Over in the other thread, we've been discussing people (mostly heroes) who died during the Silver Age. Some of them, surprisingly enough, are still dead! That's as it should be, dead should mean dead, but it usually doesn't happen. But in a few cases, it absolutely should.

There used to be a term in fandom that I heard: Bucky-dead. It means a character whose death was so momentous, so memorable or so intrinsic to the stories that were told after the death that the person would never be brought back to life.

Sadly, that term either needs a new name or it needs to be eliminated altogether, on the basis that there is no character who some writer won't want to revive, and their editor will think that's a good thing.

Even so, here's my list of characters who I think should remain Bucky-dead:

 

1. Bucky.

2. Uncle Ben

3. Barry Allen

4. Gwen Stacy

5. Jonathan and Martha Kent

6. Thomas and Martha Wayne

7. Aquababy

8. Battling Murdock

9. Abin Sur

 

Any others? Anybody want to make a case that the MU or DCU would be better off with one of these characters alive instead? Anybody willing to bet their house on one of these that will NEVER be revived? Frankly, I don't think I am.

 

-- MSA

Views: 596

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think having Jonathan and Martha Kent in the post-Crisis DC Universe was one of the best ideas to come from the 1980s revamp of Superman.

I have to agree with you there, but that's damning with faint praise. I think in the #2 slot is making Luthor an evil businessman, a chracterization everyone agrees is more plausible without damaging his underlying iconic image. After that? Certainly wiping out Kara was an awful thing. Although, I have to say, I'm glad they "scraped away the barnacles," as John Byrne put it, so they could immediately introduce innovations like Metallo, red kryptonite, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bizarro.

I admit that I liked some of those Kent farm stories, but the Kents dying without Superboy being able to save them and then leaving for Metropolis is really striking and much more of a message. I mean, the guy's super powerful and can go back to his farm and his parents for advice. He apparently lost a couple who were raising him who were not exactly Parents of the Year. I think the SA version of both sets of parents is much better. The guy's got the perfect life.

I've mostly seen the past 25 years as a big What-If story, and my interest in a Superman married to Lois is pretty low. It's like reading the next three volumes in the Pride & Prejudice series. After Elizabeth-Lois marries Darcy-Superman, there's a lot less story there that's compelling. That chase is what the story's about!

Dave's right, Jor-El and Lara should be on my list. I think they are so intrinsically dead that it didn't occur to me to add them. Consider them added. But, of course, there's no such thing as being dead-dead, and they tried to ruin a great thing with Superboy #158. Fortunately, we Mopee-ized that story right out of our brains.

I think reviving Barry Allen was a horrible idea. He was a great character, but he had a great death, a death that resonated long afterward and was referred to regularly. His death affected how Wally worked, and that gap between Jay and Wally was poignant because there should have been another generation there, and it was gone. It proved that the job was dangerous.

The TV show especially showed that a young, frisky Flash is a nice counterpoint to the other heroes. He's not the same generation, and there's actually a reason for it. Barry's death served an ideal role.

I'm just not sure why they'd revive him. Is this guy who's been dead for 25 years so beloved by today's comics readers? I wonder how many of them actually ever read a Barry Allen story? OTOH, if it's a big number, then comics may have a different problem. Comics readers used to turn over every five years, now maybe they never turn over--or forget a plot point from decades ago.

Bucky should be dead. I don't care what stories they've told about him since, his having been alive all those years makes a mockery of every SA story where Cap bemoaned his death, objected when Rick Jones put on his costume, etc. And there were a lot of them. Why wasn't Cap out looking for him? There clearly was a chance he was still alive. That Cap was unable to save his partner was a major part of who he was, at least back when I was reading him.

Bringing back Bucky is a good idea only because everyone thinks it's such a bad idea--as the originator of the Bucky-dead term--that a writer decides he's so good he can beat those odds. Nobody reading comics had ever read a Bucky story. There were other ways to make Winter Soldier interesting besides trashing that relationship, which, of course, neither Marvel or the writer cares about if it brings in some bucks today.

I like to think that the story about Gwen dying because the only other option was marriage is apocryphal, as it shows such a lack of imagination it's embarrassing. The more obvious choice was to have Gwen learn who Spider-Man was and run off in horror, "never" to be seen again. Peter's life would once again be destroyed by Spidey, and Gwen would always be looming out there, poised for a return, much like the Goblin was so many times. The threat was more dangerous than the return.

