new, and also the trades, plenty of which I've even reviewed right here on this website, I realized that the best of the best was even better than what they said, and that, most importantly of all, and something that they didnít even mention, was that it was done with a heart and sincerity, something lacking in a lot of comic books today.

And thatís why, when it comes to comics coverage today, thatís why, simply put, it is the internet and the blogosphere that should be relied upon, not just simply ďmainstreamĒ media services. Nope, itís the discussions of the simple members of the comic-loving public who should be. Because they can know what it is that makes comics work.

I also got to give my thanks to Somee Web Hosting, whose services were by far the best of any free web service Iíve ever hosted my website on when I moved from Geocities to bigger webhosting services. Of all the ones Iíve been with, theyíve lasted the longest, and theyíve had some of the best support staff, and the best online webmastersí resources too.

And I certainly hope that theyíll last for many years to come as a webhosting service, free and/or paid. I found their services to be among the best Iíve come across, and for that, Iíve got to recommend their services to many others as well.

So for now, I guess itís time to conclude, until the next time when I do hope to make a return to webmastering. And when I do, who knows, maybe I will have to give the really advanced forms of webmastering a try.

So good luck, and godspeed to everyone reading, and let us hope for the best in the world of comics, and that we can really help to shape their future for the better. And, if there's any really great way that I could sign off, here, it's with this cool picture of Donna Troy and the many lives she's had in the DCU.

Copyright 2005 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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