Granted, Gwen would've returned at least once each time a new writer took over, but it could have had a lot of potential, reminding MJ that Peter had another love out there that could pop up at any time. Competing with a dead icon is tough, but competing with a woman Peter still loves who could show up is even tougher.

I think her death was so surprising and transformational that reviving her would be an insult. Needless to say, I think the clone story was stupid and the twins story was an abomination. YMMV-BIDI.

Jean Grey may be a good choice to be added, but I just don't feel it so much. Somewhere along the line before her revival, I gave up on the X-Men and haven't been back. She was revived awhile ago by now, so there may be a lot of fans who don't know she was dead once upon a time.

The problem today is that some of these characters are killed with the full intention of bringing them back shortly, or at least the knowledge that they won't be gone long. That's such a cheat on everyone. I just can't believe they really thought that Steve Rogers would never appear in a Marvel comic book again when they did their stunt.

Needless to say, it's hard to get excited about all the FF hype, considering most of them have been dead before at least once. I'm surprised that the media still falls for it.

-- MSA

 

 

Bringing back Barry seemed to be the strangest decision,didn't seem to be any calls for it from fans,as far as I could see Wally was a lot more popular as Flash than Barry ever was and if you want the nostalgia thing then Jay is still running around.

That said I'm not particularly a Flash fan so maybe they have done great things with him.

At some level, the quality of the stories they tell about the revived person from that list doesn't matter. They can't be great enough to justify the revival. It may be a mitigating factor that stories about Bucky or Barry are hailed as genius, but not enough for my taste, it may raise the idea from a -1 million to a -100,000, but that's still a big negative. I just don't think I would ever put down one of the stories and say that it made reviving the hero a good thing.

BTW, on the other side of the coin: The award for Most Pointless and Useless death in comics should go to Karen Page. She offered way more potential alive than killing her off as an afterthought did.

-- MSA

 

And, given the villain, it would have been easy to have said "she's not really been killed".
Mr. Silver Age said:

Bucky should be dead. I don't care what stories they've told about him since, his having been alive all those years makes a mockery of every SA story where Cap bemoaned his death, objected when Rick Jones put on his costume, etc. And there were a lot of them. Why wasn't Cap out looking for him? There clearly was a chance he was still alive. That Cap was unable to save his partner was a major part of who he was, at least back when I was reading him.

Bringing back Bucky is a good idea only because everyone thinks it's such a bad idea--as the originator of the Bucky-dead term--that a writer decides he's so good he can beat those odds. Nobody reading comics had ever read a Bucky story. There were other ways to make Winter Soldier interesting besides trashing that relationship, which, of course, neither Marvel or the writer cares about if it brings in some bucks today.


I don't agree with -- or even understand -- the idea that Bucky having been alive all those years "makes a mockery of every SA story where Cap bemoaned his death, objected when Rick Jones put on his costume, etc." Likewise reviving Phoenix, Barry Allen, or any other character.
Mr. Silver Age said:
Why wasn't Cap out looking for [Bucky]? There clearly was a chance he was still alive.

Because right after he saw Bucky die (or "die", whatever), Cap fell into the ocean, was frozen in ice, and out of the world for decades. If he'd been around to investigate right after Bucky's apparent death, your argument might make sense, but for him to come to all those years later and — even though he was sure he saw Bucky die, and even though Bucky hasn't been (officially) seen in the decades since, and even though the government presumably stated with certainty that Bucky was dead — despite all that assume that Bucky was still alive would be a delusional act. And who wants to read about a delusional Cap?

But what we saw was a Cap being revived and then wallowing in pity for being a man out of time and being responsible for Bucky's death. When, in fact, he wasn't responsible, and we can think that maybe if he'd put half that time into investigating what happened instead of blowing his nose, maybe he'd have found the answer. He's Mr. Gung-Ho Never-Say-Die, but he apparently said Die on Bucky, and he was wrong. That's two strikes, for quitting and being wrong. That's a lot of strikes for Cap.

It just strikes me as a lot to swallow that TWO GUYS attacked Zemo during WWII and both ended up in the peak of health in 2010. If they can bring back Bucky, there's really no character who can ever be said to have died, and I have a hard time caring about any life-or-death situation in a place like that. It rubs me the wrong way.

Are we all bemoaning the loss of the Human Torch and what a sad day it is today to see his life come to an end? I don' t think so. Reviving these long-dead guys makes it clear we shouldn't care when anyone dies, because they aren't really dead. Bucky proves that.

-- MSA

One problem the comic book industry has had since the Silver Age involves maintaining copyrights. The rules were vastly different in the late 1930s when a lot of the concepts that are popular today first started.

That is why the Justice Society first got revived to begin with, and since then DC has briefly revived concepts and series titles (Mystery In Space, Sensation Comics, etc.) as one shots, specials, and short lived series attempts.

Yet as I have stated in a previous post, I honestly feel that once a character is truly dead (not faked, MIA, etc), then they should stay that way, unless you are doing a supernatural storyline/series.

Only time will tell whether all the recent returnees in Brightest Day is a good or bad thing. But either way, at least DC still legally owns them now, and their names and concepts cannot slip into public domain for others to claim.

(For another example of what I am referring to, a lot of animation studios had to scramble in the late 1970s/early 1980s to protect their characters, for the earliest individual shorts they starred in have slipped into public domain, hence part of the reason the copyright laws keep getting revised.)

But I did notice everyone on Mr. Silver Age's original list (except Barry) was in a supporting, if not a key/catalytic, role within their respective series or at least a specific storyline.

Does anyone think the rules should be different for such "second bananas", or should whatever the regulations are apply equally for every character?

Mr. Silver Age said:

But what we saw was a Cap being revived and then wallowing in pity for being a man out of time and being responsible for Bucky's death. When, in fact, he wasn't responsible, and we can think that maybe if he'd put half that time into investigating what happened instead of blowing his nose, maybe he'd have found the answer. He's Mr. Gung-Ho Never-Say-Die, but he apparently said Die on Bucky, and he was wrong. That's two strikes, for quitting and being wrong. That's a lot of strikes for Cap.

-- MSA


Um ... what's to investigate? That Bucky was blown to shreds by a bomb 20 30 40 50 60 years ago? You call him a quitter for that? Really? And for being wrong, that's a strike? Whoever said Captain America was infallible?

It's true, he's clearly not infallible. They told him Sharon Carter was dead, and he cried big tears for her too. Then she turned out to be as dead as Bucky.

Yeah, okay, I admit it, I'm on shaky ground. There's not much he could do and no reason he'd have done it. I just don't like it. It's wrong.

As a great man once said, "4) If anything can happen in a story, we don’t care what eventually does." I think that's the way I feel about reviving Bucky. If he's alive, how can I take any threat seriously? I went for 40+ years thinking something pretty fundamental to Cap and the MU, only to be told it wasn't so. That covers a lot of ground when other things probably aren't so, either.

I don't want to know what they are. It's already enough that I know about Bucky and Gwen's kids. Stop the madness!

-- MSA



Mr. Silver Age said:

It's true, he's clearly not infallible. They told him Sharon Carter was dead, and he cried big tears for her too. Then she turned out to be as dead as Bucky.

Yeah, okay, I admit it, I'm on shaky ground. There's not much he could do and no reason he'd have done it. I just don't like it. It's wrong.

As a great man once said, "4) If anything can happen in a story, we don’t care what eventually does." I think that's the way I feel about reviving Bucky. If he's alive, how can I take any threat seriously? I went for 40+ years thinking something pretty fundamental to Cap and the MU, only to be told it wasn't so. That covers a lot of ground when other things probably aren't so, either.

I don't want to know what they are. It's already enough that I know about Bucky and Gwen's kids. Stop the madness!

-- MSA

 

 

 

 

 

...You man that the " post-Byrne " Jonathan andMarha are " not exactly Parents of the Year " ???

  Really ???

  Oh , and since many fokls here don't follow modern stuff much , I believe now , in New World ( or whatever the term is ) Superman , Jonathan Kent is dead , killed in an alien invasion a bit back , but Martha is still alive .

No, I meant that the Earth-1 Superman lost a couple of great parents and a world that was an amazing place of wonders, and then he also lost his adoptive parents who brought him up right and then had to let him go. Even Superman can't make everything right and suffers losses.

Meanwhile, the New Earth version lost a couple of pretty creepy parents (the Non-Parents of the Year) and a cold, unfriendly looking world, and then he came to Earth and had his parents around for a long time and I guess still has his mom around. (Didn't Jonathan Kent die once before? Or was that just a near-death experience?). 

Now he's married to the girl of his dreams. It's a great life if you're Superman. I like the other guy better. But I guess I would.

-- MSA

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2020   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service